Articles by Peter Robyn


What every American should know

” …a nation that expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilisation, expects what never was and never will be… ”
-Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to Charles Yancey, 1816

Securing our freedom and Liberty for our children requires that we know something about how America became a free country and about those who brought us our freedom and Liberty.

“How can a young person fully appreciate their freedom without knowledge of what was required to establish a free country and defend it for over two centuries? Parents, display a HistoryStrip at home. Learn and teach the American story of freedom to your children!”



Basics of American History

1.    How many U.S. presidents can you name, starting with our first?   Count:

2.    When and where was George Washington first inaugurated?

3.    Who was our president at the end of WW II?

4.    In what years did the Revolutionary War start and end?

5.    In what years did the Civil War start and end?

6.    In what years did WW II start and end?

7.    On what date did the Japanese perpetrate their surprise attack on Pearl Harbor?

8.    When did the Alamo fall and, to whom?

9.    What is the title of our national anthem, who wrote its words and music and what battle was it written about?

10.    What form of government is the U.S.?

11.    In what year was our present Constitution written, where was it written and who was the principal writer?

12.    What amendment to our Constitution abolished slavery in America? When was it ratified?

13.    What amendment to our Constitution gave women the right to vote? When was it ratified?


Who said it? A Founders  Quote  Quiz:

A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure, permanently, half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other. Either the opponents of slavery will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction; or its advocates will push it forward, till it shall become lawful in all the States, old as well as new — North as well as South.




Excerpts from a presentation given by Peter A. Robyn, Independence Day, 2012
Many of the early European settlers who came to America, came here to escape the religious persecution that was going on in Europe at the time. Catholics & Protestants had been persecuting each other since Martin Luther published his 95 thesis and nailed his protests to the church door in 1517.

The Jews, Huguenots and Quakers had all suffered religious persecution.

For over three centuries during the time of the Spanish Inquisition, Europeans came to America seeking religious freedom- which they found!, in colonies such as Rhode Island, started by the Baptist Roger Williams. Rhode Island became home to America’s first Baptist church in 1639. The Quakers came in 1657; the Jewish congregation of Yeshuat Israel settled in Newport in 1658 and French Huguenots, in East Greenwich in 1686. In 1663 Dr. John Clarke secured a royal charter from King Charles II that guaranteed Rhode Island religious Liberty and established it as a self-governing colony. In Pennsylvania, William Penn wrote his Charter of Privileges in 1701. William Penn began his “Holy experiment” in 1681, an experiment that would result in an autonomous government and people with freedom of conscience.

Religious freedom has been the cornerstone of the American way of life since the days of our earliest settlers and our Founding Fathers.

Patrick Henry, one of our early leading revolutionary patriots, stood before the Virginia House of Burgesses in 1765 and said, “I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me Liberty or give me death!” Patrick Henry also said, “It can not be emphasized too clearly and too often that this country was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians, not on religion, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”

In May of 1778, after that horrible winter at Valley Forge, George Washington said, “To the distinguished character of patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of Christian.” Our Founding Fathers knew that there are two essential requirements to maintaining a free society. One is Faith in God and the other is education. John Adams, our 2nd president and a writer of the Declaration of Independence, said in an address to the military in 1798, “Our Constitution was written only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

Thomas Jefferson, our 3rd president and the principle author of the Declaration of Independence, wrote in a letter to Charles Yancey in 1816, “…a nation that expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, expects what never was and never will be…” Yet today, most Americans know very little about their own country and even less about their country’s spiritual heritage. In 2006 & 2007, Intercollegiate Studies Institute surveyed 14,000 college students each year, 7,000 freshmen and 7,000 seniors, to assess students’ growth of their civic and historic knowledge over the course of their college experience. What they found in many cases, in some of our country’s most prestigious institutions, was that seniors knew less than the freshmen. And, many young people today are proud to call themselves atheists. In all the wisdom of a teenager, it’s just not “cool” to be religious.

Why has education of American history been so neglected? And the faith of our Founding Fathers virtually obliterated from the curriculum of our school system? Does it violate the doctrine of separation of church and state to report historic fact? When does omission of vital information become suppression of information? More importantly, what will be the consequences of the loss of our spiritual heritage? Perhaps Jefferson considered this question when he wrote in his Notes on the State of Virginia in 1781, “God who gave us life gave us Liberty. And can the Liberties of a nation be thought secure, when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people, that these Liberties are a gift from God?”

Our Founding Fathers’ faith in God was the basis of the formulation of their ideals upon which they established our country. Education of American history is not just about memorizing names and dates. Understanding our American story of freedom means understanding the nature and the character of the people who established our government and grew this nation into the most free and prosperous ever.