Q: Is Western Kentucky University offering free tuition to black students because of slavery?
A: No. The school does not plan to adopt a resolution passed by the Student Government Association demanding “full and free access” for black students.
Newt Gingrich wrongly claimed the Dred Scott decision “ruled that slavery extended to the whole country.” It did not. The ruling stated that Congress had no authority to ban slavery in new territories, but it stopped short of applying the ruling to all states. Gingrich also claimed that President Lincoln “explicitly instructed his administration to not enforce Dred Scott.” But the research historian at the Lincoln presidential library knows of no such directive or any reason to issue one.
Q: Would a bill in Congress require looking into possible reparations for slavery?
A: Such a bill exists but President Obama has nothing to do with it, contrary to what a chain e-mail implies.
Q: Who was the last U.S. president to own slaves?
A: Zachary Taylor owned slaves while in office. U.S. Grant owned a slave he freed in 1859, long before becoming president.