The Atlanta Compromise

On this day in 1895, Booker T. Washington delivered the Alanta Compromise address.

This was an agreement between Washington, president of the Tuskegee Institute, other African-American leaders, and Southern white leaders. It was first supported, and later opposed by W. E. B. Du Bois and other African-American leaders.

The agrement was never written down. It agreed that blacks would not ask for the right to vote, would not retaliate against racist behavior, and would tolerate segregation and discrimination. The would also receive free basic education, limited to vocational or industrial training. Liberal arts education would be prohibited.

Black leaders began to take issue with the compromise at the turn of the 20th century. Following Washington’s death in 1915, supporters of the Atlanta compromise slowly shifted their support to civil rights activism, leading up to the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s.

Booker T. Washington was born in Hale’s Ford, Virginia in 1856 (date unknown). He died in Tuskegee, Alabama on November 14, 1915.

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The Election of Jefferson Davis

The Jefferson Davis Memorial, Richmond, Virginia

 

If the Confederacy fails, there should be written on its tombstone: Died of a Theory.

Jefferson Davis

On this day in 1861 the Provisional Congress of the Confederate States of America elected Jefferson Davis as its president.

Davis represented Mississippi in the United States Senate and House of Representatives prior to becoming president of the Confederacy. He also served as United States Secretary of War under U.S. President Franklin Pierce from 1853 to 1857.

Davis was born in Kentucky, but grew up on his brother’s large cotton plantations in Mississippi and Louisiana. Prior to the Civil War, he operated a large cotton plantation in Mississippi where he owned over seventy slaves.

Davis opposed secession, he believed in the states’ right to leave the Union. He was not considered an effective leader and some consider that to be the reason for the weakness of the Confederacy.

Davis was captured in 1865 after fleeing the fall of Richmond. Accused of treason, he was imprisoned for two years at Fort Monroe. By the late 1880s, Davis encouraged reconciliation and called for Southerners to be loyal to the Union.

Davis died on December 5, 1889. Although initially laid to rest in New Orleans in the Army of Northern Virginia mausoleum at Metairie Cemetery, in 1893 Davis was re-interred in Richmond, Virginia at Hollywood Cemetery, per his widow’s request.

 

William and Mary

On this day in 1693 the College of William and Mary was founded under a royal charter “make, found and establish a certain Place of Universal Study, a perpetual College of Divinity, Philosophy, Languages, and other good arts and sciences…to be supported and maintained, in all time coming.”

It was named for reigning monarchs King William III and Queen Mary II and is the second oldest college in the United States (after Harvard University, 1636) and the oldest in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

According to Wikipedia: William & Mary educated American Presidents Thomas Jefferson (third), James Monroe (fifth), and John Tyler (tenth) as well as other key figures important to the development of the nation, including the fourth U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall of Virginia, Speaker of the House of Representatives Henry Clay of Kentucky, sixteen members of the Continental Congress, and four signers of the Declaration of Independence, earning it the nickname “the Alma Mater of the Nation.”

In other news, American composer, conductor, and pianist, John Williams, was born on this day in 1932. Williams is known and recognized for film scores that include the Star Wars series, Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Superman: The Movie, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, the Indiana Jones series, the first two Home Alone films, the first two Jurassic Park films, Schindler’s List, and the first three Harry Potter films.

The Soviet Union Dissolves

On this day in 1990, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union agreed to give up its monopoly of power based on the recommendation of General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev.

In the aftermath, fifteen of the constituent republics of the USSR held their first competitive elections. the CPSU lost six of those republics.

According to Wikipedia:

The constituent republics began to declare their national sovereignty and began a “war of laws” with the Moscow central government; they rejected union-wide legislation that conflicted with local laws, asserted control over their local economy and refused to pay taxes. President Landsbergis of Lithuania also exempted Lithuanian men from mandatory service in the Soviet Armed Forces. This conflict caused economic dislocation as supply lines were disrupted, and caused the Soviet economy to decline further.