History Podcasts

Ahriman Statue Front View

Ahriman Statue Front View


Addressing the Statue

The Preservation Committee Meeting of Community Board 7, Michele Parker and K. Karpen, co-chairs, joint with Parks & Environment Committee, Barbara Adler and Klari Neuwelt, co-chairpersons, meets on application # LPC-21-08864 to the Landmarks Preservation Commission for the proposed relocation of the Equestrian Statue of Theodore Roosevelt.

June 2020 update: The Museum has requested that the Equestrian Statue be moved.

Over the last few weeks, our Museum community has been profoundly moved by the ever-widening movement for racial justice that has emerged after the killing of George Floyd. We also have watched as the attention of the world and the country has increasingly turned to statues and monuments as powerful and hurtful symbols of systemic racism.

The Equestrian Statue that sits on New York City public park land in front of the Museum’s Central Park West entrance is part of the New York State memorial to Theodore Roosevelt, who served as Governor of New York State before becoming the 26th President of the United States. The Statue has long been controversial because of the hierarchical composition that places one figure on horseback and the others walking alongside, and many of us find its depictions of the Native American and African figures and their placement in the monument racist.

From 2017 to 2018, the Mayoral Advisory Commission on City Art, Monuments, and Markers considered whether to remove the Statue along with two other New York City monuments and one historical marker. The Commission did not reach consensus on the Statue, and the City directed that it should stay in place with additional interpretation and context to be provided by the Museum.

Last year, the Museum opened Addressing the Statue, an exhibition about the history of the Statue and contemporary reactions to it. We are proud of that work, which helped advance our and the public’s understanding of the Statue and its history and promoted dialogue about important issues of race and cultural representation, but in the current moment, it is abundantly clear that this approach is not sufficient.

While the Statue is owned by the City, the Museum recognizes the importance of taking a position at this time. We believe that the Statue should no longer remain and have requested that it be moved.

The Museum will remain the site of New York State’s official memorial to Theodore Roosevelt. The Roosevelt Family has a long association with the Museum, beginning with the President’s father and continuing with his great-grandson, Theodore Roosevelt IV, who serves as a Museum Trustee. And, in honor of Theodore Roosevelt’s role as a leading conservationist, the Museum’s Hall of Biodiversity will be named for him.

We recognize that more work is needed to better understand not only the Statue, but our own history. As we strive to advance our institution’s, our City’s, and our country’s passionate quest for racial justice, we believe that removing the Statue will be a symbol of progress and of our commitment to build and sustain an inclusive and equitable Museum community and broader society.

The Equestrian Statue of Theodore Roosevelt was commissioned in 1925 to stand on the steps of the Museum, on city-owned property. It was unveiled to the public in 1940, as part of a larger New York State memorial to former N.Y. governor and U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt.

The statue was meant to celebrate Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) as a devoted naturalist and author of works on natural history. Roosevelt’s father was one of the Museum’s founders, and the Museum is proud of its historic association with the Roosevelt family.

At the same time, the statue itself communicates a racial hierarchy that the Museum and members of the public have long found disturbing. What is the meaning of this statue? And how should we view this historic sculpture today?

[TITLE: PERSPECTIVES ON THE EQUESTRIAN STATUE OF THEODORE ROOSEVELT]

NARRATOR: Each year, nearly 5 million people visit the American Museum of Natural History. Most pass by a controversial statue memorializing former Governor of New York and US President Theodore Roosevelt.

PHILIP DELORIA (DAKOTA DESCENT, PROFESSOR OF HISTORY, HARVARD UNIVERSITY): It’s hard to get perspective on the statue. You really have to be standing in the park across the street to actually get much perspective. And when you do, you see this kind of heroic figure on top of the horse. Teddy Roosevelt, as we’ve come to know him and love him with a bandana and his Rough Rider kind of gear. And then there’s the two figures, which I think many people miss. This Indian figure on one side and African figure on the other. There’s something that’s itchy about the statue, that rubs us the wrong way, that’s just not quite right.

DEVYN COLTER-LAFOREY (NEW YORK CITY STUDENT): When I started to look at the statue, I was just paying attention to the horse. I was just like, oh a horse. But then I started paying attention to the people and I was like, oh, like, there is one person at the top and then the other two are at the bottom.

DOUGLAS BRINKLEY (PROFESSOR OF HISTORY, RICE UNIVERSITY): It’s a beautifully rendered equestrian statue, but the symbolism of the statue is always problematic.

JOHN (MUSEUM VISITOR): First impressions of the statue are that it’s a magnificent piece of work, and that it's massive.

ALEXANDRIA (MUSEUM VISITOR): It’s a reminder of this country’s history and what we don’t want to talk about.

GERRY (MUSEUM VISITOR): It’s solidified what happened to some of my own ancestors.

GREG (MUSEUM VISITOR): It could be seen as a friendship. I don’t know.

RAYMOND (MUSEUM VISITOR): It looks good right in front of the museum also. So I’m not—it’s a nice, like, you can take nice selfies.

TOM (MUSEUM VISITOR): The fact that the African is naked or practically naked, we’re calling them a primitive society.

ALEXANDRIA (MUSEUM VISITOR): I know it hurts a lot of my people in particular, it hurts a lot of minorities in general.

NARRATOR: People have protested the statue for decades. And today these voices are intensifying.

SHAWNEE RICE: We’re here to show our dislike for that statue and say our demands that we wish for it to come down.

ANDREW ROSS (DIRECTOR OF AMERICAN STUDIES PROGRAM, NEW YORK UNIVERSITY, : When I look at the statue, I do see a commentary about white supremacy. It has acquired that reputation as being a monument to racial supremacy.

MONIQUE RENEE SCOTT (DIRECTOR OF MUSEUM STUDIES, BRYN MAWR, CONSULTING SCHOLAR, PENN MUSEUM): It represents a racial hierarchy. And it pains me that that might be part of the experience entering the museum.

MABEL O. WILSON (PROFESSOR OF ARCHITECTURE AND AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDIES, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY): The fact that monuments and memorials in New York are controversial isn’t new. They often become, because it’s public space, sites of protest, places to rally, places to celebrate. That is the role of public space. It’s a space of contestation.

DAVID HURST THOMAS (CURATOR OF ANTHROPOLOGY, AMERICAN MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY): Statues are powerful things and we're taking a hard look at our history and how do we deal with that?

[CHAPTER TITLE: THE MAKING OF THE STATUE]

NARRATOR: After Roosevelt died in 1919, the state of New York set out to create a memorial to honor him as a “nature lover, explorer and author of natural history.

DAVID HURST THOMAS: The state of New York wanted to memorialize T.R. as one of the great New Yorkers. It made sense to the Museum of Natural History because the Roosevelts had such a great history here. Our charter was signed in 1869 in his father's parlor.

SCOTT MANNING STEVENS (AKWESASNE MOHAWK, PROFESSOR OF ENGLISH AND NATIVE AMERICAN STUDIES & INDIGENOUS STUDIES, SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY): He was a blue-blood kid from an aristocratic New York family who goes on to live rough on the range as a kind of cowboy. There's the Rough Rider legacy of him on San Juan Hill that makes him a war hero. At the time he was a larger than life adventure hero type of figure. Yes, he was a naturalist, yes, he was kind of explorer, but he was also the president.

DOUGLAS BRINKLEY: He is our great conservation president. During his tenure in office, he saved over 234 million acres of wild America—places like the Grand Canyon, Muir Woods. This is part of the enduring legacy of Theodore Roosevelt.

NARRATOR: Architect John Russell Pope won a competition to design the memorial at the Museum, consisting of a new building, murals and other works of art. Sculptor James Earle Fraser was chosen to execute Pope’s vision of the statue, which was unveiled in 1940.

HARRIET F. SENIE (DIRECTOR, MA ART HISTORY, ART MUSEUM STUDIES, THE CITY COLLEGE OF NEW YORK): Pope specified an equestrian monument, Roosevelt on the horse and two figures standing next to him. And the entire group, not just Roosevelt, was intended to be heroic. The allegorical figures and these are Fraser’s words, may stand for “Roosevelt’s friendliness to all races.” The figures represent the continents on which he hunted, as either gun bearers or guides or both. People referred to this figure as an African American—that’s totally impossible. We know he represented the continent of Africa.

PHILIP DELORIA: The African figure is conjectural, in a way. It’s sort of not known. So you get a sort of classical kind of body figure, very stripped down, without much in the way of accoutrements. A sort of robe that leaves the figure more exposed. The Indian figure has detail on it, the blanket, it has a beautiful medallion, the headdress has some detail in it. So the Indian figure is known in that sense.

HARRIET F. SENIE: He was probably intended to represent a Plains Indian warrior. There is a kind of freedom of interpretation, because it represents more than a single portrait. It’s a composite of many tribes.

SOKARI DOUGLAS CAMP (SCULPTOR): The positive aspect of the statue is that it's done with great skill. The artist was very competent and knew how to show Roosevelt as the powerful figure, by putting everybody else in his wake.

MABEL O. WILSON: Here was Theodore Roosevelt, great American figure, stalwart, riding on his horse. I mean he’s holding the horse, it’s reined. It always to me seemed like a narrative of domestication. Like the horse has been tamed, the Native American, the indigenous populations had been tamed. The conquest of the African continent was also about sort of taming the savage, right? The savage beast. And that was the narrative that was communicated to me.

PHILIP DELORIA: For an American Indian person looking at the monument, there's an experience of pain that comes with it. The Indian figure is sort of cast as this sort of vanishing, disappearing figure of the past. To see that representation, and to understand that the representation has had all kinds of consequences, it’s not a pleasant experience.

DEVYN LAFOREY-COLTER: I don’t feel offended by the statue, I feel like they did something wrong with the statue. It’s not right.

DANA LAFOREY (NEW YORK CITY RESIDENT): Maybe the intention had been to make awareness of Native Americans and Africans but it just came off all wrong.

DEVYN LAFOREY-COLTER: It would have been better if the two guys were both on horses, because then it would have been like, we’re all like equal and all the same.

SCOTT MANNING STEVENS: The sculptor, James Earle Fraser, I don't think he means a slight against native America or Africa, but we are so distant from his mind as living cultures. We’re the symbols of primitivism, we’re symbols of nature.

SOKARI DOUGLAS CAMP: I think that their faces are dignified, but at what cost? Because they don’t seem like free men. I see colonial power.

HARRIET F. SENIE: The standing figures were taken to somehow be lesser than Roosevelt, because he’s on the horse and they’re standing on the ground. That of course looks extremely prejudicial. That’s how we would see it today. If we see it in the historical context and we see the two standing figures as having allegorical content, both representing continents and representing figures who would have assisted Roosevelt on his hunt, then we see it in a different context.

MABEL O. WILSON: I think Fraser as a sculptor meant to depict them in a very sympathetic way, with dignity. You don’t see the “cigar store Indian” as they were called, you don’t see you know, the comic African with the bone in his nose. It’s a beautifully crafted work of art. But there’s always an aesthetics to race.

[CHAPTER TITLE: ROOSEVELT AND RACE]

ANDREW ROSS: Roosevelt was seen as a champion of conservationist science. Conservationism gave us our national park system and Roosevelt's probably best remembered for that. Most people don't know that a lot of these national parks were made possible by the evacuation of indigenous populations.

PHILIP DELORIA: Roosevelt says something like this, I’m not gonna go so far as to say that the only good Indian is a dead Indian but in nine of ten cases, I believe that to be the case, and in the tenth case, well, you know. So you couldn’t call him a friend of the Indian.

MABEL O. WILSON: I would absolutely call Theodore Roosevelt a racist. His views on race come out of his class position, come from a certain moment where that particular class had an extraordinary amount of wealth and power at the turn of the 20th century.

DOUGLAS BRINKLEY: You have to look at people at their time period and Theodore Roosevelt, 1901 to 1909, if you’re comparing him, he was quite enlightened. And he invited Booker T. Washington to the White House and this created a huge outrage. Never before an African American sat in the White House, and T.R. got hammered for this. After his presidency, Theodore Roosevelt goes to Africa. Who else in America was doing that? On the other hand, he was an imperialist figure there. When you read some of his writings you cringe because it has such a feeling of white supremacy. It shows a portrait of somebody feeling that tribal people of Africa are not very high on his Darwinian scale.

MABEL O. WILSON: He had very specific views around which races, the Nordic, the Alpine, were going to lead civilization forward. And then there were those that you didn’t want to mate with. Roosevelt was very much a part of that debate around whether or not you could actually breed better humans. This field’s called eugenics which also became very popular.

NARRATOR: The American Museum of Natural History was also involved in this misguided movement, hosting two conferences with displays in the 1920s and 1930s.

ANDREW ROSS: You can take your pick of American presidents who have perpetuated theories of racial segregation and racial subordination. He wouldn't be the first that would come to mind. But the placement of the statue, the existence of the monument, the dialogue that it generates with the public, combined with the colonial framing of the museum itself, is what makes it distinctive. And that's what makes it so problematic.

[CHAPTER TITLE: THE FUTURE OF THE STATUE]

PROTESTOR: Show me what democracy looks like. Show me what democracy looks like. This is what democracy looks like.

DAVID THOMAS: I’ve been here for parts of five decades, and every one of those decades we’ve had protest against the TR statue. The political reality is that that statue is where it is because that's where the state of New York wanted it.

ALEKSANDRA (MUSEUM VISITOR): I think statues should be where they are.

NIGEL (MUSEUM VISITOR): Should this be on the main street? Should this be in the front of the museum? No, I would put a dinosaur over here. Something, anything else but this.

NILES (MUSEUM VISITOR): I’d leave it up for sure.

OLIVIA (MUSEUM VISITOR): They’re still a part of history. I don’t believe they should be destroyed but I definitely think they should be taken down.

JOHN (MUSEUM VISITOR): Leave it as it is, and let it you know let it represent the time that it was made and we know better now.

JEREMY (MUSEUM VISITOR): I think I would move it inside the museum and put something else here.

GERRY (MUSEUM VISITOR): I don’t know if it necessarily needs to be taken down, because if we if we take it down, then we erase what happened. And we cannot really erase what happened. We’ve just gotta like be able to move forward.

NARRATOR: In 2017, the Mayor of New York formed a Commission to examine troubling monuments throughout the city. But the Commission was unable to come to a consensus on what to do about the Roosevelt statue. The Mayor decided the statue would remain with additional context, and the possibility of adding new works of art.

MABEL O. WILSON: I voted to remove the statue. I thought it should be removed elsewhere on grounds, not be removed entirely, but moved elsewhere and then contextualized.

HARRIET F. SENIE: I, personally, would be opposed to removing things. I think it’s better to expand the people that are being honored in our public spaces.

ANDREW ROSS: I would remove it from public view. I think it would be a long overdue act of racial healing in this city. I don't think it deserves to really occupy that prominent position any longer.

SCOTT MANNING STEVENS: I'm not inclined to tear things down because I really sincerely believe it erases history, and history is hard and unpleasant. But we need to talk about it.

SOKARI DOUGLAS CAMP: I think it's wonderful that there is a conversation about what we're seeing because there are so many different views now. And I think the conversation can change because of education and what we hope for in the future. So I mean that's the power of sculpture, says the sculptor.

MONIQUE RENEE SCOTT: Museums should not simplify stories, we should complicate them. Teddy Roosevelt deserves to be memorialized for his contributions to conservation. We should also acknowledge his race politics. These were complicated figures.

PHILIP DELORIA: It’s not an attack on the legacy of Roosevelt, but it is a request that we think about what we put on display in light of what we do and how we think and how we feel in the present moment. Let’s think about, sort of, ways in which we commemorate, but also look to the future.

MABEL O. WILSON: Now that our politics are becoming more diverse, people are asking, can we have different representations of people and events in histories? Not a single history, but multiple histories. And monuments and markers in the United States, I think, can speak to those multiple histories.

As part of a national conversation about problematic public monuments, and following the report of the Mayor’s Advisory Commission on City Art, Monuments, and Markers, the Museum is providing new context and perspectives, presenting the history and rationale for the statue while explicitly acknowledging its troubling aspects.

To understand the statue, we must recognize our country’s enduring legacy of racial discrimination—as well as Roosevelt’s troubling views on race. We must also acknowledge the Museum’s own imperfect history. Such an effort does not excuse the past but it can create a foundation for honest, respectful, open dialogue.

We hope this exhibition, together with other efforts to address cultural representation at the Museum, will inspire such discussion.


The Vatican Places Giant Statue of Molech at Colosseum Entrance

The Roman Colosseum is a World Heritage Site and is listed among the New Seven Wonders of the World. It is the most-visited tourist destination in the world. And now at the grand entrance to the Colosseum rests a statue of the Canaanite deity that is associated heavily with child sacrifice.

The Colosseum was once a place that saw Christians fed to lions, killed by gladiators, or rolled into pitch and set on fire as torches. The Colosseum now seems to have erected Molech as its god.

The press release about the giant Molech (sometimes spelled Moloch) idol says…

A reconstruction of the terrible deity Moloch, linked to Phoenician and Carthaginian religions… will be stationed at the entrance to the Colosseum to welcome visitors to the exhibition.

Called “art,” it is unclear how long the exhibit will stay at the Colosseum. Interestingly, the organizers acknowledge that Molech is a “terrible deity.”

Molech has been associated with human abortion for thousands of years. The name, Molech is believed to have originated with the Phoenician mlk, which referred to a type of sacrifice made to confirm or acquit a vow. Along with ritual prostitution, this deity required the death of babies to appease him.

The Bible warned the Israelites repeatedly to have nothing to do with Molech, “You shall not give any of your children to offer them to Molech, and so profane the name of your God: I am the Lord (Leviticus 18:21).”

And yet, Solomon and other kings continued to revere or fear this horrible god and his statues repeatedly were put on display in “the high places” (1 Kings 12:31), or places regularly visited by ancient day tourists.

Molech has just been installed in the highest and most well-traveled place on Earth, the Roman Colosseum.

The Vatican has ownership and authority over the Colosseum and all of its displays, exhibits, and functions. As Breaking Israel News writes…

“There is no way that such a thing could be done without direct permission from the highest levels of the Vatican. The Colosseum of Rome is owned by the Vatican, and specifically the Diocese of Rome, also called the Holy See. If anyone wants to do anything there, they must get permissions from the office of the Diocese of Rome. This exhibition, called “Cathargo: the immortal myth” could not be held there at all unless permissions were granted at high levels.”

The Vatican has owned and operated the Colosseum since the Middle Ages when it took control of the facility from the Frangipani Family.

Pope Pius X encourged people to make a pilgrimage to the “holy site” and collect dust from its gladitorial stage. Pope Benedict XIV declared it a sacred site in 1749 (to honor the martyrs who died there).

The sign placed over the cross in the Colesseum (pictured above) placed in 1783 by the Vatican says, “The amphitheater, one consecrated to triumphs, entertainments, and the impious worship of pagan gods, is now dedicated to the sufferings of the martyrs purified from impious superstitions.”

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Angered by This Roosevelt Statue? A Museum Wants Visitors to Weigh In

Conversation about monuments has reached a fever pitch, and the city was split on this one. The American Museum of Natural History is opening an exhibition on it.

There’s a quote that takes up its own wall at the American Museum of Natural History’s newest exhibition: It’s more important to tell the truth about the president — pleasant or unpleasant — than about anyone else .

The words were written, in fact, by a president: Theodore Roosevelt. A century later, it’s hard to know if Roosevelt expected his words could be used in a context that highlights unpleasant truths of his own.

The exhibition, titled “Addressing the Statue” and opening Tuesday , is the museum’s way of contextualizing a monument of Roosevelt that towers outside its Central Park West entrance . With the president seated high astride a horse, flanked by a Native American man and an African man standing below, people who look at the statue often see a legacy of colonialism and a visually explicit racial hierarchy.

The statue was installed to honor Roosevelt, a staunch conservationist whose ties to the Natural History museum trace back to his father, a founding member of the institution. But Roosevelt’s own racist views, including statements about Native Americans and Africans, complicate the monument’s implications even further.

With the national conversation about monuments and who we choose to honor reaching a fever pitch, the “Equestrian Statue of Theodore Roosevelt” was one of four controversial memorials in New York up for a city commission to reconsider in 2017. The commission was split, and the city decided to leave the statue up and to add context. The resulting exhibition is not permanent, but the museum is looking at ways to incorporate parts of it in other areas of the institution.

The monument, which was designed by James Earle Fraser and installed on city property in 1940, has been defaced at least twice over the last few decades , including in 2017 when protesters splashed red liquid representing blood over the statue’s base. Another protest with red paint in 1971 was a response to the insult Native Americans took from the statue, said David Hurst Thomas, the museum’s curator of anthropology, who works closely with Native Americans.

“I was always known as the guy with that really obnoxious statue outside of his museum I’ve never liked it,” Dr. Thomas said in an interview. “We’re supposed to be building some bridges into indigenous communities, and this is a tough way to do it.”

“But that said, I don’t think that we ought to just blow it up,” he added. “I think it’s a statement in time about where the museum was.”

Image

“Addressing the Statue,” with an accompanying video and website, examines various aspects of the monument and the president it memorializes. It explores the history of the statue’s design and installation, who the men at the bottom of the statue may represent and Roosevelt’s own racism . The museum examines its own complicity at points, too, with references in the video to its exhibitions on eugenics in the early 20th century.

“The museum is making a really explicit statement that we’re big enough to stand up for our past,” Dr. Thomas said. “We’re not going to cover it up. We’re going to welcome dissent.”

A wide array of opinions on the monument are prominently featured as part of the exhibition. Gathered from academics and artists as well as from museum visitors from around the world, they are displayed on the adjoining walls.

The voices seem to be as split as the commission was. Those in favor of taking it down say the monument doesn’t represent the city’s values in the way that art in public spaces should. One young girl suggested making a new statue with all three men riding a horse as equals a man from Queens said to stick a dinosaur in that spot instead — “Anything else but this.”

But there are certainly other perspectives, including those who argue to keep the statue where it is to show where America has been and where the country has to go. The majority of opinions seem to agree with exactly what’s being done, in providing visitors with more information.

Ideally, exhibition visitors will be able to identify some views that amplify their own and others that offer a new perspective, said the museum’s vice president for exhibition , Lauri Halderman.

“It’s not really about us providing the answer,” Ms. Halderman said. “It’s about us providing the springboard so that everybody else can take a look.”

Providing context is exactly the role of a science-based institution, the museum’s president, Ellen V. Futter, said in an interview. The Natural History museum has already taken a second look at other displays in the same light: The Old New York diorama that includes a stereotypical depiction of Lenape leaders, for example, now has captions on the glass explaining why the display is offensive.

“People used to walk by that diorama and pay absolutely no attention to it,” Ms. Futter said. “Now, they are stopping, they are reading it, and it’s having a high impact.”

“That’s one of the things we hope for from this exhibit: that people won’t just walk by,” she added, “that they’ll think about it with all its problems and really consider what it’s about and what it means, why it matters.”

But some think this move isn’t enough. Mabel O. Wilson, who served on the city commission to reconsider the statue and was consulted on the exhibition, still wants to see the statue moved elsewhere.


A look at history behind Detroit statues, monuments

DETROIT – The world is taking another look at who is being honored with statues in their communities -- and the history behind those decisions.

Statues and monuments have long been a controversial topic in the U.S., especially Confederate monuments in the South. In recent weeks, protests against racism have resulted in the toppling or removal of several monuments around the world.

In Bristol, England, demonstrators toppled a statue of 17th-century slave trader Edward Colston and threw it in the harbor. City authorities said it will be put in a museum.

The New Zealand city of Hamilton removed a bronze statue of the British naval officer for whom it is named — a man who is accused of killing indigenous Maori people in the 1860s.

In Detroit, Mayor Mike Duggan ordered the city’s Christopher Columbus bust to be removed. It was installed more than 100 years ago.

In the U.S., the May 25 death of George Floyd, a Black man who died after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed a knee to his neck, has led to an all-out effort to remove symbols of the Confederacy and slavery. Several statues of Confederate army leaders have been removed or vandalized, including that of Confederate President Jefferson Davis and Gen. Robert E. Lee. Around the world, historical figures are being re-examined.

Given all of the attention around statues, let’s take a look at statues around Detroit -- and the stories behind the people and faces we etch into history.

Statues and monuments of Detroit

Abraham Lincoln

Pretty sure you know who this is: Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States, who led the country through the American Civil War and abolished slavery.

Lincoln has countless monuments around the country. This one, in Detroit, was created in 1918 by Gutzon Borglum and was gifted to the Detroit Institute of Arts. It sits near behind the Michigan Labor Legacy Monument in Hart Plaza, next to the UAW-Ford National Programs Center.

There’s another statue of Honest Abe at the Skillman branch of the Detroit Public Library.

Alexander Macomb

You know the name Macomb if you’re from Michigan or, more specifically, Macomb County.

Major General Alexander Macomb was born in Detroit in 1782, but left Michigan for school, moving to New York. The Macomb family was a prominent trading family in the Detroit area at the time, but Alexander left for a military career.

Macomb made his name for leading a victory at the Battle of Plattsburgh in the War of 1812. The action in Plattsburgh earned him a brevet major general rank and a gold medal from Congress.

Macomb is recognized by a Michigan Historical Marker installed at the corner of Gratiot Avenue and Macomb Street in Mount Clemens, Michigan. Here’s what it reads:

In 1818 Territorial Governor Lewis Cass proclaimed the third Michigan county to be called Macomb. At that time the young General was Commander of the Fifth Military Department in Detroit. Born in that city in 1782, son of prominent local entrepreneurs, Macomb had entered the U.S. Army in 1799. He had gained national renown and honor during the War of 1812 for his victory at Plattsburgh in September 1814 over a far superior force of British invaders. Later as Chief Army Engineer he promoted the building of military roads in the Great Lakes area. From May 1828 to his death in June 1841, Macomb served as Commander in Chief of the Army. He is buried in the Congressional Cemetery in Washington D.C. His birthday, April 3, is honored as Macomb County Heritage Day.

University of Michigan professor Tiya Miles, in a 2017 op-ed in the New York Times, highlighted some of the racist history with the Macomb family:

Near the start of the Revolutionary War, William and Alexander Macomb, Scots-Irish traders from New York, illegally purchased Grosse Isle from the Potawatomi people. William Macomb was the largest slaveholder in Detroit in the late 1700s. He owned at least 26 black men, women and children. He kept slaves on his Detroit River islands, which included Belle Isle (the current city park) and Grosse Isle, and right in the heart of the city, not far from where the International Underground Railroad Memorial now rises above the river view. When Macomb died, his wife, Sarah, and their sons inherited the family fortune, later becoming — along with other Detroit slaveholding families — among the first trustees of the University of Michigan.

This statue, at the intersection of Washington Boulevard and Michigan Avenue, was sculpted by Adolph Alexander Weinman and was erected in 1906.

Alpheus Starkey Williams

If you’ve ever wandered around Belle Isle, you’ve likely come across Alpheus Starkey Williams on his horse.

Williams was actually born in Connecticut, back in 1810. After graduating from Yale, studying law and traveling the U.S. and Europe, in 1836, he moved to Detroit.

Nobody really knows why. But he never left. He worked as a lawyer, and started a family. Before the Civil War started, he served as a probate judge of Wayne County, president of a bank, owner of the Detroit Advertiser, postmaster of Detroit, and member of the Board of Education, according to a biography.

Williams served in the Patriot War, fought as a general in the Civil War and served in the Mexican War. Read more about his war history here.

After leaving service, Williams ran for Michigan governor in 1870, but lost. He was elected to Congress in 1875. He died after suffering a stroke in the U.S. Capitol Building in 1878. The statue on Belle Isle was unveiled in 1921.

Anthony Wayne

Wayne is a huge name in Metro Detroit, with Wayne County, Wayne State University, Historic Fort Wayne and the city of Wayne. And for good reason.

Anthony Wayne was a decorated Army general and statesman who stood out during the Revolutionary War, especially in the Midwest. Wayne, who was known by his nickname “mad Anthony”, was famous for his military exploits and courage in the field of battle while fighting against the British for American Independence.

The Northwest Territory Act of 1787 claimed the area (present day Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, and part of Minnesota) for America, but the British refused to comply. Wayne was charged with leading the fight by President George Washington.

Wayne led troops to decisive victories, leading up to the peaceful takeover from the British in Detroit in 1796, claiming Detroit as an American city for the first time. Detroit had been a French territory until 1760, when British took control -- holding control until Wayne arrived. He died shortly after.

Wayne County was established in 1796 and was the sixth county formed in the Northwest Territory. There are 15 counties across the United States named after Anthony Wayne.

Creators of the Batman comics said Bruce Wayne’s name is the combination of Robert Bruce, a Scottish patriot -- and Anthony Wayne. Anthony Wayne is also depicted as an 18th century ancestor of Bruce Wayne.

Wayne, like many Revolutionary War generals, condoned slavery and owned numerous slaves that he used to work on a rice plantation in Georgia.

The Anthony Wayne monument is on the campus of Wayne State University in Gullen Mall. It was installed in 1969.

Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac

Cadillac is a popular name in Detroit and Michigan, and that’s due to Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac, the founder of Detroit.

Cadillac founded Fort Pontchartrain du Détroit (which became the city of Detroit) in 1701 and was commandant of the fort until 1710. He was named the governor of Louisiana from 1710 to about 1717.

History has not been so kind for Cadillac, as many historians, in retrospect, say he wasn’t a very good person. According to the Canadian Museum of History, he grabbed the attention of people because of his “nasty behavior," and had an “evil mind.” Rumors were spreading about him being kicked out of France for his behavior.

Sure he founded Detroit, but he was a jerk and was greedy. It was Father Gabriel Richard, a former U.S. representative and founder of University of Michigan, who dedicated most of his time building and serving the city of Detroit.

“The Landing of Cadillac," as seen in the photo above, was erected in Hart Plaza in 2001. The historic marker next to it reads:

After departing Montreal June 5, 1701, Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac and his convoy of twenty-five canoes sailed down this river, and on the evening of July 23 camped sixteen miles below the present city of Detroit on what is now Grosse Ile. On the morning of July 24, Cadillac returned upriver and reached a spot on the shore near the present intersection of West Jefferson and Shelby. Pleased with the strategic features, the bank towering some forty feet above the level of the river, Cadillac landed and planted the flag of France, taking possession of the territory in the name of King Louis XIV. The erection of a fortress was immediately begun. The stockade, formed of fifteen-foot oak pickets set three feet in the ground, occupied an area of about an acre. The fortress was named Fort Pontchartrain du Detroit (the strait) in honor of Count Jerome de Pontchartrain, Minister of Marine. From this fort and settlement, Detroit, the Renaissance City, takes its origin.

Cadillac has other monuments in Detroit, including his “Fantastic Four" statue, which includes him along side Father Jacques Marquette, Robert Cavalier Sieur de La Salle and Father Gabriel Richard, now located on Wayne State University’s campus.

He’s also part of another group constructed on the Michigan Avenue entrance facade of the Book Cadillac Hotel, along with General Anthony Wayne, Chief Pontiac and Robert Navarre.

There’s a lot more to Cadillac’s story after leaving Detroit. Read about it here.


Theodore Roosevelt Statue To Be Removed From New York Museum Entrance

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio backs a decision to remove the statue of Theodore Roosevelt in front of the American Museum of Natural History in New York. Visitors look at a statue which includes a man in a Native American headdress. Mary Altaffer/AP hide caption

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio backs a decision to remove the statue of Theodore Roosevelt in front of the American Museum of Natural History in New York. Visitors look at a statue which includes a man in a Native American headdress.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio says he supports the calls by the American Museum of Natural History to remove a "problematic statue" of Theodore Roosevelt that many say is a symbol of oppression and racial discrimination.

The statue, officially named Equestrian Statue of Theodore Roosevelt, was unveiled 80 years ago, and sits at the entrance of the museum.

The museum and the mayor cite the statue's composition as the main concern, rather than Roosevelt's legacy.

It depicts the former New York governor and the 26 th U.S. president on horseback with an unnamed Native American and a man of African descent on foot on either side of the horse.

"The American Museum of Natural History has asked to remove the Theodore Roosevelt statue because it explicitly depicts Black and Indigenous people as subjugated and racially inferior," de Blasio said in a written statement obtained by NPR.

"The City supports the Museum's request. It is the right decision and the right time to remove this problematic statue."

The current President of the United States disagreed with the decision. President Trump tweeted after midnight Monday "Ridiculous, don't do it!" in response to a Washington Times article on the issue.

The Equestrian Statue of Theodore Roosevelt in front of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City will be removed at the museum's request. Rob Kim/Getty Images hide caption

The Equestrian Statue of Theodore Roosevelt in front of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City will be removed at the museum's request.

The museum's top officials said in a memo sent to staff on Sunday they had been "profoundly moved" by the national protests sparked after the death of George Floyd, a black man, who was killed when a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes.

The museum's leadership cited other reasons that factored into its decision.

"We also have watched as the attention of the world and the country has increasingly turned to statues and monuments as powerful and hurtful symbols of systemic racism," the memo said.

"The Statue has long been controversial because of the hierarchical composition that places one figure on horseback and the others walking alongside, and many of us find its depictions of the Native American and African figures and their placement in the monument racist."

According to its website, the statue was commissioned in 1925 to be erected on the museum's steps and was unveiled in 1940. The statue was intended to pay homage to Roosevelt as a "devoted naturalist and author of works on natural history."

It is unclear when the statue will be removed or where it will go. Because it sits on city-owned property, those decisions will likely fall to New York City officials.

Theodore Roosevelt IV, a museum trustee and great-grandson to the former president, said in a statement provided by the museum that he also agrees the statue should be removed.

"The world does not need statues, relics of another age, that reflect neither the values of the person they intend to honor nor the values of equality and justice," he said.

"The composition of the Equestrian Statue does not reflect Theodore Roosevelt's legacy. It is time to move the Statue and move forward."


Roosevelt Statue to Be Removed From Museum of Natural History

The equestrian memorial to Theodore Roosevelt has long prompted objections as a symbol of colonialism and racism.

The bronze statue of Theodore Roosevelt, on horseback and flanked by a Native American man and an African man, which has presided over the entrance to the American Museum of Natural History in New York since 1940, is coming down.

The decision, proposed by the museum and agreed to by New York City, which owns the building and property, came after years of objections from activists and at a time when the killing of George Floyd has initiated an urgent nationwide conversation about racism.

For many, the equestrian statue at the museum’s Central Park West entrance has come to symbolize a painful legacy of colonial expansion and racial discrimination.

“Over the last few weeks, our museum community has been profoundly moved by the ever-widening movement for racial justice that has emerged after the killing of George Floyd,” the museum’s president, Ellen V. Futter, said in an interview. “We have watched as the attention of the world and the country has increasingly turned to statues as powerful and hurtful symbols of systemic racism.”

Ms. Futter made clear that the museum’s decision was based on the statue itself — namely its “hierarchical composition”—- and not on Roosevelt, whom the museum continues to honor as “a pioneering conservationist.”

“Simply put,” she added, “the time has come to move it.”

The museum took action amid a heated national debate over the appropriateness of statues or monuments that first focused on Confederate symbols like Robert E. Lee and has now moved on to a wider arc of figures, from Christopher Columbus to Winston Churchill.

Last week alone, a crowd set fire to a statue of George Washington in Portland, Ore., before pulling it to the ground. Gunfire broke out during a protest in Albuquerque to demand the removal of a statue of Juan de Oñate, the despotic conquistador of New Mexico. And New York City Council members demanded that a statue of Thomas Jefferson be removed from City Hall.

In many of those cases, the calls for removal were made by protesters who say the images are too offensive to stand as monuments to American history. The decision about the Roosevelt statue is different, made by a museum that, like others, had previously defended — and preserved — such portraits as relics of their time that however objectionable, could perhaps serve to educate. It was then seconded by the city, which had the final say.

“The American Museum of Natural History has asked to remove the Theodore Roosevelt statue because it explicitly depicts Black and Indigenous people as subjugated and racially inferior,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement. “The City supports the Museum’s request. It is the right decision and the right time to remove this problematic statue.”

When the monument will be taken down, where it will go and what, if anything, will replace it, remain undetermined, officials said.

A Roosevelt family member released a statement approving the removal.

“The world does not need statues, relics of another age, that reflect neither the values of the person they intend to honor nor the values of equality and justice,” said Theodore Roosevelt IV, age 77, a great-grandson of the 26th president and a museum trustee. “The composition of the Equestrian Statue does not reflect Theodore Roosevelt’s legacy. It is time to move the statue and move forward.”

In a compensatory gesture, the museum is naming its Hall of Biodiversity for Roosevelt “in recognition of his conservation legacy,” Ms. Futter said.

The president’s father, Theodore Roosevelt Sr., was a founding member of the institution its charter was signed in his home. Roosevelt’s childhood excavations were among the museum’s first artifacts. New York’s state legislature in 1920 chose the museum as the site to memorialize the former president. The museum already has several spaces named after Roosevelt, including Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Hall, the Theodore Roosevelt Rotunda and Theodore Roosevelt Park outside.

Critics, though, have pointed to President Roosevelt’s opinions about racial hierarchy, his support of eugenics theories and his pivotal role in the Spanish-American War. Some see Roosevelt as an imperialist who led fighting in the Caribbean that ultimately resulted in American expansion into colonies there and in the Pacific including Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Guam, Cuba and the Philippines.

A nationalist, Roosevelt, in his later years became overtly racist, historians say, endorsing sterilization of the poor and the intellectually disabled.

The statue — created by the American sculptor James Earle Fraser — was one of four memorials in New York that a city commission reconsidered in 2017, ultimately deciding after a split decision to leave the statue in place and to add context.

The museum tried to add that context with an exhibition last year, “Addressing the Statue,” which explored its design and installation, the inclusion of the figures walking beside Roosevelt and Roosevelt’s racism. The museum also examined its own potential complicity, in particular its exhibitions on eugenics in the early 20th century.

“I’m glad to see it go,” said Mabel O. Wilson, a Columbia University professor who served on the city commission to reconsider the statue and was consulted on the exhibition.

“The depiction of the Indigenous and the African trailing behind Roosevelt, who is strong and virile,” she added, “was clearly a narrative of white racial superiority and domination.”

But President Trump was among those who criticized the decision on Twitter where he wrote, “Ridiculous, don’t do it!”

The museum’s exhibition about the statue was partly a response to the defacing of it by protesters, who in 2017 splashed red liquid representing blood over the statue’s base. The protesters, who identified themselves as members of the Monument Removal Brigade, later published a statement on the internet calling for its removal as an emblem of “patriarchy, white supremacy and settler-colonialism.”

“Now the statue is bleeding,” the statement said. “We did not make it bleed. It is bloody at its very foundation.”

The group also said the museum should “rethink its cultural halls regarding the colonial mentality behind them.”

At the time, the museum said complaints should be channeled through Mayor de Blasio’s commission to review city monuments and that the museum was planning to update its exhibits. The institution has since undertaken a renovation of its North West Coast Hall in consultation with Native nations from the North West Coast of Canada and Alaska.

In January, the museum also moved the Northwest Coast Great Canoe from its 77th Street entrance into that hall, to better contextualize it. The museum’s Old New York diorama, which includes a stereotypical depiction of Lenape leaders, now has captions explaining why the display is offensive.

Mayor de Blasio has made a point of rethinking public monuments to honor more women and people of color — an undertaking led largely by his wife, Chirlane McCray, and the She Built NYC commission. But these efforts have also been controversial, given complaints about the transparency of the process and the public figures who have been excluded, namely Mother Cabrini, a patron saint of immigrants who had drawn the most nominations in a survey of New Yorkers.

On Friday, the Mayor announced that Ms. McCray would lead a Racial Justice and Reconciliation Commission whose brief would include reviewing the monuments in the city that were deemed racist.

Though the debates over many of these statues have been marked by rancor, the Natural History Museum seems unconflicted about removing the Roosevelt monument that has greeted its visitors for so long.

“We believe that moving the statue can be a symbol of progress in our commitment to build and sustain an inclusive and equitable society,” Ms. Futter said. “Our view has been evolving. This moment crystallized our thinking and galvanized us to action.”


Removing Confederate statues does not erase U.S. history

Confederate statues are coming down across the country as Americans grapple with national conversations about racism in the wake of George Floyd’s death at the hands of a Minneapolis policeman.

By the weekend of June 19 (Juneteenth), when Americans celebrate the emancipation of the last slaves in 1865, calls for systemic change in policing now also encompass the 1,747 monuments, place names and other public symbols that honor the Confederacy — including cemeteries, portraits and the names of U.S. Army installations.

Controversies surrounding Confederate monuments aren’t new, but this time, something feels different. A new Quinnipiac University poll even found that a slim but significant majority of Americans, 52%, now support removing Confederate statues.

In response, President Trump announced Tuesday that he plans to issue an executive order to “make the cities guard their monuments” against the specter of a left-wing mob. The order would be in keeping with Mr. Trump’s poor track record on race, but it would also strip state and municipal governments of the chance to address this moment in their own way.

In the past and at present, conservatives like Mr. Trump have argued against removing Confederate statues, claiming that it “erases” the country’s history. But taking down statues that venerate white supremacists is not at all the same thing as burning books. The facts of American history are unchangeable, but not every piece of history deserves a venerable monument in the public square.

As historian Stephanie McCurry recently wrote, the Confederacy was “an explicitly white-supremacist, pro-slavery, and antidemocratic nation-state, dedicated to the principle that all men are not created equal.” To defend Confederate statues today also ignores that undeniably wicked legacy and, indeed, makes one a party to it.

The claim that removing Confederate monuments erases American history fails to grasp an important distinction between statues in places of public prominence and the stories we tell ourselves about the past. Simply put, regardless of which statues are placed upon pedestals, the historical record — and how it’s taught — is entirely separate.

As Annette Gordon-Reed, a Pulitzer-Prize winning historian of law at Harvard, explained in a recent interview, “History will still be taught. We will know who Robert E. Lee was. Who Jefferson Davis was. […] There are far more dangerous threats to history. Defunding the humanities, cutting history classes and departments. Those are the real threats to history.”

Those threats abound, but Ms. Gordon-Reed’s broader point is that America’s people — and its historians in particular — are not so forgetful and ignorant as reactionary arguments make them out to be. Indeed, calls for removal do not mean that Confederate statues will be thrown down Orwell’s memory hole.

History is not so malleable.

It’s no small irony, then, that the Trump administration has time and again expressed revisionist attitudes toward history. In mid-May, for example, when CBS’ Catherine Herridge asked Attorney General William Barr to explain how historians will describe his decision to dismiss all charges against former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, Mr. Barr sidestepped the question and quipped, “Well, history is written by the winners, so it largely depends on who’s writing the history.”

Mr. Barr’s comments reveal the Trump administration’s hypocrisy while also clarifying a broader point: If history was written by the winners, then why on Earth would the winners permit statues of Confederate losers to stand in public squares? In reality, it is historians (winners in their own right but also professional scholars equipped to examine the past) who write histories — and, as I’m sure all historians can attest, having Confederate statues in places of public prominence is decidedly not a prerequisite for the writing process.

The question of what statues communities should celebrate and commemorate in public spaces — often by literally putting people on pedestals — is a less complicated question. Confederate statues represent men who fought to tear the Union asunder by maintaining a racialized caste system in which countless men and women were denied the very rights declared unalienable in the American founding.

What is more, many of these statues were constructed alongside Jim Crow laws and civil rights tensions as monuments to white supremacy. This is a horrific fact of our history, but it is recent history: older African-Americans can still recall their grandparents’ firsthand accounts of slavery, descendants of slave ship survivors are still sharing their ancestors’ stories.

History, which we are prone to think of as the past, is ever-present with us today as James Baldwin wrote, “people are trapped in history and history is trapped in them.”

Today, then, we are faced with the challenge of reimagining how our history should be commemorated in public spaces. Crucially, it’s left to communities to decide which historical figures to celebrate: No statue, once erected, is entitled to stand forever.

Rather than upholding statues that honor the failed Confederacy’s racism, today citizens can draw from history to design new monuments that celebrate the black community’s brilliance and resilience. Communities responding to this moment will make history, I only hope they do for the right reasons.


Notes

1. Douglas Owram, &ldquoThe Myth of Louis Riel,&rdquo Canadian Historical Review 63/3 (1982): 315-336.

2. Donald Swainson, &ldquoRieliana and the Structure of Canadian History,&rdquo Journal of Popular Culture 14 (Fall 1980): 286-297.

3. George F. G. Stanley, &ldquoUn dernier mot sur Louis Riel: L&rsquohomme a plusieurs visages,&rdquo Riel et les Metis Canadiens, papers presented at a conference held by La Societe Historique de Saint-Boniface, 15-16 November, 1985. 86.

4. Frances Kaye, &ldquoAny Important Form: Louis Riel in Sculpture,&rdquo Prairie Forum 22 1 (Spring 1997), 107.

5. Catherine L. Mattas, &ldquoWhose Hero? Images of Louis Riel in Contemporary Art and Metis Nationhood&rdquo (MA Thesis, Concordia University, 1998).

6. Marsh, James H. , ed. The Canadian Encyclopaedia (Edmonton: Hurtig Publishers, 1988) , s.v. &ldquoMetis,&rdquo by Jennifer S. H. Brown.

7. Ann Stoler, &ldquoSexual Affronts and Racial Frontiers: European Identities and the Cultural Politics of Exclusion in Colonial Southeast Asia,&rdquo Comparative Studies in Society and History 34 3 (July 1992) : 521.

8. John Bodnar, Remaking America: Public Memory, Commemoration, and Patriotism in the Twentieth Century (Princeton University Press, 1992) : 16.

9. Danielle Rice, &ldquoThe &lsquoRocky&rsquo Dilemma: Museums, Monuments, and Popular Culture in the Postmodern Era&rdquo in Critical Issues in Public Art: Context, Content, and Controversy, eds. Harriet F. Senie and Sally Webster (New York: Harper Collins Publishers, 1992) , 235.

10. Premier&rsquos Office Files, EC 0016, Provincial Archives of Manitoba [PAM] Accession GR 1664, File 918 Part 1, Historic Sites and Monuments, 122/98.

11. Winnipeg Free Press, 4 August 1991.

12. Winnipeg Sun, 12 April 1997.

13. A further example of this is W. P. Thompson&rsquos &ldquoPublic Sculpture in Winnipeg: A Selective Tale of Outdoor Woe,&rdquo Border Crossings: A Quarterly Magazine of the Arts from Manitoba 5 2 (March 1986): 10-12.

14. Letter obtained from the Manitoba Department of Culture, Heritage, and Citizenship, as a result of a request under The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

15. Centre du Patrimoine, Fonds Dorge, Lionel, Box 2, File 44.

16. Centre du Patrimoine, Fonds Dorge, Lionel, Box 2, File 44.

17. Centre du Patrimoine, Fonds Dorge, Lionel, Box 2, File 44.

18. Centre du Patrimoine, Fonds Dorge, Lionel, Box 2, File 44.

19. The Winnipeg Free Press (Winnipeg) , 17 May 1993.

20. Issue of nudity in an Aboriginal context is addressed by Catherine L. Mattes, &ldquoWhose Hero? Images of Louis Riel in Contemporary Art and Metis Nationhood&rdquo (MA Thesis, Concordia University, 1998) , 82-83. Issue of nudity in a Catholic context is addressed by Frances Kaye, &ldquoAny Important Form: Louis Riel in Sculpture,&rdquo Prairie Forum 22 1 (Spring 1997) :108.

21. Winnipeg Sun, 15 July 1994.

24. &ldquoPity Poor Louis&rdquo in The Winnipeg Guide 3 27 (Winnipeg), 16 July1975.

25. PAM, Louis Riel Monument, Government Services File GS 0123, GR 173, M-9-6-8.

26. Greenblatt, Stephen J. Learning to Curse: Essays in Early Modern Culture (New York: Routledge, 1990), 171-172.

27. Le Metis (Winnipeg), 2 February 1977.

28. PAM, Louis Riel Monument, Government Services file GS 0123, GR 173, M-9-6-8.

29. Winnipeg Free Press, 24 October 1991.

30. All the passages I have quoted come from the books kept by Jean Allard for public comment during his two-week protest at the Manitoba Legislative Building. I was very generously allowed to study the photocopies of these books that are the private property of Marcien and Helene Lemay.

31. Document obtained from Manitoba Executive Council, as a result of a request under The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. PAM, Accession GR 1664, File 918 Part II Historic Sites and Monuments.

32. Document obtained from Manitoba Executive Council, as a result of a request under The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. PAM, Accession GR 1664, File 918 Part II Historic Sites and Monuments.

33. Winnipeg Tribune, 12 January 1972.

34. Letter obtained from Manitoba Urban Affairs, as a result of a request under The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

35. Interview with Miguel Joyal, conducted by the author at Joyal&rsquos residence, 16 December 1998.

36. Letter obtained from Manitoba Executive Council (Premier&rsquos Office Files), as a result of a request under The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

37. Letter obtained from Manitoba Executive Council (Premier&rsquos Office Files), as a result of a request under The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

38. Winnipeg Sun, 3 May 1995.

39. Winnipeg Free Press, 17 May 1993.

40. The personal observations contained in this paragraph stem from personal interviews conducted by the author with Marcien and Helene Lemay (conducted at their residence, 18 December 1998) and Miguel Joyal (conducted at his residence, 16 December 1998).


CNN slights Mount Rushmore as 'monument of two slaveowners' after extolling its 'majesty' in 2016

Fox News Flash top headlines for July 3

Fox News Flash top headlines are here. Check out what's clicking on Foxnews.com.

A CNN reporter on Friday described Mount Rushmore "a monument of two slaveowners" situated on stolen land ahead of President Trump's visit to the national monument.

Grabien founder and editor Tom Elliot tweeted a clip of the report by correspondent Leyla Santiago in which she discussed Trump's planned remarks.

"President Trump will be at Mount Rushmore, where he’ll be standing in front of a monument of two slave owners and on land wrestled away from Native Americans," she said. "I'm told that, uh, he'll be focusing on the effort to 'tear down our country's history.'"

In 2016, however, a CNN reporter described Mount Rushmore as a "monument to four great American presidents" while narrating a story about a visit to the monument by then-presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.,

"This is our country at it's very best," Sanders said at the time. "What an incredible achievement."

The unidentified reporter's voice can be heard talking about the "majesty of the moment."

"Just the accomplishment and the beauty, it really does make one very proud to be an American," Sanders added.

The 2016 clip was tweeted out Friday by The Intercept journalist Glenn Greenwald.

Depictions of four American presidents -- George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln -- are carved into the side of the mountain in the Black Hills. Washington and Jefferson owned slaves during their lifetime.

Fox News reached out to CNN about the discrepancy but did not receive a reply to the request for comment.

List of site sources >>>


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