150 years ago, the man and the moment met

150 years ago, as of February 10th, Jefferson Davis was elected to be the first, and as it turned out, the only President of the Confederate Sates of America

MONTGOMERY, Alabama — Today marks the anniversary of the election of Jefferson Davis as provisional president of the Confederate States of America at a congress held in Montgomery.

Davis was later inaugurated on Feb. 18, a date that will soon be celebrated by the Sons of Confederate Veterans on Feb. 19 with their Confederate Heritage Rally 2011 at the Alabama State Capitol at noon.

The event plans to commemorate the founding of the CSA, the inauguration of Davis and the raising of the first Confederate Flag and will involve re-enactments, cannon fire and speeches.

Newspapers throughout the state and country are taking a look back into the history of the Confederacy, some offering a simple glimpse into the past while others question whether or not the anniversary should be celebrated at all.

The Montgomery Advertiser talks to residents of the “birthplace of the Confederacy,” finding disagreements on what caused the Civil War and whether it is an event worthy of honor or shame. Some residents believe it is a part of United States history no matter what while others do not see any reason to celebrate it at all.

Washington Post columnist Dennis Frye peeks into how Davis personified the American leader of the mid-19th century, saying the seceded states needed his experience as a politician and president. But Frye concludes Davis ultimately couldn’t control the advocates of states rights in his own confederacy of states.

New York Times columnist Adam Goodheart recounts in detail when Davis left the U.S. Senate to secede from the Union, depicting how one Southern senator after another rose to declaim his valedictory address. Goodheart illustrates how an ill Davis explained why his state seceded.