The Battle for Bennington was a Turning Point

Battle for Bennington, Public Domain

August 16th, 1777: “Suddenly, all hell broke loose. “The enemy immediately poured in upon us cannon ball, grape shot and leaden balls as thick as hail whizzing about our ears; it was a critical moment with us. Our major [John Rand] had his horse shot through the head and cut off the head stall of its bridle and a cannon ball cut a lane though his horse’s mane.“ This account came from 22 year-old Private William Boutelle from the Worcester, Massachusetts militia.

The British military force under General John Burgoyne included multiple…

A stranger contacted me…

The Green Mountain Boy Flag from 1777, Public Domain

Out of the blue last week, something amazing happened to me. I was contacted by Rebecca Hougher, President of Descendants of the Green Mountain Boys, who had read my book, saw my bio and informed me that I was a descendant of Daniel Champion, who was one of the Green Mountain Boys and a Private in Warner’s Regiment. For some Vermont history lovers, this means I have membership in a cult. …

Tory sleeper cells were ticking time bombs

British General John Burgoyne, Public DomainThe American Revolution emerged in the Boston area during the 1770s. Up until then, the land that is now the United States was increasingly occupied by Europeans, mostly British colonists with allegiance to King George III.

England’s financial woes put pressure on the king to tax the colonies and this didn’t go over well in America. The Stamp Act, the Boston Tea Party, the Boston Massacre, the battles at Lexington, Concord, and Bunker Hill escalated and solidified differences that pitted British soldiers against their own colonial citizens.

Loyalists Living Quietly Among Patriots

But not everybody wanted to rebel against the king. Plenty of Loyalist “Tories” lived among the Patriot “Rebels.” And the Tories received protection from the king if they pledged allegiance to the crown. The Patriot Rebels believed it was time to take up arms…

Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold led a surprise attack and captured Fort Ticonderoga

Fort Ticonderoga, Mwanner, Public Domain, Ceative Commons

On this day, May 10th in 1775, the first American Patriot attack on the British garrison at Fort Ticonderoga was launched from Bennington, Vermont. Ethan Allen, a Connecticut native, under orders from Connecticut, and Benedict Arnold, another Connecticut native who was under orders from the Massachusetts Bay Colony co-led 300 Green Mountain Boys militia on a secret mission. The staging area was Castleton, where Arnold caught up with Allen and his men, in their final pre-attack preparations.

Colonels Allen and Arnold rowed across Lake Champlain with 83…

Create with kids and build the future

Images by the author and/or his grandson

One of the greatest aspects of growing older is having grandchildren, and one of the greatest aspects of grandchildren is creating art with them.

Since my grandson could hold a pencil, we have spent hundreds of hours together before and during the pandemic on his remote learning days. What started as a mutual enjoyment of drawing and coloring together has become a weekly two-hour session ”in the flow.”

Even though I am not an artist by trade and only have one art class to my name, I had a buddy teach me fundamental watercolor techniques and kept sketching and painting…

You are not Going to Believe This

Eva Mendez, by Philipp von Ostau, Public Domain

There I was, sitting at the Beachcomber Restaurant on a Florida Beach last February, a month before the pandemic began, munching on fish and chips. I graciously let my date, my wife of many years, have the ocean view and sat with my back to the Atlantic surf. It was a picture-perfect day, the mid-70s, hazy sun, and not too crowded on the patio.

Our conversation was interesting and it was only our first of 10 days there so we were thrilled to be into the subtropical air and expecting a good stretch…

Climatologist says it will crush humanity like a bug

Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

The “ Blue Ocean Event,” or BOE, where for the first time in human history, virtually all of the ice will be melted from the Arctic seas, may happen as early as September of 2020. Climate Systems Specialist Paul Beckwith predicts the BOE, when less than 1 million square kilometers of ice is left will happen this year.

Wait, what? All of the ice gone from the Arctic? Of course, there is no landmass at the North Pole like there is at the South Pole with the continent of Antarctica. …

Intensified health problems in Texas and Florida

The record-setting dust cloud from the Sahara Desert that has been nicknamed, “The Godzilla Dust Storm” has traversed the Atlantic Ocean and is now depositing a cloud of dust over parts of Texas and the Gulf Coast.

PM2.5 and PM10 pollution on June 25th-28th, 2020. Source: EPA

The Sahara Air Layer (SAL), as it is called by NOAA, is common during the summer months and some years can cover the lower 48 states. This particular cloud is one of the most widespread, intense, and dense dust cloud events observed in recent decades since they were first measured in 2002. This cloud will cause dangerous air pollution for a while and…

Abrupt climate change is a climate emergency

Throughout Earth’s history, changes in the jet stream have been vitally important for our weather and climate systems. The jet streams, as you remember from Earth Science class, are high-altitude 200-mile-per-hour air currents in the north and south hemispheres. They flow west to east, hundreds of miles wide on meandering paths.

The winds vary in location, speed, and waviness as they move around our spinning planet. …

Use these tips to flip the conversation

Climate action seems to be taking a back seat to public health and social issues right now. To look at the headlines, one might conclude that the media has forgotten all about the climate apocalypse in the midst of Covid fatigue. But the virus is part of a much bigger problem.

Pandemics and accelerated social problems are two of the many impacts of climate change, along with superstorms, floods, national security, food and water insecurity, economic decline, and extreme weather. If we want to keep climate action on the front burner we need to keep talking about it. …

Glenn Fay, Jr.

Author of Vermont’s Ebenezer Allen: Patriot, Commando and Emancipator by Arcadia/The History Press, University of Vermont EdD.

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