American History & Presidents

Giving thanks at Thanksgiving … but not to God

In 1789, America’s first president proclaimed a “day of public thanksgiving and prayer.” George Washington implored the heavens to “pardon our national and other transgressions” and urged the citizenry to practice “true religion and virtue.” In 1863, Abraham Lincoln urged … Continue reading

Presidents and Thanksgiving

Responding to a request from Congress, President George Washington issued our nation’s first Thanksgiving proclamation in 1789. Only in the midst of the crucible of civil war, however, did presidential proclamations of Thanksgiving become customary. Every year since 1863 our … Continue reading

Humility in New Hampshire

In his 1850 short story, “The Great Stone Face,” Nathaniel Hawthorne described the legend of the Old Man of the Mountain: “At some future day, a child should be born hereabouts, who was destined to become the greatest and noblest … Continue reading

Wisdom that Can Make a Difference

“One death is a tragedy, a million is a statistic.”–Joseph Stalin Late in the afternoon of December 25, 1991, Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev resigned, declared his office closed, and handed over the keys to Russia’s nuclear deterrent to President Boris … Continue reading

Barack Obama and the Grace of God

President Barack Obama’s remarkable eulogy for Clementa Pinckney, the pastor of the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, one of the nine victims of the recent tragic shooting there, has again called attention to the president’s often misunderstood faith. … Continue reading

John Adams and American Independence

As we celebrate our independence and astounding development from a fledging nation to the world’s superpower, we should applaud the extraordinary contributions of numerous founders. One of them whose accomplishments are often overlooked is John Adams. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, … Continue reading