What do you believe to be the most amazing invention ever in America? My pick for me, there is no doubt, the most amazing invention ever in America is when we sent those first men to the moon. Think about it. They put these three guys into a big metal can and they blow them up with a highly powerful explosive. But instead of being blown into a million pieces – instead they are shot up through the air out of our atmosphere and into space traveling 1000s of miles per hour – Amazing!

It was on July 24, 1969, as hundreds of millions of people around America and the world watched and listened and prayed, that the smaller metal can broke off from the bigger can and landed on the moon without crashing. The astronauts had traveled over 238,000 miles from Earth, and they landed safely on the moon.

But that wasn’t all – they got out of that metal can wearing heat and cold resistant suits. They walked around, gathered up rocks and samples – they even played golf. And then they got back into that metal can, blew themselves back off the moon, hooked back up with the other metal can, traveled all the way back to the earth, and actually hit their return mark and safely parachuted that metal can back down to our Earth. Absolutely amazing! I can’t think of any invention at any time in history that is more amazing.

But there’s one other space story here I must share with you. In 1962, long before we sent our first men to the moon, John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth in space. Now one can only imagine all the tests and retest and issues that NASA had to settle before shooting Glenn into space. But as the men and women at NASA were working to ready for takeoff, John Glenn had another concern. Although NASA was reasonably confident that they could control where he landed after his flight, no one knew for absolutely sure. Even though planes and helicopters would immediately rush to his landing site, he was told it could take as long as 72 hours to actually find and rescue him.

Now that’s three days, and astronaut John Glenn thought “what would happen if he landed in some undeveloped part of the world where people still lived primitively, they look out and see this big parachute with a little capsule on the end floating to the ground, and then a creature in a silver suit steps out of the craft?” The natives could be very afraid, and perhaps they could do him bodily harm.

So, what did John Glenn do? True story. He took with him a short speech translated into several languages so that hopefully no matter where he landed anywhere in the world, he could communicate with whomever he encountered. And what did the message say? Here are the actual words in that message. He said, “I am a stranger, I come in peace. Take me to your leader and there will be a massive reward for you in eternity”. We have no way of knowing what would have happened if that note had to be used by John Glenn because he landed right on his mark, and he was safely rescued.

Wow, what a crazy story – but true! I’m Jerry Stewart – watch for more coming.

About Jerry Stewart

I am a story teller. Since 1998, I have been telling the true stories of our nation and those Americans gone before us.  To say the least, these stories have been well received by Americans, both young and old.  So, here’s where the stories have taken me.  In 1998, I was broadcasting my stories on just one radio station in Washington State.  Today, from Texas 15 years later, these programs are now broadcast through a syndicated radio network to over 400 radio stations all across America, with literally millions of listeners.

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“The Most Famous Tea Party in History”

    We’ve all heard of the Boston Tea Party, but few really know just what happened. The year was 1763 and Great Britain had just ended a war known as the “Seven Years War”, and this war had driven the British government so deep into debt that a series of tax laws were passed to help pay that debt – and these laws made their way to America.

Now, the way the colonists saw it was that they had no say or representation in their national government, and, therefore, Parliament had no right to tax them. This is where the saying came from, “no taxation without representation”.

Well, in 1766, Parliament passed what is called the “Declaratory Act”. This act gave the British government the authority to legislate the laws and rules for the American colonies, and in all cases the government had the final authority.

So, colonist groups began to organize at the grassroots level and they formed patriotic clubs and organizations known as the “Sons of Liberty”. They would use these club meetings to talk through their unfair circumstances and they began to send delegates and representatives to the British leaders to try and convince them that what they were doing was not for the good of the people. But the British government had their own ideas as to what was best for the people, so most of the time they would not even listen.

Starting to sound a little too familiar?

    So as the different Liberty groups in each city began to form and grow, they found themselves linking up with other city groups causing them to become bolder in their speaking out. In the City of Boston there was a famous elm tree where the Sons of Liberty would meet. This tree came to be known as the “Liberty Tree” and it became a rallying point for the growing colonist resistance against the British rule. Soon each city and community began to pick their own liberty tree as a meeting spot as a symbol of their individual liberty. As these liberty groups began to me in large numbers and the attendance began to grow, in their attempt to stop these meetings, the British government ordered that holding any meetings not authorized by the government was against the law. So, the Sons of Liberty members began to meet in secret.

Well, the struggle continued between the colonists and the British government with more and more laws being enacted. What seemed to be the final straw was that in 1773, a new act, the “Tea Act” was passed, placing a heavy tax on all tea transported to the colonies. Shortly after the Tea Act was passed, a number of ships entered Boston Harbor carrying on board hundreds of thousands of pounds of tea. When the local liberty group heard of the ship’s arrival, they sent a message to the ship’s captain not to unload the tea because they would not pay that tax. But the local British authorities would not budge, so there sat the three ships in Boston Harbor.

Now no one knows for sure who really planned that “tea party” or who the real leaders were, but one night somewhere between 30 and 130 Men thinly disguised as Indians boarded the three ships and, over the course of three hours, dumped all the tea into the harbor – this dumping of that tea became known as the “Boston Tea Party”. Interestingly enough, later that Tea Act was actually repealed, but the damage had already been done, and the people had determined that their government would not listen to them – and they began to move for independence.

So, here’s my question for you, “Are the events in our lives which make us wake up and act – are they good or bad?” It was patriot, Edmund Burke, who said, “He who wrestles with us strengthens our nerves and sharpens our skills; our antagonist is our helper”.

But this one thing we do know – if the British government had not pushed the colonists too far, well, today, we might still be speaking with a British accent.

And one last thought, “What should “We The People” be doing today if we feel we are not being heard?

And are mere protests enough? You tell me.

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