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July 05, 2013

How Confederate sympathizers decided our national anthem

The best reason ever to dislike the STAR-SPANGLED BANNER. Star-Spangled Confederates: How Southern Sympathizers Decided Our National Anthem - The Daily Beast
The story of how “The Star-Spangled Banner” became the national anthem in 1931 is the story of a red-white-and-blue culture war. The patriotic song, written by Washington attorney Francis Scott Key, had been popular ever since it was written in August 1814. But it was only 117 years later, in March 1931, that Congress designated the song as the national anthem, thanks to a nationwide lobbying campaign by veterans organizations and Confederate sympathizers who prevailed over the objections of pacifists and educators. In a struggle for the meaning of American patriotism, the red prevailed over the blue. . . . The section that favored the “Banner” was the South. By the 1920s when the newly established NAACP was making an issue of the imposition of Jim Crow laws and the practice of lynching in the South, the campaign for the “Banner” was a way to defend the prerogatives of the South, to wrap the ideology of the Confederacy in the red, white, and blue bunting of American patriotism. Of course, no one said as much during the hearings on Linthicum's bill. No African-American witnesses were called, and only one dissenting witness was heard—the tireless Stetson. Otherwise, all present extolled the “Banner” as the perfect expression of American patriotism. There can be little doubt that most Americans agreed. Supporters submitted a petition calling for the designation of the “Banner” as the national anthem that was signed by 5 million people. A year later, Linthicum's bill came up for a vote, and the House and the Senate approved it by wide majorities. On March 3, 1931, President Herbert Hoover signed it into law. Thus, 117 years after it was written, "The Star-Spangled Banner" became our national anthem. The unspoken racial agenda of the “Banner” supporters was displayed on June 14, 1931, when the National Society of the Daughters of 1812 and the state of Maryland, sponsored a ceremony at War Memorial Plaza in Baltimore to celebrate the new national anthem. The parade was led by a column of Boy Scouts carrying three flags: the Stars and Stripes, the red and gold flag of Maryland, and the Stars and Bars of the army of the Confederate States of America. . . .

June 27, 2013

Detroit had its own flavor of the KKK: The Black Legion

They dressed like pirate ghosts? And were super racist? And Humphrey Bogart starred in a film about them? Black Legion (political movement) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Black Legion was a political organization that splintered from the Ku Klux Klan and operated in the United States in the 1930s. The organization was founded by William Shepard in east central Ohio.[1] The group's total membership, estimated between 20,000 and 30,000, was centered in Detroit, Michigan, though the Legion was also highly active in Ohio and one of its self-described leaders, Virgil "Bert" Effinger, lived and worked in Lima, Ohio. The Associated Press described the organization on May 31, 1936, as a group of loosely federated night-riding bands operating in several States without central discipline or common purpose beyond the enforcement by lash and pistol of individual leaders' notions of "Americanism." The death of WPA worker Charles Poole, kidnapped and murdered in southwest Detroit, caused authorities to finally arrest and successfully try and convict a group of twelve men affiliated with the Legion, thereby ending its reign of terror.