“It took a lot of punishment.”

Captain Bill Cooper was an American World War II fighter.  He flew 70 missions, including during D-Day, Battle of the Bulge and the invasion of Holland. One of is planes was the P-47 Thunderbolt, of which he said, “It took a lot of punishment.” Shot down three times, he always managed to get back to […]

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“After you come, take.”

2500 years ago Spartan King Leonidas and his men stood against an invading Persian army under King Xerxes.  Xerxes sent a message to Leonidas, requesting that he surrender and “Deliver up your arms.” The famous reply was “Molon Labe,” literally translated as “After you come, take.”  Sparta was in a region of Greece known as […]

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Sea to Shining Sea

One of the most unusual American flags was that of explorer and first Republican Party candidate for President, John C. Fremont.   Fremont led several expeditions into the American West, some into areas claimed by Mexico. His wife Jessie created a unique banner for his exploration.  The Stars and Stripes design is clearly represented, with […]

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How Potatoes Saved the Ship

When the chips are down, a man will fight with whatever he has to hand. More than once, what he had was a potato. Everyone knows about the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. Not every ship was armed, and not every man on an armed ship had weapon ready. Hansen was an engineer on the […]

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Giant of the Revolution – “Virginia Hercules”

If Hollywood ever wants to create another box office hit war movie complete with mystery, romance, and swashbuckling action, it would have to be centered around Revolutionary War hero Peter Francisco. A five-year-old boy who was abandoned at a harbor in Virginia grew up to be one of our courageous soldiers in the War for […]

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“Don’t Give Up The Ship”

The War of 1812 was fought between the United States and Great Britain over violations of American maritime rights. The Americans objected to the British Empire restricting their trade and snatching their sailors to serve on British ships. During this conflict Oliver Hazard Perry was aboard the USS Chesapeake as it engaged the British ship […]

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Password: “Victory or Death”

The battle was on Christmas Day of 1776. The place was Trenton, on the Delaware River of New Jersey. It was the scene of “Washington crossing the Delaware.” America had declared its independence not quite six months before, but the year’s battles had been one disaster after another. Philadelphia was in panic. The Continental Congress […]

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The Man Behind The Stars and Stripes – Francis Hopkinson

Betsy Ross made flags for 50 years, and we are all familiar with the famous circular 13-star design. Fewer know about Francis Hopkinson, signer of the Declaration of Independence and designer of our Stars and Stripes. Letters between Hopkinson and the Continental Congress tell the story, and these letters can be found in the National […]

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