Friday, January 18, 2013


This image that was on the Puck magazine cover for the Memorial Day 1899 edition caught my attention. It shows a Confederate veteran on the left and Union veteran on the right with a Spanish-American War soldier in the middle serving as a bridge of reconciliation between the two sections. A United States of America flag bunting serves as a backdrop for the three men.

Maybe it shouldn't seem strange that it largely took a war to help heal the wounds caused by the Civil War and Reconstruction, but somehow it does. I suppose having to focus on a common enemy helped the country move past some old grudges; at least on a sectional level.

Naturally, some grudges remained. Racial prejudice, of course, unfortunately did not end with the demise of slavery. It took much longer for white and black Americans to begin to see themselves as equals and start healing old wounds that the "peculiar institution" had caused and prejudice perpetuated.

Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

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