5.25.15: Happy Memorial Day

May 25, 2015

Each Memorial Day, the country comes together to remember the fallen – but history hasn’t always been so kind. When President Lincoln was assassinated, many people publically celebrated his death, and not just in the south. On today’s show, the myth of a country united in mourning. Plus, a look at why some important historical events go altogether unremembered – like the sinking of The Sultana, America’s deadliest maritime disaster. And a Vietnam veteran says thank you to the comrade who saved him – not from bullets, but from himself.

Listen to the full show

A Graphic History of the Civil War

Author and illustrator Jonathan Fetter-Vorm joined forces with historian Ari Kelman to tell the story of a war that transformed the nation. Jonathan joined us to talk about his new book: Battle Lines: A Graphic History of The Civil War.

Related: Graphic Novel Illustrates the Birth of the Bomb 

Credit Courtesy of Jonathan Fetter-Vorm / fetter-vorm.com/battlelines/
Credit Courtesy of Jonathan Fetter-Vorm / fetter-vorm.com/battlelines/

Civil War Re-enactors

There are countless books, films and articles on the civil war – but there is another, more physical way for people to experience events that took place 150 years ago – historical reenactments.  A few years ago, a group of civil war buffs ceremoniously reenacted a union funeral – and producer Jake Warga was there.

You can listen to this story again at PRX.org.

Why We Forget the Sultana

Freelance writer and author Christopher Klein discusses the sinking of The Sultana, the deadliest maritime disaster in America, and other forgotten pieces of American history.

Related: Read his article for the Boston Globe  "8 Reasons We Forget Some Historical Events".

Mourning Lincoln

Martha Hodes is Professor of History at New York University and the author of the new book, Mourning Lincoln, which delves into the aftermath of the assassination Lincoln 150 years ago this month.

Veteran Repays Near-Half-Century Debt

The devastation and violence of war has the paradoxical effect of producing many war heroes, many of whom go unrecognized – so while the country takes today to remember the fallen, we thought it would be appropriate to end today’s show with an act of quiet heroism – not the kind of courage that gets awarded medals, but the kind that inspires life-long gratitude. Rebecca Sheir has the story.

You can listen to this story again at PRX.org.