Two years ago, in the midst of the pandemic, I whipped off a quick and somewhat flippant letter about why March 15 is a crucially important day in American history. It became one of the most popular things I’ve ever written, so popular that when I was asked to write a book based on these letters, I centered the book around it.
Thank you, Professor.
Your passion soaks these Letters; your scholarship enriches and informs our lives as citizens, brothers and sisters all, in the pursuit of our more perfect union.
Ours is a challenging time and I can't think of anyone who has done more to make sense of it.
Fascinating and inspirational. I'll never think of Maine the same way. And knowing the story awoke the scholar in you is a treasure all its own.
This remarkable story heartens me. It seems a fine lesson for our current circumstances. It also brings to mind one of my favorite quotes, from Margaret Mead, 'Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
Wow...This letter today relates so much to what I'm now involved in...producing a documentary focused on a confederate monument called the Talbot Boys that was erected in 1916 in front of a Courthouse in Easton Maryland ...taken down a year ago on March 14, after much contentious debate...and moved to the Cross Keys Battlefield in VA. This modern story has all of the elements HCR describes above. I just hope my video camera and editing console don't get thrown in the Choptank River and that I survive to tell the whole story. We are launching our project titled "Monumental Struggle" on Monday.
The Missouri Compromise seems to have been glossed over in my American History class. Or perhaps I just wasn't paying attention. However, I don't believe it was presented to us in a way it was here. Or, maybe I've lived long enough to see the actual impact of it on our nation. Maybe I've learned a few things.
I AM happy to say, that would appear I'm exactly the kind of person John D. Rockefeller did NOT want as part of this nation when he set out the educational program upon with his "donations.
In John D. Rockefeller's words "I don't want a nation of thinkers. I want a nation of workers!" The hatred and venom of people who would enslave the people of the entire nation to enrich and empower the few have once again threatened our Democracy. As imperfect as it is, once again we will have to rise up to fight for the ideals on which it was built, but without compromise. We MUST invoke the adage "The needs of the many are greater than the needs of one."
Reading your letters has become a pleasant and stimulating part of my days. I thank you for your dedication and energy, and for the wonderful education that you provide. I was not a splendid student, but would have done better under your tutelage. Carry on.
What an incredible and inspirational letter tonight Heather. Thank you for this gift. In some ways it makes me sad and frustrated that after all of these years we are still fighting this battle for equality, and for the treatment of common decency and kindness to our neighbors on this planet. And in other ways I am grateful for the reminder that we must stay informed and involved. Complacency will not serve us well. History has proven there will always be the self centered takers, the aspiring oligarchs, the bigots and the narcissists whose goal is to dominate. Staying informed and involved, as well as knowing our history is vital to making better choices resulting in a more positive impact in our communities and our world.
Thanks very much, Heather, for four years of effort. You've created ripples beyond LFAA as several of us have created our own substacks to carry the same message.
I am grateful, Professor Richardson, for the light of your letters around which we all gather almost every day. It has indeed been a journey for me; a journey of learning, understanding, and encouragement. I am grateful as well for the help on my journey from so many of my felllow citizens, brothers and sisters, who listen and speak to each other on these pages with the respect, dignity, and affection that characterizes civilized public discourse on civic affairs.
I thank you all.
Beautiful, meaningful writing. Thank you.
What a wonderful motivating story as we the people work in our time to reclaim democracy. Thank you. Thank you.
I love the connection of Maine’s historical story with your own origin/awakening story as historian. The tension of the personal/political continuum is resolved by viewing it from the end rather than the side. They are one.
What a gift you are. And to think that my young self thought that American history was boring. Ignorance breeds boredom. And oligarchs.
Powerful story! As the saying goes “It takes a village...” Thanks for sharing what motivated you to chronicle life’s events. Sweet dreams.
Such a beautiful Letter tonight. Thank you!
Hi Heather, Thanks for these historical insights. Your work is inspirational. And a very timely reminder of those who came before us and put principle over party commonweal over political expediency and demagoguery. Stay safe, Duane