“Seward’s Folly”

March 30: Important Date In History In Many Ways, Including A Personal One!

Today, March 30, is a very significant date in American history.

It is the day in 1981 that President Ronald Reagan was seriously wounded in an assassination attempt, but survived, recovered, and went on to serve two full terms as the 40th President.

It is also the day in 1867 when Secretary of State William Seward signed the treaty arranging for the purchase of Alaska from Czarist Russia for $7.2 million, becoming infamously known as “Seward’s Folly”, It was fortunate that the United States bought Alaska, because if it had remained Russian, imagine the security problems for Canada and the United States during the Cold War years with the Soviet Union!

And it was the day in 1870 that the 15th Amendment, granting African American men the right to vote, was finally ratified and added to the Constitution. Sadly, the South would soon disobey the amendment, and successfully take away the right to vote until the passage of the Voting Rights Act under President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1965, guaranteeing federal intervention to insure everyone’s right to vote. Now the Republican Party in many states, including, most grievously the state of Florida under Governor Rick Scott and a dominant state legislature, is making it more difficult for people to register and vote, particularly the elderly, the poor, college students, and the poor.

And, in the mind of this author, March 30 is MOST significant because in 1984, his younger son Paul was born, and has brought joy and pride to his father and brother and uncle now for 28 years!