Preserving America's Historical Significance

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 Integral to its mission, First Principles publishes articles and press releases, combs news media outlets for current events, presents research and educational materials to a wide variety of audiences, and houses a vast archive of historical documents and quotations. Check back here regularly for what’s new at FPP.
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USC refuses to mandate Constitution course, despite state law requiring it


Reported below by The Daily Gamecock, an editorially independent student newspaper at the University of South Carolina, USC students aren’t required to take classes on the Constitution and other documents central to the founding of the U.S., which means the university is breaking state law.

State law requires public universities to teach their graduates at least one year of courses on the Constitution, Declaration of Independence and Federalist papers.

And if they don’t, the law says that’s “sufficient cause for the dismissal or removal” of a university president.

The law was first raised as an issue by a pair of students — third-year political science student Jameson Broggi and fourth-year religious studies student Taylor Smith — a year ago, but pressure on the university has grown in the last few months.

Three state senators — Larry Grooms, Chip Campsen and Danny Verdin — have written USC President Harris Pastides asking the university to comply with the law, which was last updated in 1998.

Pastides responded with a letter that says the law would need to be updated for USC to follow it. Pastides wrote that about 60 percent of USC students take classes on the founding documents and requiring the rest to do the same would cause problems.

“Without modernization, the strict application of [the law] would create an academic logjam, delaying a student’s timely graduation and burdening the student and parent with additional tuition and costs,” Pastides wrote.

In an interview, Broggi said he and his friends are still setting up meetings with state legislators and that they’ve gotten support from some university trustees and a former governor.

He said he’s pushing USC to comply with the law because he thinks students should learn what their rights are and what sacrifices made by early Americans led to them.

“We’re all studying different fields, but I think it’s essential for every American to know these fundamental American values,” Broggi said. “How do we know what our rights really are and if the government is violating them if we haven’t studied the Constitution?”

Related Documents:

Original article written by Thad Moore, published 2/9/14.

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Raising the Flag, Joe Rosenthal and the Duty to Those Left Behind


By Colonel Ronald D. Ray, USMC (ret.)

628x471-2 Joe Rosenthal came to Louisville, KY in 1975 for the 30th anniversary of the battle of Iwo Jima to talk about his famous photograph of the flag raising on Mount Suribachi in February 1945.  As a Major, I was the Commanding Officer of the Marine Corps Reserve Unit and my responsibilities for the day included providing escort and transport for the dignitaries.

General Edwin Simmons was in attend628x471ance as historian of the Marine Corps, and the General introduced me to Joe Rosenthal.  General Simmons – over a long friendship -introduced me to many of the military’s bravest and most notable from World War II, Korea and Vietnam including soldiers like General Hal Moore, author of We Were Soldiers Once and Young.

Joe Rosenthal was on Iwo when at 0859, Feb 20, 1945 the first of an eventual 30,000 Marines landed on the beach. After five weeks of some of the fiercest and bloodiest fighting of World War II, American forces achieved victory on Iwo Jima as the flag was raised on Mount Suribachi.  Joe’s remarks that anniversary day mentioned the expectation that he would capture another photograph like the Mari220px-JOEROSENTHAL1990SFphotoNancyWongne’s flag raising which by then had been cast as an official US Marine Corps War Memorial, but he humbly said there would never be another like it.  I wondered at the time if he was saying that once in the presence of that kind of hell is more than enough.

On that day in 1975, I had the pleasure of arranging further transport for Mr. Rosenthal.  It was also a sad anniversary for another.  Joe was going to travel on into the Kentucky mountains to visit the mother of one of the 6 flag raisers on Iwo Jima depicted in his famous photograph – red headed Kentucky boy Franklin Sousley.

Joe came to Louisville again and again to make the trip to visit the mother of Franklin Sousley.   He stayed in touch over the years and  graciously gave me a print of his black and white photograph and signed it.  Though Joe and many other witnesses, to that terrible day in the Pacific so far from home, are gone I will never forget him or his pilgrimage to visit Franklin Sousley’s “Gold Star” mother.  Joe’s photograph remains on my office wall as my small tribute and also to remember the great price paid for liberty by those who love it and are willing to defend it.


The following  was taken from, link below

IWO-Franklin_SousleyFranklin Sousley was born Sept. 19, 1925 in Hilltop, KY, and he died March 21, 1945 Iwo Jima, Japan. Franklin was a red-haired, freckle-faced “Opie Taylor” raised on a tobacco farm. His favorite hobbies were hunting and dancing. Fatherless at 9, Franklin became the main man in his mother’s life. Franklin enlisted at 17 and sailed for the Pacific on his 18th Birthday. All that’s left of Franklin is a few pictures and two letters Franklin wrote home to his mother:

————July 1944, Letter from Training Camp: “Mother, you said you were sick. I want you to stay in out of that field and look real pretty when I come home. You can grow a crop of tobacco every summer, but I sure as hell can’t grow another mother like you.”

————Feb. 27, 1945 Letter from Iwo Jima:
“My regiment took the hill with our company on the front line. The hill was hard, and I sure never expected war to be like it was those first 4 days. Mother, you can never imagine how a battlefield looks. It sure looks horrible. Look for my picture because I helped put up the flag. Please don’t worry and write.”

Franklin was the last flag-raiser to die on Iwo Jima, on March 21 at the age of 19. When word reached his mother that Franklin was dead, “You could hear her screaming clear across the fields at the neighbor’s farm.” Franklin is buried at Elizaville Cemetery, Kentucky.

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A Measure of Well-being


Library of Congress. Prints and Photographs Division.

My fellow-citizens, no people on earth have more cause to be thankful than ours, and this is said reverently, in no spirit of boastfulness in our own strength, but with gratitude to the Giver of Good who has blessed us with the conditions which have enabled us to achieve so large a measure of well-being and of happiness.

President Theodore Roosevelt
March 4th, 1905
Inaugural Address

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Seeking Almighty God Since Our Infancy


…It is my most fervent prayer to that Almighty Being before whom I now stand, and who has kept us in His hands from the infancy of our Republic to the present day, that He will so overrule all my intentions and actions and inspire the hearts of my fellow citizens that we may be preserved from dangers of all kinds and continue forever a united and happy people.


President Andrew Jackson
Second Inaugural Address
March 4th, 1833

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