Great Moments in American History:
1. In 1803, U.S. President Thomas Jefferson executed the Louisiana Purchase for $15 million. Alexander Hamilton and other critics argued it was unconstitutional. History now regards the deal as “brilliant.”
2. In 1867, U.S. Secretary of State William Seward negotiated the acquisition of Alaska. Critics of the deal called it “Seward’s Folly.” Criticism stopped in 1896 when gold was discovered in the Klondike. History now regards that deal as “brilliant.”
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3. In 2019, the State of Montana has a brief window of opportunity to purchase the Capital Hill Mall site in Helena as the ideal location for the proposed Montana History Museum. Critics argue that changing to the better site would cost more and be more complicated. Proponents state the better site is worth the additional cost and complication of changing plans. If the state chooses to secure the Capital Hill Mall site, 100 years from now history may very well regard the decision as “brilliant.”