Skip to content

Weekend Assignment: History

September 14, 2010

Since I’ve cut back to one or two posts a week, currently, I’ve been pretty choosy about what I post… That means for the past couple weeks, I didn’t join in on the Weekend Assignment, because the topics didn’t quite catch my imagination.  This week I’m going to make a try for it.

We don’t all live near the site of a battlefield or other world-famous event, but any place has its own history: political, cultural, even natural history. How aware are you of the past of the town, city or state where you live now? Share with us a story of local history. 
Extra Credit: Have you ever participated personally in an historic event? (This doesn’t have to be anything earth-shattering.)

The city I live in bears on its seal the motto “Resurgens” and the emblem of a phoenix rising from the flames.  This seal and motto is a reminder of certain historical events.  No, I don’t live in Arizona.  I live in Georgia.  And the events in question were chronicled in a certain classic old movie, that being “Gone With the Wind”. 

In Atlanta, you can’t throw a stone without hitting a sign for a historical marker declaring the site of “so-and-so’s last stand” or “the charge of somesuch brigade”.  It’s part of the fabric here.  Heck, this is largely true of much of the American Southeast.  In the rest of the U.S. the Civil War is an important historical event.  It’s something that happened.  It’s important but it’s over.  The good guys won, the bad guys lost, Honest Abe freed the slaves and everyone lived happily ever after, the end.  Except, in the South, it’s not over yet.  It’s a living part of the culture and personality of this part of the world.

You’d think, too, that in Atlanta this would be doubly true – that here, it’d be personal, what with General Sherman and his rather infamous dealings with the city.  But no, despite the plethora of old bronze markers glorifying the Fall of Atlanta, this is a city quite unlike the South in which it resides.  It’s modern and urban – at least by comparison –  and as such is far less conservative and lives not in the past but is far more grounded in the present than the rest of the state.  And, having lived both in the rural South of Georgia and in this city, I can tell there is a difference, something in the flavor of the place.  It’s a city that acknowledges its history only as prologue for the future.

As for this week’s Extra Credit: yes, I have, though my own role in the historical event was rather small.  The historical event in question occurred on November 4th, 2008, and I am still proud of my contribution.

Advertisements
6 Comments leave one →
  1. September 16, 2010 3:19 am

    John and I passed through Atlanta once or twice back in 1986 and were struck by how modern and cosmopolitan the place was. We weren’t expecting a scene from Gone With the Wind or anything like that, but the city and the metropolitan area around it really seemed exceptionally modern compared to most other places we visited that winter and spring, from Syracuse to Key West to Oklahoma.

    It’s interesting that several of us have mentioned voting in that historic election. Good for us!

    • September 16, 2010 8:46 am

      If you’re looking for a “historic event”, gotta say it’s the one that comes most readily to mind. 🙂

  2. September 18, 2010 12:04 am

    Sounds a little like Nashville, which is country outside the city but less conservative (and lacking of a certain southern drawl) downtown.

    • September 20, 2010 8:43 am

      Yeah, sounds rather similar alright. Except in Nashville, I think Country Music is still the music of choice, even in downtown (it’s Nashville, after all), whereas here, Country may be the preferred sound in the suburbs, but you’re more likely to be hearing Hip Hop in downtown…

  3. September 21, 2010 9:54 pm

    I was in Atlanta a couple of weeks ago and found myself in the odd position of eating dinner at Pittypat’s Porch and having to explain Aunt Pittypat to the entire table. “Yankee children,” I thought.

    Until the Minnesotan in the next seat had to explain to me why there was cane syrup on the table. And made me try it.

    I sort of felt the Civil War vibe, but I thought it was just me and my once-a-summer GWTW habit. My “sense of history” moment was looking at Centenniel Park and thinking, “Now where was the bomb exactly? And OMG how many people must have been here.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: