NY Post on "Birth of a Nation" (1915)(1937)

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Mon Jan 24 02:51:11 UTC 2005

Arthur S. Link, editor
Volume 32
January 1-April 16, 1915
Princeton University Press
Princeton, New Jersey

Pg. 267 (Footnotes):
1 Dixon (Thomas Dixon Jr.--ed.) and a projection crew showed "The Birth of a Nation" for Wilson and his family and wives of cabinet members in the East Room of the White House on the evening of February 18. There is a tradition, repeated, for example, in Raymond A. Cook, _Fire from the Flint: The Amazing Careers of Thomas Dixon_ (Winston-Salem, N. C. 1968), p. 170, that WIlson, after the showing, said to Dixon: "It is like writing history with lightning. And my only regret is that it is all so terribly true." This quotation first appears (without attribution) in all known sources and literature in Milton MacKaye, "The Birth of a Nation," _Scribner's Magazine_, CII (Nov. 1937), 69. Dixon did not use the quotation in his memoirs, "Southern Horizons" (composition date unknown).

Marjorie Brown King, the only survivor among the persons at the showing in the East Room, told the Editor on June 23, 1977, that Wilson seemed lost in thought during the showing, and that he walked out of the room without saying a word when the movie was over.

(Maybe I'll check the BIRTH OF A NATION file in the NYPL Lincoln Center library on Tuesday. Right after I solve the origin of "movies"--ed.)

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