Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission Bill Introduced

Senators Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and Jim Webb (D-VA) have introduced the “Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission Act of 2009” (S. 1838) to establish a Commission to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War from 2011-2015. The legislation authorizes $3.5 million in funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to award grants for activities relating to the sesquicentennial.

Consisting of 25 members from government, business and academia, the commission will develop and carry out programs to ensure suitable National observances of the anniversary. The private members will include 5 individuals from the corporate community, 6 historians, 1 individual with expertise in art history or historic preservation, 1 individual with expertise in anthropology, cultural geography or sociology, and a final representative with expertise in political science, law or economics.

Among its duties, the commission is tasked with encouraging interdisciplinary examination of the Civil War, coordinating and facilitating the public distribution of scholarly research publications and interpretations of the Civil War, and providing technical assistance to States, localities and non-profits to assist in their commemorations.

In awarding grants, the NEH is directed to consider established university, museum or academic programs with national scope that sponsor multidisciplinary projects, including those that concentrate on African Americans in the Civil War.

2 thoughts on “Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission Bill Introduced

  1. It would be good if the grant money were also available to community groups seeking to understand the issues of the Civil War and of war and peace and patriotism. There could be some important work done at the community level.

  2. Greetings:

    As January 29,2011, I have only heard one reference to the anniversary of the Civil War and that was on NPR recently. Only today I searched the Internet to see if the 150th was even being recognized. I did not even know that a Commission Bill had been passed by Congress in 2009. I did know about the bicentennial of Lincoln’s birth as I live in Indiana. Ironically the Lincoln Museum in Ft. Wayne had to close a year before the observance, because of lack of interest.

    Seems this signature moment in American history is now of little significance. With American in decline, maybe this is another indicator of that truth. My great-great-grandfather was a soldier in the Michigan 7th Regiment. I am glad that I have a full knowledge of his part in the Civil War. When I ask my high school seniors to provide basic knowledge about the Civil War they are blank.

    Let us hope that when the nation observes the Tricentennial of the nation’s birth there is actually someone here that is remotely interested. God have mercy on the United States. Where is the media? I will be interested to see if Ft. Sumter is even noted in April.

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