Daily readings about people, places, and events in American history.
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August 3rd
“If there is no struggle, there is no progress.”
On August 3, 1857, in a speech at Canandaigua, New York, abolitionist Frederick Douglass reminded his fellow Americans of the costs of freedom. His words, which foreshadowed the coming Civil War, are among the most famous of his many orations:

The general sentiment of mankind is that a man who will not fight for himself, when he has the means of doing so, is not worth being fought for by others, and this sentiment is just. For a man who does not value freedom for himself will never value it for others, or put himself to any inconvenience to gain it for  others. . . .

The whole history of the progress of human liberty shows that all concessions yet made to her august claims have been born of earnest struggle. The conflict has been exciting, agitating, all-absorbing, and for the time being, putting all other tumults to silence. It must do this or it does nothing. If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet deprecate agitation are men who want crops without plowing up the ground; they want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters.

This struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, and it may be both moral and physical, but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.
American History Parade
1492
Christopher Columbus sails from Palos, Spain, with the Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria on his famous journey to find a western route to the Indies.

1846
Abraham Lincoln is elected to the U.S. House.

1852
In America’s first intercollegiate athletic event, crews from Yale and Harvard race on Lake Winnipesaukee in Center Harbor, New Hampshire.

1923
Calvin Coolidge is sworn in as the thirtieth U.S. president, following the death of Warren G. Harding.

1958
The submarine Nautilus becomes the first vessel to reach the North Pole.
This content is courtesy of The American Patriot's Almanac
© 2008, 2010 by William J. Bennett and John T.E. Cribb
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