The American Civil War was a dark chapter in America's history. Yet it did produce those who merited respect and honor. David O. Dodd was one such individual, though only a boy. He refused to betray his native Arkansas, and as a consequence was hanged as a spy by Union forces.

One hundred and fifty years ago, on September 30, 1862, Bismarck defended big military expenditures and military aggression in defense of statecraft. The result has not been good.

Fifty years ago, Rachel Carson published her book Silent Spring. The politically correct pseudo-science therein was largely responsible for the banning of DDT in much of the world, resulting in perhaps hundreds of millions of deaths.

September 19, 2012 marked the 216th anniversary of George Washington’s Farewell Address. Deservedly so, this speech has become renowned for its prose and principles — including national unity, tolerance of political differences, and neutrality in the endless foreign conflicts. To avoid the plague of perpetual war, Washington warns against “foreign alliances, attachments, and intrigues.” Sadly, our modern proclivity is to surrender sovereignty to international bodies whose members are not elected and thus not accountable to the American people, and to send monetary and military support to “freedom fighters” in the Middle East.

Seventy-five years ago, on September 21, 1937, the world received The Hobbit or There and Back Again, a strong and sweet message from one of the greatest Christian apologists in modern history, J.R.R. Tolkien. Much of the reason for the book's success is obvious: Tolkien was a fabulous writer; he was describing a mystical, but earthy world which preceded the rise of man; and the characters were drawn with a master’s touch of personality. The Hobbit has lost none of its allure over the last 75 years and it has been continuously in print since then.

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