On Nov. 14, 1940, the Germans bombed Coventry, England, killing more than 550 civilians. Over three decades later, one man claimed — without proof — that Prime Minister Winston Churchill knew about the raid and let it happen to protect a secret: Britain had cracked the Nazi Enigma code. It’s one of history’s greatest lies, about one of history’s greatest men.Read More
Sites to Visit for Real History
The Churchill Centre and Museum at the Churchill War Rooms, London
Bletchley Park: Historic site of secret British codebreaking activities during WWII and birthplace of the modern computer.
Imperial War Museums
Exposing the Myth
Sir Martin Gilbert, Winston Churchill’s Official Biographer
“Coventry: What Really Happened — On 12 November, Enigma had revealed a raid in prospect, but not the target. At the moment on 14 November when the German radio directional beams revealed the target, all possible counter measures had been taken without delay.”
Richard Langworth, Churchill Historian
“Anybody who still thinks Churchill let Coventry burn to protect his secret intelligence, in the light of all the evidence to the contrary, including the mustering of RAF fighters...
It’s the war between the states of Alaska and Ohio. The highest peak in North America is named after William McKinley, our 25th president, slain by an assassin in 1901. But some folks in Alaska want to replace his name with a native one. Here’s the case for and against, and suggestions for a McCompromise worthy of the Idol of Ohio himself. Check out Facebook for photographs illustrating the topics discussed.Read More
National Park Service: Denali National Park & Preserve
See Denali.com: The Mount McKinley/Denali Naming Controversy
President McKinley’s Veto Message, May 3, 1900, on an Indian land-grab bill in Arizona
AK Radio: McKinley vs. The High One, with Clips of Congressman Regula
Tribune Chronicle: No Need to Change Name of Landmark
New 2000: Senator Murkowski Again Proposes Renaming Mount McKinley
AP: Does This Mount Need A New Name?
Alaska Business Monthly: Murkowski Urges Colleagues to Alaskanize Mount McKinley, Talkeetna Ranger Station
Newhouse News Service: Mount Mckinley Moniker Debated — Lawmaker: Peak Should Bear Alaska Native Name
Visit: Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
Visit: Congressman Tim Ryan (D-OH)
Visit: William McKinley Presidential Library & Museum -Canton, Ohio
Visit: McKinley Mem...
These are a few of our angriest things, from the absurd Washington saucer anecdote and the true meaning of JFK’s “Ich bin ein Berliner,” to our current commander-in-chief misquoting Rutherford B. Hayes. It’s the 10 Greatest Things Our Presidents Never Said as the guys discuss Presidents’ Day 2013.Read More
This is a presidential misquote two-fer, featuring a conversation between George Washington and Thomas Jefferson that is not documented to have every happened. It’s repeated often, usually when one part or the other is complaining about the Senate slowing down legislation and fulfilling its role as “the world’s greatest deliberative body.”
The exchange claims to recount a discussion of Jefferson and Washington discussing the bicameral legislature, the Great Compromise between big and small states that led us to a House of Representatives. Whether we live in Rhode Island or Alaska or California, we’re proportionally represented in the lower chamber but by the same number of senators in the upper chamber.
The exchange, which takes various forms, goes something like this: “An oft-quoted story...Read More
Poor John Adams. In his lifetime he was abused and taunted and ignored. He had little charisma and bad personal skills. He suffered from arthritis, baldness, heartburn — oh, and he contracted smallpox from a vaccine. For nearly two centuries, poor Adams was the forgotten slice of American cheese sandwiched between thick slabs of Washington and Jefferson. As the Park Ranger at the Adams National Historical Site told us, “If anyone had claimed that John Adams was their favorite president before John McCullough’s biography, I’d have called them a liar.”
Which brings us to this false quote. It’s said that Adams claimed that during the American Revolution, “One third supported the war, one third opposed it, and one third had no opinion.” We had the good fortune to see Mr. McCullough at a 92nd S...Read More
Thomas Jefferson — like his friend, then bitter foe, then friend again John Adams — wrote a lot. He’s also a well-known name from history. The combination makes him ripe for a made-up quote. As with the Washington quote, the first reference to this supposed Jeffersonian quip didn’t occur until a century (actually 111 years) after his death, in a congressional report.
It goes like this: “If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their Fathers conquered.”
What’s interesting is, this quote is often footnoted to a number of important-sounding, credible sources...Read More
The first son of a president to become president, and the first son of a president to get there without winning the popular vote (as did the grandson of President William Henry Harrison, oddly enough), John Quincy Adams was known later in life as Old Man Eloquent. He began a career in service to his country that started in his teens, and was indeed a Christian. (Unitarian, like his father.) He’d read through the Bible each year, and there’s even a book on his faith: “Letters of John Quincy Adams to His Son on the Bible and Its Teaching.”
With a résumé like this, JQA is a natural for the fake quotati...Read More