History Matters

Published 11:30 am Sunday, August 6, 2023

A feature courtesy of

The Grateful American Book Prize

Showing our children that their past is prelude to their future.

 By John Grimaldi and David Bruce Smith

August 1 to August 15

According to History.com. “The USS Nautilus was constructed under the direction of U.S. Navy Captain Hyman G. Rickover, a brilliant Russian-born engineer who joined the U.S. atomic program in 1946. In 1947, he was put in charge of the navy’s nuclear-propulsion program and began work on an atomic submarine. Regarded as a fanatic by his detractors, Rickover succeeded in developing and delivering the world’s first nuclear submarine years ahead of schedule.

“In 1952, the Nautilus’ keel was laid by President Harry S. Truman, and on January 21, 1954, first lady Mamie Eisenhower broke a bottle of champagne across its bow as it was launched into the Thames River at Groton, Connecticut. Commissioned on September 30, 1954, it first ran under nuclear power on the morning of January 17, 1955,”

The inaugural voyage—to the North Pole—however, did not take place until August 3, 1958.

For more information, the Grateful American Book Prize recommends Nautilus to Columbia: 70 years of the US Navy’s Nuclear Submarines by James C. Goodall.

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As she ascended to the Supreme Court–on August 8, 2009–the White House issued a news release describing Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor as “one of the ablest federal judges currently sitting” and “a role model of aspiration, discipline, commitment, intellectual prowess and integrity.”

She was born in the Bronx to a Puerto Rican mother, and to a father who died when she was nine; according to History.com “…watching the CBS legal drama Perry Mason in her youth led her to aspire to a career as a judge.  She received a scholarship to attend Princeton University, where she advocated strongly on behalf of the school’s underserved minority communities and received her J.D. from Yale Law School in 1979.”

The Beloved World of Sonia Sotomayor won the Grateful American Book Prize in 2019.

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According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, one third of the colonists remained loyal to the British during the Revolutionary War. On August 13, 1781, Brigadier General Francis “Swamp Fox” Marion, and Colonel William Harden lured 450 Tories–under British commander Major Thomas Fraser–into a trap near the marshes of Parker’s Ferry, 30 miles northwest of Charleston, South Carolina.

“Marion, who earned his nickname for his ability to ‘outfox’ his opponents in the swamps of the South Carolina backcountry, sent his fastest riders ahead to tempt Fraser into a waiting Patriot trap,” according to History.com. “The maneuver succeeded. Fraser ordered his men to charge, and three successive volleys of musket fire by the Patriots mowed down the ranks of the Loyalist cavalry. Only a shortage of ammunition among the Patriots saved the Loyalists, who lost half their force in the skirmish. Fraser…was hit three times in the course of the engagement but managed to continue in command of his men.”

For more information, the Grateful American Book Prize recommends Our First Civil War: Patriots and Loyalists in the American Revolution by H. W. Brands.

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