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Re: “Letter: Change Albany’s streets named for presidents” (Letters to the editor, Opinion section, June 24)

Letter-writer Margaret McGarrahan insists that 12 street names should be changed because those presidents owned slaves, but her facts are incomplete.

Martin Van Buren, a New Yorker, helped found the Free Soil Party, opposed the Mexican War and supported banning slavery in the West.

During the Civil War, he supported Lincoln’s policies.

Ulysses S. Grant did own a slave, but Grant’s later actions eclipse this episode: He won the Civil War, defeated the Ku Klux Klan, and presided over the greatest expansion of Black liberty until the 1960s.Related Articles

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If the Supreme Court had not overturned the Civil Rights Act of 1875, which Grant signed, this country might not have needed a Civil Rights Movement. Let’s acknowledge our nation’s past accomplishments; how else can we have hope for the future?

Robbie See
Teacher, Mendenhall Middle School, Livermore

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Former NFL Star Burgess Owens Wins Utah Congressional Primary

Former NFL player Burgess Owens won Utah’s Republican primary Tuesday for the U.S. House of Representatives.

Owens, who played safety in the NFL from 1973-1982 for the New York Jets and the Oakland Raiders, won the primary in Utah’s 4th Congressional district, the Associated Press reported. Owens received 43.5 percent of the vote, beating his opponent Kim Coleman by nearly 20 percent.

Former NFL player Burgess Owens testifies during a hearing on slavery reparations held by the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties on June 19, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

“I am so grateful for all the support we’ve received. Friends from across the country, countless hours from volunteers have united behind our message of the American Dream. We are feeling good about the results we’ve seen so far, thank you for your support everyone!,” Owens tweeted before the race was officially called. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Burgess Owens Says He Boycotted NFL Over Kaepernick, Anthem Protests)

Recently, Owens has been vocal on former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and other players who have decided to kneel during the National Anthem. Owens is also a supporter of President Donald Trump.

Owens will now be taking on Democratic Rep. Ben McAdams in November.

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