BY RAMON PRESSON
It’s been more than 40 years since I took my last American History class in the school, so I always find it enjoyable to learn something new about the founding of our country. For example, it wasn’t until President Trump’s Fourth of July speech last week that I knew that during the Revolutionary War our newly formed Continental Army took over the airports.
By now you’ve heard that Trump had teleprompter issues for which he attributed his now-famous lines: “In June of 1775, the Continental Congress created a unified army out of the revolutionary forces encamped around Boston and New York and named after the great George Washington, commander in chief. The Continental Army suffered a bitter winter of Valley Forge, found glory across the waters of the Delaware and seized victory from Cornwallis of Yorktown. Our army manned the air it, rammed the ramparts, it took over the airports, it did everything it had to do.”
A Few Corrections
First of all, the Continental Army was not named after George Washington unless George’s middle name was Continental.
Secondly, British General Cornwallis was not “of” Yorktown. He was defeated “in” Yorktown. However, if Cornwallis was indeed from Yorktown then the defeat in his own hometown had to be especially humiliating.
But the lines of the speech that promptly launched a thousand memes, tweets, and cartoons were those declaring that our army took possession of America’s airports, most likely LaGuardia, Dulles, and Logan. This strategic move not only prevented British Airways from landing its planes, it protected our own fleet of fighter jets known as, you guessed it—Continental Airlines.
I had some fun imagining what it might have been like if Donald Trump had taught my 5th grade American History class.
“Boys and girls, it happened like this. Britain and England got together and declared war on America because they were jealous. Everyone has been jealous of America since the beginning. When you’re the best, when you’re on top, there’s always people wanting to knock you off. Remember that boys and girls.
But Paul Revere was ready for them. He was given a signal to know if the British were landing by air, sea, or land, although I’m not sure why that matters because either way their army had to walk on the land once they got there, am I right? They come in boats, they have to land on shore. Their airplanes land, they land on the land, know what I mean?
Anyway, Paul was in a high tower and saw the British coming so he shouted, “The British are coming!” and he rang the Liberty Bell so hard that it cracked. Some people believe it was broken by the baggage handlers at the airport on its way to Philadelphia, but that’s not true. I have several friends who are baggage handlers and they’re fantastic people.
The next day George Washington posed for a very famous painting standing up in a boat as it was crossing the Mississippi River to Delaware. It was Christmas eve and all the British soldiers were drunk because that’s what British people do on Christmas Eve—they get drunk. I don’t drink, did you know that? I don’t drink, but British people are sloshed at Christmas. I think it’s disgusting. But if you think that’s bad, you should see the Irish on St. Patrick’s Day.
Anyway, the American army charged the British camp shouting things like, “Give me liberty or give me death,” and “Remember the Alamo!” Well, General Corndog Wallis-- that’s what I call him because he was such a loser, waved his arms and cried like a little girl, “Please don’t shoot me. Oh, please don’t shoot me.” I have to tell you, if I’d been George Washington, I would’ve shot Corndog with my AR-15 right between the eyes. Maybe I would’ve punched him a few times first, I don’t know.
The next morning the Continental Army celebrated their victory with a big breakfast. They had bagels, fruit, yogurt, cereal, and juice. Hotels today call this a “continental breakfast”; and now you know where that name came from.
Speaking of food, after lunch I’ll tell you about the really fantastic deal we got on the Louisiana Purchase. France was so desperate to sell that they also threw in the Statue of Liberty for free. I love making deals. I’m great at making deals. I’m so good at making great deals that if I’d been in charge we would have paid even less for Louisiana; and not only would we have gotten the Statue of Liberty, we would’ve also gotten the Eiffel Tower, and the Tour de France would be in Colorado. I’m not kidding.”
Ramon Presson, PhD, is a licensed marriage and family therapist in Franklin (www.ramonpressontherapy.com) and the author of several books. Reach him at email@example.com. To read Presson’s previous columns go to www.franklinhomepage.com/?s=ramon+presson