Make February an AMERICAN History Month!

By Seth Grossman, Political Columnist

??? February was once an American History month.?? We honored Abraham Lincoln before February 12 by learning about his life, and memorizing his speeches.?? We learned about George Washington before his birthday on February 22.? At that time, Black History Week, taught us about black leaders like Frederick Douglas, born on February 14, who also contributed to the greatness of America.

??? Now all of February is Black History Month, and “black history” is also taught during much of January for Martin Luther King Day.??? Washington and Lincoln have been shoved together into a single Presidents Day with 41 other good, bad, and ugly presidents. ? Public schools today spend much of February teaching kids to pass standardized tests like HSPA, the High School Proficiency Assessment Test given in early March.

??? For more information, visit or contact Somers Point attorney Seth Grossman at? 609-927-7333.

??? These standardized tests measure “knowledge and skills in the areas of Mathematics and Language Arts Literacy as described in the Core Curriculum Content Standards”.??? Understanding and appreciating great Americans like?George Washington and Abraham Lincoln are not on those tests, so why waste time on them?

??? Most high school kids today know little about George Washington except that he owned slaves, and wore wooden false teeth.?? Washington’s dad died when he was 11, and willed most of his money to his three kids from his first marriage.?? Washington had to cut back on his schooling to help his mom and five younger brothers and sisters work their farm.

??? Here is what they don’t know.

??? At age 15, George Washington began to learn a trade to support himself– the trade of surveying.??? At age 16, Washington led? survey parties through the unexplored woods Kentucky and West Virginia hundreds of miles from any settlement.??? By? age 17, Washington was the prosperous owner of his own survey business.
????At age 20, Washington joined his local national guard unit.? At age 21, he became its major.? At age 22, Washington led 150 men into the woods of West Virginia to block French troops coming south from what is now Pittsburgh.?? This skirmish in 1754 touched off a nine year world? war? between England and France.??? Washington bravery, leadership, and organizing skills became famous throughout America.? He was soon put in charge of all British and American troops in Virginia, West Virginia, and Kentucky.

??? When the war was over,? 31 year old Washington wanted a career in the British army.? But he was rejected by the ruling London aristocrats as a “mere colonial”.?? Washington came to despise the corrupt English society where family and personal connections meant more than talent and achievement.?

??? Washington soon married, and he used his talent and energy to expand and improve his farm.??? He applied new science and engineering techniques, and switched from tobacco to wheat to make his farm one of the most productive and profitable in the world.?? He also processed and exported his wheat and bought a commercial fishing fleet.

??? This put Washington into conflict with Britain’s “mercantile” program.?? Today in New Jersey, we call it?”economic development”.? The British aristocrats who ran the government wanted “colonials” like Washington to make them rich, not compete with them.??? Their bureaucrats crippled Washington’s business operations with regulations that forced him to sell to English merchants at low prices, buy at high prices, and spend a fortune on lawyers, lobbyists, and middlemen.

??? When the patriots of Boston rebelled against Britain in 1775, George Washington rushed up from Virginia to join them.??? By then, Washington was a colonial Donald Trump–one of? the richest men in America.?? By joining with the Boston rebels, Washington?put his entire fortune,? and his life at risk.In 1776 and 1777, Washington overcame defeats and setbacks that would have crushed lesser men.?? When he achieved victory eight years later, the grateful nation offered to make him king.??? But Washington refused and went home.

??? Three years later, when the America’s Articles of Confederation caused economic chaos and disruption,?Washington started the movement to adopt a new Constitution.???He then served eight years as President, and again went home.?? Washington told Americans to learn how to run their own country, and not look for leaders to save them.?? Washington spent the last years of his life drafting an estate plan that bypassed his relatives and made each of his 317 slaves free and financially independent upon his wife’s death.

??? Did your kids learn this stuff at school??? If not, please contact me so I can present a special 45 minute enrichment program at their school.

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