In my previous articles, I have mentioned that our education system is failing. To demonstrate this, let me ask a simple question.
Who was the first President of the United States? George Washington, the popular choice, was actually the eighth President of the United States not the first. A long forgotten man named John Hansen was actually the first president. He served as President of the Continental Congress of the United States of America from July 2, 1776 to October 29, 1777. Prior to that, he served as the third President of the Continental Congress of the United Colonies of America.
Two other Presidents of the United Colonies of America, Peyton Randolph and Henry Middleton preceded him. The titles I use are historically correct and are important to us today as they differentiate the different types of presidencies during the early days of our nation.
Several of the things Hansen did remain in place today. He established the Great Seal of the United States that is used on all official presidential documents. He also declared that all foreign troops must leave the United States. To enforce this, he installed the first Secretary of War. He also established the Treasury Department and our foreign service. Unknown to many of us, he gave us a Thanksgiving holiday.
It was Hanson that first implemented a day of Thanksgiving each year during the revolutionary war. In addition, he and George Washington took action to prevent Colonel Lewis Nicola from making George Washington the King of America, an action that would have created an American monarchy.
Following Hancock as President of the Continental Congress of the United States of America were Henry Laurens, John Jay, and Samuel Huntington. With the creation of the Articles of Confederation, the first President of the United States in Congress Assembled was Samuel Huntington. He was followed by Thomas McKean, John Hancock (again), Elias Boudinot, Thomas Mifflin, Richard Lee, John Hancock (again), Nathaniel Gorham, Arthur St. Clair and Cyrus Griffin.
Unfortunately, this form of government did not work well. In an effort to perfect the American form of government, the United States Constitution was written and these presidents were forgotten.
George Washington became president in 1789. As the first President of the United States of America under the Constitution of the United States he is revered as a national hero. His war record, his leadership as commander-in-chief in the War of Independence, and his service as President of the United States deserves to be celebrated. My concern is that the prior presidents have been ignored. They were president during this nation's founding and were at very great risk.
The British were not happy with the loss of their colonies and fiercely pursued the fight against the colonists until the British surrendered at Yorktown in 1781. I believe that if the British captured any of our first seven presidents they would have been executed.
I learned my American history in another country. When I first came to this country as an immigrant, I was astounded that most Americans did not have a solid grasp of their own history. The first 11 years of the United States was difficult indeed, but it was also a time of great hope. Our nation prevailed by defeating the British and sending them packing.
Our first seven presidents led the way to our independence. I cannot understand why these presidents are not discussed in our schools or placed in a position of honor on President's day.
History can be changed to fit into an agenda. Even the Bible was changed in 325 A.D. The Book of Mary (Magdalene) was dropped from the Bible and almost disappeared. Several critical sections have been lost forever, but much remains source. It and several other books were dropped because they did not fit in to the accepted scriptures.
Books were included or dropped in an attempt to create a universal Bible. While I admire the enormous effort that went into formatting the version created at Nicaea by the Council, I believe that the Bible is God's word and should not be modified by the politics of man to fit a human agenda.
If Japan had won the war in the Pacific, would they have eliminated their massacres? Would the 300,000 people murdered in Nanking have been sanitized? Would the 6 to 10 million Asians exterminated by the Japanese in World War II be considered casualties of war? If Germany and her allies had won the war in Europe, would the British and American pilots who firebombed Dresden in February of 1945 have been charged and executed as war criminals?
After the war, it was estimated that between 100,000 and 500,000 people were killed during the bombing of this city. In October of 2008, a new sanitized figure was released that stated that between 10,000 and 25,000 people died. Is the new number a fact or is it an attempt to rewrite history by reducing the casualties to protect American and British interests?
To sight another example, if Germany won, would those who massacred 6 million Jews be considered heroes instead of being executed for war crimes? I will let you decide.
Today, it is harder to distort history because the Internet remains free and unregulated. If Net Neutrality and other legislation passes that enables government control of the Internet, will children be told 200 years from now that America was never free, or that capitalism never existed?
The Internet is the world's largest library. As long as it exists and remains independent of government intervention, historical events will be chronicled accurately. If various governments manage it, will facts be altered? I say they will.
In 50 years, will anyone know who was the first President of the United States? I don't think so.
© 2011 Gordon Smith All Rights Reserved