Daily readings about people, places, and events in American history.
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October 30th
“Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people”
Today is the birthday of John Adams, born in 1735 in Quincy, Massachusetts. As this excerpt from his Dissertation on the Cannon and Feudal Law (1765) shows, Adams believed that the best way to guard the blessings of liberty is through education.

Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people, who have a right, from the frame of their nature, to knowledge, as their great Creator, who does nothing in vain, has given them understandings, and a desire to know. . . .

Let us dare to read, think, speak, and write. Let every order and degree among the people rouse their attention and animate their resolution. Let them all become attentive to the grounds and principles of government, ecclesiastical and civil. Let us study the law of nature; search into the spirit of the British constitution; read the histories of ancient ages; contemplate the great examples of Greece and Rome. . . .

Let the pulpit resound with the doctrines and sentiments of religious liberty. . . . Let the bar proclaim “the laws, the rights, the generous plan of power” delivered down from remote antiquity – inform the world of the mighty struggles and numberless sacrifices made by our ancestors in defense of freedom. . . .

Let the colleges join their harmony in the same delightful concert. Let every declamation turn upon the beauty of liberty and virtue, and the deformity, turpitude, and malignity, of slavery and vice. . . .

In a word, let every sluice of knowledge be opened and set a-flowing.
American History Parade
1735
John Adams, the second U.S. president, is born in Braintree, Massachusetts.

1768
The first Methodist meetinghouse in America, the Wesley Chapel, is dedicated in New York City.

1938
Many listeners believe America is being invaded by Martians when Orson Welles broadcasts his War of the Worlds radio play.

1974
Muhammad Ali knocks out George Foreman in the eighth round in the “Rumble in the Jungle” boxing match in Zaire.
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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