Discounting History: Wal-Mart Declares War on U.S. History

200px-robert_edward_lee225px-new_walmart_logosvg225px-ulysses_grant_1870-1880Wal-Mart Corporation already has a dark reputation for its treatment of employees, wiping out of small local businesses, and thuggish litigation practices. Now, it has decided to go to war with historians in trying to force through a huge store in the middle of one of the most important historical areas from the Civil War — the Wilderness Battlefield. As in other such cases, it has convinced local businesses to accept a Faustian bargain of the promise of taxes and jobs in return for destroying the unique character of the area.

Locust Grove, Virginia holds great meaning for historical and Civil War buffs. It is the area where Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant first fought. Wal-Mart, however, believes that it is much better suited for another big box store. Virtually every leading historian, including filmmaker Ken Burns and Pulitzer Prize winner David McCullough, have written to H. Lee Scott, president and CEO of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., to build further away from the Wilderness Battlefield. In a letter with 253 leading scholars and writers, they argue that “The Wilderness is an indelible part of our history, its very ground hallowed by the American blood spilled there, and it cannot be moved.”

As in past such cases, the company enlisted locals who are willing to trash their own history and culture for the lure of jobs and taxes — ignoring the negative impact of these stores on local businesses. They found a willing ally in R. Mark Johnson, a tire shop owner and chairman of the county’s board of supervisors “In these economic times, the fact that Wal-Mart wants to come into the county is an economic plus. This is hardly pristine wilderness we’re talking about.” It also happens to be an area where more than 100,000 Union troops battled 61,000 Confederate troops on May 4, 1864 — leaving 4,000 dead and 20,000 wounded. It wasn’t a particularly “pristine” sight.

The Wal-Mart effort is reminiscent of Disney’s effort to build a huge Heritage Amusement Park despite objections from historians and preservationists. As with Wal-Mart, Disney and CEO Michael Eisner lured local businesses to call for the development, which would have destroyed one of the most beautiful and unique areas of Virginia. This included an attraction where people could “feel like slaves” by picking cotton under the eye of white bosses. After a long and intense fight, Disney abandoned the plan.

Hearings are scheduled for February and March.

For the full story, click here.

20 thoughts on “Discounting History: Wal-Mart Declares War on U.S. History”

  1. i dont like buy things made from in china “cheap piece of junk china things” psssssssssssssssssssssf!!!!!!!!!!! i am look perfer usa made and best even made in usa nbrs 1 # usa beat china out !!!!!i went to wal mart i only look for usa made not china or asia . what’s big a lousy china ? cause of bad things !

  2. wal mart is really big duh and laughing hurt civils war battle war history,,,,, motherbeep at wal mart !!!!! wal mart think so smartass!

  3. Brandon

    The links below lead to an official *CBS* (not Muslim TV) video with answers of the Gaza’s civilian carnage given by a *Norwegian* doctor. On child had legs and arms amputated.

    My argument with brandon regarding whether or not the Israelis targeted civilian *markets* is confirmed by the Norwegian doctor in his CBS video statement:

    “A little bit more than an hour ago, the Israelis bombed the Central Cruise *Market* in Gaza City…”

    “Norwegian doctor Mads Gilbert is working alongside Palestinian surgeons in Gaza’s largest hospital, in Shifa. In a telephone interview yesterday, he recounted the harrowing conditions and said anyone trying to depict this as a “clean war,” was simply “a liar”.

  4. brandon,

    As I assumed, you have no evidence whatsoever, credible or otherwise.

    Brandon does not sound like a Muslim name from Gaza so I doubt that you know anything about when the markets are open or closed because, even in war, people must eat and in that region they must go to outdoor markets for food.

    Your market, Wal-Mart, is not in Gaza yet.

  5. Former Federal LEO,

    re; The video you posted supposedly representing the effects of Israel bombing a market square with civilians injured and killed.

    Gaza has been shut down for days, THERE ARE NO STREET MARKETS OPERATING!

    I get really dismayed by how the godless left keep posting the terrorists propaganda films on the internet or linking to them.

    Get a CLUE LEO: this was a suicide bombing and those people dead and injured in the video were killed YEARS ago by Islamic terrorists.

  6. Somebody doesn’t want us to talk about WalMart, so it gives me even greater pleasure to talk about Wal-Mart. This is from Citizens for Tax Justice:

    New [2007]research conducted in part by a leading non-partisan, non-profit tax organization reveals that Wal-Mart avoided $2.3 billion in
    state income taxes, cutting its payment to state governments almost in half between 1999 and 2005:

    • Over those seven years, Wal-Mart reported $77.4 billion in pretax U.S. profits to its
    shareholders. But it reported a total state income tax bill of only $2.4 billion, just 3.16% of those profits.1
    • Had Wal-Mart paid taxes at the statutory state corporate tax rates for the same period, it would have paid $4.7 billion in state income taxes.
    In Wisconsin WalMart doesn’t provide health insurance for most of its employees. Those employees are also low income thanks to Walmart’s low wage, so they have their healthcare paid for by the taxpayers of this state in the form of the Badger Care program.

    This wealthy corporation, with it’s massive profits, will not pay a wage that will provide it’s workers with the basics. If people are being convinced that WalMart will stimulate any local economy, that might mean the opposition isn’t really trying very hard.

  7. brandon,

    Please provide your evidence that this happened years ago. I do not expect a cogent reply from you, but I will check back.

    This video was removed from YouTube soon after it was “first” posted today, January 03, 2009.

    Thank you


    Jeeze, I just hate to bust your bubble – but that video that you posted from, ahem, muslimtv, was the aftermath of a suicide bomber in a market from years ago. I might also point out to you – Israel doesn’t have suicide bombers – so you are looking at a picture of what a terrorists did to civilians and believing it when they tell you it was Israelis.

    Sometimes you just have to take what the enemy shows you with a grain of salt….most survivers of terrorism understand that.

  9. Former Fed,
    Michelle isn’t interested in reality. She is only interested in pushing the latest right wing lie that is also being pushed by Fox News and the Rush monster.

  10. To michele’ “the REAL NEWS!”


    The following “real news” video shows the mangled bodies of children and other civilians in a Gaza market that the Israelis just bombed.

    One scene illustrates a man showing a young boy how to hold gauze against another person’s body to help stem the bleeding. Another shows a man whose leg(s) were blown off and it looks like a makeshift belt tourniquet was used.

    This is very hard to watch, and although I am a tough man who has seen a lot, this video left me with moist eyes and a growing disdain for Israel and our government for sending ‘our’ 3 billion dollars a year to Israel for “defense” spending for use such as this. Of course, bush blames the people of Gaza!

    Please “force” yourself to watch the full 9 minutes of the chaos of people trying to save lives and also the dead bodies being covered up. You will not see this on any MSM News channel

    Copy/Paste this link to your browser (abbreviated to avoid the spam filter) :

  11. In one county here in Indiana, there are more than NINE Wal-marts! That is nine too many, in my opinion. I hate Wal-mart and I don’t shop there.

    I shop at a little locally owned grocery store/butcher shop. I’ll pay more for my goods to keep local, small town businesses open. Not to mention, I always get a higher quality of goods and service at the “little” store.

  12. Mespo,
    That was a great song. It brought back alot of memories for me and its application here is excellent. Wal-Mart is not only harming US workers, it is probably doing the same to Chinese workers who are producing the vast majority of Wal-Marts goods. I am old enough to remember when Wal-Mart used to advertise that it was the best place to shop for American made products. And now they are not only selling Chinese products, they are trying to destroy US history through the destruction of Civil War sites in order to “put up a parking lot”!

  13. Michelle,
    I guess thrift is more important to you than patriotism. Wal-Mart is China’s major customer. Besides treating its workers badly it has weakened our country and help destroy its industrial base. Go on though, keep shopping there since obviously your need for bargains outstrips you caring for this country.

  14. We had a similar situation here. Local luminaries (not of low income origin, most developers aren’t) decided we desperately “needed” another set of mall stores which could only be located on the Fallen Timbers battlefield. Up it went, a set for a horror film. It’s one of those village of the damned recreations of a time in history that never was. Not only are the faux facades ridiculous looking but I’d swear that place is haunted! It is creepy, on every level.

    I can’t believe there is no other place for Walmart to build. Walmart has been shown to be a net drain on the economy of places that take them in. This is truly CEO, “let’s make the quarterly numbers look good so I can get my bonus” thinking at its worse.

  15. “They paved paradise
    And put up a parking lot
    With a pink hotel, a boutique
    And a swinging hot SPOT
    Don’t it always seem to go
    That you don’t know what you’ve got
    ‘Til it’s gone….”

    –Joni Mitchell

  16. Michele,
    You are one of history revisionists that Wal-Mart would love to have on their side. It is a shame what Wal-Mart does to its own employees and to small businesses in the areas it moves into. Maybe you should read a little history of the benefits that Wal-Mart does not provide for its full time employees. I personally refuse to shop at Wal-Mart because of their abusive practices with its employees. The fact that they are also willing to carve a piece of our history and throw it away, is just another example of why Wal-Mart deserves its horrendous reputation.

  17. “We Lived to Tell the Story: Lebanon Rescued Us: Cynthia McKinney”

    My personal, and I know the group’s, thanks must go to Al Jazeera, that allowed three of their reporters to be onboard with us on our voyage. As a result, Al Jazeera carried the story of the Dignity live, from castoff in Cyprus when our spirits were high, right up through the manacing maneuvers of the huge, super fast Israeli ships before they rammed us, ………… Al Jazeera carried our story as “breaking news” and performed a real service to its audience and to us.
    What a total farce! McKinney had THREE Al Jazeera “reporters” on the vessel when they tried to run the Israeli blockaide! Unbelievable that Mr. Turley would put this on his blog without the little details like Al Jazeera being the ones doing the reporting of the incident along with the likes of Cynthia McKinney! This is an insult to every Israeli alive & dead!

  18. A similar thing happened in Boston. However, the low income folks are the ones who wanted Wal-Mart both for low priced goods and jobs. Wal-Mart ultimately moved out West to Natick, MA. They treated employees far better than the pizza joints, landscaping, and construction employers did. Wal-Mart is even more relevant now that everyone is tightening their belts. Last I checked, Wal-Mart is the only one hiring consistently these days and making an effort to preserve a standard of living. I’m sure VA and Wal-Mart will work out a solution as they did in MA. One thing I know for sure is that that the Natick Wal-Mart was the busiest store in Eastern MA. Free people chose Wal-Mart.

  19. the REAL NEWS!

    Israel Fears Obama Undercutting It’s Security.

    AS WORLD leaders and international organizations rush to rescue Hamas, Israel faces complex bat tlefield challenges – while fearing a stab in the back from the incoming Obama administration.

    Israel’s leaders are asking themselves two questions: Is the cost of sending sufficient ground forces into Gaza just too high? And, upon his inauguration on Jan. 20, will President Obama undercut Israel’s counterterror offensive before its goals have been reached?

  20. By all means, lets stop Walmart from building anywhere & everywhere.

    America deserves to be punished in the form of higher prices and longer distances to travel for their goods.

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