Monday, December 6, 2010

Books Every American Should Read.

John Hancock, portrait (January 23, 1737 October 8, 1793): merchant, statesman, and prominent Patriot of the American Revolution - 16"x20" Photographic Print from the Library of Congress CollectionOn facebook someone had posted on my live feed a you tube blurb of Porky Pig citing the pledge of allegiance without saying, "One Nation Under God." The cartoon was made in the 1930's.  The point of the commentator was that no one was pledging to a nation under God until 1954 when, according to the blurb, radical right wingers, Christians and paranoid anti communists insisted it be added. I suppose their message was that we really weren't a nation founded by people who believed in God. As you may have guessed, I didn't take that one lying down (even if a relative whom I love did post it). My reply: Why is “In God we trust” on the dollar bill? Why does the Treaty of Paris, written in 1783 start, “In the name of the most holy and undivided Trinity?”

I then did a little research and found out that President Eisenhower added “One nation under God” because of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address that concludes with:

That this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from this earth.

Or how about the Emancipation Proclamation?

 Whereas, on the twenty-second day of September, in the year of our Lord.....all persons held as slaves within any State ….shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free...

And upon this act, sincerely believed to be an act of justice, warranted by the Constitution, upon military necessity, I invoke the considerate judgment of mankind, and the gracious favor of Almighty God....

The Declaration of Independence:

  When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume, among the Powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them....

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness.....

Then there's the reason that some of our oldest European ancestors came to this land:

The Mayflower Compact:

In the name of God, Amen, We, whose names are underwritten, the Loyal Subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord, King James, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, France and Ireland, Kind, Defender of the Faith, c.

Having undertaken for the Glory of God, and Advancement of the Christian Faith....

I believe there is a renewed interest in what our founding fathers actually intended when beginning this country because there are an ever increasing amount of books being published that contain the historical documents that these great men wrote. One book that I suggest is called,  The Patriot's Library. This book contains our most important historical documents. In addition to the ones already mentioned, it includes The Articles of Confederation, The Constitution, and The Louisiana Purchase. It gives the meanings and origins of our Symbols of Independence such as our national anthem, the bald eagle, great seal flag as well as many others. It includes Thomas Paine's, Common Sense, Paul Reveres' Ride, as well as famous speeches from Patrick Henry, George Washington, Woodrow Wilson's War message and many of our presidents' inaugural addresses.

Now is a critical time in our country to be informed of what the purpose of our country is really about, what the vision of our founding fathers  was and what our rights as citizens are. We Americans are on the edge of a precipice. I for one don't want to live under a government state.

The Patriot's Library   

And speaking of Presidents...    

Theodore Roosevelt and Henry Cabot Lodge wrote a wonderful little book entitled, Hero Tales. This book includes stories of some of our most famous Americans but also those who acted in heroic ways that are lessor known. For instance did you know about Francis Parkman who was one of the early explorers who went out west, and despite severe illness joined a tribe of Ogallalla Indians and learned about their culture?  He recorded his travels through the prairies, and mountains and life with the Indians in his journal, The Oregon Trail.   

Then there's Governor Morris, the American ambassador in France during their bloody revolution in 1792 who refused to leave Paris after all other foreign officials had and who, furthermore, refused to relinquish French dignitaries who took refuge in his house.

There's also the well known accounts of Daniel Boone, Davy Crockett, the Alamo, plus some not as well-known as they should be events such as the death of Stonewall Jackson and the charge of Gettysburg.

One particular favorite story of mine is  The Battle of New Orleans.  The children in my music class sang the old Johnny Horton song and we all enjoyed learning the history behind it.
       I've just been reading a book about the Chinese cultural revolution which I'll review later.  The primary thing Mao Tse Tung did-as many despots have done- was to attempt to erase the past.  Anything that was traditional was condemned.  The Chinese were made to feel ashamed of their culture and history.    We musn't voluntarily erase our past by refusing to read up on it.  I encourage every reader out there to read America's historical documents for themself.


laughwithusblog said...

These look like great resources. I just started helping my daughter with a Texas history report and realized that we don't have any books that would help us at all. Of course we were able to find info online, but I really prefer books, especially ones that we'll use over and over.

Sharon Wilfong said...

I'll be on the look out for Texas History. I'll lget you know what I find out.