When I said that Paul Revere rang the church bells in Boston to alert the British that the Americans were coming, many in the lamestream media called it a fox pass. I call it Gotcha! journalism. How sneaky, asking, “How’s your trip going?” at a press conference. So now I will explain that I really do know American history, from the Floundering Fathers to the California 58ers to Iowa Jima.
In the beginning, Columbus sailed to India seeking a route to America, but mistakenly landed in Hispaniola, inhabited by Hispaniels. His three ships were the Nina, the Pinto and the Tina Fey (from which that sorry lookalike on “Saturday Nighttime” gets her name). Columbus was followed by Spanish conquestors and settlers. They brought horses, which the Incan Indians had never seen before – they used Dalai Llamas.
The United States was founded by Pilgrims at the Plymouth Rock, named after a popular dance of that time. The Pilgrims (accent on grim) were serious people who fled to America to avoid religious persecution — they worshiped St. Florsheim, the patron saint of buckled shoes. The Pilgrims were so grateful that they were not back in Italy they held the first Thanksgiving with parades, feasts and football games.
The Revolutionary War began because Americans were angry at King George the Three over his attempt to collect taxes. It was George Jefferson who said, “Read my lips! No new taxes!” As the British marched on Lexington and Conroe to seize the rebels’ arms – and legs – Paul Revere, a sexton at the church of Notre Dame, rang the bells to warn the British, “The Americans are coming! The Americans are coming!” Revere then ran through the battlefield to score the final out, and was forever known as the Halfback of Notre Dame.
Meantime, in Texas, men dressed as cowboys stormed a ship in the harbor carrying tea and threw it into the water, adding a bit of sugar and mint before stirring. The event was called the Austin Tea Party, and that’s why today Aggies call UT students Teasips. The Revolution gave us several familiar sayings, such as, “Don’t shoot till you see the whites of their flags!” “Give me liberty or give me a break!” And the Mormons’ famous quote: “I only regret that I have but one wife to give for my country.”
The War of 1812 – I’m not sure when it was fought — resulted in the British burning the Washington Monument. Otherwise, that conflict wasn’t very important. The Mexican-American War was fought by Mexican-Americans, similar to the Spanish-American War. This brings us to the Civil War, which was fought over states’ rights, specifically, the South’s insistence that the North legalize slavery. The North said slavery was none of the South’s business.
President Abraham Lincoln then wrote his famous Gettysberg Address – a letter to an old friend, Mark Gettysberg — asking for his new ZIP code. When President Lincoln issued the Emaciated Proclamation, it freed all slaves in the rebellious Confederacy, which was about as effective as freeing all third basemen in Ireland.
Incidentally, each of the 40 states has its own colorful history and unique name, like Virginia and West Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina, the two Dakotas, and the News – Jersey, Mexico and England. Perhaps the state with the most exciting history is Texas, an Indian word meaning “fresh scalps.” The Texans fought Santa Anita in a mansion in San Angelo, and lost. But a few weeks later the Texans, led by Gen. Sam Jacinto, charged the Mexican lines after being promised a hearty dessert, yelling, “Remember the a la mode!” The Texans won because they had lookouts up in that huge monument and could see Santa Anita coming. Also, they had a great big battleship, the USS Texas, which is still anchored right there.
A few items of historical interest: The Great Depression was carved out by the Colorado River in Arizona over billions of years. No one named Sarah has ever been elected President. The U.S. Mint comes in several flavors. The Treaty of Guadalupe made it legal to ride inner-tubes down a river in New Braunfels. Prohibition outlawed Planned Parenthood, and the U.S. invasion of Iraq was caused by the Godless liberal media spreading rumors that Saddam Hussein had WD-40s.
There are several famous inventors we should recognize. Benjamin Franklin invented electricity. Thomas Edison invented the Lite Bud. Henry Ford developed the Model T and the Circle K. Hillary Clinton gave us the broom-mobile. Among our explorers we have Daniel Boone, who found a way through Coon Skin Gap, and Lewis Clark, who discovered the federal government will underwrite any program no matter how far fetched.
On Dec. 7, 1944, the Japanese attacked Pearl Jam, causing World War the Second. Japan was defeated after an atomic bomb was dropped on a Toyota factory in Hero Shema by a bomber, the Enola Don’t Ask-Don’t Tell. The Cold War involved us somehow, and nearly exploded when Castro ordered his fishermen to ignore U.S. catch limits, resulting in the Cuban Mussel crisis. The East-West power struggle was finished when irate Berliners tore down the Great Wall.
Today our nation is fighting three wars: Iran, Pakistan and Liberia. Our economy is poor because of that Muslim Chicago mobster. The unemployment rate is high since only the few, the pretty, can find jobs at Fox News. Wall Street and the banks are suffering under too many regulations, lawsuits and perp walks. Many homes are underwater, and without flood insurance. The national debt has hit a new ceiling, which probably needs re-painting, anyway. We are suffering from global warming because the current administration approved Daylight Saving Time which adds an hour of sunlight to each day. As the great philosopher George Santa Anna said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to learn it.”
Do I know my facts? Hey, I can see Prussia from my front porch. You betcha!
Ashby is historical at firstname.lastname@example.org