Alexis de Tocqueville: The French Man Who Saw America’s Past, Present and Future

TweetShareShare “[It’s] the most comprehensive and penetrating analysis of the relationship between character and society in America that has ever been written.” That’s how one historian described Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America; a work considered among the most influential books of the 19th century. Published in two volumes between 1835 and 1840, Alexis de…

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Memorial Day: How Former Slaves Created a National Holiday

TweetShareShare American summers are built around three holidays: Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day. Memorial Day and Labor Day are the bookends. The July 4th celebration is the centerpiece. Most Americans view Memorial Day as the “kickoff” for summer…and it is. But there’s much more to this holiday than we think. Unfortunately, many contemporary…

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Lewis and Clark: How Two Women Saved the Corps of Discovery

Sacagawea

TweetShareShare In May of 1804 the Corps of Discovery, led by captains Meriwether Lewis and William Clark went on pursuit of a fabled Northwest passage. They’d be gone over two years. Along the way they’d meet dozens of Indian tribes, including the fierce Sioux and Blackfoot. They’d traverse on keelboat, canoe, horseback and by foot through…

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The Pain of Thomas Paine

Thomas Paine

TweetShareShareIn 1776 Thomas Paine was a “rock star” among American patriots. His writings inspired a loosely united thirteen colonies to revolt against the great British Empire. But Paine lived down to his name. He’d die a “penniless drunk in Manhattan,” scorned by most of the Founding Fathers. Only six people attended his funeral.   Thomas…

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Molly Pitcher: The Revolutionary Woman Behind the Name

Molly Pitcher

TweetShareShare   Betsy Ross. Martha Washington. Dolly Madison. These were all great women of the American Revolution. But have you heard of Mary Ludwig Hays? She might be the bravest, strongest and most patriotic woman of them all.   During the Revolution women were cut from a different cloth. Many women refused to stay home,…

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Washington’s Farewell: What America Still Hasn’t Learned

TweetShareShareGeorge Washington warned us in his Farewell Address of 1796. But we didn’t listen. We’re still deaf to his final words. George warned us of how political partisanship seeks to “acquire influence” and “misrepresent the opinions.” Washington eloquently admonished that the “fatal tendency” of any democracy is replacing the national will with “the will of…

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John Marrant: America’s First Black Preacher

John Marrant

TweetShareShareHe was among America’s first black preachers. A fiery Methodist who converted thousands—blacks, Indians, whites—to Christianity in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. His life story–of only 35 years–has inspired millions. John Marrant was born a free black June 15, 1755 in New York City. When his father died, at four, his mother moved…

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Charles Curtis: The First U.S. Vice President of Color

Charles Curtis

TweetShareShareDid you know the Kamala Harris wasn’t the first U.S. Vice President of color? It’s true. That honor goes to Charles Curtis who served as Herbert Hoover’s Vice President between 1929 and 1933. Today this decorated politician is virtually unknown to Americans but Curtis’ legacy is rich and inspiring. He proved the perfect political pick.…

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