Courtney: Spielberg puts Connecticut on 'wrong side of history'

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Courtney says he was on the edge of his seat during the final scenes of the Academy Award-nominated flick, during the roll call vote on the ratification of the 13th Amendment outlawing slavery. “But when two of three members of the Nutmeg State’s House delegation voted to uphold slavery, I could not believe my own eyes and ears,” he writes.

“How could Congressmen from Connecticut — a state that supported President Lincoln and lost thousands of her sons fighting against slavery on the Union side of the Civil War — have been on the wrong side of history?”

Courtney did a bit of digging, and says he found after a check of the 1865 Congressional Record that Connecticut’s entire delegation all voted to abolish slavery.

Citing the Spielberg-directed classics “E.T.” and “Gremlins,” the congressman notes “suspending disbelief is part of the cinematic experience and is critical to enjoying the film. But in a movie based on significant real-life events — particularly a movie about a seminal moment in American history so closely associated with Doris Kearns Goodwin and her book Team of Rivals — accuracy is paramount.”

Courtney writes that “placing the State of Connecticut on the wrong side of the historic and divisive fight over slavery is a distortion of easily verifiable facts and an inaccuracy that should be acknowledged, and if possible, corrected before ‘Lincoln’ is released on DVD.”

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