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Life IS history in the making. Every word we say, everything we do becomes history the moment it is said or done. Life void of memories leaves nothing but emptiness. For those who might consider history boring, think again: It is who we are, what we do and why we are here. We are certainly individuals in our thoughts and deeds but we all germinated from seeds planted long, long ago.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Shot Heard 'Round the World

Today's History Lesson

War. The pages of history are filled with times of war. Biblical war. War of independence. Civil war. World war. Cold war. Unnecessary war. Regardless of time, place or reason, war is WAR! War is hell. So many lives lost. Young. Old. Age knows no boundaries when it comes to war. The visions of war are woven with bloody images and broken bone. Within battlefields reside ghosts of our ancestry none with any greater impact than the American Revolutionary War, aka the American War of Independence. The fight for Freedom!

Where once the embattled farmers stood, and fired the shot heard 'round the world, the War of Independence had now begun!

“What a glorious morning is this!”
~ Samuel Adams, after hearing news of the Battles of Lexington and Concord

Romanticized 19th century depiction of Battle of Lexington
Image Source: en.wikipedia.org
This Day in History: April 19, 1775
The first shots were fired just after dawn in Lexington, Massachusetts the morning of the 19th, the "Shot Heard Round the World." The colonial militia, a band of 500 men, were outnumbered and initially forced to retreat. The British army was able to press forward to Concord, where they searched for the supplies, only to come up empty handed.
While the British were searching, the American militia was able to reform, and they met the enemy at the North Bridge in Concord, and they were successful this time in driving the British back. As more American reinforcements arrived, they forced the British army south to Boston, and the militias blockaded the narrow land accesses to Charlestown and Boston, starting the Siege of Boston.
The American War for Independence was now in full swing.
[Source: The Shot Heard Round the Word: The Battles of Lexington and Concord

Since the first official engagement between Britain and the Colonies in the American Revolutionary War the term Shot Heard ‘Round the World has become synonymous with different events in history.
In 1837, Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote a famous ode—not an ode to baseball, nor did he live to see the wars of the Twentieth Century—but he wrote about the first Shot Heard ‘Round the World. Specifically, Emerson's poem describes the first shots fired by Patriots at the the North Bridge in what is now Charlestown, in northwestern Boston, Massachusetts.
 Concord Hymn

By Ralph Waldo Emerson
Sung at the Completion of the Battle Monument, July 4, 1837

By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood
And fired the shot heard round the world.
The foe long since in silence slept;
Alike the conqueror silent sleeps,
And Time the ruined bridge has swept
Down the dark stream which seaward creeps.

On this green bank, by this soft stream,
We set today a votive stone;
That memory may their deed redeem,
When, like our sires, our sons are gone.

Spirit, that made those heroes dare
To die, and leave their children free,
Bid Time and Nature gently spare
The shaft we raise to them and thee.

    In 1914, it has been associated with the shot that assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria in Sarajevo. The shot that killed Franz became known as one of the Shots Heard 'Round the World because it is often accredited with sparking off World War I. It propelled Austria-Hungary and the rest of Europe into what was known as the "War To End All Wars".

    In 1951, it became attached to the American baseball game-winning walk-off home run by New York Giants outfielder Bobby Thomson. As a result of the "shot", the Giants won the game 5-4, defeating their traditional rivals in their pennant playoff series, 2 games to 1. Outcome: New York Giants won the National League Pennant.