If you look at our country–from our Founding to now–it's a story of hope. William Bradford and his Pilgrims had faith to sustain life and begin anew in a New World; General George Washington crossed the Delaware, eventually conquering the mighty British; and Abraham Lincoln saw beyond the politics of debate and did what was just. On this day, The Freedom Kids chooses hope. We choose faith. Faith and hope in God. Faith and hope in our families. Faith and hope in our country.
We know there are many, many more, but here is a list of 26 hopeful moments in American history:
1620: The Mayflower Compact was completed and signed by both Saints and Strangers onboard the Mayflower, creating the first written framework of government established in what is now the United States. Most American historians credit it for the moral and legal founding of the U.S. Constitution.
1776: The Declaration of Independence is signed. Americans officially begin their fight for freedom.
1776: Washington's surprise strike and victory at Trenton increases morale, heartens his troops, and provides enough of a recruiting boost to keep his army from melting away in the Spring, which would have meant an end to the war.
1803: The Louisiana Purchase: Roughly 1/5 of modern day America was purchased by Thomas Jefferson from Napoleon for about 15 million dollars.
1805: The members of the Lewis and Clark expedition become the first Americans to reach the Pacific ocean.
1814: Andrew Jackson defeats the British forces at the Battle of New Orleans in a fight that took place after the war had already ended. Had the British controlled New Orleans, which was a vital American port at the time, they might have wrung more concessions out of America or even taken a large swath of what is today American territory for Canada.
1836: Sam Houston and a group of Texans, outnumbered 2 to 1 by the Mexican Army, got revenge for the Alamo in the Battle of San Jacinto. Their victory and the capture soon after of Santa Anna secured the freedom of Texas and cleared the way for them to eventually join the United States.
1846: The Oregon Treaty, made with Britain, officially brings Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and parts of Montana and Wyoming into the US.
1848: After being defeated in the Mexican-American war , Mexico was forced to sign the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo which granted America control of "Texas as well as California, Nevada, Utah, and parts of Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, and Wyoming" in return for about $18 million dollars.
1863: Abraham Lincoln frees the slaves in the South, technically at least, with the Emancipation Proclamation.
1864: Sherman's victory in Atlanta not only helped hasten the end of the war, it likely was the key factor that led to Abraham Lincoln defeating George McClellan in the November elections. Had McClellan won, he made it clear that he intended to cut and run rather than press on to victory.
1898: America crushes the Spanish fleet in the Philippines, which cemented our position as a world power.
1903: The Wright Brothers are the "first in flight."
1908: The Model-T Ford, the first car cheap enough for the general public to afford, becomes available.
1914: The 48 mile long Panama Canal is completed.
1918: WW1 ends in victory for the Allied forces after the Germans surrender.
1920: For the first time, American women are allowed to vote.
1945: WW2 ends in victory for the Allied forces after the Japanese surrender.
1947: America helps rebuild Europe after WW2 with the Marshall Plan.
1950 : In what was perhaps the most brilliant military maneuver in American history, Douglas MacArthur lands behind the North Korean lines at Inchon. The subsequent strikes against the Norks broke their army and only the entry of the Chinese into the war kept Korea from being reunited.
1964: The Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlaws discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
1969: Neil Armstrong is the first man to walk on the moon -- An amazing feat that showcased American ingenuity and technology.
1989: The Berlin Wall came tumbling down which symbolized the break-up of the Soviet Union and the victory of the United States in the Cold War.