Photo Of The Day: Stone Mountain Park, The Mount Rushmore Of The South, Sparks Controversy

Confederate Stone Mountain

Image Source: Wikipedia

Georgia’s Stone Mountain Park was once the site of the founding of the second Ku Klux Klan (in 1915) and is now home to the controversial rock relief depicting three Confederate leaders: Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson. The massive Mount Rushmore-style tribute is known to have attracted white supremacists across the nation, while sparking rage among many who believe the park should be a memorial to the Civil War, not just the Confederacy.

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Einstein, Chopin, The Dalai Lama And More: Seven Refugees Who Changed The World

Recent events have many parts of the world clamping down on admitting refugees. These historically important refugees show why that’s a mistake.

Famous Refugees Lede

All of the above, at one point in their lives, were refugees.

Recent world events have seen millions fleeing terrible circumstances in search of safe places to live. The ongoing influx of Syrian and Iraqi refugees abandoning conflict-stricken zones is just one recent example: Humanity, sadly, has a long history of creating refugees.

Some people have tried to keep these individuals out of their countries, or suggested that such an arrival is unprecedented, but again, history would suggest that such stances are both misguided and empirically false. Indeed, many refugees past have gone on to make history themselves, radically improving the world in which we all live. The following are seven historical, hugely important refugees whose contributions continue to impact our world even today:

The Strange Life (And Even Stranger Death) Of Edgar Allan Poe

January 19th marks the 207th birthday of one of the most recognized names in the history of American literature. His name is synonymous with dark poetry and tales of murder and suspense, but many elements of his own life contain their fair share of mystery and surprise, as these intriguing Edgar Allan Poe facts show:

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Edgar Allan Poe Facts King Lear

Wikimedia CommonsIt is quite possible that Edgar Allan Poe is named for the character Edgar in William Shakespeare’s "King Lear" (depicted above). Poe’s parents were both actors and were in a production of "King Lear" shortly before his birth.

Edgar Allan Poe Facts Portrait

WikipediaPoe’s middle name, Allan, was not given to him by his biological parents, but instead came from John and Frances Allan – who took him in at the age of two after his father abandoned him and his mother died.

Portrait

Wikimedia CommonsPoe joined the United States army in 1827 under the false identity of Edgar A. Perry. He claimed to be 22, even though he was just 18 at the time. He did this in order to prevent his foster father from locating him; they never got along with each other, and Poe was looking to escape their troubled relationship. He ended up disclosing the identity lie, and was honorably discharged. Above is an excerpt from the court proceedings which led to Poe's honorable discharge.

Edgar Allan Poe Facts Virginia

WikipediaIn 1836, Edgar Allan Poe married his 13 year-old first cousin Virginia, depicted above. The marriage certificate falsely lists her age as 21.

Edgar Allan Poe Facts Tamerlane

WikipediaOne of only 12 existing copies of Poe’s first published work, 1827’s "Tamerlane and Other Poems" (above) sold at a 2009 auction for $662,500 — a record for a piece of American Literature.

Edgar Allan Poe Facts Raven

Wikipedia"Tamerlane and Other Poems" doesn’t even carry Poe’s name; instead it is credited to “A Bostonian,” which was another attempt to prevent his foster father from ascertaining Poe's whereabouts.

Edgar Allan Poe Facts Original Ultima Thule Copy

WikipediaEdgar Allan Poe’s most famous work, "The Raven," was not quite the money-maker you might expect. The magazine American Review paid the author $9 for the rights to print what would become one of the most recognized poems of all time.

Edgar Allan Poe Facts Rue Morgue

Wikimedia CommonsHis 1841 story depicted above, "Murders in the Rue Morgue," is credited with creating the modern detective story. The lead character Mr. Dupin was the inspiration for many literary detectives to follow, including Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot.

Edgar Allan Poe Facts Polling

WikipediaIn the days before his death, Poe was found at a tavern, Ryan’s Fourth Ward Polls, on the day of a Baltimore city election. The writer was incoherent, “in great distress” and wearing the clothes of another man. These facts lead many to believe Poe had been a victim of cooping (depicted above), a common practice of the time where unwilling people were taken from the streets, intoxicated or drugged, then taken from one polling location to another to manipulate the vote for a certain candidate. The writer was taken to Washington Medical College where he would die four days later.

Edgar Allan Poe Facts Plaque

WikipediaThere are many theories as to the true cause of Edgar Allan Poe’s death, but no one really knows the circumstances of the poet’s demise. All medical records and even Poe's death certificate have been lost to time.

Edgar Allan Poe Facts Griswold

Wikimedia CommonsEdgar Allan Poe’s obituary was written by his professional and personal rival, Rufus Wilmot Griswold (above). Griswold wrote a scathing and libelous account of the deceased poet’s life, signing it with the name “Ludwig” in an attempt to conceal his identity.

Edgar Allan Poe Facts Original Headstone

Wikimedia CommonsPoe’s body was moved 26 years after his death. Originally buried in an unmarked grave at his grandfather’s family plot, his body was then moved to a coveted spot at the Westminster Burying Grounds in Baltimore. The first burial plot now contains a marker to identify where the author once rested.

Edgar Allan Poe Facts Grave

WikipediaWhile moving his body to its new resting place, Poe’s coffin broke apart, exposing the writer’s remains to those in attendance. Pieces of the coffin became prized collector’s items.

Virginia_Poe

WikipediaNearly 40 years after his death, the remains of Edgar Allan Poe’s wife Virginia (above) finally made their way to be interned beside her husband. It was a strange journey: one of the writer’s biographers, William Gill, had acquired her bones and kept them under his bed in a box for a number of years before eventually sending them to Baltimore to be buried next to her husband.

The Ravens

Established in 1996, the Baltimore Ravens of the National Football League took their name as a tribute to Edgar Allan Poe — who lived and died in Baltimore in 1849.

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Enjoy these strange facts about Edgar Allan Poe? Check out our other posts on amazing facts and surprisingly dark John Lennon quotes!

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