American History loves it's heroes. Heroes are created for a variety of reasons.
- Literary License. An author wants to make his story better, so he makes the hero bigger than life. This is partly how the Wild West was born.
- Example: Belle Star wasn't a beautiful female Robin Hood, but instead a mentally deranged woman who once stole some milk cows.
- Example: George Washington actually lost many battles and nearly lost the war.
- Example: There is no real evidence that Betsy Ross made the first "stars and stripes". The first time she was brought to public attention was by her grandson in 1870.
- There is compelling evidence that John Wilkes Booth escaped and moved to Texas and that there was a cover up related to the person who was killed and lies in Booth's grave.
I ended up attending a youth conference/retreat for our church and some of the youth obligingly let me listen to the book on our drive. They actually seemed to enjoy it, making comments and even asking me to resume playing the book after a short stop. I noticed this while driving with them.
- Apparently one of the reasons General Custer lost and died at the Battle of the Little Bighorn (besides the Indians being better armed) was that his troops had been drinking (their canteens where found filled with whiskey). Custer split his forces, with Captain Benteen in charge of part of the forces. Benteen's group survived and it is believed that a hangover prevented him from making the rational decision to help defend Custer.
- America's Shortest War (in Texas after the Civil War) lasted only a day after the victors returned to town, got drunk, and then were defenseless against the returning U.S. Army.
- Salem Witch trials may have been caused by the side effects of drugs that resembled being possessed by evil spirits or being under a witches spell.
Another pattern in suppressed history is due to prejudice.
- Gustav Albin Weisskopf was a German immigrant that designed and flew airplanes before before the Wright Brothers. Apparently his accomplishments were ignored due to prejudice towards immigrants.
- Heroines of the Battlefield - many woman disguised themselves as men to fight in the Civil War. Sibyl Ludington was a young girl "Paul Revere". Sexism has made it hard for these woman to get proper recognition they deserve.
- James Beckwourth was a mountain man and explorer. He discovered the pass through the Sierra Nevada mountains to California (now known as Beckwourth Pass). His adventures are incredible. You probably haven't heard much of him. He's African American.