Wednesday, January 28, 2009

General Grant now a Bulldog instead of a Saluki

It's enough to make a proud graduate of Southern Illinois University cry:

"CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) - Mississippi might seem like an unlikely place to honor Ulysses S. Grant.

After all, the Union general's military victory at Vicksburg helped turn the tide of the Civil War against the state and the rest of Dixie.

But after a legal dispute with an Illinois school, Mississippi State University has become the new home of 90 file cabinets stuffed with hundreds of thousands of pages of documents and memorabilia about Grant and some of his descendants.

The collection - one of the biggest involving Grant - had been a source of pride for Southern Illinois University for more than four decades until a falling out between that Carbondale school and the group that owns the items, prompted by sexual harassment claims against the man who oversaw the collection."

In a related story, shopkeepers in Starkville, Mississippi have reported a sharp increase in sales of matches and lighter fluid.

Seriously, as somebody who was born and raised in the North but has lived his entire adult life in the South, let me use this to point out a big difference between Yanks and Rebels. Most northern people, reading this piece, will just shrug and forget about it.

But if anyone breathed a word of the Robert E. Lee papers leaving their home at Washington and Lee University for some school north of the Mason-Dixon Line, the resulting uproar would be heard from Richmond all the way to Vicksburg.

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