Good morning, it’s Tuesday, May 11, 2021. On this date in 1858, Minnesota was admitted to the Union as the 32nd state. With the possible exception of Massachusetts, the “Land of 10,000 Lakes” was the most anti-slavery state in America.
In those days Minnesota was also known as “Star of the North,” which it lived up to as soon as the Civil War began. The state's governor, Alexander Ramsey, was in Washington when Fort Sumter was bombarded in April 1861 and was among the first to answer President Lincoln’s call for 75,000 federal troops. Ramsey promised 10,000 from Minnesota alone, but the state actually produced 22,000 volunteers that first year.
The First Minnesota Infantry Regiment fought bravely from Manassas to Antietam and is credited with holding the Union position on Cemetery Ridge during the crucial second day of the Battle of Gettysburg. Crossing 200 yards of open field against a larger rebel force, the First Minnesota suffered 170 dead or wounded out of a force of some 300 men before staggering back to their lines. But that line held.
Many members of the First Minnesota, such as Charles C. Parker, served for the entire war. As late as the 1920s, President Calvin Coolidge referred to the volunteers in the regiment as the Union’s “saviors.”
Its survivors held reunions until 1932, and its last remaining members, Edwin Season and James Wright, lived until 1936, two years before Franklin Roosevelt celebrated the 75th anniversary of Gettysburg in a ceremony intended as a day of unity. As the summer of 2020 proved, we are still struggling in this country with the healing part, even in the great state of Minnesota. And with that, I’d point you to RCP’s front page, which presents our poll averages, videos, breaking news stories, and aggregated opinion pieces spanning the political spectrum. We also offer original material from our own reporters, columnists, and contributors:
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New Day, Same Message: Biden Again Downplays Jobs Report. Phil Wegmann has the story.
Sohrab Ahmari Is Wrong to Praise China. Jason Garshfield finds fault with conservatives who maintain that China can teach the United States how to run an orderly and morally upright society.
Biden Must Reverse Course on Iran. Sen. Bill Hagerty and H.R. McMaster warn that the new administration is ignoring evidence that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard is calling the shots in Iran, making an enforceable nuclear deal all but impossible.
Yes, Care Is Infrastructure. At RealClearPolicy, Tracy Levy and Elizabeth Palley argue that, like bridges and roads, robust care networks are critical in connecting people to economic opportunities.
Republicans Should Embrace the SECURE Act. At RealClearWorld, J.P. Carroll explains that the bill would give clarity and peace of mind to immigrants with temporary protected status, whose lives in the United States are now in limbo.
Electric Vehicles and Paying for Our Highways. In RealClearEnergy, Geoffrey Pohanka points out that EVs don’t contribute to the Highway Trust Fund, which receives monies from the federal tax on gasoline and diesel.
Guilt by Association at Syracuse. At RealClearEducation, John Hirschauer reports on a lawsuit filed by members of a now-dissolved fraternity who accuse the school of censuring them for engaging in constitutionally protected speech.
Four Incredible Dinosaur “Graveyards.” RealClearScience editor Ross Pomeroy highlights locations -- including two in North America -- where a concentration of fossils have been found.
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Carl M. Cannon
Washington Bureau chief, RealClearPolitics