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Posts tagged ‘Paul Revere’

Paul Revere Warned the British that They Were Coming to New Hampshire

As a woman, I am thrilled that Americans are considering women as viable candidates for the Oval Office.

As a woman, I am mortified at what we have offered up for consideration.

Without getting into politics, I want to clarify that my mortification comes from grossly inaccurate statements made by two potential contenders for our next Presidential election.  I am not planning to debate the intelligence of either Sarah Palin or Michele Bachmann.  Both women were intelligent enough to obtain college degrees.  Mrs. Bachmann has a law degree.  However, it is clear that our public education system failed these women long before our current “education crisis”.

I understand the stress of being in the glare of cameras, reporters shouting questions at you, while having to think on your feet to reply.  This is why people say stupid things when Jay Leno goes out on the street in L.A. with a camera and a mic and asks basic history and civics questions.  It’s not because everyone is just that dumb.  It’s that people fold under pressure.  It happens to me in the classroom on occasion.

However.

I am not and never will run for President.  If either Mrs. Palin or Mrs. Bachmann hopes to be elected to the highest office in the U.S., they’d better be able to intelligently converse on American history at will.

FYI ladies:  In 1775, British General Gage was given orders to disarm the area militia, who had hidden weapons in Concord, Massachusetts.  He was also ordered to arrest John Hancock and Samuel Adams, leaders of the resistance.  The mission was to be kept quiet so as not to incite colonists.  Meanwhile, the resistance movement had devised a plan to place lanterns in the steeple of the Old North Church in Boston to signal the route the British would take.  Paul Revere and William Dawes (nobody remembers poor William) felt the weapons would be safe in Concord, but were worried that Hancock and Adams, who were hiding in Lexington, would be caught unaware of the approach of the British.  Revere and Dawes set out to alert the militia and warn Hancock and Adams.  They took separate routes, traveling under cover of dark to quietly spread the word.

Lexington, Concord, and Boston are all in the state of Massachusetts.

The colonists were stockpiling weapons in the event of war with England.

Paul Revere did not fire shots, ring bells or whistles, and in fact never said, “The British are coming!”  This was more of a stealth mission.

This is the bare bones of the story.  I do not have a history degree.  I teach fifth grade.  Just be smarter than a fifth grader, ladies.

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All My Life’s a Circle – Part 2

I have always been fascinated with American history.  Not battles and dates, but how people lived each day, the tools they used, the values and customs that have evolved in our country over time.

 

My parents fostered this interest to a large extent.  When we took vacations, we would visit historic places like Plimouth Plantation, Boston, and colonial Williamsburg.  I have walked through old mansions, recreated farms, and battlefields imagining who was there, what they said and thought, the smells, the sounds all those years ago.

 

One of my earliest brushes with our nation’s history was right in school.  Mrs. Ten Hoopen (yep), my third grade teacher, loved poetry.  She introduced me to Robert Louis Stevenson, Robert Frost… and Longfellow.  I remember clearly reading “The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere”, tapping out the rhythm of the words, almost hearing the hoofbeats of Revere’s horse as he sped through the darkness to alert the colonists of the arrival of the British.

 

Now I teach fifth grade and Mrs. Ten Hoopen is smiling down from Heaven.  Tomorrow I will introduce my students to this wonderful narrative poem, and I pray with all my heart that they will hear those hoofbeats, too.

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