Today marks the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War. But some universities have been celebrating the anniversary before today.
It’s my two favorite loves: history and Scranton. (and you thought I was going to say red wine and coffee.) Students in a civil war history class at the University of Scranton have been spending the semester uncovering and digitizing 62 previously uncataloged Civil War-era documents housed at the Lackawanna Historical Society.
The documents will eventually become part of a website documenting Scranton’s mid-19th century industrial coming of age that’s being developed by the Albright Memorial Library (if you’ve been following my blog, you know that that’s the library that I owe about a million dollars for Meet Thomas Jefferson).
To me, what makes this class seem so much more exciting then high school classes, is that it doesn’t focus on textbooks. The Scranton students (which includes one of my best friends, Aimee) were finding letters, receipts from leg amputations, soldiers’ sketches and more. And that’s history. There needs to be more of an emphasis on local history in school.
So, during the Civil War’s anniversary, I suggest everyone check out their hometown’s archives and see the role it played in our country’s crucial time.