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In his Awards Banquet address at the 2011 Annual Meeting, Ed Ayers discusses the subject of memory by recounting his experience with the sesquicentennial anniversary of the Civil War.

He speaks of the hurtful emotions that can be conjured up by these types of anniversaries that are charged with our country’s painful past, and challenges the audience to think of America on the eve of the Civil War and the change that occurred the day after.

He also emphasizes that it is also the anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, and to remember the Civil War as a catalyst to this important event.

AASLH makes available for download a selection of sessions from past annual meetings. Please note that these are raw audio files and have not been edited.