Trump’s Fourth of July history speech: Turns out there weren’t airports back thenBreaking News
tags: Fourth of July, Trump
President Trump broke with decades of tradition Thursday by not only attending the Independence Day celebration on the Mall in Washington but making a speech as part of his ‘Salute to America.’
It wasn’t the usual lock-her-up-no-collusion-fake-news fare though. With the aid of a teleprompter, the president spoke for 45 minutes about U.S. history, especially military history, or as he described it, “the greatest story ever told, the story of America.”
Historians — at least the ones fact-checking the president on Twitter — were not impressed. One likened the speech to “an angry grandpa reading a fifth grader’s book report on American military history.”
Trump opened with an account of the signing of the Declaration of Independence:
“On this day, 243 years ago, our Founding Fathers pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor to declare independence and defend our God-given rights.”
As most history undergrads could tell you, this isn’t quite true. The Continental Congress voted to declare independence from Great Britain on July 2, 1776. On July 4, they approved the final text of the declaration. They signed it with their John Hancocks on Aug. 2.
There were inaccuracies like this peppered throughout the speech — the president still seems to not know exactly who “Douglass, Frederick Douglass, the great Frederick Douglass” is — but Trump was especially befuddled when he described the creation of the U.S. Army.
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