Conviction, Compromise, and Congress

Q: If pro is the opposite of con, then what is the opposite of progress? A: Congress! Attributed variously to Paul Harvey, Will Rogers, and other wags, that old joke gained new currency earlier this month when members of the newly elected House of Representatives met on January 3, as required by the 20th Amendment […]

Prayer at Valley Forge

On this day in 1777, General Washington led the soldiers of the Continental Army into Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. Here, 20 miles northwest of Philadelphia, they established the winter encampment that became the crucible of the American Revolution. Some idea of their suffering can be gleaned from Washington’s words, written less than two months later and […]

Happy birthday, Bill of Rights!

On this day in 1791, the Bill of Rights was added to the Constitution. How well do you know the story? Take this quiz to find out! ANSWERS 1. Why did the Constitution originally not include a bill of rights? When Virginia delegate George Mason proposed one, the Constitutional Convention rejected it. Delegates voted by […]

The Great Task Remaining Before Us

On this day in 1863, dedicating the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, President Abraham Lincoln says: Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil […]

Freedoms Foundation’s Founding Father

Our landings in the Cherbourg-Havre area have failed to gain a satisfactory foothold and I have withdrawn the troops. My decision to attack at this time and place was based upon the best information available. The troops, the air and the Navy did all that Bravery and devotion to duty could do. If any blame […]

Frederick Douglass on Slavery and the Constitution

I have often been awakened . . . by the most heartrending shrieks of an own aunt of mine, whom he used to tie up to a joist, and whip upon her naked back till she was literally covered with blood. No words, no tears, no prayers, from his gory victim, seemed to move his […]

Is the Electoral College Anti-Democratic?

“Uniquely and blatantly anti-democratic.” “Two of the last five presidents were elected despite losing the popular vote.” “How can a democracy be sustained when the will of a majority of voters is simply ignored?” “More than two centuries after it was designed to empower southern white voters, the system continues to do just that.” “It’s […]

A New Nation, Conceived in . . . Slavery?

By David Harmer July 1, 1863: Emboldened by Confederate victories, Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia has ventured well above the Mason-Dixon line. Approaching Harrisburg, it threatens the Union’s industrial heartland and imperils Washington, D.C., from the north. Frustrated by the underperformance of the Army of the Potomac, President Lincoln has given command to […]

What, to him, was the American flag?

By David Harmer Born and raised in the United States, he was American through and through. He’d been a newspaper delivery boy, a Boy Scout, in Junior ROTC. Now the nation—his nation—was at war. So he volunteered for military service—and was rejected. The government deemed him ineligible for one reason: his ancestry. His parents loved […]

Founding Mother

By David Harmer “It was a courageous show on the part of a woman who had already buried a husband and three children,” writes Ron Chernow, “the last of whom had died little more than a year before.”[1] When they were alive, even brief separation from her children triggered overwhelming apprehension. Every bark of a […]