Sunday, January 06, 2008

"Virginians With Influence Like No Other"

When the United States of America was just that, a somewhat loose confederation of states united for mutual benefit and defense, there was a very strong sense of state pride. Nowadays the Union is more powerful and a bit more all encompassing, yet there remains amongst its citizens a strong identification with and pride in one’s home state.

As Virginia celebrated it's 400th Anniversary last year, the Richmond Times-Dispatch challenged the citizens of the Old Dominion to nominate their fellow Virginians that have made a difference in the world. The series of articles that came from this inquiry, The Greatest Virginians, is an interesting look at the sons and daughters of the Commonwealth that helped to change the world in one way or another.

Virginia earned its nickname as the Mother of Presidents thanks to eight U.S. Presidents that were born within her borders. Starting with the first, George Washington (Westmoreland County), the list also includes Thomas Jefferson (Albermarle County), James Madison (Port Conway), James Monroe (Westmoreland County), William Henry Harrison (Charles City County), John Tyler (Greenway), Zachary Taylor (Barboursville), and Woodrow Wilson (Staunton).

Virginia’s proud heritage includes some other great names from the pages of American history. George Mason was the draftsman of first Constitution of Virginia and Virginia’s Declaration of Rights of 1776. Although he was a member of the Constitutional Convention, Mason opposed ratification of the United States Constitution partly because it included no Bill of Rights. He also feared that a strong federal government would undermine the purpose of the American Revolution.

Patrick Henry’s contribution to American independence still rings with "Give me liberty, or give me death." John Marshall, chief justice of the United States from 1801 until his death in 1835, almost single-handedly defined American constitutional law. Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson were two Virginians who sided with their native state when it severed ties with the United States to form the Confederate States of America with her southern neighbors. As expected, these and other great Virginians were included in the nominations by historians and politicians in response to the inquiry from the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Virginia’s current Governor Tim Kaine could have been expected to nominate an important lawyer, politician, or any number of movers and shakers as his choice for the Greatest Virginian, but Governor Kaine saw things a bit differently (one of the reasons he was elected).

Governor Tim Kaine nominated The Carter Family as the Most Influential Virginians. "There are many ways to influence others, one way is through artistic expression" Gov. Kaine wrote in his remarks. Read the Times-Dispatch article "Virginians With Influence Like No Other" here.

Kudos to Gov. Kaine, too bad Virginia law does not permit consecutive terms in the Governor’s office.

Carter Family - East Virginia Blues.mp3

Carter Family - Single Girl, Married Girl.mp3

The Carter Family - Bury Me Under The Weeping Will.mp3

Mother Maybelle Carter - Wildwood Flower (W-Dialogue).mp3

The Carter Family - Can The Circle Be Unbroken.mp3

The Carter Family tradition continues at The Carter Family Fold and on back porches, parking lots, and stages around the world.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Dan said...

Wildwood Flower has never, ever sounded better. The song is meant for the autoharp. Great choice. And kudos to Governor Kaine. He's in the minority, but there are some rational human beings in politics.

January 10, 2008 5:11 PM  
Blogger Ed said...

Dan,
I agree, "Wildwood Flower" and the Autoharp are a natural combination. Notice when asked to play the song, even Mother Maybelle says she'd prefer to play it first on the Autoharp.

January 10, 2008 5:19 PM  

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