19 June 2008
I'll save myself the task of exposition and simply refer you to the relevant page of wikipedia.
Specifically, the day commemorates "Order No. 3" issued by a Union general, Gordon Granger, in Galveston on this day. Those of us who take a too-simple view of the civil war, who think of it as having ended in Appomattox two months before, should keep this holiday in mind as a corrective to that simplicity.
The best date for a real end to the war is actually four days AFTER Gen. Granger's famous announcement. The last Confederate General to surrender was Stand Watie, in the Oklahoma Territory, on June 23d.
But even June 23 may be too early for some persnickety folk, who will remind you that the last shots fired in the struggle of secessionists were fired that November, in the waters off the Aleutian islands, by the CSS Shenandoah, under the command of Capt. James Waddell.
Knowledge is warranted belief -- it is the body of belief that we build up because, while living in this world, we've developed good reasons for believing it. What we know, then, is what works -- and it is, necessarily, what has worked for us, each of us individually, as a first approximation. For my other blog, on the struggles for control in the corporate suites, see www.proxypartisans.blogspot.com.