Social Talk


Sorry there are no tags yet

Cinnamon Carter

What’s in a name? A lot more than you think.


As we celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence (which actually was not signed on the 4th), the inaccuracies and selectiveness of our history textbooks is now pretty much mainstream knowledge.  But sometimes the selectiveness of historical accounts can affect the less well known “sons of liberty.”  Anyone who lives in the tristate area is aware of the Kosciuszko Bridge.  I doubt that many know how or why the bridge was given its name.

A few blocks from the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia (I assume and hope that anyone exposed to American history is aware of the Liberty Bell) is the Thaddeus Kosciuszko National Memorial quoted by Thomas Jefferson as a man “as pure a son of liberty as I have ever known.”  It is one of the least visited sites despite its short distance from the Liberty Bell.

Here is a brief history of one of the forgotten sons of liberty:

  • Thaddeus was a military engineer from Poland who came to Philly in August 1776 to offer his services in the fight against the British.
  • His expertise helped the Continental Army win the critical battle of Saratoga in New York (how many of us can name the critical battles in the fight for independence?).
  • He worked on fortifications that secured key access to the Hudson River at West Point (now the US Military Academy). How many forts have you visited and understood why they were constructed?
  • The memorial is located in Philly because from November 1797 to May 1798, Thaddeus stayed at a boarding house that now serves as the national memorial.

Other tributes to Thaddeus are a statue across from the White House in Lafayette Square, Australia’s (Australia!) highest peak is Mount Kosciuszko, West Point has a Kosciuszko monument and garden, and Oprah Winfrey was born in Kosciuszko, Mississippi.  Cadets at West point sill study his strategies.

Although we name or rename streets, institutions, and new memorials to honor recent heroes, overtime we take these names for granted, forgetting how and why they received their names in the first place.  Future generations never think twice about these names.  We google just about everything.  Maybe take the time to google where some of your familiar, local names came from.  Maybe even plan a day trip to visit the sites you googled with your family so they become aware of the massive amount of history surrounding them and understand what really is in a name.  While you’re at it, google the reason Australia named its highest peak after Thaddeus.

What do you think?

(Based on an article by Kathy Matheson, Associated Press, 7/3/16)

Cinnamon Carter

Similar Stories
Social Talk

Submitting DNA

Just like Cambridge Analytica rocked Facebook, submitting your DNA to one of those genealogy sites is a threat to your privacy.

Social Talk

Recycling: Myth or helping the planet?

Recycling: Myth or helping the planet?  Truth or Dare (not to protect the earth)?
#1: Recycling uses more energy than making something...

Social Talk

5 Habits of the Fountain of Youth

5 Habits to the Fountain of Youth?  Well, not exactly.
The five healthy lifestyle factors identified in a new study published in the...

Social Talk

Why Baby Boomers are hitting the Bottle – and I don’t mean feeding their grandchildren

Those of us at a certain age, traditionally assume that teenagers and college-age people are the demographic groups that drink the...

Social Talk

How New Technology Tricks You into Forgetting Things – Losing my mind or losing my cellphone?

There was a time, long, long ago, in an era that is now far, far away, it was impossible to lose your phone.  Why, you say?  Because the...

Social Talk

Beware: Nothing in life is free

Those of us not born into the age of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram – you get the idea, have long known nothing in life is free and if...

Social Talk

The World is Still Populated and Run by Humans

So shouldn’t people in every city considering autonomous cars be asked if they want to allow them and if so, in what function?

Social Talk

Technology: To help and protect us or a brain drain?

We design technology to assist us, provide warnings for us, prevent us from getting hurt, to provide checks and balances, and even take...

Social Talk

Have you developed internet anxiety?

You are probably thinking this is about being anxious about using the internet.  Guess what, it is not (or is it?).  This is about the...

Social Talk

Is constant & continual progress necessary? When is it time to stop?

It seems that there is no final frontier.  Human kind has investigated and continues to investigate the earth, the planets, the oceans,...