... to YusufToropov.blogspot.com on account of because Yusuf is what people call me and what I like to be called. I do realize this will mess up ("negatively impact," according to Blogger) many if not all of the current comments on the posts. I can only pray that I won't, as a result of this fateful step, be banned from forthcoming international curling competitions.
About five years ago, I put a lot of work into the Wikipedia article on Harry S. Truman, my favorite US president. The article has been substantially expanded and referenced since then by others, and it now stands as a featured article on the site. (That's what the gold star in the upper-right-hand corner means.)
The current article is, I think, both a valuable resource for anyone interested in Truman's legacy, and a testimony to the enduring value and relevance of the collaborative Wikipedia project.
I made reference to Truman in my novel JIHADI: A LOVE STORY, now making an international tour of elite slush piles.
Happy birthday to the greatest nation on earth! This is a good day to remember the heavy price our nation's forefathers paid for signing that sheet of parchment. (Text below via keelynet.com/4th99.htm; video below from the fine miniseries JOHN ADAMS, based on David McCullough's superb book.)
Have you ever wondered what happened to the 56 men who
signed the Declaration of Independence?
For the record, here's a portrait of the men who pledged
"our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor" for liberty many years
Fifty-six men from each of the original 13 colonies signed
the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. Nine of the signers were
immigrants, two were brothers and two were cousins. One was an orphan. The
average age of a signer was 45. Benjamin Franklin was the oldest delegate at
70. The youngest was Thomas Lynch Jr. of South Carolina at 27.
Eighteen of the signers were merchants or businessmen, 14
were farmers, and four were doctors. Twenty-two were lawyers -- although William
Hooper of North Carolina was "disbarred" when he spoke out against
the king -- and nine were judges. Stephen Hopkins had been governor of Rhode
Island. Forty-two signers had served in their colonial legislatures.
John Witherspoon of New Jersey was the only active clergyman
to attend. (Indeed, he wore his pontificals to the sessions.) Almost all were
Protestants. Charles Carroll of Maryland was the lone Roman Catholic.
Seven of the signers were educated at Harvard, four at Yale,
four at William & Mary, and three at Princeton. Witherspoon was the
president of Princeton, and George Wythe was a professor at William & Mary.
His students included Declaration scribe Thomas Jefferson.
Seventeen signers fought in the American Revolution. Thomas
Nelson was a colonel in the Second Virginia Regiment and then commanded
Virginia military forces at the Battle of Yorktown. William Whipple served with
the New Hampshire militia and was a commanding officer in the decisive Saratoga
campaign. Oliver Wolcott led the Connecticut regiments sent for the defense of
New York and commanded a brigade of militia that took part in the defeat of
General Burgoyne. Caesar Rodney was a major general in the Delaware militia;
John Hancock held the same rank in the Massachusetts militia.
The British captured five signers during the war. Edward
Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, and Arthur Middleton were captured at the Battle of
Charleston in 1780. George Walton was wounded and captured at the Battle of
Savannah. Richard Stockton of New Jersey never recovered from his incarceration
at the hands of British Loyalists. He died in 1781.
Thomas McKean of Delaware wrote John Adams that he was
"hunted like a fox by the enemy - compelled to remove my family five times
in a few months." Abraham Clark of New Jersey had two of his sons captured
by the British during the war.
Eleven signers had their homes and property destroyed.
Francis Lewis's New York home was razed and his wife taken prisoner. John
Hart's farm and mills were destroyed when the British invaded New Jersey, and
he died while fleeing capture. Carter Braxton and Nelson, both of Virginia,
lent large sums of their personal fortunes to support the war effort but were
Fifteen of the signers participated in their states'
constitutional conventions, and six - Roger Sherman, Robert Morris, Franklin,
George Clymer, James Wilson, and George Reed - signed the U.S. Constitution.
After the Revolution, 13 signers went on to become
governors. Eighteen served in their state legislatures. Sixteen became state
and federal judges. Seven became members of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Six became U.S. senators. James Wilson and Samuel Chase became Supreme Court
justices. Jefferson, Adams, and Elbridge Gerry each became vice president.
Adams and Jefferson later became president.
Five signers played major roles in the establishment of
colleges and universities: Franklin and the University of Pennsylvania;
Jefferson and the University of Virginia; Benjamin Rush and Dickinson College;
Lewis Morris and New York University; and George Walton and the University of
Adams, Jefferson, and Carroll were the longest surviving
signers. Adams and Jefferson both died on July 4, 1826, the 50th anniversary of
the Declaration of Independence. Carroll was the last signer to die in 1832 at
the age of 95.
Sources: Robert Lincoln, Lives of the Presidents of the
United States, with Biographical Notices of the Signers of the Declaration of
Independence (Brattleboro Typographical Company, 1839); John and Katherine
Bakeless, Signers of the Declaration (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1969);
Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774-1989 (Washington, D.C.:
U.S. Government Printing Office, 1989).