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This Day In Founding Fathers History – 19 April 2013

Captain John ParkerOn this day in 1775, the “shot heard round the world” was fired, starting the Battle at Lexington Green in Massachusetts. In the early morning of 19 April, drums and bells summoned dozens of militiamen to the town green at Lexington where they lined in battle formation under the command of Captain John Parker. The British soldiers soon emerged through the morning fog. According to Sylvanus Wood, a militiaman present at the green at Lexington that day, the British commander “swung his sword, and said, ‘Lay down your arms, you damned rebels, or you are all dead men. Fire!’” According to Captain Parker himself, “…I immediately ordered our Militia to disperse and not to fire. Immediately said Troops made their appearance and rushed furiously, fired upon and killed eight of our party, with out receiving any provocation therefor from us.” 1

Stand Your Ground

In 1939 on this day, Connecticut ratified the Bill of Rights. In 1789, Connecticut, Georgia and Massachusetts declined ratifying the amendments. Once Virginia ratified in 1791, the required three-fourths of the 14 states’ ratifications were complete and the Bill of Rights went into effect. During the sesquicentennial of the Bill of Rights, Massachusetts, Georgia and Connecticut formally ratified the first ten amendments to the Constitution. 2

Bill of Rights

Roger ShermanOne notable birthday on this day in 1721, that of Roger Sherman. Sherman was born in Massachusetts but later moved to Connecticut. He started into politics with county and town offices before being admitted to the bar. He served as a representative in the colonial legislature and as a county judge. Once he moved to Connecticut in 1761, Sherman managed two stores and became a benefactor of Yale College. All the while, he served in both houses of the state legislature and as a judge. Sherman served as a delegate to the Continental Congress for many years, where he was on committees that drafted the Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation as well as several others. Sherman also represented Connecticut at the Federal Convention. Sherman was the only member of the Continental Congress who signed the Declaration of 1774, Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation and the Federal Constitution. 3

 

1 “Battle at Lexington Green, 1775,” Eyewitness to History, www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/lexinton/htm; “Captain John Parker’s (Commander of the Colonial Militia) Official Deposition,” academics.uww.edu/cni/webquest/Spring03/amrev/johnpark.htm
2 “Bill of Rights Ratification,” www.mikalac.com/cons/rightsratification.html; “This Day In Georgia History,” Georgia Info, georgiainfo.galileo.usg.edu/tdgh-mar/mar18.htm
3 “Sherman, Roger,” Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=s000349; “The Founding Fathers: Connecticut,” www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_founding_fathers_connecticut.html

 

 

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