I received the following from Jackie Barton, who was named the coordinator for Ohio’s Sesquicentennial Commission:
Dear Friends of the Ohio Civil War 150 Effort,
The Ohio Historical Society launched an initiative to commemorate the Civil War 150th anniversary in Ohio early in 2009. With an approach that emphasizes programs and activities that provide lasting value for Ohio â€™s communities and history organizations, the effort has already generated an immense amount of interest and support, even garnering a Governorâ€™s Directive in April. Today, the program is in danger of disappearing, as the Ohio Senate is considering cutting ALL FUNDING for the Societyâ€™s outreach activities from the state budget! The Civil War 150th, which would provide coordination, traveling exhibits, Civil War collections care, and technical assistance on various topics, would be shut down, and Ohio would be unrepresented in an important national effort to better delivery of community-based history programs. In addition, this funding cut would end important programs like Ohio History Day, the Local History Office, and others.
We need your help! Please contact your Ohio Senator immediately (Senators are finalizing the budget as I type) and tell them that this is unacceptable. The Society has seen ongoing, disproportionate cuts throughout past years, and these cuts will be the final blow to some of Ohio â€™s most community-based and effective history programs. Please consider visiting the local senate office or placing a phone call, as these methods have the biggest impact. Send an email if you have limited time, and forward this message to others you feel would be interested, to help protect this and important programs. Here is a link to the OHS Legislative Update website that will provide you with all the information you need to communicate with your Senator (as well as the Governor and your state representative): http://capwiz.com/ohiohistory/home/ (after landing on this page, click on the Take Action button)
If youâ€™d like more information on this, please feel free to contact me or our Government Relations Director, Todd Kleismit (firstname.lastname@example.org, 614-297-2355).
Jackie Barton, Coordinator
Ohio Civil War 150 / Local History Office
Ohio Historical Society
I wish I could say that I’m surprised by this, but unfortunately, I can’t. The morons in Ohio’s legislature, who have no appreciation of history, always look to the OHS budget as the first place to cut. At this point, there’s really nothing left to cut, so the idiots have now slashed the funding for any attempt to recognize the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War.
This, of course, is the same legislature that refused to consider an eminent domain action to preserve Ohio’s only Civil War battlefield, and is also the same legislature that believes that the OHS should operate on a wing and a prayer. It’s also the same legislature that has been operating in contempt of the Ohio Supreme Court for years by refusing to legislate a new school funding system that is not unconstitutional, even though the Court has ordered it to do so more than once. I appreciate the critical budgetary situation in this state, and having lived here for 22 years, I likewise understand and appreciate the fact that the recession has hit Ohio harder than the vast majority of states. I get it that most states are having budget crises. So am I.
At the same time, this sort of thing will bring tourist dollars into Ohio, which, in turn, will generate tax revenue. It seems to me that some tax revenue being generated would be a good thing, and that Ohio should be proud of its contributions to the Union victory in the Civil War. Sadly, I am obviously wrong about this. Instead, the morons we elect–my particular idiot is named State Sen. David Goodman, who, unfortunately keeps getting himself re-elected by using sleazy, slimy campaign tactics–would rather fund their own pay raises.
Never mind that Ohio gave more men per capita than any other state in the Union. Never mind that three of the four Union generals considered the greatest of the war–Grant, Sherman and Sheridan–were all Ohioans. Never mind that Confederate prisoners of war died at Johnson’s Island and at Camp Chase here in Columbus. Never mind that Salmon P. Chase and Edwin M. Stanton were Ohioans. All of this is apparently irrelevant to our legislative geniuses.
For shame, Ohio State Senate. You should all be ashamed of yourselves. While the rest of the 35 states that made up the Union from 1861-1865 celebrate the sesquicentennial, we Ohioans will be on the sidelines, wondering why.Scridb filter