Daily readings about people, places, and events in American history.
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October 16th
“He should lisp the praise of liberty”
October 16 is the birthday of Noah Webster, born in 1758 in West Hartford, Connecticut. Generations of schoolchildren grew up studying his popular “Blue-Backed Speller,” so called because of its blue cover. But his most famous work was the American Dictionary of the English Language, first published in 1828. At a time when even educated people spelled words however they wished, Webster’s dictionary helped bring order and consistency to language. An ardent patriot, he tried to free the American language from British influences. For example, he “Americanized” the British spelling of colour, changing it to color. In his essay “On the Education of Youth in America,” he argued that education in the young republic should promote love of country – an idea still good in the twenty-first century.

But every child in America should be acquainted with his own country. He should read books that furnish him with ideas that will be useful to him in life and practice. As soon as he opens his lips, he should rehearse the history of his own country; he should lisp the praise of liberty, and of those illustrious heroes and statesmen who have wrought a revolution in her favor.

A selection of essays, respecting the settlement and geography of America; the history of the late revolution and of the most remarkable characters and events that distinguished it, and a compendium of the principles of the federal and provincial governments, should be the principal school book in the United States. These are interesting objects to every man; they call home the minds of youth and fix them upon the interests of their own country, and they assist in forming attachments to it, as well as in enlarging the understanding.
American History Parade
1758
Lexicographer Noah Webster is born in West Hartford, Connecticut.

1829
The Tremont House, the first modern American hotel, opens in Boston with luxuries such as indoor plumbing and a key for each room.

1859
Abolitionist John Brown, hoping to start a slave rebellion, leads 21 men in a raid against the federal armory at Harper’s Ferry, Virginia (now West Virginia).

1962
President John F. Kennedy learns that U.S. spy planes have detected missile bases in Cuba, triggering the Cuban Missile Crisis.

2002
President George W. Bush signs a congressional resolution authorizing the use of force against Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq.
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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