The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Sunday, February 20, 2005

Selective quotation on the Jefferson Memorial

Theodore Bilbo's lively tract from 1947 [1] Take Your Choice: Separation or Mongrelization includes a quote from fellow statesman Thomas Jefferson (emphasis Bilbo's):
Nothing is more certainly written in the book of fate than that these people are to be free: NOR IS IT LESS CERTAIN THAT THE TWO RACES, EQUALLY FREE, CANNOT LIVE IN THE SAME GOVERNMENT.

Checking it out, I'm directed to a page on the Monticello site where it appears. A page titled Quotations on the Jefferson Memorial.

The words occur in a quote, taken from Jefferson's Autobiography used for Panel Three of the memorial:
Nothing is more certainly written in the book of fate than that these people are to be free. Nor is it less certain that the two races, equally free, cannot live in the same government. Nature, habit, opinion has drawn indelible lines of distinction between them.

Except - only the first sentence is on the memorial! The context is airbrushed out, Stalin-style.

Oddly, this insight should come my way not long after an up-to-date selective quotation farrago gripped the DEWDROPs: Fox anchor Brit Hume's creative efforts on February 3 to cut and paste Franklin Roosevelt's January 17 1935 Message to Congress to sound like an endorsement, avant l'heure, of Bush's plan to 'deal with' social security.

FDR's grandson, James Roosevelt, has been doing the rounds of the VLWC complaining about the outrage.

Now, one learns that the Roosevelt adminstration was not above egregious cut-and-paste work of its own.

And, while
The world will little note, nor long remember
Hume's fabrication, that perpetrated on the Jefferson Memorial is altogether more durable.

  1. Earlier pieces featuring Bilbo.


I'm strangely having difficulty establishing a timeline for the Memorial: this says it was dedicated on April 13 1943; I'm not sure when it opened. Clearly, it came rather belatedly.

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