Last night the History channel started its new mini series, “America: The Story of Us.” some of the episodes in the series are “Revolution” (10 p.m. Sunday), “Westward” (9 p.m. May 2), “Division” (10 p.m. May 2), “Civil War” (9 p.m. May 9), “Heartland” (10 p.m. May 9), “Cities” (9 p.m. May 16), “Boom” (10 p.m. May 16), “Bust” (9 p.m. May 23), “WWII” (10 p.m. May 23), “Boomers” (9 p.m. Monday, May 31) and “Millennium” (10 p.m. May 31).
ROB OWEN, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette discribed the series as, “a propulsive, glossy, goes-down-easy overview on these earliest years of English settlers in North America. It will keep viewers’ attention, but it’s unlikely to prepare students for an Advanced Placement history test. The program might best be considered an introduction to American history for elementary students.” Which I would agree with and follow it with isn’t that true of the entire History channel programming?
Anyway what I found interesting in this first episode was the story of Baron von Steuben. He was anex-Prussian Army officer, an elite soldier who became one of the most powerful men in General Washington’s command. He reinvent the demoralized Patriot Army so they could take on the British in a close fight. He drilled discipline into the ragtag band of recruits. He said, “You say to your solder, ‘Do this,’ and he doesit. but here, I am obliged to say, ‘This is the reason why you ought to do that, ‘ and then he does it.” He reorganized valley Forge moving the latrines away from the living quarters and moves the kitchens to the opposite side of the camp. Finally he organized housing according to regiment and companies. His biggest contribution is the manual on military training with methods that are still is use today.
Wondering why I am so interested in the man other than he is responsible for us winning the revolution? Because he was also a gay man. They point out that, “Washington was a genius in taking people in who didn’t seem like they could achieve great things, but under him, the rose to challenge, they rose to the occasion.” Maybe we need to go back to Washington’s vision where every citizen is valued.