Is Betsy Ross A Liar?
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The earth has so much water! 70% of the surface of the earth is covered by bodies of water and underneath the surface can be miles of unexplored ocean. When you look around our planet and see just how much water we have, do you ever wonder why we have so much water and other planets Mars have none? Where did it all come from?
Thermotical astronomers believe that when the earth was formed nearly 4.6 billion years ago there was no water and the planet was just a giant ball of molten rock and metal. Over the course of a billion years, the earth cooled to form the solid outer crust that we live on today. Somewhere around 3.6 Billion years ago, the earth was pelted with asteroid and comets leaving craters that can still be seen today. The comets that fell to earth were made up of ice and dust from the far reaches of the solar systems. As the comets crashed into the earth, the ice that made up the comets melted and created the formed bodies of water. So many comets crashed into the earth that the planet eventually gained enough water to sustain life.
Next time you have a glass of water from the tap, think about the fact that the water you are drinking came to this planet because of an interstellar snowball fight that happened billions of years ago.
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Our 26th president of the United States, Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt, was the epitome of courage and bravery. Prior to being president he overcame debilitating childhood asthma to become a boxing champion, he worked as a cowboy in North Dakota, and he heroically lead a charge up San Juan hill the Cuban-American War. Among all his incredible stories, one of the most impressive feats of Rooseveltian bravery came in October of 1912 when he survived an assassination attempt.
Teddy Roosevelt had already serve two terms as president beginning in 1901 and ending in 1909 but, at the time it was legal for a president to run for more than two terms. Roosevelt decided that he would run for reelection 4 years after leaving office thinking that his leadership could help the country.
While campaigning for his third term in Milwaukee, Teddy Roosevelt prepared to take the stage for a campaign speech. Just before going on stage, a saloonkeeper named John Flammang Schrank jumped out of the crowd and shot the former president in the chest. The crowd tackled the assassin while Roosevelt fell to the ground bleeding. Just a few minutes after being shot, Roosevelt got himself off the ground, dusted himself off and stepped on stage to give his campaign speech.
A member of the Roosevelt campaign had gone on stage to tell the crowd that Roosevelt had been shot but the crowd didn’t believe it. When Roosevelt stepped on stage, he opened his coat and showed the crowd that he had indeed been shot saying “The bullet is in me now, so I cannot make a long speech, but I will try my best”. Theodore Roosevelt went on to make a 90-minute campaign speech while having a bullet lodged in his chest and an open wound staining his coat.
It was later discovered that Roosevelts very long speech is what saved his life. The bullet fired at his chest hit the 50-page speech that was in Roosevelt’s jacket pocket, slowing it down enough that it didn’t penetrate his lungs.
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Most American’s that graduated elementary school have heard the story of the Philadelphia woman named Betsy Ross who sewed the very first American flag. The story paints Betsy Ross as an American icon who helped shape our country’s national identity by creating a symbol of liberty but in reality… its all a lie. Although it is true that Betsy Ross was a real woman that worked as an upholsterer during the time of the revolution, the story of her sewing the first American flag had never been heard until nearly 100 years after the country was founded.
In 1870, Ross’s Grandson, William Canby, presented the story that Betsy Ross sewed the first flag to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. At the time, Canby readily admitted that there was no evidence to prove his grandmother had sewn the flag, but the Ross family had passed down the story for generations and they really believed it to be true. The problem was, when Canby presented his research, Betsy Ross had been dead for 35 years so there was no way of confirming the story was true. In addition, there were records of the first person to be paid to make an American flag and no mention of Betsy Ross ever sewing an American flag.
The story of Betsy Ross became part of American history because it came up at the right time in US History. In the 1870’s, America was looking for patriotic stories to unite the country with after the devastation of the Civil War. Also, the woman’s suffrage movement was in full swing as Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Stanton fought for Women to have the right to vote. So, when a story about a patriotic woman creating the iconic symbol of American liberty was presented, people latched onto it and soon the story of Betsy Ross spread across the country.
In reality, a man name Francis Hopkinson really created the first national flag, but Betsy Ross is the American icon the American’s know and love today. In Philadelphia, the Ross house in a tourist destination featuring a Betsy Ross impersonator that teaches visitors the proper way to cut a five-pointed star.
This Week in History
On this week in 1975, the variety comedy show Saturday Night Live premiered on NBC. The show began featuring comedy legends Chevy Chase, John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Gilda Radner and Jane Curtin and has continued on to feature dozens of famous comedians over the past 40+ years. The show is the longest running and highest rated late night television program in history and has become one of the most iconic television programs in American history.
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