Saturday, April 18, 2015



Boston, Massachusetts (JFK+50) So began the famous poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow which, although not necessarily exactly historically accurate, details the horseback ride of Paul Revere out of Boston to warn the countryside of the march of His Majesty's troops 240 years ago tonight, April 18, 1775.

Troops under General Thomas Gage began their march to the towns of Lexington and Concord with the objective of confiscating powder and shot collected and stored by what the Crown deemed to be "rebels."  Also, the Redcoats or "Lobsterbacks" as the American patriots sometimes called them, wanted to capture Samuel Adams and John Hancock, two of the "rebel" leaders.

Paul Revere and William Dawes, who served as circuit riders for the Sons of Liberty, were signaled from two lanterns hung in the tower of the Old North Church that the British troops were moving out of the city by the Charles River.

Revere, Dawes and others rode out ahead of the British to warn the rural citizenry "to be up and to arms".

Although Paul Revere was captured by a British patrol in the early morning hours of April 19th, his warning had successfully alerted the Lexington and Concord militias and the rest is history.

Paul Revere Statue
Boston, Massachusetts
Photo by Jennifer White (2014)

Listen, my children, and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-Five;
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year

From "Paul Revere's Ride" 
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


South Pacific (JFK+50) Seventy years ago today, April 18, 1945, Ernie Pyle, the most popular war correspondent of the Second World War was killed by Japanese machine gun fire on the island of Shima, off the coast of Okinawa.

Pyle, who was to cover the North African campaign and the invasions of Sicily and Italy, arrived in Normandy on June 7, 1944 following the D-Day invasion.

Pyle, famous for his coverage of the experiences of the enlisted men, won the Pulitzer Prize for distinguished correspondence in 1944.

President Truman said that Pyle "told the story of the American fighting man as the American fighting men want it told."

Ernie Pyle's remains were interred in the National Memorial Cemetery in Hawaii.

Ernie Pyle at Anzio (1944)
2nd from right (front)