Daily readings about people, places, and events in American history.
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July 29th
One Hero’s Pledge
Martin Treptow, a native of Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, was working as a barber in Cherokee, Iowa, in 1917 when he enlisted in the Army to fight in World War I. His regiment arrived in France in December of that year, and he wrote a pledge in his diary as a New Year’s resolution for 1918. Ronald Reagan, in his first inaugural address, spoke of Treptow’s fate:

Under [a] marker lies a young man, Martin Treptow, who left his job in a small town barbershop in 1917 to go to France with the famed Rainbow Division. There, on the western front, he was killed trying to carry a message between battalions under heavy artillery fire.

We’re told that on his body was found a diary. On the flyleaf under the heading “My Pledge,” he had written these words: “America must win this war. Therefore I will work, I will save, I will sacrifice, I will endure, I will fight cheerfully and do my utmost, as if the issue of the whole struggle depended on me alone.”

The crisis we are facing today . . . [requires] our best effort, and our willingness to believe in ourselves and to believe in our capacity to perform great deeds; to believe that together, with God’s help, we can and will resolve the problems which now confront us. And, after all, why shouldn’t we believe that? We are Americans.
Note: Treptow was killed in the Chateau-Thierry area of France. Official records give July 29, 1918, as the date of his death, although it is possible that he was killed on July 28.

American History Parade
1773
Moravian missionaries in Schoenbrunn, Ohio, build the first schoolhouse west of the Allegheny Mountains.

1786
The Pittsburgh Gazette, the first newspaper west of the Alleghenies, begins publication.

1958
President Eisenhower signs legislation creating the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

2005
Astronomers announce that images taken at the Palomar Observatory in California have revealed evidence of a distant object larger than Pluto orbiting the sun.
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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