links for 2011-06-12

  • "'It is very meaningful that valuable cultural assets of our nation and the world forcefully taken away 145 years ago in 1866 have been returned to us today through peaceful negotiation,' South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, dressed in traditional Korean clothing, told dignitaries.

    "The books, which number 297 in total, detail protocol for royal funerals, weddings and other ceremonies during the dynasty, which ruled the Korean peninsula from 1392 to 1910.

    "French troops raided a royal library on an island off the west coast of the Korean peninsula and took away hundreds of manuscripts. They burned 5,000 more."
    France agreed last year to allow the books to return to South Korea on a renewable lease basis, the culmination of about 20 years of negotiations.

  • "Max Perry Mueller, who is writing a dissertation at Harvard on African-Americans and the Mormon church, and who attended the Genesis Group picnic last year, says that the church has 'made a very sincere effort' to welcome blacks, but that so far few American-born blacks have joined the church. Mr. Mueller also said that 'the idea that Mormons' were until recently 'exceptionally exclusionary or racist is probably unfair.' While no other large, predominantly white church barred blacks from the clergy in the 1970s, none was particularly integrated or had notable black leaders, either."
  • "Like the inscription, the contraband story has been understated in recent years, according to the Hampton-based Contraband Historical Society. Last month the society held a celebration at Ft. Monroe marking the 150th anniversary of the contraband decision, which was a milestone in the dismantling of slavery in the United States."