Saturday, April 2, 2011

Teenagers Who Changed the World: Part Four

     Think back to the last time you opened a history book. Try to remember who you read about. George Washington. Thomas Jefferson. Abraham Lincoln. For some reason, all you ever hear about is the heroics of adults. History teachers go on and on about Columbus, but did they ever tell you about Diego Bermudez, a teenager who sailed with him? Or his brother, Juan, for whom Bermuda is named?
     They lecture about many of the adults involved in the Revolutionary War, but what about Christopher Seider (eleven) whose death triggered the Boston Massacre and Samuel Mavericak (seventeen) who died in it?What about Joseph Plumb Martin, who joined the American army at the age of fourteen? What about Sybil Ludington (sixteen), who warned the local militia of attacking redcoats? (See Teenagers Who Changed the World: Part One for more information) What about Mary Redmond, John Darragh, and Dicey Langston, teenage spies for the colonies? What about Deborah Sampson, the sixteen-year-old girl who disguised herself as a man and joined the rebel army?
     The Civil War was also fought by young people, including Elisha Stockwell (fifteen), drummer boy Johnny Clem (nine), and prisoners of war Billy Bates and Dick King (fourteen and eighteen).
     It is not right to pretend that wars were all won by adults. Next time you're in history class, see if your teacher has ever heard of these heroes. Chances are, they haven't. That's why it's up to us to remember them.

1 comment:

  1. You should ask Mr. White about these things.