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tv   Memorializing Salem  CSPAN  August 24, 2017 10:08am-11:16am EDT

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change parties and became a r republican at that point in time. there were no jobs in information security for any of us. only people who were doing security were maybe people in the military or maybe banks. so this is really a hobby. as the internet grew and there were jobs and people were putting things online and there was money at risk, all of a sudden hackers started getting jobs doing security.
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for those of you i haven't met, my name is shelby hypes and i'm with the salem award foundation for human rights and social justice. this is our 25th anniversary. we were formed with the idea of helping to keep alive the lessons of the trials, promoting awareness, empathy and understanding. one of the main ways we do this is by supporting and being involved in educational events, just like today. i think you all have in your folders cards like this, which are an invitation to our commemorative activity celebration at the witch trials memorial tomorrow. i'm here today to introduce our keynote speaker. before i do that, i've noticed that we haven't really talked about the people who have sponsored this symposium. i've mentioned the salem award
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foundation. essex national heritage has been a fabulous team player. but i have to tell you donna seeger has been driving this bus. [ applause ]. >> and i really -- i know she's pulled the entire history department along in her wake. [ laughter ]. >> but i wanted to make sure she got credit for the incredible amount of hard work and coordination that it takes to pull off an event like this. it's been a wonderful day and i'm glad to see you all here. so onto what i'm supposed to be talking about. i'm glad that our keynote address is in the afternoon rather than the morning, which is often the case, because i think we've all had time to stop and think about what a thorny problem we face in just understanding, interpreting, teaching and commemorating something that happened 325 years ago. but perhaps nobody has given more thought to how we
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commemorate sites like this than our speaker today, dr. kenneth foote. i had planned to pull a few choice nuggets from his resume to use for my introduction, but that has not been possible. i'm not an academic. i'm have the business world where the mantra is a one-page resume, possibly slide into two. so i was somewhat unprepared of ten pages of golden nuggets. instead, i am using a little bit from what he has posted on the uconn website where he chairs the department of geography and is a professor. he joined the faculty there in 2013. his particular interests are in ca cartography, american and european landscape history focusing on public memory and
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commemoration and issues of geography in higher education, particularly instructional technologies and professional development, undergraduates, graduates and graduate students and early career family kculty. he's here today because of his keen interest in tragedy. his book "shadowed ground" really awakened us to deal with how we think about places where bad things happened. how such places are marked or not marked continues to be his area of interest. he is a graduate of the university of wisconsin, got his master's and doctorate at the university of chicago. while "shadowed ground" is his most well known book, he has authored ten other books, more
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academically oriented and enough chapters and contributions that, if i listed them, would take up his entire a lotted speaking time. prior to joining the faculty at uconn he had been associated with both the university of texas at austin and the university of colorado at boulder where he chaired the graduate studies program and is now professor emeritus. he has won numerous prizes related to geography and particularly of interest to me in mentoring people. so important. and i know we are all going to value what he has to say today on how what happened here in salem has played out across america. it is indeed my honor to introduce dr. kenneth foote. [ applause ].
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>> i'd also like to thank the salem awards foundation for helping organize this as well as well as salem state university for helping sponsor the program and maybe give a callout for the geography program at salem state. i worked with a lot of those jog f geographers. it really is an honor for me to be here at salem state for this symposium. my first visit to salem was in 1984. i have to say in a sense salem changed my life. i have to say that i've been haunted by what i found in 1984. and what i saw in salem in 1984 has shaped much of my research over the last 30 years, as i'll relate to you today. for the next 40 or 45 minutes, i'd like to reflect on the four questions that are on the first slide. i'd like to put salem in a broader context of other sites
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that have been stigmatized by events of violence and tragedy. many people today have been mentioning other sites that have been affected by events like the witchcraft killings. the first thing i want to do is focus on comparisons between salem and other sites in the united states and a few from overseas as well. i'd like to focus on why it is that sites like salem are so difficult to commemorate. the tensions involved in these sites that are both shameful but also have some reason to be remembered. i'd like to go from there to many of the comments that come from the previous panel, which is what's different about salem? this kitschy aspect, we have zombies walking down the street and so forth. it's different than other places that have been touched by tragedy. it does raise that issue of what comes next. what about the future for salem,
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salem witchcraft? over the last couple of weeks i've been kind of reviewing the growth and scholarship. i don't think there can be enough material on the salem witchcraft episode. it is so important. i really am impressed by the number of books, swiewebsites, television and events and forth that have been focusing on witchcraft. i was really a bit humbled by the people who were on the panel and gave lectures earlier today, because we have such expertise here in the room today that i don't want to claim to be an expert on salem. my expertise as a jgeographer focuses on sites like salem. don't take me to task if i get a name wrong or mispronounce something. but my interest in salem comes from the standpoint of geography. when i first visited salem in 9 1984, i was very much interested
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in the study of the sense of place, the deep emotional bonds people develop with the places they live. it might be a person's home, where you live, where you go as a retreat with your family to enjoy and relax and live comfortably. it may be a place like marblehead, a place to relax and enjoy the seashore. or it might be someplace that you enjoy going to visit the friends or be with friends. down in little havana, the domino park is one of the setters of community. people go there and stay all day long playing cards and dominos and talking with their friends and sharing some food. or it may just be a place of contemplation. i have this photograph of where theroux's cabin was around walden pond. when i first came to salem, i was interested in these ideas.
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but i only came up from boston on a day trip. i was trying to get away for an afternoon and drove up. this was in '84. you know, i spent the day looking at the maritime history and industrial history and so forth, interesting places. there was nothing much about the witchcraft episode at this point. this is 1984. so at one point i asked people, well, where did the executions take place. people said, well, it was somewhere over there, gallows hill. we don't know exactly. nobody really knows. somewhere over there. i found that really curious. i realized then it was a very important episode, but to actually lose the location was really quite striking to me. within a month i was in berlin, germany. this was before the reunification of east and west germany. i was struck again by the highly
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st stigmatized sites associated with the war. the wall in berlin was put up precisely to isolate some of the sites of the nazi power, the -- that summer was also the time of one of the worst mass murders in american history, the shootings at the mcdonald's restaurant in california. how do these events thaseffect emotional bond to space? do people feel a deeper attachment because a loved one may have died at a site, or does it break that attachment? since then, i've been very interested in this idea of how events of violence and tragedy affect our sense of place.
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over that period of time, i visited dozens or hundreds of sites, both in the united states and in europe, because much of my work now is in central europe and hungary. i visited sites of individual tragedies, murders, mass murders, homicide, suicides and so forth. i've also visited sites like this mine disaster where in a single day a community lost all of its men in a mine disaster, in a coal mine collapse. i've also visited a lot of sites associated with the revolutionary war, the civil war where we have different approaches to the portrayal of history, and sites associated with the european/american encounters with native americans, the history of japanese americans, chinese americans, hispanic americans in the united states, and also events that are very equivocal meaning, maybe a little bit like
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salem, like the branch davidian fire in waco, texas, leading of course two years later to the bombing in oklahoma city. now, after many of these visits in documenting all of these sites, i would say there's no single outcome when tragedy strikes. in fact, what i portrayed in "shadowed ground" was a continuum of outcomes. they become so important that people set aside the site for that particular event. on the far side, on the right hand side, i think we have almost the opposite. it's obliteration. these are so shocking and sha shameful that people really want to scour the evidence away. for years i put gallows hill
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down on that far side, because i think that in a sense that is what happened. it was afterwards remove the evidence, forget about it, it's been owe blit rabliteratobliter. you'll see rectification, which is by far the most common outcome, which is we don't see any great significant in this event and we're going to cleanse it and put it back right. i think maybe -- and we'll come to this a little bit later. maybe salem is somewhere in there between rectification and obliteration. there is another outcome that i often times see which i call designati designation. that's the idea that something important happened here, but it isn't quite enough to push it towards sanctif sang tctifysanc
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terrorist attack on new york, the last physical evidence of that bombing is just a few shrapnel scars on the side of a bank building on wall street. here we have the eastland disaster in the chicago river where a cruise ship tipped over in harbor just as it was loading and claimed as many passengers as the titanic. although the titanic was a greater disaster because far more crew died on the titanic. i want to notice if you look down in the lower right-hand corner of this power point, you'll see an important point about this, that sanctify case tn
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-- i point to gettysburg again because it's one of the most decorated landscapes in america. i know many of you have probably visited. virtually every engagement in that three-day battle is marked on the ground at gettysburg. or it may be a sense of community loss. here i have a memorial in wisconsin which was destroyed in the largest forest fire in u.s. history, same night as a chicago fire claimed many more lives in chicago but is largely hidden. presidents, great leaders, even great entertainers, john lennon.
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we have strawberry fields in central park just across from where he was shot at the dakota apartment building. sang ctitificatioication these
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in the way. i've saved rectification there, because as i say, it is the most common. in many cases we don't see that significance in some of the day
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to day violence and tragedies that go on in american society. many of these sites are simply put right. the photograph i have here is part of my family's lore. i wasn't born yet when this crash occurred in madison, wisconsin. my mother told stories about this because she heard it happen. our window to our kitchen at that point looked out toward the university. she saw the plane spiraling in and hitting this area. the site itself has simply been left to go back to an arboretum setting. finally, the last one of the four is obliteration. events that are seen as so shameful, mass murder, violence, tragedies involving gross negligence, taboo subjects are often times so shocking and shameful that communities really try to destroy all the evidence. they don't want to be remined.
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th they don't want people coming to look either. in the upper right-hand corner is the homestead of ed gein. he is the inspiration for norman bates in psycho and tls talso t inspiration for the texas chain saw massacre. when he was caught and eventually spent the rest of his life in a psychiatric ward in madison, the neighbors were really upset because people kept coming to visit and they were vandalizing the farmstead and forth. eventually someone went out and burned all the buildings. the land went up at auction. it was sold and planted as a pine plantation for pulp paper. in new town, connecticut, we know of that horrible mass murder at the elementary school. when the building was finally torn down, the contractors
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walled off the entire site. the remains of that site have been buried anonymously somewhere. the contractors had to agree to keep it completely anonymous so that no one would visit those sites. the school has been rebuilt. they finally decided on putting up a memorial there, but it's been a very hard struggle for the community to lose so many children and teachers. finally the one in the lower right-hand corner is a case just across the river from cincinnati. it was a very popular supper club. the owner was very careless and got around all the fire restrictions and so forth. a fire broke out and claimed almost 300 lives. no one has been able to be rebuild on that site because it still is so highly stigmatized. it's not as though places get to one position on this scale and stay there. it's constantly moving back and forth. in fact, we can see changes occurring through time as traditions build, as people
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reinterpret the past and see some value in some events and les less in others. over in the lower right-hand corner is a site you may have walked on or probably looked at. this is the precise location where the revolutionary war broke out. where is it? this is a test? boston massacre. so the star at the center of that walkway is the precise place where this free black sailor fell on that spot. that wasn't marked for another hundred years. it was only looking back, okay, now we've gotten past the first 100 years, now it's time to mark the sites associated with the war. and 100 years later, there was a marker put up on boston common. that's the second photograph
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from the left. and then bunker hill, we see this big obelisk on the hill as we drive into boston. that almost never was completed. i think it was finally finished in 1875. but that took a long time. this was raised by private donations and fund-raising. this was not done by the national government, but it was pride of place and recognizing this was a really significant event because the american troops held their ground against the british. then we get very distinctive points. the photograph second from the right is the high watermark of the confederacy at the battle of gettysburg. this is the point that the civil war began to go in the favor of the union. this is the point where the confederate troops were turned back, very specific in terms of telling the story of the nation. and then i point to this last
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slide on the right happened side because that's the site -- we're looking from the custus mansion. the reason there's so many people there is this was the weekend after jacqueline kennedy onassis had been buried and thousands came to the cemetery to pr to pay their respects. when jacqueline kennedy was picking that position for the grey, she wanted it to align with the lincoln memorial, which you can just see in the distance there, because this was another martyred president and she wanted to be able to see the national capitol to the left and john kennedy's monument to the
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right. i used to live in texas and i used to be focused a lot on texas history. what i want to point out here is texans are very proud of the texas war of independence and -- this was in 1835 and '36. even then the commemoration emerged very gradually. the first commemoration was 50 years later when some of the veterans wanted to return and be buried with their comrades at the battlefield near houston. and then in 1955, the alamo, which had been completely abandoned after the battle, passes to the state and becomes curated by the daughters of texas. and then you have the tallest masonry obelisk in the world. over the span of years this has become an incredible invention,
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a kind of tradition that's been built and inscribed on the landscape. it also happens in places like chicago. in chicago the city flag has two blue stripes, one representing lake michigan and then the chicago river. and then the four stars represent four events that that the city is very proud of. columbian exposition, 1892, the century of progress, 1933. but two others represent the chicago fire of 1871. another represents fort dearborn, which ended in a massacre. everyone died. how is it that they transform horrible events into marks of their accomplishments? in the photograph on the left you see the fire academy of chicago. there at the fire academy you see a little sculpture.
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maybe i can just point it out right here. that's called pillar of flame. that statute stands on the exact point where the chicago fire began, the exact spot. so after all of these years, they see it as a point of pride, because after the chicago fire, chicago modernized its police and fire programs. they see that as a starting point for the modern city of chicago, because that fire was so destructive, they had to change. it changed the city governments, police, fire and so forth. so they see it as a mark of progress into the future. now, many of these things i think we can see looking at the landscape. one of the things i find so interesting visiting salem every couple of years is how the witchcraft episode is inscribed on place. here we're looking at a topo sheet of the gettysburg
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battlefield. it's not just the markers on the battlefield but the whole landscape has even been named. we can look on this map and find particularly important engagements in that battle. if you look toward the center of the map, you might recognize the peach orchard, which was some vicious fighting. there's also the wheat field and little round top. these are major features which have not only been marked in terms of memorials but they're marked in terms of toponyms. featured recalled with pride are apt sob safeguarded against erosion and vandalism. those that evoke shame may be expunged from the landscape. i think that's true fo
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for gettysburg. contrast that with the sand creek massacre in colorado. there's a lot of fighting going on out on the frontier between cheyenne and arapaho. many of the older adults are staying home with children. at this period it escalated in the fall of 1864. militias are gathered in colorado and they go out and slaughter an entire village of cheyenne and arapaho. this was recognized as shocking and shameful. if you go there now, there was a national park service site. when i went there, it wasn't. i nearly destroyed a rental car going out to take this photograph. this is way out on the plains of colorado. there's nothing marked.
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there are no names on the map. this has really disappeared. john bardner who was mentioned earlier, this idea of shaping the past in the present is -- it's very important to keep that tension in mind in remembering things. but as a geographer i have to remind us all that very often these debates resolve around where and what to do. today it's what to do up there on proctor's ledge, what to do here in salem. what about salem and danvers? what about these sites we've been looking at and talking about today? i'm not an expert in the salem witchcraft episode, but i think in many cases there was
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something going on here between sanctification and commemoration. at the same time this is very difficult to come to terms with because it is also shameful and shocking when a community turns on its and kills people that would lead more toward obliteration. i think it's worth reflecting on some of the reasons i think it's very difficult to resolve that tension. first of all, one of the major points of tension is whenever we memorialize an event like this, it calls attention to the perpetrators, the killers themselves. in the upper left-hand corner is the dedication of the columbine high school memorial for those who died in the columbine shootings in 1999. and this was put up in 2007. people really objected to it.
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in fact, it might not have been built at all but a couple of people pushed this forward, because people said we'd love to honor the victims, but by doing that we're also calling attention to the killers. we're putting up a shrine to those two high school student who is killed all of our neighbors. why should we do that? this site in the middle is the house of terror in budapest. it was both the headquarters for the gestapo for the nazi occupation in the second world war and was immediately taken over by the secret police after the second world war, so it's doubly stigmatized. doesn't this just create a shrine? doesn't this just create a shrine for the people who have oppressed all of these people? and finally i point to the controversy of the sixth floor museum at the school book depository in dallas, texas.
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there is a very good chance long ago that we would have lost the texas school book depository. because people said we don't want that building, that's where oswald was situated when he shot the president. you are creating a shrine to oswald. people said, no, no, no, this is such an important site in our history that we really need to do something. so i think very often when debate starts about what to do in these events of tragedy and terror, there's an attempt to kind of over the killers, let's dismiss this as an extraordinary event that was caused by some outsider or someone who couldn't possibly control him or herself. so we think of president lincoln's killer, a deranged fa
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that the fanatic kills lincoln. you can see that people still go there to touch that place associated with the bombing. well, it's interesting then, because you can explain away the violence by explaining away the person, the perpetrator. it wasn't part of our community. it's very difficult to do that because this othering in a sense is a kind of denial. it's very difficult to do that if people come from the community. i'll come back to that point in a second. but the second thing i think here in salem is to say, look, this happened so long ago really, really. i mean, think of what's happened since. the maritime power, the industry that built up, hawthorne, house of seven gables, the fire of 1914. a lot has passed. maybe it's just not necessary to bring up the witchcraft episode.
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i don't agree with that but it's one of the readings here. so sometimes people say, well, it's time to let that rest. but another thing is that a lot of people might say compared to the violence in early america, the witchcraft episode doesn't amount to very much. it's just like the point made this morning that compared to what happened in europe, where you have 50,000 supposed witches killed, this is not a very big outbreak. i think of the mystic massacre. people argue over whether it was genocide. but you have the puritans going in and murdering a whole village. and down there at the bottom is what that site looks like today. it's just a suburban street. there's the fairfield swamp fight. there's one marker. we think of the bloody brook
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massacre up in deerfield which was brutal brutal fighting and we have one single memorial for that event. but i think this comes to an important point. i think sanctification is very very difficult when this event occurs because civil, legal, police, military forces have turned on their own people, the people they're supposed to protect, the citizens of the town or the state or the nation. when it turns on itself, it's particularly difficult to sa sancti sanctify. i point to the bath school bombing. this was actually the treasurer of the school board blew up the school, right, blew up the school, claimed about 50 lives. i may be off there, but it was a
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substantial loss of life. or the race riots after the first world war. this photograph, the horrible title is running the negro out of tulsa. the rosewood massacre of 1923 where you have neighbors turning on neighbors and chasing these african-americans out of this area near cedar key, florida, and terrible events like that. this comes up with events that relate to police violence, for example. i have this example here of this horrible event where the chicago police working with the fbi assassinated fred hampton and mark clark in 1969 late in december. i think that photograph in the left corner is one of the more horrible photographs i'll show you today. i think those police officers are actually smiling. they know they just got away with murder. they killed two panthers and
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they were never penalized for doing that. we have other convenieevents li terrible bombing of the move site in philadelphia in 1985 where police bombed this separatist group on the west side. they take out 65 homes and kill 11 people including five children. no one ever went to jail for that. these sorts of things are very difficult and they have to do with other major events in the u.s. history. i think of the hay market riot where you actually have the police protesting citizens. they want the eight-hour workday. we have two separate readings. in the lower left corner we have the reading of the people who are executed for leading that. however, we can question that legal decision. but that monument in the lower left is at the cemetery where they're burieburied. on the right hand side is a
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police monument marking the hay market and their defense of chicago. even today that is a very highly contested event in chicago. i think of bleeding, kansas, where you have neighbors killing neighbors. you have john brown who was so dedicated to killing abolitionists that he was willing to kill his own neighbors who were slavers. his whole family was dedicated to ending slavery. you have this back and forth, burning lawrence, kansas, fight in missouri back and forth. in many cases these are tensions that still exist today. this also happens to events like sand creek. so this is -- this is my son andrew reading a plaque that's at the base of a civil war monument in front of the state house in denver, colorado. this was a civil war memorial that was put up in 1909 honoring
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the great battles, the heroic battles of colorado troops in the civil war. listed on that monument is the battle of sand creek. in 1999, the senate finally passed a resolution. they said we're not going to take down this memorial, but we are going to describe the fact that we have thought carefully about this and there's no way we can describe sand creek as a battle. it really needs to be described as a massacre and is really quite striking. and from that has grown an event -- maybe it's something that could be mirrored here in salem, is the cheyenne and arapaho have created a spiritual healing run every year around thanksgiving which is when the massacre occurred. they started the sa ee eed -- s sand creek massacre state and
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they run to wyoming. that is used as a way of talking through some of these issues about memory. what makes salem different? i don't have to say very much. i just grabbed a few illustrations of that way that witch imagery. they dealt with witchcraft and akizati accusations and so forth. it is quite striking, because is this the way we want to remember a key lesson about religious intolerance. this is something that is highly questionable because there is that sense that people don't -- they don't reflect on what they see here. they tend to see the kind of kitsch side of things and maybe it is time to think about how we might do that. i think there are ways forward perhaps. i can think of many sites that
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attract thousands of visitors. three weeks ago i was at auschwitz in poland and there were huge crowds there. auschwitz is treated as a cemetery, asrules. about going into that site and how to behave and how to act. and people follow them. and the guides are scrupulous about that, saying there are things that you don't do inside of these camps because it would be disrespectful to those who have died. there is also, i think of the world trade center site in new york city. you know what it's like there. you have probably all been there. it's almost spiritual in some ways. people assume a certain attitude toward that site when they walk across the plaza. and there's also, i think of the last stand hill at the little bighorn battlefield. the last stand hill. if people would imagine having a zombie walk down last stand hill, right? you can't imagine. they wouldn't allow it.
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it is a national park site, it would be just completely inappropriate, because i think these sites of tragedy are important. they're points of reconciliation, points of reflection, points of remembrance. the little bighorn battlefield is a good case in point. a few years ago, the national park service allowed the sioux and other native american groups to begin marking their site of where some of the warriors fell during the battle. they had never previously been marked. well, marking death sites is not part of a plains engine culture. but they said okay. we want to mark these sites. we will make that concession because it's so important also to present our side of the story and how we fought to defend our way of life. so the little bighorn battlefield has become one of these points of reconciliation between the plains indians and the u.s. government. angel island in san francisco
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bay is being restored. it's a memorial to the horrible period of the chinese exclusion act, where angel island was not like ellis island. this is where they interned people, the chinese, and sent them back to china as quickly as they could. these are important points of reconciliation. so i think there may be ways forward, kind of a middle ground because i think these sites of sanctification are important for several reasons. first of all, i think it's very important to honor the victims, the survivors, and the families just like shelby is working on collecting the testimony of descendants of those involved in the witch craft episodes. these are important sites to people who have been involved, even at a great distance of many generations. it's also very important to recognize heroes and martyrs, to sort of say these are people who stood up and said no. they ended these trials. they stopped this from happening. and we need to be able to recognize that, even in these
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awful events of violence and tragedy. it's also important to keep the memory alive across generations. going back to auschwitz for a second. many of you may know or have participated in what's called the march of the living. this is an annual event in april. and thousands of people march between auschwitz one and berken ower, auschwitz two, about a mile, about a mile to go. and they're saying we are alive. we have survived. this is something that happened. this happened during the second world war, but we will not let this continue. we will not let this go on further. this is something we need to continue. so this idea of continuing the memory across generations, i think, is very, very important. so just as i move toward the close today, i think it is important to see, though, the
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public memory is more than just the memorials i have been focusing on today. the public memorials i think are just the starting place because they anchor traditions. they anchor our activities. they mark the spots of events and so forth. i put down there a quote from one of an article i wrote with a colleague on the geography of memory. public memory has to do with contemporary experience. it has to do with visiting a battle site or celebrating a centennial or dedicating a new memorial. precisely the things we have been doing today, part of public memorial. it gives people to place to come, it gives people a place to remember events and also to reconcile. i was struck here, this was on the left-hand photograph, the dedication of the columbine high school memorial. you see the children, the students were so proud, they were wearing their sports clothing and so forth. they were coming because they were proud. they were honoring the people who died in that event. and this photograph on the right
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is from the dedication to oklahoma city bombing. memorial. and talking with some of the people who came back, some of the rescuers and so forth, they said i couldn't come back to oklahoma city until today. the first time i have been able to be back because it has such an effect on my life, but i came back because this is a good thing they're doing in oklahoma city. i might also point to something like kent state university. kent state, this is a photograph taken on the 40th anniversary. and kent state has an annual vigil. they have a midnight walk all the way around campus that comes back to the sites of where the four students died. and you see in the upper left-hand corner the event, the speakers in the afternoon sitting on the hill where a d f daffodil is planted for each soldier who died in the vietnam war. you can see a vigil at sandra
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scheuer's death site. those are pictures of people singing around her death site. and professor jerry lewis was there trying to deflect the national guard leading people around. so i think as we look into the future, i have to say that there are other cities that are facing just as many ghosts and skele n skeletons as salem is, honestly. i was very struck. i would recommend if you have chance some time soon that you listen to the full youtube video of mitch landrieu's speech in new orleans about the removal of a confederate monument in new orleans. new orleans, the controversy is removing memorials. salem is just the opposite, putting up memorials. but he makes just such a stunning argument about why this issue of memorials and public memory are so important. he said century old wounds are still raw because they never heal right in the first place.
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this removal is, however, about showing the whole world that we as a city and as a people are able to acknowledge, understand, reconcile, and most importantly, choose a better future for ourselves, making straight what has been crooked and making right what is wrong. and i think that very much applies to some of the debate that we're having here in salem about addressing issues that may have happened 325 years ago, but i think it's really imperative for us to look ahead. in closing, i will point back to bridget bishop and we're meeting here to honor her memory today, but i can point to so many other sites around the united states, just in the last couple years where we also have signs with people's names on them because they have been killed for various reasons. because they're gay or because they were protecting muslims or they were african-american.
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so i think it really is this memory work involved more than memorials, it involves engagement, education, community action and so on. what i find so exciting about the discussion today is there really seems to be a commitment in trying to carry this forward. i really do believe there is some imperative in making sure that there is a way of representing the witch craft episode in the terms of this history that can be engaging and also educational. and can keep the memory going for future generations. so thank you very much. [ applause ] >> thank you very much. do we have time for a couple questions? >> absolutely. >> okay. yes. >> i was wondering, we have heard a lot of distaste for the
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salem halloween celebrations and the like. but it seems to me that there's an element that is very similar to what has become of the memorializing of stonewall in new york. that there was a culture of oppression and an event that was an attack on a people by a repressive culture. and the response has been a parade of in your face defiance. and in a sense, we here in salem are seeing a parade of defiance of sinning and witchcraft in the face of a puritan attack on decenty and morals. i was wondering if there's any kind of way in which the haunted happenings, et cetera, could be considered a sort of recognition of the -- >> i don't know if i would draw a parallel with stonewall.
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stonewall is important, and the idea of in your face protests which have happened in new york and other cities as well as a way of raising the issue there's. but you know, in working on this lecture, i couldn't think of any city quite like salem that has gained so much from developing its witch city. i don't think it's possible to change that because it is so important to the tourism industry. i think that it's almost the need to follow a separate path like the discussion today about the idea of peabody ethics institute or thinking of some other way. you can't displace that tourism, but to try to find another path that allows people to learn more about the events. that's a good possible comparison. let's see. there was another.
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donna. >> the parallel i keep thinking of because of the work that i do are the plantation museums across the antibellum south. i think there you do see sites whose tourism for the last 100 years or so has been based on this nostalgic gentile image of the antebellum south. unlike salem, they haven't dealt with slavery at all, but it's a really uncomfortable fit for many of these places. what i have ended up seeing is either sites seem to completely give themselves over, right, to a history of slavery, or sites emerge now to talk about slavery. or it becomes this sort of alternative experience. you know, and that's sort of an antebellum culture piece and slavery piece never really meet up. you know, and i'm struck by your discussion of shrines, thinking that mt. vernon and mont acello, these early sites were literally created as shrines. >> yes. >> to slavery.
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so that's where i keep going. but that's where my mind always goes as i try to think about parallels. >> i think those are really good examples. i could have brought up some examples that deal with very contested legacy of slavery. because there's a lot of the same tensions going on there. and i think you're absolutely right in watching what's happening now with the plantation narratives and so on. my only hope is that what's beginning to happen, as you know, is these counter narratives, that people are using those plantation museums in a few cases to cause a different narrative. it's not happening all over, but in a few in louisiana and so forth. but it doesn't really affect places like washington, jefferson. there still has been only a modest change in that. >> you see sort of there's a real reluctance to engage. that's not what people come there -- i was struck as i was doing my research, with visitors, you know, and their comments they make, and they want to come to be scarlet
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o'hara. you know, they don't want to go there to be mandy. so that's not the experience they want. i think that's part of what we're dealing with in salem. they want to come for the revelry. not always for the more somber aspect. >> we could look also just more generally at african-american history. the examples i gave from the race riots and so forth, for the most part, those have been completely effaced. people don't want to talk about that episode. that was a brutal, brutal period in race relations and there are only a couple around the country where there's any note. roseworth, tulsa, only a couple. people don't want to be reminded their cities did this. there were people involved. >> thank you very much. >> thank you. thank you. yes, donna. >> what if the site is sacred
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but people -- what if it's been sanctified but people aren't treating it that way? >> like the comment earlier. you need to set some rules. >> lockly the foundation is the steward of our witch trial memorial. [ inaudible ] >> well, that is an interesting point because in a lot of these sites, the behavior is patrolled in a sense. they say this is acceptable, this isn't. you can't do that here. and you know, whether there's photography allowed or what not, you can't do that. and i think that maybe it is partly because this has become such a profane area that it's hard to enforce that now. i think that site for the memorial at the cemetery is very striking. i was -- i made a special trip to see that when it was finally dedicated. and i think it is a very
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appropriate site and a wonderful design. but because it's right there in the middle of town and because there's no way to mark it off and control that, you know, that sort of behavior, it's a constant problem. now that you're right, the graveyard has become this -- it's just not a good situation. so it may be that addressing some of those issues is necessary. there are some places where it's completely -- so for example, the cemetery is closed off where it's only open at a particular time. i hate to do something like that, but it does set the tone for the interpretation. other questions before we finish? you need a microphone? here it comes. >> thanks. i loved the talk. i was particularly struck when you were talking for gettysburg. a friend of mine who used to work for the national park
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service, i was struck by i see a lot of similarities between gettysburg and salem as these places that have this one huge, horrible event happen in the town. it really sort of changed frankly the course of american history and the course of that town's history and how people think about the town and how the town thinks about itself. and i think the one thing to me, and again too, they're the two places that also it seems to me, perhaps in a very different way, make their living off people who come to the city because of that event. that despite a wonderful college, gettysburg probably would drive them away if it weren't for the battlefield. i think about that, and i think too the one way gettysburg treats itself differently, first time i went to gettysburg, i was struck because even before i got to the cemetery, the national cemetery, i felt like i had been on a cemetery all day because you have the monuments, the
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memorials throughout the city. and even as you enter the town, there's more than 1,000 of them, as you know. they're everywhere. and it does sort of put you in this sort of mood as you enter the city that, you know, of reverence and respect, of hallowed ground that unfortunately, you know, i think is a thing that maybe the piece that you said, is lacking in salem. >> in gettysburg, you can go on haunted tours and they have these events. but out there on the batt battlefield, i have even seen visitors policing other visitors. they think this is inappropriate. you're supposed to be on the paths. you're allowed in certain areas, not allowed in other areas. people are conscious of that. there hasn't been a problem of great vandalism in gettysburg, and people are very respectful when they're out on the batt battlefield. in town or other places, they can have other entertainment. it is a close comparison, but
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it's treated very differently. >> you don't have the problem we have where within several months of the announcement of the ledge, someone showed up at one of the homeowners' there and asked for permission to dig in their back yard. at which point, the resident said, i'm sorry, you can't do that. the person said, that's okay, i'll go to the city's property and dig there. at which point, he was told, no, you won't do that. as long as there's a police force in salem. for reasons it's hard to fathom, we have an uphill battle. >> i have seen some sites that i visited where they are guarded. i mean, there is controversy. there is some sites in hungary, in germany, that are guarded because of the friction over the memorialization. but i would hate to see that happen here. >> very good. maybe, i think one more question. >> yes, i would like to ask you,
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you were talking about the removal recently of the statues of jefferson davis and robert e. lee from new orleans. and the thing about that is it seems to me the city of new orleans could do, because it's a heavily african-american city, they could do more to promote african-american people who have really made a difference in new orleans. because my concern is, we could go to every major southern city and remove statues of robert e. lee and stonewall jackson, but what is that really going to accomplish? they were people who fought for a cause. you know, the culture of slavery goes, pre-dates them a long time before. robert e. lee was considered a model student and teacher at west point. so i just wonder how we address the whole issue. >> i think there's been tremendous change since the time i wrote shouted ground in terms of african-american history and
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the civil rights movement and to some degree the slave paths as well. one of the things i wrote about was how little was done in that area because we weren't recognizing some of the great individuals and events. i think that has changed substantially over the last 20 years. we're seeing it in terms of the number of sites that are dedicated to the heroes and cause of the civil rights movement. we're seeing it more in naming, naming streets. i mean, i think the battle for martin luther king in both the day and street naming was incredibly important in terms of setting precedence in the united states. now many names and many buildings and a number of institutions, so it has started but i don't think it's gone far enough. so i think my hope is that that will continue long into the future to recognize and more representation of who contributed to the building of the united states. well, thank you all. it's been a pleasure. thank you very much.
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>> all right, i just have a few closing thoughts. i'm just full of gratitude. i'm full of gratitude to my fellow committee members, shelby hypes and meredith george and beth bearinger and my colleague, and i'm in awe of my wonderful colleagues. and drew darian and brad austin, till here. chad baker, and all the brilliant centers. i'm full of gratitude to all of you. i think that this spirit and the energy and the curiosity and the concern and the reflection was very evident throughout this day. i think it was a wonderful day for all of us. and a nice respectful day to pay
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tribute to the victims of 1692. and i also want to look for -- i want to go forward because you're always supposed to end with a going forward. we do have an event scheduled and sponsored by salem state in collaboration with salem maritime national park. at their visitors center on july 20th. the whole proctors ledge group, gang, what do you call them? >> team. >> team, thank you. at the end of the day, will be there. it will be a forum about the whole process of discovery and commemoration. that will be a nice corollary to this event. also, let me tell you about tomorrow's salem awards event. six word memoir event to mark their 25th anniversary on charter street from 12:00 to 3:00. okay. so a lot to think about. and i look forward to seeing you
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all at future events, and thank you for coming. [ applause ] today, a look at violence in latin america and the potential threat of terrorism. live coverage at noon eastern. >> and on c-span3, a discussion on whether public employees should pay dues to labor unions even if they don't want to join the union. live coverage at noon eastern. coming up this weekend on american history tv on c-span3, saturday at 10:00 p.m. eastern on reel america, the 1947 u.s. war department film, don't be a sucker, about hate-filled speech. >> i'm just an average american. and i'm an american american.
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and some of the things i see in this country of ours makes my blood boil. i see people with foreign accents, making all the money. i see negroes holding jobs that belong to me and you. i ask you, if we allow this thing to go on, what's going to become of our real americans? >> on sunday at 6:00 p.m. eastern on american artifacts, we'll tour the presidential vehicles collection at the henry ford museum in dearborn, michigan. then at 8:00 p.m. eastern on the presidency, herbert hoover scholar george nash talked about the relationship between the 31st president and calvin coolidge. >> just four days before the election, coolidge, ever the party regular, finally gave hoover an extraordinarily effusive public endorsement, in a prearranged telegram that invoked sensational newspaper headlines. hoover, he declared, had shown his fitness to become president.
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hoover, said coolidge, was able, experienced, trustworthy, and safe. >> american history tv, all weekend every weekend, only on c-span3. >> next, author and salem state university professor emerson baker with an in depth look into the history of salem. he explores how it went from a simple town in massachusetts to a tourist attraction. the presentation was part of an all-day symposium held at salem state university. >> good morning, everybody. lovely to see you all today on this day, this reverent day. my name is donna seger. i'm chair of the history department here at salem state university. i thank you all for coming today. we're all here, obviously, because of bridget bishop and herat


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