Category Archives: Founding Fathers

Happy Independence Day!

Here is Elvis’ goosebump-inducing and totally sincere version of “America the Beautiful.” Bring us there, Elvis. Walk us through it. He sounds like an old-timey preacher in a tent in a field. Gonna take a run and go visit my … Continue reading

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The Books: Arguably, ‘Benjamin Franklin: Free and Easy’, by Christopher Hitchens

On the essays shelf: Arguably: Essays by Christopher Hitchens My grandmother had a big illustrated copy of Poor Richard’s Almanac, which I had pretty much memorized by the time I was 6 years old. The illustrations were goofy and elaborate, … Continue reading

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Today In History: April 18-19, 1775: “I Set Off Upon a Very Good Horse”

On the night of April 18, into April 19, in 1775, Paul Revere made his famous ride. The spring of 1775 was a tense time. Prominent Bostonians were under constant threat of arrest from the British, and many of them … Continue reading

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On This Day: December 16, 1773: “This Destruction of the Tea is so bold, so daring, so firm, intrepid, and inflexible, and it must have important Consequences, and so lasting, that I can’t but consider it as an Epocha in History.” – John Adams

On November 28, 1773, the Dartmouth sailed into port in Boston. It was full of tea. There had already been trouble in Philadelphia when the ship had tried to unload its cargo. A ship had been blown away from the … Continue reading

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On This Day: November 25, 1783

George Washington “took back” New York from the British. The peace treaty had been signed a year before, France had pledged support and recognition of the new United States, but the redcoats remained in New York, waiting for their written … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday, John Adams

I’ve written more about him than anyone else. Even Cary Grant or Elvis. I grew up hearing about “John and Abigail” with such familiarity (and I had cousins who lived in Quincy, and when we would go there for Thanksgiving, … Continue reading

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On This Day: July 3, 1776: “I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival.”

John Adams, in a July 3, 1776 letter to Abigail, after the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 2 in Philadelphia: The Delay of this Declaration to this Time, has many great Advantages attending it. The Hopes of … Continue reading

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On This Day: April 13, 1743

Thomas Jefferson was born in Virginia. James Parton: A gentleman of 32 who could calculate an eclipse, survey an estate, tie an artery, plan an edifice, try a cause, break a horse, dance a minuet, and play the violin. From … Continue reading

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On This Day: March 23, 1775

Patrick Henry made his famous “give me liberty or give me death” speech at St. John’s Church in Richmond, Virginia. Benson Bobrick writes in his book Angel in the Whirlwind: The Triumph of the American Revolution about a speech Henry … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday, George Washington

That video is not safe for work, by the way. Due to its total awesomeness. Here is a big post I wrote for Washington’s birthday in 2010. I love my father’s quote the best: “We were so lucky.”

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