Saturday, May 24, 2008

I love little things like this

I'm the kind of person who loves walking where great (or even not-so-great) people walked long ago. I love standing where George Washington was first sworn in as President (in New York City, then the capital of the United States). By the way, did you know that there's an argument to be made that he wasn't the first President of the United States?

There were Presidents under the Articles of Confederation. John Hancock, President of the Second Continental Congress, best known for his overly large signature, taunting the British, on the Declaration of Independence, saw the following salutation on correspondence from General George Washington:

To the President of the United States,

But I digress. I do love these little historical connections. In fact, the old village part of the town in which my hospital is located is over 300 years old. George Washington did, in fact, spend time there, and there are structures dating back to the 1600s.

So what was the impetus for this post? This was. I get daily book reviews from Powell's Books, and they get them from a variety of publications. I liked the review, but what I found really great was this line: The "Marseillaise" of that crusade ("The Battle Hymn of the Republic," which first appeared, as did many other important documents of the Brown-Emerson alliance, in the pages of this magazine) was an adaptation of the foot soldiers' song about Old Osawatomie Brown.

I was reading a review printed in a magazine that first printed The Battle Hymn of the Republic during the American Civil War. For me, that's a "wow" moment. Of course, the newspaper I read was around before the Civil War. Still, it feels like a connection to those days. Not that I would want to live through it, but it's still fascinating to me.

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