Memorial Day history lesson in Columbus, MS for the New York Times

I had another history lesson story to shoot for the New York Times last week, about the contentious beginnings of what we now call Memorial day. I spent the day in Columbus, Mississippi, talking with a few people about why their Columbus is the rightful claim holder, including the above Rufus Ward who had a mind for history I can't even understand. Dates, names, stories, implications. Tons and tons of stuff it'd take me a million years to cram in my head (and who knows what memories I'd lose in the process).

Anyway, Campbell Robertson's article is here. Interesting, for sure.

(Incidentally, Mr. Ward told me the guy behind him is his great-great-grandfather, T.C. Billups, who apparently began a school for his personal slaves he freed after the war ended. What a weird time to live, back then. I'm sure someone will say that of 2012 one day too. How quaint, they had to breath air.)