I am reading the current issue of U.S. News & World Report, which has a very interesting special section devoted to "Myths and Realities" of the American Revolution. All history has its myths; unfortunately, they often make for better reading than the reality.
One of the articles says most of Paul Revere's story has been embellished, but it was the subhead that caught my eye: "Every schoolchild knows the story, but most of it turns out to be wrong." Unfortunately, I don't think many -- if any at all -- of today's schoolchildren know the story.
As I pointed out in a post last year, historical illiteracy happens largely because history is taught as a dull collection of dates and facts, with no emphasis on the real, breathing people who forged that history. The historian David McCullough called much of today's history teaching "boring." It's no wonder modern students -- of any grade -- know so little of it. (Of course, it doesn't help that in today's culture, what happened last year is already "ancient history." Never mind the American Revolution -- wasn't that prehistoric times?)
No matter today; Happy Birthday, America! Since much of the American dream of independence and nationhood was built on hard work and sacrifice, here's a small photo tribute: an antique plow with a flag, photographed on the grounds of the Calkins Creek Vineyard and Winery near Honesdale, Pennsylvania. It may not be a Revolutionary era piece, but the kind of equipment that tilled the soil then remained the same for generations.
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