I remember the family trip through the South in 1961, especially the stop we made in downtown Jackson, Mississippi. When my little brother and I took a drink from a water fountain, the Northern boy I was couldn't make sense of the sign posted above it: White Only. After we took our drinks, I knew my father was upset, that something had happened. Children are adept at picking up such things. We three got back into the car where my mother was waiting, and I remember what my father said to her: "Did you see that, Patty?"
What my father had seen to upset him so, was a black lady step off the sidewalk and stand in the street to allow two white women to walk by.
I've made a life-long study of the American Civil War, and though the war ended in 1865, on that day in Jackson, Mississippi a battle in that great war for freedom and equality was lost. All of us must understand that the Civil War continues to this day, and that while the guns have fallen silent, epic battles are still being fought in the name of freedom and equality. Recently, in Arizona, when Governor Jan Brewer vetoed a bill that would have made it legal for business owners to deny service to LGBTQ customers, another victory was won in our great Civil War.