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There’s been a lot of talk about history lately stemming from all the controversy surrounding the history of the confederacy and what it should mean to us and what we think of it and what to do about it.
The order by Mayor Faulconer to remove that small rusted out plaque from the walkway at Horton Plaza Park downtown this week was one small example of it.
The plaque was given to the city back in the 1920’s to recognize what was to be called the Jefferson Davis Memorial Highway that was planned from Arlington Virginia to San Diego California.
The highway was never built but those who had planned it back then would never have thought a plaque about it would end up being part of a national controversy over long dead leaders of the confederacy during the Civil War.
Leaders such as Jefferson Davis, who, for those who never paid attention in history class, was the President of the Confederacy, the group of states in the South that wanted to secede from the rest of the country.
A petition drive to have the historical plaque bearing his name removed from Horton Plaza Park culminated with the Mayor deciding without announcing it ahead of time to tell city crews to remove it.
The mayor said he was for anything that brings us together and doesn’t divide us.
Going back in our history to almost 160 years ago, soon to be President Abraham Lincoln delivered a famous speech in which he said this:
“A house divided against itself cannot stand…..and I do not expect the house to fall -- but I do expect it will cease to be divided.”
With all the division today, those are words from history that should be part of our political debate today about our history.