Monday, April 11, 2011

Happy Sesquicentennial!!

Yes, that’s right my peepers. This year is the sesquicentennial anniversary of the American Civil War!!  Of course I know you have it marked on your calendar and have been planning your events for some time now…after all, it’s not every day we can mark the 150th anniversary of something! (Yes it is, but let's not start arguing so early into a Monday post, m'kay?)

Especially as Americans, whose memories are seven point two nine seconds long, we should be extra proud of ourselves for marking this special anniversary and remembering all the facts we’ve never bothered to learn about a singularly defining moment in our nation’s youth. 

The Civil War, for my non-American readers, was fought between the north and south of the United States between 1861 and 1865.  Wait a non-American readers already know this.  Non-American readers take a wide world view and learn history, and geography, and math….so hang on.  Let me restart.

The Civil War, for my American brethren, was fought between the north and south of the United States between 1861 and 1865.  It’s why we see confederate flags on the sides of barns.  Making any sense?  Ringing any bells?  Here are a few other facts you might not know about the American Civil War.  (Aw hell, who am I kidding?  Here’s stuff I’m sure you don’t know…we’re Americans. Who cares?)

The Confederacy was made up of South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas.  In 1861 they formed an unrecognized “Confederate States of America”, and elected Jefferson Davis as president.  Then four more states jumped on board. These were Virginia, Arkansas, North Carolina and Tennessee.  And in 1863 some Virginians got testy and seceded from VIRGINIA, to form their own state:  WEST Virginia. Then they re-joined the Confederate nation...which they just left.

Miss West Virginia 2008.
She would have been just a regular Virginian if not for the Civil War!

Now, I’m not here to speak ill off West Virginia….because I think they do a fine job of it themselves, starting with the leaving of a state only to join back up with a little moniker at the front.  That’s crazy silly and a waste of good quills to draw up the documents.

"Quills", readers, are what people used to write with before Blackberrys and touch screens.  Weird huh?

Another interesting fact about the Civil War comes from Oklahoma, where the “Indian Territory” was located.  The Native Americans living there were apparently slave owners if Wikipedia authors can be believed.  And why shouldn’t I believe them? Who cares if it’s true? If you want actual true facts about racism, slavery and civil war in America then wait me out for a Slap Friday post.  This here is Monday and I’m not into fact checking today.

Approximately 625,000 people were killed while fighting the 4 year war.  I say approximately because when I do that, you don’t have to worry about it being all the way true.  Pretty nice of me.  But that’s a wild number because in four years NOW car crashes kill about 155,000.  I’m giving you that statistic because it’s the one we like to measure by.  Everyone always compares your chances of dying in a car wreck to everything else.  Here’s another stat…in 13 years, only 756 people died of lightning strikes. I have no clue what any of this means to any of you reading. 

It’s all just stuff I found out.

So Happy Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War!  Celebrate by not doing something Confederatey today, like…DON’T buy a person, or support anyone who HAS made a recent human purchase.  Don’t wave a flag with a big X through it, unless you’re trying to get people to stay away from something hazardous.  Or if you want to DO something, then try doing Unioney things like firing a musket at something inanimate, or growing a beard, getting really tall and wearing a big top hat.  Also, set someone free if you notice they’ve recently been purchased.

If you want to bake a cake to mark the 150th birthday of a bloody and violent time in our nation’s history, might I suggest Red Velvet?

These colors don't run. Because they're cake...they don't have legs.


*Photo credits, because I have no money with which to defend a lawsuit:,,

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