Thursday, March 6, 2014

Dred Scott Decision


Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) Chief Justice Roger B. Taney announced 157 years ago today, March 6, 1857, the majority decision of the United States Supreme Court in the case of Dred Scott v Sandford.

Dred Scott, a slave who had been taken into the free state of Illinois and the free territory of Wisconsin, was denied his freedom by the high court's ruling.

The Court upheld the right of slave owners to take their slaves into the western territories and in doing so nullified the popular sovereignty ruling in the Missouri Compromise of 1850.

Taney wrote that Scott was not a citizen of the United States under the Constitution and therefore was the property of his master.

The decision met with opposition in the North and support in the South.

Dred Scott


San Antonio, Texas (JFK+50) At 5:30 a.m. this morning, 178 years ago, March 6, 1836, Mexican troops under General Santa Anna stormed the walls of the Alamo compound near San Antonio de Bexar.

The Alamo was defended by less than 200 Texan rebels led by Col. William B. Travis, Jim Bowie and Davy Crockett.

This was the 13th day of a siege that began in late February.  

With shouts of "Viva Santa Anna" and music from buglers, the Alamo's walls were penetrated by Mexican troops.

All Texans were "put to the sword."  Santa Anna's army then marched northward.

"Remember the Alamo" would become the battle cry of Sam Houston's Texas army which would later defeat Santa Anna at San Jacinto and win the independence of Texas.

"In the southern part of Texas, near the town of San Antone,
Like a statue on his Pinto rides a cowboy all alone.
And he sees the cattle grazin' where a century before,
Santa Anna's guns were blazin' & the cannons used 
to roar.

And his eyes turn sort of misty, and his heart begins to glow,
And he takes his hat off slowly to the men of Alamo.
To the 13 days of glory at the seige of Alamo." 

From "The Ballad of the Alamo" by Marty Robbins

The Alamo, San Antonio de Bexar, 1836