Monday, December 9, 2013

Liberty Bowl

"One of our nations three most cherished historical treasures." Pictured in The Oxford History of The American People (Samuel Eliot Morison. Oxford University Press, New York. 1965).
Hahahahahahahaha. You thought I was going to talk about college football, didn't you? And I thought I'd just have some fun learning about something I must have forgotten. But as it turns out, we were both wrong. It's not in the least bit funny.

In fact, it's enough to make you cry.
For some reason, I've been thinking about the presidency this morning-- no particular presidency, just the presidency. I picked up a crappy old book about the presidency. Not really what I was looking for, though I wasn't really looking for anything in particular. I picked up another and was leafing through the glossy pictures and came across the Liberty Bowl. 

I confess. I know nothing of the Liberty Bowl. Other than the link above, a search for 'revere liberty bowl' generated a lot of hits for folks selling cheap reproductions on eBay. So I began to read about the Townsend Act and The Sons of Liberty in that crappy old book but as it's Monday and I do have chores to do, I thought I might take a shortcut and skim the Wikipedia article first. What I was really looking for was the full inscription. Wikipedia, right?

Wrong. When you search "liberty bowl" on Wikipedia, you are not take to a disambiguation page. you are taken to this:

Liberty Bowl

For the stadium, see Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium

The AutoZone Liberty Bowl is an annual U.S. American college football bowl game played in late December or early January since 1959. Since 2004, the game has been sponsored by Memphis-based auto parts retailer AutoZone.
Since 1965, the game has been held at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis, Tennessee. For its first five years, it was played in Philadelphia.
And this, my friends, is why we have crappy old books. Because if we didn't, we'd think the Liberty Bowl was just another commercial racket designed to make ESPN money. But because we do have crappy old books, we can bring up the Liberty Bowl as we watch Mississippi State play in the Liberty Bowl in Memphis. And we can chat about those 
ninety-two members of the Massachusetts House of Representatives who refused to rescind a letter sent throughout the colonies protesting the Townshend Acts (1767), which taxed tea, paper, glass, and other commodities imported from England. This act of civil disobedience by the "Glorious Ninety-Two" was a major step leading to the American Revolution. The bowl was commissioned by fifteen members of the Sons of Liberty, a secret, revolutionary organization to which Revere belonged; their names are engraved on the bowl as are references to Englishman John Wilkes, whose writing in defense of liberty inspired American patriots. The Liberty Bowl, the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution have been called the nation's three most cherished historical treasures.
The page "Sons of liberty bowl" does not exist
either. It's enough to make you cry, isn't it?

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