The First Nine

The above list provides common characteristic three, i.e., that for the first 58 years the United States was in existence, its leaders all shared a common experience – the trial known as the American Revolution and the difficulties in founding a country that violated all the accepted precedents of the time. Many risked their lives in combat and understood that if we lost, all would have been hung as traitors by the British.

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The First Amendment Has Limits

The words in the Constitution have been open to interpretation, and the ultimate and final arbiter of any law or policy is the Supreme Court. Over the 235 years, the Supreme Court has placed very clear limits on what is and what is not “free speech, freedom of expression, and freedom to assemble.”

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Fulton’s Folly Changed Transportation and Interstate Commerce Forever

Clarmont, dubbed by some as Fulton’s Folly, was a small ship, even by the standards of the early 19th Century. It was only 142 feet long, with a beam of 18 feet, and displaced 121 tons. Clarmont was about the size of a small sailing frigate. The big difference was that it only had two small masts for sails since its four-foot wide and 15-foot diameter paddle wheels powered by a 19-horsepower steam engine built by the English firm of Boulton & Watt pushed the boat through the water.

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The Massacre That Wasn’t

While his men loaded their muskets and fixed their bayonets, Preston yelled at the crowd to disperse. His shouts were met with more insults, stones, and snowballs.

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What Were the Hessians Paid?

The troops from Hesse-Kassel and the others were known for their discipline and fighting ability. During the 17th and 18th Century, German soldiers from one principality often fought those from another.

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Our First Flag

After Lexington and Concord, and after he was made commander-in-chief of the Continental Army, Washington wanted a distinctive flag that would be easily recognized and used by every unit in the Continental Army and Navy. Up until this time, the units in the Continental Army and the local militias flew the flags of their respective colony.

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The First Purple Heart

As military services go, the U.S. Armed Forces lagged behind our friends in Europe. This was partly because the kings and dukes who ruled their countries and dukedoms could give land and titles to deserving citizens. During the American Revolution, the Continental Congress could not give away land since it didn’t own any.

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Lewis & Clark’s Planning Challenges

On most days, the expedition covered less than 30 miles. Even with their sextant, an octant, a surveying compass, and an accurate chronograph which they had, their daily track could be within the margin of error even if, on each night, they took three sightings. Their surveying compass enabled them to differentiate between true and magnetic north. In the latitudes where they were traveling, the difference between true and magnetic north could range from five degrees near St. Louis to 200 at the mouth of the Columbia River.

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Captain Meriwether Lewis’ Best Friend

Lewis did, however, bring what every man would insist on having and that is a dog. He paid $20 for a Newfoundland he named Seaman. He was a little over a year old when acquired and when fully grown weighed about 160 lbs.

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An 1800 Act of Union

Fast forward 171 years to 1707, to when Queen Anne added Scotland so the Kingdom of Great Britain now included, England, Scotland, and Wales. The English and Scottish parliaments, legal systems and economies were merged.

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