happy-July-4th-2021-girl-holding-american-flag

Happy July 4th 2021

Happy July 4th, 2021. In celebration of Independence Day, here in the United States, To celebrate Independence Day, here in the United States, I am reposting the story of 56 inspirational men who made a decision that changed the world.

My wife and I have been together for 30 years and are happier than ever. Here are some tips on how we keep our relationship fresh and exciting. Get your FREE Relationship Tips Today!

Today, July 4th, we will celebrate one of the greatest decisions ever made when 56 men signed their names to the Declaration of Independence. Most people know the story of this famous document that gave birth and freedom to a nation. What they don’t know is the events that led up to such a monumental decision by these men. The power behind this decision was not to be taken lightly. Each man was signing his own death warrant if they failed.

March 5, 1770

Everything began with a battle on the streets of Boston on March 5, 1770. The colonists resented the presence of armed British soldiers patrolling the streets and openly threatening them. Infuriated, the colonists began hurling stones at the soldiers. This resulted in the commanding officer ordering his men to, “Fix bayonets and charge!” The battle resulted in many men being killed and injured. Because of the incident, the Provincial Assembly called a meeting to take definite action. During the meeting, John Hancock and Samuel Adams bravely declared that all British soldiers must be ejected from Boston.

Adams was selected by the members to speak to the Governor. He requested a meeting and demanded the withdrawal of troops. The request was granted and the troops were removed. Even without the troops, issues remained. Adams and Richard Henry Lee began communicating frequently by letter about their concerns for the people. Adams then conceived the idea to coordinate the efforts of the 13 colonies through a mutual exchange of correspondence.

Two Years Later

Two years later in March 1772, Adams presented a motion to the Assembly that a Correspondence Committee be established by the colonies. This was the beginning of the organization of a power that gives us the freedom we enjoy today. This Correspondence Committee constituted the first organized planning of the disgruntled Colonists. The Colonists had been conducting disorganized resistance similar to what took place in the city of Boston. However, their individual grievances had never before been consolidated.

The newly appointed Governor of Massachusetts sent a messenger to Adams in order to get him to cease his actions. The messenger, Colonel Fenton, told Adams that if he stopped his activities in opposition of the Crown, he would receive great personal advantages. On the other hand, if he did not cease he would be sent to England and be tried for treason. Adams made his decision instantly. He told Fenton that he had, a long time ago, made his peace with the King of Kings. Therefore, no bribe would make him abandon the righteous cause of his Country.

The First Continental Congress

When the Governor received Adams’ answer, he was enraged. He issued a pardon to all who would lay down their arms and return to being peaceful subjects of the King. This pardon applied to all subjects except for Adams and Hancock. Upon hearing this, they were forced to call a secret meeting of their followers and locked the doors. They said it was imperative that a Congress of the Colonists be formed. No man should leave until they had made their decision.

Objections, doubt, and fear were raised by the men in the room. Some questioned the wisdom of such a definite decision defying the Crown. Through the influence of their minds, Adams and Hancock convinced the others to agree. Arrangements were made for a meeting of the First Continental Congress, on September 5, 1774, in Philadelphia. This is a particularly important date. If this meeting were never held, there wouldn’t have been a signing of the Declaration of Independence.

happy-July-4th-2021-painting-first-continental-congress
First Continental Congress

Richard Henry Lee

Before the first meeting was held, Thomas Jefferson published his work, “Summary View of the Rights of British America.” Shortly after it was published, he was informed by the representative of the Crown in Virginia that he was subject to prosecution for high treason. These were men of great fortitude. They lacked authority, military strength, or power. Still, they sat and deliberated the destiny of the colonies while under the threat of death.

They continued to meet at intervals for two years. On June 7, 1776, Richard Henry Lee made this motion: “Gentlemen, I make the motion that these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be free and independent states, that they be absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain is, and ought to be totally dissolved.” The members continued to discuss the issue for days until Lee addressed the Assembly once again by saying, “Why still deliberate? Let this happy day give birth to an American Republic. Let her arise, not to devastate and to conquer, but to reestablish the reign of peace, and of law.”

Declaration Of Independence

Shortly thereafter, John Hancock established a committee, chaired by Jefferson, to draw up a Declaration of Independence. The document was written and when accepted by Congress, would mean death to every man who signed it should the colonies lose the inevitable war to follow. The original draft was read before Congress on June 28 and for several days it was discussed and altered. On July 4, 1776, Thomas Jefferson read: “When in the course of human events it is necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume, among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of Nature, and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impelled them to the separation….”

A Death Warrant

After Jefferson had finished reading, the document was voted on, accepted, and signed by the fifty-six men. Each man knowing that he was staking his own life by making the decision to sign his name. The rest is history. Happy July 4th 2021! May God Bless America.

Works Citied:

“Chapter 8 – Decision.” Think and Grow Rich: the Complete Classic Text, by Napoleon Hill, Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin, 2008, pp. 203–213.

inspiring-people-I-admire-sophie-scholl

Inspiring People Whom I Admire Part V

This is another installment in my series Inspiring People Whom I Admire Part V. A few weeks ago I wrote about the inspirational story of Irene Sendler. Today I want to continue that theme of inspiring women in the World War II era and tell you the story of Sophie Scholl.

Tomorrow is the last day to get my course at 50% off! Check it out and I’m including two FREE Bonus Lessons.

Inspiring People Whom I Admire Part V

Sophie Scholl was born on May 9, 1921, in Germany. At the age of 12, she joined the League of German Girls as did most of her classmates. This displeased her father who was an ardent Nazi critic. Initially, she was very enthusiastic but eventually also became critical of the Nazis. Her brother Hans, at one time, eagerly participated in the Hitler Youth program became disillusioned as well. Hans was even arrested in 1937 for participating in the German Youth Movement. Seeing her brother arrested affected her deeply.

Disillusioned

After graduating from secondary school, she became a kindergarten teacher. She had hoped this would be recognized as an alternative service to the National Labor Service. Unfortunately for Sophie, it wasn’t. National Labor Service was a prerequisite to be admitted to the University. Therefore, Sophie served six months of auxiliary war service. The military-like regimen of the Labor Service caused her to change her initial views of National Socialism. She would eventually begin to practice passive resistance.

inspiring-people-i-admire-sophie-scholl
Sophie Scholl

In 1942 she enrolled at the University of Munich and attended with her brother Hans. During the summer, Sophie, Hans, and their friends began to question and resist the principles and policies of the Nazi regime. They adopted passive resistance strategies that were being used by students in the United States fighting racial discrimination.

White Rose

The group called themselves, White Rose, and co-authored six Anti-Nazi Third Reich political resistance leaflets. These leaflets instructed Germans to passively resist the Nazis. During school breaks, Hans and some of his friends were conscripted into the military and sent to the eastern front. There, some of the group witnessed a group of naked Jews shot in a pit. They were horrified and it emboldened their efforts when they returned to school.

Sophie was an invaluable member of White Rose. As a female, her chances of being randomly stopped by the SS were much less. Between June 1942 and February 1943 they prepared and distributed the six leaflets. In January 1943, the White Rose, using hand-operated duplicating machines, produced, and distributed between 6000 to 9000 copies of their 5th leaflet, “Appeal to All Germans.”

Resist

Readers of the leaflets were urged to support the resistance movement in their struggle for freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and protection of individuals from the arbitrary action of the criminal dictator state. The leaflets caused a sensation and the Gestapo initiated an intensive search for the publishers.

Arrest

On February 18, 1943, Hans and Sophie brought a suitcase full of leaflets to the University. They dropped stacks of leaflets in the hallways for the students to find when class let out. After dropping off the leaflets they discovered that some copies remained in the suitcase. Not wanting to waste a single leaflet Sophie grabbed the copies and ran up the stairs to the top floor of the building. There she flung the copies into the air over the railing.

Unfortunately, Sophie was observed by a custodian who supported the Nazis and notified the police. Hans and Sophie were taken into Gestapo custody. Eventually, the rest of the group was arrested, interrogated, and charged with treason. Sophie assumed full responsibility in an attempt to protect the other members of the White Rose.

Mock Trial

In the People’s Court on February 21, 1943, Sophie was recorded as saying:

“Somebody, after all, had to make a start. What we wrote and said is also believed by many others. They just do not dare express themselves as we did.”

No testimony was allowed for the defendants; this was their only defense. Sophie and Han’s defiance, in the face of certain death, gained them the admiration of many people.

Last Day

On February 22, 1943, Sophie, and Hans, along with their friend Christopher Probst, were adjudged guilty of treason and condemned to death by guillotine. A few hours later as she walked to her execution, still brave and defiant, she uttered her last words:

“Such a fine, sunny day, and I have to go… What does my death matter, if through us, thousands of people are awakened and stirred to action?”

Join Our Team!

Legacy

After her death, a copy of the sixth leaflet was smuggled out of Germany to the UK, where it was used by the Allied Forces. In mid-1943, they dropped millions of propaganda copies over Germany. The leaflet was now retitled, The Manifesto of the Students of Munich.

I admire Sophie, her brother, and their friends for having the courage to stand up for what is right. Knowing that if they were caught it would mean certain death, they were still willing to make the sacrifice. Their small part in resisting the tyranny of Hitler and his National Socialist Party contributed to Germany’s defeat. The symbolic value of what Sophie and the White Rose accomplished cannot be measured. It is because of her courage and sacrifice that I’m proud to include Sophie Scholl in this series of Inspiring People Whom I Admire Part V.

This article may include affiliate links. http://www.inspirechief.com participates in affiliate programs and receives commissions when purchases are made through the links. This is at no extra cost to you.

Inspiring People Whom I Admire Part IV

This is a continuation of the series, Inspiring People Whom I Admire Part IV. I want to create a group of people who have different traits that I admire. Within this imaginary group, I would love to sit down and talk to each one of them. I added the inspirational Kalpana Chawla to this group in my post, Inspiring People Whom I Admire Part III.

Join My Team!

I began researching people from the World War II era. There are a lot of stories of heroic men but the heroic women of World War II are commonly forgotten. I did find stories about a few women and was going to include all of them in one post. Then I ran across a story about Irena Sendler and her story was so compelling that I want to dedicate this post to her memory.

Inspiring People Whom I Admire Part IV – Irena Sendler

She was born Irena Krzyzanowska on 2/15/1910 in Warsaw, Poland, and grew up in the town of Otwock, Poland. When the Nazis invaded Warsaw in 1939, she began feeding and sheltering Jews. After the Warsaw Ghetto was erected in 1940, she could no longer help the Jews that were isolated inside. The Warsaw Ghetto was the size of New York City’s Central Park and 450,000 Jewish people were forced into the area. Irena then began saving orphan children.

inspiring-people-admire-irena-sendler-young
Irena Sendler

Zegota

In order to enter the Warsaw Ghetto, Irena used papers as a Polish social worker she had gotten from a member of Zegota. Zegota was a Polish underground group that assisted Jewish people. Additionally, She also had papers from a worker of the Contagious Disease Department.

Irena and helpers made over 3000 false documents to help Jewish families before she joined Zegota. After joining, She eventually became in charge of the children’s division of Zegota. During the Nazi occupation, she rescued 2500 Jewish children in Poland. She made sure that every family she placed a child with, had to agree that they would return the child to their family after the war.

Methods Used

Irena and 10 others would enter the Warsaw Ghetto and smuggle out children using the following methods:

1. Using an ambulance and hiding a child underneath the stretcher.

2. Escaping through the Courthouse.

3. Using sewer pipes or other secret underground passages.

4. A trolley could carry a child in a sack, trunk, or suitcase.

5. They would have the child pretend to be sick or sometimes would actually be sick and it was legal to remove them via ambulance.

Sentenced To Death

Irena was arrested on October 20, 1943. She was taken to the notorious Piawiak Prison where she was questioned and tortured. Consequently, her legs and feet were fractured during these torture sessions. The Nazis sentenced her to death and she was to be shot.

Unbeknownst to her, Zegota had bribed the German executioner who helped her escape. After she escaped, the Germans loudly proclaimed her execution and put up posters all around Warsaw stating that she had been shot. Irena actually saw and read the posters. For the remainder of the war, she remained hidden.

Finding The Children

Irena was the only one who knew the location of the children she had saved. She had written down their names and locations on tissue paper and buried them in jars. After the war, she located and dug up each one. Afterward, she began the arduous task of finding the children and locating a living parent. Unfortunately, almost all the parents died while being interned at the Treblinka death camp.

Life In A Jar

In 1999, four students began looking for information on Irena Sendler as a National History Day Project. They wrote a play titled, “Life in a Jar,” and began performing it wherever they could. From this play sprung, “Life in a Jar: The Irena Sendler Project” to get the word out of her heroic efforts. Her story was virtually unknown worldwide until they started performing the play. Even in her own country of Poland communism had buried her story.

On May 12, 2008, Irena Sendler died at the age of 98 in Warsaw Poland. Many of the children she rescued continue to tell her story. Her story was immortalized in the book, “Life in a Jar” by Jack Mayer. The book has been made into a film and the play continues to be performed today. There is even an Irena Sendler Exhibit in Fort Scott, Kansas. You can find more information on irenasendler.org.

inspiring-people-admire-sendler-hugging-woman
File – In this Monday, May 30, 2005 photo, Irena Sendler, right, a Polish woman who saved the lives of hundreds of Jewish children during World War II, meets with American students who created a play about her life, in Warsaw, Poland. The students’ teacher, Norman Conard, is being honored by the Polish government and San Francisco based Taube Philanthropies in Warsaw on Monday, June 11, 2018, for his role in making Sendler’s story known to the world. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

A Special Person

I am always moved by these courageous actions of people who lived during times of adversity. Their bravery and unselfish deeds by willingly risking their lives to save others are admirable. Irena Sendler was a special person.

Final Thoughts

Irena Sendler is an inspirational person. We should all have her bravery and compassion for others. I hope you enjoyed reading Inspiring People Whom I Admire – Part IV as much as I did writing it. If you did, click the like button. Leave a comment below, I love reading your comments. If you would like to join my team, click the subscribe button above and leave your email address. Don’t forget to follow my blog.

This article may include affiliate links. http://www.inspirechief.com participates in affiliate programs and receives commissions when purchases are made through the links. This is at no extra cost to you.

Works Cited

“Facts about Irena.” Life in a Jar, 14 Jan. 2020, irenasendler.org/facts-about-irena/.