Letter To The Editor: Truman wouldn’t tear down monuments

President Harry Truman once said that a page of history is worth a volume of logic. As both a student and a maker of history, I am sure he would decry the demands that Confederate monuments be removed from public places. I am also sure that he would be outraged by the vandalism of several such monuments since the recent riot at Charlottesville, Virginia.

Removing or destroying statues and the like is equivalent to tearing pages out of a history book. It is intolerance. It is censorship. One of the more outlandish protests was directed at the stone bench erected in south Kansas City in 1934 by the United Daughters of the Confederacy  (reported August 23 in the Northeast News). This was no towering statue of a Confederate general but a mere park bench. What irked the agitators was that this piece of furniture was dedicated to the memory of the women of the Confederate states. Are we supposed to forget that myriads of Missouri men – including some of Mr. Truman’s forebears – fought under the stars and bars with the support of their mothers and wives?  Now that the bench (Kansas City’s only public Confederate monument) has been removed, it is just a little more likely that they will indeed be forgotten.

Disapproval of a historical figure is not grounds for banning statues or books. It is as silly as demanding that a paper quit printing news about people someone doesn’t like. Further, if we were to mandate a seal of approval for every person memorialized, hundreds of statues would have to be toppled. Consider the one of Andrew Jackson in front of the downtown courthouse. It was the brainchild of Harry Truman, who wanted a historically accurate likeness of Old Hickory to go with what was then the new courthouse. Jackson is shown astride a horse and wearing a military uniform. This is Jackson as he appeared when he fought the Battle of New Orleans. Jackson went on to become president and to do many good things for his country. Yet he has his critics. He was a slaveholder. He fought duels. And he was responsible for the mass removal of native Americans from the South to what is now Oklahoma. Thousands of them died on the way there. Their journey was called the Trail of Tears.

Mr. Truman knew all of this, but he wanted the people to remember the man for whom their county was named. Hence the statue — and an important page of history.

Dennis Stack

Historic Northeast

Comments are closed.

  • Letter To The Editor: Free concerts attendees were loud throughout

    July 26th, 2017
    by

    Recently you advertised for a free concert at the Kansas City Museum. It’s gotten to the point that people are […]


    Letter to the Editor: Response to article on the audit of the IACID

    May 10th, 2017
    by

    Northeast News May 10, 2017 To the Editor: Finally, someone followed up on the concerns about the Independence Avenue CID […]


    Letter to the Editor: League of Women Voters rejects Missouri charter school bill

    April 5th, 2017
    by

    Northeast News April 5, 2017 Dear Editor, HB 634 will allow charter schools to be operated in any school district […]


    Letter to the Editor: GO Bond, A Modest Proposal

    March 8th, 2017
    by

    Northeast News March 8, 2017 Northeast residents are familiar with the epidemic of trash confronting many of our neighborhoods. Yet, […]


    Letter to the Editor: HNE residents fight to overturn the City Council decision to allow KCU to walk all over our neighborhood

    March 8th, 2017
    by

    Northeast News March 8, 2017 Dear Editor, Following the Kansas City MO City Council vote last week to advance the […]


  • Letter to the Editor: Heartland Tree Alliance

    February 8th, 2017
    by

    Northeast News February 8, 2017 We are working hard in the NE, going door to door in residential areas within […]


    Letter to the Editor: Manny Abarca speaks out

    February 1st, 2017
    by

    Northeast News February 1, 2017 Our new President signed executive orders to move forward with the construction of an estimated […]


    Councilman Lucas responds to Northeast News G.O. Bond editorial

    January 19th, 2017
    by

    Northeast News January 19, 2017 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – As the wide-ranging debate regarding the proposed $800 million General Obligation […]


    Letter to the Editor: Saint Francis improving in the Northeast

    December 14th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News December 14, 2016 Letter to the Editor (regarding the Saint Francis Apartments), Saint Francis came to the Northeast […]


    Letter to the Editor: Correction to past postcard

    December 14th, 2016
    by

    Dear Editor, In the Historic Northeast Postcard Section of the Northeast News dated November 30, 2016 was the article on […]


  • What’s Happening

    Local artists offered chance to display on Crossroads ARTBOARDS

    By Melissa Wharton Northeast News Charlotte Street Foundation (CSF) and Missouri Bank are once again calling on local artists for […]

    Fire destroys home near Askew and Smart

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News An early morning fire near the intersection of Askew and Smart on Friday, September 22 […]

    Northeast Newscast Episode 27 – Northeast HS Homecoming and sports at KCPS w/ athletic director Dr. James Sanders

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News This week on the Northeast Newscast, Kansas City Public Schools athletic director Dr. James Sanders […]

  • Local Weather