The story of Richard Somers of Somers Point explains when America was great, and why.
Richard Somers, like most Americans back then, learned more reading, writing, critical thinking, math and science skills from eight grades of schooling, than most college graduates know today.
Somers mastered a trade, skippering cargo ships sailing between New York and Philadelphia by age 17. Most Americans, boys and girls, also learned useful trades and were financially independent by that age.
America had no army or navy, and tried to be at peace with the world for our first 13 years as a nation. Because of this, Americans abroad were often attacked, robbed, and sold into slavery by Muslim privateers in the Mediterranean, and French pirates in the Caribbean. When Americans finally built a navy to stop this in 1798, Richard Somers was one of the first to join.
At age 23, Richard Somers commanded a warship that sailed 5,000 miles to fight Islamic terrorists by the Shores of Tripoli in North Africa. He was sent by President Thomas Jefferson, not George Bush.
Every American school child once knew this story. Somers, New York is named after Richard Somers. The first monument at the Annapolis Naval Academy honors Somers and his crew.? The poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was named after Somers’ second in command.
There are Richard Somers monuments all over his home town of Somers Point. Yet until we revived yearly ceremonies to honor him, few people knew who he was even here.
For the past 50 years, people who hate America and our way of life took control of our schools, colleges, media, and Hollywood pop culture. Every day, they systematically distort and manipulate the history of our country. Their purpose is to persuade more Americans to hate our country and our unique culture and system of limited, constitutional government, and maximum individual freedom and opportunity. Telling stories of great Americans and the good they did does not advance their agenda.
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Seth Grossman, Executive Director