Listen my children and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere. ...
(Scroll down or click here for the quiz.)
Over the weekend, Sarah Palin stumbled into a historical quagmire when asked about the revolutionary figure Paul Revere. On her national maybe-could-be-presidential-campaign tour, Palin described Revere as “he who warned the British that they weren’t going to be taking away our arms by ringing those bells and making sure as he’s riding his horse through town to send those warning shots and bells that we were going to be secure and we were going to be free.”
Historical records do not detail Revere ringing any bells or sending any warning shots, but Palin defended herself on Fox News Sunday saying she did not get the story wrong. While folks at Wikipedia struggled to defend or incorporate Palin’s version of history, at BlogPost, we wondered how well-versed any of us were in Revere’s history.
“There are a lot of misconceptions in the general public,” Kristin Peszka interpretation and visitor services director at Paul Revere’s House said. “Even schoolbooks use [the famous “Paul Revere’s Ride”] poem to teach the story of the midnight ride, which is a great piece of literature, but is historically inaccurate.”
Peszka said the most persistent misconceptions are the idea that the lights signalled Revere to ride and the line, “The British are coming!”
“Revere already had his directions,” she said. “The lanterns were a backup plan.” And she has no idea where the line is from — shouting out that the British were coming in a town occupied by British soldiers would have been a bad tactical error.
Take this quiz to see if you know your revolutionary history. There may be more than one right answer, but the more accurate the answer, the higher the score. Good luck!
Edit note: Sorry if this gives away one of the answers, but Ron, a reader of this blog, criticized an answer choice saying it sounded as if Revere was employed by the Continental Congress. The Boston Committee of Correspondence and the Massachusetts Committee of Safety tasked Revere (and other men) to carry news, messages, and copies of resolutions as far away as New York and Philadelphia, including to the Continental Congress. I apologize if the wording in the quiz muddled this fact. Thanks.
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