Historian crushes myths about the American Revolution [long article]
The War of Independence is filled with stories not based in the facts, and this article re-evaluates the biggest Revolutionary War myths.
America's other flag story well documented at Baltimore attraction
The Flag House and adjoining Star-Spangled Banner Museum don't have anything to do with Betsy Ross. Rather, they honor another famous seamstress, Mary Pickersgill, whose handiwork inspired our National Anthem. The first American flag was sewn by a Pennsylvania woman named Betsy Ross - at least that's how the legend tells it. That "first flag" story is among a handful of tales associated with various versions of Old Glory as it flutters through the history of our country. Another legendary banner was the star-spangled one that flew over Baltimore's Fort McHenry during the War of 1812. Its creator was also a Pennsylvania woman.
What if British had won at Yorktown 1781?
British General Charles Earl Cornwallis' surrender to General George Washington after the siege of Yorktown marked the end of the Revolution's decisive battle and ended the war. But what if the general's roles had been reversed? -- A defeat at Yorktown could have led France to withdraw from the American Revolution. "That would have been catastrophic for the revolutionaries," said history professor Hoffman. Besides providing troops, warships and military expertise, France's jump into the fray brought the British worldwide worries. The British had to start guarding against a French invasion of their country and focus on protecting their other interests.
US Language: Did German lose out to English by just one vote
The legend usually goes like this: "In 1776, German came within one vote of becoming America's official language instead of English." But is it true? At first glance it may sound plausible. After all, Germans have played an important role in US history. Think of the Hessian soldiers, von Steuben, Molly Pitcher and all that. But a closer look reveals serious problems with this story.
Top 5 Myths About the Fourth of July
#1 Independence Was Declared on the Fourth of July -- America's independence was actually declared by the Continental Congress on July 2, 1776. So what happened on the Glorious Fourth? The document justifying the act of Congress-you know it as Thomas Jefferson's Declaration of Independence-was adopted on the fourth. John Adams, writing a letter home the day after independence was declared (i.e. July 3), predicted that from then on "the Second of July, 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. I am apt to believe it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival."