Every day, for the past two months, I’ve received an e-mail treasure that has been so enlightening and educational that it’s high time I tell you about them.
Author and historian William Federer, noted for his fine writings and expertise in American history, sends out a brief and inspiring history lesson via e-mail every day called “American Minute.” Each e-mail is about 100 words in length and provides a succinct, invaluable lesson about American history that many of today’s popular textbooks ignore.
I share these “minutes” with my children over breakfast or dinner, providing them with priceless tidbits about the philosophies and courage of our founding fathers, other American leaders and our nation’s Christian history that revisionists and many politicians and pundits would rather ignore. Federer’s writings prove that when the truth is told – and told well – its power is enormous.
Some radio stations around the country carry a daily broadcast of Mr. Federer reading his “minute.” For those stations which are not so blessed, at least one talk-show host or disc jockey from each station should commit to spending the 60 seconds it takes each day to read the “American Minute” for their listeners. The material would educate a populace that is far too ignorant on the subject of American history and may also serve to inspire many to emulate the virtues of courage, honor, dignity and faith in God that characterized so many of our nation’s early leaders.
Because the history lessons are brief and captivating, listeners are also likely to retain much of what they hear. If you read the following example of “American Minute,” I think you’ll see why:
On Oct. 3, 1789, from the capital of New York City, President George Washington issued the first Proclamation of a National Day of Thanksgiving and Prayer. There was reason to rejoice as just one week earlier, the first session of the United States Congress approved the first Ten Amendments, better known as the Bill of Rights, thereby limiting the power and scope of the federal government. Washington wrote: “Now, therefore, I do recommend … the People of these United States to the service of the great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be.”
Bet you never read any of that in a government school textbook!
Another powerful “American Minute” arrived in my inbox on Sept. 25:
“Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Thus began the Ten Amendments, or Bill of Rights, which were approved this day, Sept. 25, 1789. They were passed because the Constitution did not limit the powers of the federal government enough.
Indeed, 16 of the 55 delegates refused to sign the Constitution. Patrick Henry and Samuel Adams even tried to prevent it from being ratified, as the abuses of King George’s concentrated power were still fresh. Only with the promise that 10 limitations would be placed on this new government did the states finally ratify the Constitution.
Mr. Federer is also the author of “America’s God and Country Encyclopedia of Quotations,” a fine reference which happens to sit on my desk and has been an invaluable tool in both my own writings and in my children’s research on America’s rich history.
He also runs a publishing company that is “dedicated to research America’s noble heritage,” and you can sign up to receive the “American Minute” e-mails on his site.
As you might expect, Mr. Federer is a highly sought-after public speaker and has addressed audiences at political conventions, on military bases, in churches and universities, and in many other forums.
One more example of Federer’s excellent work was the subject of this past Sunday’s e-mail:
His wife and mother both tragically died on Valentine’s Day, 1884. Depressed, he left New York to ranch cattle in the Dakotas. He organized the first Voluntary Cavalry, known as the “Rough Riders,” which captured San Juan Hill. He was vice president under William McKinley, and in 1901 became America’s youngest president. His name was Teddy Roosevelt, born this day, Oct. 27, 1858.
President Roosevelt warned: “The thought of modern industry in the hands of Christian charity is a dream worth dreaming. The thought of industry in the hands of paganism is a nightmare beyond imagining. The choice between the two is upon us.”
As I said, the “American Minute” e-mails are treasures.