Historians and the Creation of the National Monument to Reconstruction

One of the most significant news stories in recent years for American historians is the long, and now, successful effort to create a national monument to Reconstruction. One of President Obama’s last acts was to officially designate such a monument in Beaufort, South Carolina. This is in part a recognition of a generation of historians who worked to uncover a history of REconstruction free of the racist mythologies which have crippled any comprehension of that era. Historians Greg Downs and Kate Masur were key in this effort, and they tell the complete story here. Highly recommended reading:

http://blog.historians.org/2017/01/national-monument-reconstruction/

A key passage:

National parks are places where people who do not necessarily read academic history come to engage with the past. And parks have been central to communicating new views of the Civil War and the Civil Rights Movement. But no National Park Service (NPS) site has focused on Reconstruction. For that reason, breaking that barrier and placing Reconstruction in the park system is an extraordinary moment in public history, and we hope it will spur many more efforts to commemorate Reconstruction.

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