May 24, 1980: 35 Years Ago Today


Here’s the Islanders’ radio call of the goal:

The usual play-by-play call that accompanies this video is the Canadian TV broadcast, but Dan Kelly, the long-time voice of the St. Louis Blues, called the game for American viewers, who saw the game on CBS. Here’s that call:

There are moments that happen in sports that you know you’ll never forget even as they happen before your eyes (whether live or on TV). For me, this continues to top the list.

Defining What’s a “Real Southerner”

Some people asked what I meant by “real southerner.” I’m simply pointing out that there are people out there who are very interested in defining who is and who is not a southerner for reasons sometimes connected with issues of heritage.  Sometimes I’ve been told that I need to understand what a “real southerner” is.

So I turn to all of you: how do you define “southerner”? Does the term “real southerner” have any utility?

You tell me.

Real Southerners and Confederate Pride

It’s a simple question, really: is it mandatory that anyone who calls themselves a real southerner must take pride in the Confederacy? Can you be a real southerner without taking pride in the Confederacy?

You tell me.

April 13, 1865: Grant in Washington

Ulysses S. Grant arrived in Washington, DC on April 13. He intended to start cutting costs: although the war was not over, it was now clearly winding down, and it was time to look toward the future. Lincoln congratulated his general, then begged off seeing the nighttime illuminations, leaving Grant to ride in the presidential carriage with the first lady. It was not a pleasant experience. Mrs. Lincoln’s feelings were ruffled when she realized that the people cheering as the carriage passed by were celebrating the general, not saluting the presidential carriage. Uncomfortable, Grant would have no stomach for a possible repeat performance, something he thought about as he contemplated the president’s invitation to the Grants to accompany the First Couple to the theater the next evening. As the general would attend the cabinet meeting the next day, there would be plenty of time to figure out what to do.

William T. Sherman’s men entered Raleigh, North Carolina. Sherman knew the war was coming to an end in the Tar Heel State. Learning of Lee’s surrender the previous day, he told Grant that the Appomattox terms “are magnanimous and liberal. Should Johnston follow Lee’s example I shall of course grant the same.” However, when he told the people of Raleigh what had happened in Virginia, they did not believe it.

The end was near.

April 10, 1865: Grant and Lee Meet Again

In past years I have offered posts on this blog about the April 10 meeting between Grant and Lee near what is now called Surrender Triangle. One post covered images of the encounter; I have already discussed what happened (and didn’t happen) at the meeting.

It was not the only time Grant met Confederates that day, as this Dale Gallon image reminds us:

I prefer that to this recent rendering of Lee’s departure from the McLean house.

I doubt that Grant came all the way down to apologize to Lee for making the Confederate surrender. Maybe James Thurber inspired this image. But it’s not the first time someone’s suggested that Grant made such an effort to say goodbye.

Somehow I doubt it. Maybe Grant wanted to talk more about Mexico, and Lee just wanted to get out of there. They would not have been Facebook friends.

It must have been strange for the officers and men that day to wake up without worrying about being killed or getting ready to march somewhere. That must have been the real stillness at Appomattox.