Monday, September 5, 2011

Making History Interesting

Happy Labour Day! Tomorrow all the students will be going back to school. This always seems a better time for New Year's than January 1st. Time for new beginnings and for making resolutions. A few years back I used to resolve to make writing a priority in my day. Then, lo and behold, it happened!

I now write an average of eight hours a day, largely because I'm under contract for two biographies, with only six months to deliver each one. Laura Secord is proving to take many more hours to write than Mary Pickford did. There's so much history to research. Laura was born during the American Revolution, and her feat of heroism took place during the War of 1812. I used to love history back in my student days.

What am I saying! I'm still a student, learning something new every day.

For instance, did you know that in February 1813, during the War of 1812-14, two hundred American soldiers and some volunteers crossed the frozen St. Lawrence River from Ogdensberg, N.Y. and freed a group of American citizens held in the Brockville jail. Before they fled back across the ice, they seized arms, supplies, and forty-five of Brockville's most prominent citizens.

The good news is that those prominent citizens were soon set free, but it conjures up some interesting pictures in my mind. Were those people snug in their beds when the Americans came calling? Or in formal dress attending a fancy event? They definitely were not planning on a stroll in the dark across the frozen St. Lawrence.

That is the kind of tidbit that makes history come alive for me!

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