Excerpted: 11/28/00 -- ShopTalk
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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Wed, 29 Nov 100 09:51:44 -0800
Subject: Excerpted: 11/28/00 -- ShopTalk
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The Secret History of 'Founding Fathers'
(NY Daily News)
You may not find these facts about the Founding Fathers in your
middle-school history book, but that's what television is for. This lesson
comes from the History Channel's "Founding Fathers," with Roger Mudd and
Edward Herrmann, starting Monday at 9. It may appear on the blue-book exam
at the end of the semester, so pay attention:
America's first notorious sex scandal involved the most intellectual
Founding Father, New York's Alexander Hamilton. Blackmailed by a married
woman with whom he had had an affair -- and her conspiratorial husband --
Hamilton surprised everyone by publishing their 20 blackmail letters and
publicly apologizing for his indiscretion.
Benjamin Franklin's son, William, was a colonial politician who was arrested
and imprisoned for treason when caught plotting against the patriots. Father
and son spoke only once after that, as Franklin senior cut his son out of
his life for the betrayal. (Extra credit if you remember that from the
John Hancock was a smuggler, as were most of his business peers, dealing
in black-market tea and liquor. He kept by his bed at night a gallon of
rum punch from which he drank freely throughout the night.
Samuel Adams, who organized street gangs for the first Continental Army,
wore the same soiled red coat and gray wig every day. Before sending him
off to Philadelphia for the first meeting of colonial delegates, his
colleagues fitted him for a new suit and bathed and shaved him.
His cousin, Samuel, John Adams, was Hancock's defense lawyer. Even though
Hancock was guilty, Adams got him off. Adams also defended the British
soldiers who participated in the Boston Massacre. None of the soldiers were
The key figures covered in the documentary include an all- star cast:
James Woods as John Adams, Brian Dennehy as George Washington, Hal Holbrook
as Franklin, Michael York as Hamilton, Randy Travis as James Madison, Burt
Reynolds as Patrick Henry and Beau Bridges as Samuel Adams.
Didn't the founding fathers have regional British accents? Where are John
Cleese and Eric Idle? Just asking.
Canadians went to the polls on Monday. Their democratic process is somewhat
similar to the U.S. They didn't elect a president up there either. (Alan Ray)
George W Bush assures us that, despite a history of heart problems and his
recent "slight" heart attack, Dick Cheney is fully capable of assuming the
role of President. Is he kidding? Monica would've killed him!! (Ed Gullo)
© 2000 Peter Langston