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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Today in American History: Great Britain Passes the Quartering Act 03/24/1765

Today in American History, The British Parliament passes the Quartering Acts, March 24, 1765.


The Quartering Act is the name applied to the two Acts of the British Parliament that applied to the American Colonies.  The Act passed on this date in 1765 was the first of two Acts of Parliament that ordered the quartering of British soldiers.  The Acts ordered localities within the colonies to provide British soldiers with any needs that they might have.  These included, but were not necessarily limited to: housing, food, clothing or any other supplies that the soldier(s) thought they needed.  This was often executed when a British officer would want to take a horse, or furniture that they saw and liked.

Originally intended as a response to issues that arose during the French and Indian War with soldiers not having quarters when they needed them, it quickly escalated to a high-strung source of tension between the colonies and the crown, and was part of the rallying battle cry for the Revolutionary War.

Because there had been no standing army in the colonies before the French and Indian War, General Thomas Gage found that his soldiers could not find adequate places to rest while marching, or the ability to take needed supplies while deployed.  When this first Quartering Act was enacted, not only did it allow for soldiers to sleep in private houses, livery stables, inns, ale houses and so on -- but it also made the local Colonial authorities responsible for paying to feed the soldiers.  When 1,500 British troops arrive in New York city in 1766, the local authorities refused to comply with the Quartering Act.  The troops had to remain on their ships, instead of coming ashore.  The refusal to comply created a great deal of tension in the city, and a skirmish took place in which one colonist was wounded while denying a soldier access.  Retribution for failing to comply with the law came via a suspension of the Governor and legislature in writing -- but never actually carried out the suspension because the New York Assembly finally complied in 1771.  The Quartering Act was circumvented in all other colonies, except Pennsylvania.  There was a second, similar Act passed by Parliament on June 2nd, 1774 and lumped in with the famed "Intolerable Acts" as a reaction to the Boston Tea Party.  The original Act expired March 24, 1776.



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Bruce has worked in educational technology for over 18 years and has implemented several 1:1/BYOD programs.  He also has served as a classroom teacher in Computer Science, History and English classes.  Bruce is the author of five books: Sands of TimeTowering Pines Volume One:Room 509The Star of ChristmasPhiladelphia Story: A Lance Carter Detective Novel and The Insider's Story: A Lance Carter Detective Novel.  Follow Bruce's Novel releases by subscribing to his FREE newsletter!

Be sure to check out Bruce's Allentown Education Examiner Page, his Twitter and his Facebook!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Today in American History: "Common Sense" by Thomas Paine is Published - 03/10/1776

Today in American History, "Common Sense" is published by Thomas Paine, March 10, 1776.


Common Sense
"Common Sense" is a pamphlet written by Thomas Paine from 1775-1776.  The pamphlet explained the need for American Independence by exploring the advantages of such an endeavor, while pointing out the oppression of the British Crown.  It was published anonymously on January 10, 1776 right after the American Revolution kicked off, and was an immediate sensation throughout the colonies -- inspiring support for the war effort.  It was then reprinted and published under Paine's name on this day in 1776.  The pamphlet was sold everywhere that sold printed material, and was read aloud in public spaces consistently throughout 1776.  It could be seen as America's first pro-war propaganda piece.  It is known that George Washington read it aloud to his troops in Boston when they had the British surrounded and trapped within the city.


Thomas Paine
While there are many reasons for the popularity of "Common Sense," including it being the right document at the right time in America.  Paine took pains (no pun intended) to write "Common Sense" in a simple, easy-to-read manner, foregoing the popular European classical style of writing.  The style is structured more as-if it were a Sunday morning sermon being given by a preacher standing at a pulpit.  Paine did this because this was something that the Average American Colonist could identify with and absorb naturally.  It also made it easy for people to do just that, stand in front of their peers in taverns and on street corners and "preach" to the crowd... swaying their opinion through Paine's strong words.  He did so by utilizing popular Biblical references and connecting independence with common Protestant beliefs to create a distinct and recognizable American identity.  Its impact motivated Americans to forget their individual situations, and come together as one nation in support of independence. 

When measured by modern standards, and adjusted for population, "Common Sense" remains the best-selling printed material in American history.  It was printed at least once in the Connecticut Courant, but likely more than that in its entirety.  All the royalties from the sales of the pamphlet (at the time) were donated to support Washington's Army.
Thomas Paine's "Common Sense" was called "the most incendiary and popular pamphlet of the entire revolutionary war era" by noted historian Gordon Wood.

Click here to download the "Writings of Thomas Paine: Volume 2" which includes "Common Sense" for free on your Amazon Kindle.

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Bruce has worked in educational technology for over 18 years and has implemented several 1:1/BYOD programs.  He also a lifelong baseball fan who has served as a classroom teacher in Computer Science, History and English classes.  Bruce is the author of five books: Sands of TimeTowering Pines Volume One:Room 509The Star of ChristmasPhiladelphia Story: A Lance Carter Detective Novel and The Insider's Story: A Lance Carter Detective Novel.  Follow Bruce's Novel releases by subscribing to his FREE newsletter!

Be sure to check out Bruce's Allentown Education Examiner Page, his Twitter and his Facebook!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Today in American History: The Boston Massacre - 03/05/1770

Today in American History on March 5th, 1770, The Boston Massacre took place.
Paul Revere's Etching of The Boston Massacre
The Boston Massacre, also known as The Incident on King Street by the British, took place when an angry mob of colonial protestors was fired upon by British troops without violent provocation or orders from their superiors to do so -- killing five and wounding six others.  The incident was preceded by orders from Kind George to station troops in Boston to enforce unpopular Parliamentary legislation that followed the Boston Tea Party.  Amid heightened tensions, a young boy named Edward Garrick began harassing a soldier over an unpaid bill.  The bill, however, had been paid on time and a British sentry, Hugh White, told the boy to be more respectful of his elders.  Garrick responded with insults to Private White, who struck the boy.  White was then surrounded by a few people who began harassing him about his interaction with Garrick.  

Quickly, the "few" grew into an angry mob hurling insults and general verbal abuse at the soldier.  As the crowd grew, the British began to show up in force and attempt to disperse the crowd without force, eventually growing to a total of nine armed British soldiers.  The angry mob added throwing things at the British soldiers, and ringing the bell of the church -- which signified a fire -- in order to attract more attention to the altercation.  Before they knew it, over fifty people were gathered led by a runaway slave named Crispus Attucks, who not only threw things at the soldiers but was taunting them to fire at the crowd.  As the crowd continued to grow, an object struck Private Montgomery tossing him to the ground.  As he recovered his weapon, he fired into the crowd.  The details of the next few moments are hazy and not certain.  Some said that Montgomery himself yelled, "Fire, damn you!" as the other soldiers discharged their weapons into the crowd.  But everyone agrees that the British Captain Preston never gave the order for his soldiers to fire their weapons.  When the firing had stopped, three Bostonians lay dead with a number of others injured.  Two others would die shortly thereafter.  The dead included Crispus Attucks, James Caldwell and Samuel Grey.  Patrick Carr would die two weeks later, and Christopher Monk was severely injured  in the attack, would die in 1780 reportedly from injuries suffered in the massacre.  The crowd eventually dispersed after the Acting Governor Thomas Hutchinson promised an inquiry and action on the matter.


Site of the Boston Massacre on modern day State Street in Boston
The next day, Hutchinson redacted his statement and sent the soldiers out of Boston to Castle Island.  In the end, eight soldiers, one officer and four civilians were arrested and charged with murder.  The accused were defending by the future President John Adams and he managed to get six of them acquitted, while only two were found guilty of manslaughter and received severely reduced sentences.  Their sentences were to have their hands branded.

The event was used by both loyalists and radicals in support of their own cause.  Both publishing pamphlets that told strikingly different stories.  The Boston Gazette published a story that characterized the event as another in a series of actions that were meant to "quell a spirit of liberty", tying it to the quartering of troops in the city -- while the loyalists published a story in London to try and gather support for the Governor. 


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Bruce has worked in educational technology for over 18 years and has implemented several 1:1/BYOD programs.  He also a lifelong baseball fan who has served as a classroom teacher in Computer Science, History and English classes.  Bruce is the author of five books: Sands of TimeTowering Pines Volume One:Room 509The Star of ChristmasPhiladelphia Story: A Lance Carter Detective Novel and The Insider's Story: A Lance Carter Detective Novel.  Follow Bruce's Novel releases by subscribing to his FREE newsletter!

Be sure to check out Bruce's Allentown Education Examiner Page, his Twitter and his Facebook!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Teaching Financial Literacy with Technology

The subject of teaching financial literacy is one that has been bandied about for decades in America's schools.  How many times have you heard someone say, "Algebra?  I never use Algebra!  But I was never taught how to balance my check book -- that I need to know!"  Well, some areas are starting to inject this into their curriculum -- and there are some great digital resources to help!


Some states, such as Ohio, have an economic and financial literacy requirement in their Ohio Core state standards to be taught within social studies or another class. In their state, teachers certified in social studies, business education, marketing education, and family and consumer science are all licensed to teach financial literacy. These teachers can help develop a curriculum starting in the earliest grades to make sure these literacies are woven seamlessly throughout the curriculum at all grade levels.

The Council for Economic Education has developed a set of standards for financial literacy that start in grade three.  
These Standards Include:
  • Earning Income
  • Buying Goods and Services
  • Using Credit
  • Saving
  • Financial Investment
  • Protecting and Insuring

Of course, financial literacy standards are also found in the National Business Association’s standards, the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences standards,  and state standards, such as the ones in OhioOklahoma (7-12), Nebraska (K-12) and New Jersey (4-12). There are even sets of standards, such as the Jump$tart Coalition’s National Standards in K-12 Personal Finance Education that can serve to help you embed economic and financial literacy across the curriculum.

As a great tie-in to these standards, Discovery Education has built a great series of streaming videos that can augment your financial readiness curriculum called, "Financial LIteracy: Teach It!"  Below, I've included some links and descriptions of these videos.  They do require that your school or district be subscribed to Discovery Education in order to view them.

Financial Literacy for Students: K-2

  • The Meaning of Money
  • Counting Bills and Coins
  • Writing Out Money: Decimals and Dollar Signs

  • Earning Power
  • Needs Versus Wants
  • Saving for a Goal
  • What Do Banks Do?

  • Creating a Budget
  • Savings Accounts
  • Checking Accounts
  • How to Use a Debit Card and ATM

  • Security and Banking Online
  • Calculating Interest
  • Risks and Rewards of Credit Cards
  • Loans: Car, School and Home
  • Long-term Savings and Investing
Other great resources:


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Bruce has worked in educational technology for over 18 years and has implemented several 1:1/BYOD programs.  He also a lifelong baseball fan who has served as a classroom teacher in Computer Science, History and English classes.  Bruce is the author of five books: Sands of TimeTowering Pines Volume One:Room 509The Star of ChristmasPhiladelphia Story: A Lance Carter Detective Novel and The Insider's Story: A Lance Carter Detective Novel.  Follow Bruce's Novel releases by subscribing to his FREE newsletter!

Be sure to check out Bruce's Allentown Education Examiner Page, his Twitter and his Facebook!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Today in American History: The Star Spangled Banner Adopted as National Anthem - 03/03/1969

Today in American History, March 3rd, 1931, "The Star Spangled Banner" was adopted as the American National Anthem.

The National Anthem is a much beloved song that everyone in America learns while growing up these days, but it wasn't always the case.  The lyrics of this song come from a poem written in 1814 by the 35 year old amateur poet, Francis Scott Key during the War of 1812.  Key wrote the poem, Defence of Fort McHenry, after witnessing the bombardment of Fort McHenry by the British Royal Navy at Chesapeake Bay on September 13th and 14th in 1814.  Shortly after the poem gained popularity, it was set to the tune of the popular British song "To Anacreon to Heaven," written by John Stafford Smith for The Anacreon Society.  Once set to this catchy tune, the song was renamed "The Star Spangled Banner" and was instantly popular in America as a patriotic song.


The song was adopted on this day in 1931 as the official national anthem, but before that there were other songs used at official national events.  "My Country Tis of Thee" and "Hail Columbia" were very popular for this purpose for at these events.  It is worth nothing that the tune of "My Country Tis of Thee" closely resembles that of "God Save The Queen" and garnered a level of dislike among people at the time because of it.

"The Star Spangled Banner" was adopted by the United States Navy for official use in 1889, and President Woodrow Wilson was known to use it during his Presidency.  It was also played during Game One of the seventh inning stretch of the 1918 World Series.  It was adopted as the national anthem in 1931 and signed into being by President Herbert Hoover, with the rationale that it would help lift the spirits of the downtrodden American citizens during The Great Depression.

In 1929, Robert Ripley published one of his famous "Ripley's Believe It or Not!" cartoons that read, "America has no National Anthem, Believe It or Not!" and John Philip Sousa wrote in 1931, "it is the spirit of the music that inspires... as much as Key's soul-stirring lyrics."  The song that was inspired by Key seeing the image of the battered flag still waving above Fort McHenry is thought of as being particularly difficult to sing.  That is because it is an octave and one fifth, a semi-tone above an octave.

While we only sing one verse of the song traditionally, there are actually four verses to the original song.  Below are the full four verses of the song, followed by a fifth verse added during the Civil War.

O say can you see by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there;
O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave,
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
'Tis the star-spangled banner, O! long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion,
A home and a country, should leave us no more?
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave,
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

O thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war's desolation.
Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the Heav'n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!


The fifth verse added during the Civil War: 

When our land is illumined with Liberty's smile,
If a foe from within strike a blow at her glory,
Down, down with the traitor that dares to defile
The flag of her stars and the page of her glory!
By the millions unchained who our birthright have gained,
We will keep her bright blazon forever unstained!
And the Star-Spangled Banner in triumph shall wave
While the land of the free is the home of the brave.


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Bruce has worked in educational technology for over 18 years and has implemented several 1:1/BYOD programs.  He also a lifelong baseball fan who has served as a classroom teacher in Computer Science, History and English classes.  Bruce is the author of five books: Sands of TimeTowering Pines Volume One:Room 509The Star of ChristmasPhiladelphia Story: A Lance Carter Detective Novel and The Insider's Story: A Lance Carter Detective Novel.  Follow Bruce's Novel releases by subscribing to his FREE newsletter!

Be sure to check out Bruce's Allentown Education Examiner Page, his Twitter and his Facebook!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Today in American History: Mickey Mantle Retires - 03/01/1969

Today in American History: Mickey Mantle announces his retirement on March 1st, 1969.  "The Mick" or "The Commerce Comet" as he was called, hung up his spikes after 18 seasons with the New York Yankees.  In Mickey's Hall of Fame career he amassed 536 home runs, 1,509 runs batted in, 2,415 hits, batted an impressive .298 while currying 20 All Star appearances, 3 MVP awards, the Triple Crown award (leading the league in batting average, home runs and runs batted in during a single season), lead the league in home runs four times, batting average and runs batted in once plus had his number retired by the New York Yankees and was named on the Major League Baseball All Century Team.  "The Mick" embodied everything that everyone loved about baseball, all in one good looking, friendly, athletic package.   He was the face of baseball for his career, playing in 7 World Series with the Yankees.



Born on October 20, 1931 in Spavinaw, Oklahoma, his family moved to Commerce, Oklahoma in 1944.  Baseball was in his life from an early age, his father (Mutt) loved the game, he grew up a St. Louis Cardinals fan and was even named after his father's favorite player, catcher Mickey Cochrane.  Later in his life, Mantle expressed his relief that his father did not know Cochrane's given name, Gordon.  In high school, Mantle lettered in football, basketball and baseball and was even offered a football scholarship to the University of Oklahoma.

His football career in high school nearly ended his athletic life all together.  Mickey was kicked in the shin during a practice during his sophomore year, and it quickly became infected with osteomyelitis.  A disease that just a few years earlier would have been incurable, and would have crippled him for life.  However, a midnight drive to the hospital in Tulsa enable Mickey to be treated with the new miracle cure, Penicillin, and he avoided having his leg amputated.

Mickey's professional baseball career began in with the Baxter Spring Whiz kids in 1948, a semi-professional team local to Mickey.  New York Yankees scout came to see Mantle's teammate, third basemen Billy Johnson, in 48 but Mantle hit three home runs in that game -- thoroughly impressing the scout, Tom Greenwade.  Greenwade returned in 1949 after Mantle graduated from high school and signed him to a $140 per month contract ($1,388 today) with a $1,500 ($14,868 today) signing bonus to play minor league ball.  He was assigned to play for the Independence Yankees in the Kansas-Oklahoma-Missouri Class-D League, and he played shortstop for the Independence club.  Mantle ended up hitting an impressive .313 for the Independence Yankees this year, but not before enduring a long slump.  During the slump, Mantle called his father and old him he wanted to quit baseball.  Much to his credit, Mutt got in the car and drove to Independence to counsel his young son, convincing him to keep at his lifelong dream.  Clearly, Mickey did and was promoted to the Class-C Joplin Miners in 1950.  In 1951, the impressive twenty year old Mantle was invited to the Yankees Instructional Camp during spring training.  Yankees manager Casey Stangle was so impressed by the kid, he decided to start him in right field in 1951 and the legend was finally in pin stripes.

Unfortunately, Mantle's story isn't all puppy dogs and unicorns yet.  He endured a significant slump early in 1951 and was sent down the Kansas City Blues where he continued to struggle -- failing to find the power that made him
Mantle's Rookie Card 
stand out in the lower minor leagues.  Once again, Mickey called his father and told him he wanted to quite baseball.  Mutt, once again, drove up to Kansas City, but this time he did not try and talk his son out of quitting.  Instead, he began packing his son's stuff telling him, "I thought I'd raised a man, but I see I raised a coward instead.  You can come back and work the mines with me."    Mantle found his swing, hitting .361 with 11 home runs in the next forty more games in Kansas City, he rejoined the Yankees.  During the 1951 season, Mantle ended hitting .267 with 13 home runs and 65 runs batted in over 96 games.


The Yankees would go to the World Series in 1951 against the Giants.  During the series, Willie Mays would hit a fly ball to right-center field that Mantle pursued.  Joe DiMaggio called for the catch and made it for the out, however while getting out of DiMaggio's way, Mantle would trip over an exposed drain pipe and injure his right knee.  Mantle had torn his ACL, a common injury today.  Injuries would plague Mantle's career.  Mantle would play the rest of his career with the torn ACL -- clocked at 3.1 seconds from home plate to first base.  The fastest ever recorded.

DiMaggio went on to retire after 1951, and Mantle moved to his home -- centerfield for the New York Yankees.  He would play there from 1952 through the 1965 season, he was the moved to first base for his final two seasons.  His career took off, making the All Star team in 1952 and improving steadily each year until 1956 when he had his break out season.  He hit .353 with 52 home runs and drove in 130 runs winning the Triple Crown and the first of his three Most Valuable Player awards.  His career continued to shoot nowhere nowhere but up, and in 1961 he became the highest paid player in baseball -- awarded with a contract of $75,000 per year ($591, 899 today).  It is worth mentioning that this was not the richest contract in history at the time, DiMaggio, Ted Williams and Hank Greenberg were pulling down just over $100,000 but had recently retired.  And Babe Ruth's top salary had been $80,000.  Mantle would retire with a career high of $100,000 in 1963, after which he is rumored to have said, "I've made enough," and never asked for another raise.

The famous season of 1961 saw Roger Maris playing right field for the Yankees, next to Mantle.  Deemed the "M&M Boys", they engaged in the historical run to chase Babe Ruth's seemingly unbreakable record of 60 home runs in a single season.  While people initially saw Mantle as a hick from the country, he began to hone his media skills and became much beloved by the press in and out of New York.  And as the season wore on, and Mantle and Maris looked more and more like they'd break Ruth's record, the people were on Mantle's side.  The Yankees were clearly
The M&M Boys of 1961, Mantle on the right.
Mantle's team, and Maris was seen as an outside, someone who wasn't a "true Yankee."  But, fate was not on Mantle's side in 1961 and he was famously hospitalized for an abscess that grew in his right hip after receiving a bad flu shot.  Mantle would miss the remainder of the 1961 season finishing with 54 home runs.  Roger Maris would go on to hit 61 home runs in 1961, gaining him little but the wrath of the people for breaking the beloved Ruth's record.  The people wanted the record for Mantle, not Maris.  I highly recommend watching the movie, "61" made by Billy Crystal to see an engaging and reasonable historically accurate depiction of the 1961 season and what Roger Maris had to to through during his chase and ultimate eclipse of Ruth's record.




After 1965, Mantle was plagued with injuries season after season and would miss time in each of his final three seasons until he finally announced his retirement before the 1969 season.  While his numbers weren't ever the best all time, they were certainly among them, and his fame reached heights that few ever had and ever will reach, including being one of the inspirations for the "Talkin' Baseball (Willie, Mickey and The Duke)" by Terry Cashman.  Watch a video made for it below.




After baseball, Mantle would do appearances all over the country, and signed on in 1968 as a part-time color commentator with NBC.  He would go on to be a part-time commentator for the Montreal Expos in 1972, and do a number of other television gigs.  In the 1980's he led the Baseball Memorabilia craze by appearing at show after show and being generous with his autograph.  Mantle was famous for his poor business deals, but the opening of Mickey Mantle's on Central Park South in New York City in 1988 and it went on to become one of New York's most sought after reservations for years.  In 1992, Mantle penned the best-selling, "My Favorite Season" about the 1956 season in New York.  He continued to fight his alcoholism and partying into retirement before finally passing away in on August 13, 1995.  He left behind his wife, Merlyn and four sons.  He had separated from Merlyn in 1980 and lived out his remaining days with his agent, Greer Johnson.  He was rumored to have been with Greer for many years before the separation.  


Mantle's 1968 Baseball Card


All in all, Mickey Mantle was one of the original "Boys of Summer" and an inspiration to more than one generation of baseball fans.  I remember listening to my grandfather talk about Mantle, as well as others, and seeing him play in Yankee Stadium.  These stories were one of the things that I attribute to my lifelong love of the game, and my inspiration to play and study the history of the game.  Derek Jeter has most recently inspired the same feelings for the game for me and this generation of baseball fans, however the sport is sorely missing guys like Mantle, DiMaggio and Jeter today.  We look to Mike Trout and David Wright to take up the torch as the "All American Boys of Summer" today!


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Bruce has worked in educational technology for over 18 years and has implemented several 1:1/BYOD programs.  He also a lifelong baseball fan who has served as a classroom teacher in Computer Science, History and English classes.  Bruce is the author of five books: Sands of TimeTowering Pines Volume One:Room 509The Star of ChristmasPhiladelphia Story: A Lance Carter Detective Novel and The Insider's Story: A Lance Carter Detective Novel.  Follow Bruce's Novel releases by subscribing to his FREE newsletter!

Be sure to check out Bruce's Allentown Education Examiner Page, his Twitter and his Facebook!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

American History 101: The Battle of Monmouth Courthouse, June 28, 1778

On June 18, 1778, the British and Continental armies clashed in what is present day Freehold, New Jersey in the Battle of Monmouth, or Monmouth Courthouse.  The build up for this battle began at Valley Forge where General George Washington felt that the British army would be vulnerable as it traveled across New Jersey with its baggage train.  The heat was blistering, and General Charles Lee felt that the circumstances were not optimal for an offensive.  However, Washington insisted on attacking but could not decide on when and where to do so, so he convened a council of war.


The council of war was the group of generals, which consisted of Washington, Lee, Wayne, Greene and Knox.  Lee and Wayne urged Washington to attack in small numbers, being more of a harassing force and not an attacking force.  Washington disagreed and decided on his own to attack the rear flank of the British troops as they departed Monmouth Courthouse, and sent 4,000 troops on June 26th to meet the British.

The battle could have been an impressive victory for the Americans if the offensive was handled properly.  General Charles Lee met with his subordinates and gave them incomplete and unclear orders.  This lead to an offensive that was both disorganized and poorly timed.   Before Lee could react and reinforce in the right spots, General Cornwallis and his army retaliated and seized control of the battle.  Cornwallis kept the pressure on, and had General Lee's forces in full retreat.  With General Cornwallis in pursuit, General Washington and his army reinforced General Lee's army to stop the retreat.  Washington coming in from the rear flank held the British at bay and turned the tide in the battle.  After Washington confronted Lee on his enormous blunder, he took control of the armies and the American forces positioned behind Monmouth Courthouse Freehold Meetinghouse Road.  When the British came at the Americans, the Americans were well positioned and fought hard.  The British came from the left flank, and the Americans retaliated with an attack on the right flank successfully driving the British forces back and holding their ground.  The battle continued on like this until nightfall forced an end to hostilities, with the British attacking, and the Americans pushing them back. 


During the night, General Clinton moved his army out to continue its march to New York.  The next day General Cornwallis and Washington continued the battle to a stalemate.  The Battle of Monmouth Courthouse was significant because it was the first time that Washington had stood toe-to-toe with the British and his army held its own.  It wasn't because of a sneak attack or an significant advantage, it was simply two armies fighting each other on even terms to an even end.  The significance of this was that it illustrated the growing skill and effectiveness of the Continental Army.  The Battle of Monmouth represented a boost in moral and reputation for the Continental Army, and General Washington in particular. 

This battle was also significant because of the heat that pushed upwards of one hundred degrees at times, and while the American forces lost around 400 soldiers to the British losses of around 300, it is thought that many died of heat stroke.  The Battle of Monmouth was one of the battles in which the Molly Pitcher origin story is thought to come from.  There were stories that the wife of an American soldier, Mary Hays, was seen bringing water out to the battlefield to quench the thirst of the Continental Army. 

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Bruce has worked in educational technology for over 18 years and has implemented several 1:1/BYOD programs.  He also has served as a classroom teacher in Computer Science, History and English classes.  Bruce is the author of five books: Sands of TimeTowering Pines Volume One:Room 509The Star of ChristmasPhiladelphia Story: A Lance Carter Detective Novel and The Insider's Story: A Lance Carter Detective Novel.  Follow Bruce's Novel releases by subscribing to his FREE newsletter!

Be sure to check out Bruce's Allentown Education Examiner Page, his Twitter and his Facebook!