“100” Greatest Americans in History


I watched a program today on the History Channel called “The 100 Greatest Americans.” There were many names selected by viewers that I agreed with. Among these were Einstein, Kennedy, and Jonas Salk. There were many like Thoreau and many other great men of the Arts left off.

The selections are down to the last 5 candidates with the viewers having the week to register as many as 3 votes as long as each vote is done by one of three means for allowed. On that list is Lincoln, Ben Franklin, Washington, and two others I can’t remember right now.

After naming 100-95 and giving a little biographical information on each the show went on to a discussion panel of people about the remaining candidates for the top 5 positions. The discussion went on and on for quite a while. I got the impression Lincoln and Washington were heavily favored for number one. Many felt that without Washington, there’d be no country as we know it. Others felt that without Lincoln there’d be no Democracy because he freed the slaves and guaranteed the rights of all as equals.

I am sorry to say that is incorrect. Lincoln DID NOT free the slaves! He only freed the slaves in the states that succeeded from the Union. He then made them available for military service as the military needed soldiers. The proclamation also DID NOT address the rights of slaves belonging to any other person in the rest of the Union. Nor did it grant rights to any other ethnic body of people or anyone else. Many people mistakenly believe otherwise.

I do not mean this as a lessening of the important contributions made by Lincoln. However he also was not a stupid man and he made changes that would be successful but not further divide the country.

Here are the excerpts from the Emancipation that indicate those slaves freed and why:

“…That on the first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free;…”“…That the Executive will, on the first day of January aforesaid, by proclamation, designate the States and parts of States, if any, in which the people thereof, respectively, shall then be in rebellion against the United States;…”“…on this first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and in accordance with my purpose so to do publicly proclaimed for the full period of one hundred days, from the day first above mentioned, order and designate as the States and parts of States wherein the people thereof respectively, are this day in rebellion against the United States, the following, to wit:Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, (except the Parishes of St. Bernard, Plaquemines, Jefferson, St. John, St. Charles, St. James Ascension, Assumption, Terrebonne, Lafourche, St. Mary, St. Martin, and Orleans, including the City of New Orleans) Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia, (except the forty-eight counties designated as West Virginia, and also the counties of Berkley, Accomac, Northampton, Elizabeth City, York, Princess Ann, and Norfolk, including the cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth[)], and which excepted parts, are for the present, left precisely as if this proclamation were not issued….”

“…And by virtue of the power, and for the purpose aforesaid, I do order and declare that all persons held as slaves within said designated States, and parts of States, are, and henceforward shall be free; and that the Executive government of the United States, including the military and naval authorities thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of said persons….”

“…And I further declare and make known, that such persons of suitable condition, will be received into the armed service of the United States to garrison forts, positions, stations, and other places, and to man vessels of all sorts in said service….”

“…And upon this act, sincerely believed to be an act of justice, warranted by the Constitution, upon military necessity, I invoke the considerate judgment of mankind, and the gracious favor of Almighty God….”

edited to provide a link to the Emancipation Proclamation in its entirety.

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~ by devildog6771 on June 25, 2005.

3 Responses to ““100” Greatest Americans in History”

  1. the other 2 were Reagan and King.

  2. I disagree w/ Einstein cus he did his important work in Germany. but he was actually 1 of the best choices on there.

  3. I really love this website because it talks about everything that is real about the military. i am even going to join the military myself in the near future.

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