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AMERICAN PATRIOT

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MARCH 4, 2010

WEST POINT DUTY HONOR COUNTRY

WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH TURNS 30 HENRY FORD’S MODEL T


AMERICAN PATRIOT WEST POINT DUTY HONOR COUNTRY

4 6 8 EVAN LYSACEK SURPRISE GOLD

HENRY FORD’S MODEL T


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Contents

THE BEAUTIFUL

BRANDYWINE VALLEY

12 WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH TURNS 30

14

14

NATIONAL TREASURE

KEPT FOLK ART ALIVE

16 QUOTE OF THE WEEK

17 THIS WEEK IN AMERICAN HISTORY


WEST POINT DUTY HONOR COUNTRY

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From the very beginning of the United States, West Point has played a vital role in our nation's history. As early as the Revolutionary War, it became clear that this commanding plateau on the west bank of the Hudson River was critical. George Washington considered West Point the most important strategic position in America, he had fortifications built there, and transferred his headquarters in l779. Soldiers built forts, batteries and redoubts and extended a l50-ton iron chain across the Hudson to control river traffic. Never captured by the British, West Point has been the oldest continuous military post in America. After the Revolutionary War was won, the new leadership — Washington, Hamilton, Adams among them — recommended that West Point be the location for an American institution devoted to building a homegrown military. It took until 1802 for the idea to become reality, when President Thomas Jefferson signed legislation establishing the United States Military Academy. The real foundation for the West Point we know today emerged when Colonel Sylvanus Thayer, known as the “father of the Military Academy,” served as Superintendent from l8l7-l833. He established strict academic standards, instilled military discipline and emphasized honorable conduct. Aware of the need for engineers in the raw and growing country, Thayer made civil engineering the foundation of the curriculum. And Academy graduates played a large role in construction of the nation’s infrastructure. After gaining experience and recognition during the Mexican and Indian wars, West Point graduates filled the highest ranks on both sides during the Civil War. Academy graduates, headed by generals such as Grant, Lee, Sherman and Jackson, provided leadership in both the North and South. In the post-Civil War period, West

Point broadened its curriculum beyond civil engineering to include all military arts and sciences. In World War I, Academy graduates again distinguished themselves on the battlefield. Eisenhower, MacArthur, Bradley, Arnold, Clark, Patton were among the array of Academy graduates who stepped up to leadership posts in the World War II. In 1964, President Johnson increased the size of the Corps of Cadets; today it stands at 4,000. In addition, minorities and the first women were brought into the Academy reflecting a more diverse and multicultural society. In recent decades, the curriculum permits cadets to major in any one of more than a dozen fields, including a wide range of subjects from the sciences to the humanities. The history of West Point is integral to the history of the U.S. A favorite expression at West Point is that “much of the history we teach was made by people we taught.” Guided by the motto, “Duty, Honor, Country,” West Point continues to prepare its graduates to serve as commissioned leaders of character in America's 21st Century Army.

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT WEST POINT AMERICAN PATRIOT 5


HENRY FORD’S MODEL T Henry Ford did not invent the automobile. He did not invent the assembly line. His insight was to put the two together. In so doing, he changed the face of America.

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Ford was a born tinkerer, coming into the world on his father’s family farm in 1863. At sixteen, against the wishes of his family, he left the farm for Detroit, where he became a mechanic's apprentice. He advanced steadily and worked his way up to chief engineer at the Edison Illuminating Company. Overseeing the steam engines and turbines that produced electricity, Ford began to envision adapting an engine to a small passenger vehicle. At twenty-four, Ford married Clara Bryant, whom he called “The Believer” because she encouraged his dream of building

Michigan, in 1910. Here, Ford had his next great

a “horseless carriage.” As early as 1891, he

breakthrough. He combined precision manufac-

showed Clara a design for an internal combus-

turing, standardized and interchangeable parts,

tion engine; by 1896, Ford had constructed and

a division of labor, and a continuous moving

sold his first automobile so as to raise funds

assembly line. Workers remained in place, adding

for a more sophisticated model.

the same component to each automobile as it moved past them on the line. Delivery of parts

After two brief failures, he managed to get the

by conveyor belt to the workers was carefully

Ford Motor Company up and running in 1903.

orchestrated to keep the assembly line moving.

The small firm produced only a few cars a day;

The introduction of the moving assembly line

groups of two or three men worked on each car

significantly reduced assembly time per vehicle,

from components made to order by other com-

thus lowering costs.

panies. His first car, the Model A, was out by 1903 and the Model N by1906. But Ford was

In the 1920s, the Ford Motor Company contin-

frustrated because he had not reached his goal

ued to grow. In 1925, it was producing 10,000

of producing a simple, affordable vehicle for

cars every 24 hours. On May 26, 1927, accom-

everyday people. The third time was a charm, as

panied by his son Edsel, he watched the fifteen

the Model T turned out to be the answer. This

millionth Model T Ford roll off the assembly line.

simple but powerful car could reach 45 mph

By that time, Ford’s ingenuity had made his com-

and had a 25 mpg. It made its debut in 1908

pany the largest automobile manufacturer in the

with a purchase price of $825, and ten thousand

world, provided average Americans with a car they

were sold in its first year.

could afford, revolutionized American society, and helped shape the world we live in today.

To meet the growing demand for the Model T, the company opened a large factory at Highland Park,

PEAK INSIDE THE HIGHLAND PARK PLANT HERE AMERICAN PATRIOT 7


EVAN LYSACEK SURPRISE GOLD

8 AMERICAN PATRIOT


When Evan Lysacek arrived at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, Canada, he wrote a message to himself on a note card and taped it to the wall. It read: “Mind your own business.” And take care of his business he did, when he skated the best performance of his career to win the Olympic gold medal and ended an 18-year reign of Soviet and Russian skaters in men’s figure skating. Pre-Games favorite and 2006 Olympic Champion, Russian Evgeni Plushenko, finished 1.31 points out of first-place. “I couldn't have asked for much more than that,” Lysacek said. “To get a personal best in the most important moment of my life – you dream about it.” Lysacek is the first American to win the men’s gold since Brian Boitano won at the Calgary 1988 Olympic Winter Games. He also becomes the first reigning World Champion to win the Olympic gold medal since American Scott Hamilton did it back in 1984. “To be mentioned in the same sentence as people I've idolized like Scott and Brian is amazing,” the Naperville, Illinois native said. He is the 13th skater from the United States to be crowned an Olympic Champion, with the last being Sarah Hughes' victory at the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City. Lysacek is the second of three children born to Don and Tanya, who he calls his biggest supporters. After graduating from high school in 2003, he moved to Los Angeles to work with Frank Carroll. Standing at 6-2, he towers over many of his competitors, and thanks to Coach Carroll and choreographer Lori Nichol he has learned to capitalize on his height. Says Lysacek: “For so long, because I'm so

much taller than the other skaters, I tried to camouflage tha t . . . Lori was one of the first people that said, ‘That's what sets you apart and makes you different.’ She brought out a creativity and a confidence in my skating.” But the person, he credits most for his success is Carroll. The coach, perhaps best known for guiding Michelle Kwan throughout much of her career, helped him improve in the standings and also improve his confidence. In addition to excelling at international competitions, Lysacek makes a connection with the audience. Appearances in shows and tours, such as Fashion on Ice and Champions on Ice, have helped build on his natural charisma. “Whatever choreography I'm doing, even when I'm competing and I have to be so focused, there are certain spots in the program that I try to remember to establish a connection, because that is what makes our sport unique,” he notes. “The audience is able to see our faces and see our emotions. It is important for them to see, because it draws people closer to the skater and they feel a real connection. WATCH LYSACEK’S 2010 OLYMPIC SHORT PROGRAM

AMERICAN PATRIOT 9


THE BEAUTIFUL

BRANDYWINE VALLEY

The Brandywine River winds from Southeastern Pennsylvania into Delaware carving out the beautiful rolling hills and valleys that characterize of the Brandywine Valley. The Valley is where the Du Pont's made their fortunes and built their lives, where early American industry thrived, where great artists like Howard Pyle and three generations of Wyeths worked, and where a pivotal Revolutionary War battle was fought. The original inhabitants of the Brandywine Valley were an Algonquin Indian tribe who called themselves Lenape. The Lenape were eventually displaced by early Swedish, Finnish and Dutch settlers. One of the Valley's most famous figures was William Penn, who had made Pennsylvania into a bastion of religious and political tolerance. He encouraged his fellow Quaker members of the Society of Friends to settle throughout the Valley, where their quiet commitment to community is still a major influence. Under Penn and his successors, a large numbers of English settlers arrived. Water-powered mills on the swiftly falling river made the Brandywine the most important milling center in the country from the last half of the 18th century, and well into the first half of the 19th. The area became the largest supplier of quality flour in the world. 10 AMERICAN PATRIOT

By the early 18th century, the Brandywine Valley was also the America's paper milling center. In 1776, the mills supplied the paper to print currency for the colonies and the Continental Congress and the Declaration of Independence. The peaceful nature of the valley was shattered, when British and Hessian forces fought American Continentals and local militia under George Washington and Marquis de Lafayette in the largest land battle of the Revolutionary War. The Brandywine River lay between the advancing British troops under General Howe and the American capital at Philadelphia. The battle was fought on September 11, 1777, and the Americans were defeated. The British drove the Americans north into Pennsylvania, and then marched on to take Philadelphia. The Brandywine River watershed today is still a land of green and gently rolling hills. It looks as it does, in large part due to the protection and conservation work of the Brandywine Conservancy founded in 1967. Concerned residents took quick action at a time when the Valley was threatened by massive industrial development. They permanently protected and preserved more than 32,000 acres of land that is literally the heart and soul of the Brandywine.


SITES TO SEE Longwood Gardens Thousands of acres of garden, fountains and woodlands, and a former duPont estate www.longwoodgardens.org >

Winterthur Museum & Gardens A former duPont estate and home to a worldclass collection of American furniture and decorative arts. www.winterthur.org >

Nemours Mansion & Gardens This beautifully preserved French villa, surrounded by acres of landscaped gardens, was given by a duPont heir. www.nemoursmansion.org >

Brandywine Battlefield Park Authentic displays of the Revolutionary War and era amid rolling hills, including the Washington and Lafayette headquarters.

www.brandywinebattlefield.org >

Hagley Museum & Gardens The original duPont gunpowder mills, estates and gardens. www.hagley.lib.de.us >

Delaware Art Museum Known for its collection of the works of Howard Pyle, and other English and American art. www.delart.org >

Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation A working farm from the 18th Century, with special events and living history weekends. www.colonialplantation.org >

Brandywine River Museum A grist mill converted into a collection of artwork by the Wyeth family.

www.brandywinemuseum.org >

AMERICAN PATRIOT 11


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WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH TURNS 30 12 AMERICAN PATRIOT


2010 marks the 30th anniversary of the National Women’s History Project. In March 1980, President Jimmy Carter issued a proclamation declaring a National Women’s History Week. In 1987, successful lobbying efforts resulted in Congress expanding the week into a month, and March is now National Women’s History Month. The goal of the National Women’s History Month is to educate the general public about the significant role of women in American history and contemporary society. Establishing this focus has encouraged schools to introduce new curriculum, communities to recognize women who have been pivotal in their own communities, and thousands of events to be organized throughout the country to celebrate the myriad accomplishments of women. This includes oratory contests, awards luncheons, conferences, exhibits, community service, and presentations. This year’s theme is “Writing Women Back into History.” Needless to say, only a small percentage of textbooks written in the past mention the contributions of women to society. Women of color and women in fields such as math, science, and art were completely omitted. This limited inclusion of women’s accomplishments deprived students of female role models. The righting of this wrong is well underway, and this year’s theme seeks to encourage more progress. The organizers are inviting women’s and educational organizations as

well as women’s history performers, authors, historic sites, museums, unions, military units, universities, and women’s history programs, and interested individuals to keep the momentum going. Leaders of the movement note, happily, that when you search the Internet with the words “women’s + history + month,” you’ll find more than 40 million citations. Among the dozens of partners in the 30th anniversary celebration: The American Association of University Women, League of Women Voters, Pearl S. Buck International Organization, Sisters In The Building Trades, and the Women at Work Museum. From girls clubs to senior centers, from amateur to professional theatre productions, from community awards ceremonies to individual guest speakers, people all across the country are celebrating Women’s History Month.

Has your school, community organization or workplace made a plan to recognize this important anniversary? TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE OF WOMEN’S HISTORY HERE

AMERICAN PATRIOT 13


‘NATIONAL TREASURE’ KEPT FOLK ART ALIVE

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Nancy Sweezy, who died last month, rode a surge of interest in American folk arts, to save Jugtown pottery, a famous and traditional North Carolina craft that was on the verge of disappearing. For her efforts, the National Endowment for the Arts designated Sweezy “a national treasure,” saying that her efforts had “helped inspire a revival of the traditional pottery community.” The declaration noted that the number of potteries in an area east of Charlotte, centered around Seagrove in the Piedmont Hills, increased from seven in 1968 to nearly 120 today. Potters in this area were turning out fine work before the American Revolution and as early as the 1740s. Because the clay and talent were exceptional, the area became a major producer of utilitarian and decorative pottery and tableware. With the advent of modern manufacturing techniques, the potteries fell onto hard times in the mid-1800s, and by the early 20th century were nearly gone. Enter Julia Royster Busbee, a predecessor to Sweezy. In 1917, Busbee is said to have fallen in love with a striking orange plate she saw at a county fair in North Carolina. She and her husband, Jacques, a painter, scouted the area, found a few potters dabbling in the old traditions by making plates and pickle jars to satisfy local demand. The Busbees moved into a log cabin in a settlement they named Jugtown — the generic name for rural potteries that supplied earthen vessels to moonshiners. There, they nurtured the resurrection of old ways, sometimes in new styles. They introduced the pottery to New Yorkers (including Eleanor Roosevelt) who took to it, and the area also became a tourist attraction for wealthy Northerners visiting nearby Pinehurst.

Another decline came from the 1950s through 1970s, and once again a savior stepped in. When Sweezy and her daughter Lybess came shopping in March 1968, they learned Jugtown was in danger of closing. “Mother and I looked at the log cabin house and the kilns which were falling apart,” Lybess Sweezy is quoted as saying. "And we made up our minds to buy it in an hour." Sweezy begged and borrowed the money to buy the financially staggering Jugtown in 1968. She came up with new glazes to replace ones that used lead, and gave them appealing names like Blueridge Blue and Dogwood White. She recruited talented apprentices; leaned on influential acquaintances, including the Rockefellers, for support; developed marketing strategies; and got Jugtown pottery into upscale Northern stores. The pottery area around Seagrove is thriving today. Sweezy's effect on North Carolina is "profound and very much felt to this day," said George Holt, director of the N.C. Museum of Art's performing arts and film programs. Holt helped organize an exhibition in 2005, "The Potter's Eye," of which Sweezy was the co-curator. She also wrote two books on pottery and folk arts.

WATCH A VIDEO OF NANCY SWEEZY ON JUGTOWN POTTERY AMERICAN PATRIOT 15


QUOTE OF THE WEEK

“The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his.” — GENERAL GEORGE S. PATTON US ARMY OFFICE BEST KNOWN AS A COMMANDING GENERAL IN WORLD WAR II AND WIDELY KNOWN FOR HIS OUTSPOKENNESS AND STRONG OPINION.

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THIS WEEK IN

AMERICAN HISTORY

1861. Abraham Lincoln is sworn in as the 16th President of the United States. PICTURED ABOVE: ABRAHAM LINCOLN’S INAUGURATION AMERICAN PATRIOT 17


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American Patriot 17  

A Celebration of American Values

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