By William H. Benson
The Parallel Lives
Of The NOBLE AMERICAN RELIGIOUS THINKERS AND BELIEVERS:
Roger Williams VS. Cotton Mathers
Throughout the year of 1864, President Abraham Lincoln believed that he would lose the election in November. He admitted in August, “I am going to be beaten, and unless some great change takes place, badly beaten.” The odds were stacked against him.
Plenty of voters in the Union had reason to despise, even hate, Lincoln.
People burrow into the subsoil, build tunnels, plus storage rooms, and stockpile food and water, for one reason, and that is to stay alive. Atop the ground, in the open air, in the sunshine, they feel oppressed, insecure, and poised to die or suffer an injury.
On July 4, 1863, thirty-one thousand Confederate soldiers, trapped inside Vicksburg, on the Mississippi River, surrendered to the Union’s commanding officer, Ulysses S. Grant, on the forty-eighth day of Grant’s siege of that town.
During the siege, civilians had dug some five hundred caves into the hillsides, and fitted them out with “rugs, beds, and chairs.” One cave dweller said, “We were in hourly dread of snakes. The vines and thickets were full of them.”
What is the good that comes from knowing even a little about the ancient Greeks’ religion?
I prefer to learn of actual people who once lived in a historical setting, a time and a place. Greek mythology, instead, is a collection of make-believe fantasy stories I would like to know more of, but I find it hard to gain much traction from them, practical use. I wonder.
Mark Twain disparaged the whole notion. “Classics,” he said, “are the books that everybody wants to claim to have read, but nobody wants to read.”
After all, Greek religion is mythology, a series of stories about the gods and the goddesses whom the Greeks believed resided on or near Mount Olympus.
They included a dozen Olympians: Zeus, Poseidon, Hades, Hestia, Her
Since 2004, radio personality Steve Inskeep has hosted National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition.” During Covid lockdown in 2020, at home with time to spare, Inskeep researched and wrote a book that was published this past week.
Inskeep found its title, “Differ We Must: How Lincoln Succeeded in a Divided America,” in a letter that Abraham Lincoln wrote to his good friend Joshua Speed, dated August 24, 1855.
Last week, Inskeep explained to Amna Nawaz of PBS News Hour, and Scott Simon of NPR, that Speed was from Kentucky, that he was from a rich family that owned more than 50 slaves. Speed approved of slavery. Lincoln also was from Kentucky, but his family was poor, and Lincoln hated slavery.
Peering into the futureSome people possess a talent to peer deep into the future. In Biblical times people called them prophets. In the Middle Ages, people believed them wizards. Today they are economists who make projections based upon previous business data. Thomas...
The main highway running east to west across Israel’s width is Highway One. It connects Tel Aviv and Jerusalem to the Jordan River Valley, near Jericho.
In 2012, highway contractors working 5 kilometers west of Jerusalem near the town of Motza uncovered a Neolithic town, home to perhaps 3,000 people at one time.
A new thing, an interstate highway, led to a discovery of an old thing, a town.
Tel Motza is now the largest Neolithic site in Israel. Archaeologists define a Tel as “a mound or small hill that has built up over centuries of occupation.” Excavators dig down through the layers until they find a bottom layer.
Archaeologists uncovered stone tools made of flint—arrowheads, axes, sickle blades, and knives—as well as human bones, clay figurines, grain silos, and a temple.
The list of banned, censored, and challenged books is long and illustrious.
“Decameron” (1353) by Giovanni Boccaccio, and “Canterbury Tales” (1476) by Geoffrey Chaucer were banned from U. S. mail because of the Federal Anti-Obscenity Law of 1873, known as the Comstock Law.
That law “banned the sending or receiving of works containing ‘obscene, ‘filthy,’ or ‘inappropriate’ material.
William Pynchon, a prominent New England landowner and founder of Springfield, Massachusetts, wrote a startling critique of Puritanism, that he mailed to London and had it published there in 1650. He entitled it “The Meritorious Price of Our Redemption.”
Popular song writers will, on occasion, dub into their lyrics references to summer.
In 1970, Mungo Jerry sang, “In the summertime, when the weather is high, you can stretch right up and touch the sky.” In 1972, Bobby Vinton sang, “Yes, it’s going to be a long, lonely summer.” In 1973, Terry Jacks sang about enjoying his “Seasons in the Sun.”
In 1977, in the film Grease, John Travolta and Olivia Newton John sang a back-and-forth duet about their “summer days drifting away, to summer nights.”
Last Thursday, July 27, 2023, North Korea’s leader Kim Jon Un presided over a military parade that celebrated the 70th anniversary of the signing of the Korean Armistice Agreement that ended the Korean conflict, from June 25, 1950, to July 27, 1953.
North Korea’s Foreign Ministry announced
One of University of Northern Colorado’s 2020 Honored Alumni
William H. Benson
Local has provided scholarships for history students for 15 years
A Sterling resident is among five alumni selected to be recognized this year by the University of Northern Colorado. Bill Benson is one of college’s 2020 Honored Alumni.
Each year UNC honors alumni in recognition for their outstanding contributions to the college, their profession and their community. This year’s honorees were to be recognized at an awards ceremony on March 27, but due to the COVID-19 outbreak that event has been cancelled. Instead UNC will recognize the honorees in the fall during homecoming Oct. 10 and 11……
The Duodecimal System
For centuries, the ancient Romans calculated sums with their clunky numerals: I, V, X, L, C, D, and M; or one, five, ten, 50, 100, 500, and 1,000. They knew nothing better.
The Thirteenth Amendment
On Jan. 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, and by it, he declared that “all persons held as slaves” within the rebellious states “are and henceforward shall be free.” Lincoln’s Proclamation freed some 3.1 million slaves within the Confederacy.
The Fourteenth Amendment
After Congress and enough states ratified the thirteenth amendment that terminated slavery, Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1866. This law declared that “all people born in the United States are entitled to be citizens, without regard to race, color, or previous condition of slavery or involuntary servitude.” The Act equated birth to citizenship.
The New-York Packet and the Constitution
Jill Lepore, the Harvard historian, published her newest book a month ago, These Truths: A History of the United States. In a short introduction, she describes in detail the Oct. 30, 1787 edition of a semi-weekly newspaper, The New-York Packet.
Mr. Benson’s writings on the U.S. Constitution are a great addition to the South Platte Sentinel. Its inspiring to see the history of the highest laws of this country passed on to others.
– Richard Hogan
Mr. Benson, I cannot thank you enough for this scholarship. As a first-generation college student, the prospect of finding a way to afford college is a very daunting one. Thanks to your generous donation, my dream of attending UNC and continuing my success here is far more achievable
– Cedric Sage Nixon
Donec bibendum tortor non vestibulum dapibus. Cras id tempor risus. Curabitur eu dui pellentesque, pharetra purus viverra.
– Extra Times
- Thomas Paine vs. George Whitefield
- Ralph Waldo Emerson vs. Joseph Smith
- William James vs. Mary Baker Eddy
- Mark Twain vs. Billy Graham
- Henry Louis Mencken vs. Jim Bakker