Category Archives: History

Remembering The Magna Carta: 800 Years Later

No one knew that a group of barons sickened by a corrupt King, who many would say usurped the throne, would change the world. Some feared it immediately. The Pope recognizing that it would challenge both absolute control of the Roman Catholic and the notion of the Divine Right of Kings by recognizing the right of the realm of Englishmen to important civil liberties, repudiated it. While the barons spoke of representing the rights of all Englishmen, they focused on getting the rights for themselves. 400 years passed before Chief Justice Edward Coke expanded the interpretation to apply to all Englishmen in the 1600's. This gave rise to a revolution of thought that birthed the Declaration of Independence. It was no longer rich nobles who could raise an army who were guaranteed rights, but all men and later women. The Magna Carta also had some powerful provisions giving legal status to Read more

225th Anniversary of a National Thanksgiving

It was only the second proclamation issued by the first President of a fledgling government in 1789, but Congress resolved to inquire if President Washington would issue a proclamation of Thanksgiving to GOD for the advances of our new government and our nation. He did so enthusiastically. The tradition continued through Madison then fell away until a grateful Lincoln revived it in 1863. It has been going strong ever after. As I have for the last 10 years except for last year's deployment when the President's Proclamation did not post until late Wednesday EST after I embarked on a flight to an outsite, I will publish the current Thanksgiving Day Proclamation. I also publish an historic one. This year is the 225th Anniversary of the first one by George Washington so I believed it is appropriate to revisit it. THANKSGIVING DAY 1789 BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA - Read more

50 Years of Liberty for All: A look at those who stood tall when equality’s time had come

America promised liberty for all, but it was more like a tiered system of liberty. In half the country, legal segregation of some type interfered with the exercise of liberty by people of color. Justice Harlan proved correct that separate was inherently unequal. A 100 year struggle for equality after the Emancipation Proclamation began to tear down the institution of slavery saw fruition. Now 50 years later, we are still winning the battles for equality and consolidating those victories into the mainstream. Changing Demographics guarantee that we will never go backward to Jim Crow. So while the struggle for liberty is never over, it helps to pause and celebrate the different world brought about by those who risked it all so that the life of my generation was one of equality under the law. One of us even became President. It should be noted that the best friend for the struggle for Read more

Happy Independence Day

238 years ago, this nation discovered its destiny among the nations of the world.  It became a light in a dark world.  It became a free republic where no there was no king usurping authority over the rest of the citizenry.  "We have no king but King Jesus," was the rallying cry of the day.  Of course America, while based upon Christian principles, was a nation that drew from and respected a variety of traditions.  Some leading citizens were Jewish, Deists, and Paine was an atheist.    The Christian traditions represented were everything from Quakers to Catholics to Anglicans to Methodists, to Baptists.  Thanks to America, that seems normal, in that day, it was not.  America refused to have a national church, but unlike the French revolution, it valued the contribution of faith. Without government trying to control it, faith could lift our spirits and strengthen our humanity.America Read more

Well Said, Senator Rubio! — 50 Years after the March on Washington

Keeping Our Promise By Senator Marco Rubio Time Magazine August 26, 2013 Edition Online by Subscription Only: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2149602,00.html A half-century has passed since Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to awaken our nation’s conscience. His vision was simple yet profound: that America must fulfill the promise made in her founding documents by allowing every citizen to access their God-given rights. Dr. King helped bring hope to men and women of all backgrounds who wished to contribute to American exceptionalism. That included immigrants like my parents, who made a new life here after coming from Cuba. They immigrated in 1956—the year Dr. King led the Montgomery bus boycott—and raised my siblings and me in the wake of his legacy, telling us our dreams were possible regardless of the circumstances Read more

From Disobedience To The Birth Of A Nation.

Ten years before the writing of the Declaration of Independence, on May 30th, 1765, a significant number of the members of the Virginia House of Burgesses wanted to take a stand against the British Parliament's assertion of power. Among them, was a radical named Patrick Henry. A French Traveler who watched with Thomas Jefferson, who considered himself a student at the time, recorded that the Speaker of the House said that Henry had spoken treason for invoking the names of Brutus and Cromwell. Henry backed down and asserted his loyalty to the crown in an avalanche of rhetoric. When Henry's rhetorical assertion of his loyalty ended and the the House of Burgesses moved on to resolutions, Henry put forth this Resolution. It was the 5th Resolution. Resolved Therefore that the General Assembly of this colony have the only and sole exclusive right and power to lay taxes and impositions Read more

American Legend, Neil Armstrong Dies

We lost another American legend and a true American hero from our midst with the passing of Lt. Neil Armstrong. Col. Buzz Aldrin, who walked on the moon with him, said that it was sad indeed they would not be able to share the 50th anniversary celebration. They had been looking forward to it. Armstrong, Aldrin, and Collins ably showed the best of America. Faith, Freedom, adventurism, fearlessness, and perseverance were ably displayed by these men who did what was proclaimed to be impossible. They risked their lives so a world could dream and learn. They freed us from the gravity of earth and made real our dreams of touching the universe around us. They came back to earth and without scandal, made us proud not just of their accomplishments in space, but their characters on earth. The men of Apollo 11 changed my world as much as Columbus changed the old world. Our relationship to Read more

Christmas is still Important

In today’s world, we often forget why Christmas matters. I believe that by secular standards, He is one of the ten most influential people to ever live (many would argue the first, but I am not looking for an argument). His teaching completely revamped human culture. His movement has grown century after century. His devotees have had as great an impact for good in the history of the world as anyone ever born. Consider the state of the world before Yeshua (Jesus) of Nazareth. The world was a very dark place where violence and the dark side of power were revered. The voices of people who advocated living by the better side of our nature never quite gained traction. After him, there was a philosophical, societal framework for a Kingdom based upon love, mutual respect, and justice which could spread across cultures and unite people of all kinds of heritages. Before Jesus there would be Read more

History Revisionism

200 years ago, some segments of this country did not give a high regard to Christmas while others did.  So there is a movement inspired by the revisionists in the ACLU aided by the History Channel that claims Congress met almost every Christmas for the first 67 years of this nation including the first Congress in 1789.  The truth is revealed as usual by original source documentation.  Congress did not meet on Christmas.  Before the railroad, they did not typically go home, but they never did business on Christmas.  One exception may have been the house in 1802.  The Senate convened once and immediately adjourned in a parliamentary move.  It does not take a quorum to do that, but may have had some legal significance. Why is this important?   Jon Stewart was taken in by it and used it as did the ACLU to say the founders did not celebrate Christmas so it is fine to disregard it in Read more

The Constitution Still Matters

This is Constitution Week.  214 years ago a miracle occurred in Philadelphia.  The colonies were free and independent from Great Britain, but they were going nowhere.  The French revolution showed that obtaining Freedom is only one phase.  Functioning as free people is the next phase.  Prospering as a free people is the third. The American people knew they could not lose the hard won freedom to petty rivalry, confusion, and disunity.  The economy was just emerging out of a depression.  There was no national currency.  Inflation was rampant in 7 of the 13 states.  Some legislators in NY were rumored to be opening negotiations with Canada for a possible union and Massachusetts had just survived the Shay’s rebellion of 2000 farmers in the west.  New York and New Jersey were engaged in a bitter dispute.  New York claimed Stanton Island and New Jersey retaliated with tariffs and Read more

Black History Month: Congressman Benjamin Turner

From some history text books in schools today, I get  the impression that Blacks were victims of America and had few contributions until they were finally freed in the 1960's. I respectfully disagree. We have been building this country from its beginning. I will write more in the future. Right now here is a glimpse into an important American visionary who took a message of unity and common sense which became the basis of the new South generations later.  Without his vision of moving forward there would be no King, Obama, or unity based upon equality instead of a cycle of retribution. From the Office of the Clerk On this date, the first African-American Representative from Alabama, Benjamin Turner, was born a slave in Weldon, North Carolina. In 1830, Turner moved with his widowed owner to Selma, Alabama, where he likely obtained an education as a playmate to the family’s white children. Read more

Why I Say Merry Christmas

The world was literally turned upside down by Jesus called Christ. It is a shame that some try to avoid Christmas because they have an agenda of religious apartheid. The fact is that celebrating the life and teachings of Christ is sensible from a completely secular perspective. In the west, we celebrate people’s lives by remembering their birth.  We recount their contributions to human existence. The very existence of western culture is founded upon Christianity. One can understand this profound importance without accepting the theology. The fact that Christmas is celebrated by giving is no accident. Christianity is based upon GOD giving to us and us giving to others. One of the most profound concepts expanded upon by Christianity is charity. The world before and the world after the growth of Christianity is profoundly different. One of the reasons Christianity grew was the regard Christians Read more

Historical Flashback: Teddy Roosevelt Thanksgiving Day 1902

THANKSGIVING DAY - 1902 BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA - A PROCLAMATION According to the yearly custom of our people, it falls upon the President at this season to appoint a day of festival and thanksgiving to God. Over a century and a quarter has passed since this country took its place among the nations of the earth, and during that time we have had, on the whole, more to be thankful for than has fallen to the lot of any other people. Generation after generation has grown to manhood and passed away. Each has had to bear its peculiar burdens, each to face its special crisis, and each has known cares of grim trial, when the country was menaced by malice domestic or foreign levy, when the hand of the Lord was heavy upon it in drought or flood or pestilence, when in bodily distress and in anguish of soul it paid the penalty of folly and a froward heart. Nevertheless, decade Read more

A Forgotten Hero of the American War of Independence

One of the greatest heroes of the War was a man that was almost forgotten and left in slavery, James Armistead.  His was the man that got Cornwallis trapped in Yorktown by feeding him bad intelligence.  Fortunately, Lafayette refused to forget him.   Washington was a big advocate of emancipation for the black soldiers who fought for liberty.  He was able to get a law passed accomplishing that.  Unfortunately, due to a technicality, the law did not cover spies like Armistead.  War hero Lafayette lobbied for a special law to include him.   He received forty acres and a $40 a year military pension.

Civil Rights Milestone

President Johnson proved that the law does affect attitudes. The Civil Rights laws including the prohibition on housing discrimination signed 42 years ago today, helped change America. The signing was just one week after the assassination of Dr. King.  It seemed like the decades of turmoil would never end.  They did.  The interesting political fact is that once race was off the table, a political realignment took place.  Southern conservatives had stayed with the Democrats over the race issue and many liberal northerners with the Republicans for the same reason.  Liberals try to remake the Southern Strategy to claim that the GOP all of a sudden embraced racism while pushing Civil Rights laws.  In reality, it is just testament to the American tradition of moving forward not being stuck in the past like the Balkans.  The Civil Rights advancement of this country was a bipartisan victory.   Read more

Is Socialism Un-American

The surprising answer is no. The Pilgrims are the most American of them all. They tried it in the beginning. The result was starvation and it almost ended the American Experiment in the north. A new governor adopted the Calvinist ethic of enterprise and the colony flourished. Socialism has come up various times in America. Our pledge of allegiance was written by one. Why then is socialism held in such low regard? Early Americans found out that socialism is a dead end. No matter how lofty the rhetoric, the end result is less prosperity, less freedom, and more human misery. Americans found out that the best system for the new world was to allow people to govern themselves. Our American system is one of individual sovereignty and liberty because it works.  Americans knew the feudal system was not for a new world so we experimented with two different systems.  One was free enterprise and Read more

David Barton On Beck

I am a fan of David Barton. I DVR his program on TBN and have DVD’s and books by him. Today, you have a chance to see rest of the story when it comes to America’s founding generation. From the Beck Report
A full hour about God? America was built and anchored on faith in God – but has since become unhinged and is going it alone. How can we restore and reconnect America with its roots in faith? Glenn finds out with David Barton tonight at 5pm and 2am only on the Fox News Channel!

They Didn’t Heed the Warning NOW You Must

We warned the leaders that their high handed action on the Health Care Law would push the nation closer to the boiling point. They did not listen so you must. This nation must not be allowed to devolve into lawlessness. We will remember in November not threaten people. The Viet Nam peace movement grew from a movement of students and peace activists into one which had the sympathy of a majority of the American people. In 1968, it had pushed out of contention a sitting President in his own party. A President who had won 4 years earlier with 61% of the popular vote and 44 states. It had gained the elite opinion and even luminary figures such as Senator Bobbie Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. along with countless celebrities joined the cause. Everything was moving in its direction. Vice President Nixon was campaigning on a secret plan to end the war. Bobbie Kennedy was on the Read more

Merry Christmas Pt. 1

The celebration of the birth of  Jesus (Yeshua) is one special  to Christians  for many reasons, but the celebration belongs to all humanity.  I have a Wiccan friend (of all people) who is particularly poignant on this point.  He recognizes Christmas because "Christianity has helped many people to find a higher path".  The contributions made by Jesus to the thinking of humanity has been extraordinary.  The world was literally turned upside down.  It is a shame that some try to avoid Christmas because they have an agenda of religious apartheid. The fact is that celebrating the life and teachings of Christ is sensible from a completely secular perspective.  In the west, we celebrate people's lives by remembering their birth.  W e recount their contributions to human existence.  The very existence of western culture is founded upon Christianity.  One can understand this profound Read more

The Roots of Modern Islamic Facism Go Through America

A backdesert heresy condemned at least 60 times by leading clerics, called Saudi Wahhabism, got a boost from western sources right after WW2. Thanks to a gullible U. S. State department. We are still paying the price for that one. It is another reason that we can not abandon the fight. We helped create the problem. We need to adult up and fix it (PC jargon for man up). “In 1963, when Philby defected to Moscow, our State Department did something intolerable,” Loftus said. “They classified all the files top secret and they hid them down in the vaults to protect their own careers.” Loftus decided to forego a promising future with the U.S. Justice Department. Instead he blew the whistle. “I think I still hold the record for the longest segment ever on 60 Minutes. In 1982 it caused a minor national uproar,” Loftus said. “Mike Wallace got the Emmy, and my family Read more

Poles, Czechs: US missile defense shift a betrayal

The careful cultivation of alliances with Eastern Europe that has so successfully developed democracies in parts of the world that had been enslaved by Communist dictatorships for over 50 years has been tossed aside like a used Kleenex by Barack Obama. Here are the sad headlines from Czech and Polish news outlets. "Betrayal!  The U.S. sold us to Russia and stabbed us in the back," "an ally we rely on has betrayed us, and exchanged us for its own, better relations with Russia, of which we are rightly afraid." "No Radar. Russia won," According to former UN ambassador John Bolton, “This was a signal of weakness. “ According to Polish President Lech Kacynski the Bush Administration plan, that Obama just tossed, would have been "a major step in preventing various disturbing trends in our region of the world," his statement was in a guest editorial in the daily Fakt and also Read more

Constitution Week!

Tomorrow marks the start of Constitution week.  In recognition of this week the State Archives in Dover will be hosting a display showing Delaware's key role in the signing and adoption of our nations highest law.  Some of the exhibits may supprize you.  From the Dover Post: " In recognition of Constitution Week, Sept. 17 to Sept. 23, the Delaware Public Archives will be hosting a special exhibition celebrating the state’s important role in the drafting and approval of the Federal Constitution. The exhibit will feature a variety of original documents including a 1787 petition from the citizens of Delaware to locate the nation’s capital in Delaware. " The State Archives also is showing an impressive display on Abraham Lincoln, so if you go browse around for a while.  There is a lot there to learn about history and this state.  (I plan to see the displays myself so I may have Read more