Revisionist history is as wrong as it is fashionable, but rarely is it as obvious as on Wikipedia, where legions of Sarah Palin fans are reportedly editing the Paul Revere entry to make it match the former Alaska governor’s version of the silversmith’s famous ride.
The list of edits is telling for an event that happened 236 years ago.
One edit was removed because a Wikipedian said the new info was “not backed by a reliable sources (it was sarah palin interview videos).”
Another shows a bit of bias against the former Republican candidate for vice president of the United States: “[A newspaper] may be a reliable source, but on this Palin clearly is not.”
The Paul Revere discussion page is basically a flame war.
A Wikipedia administrator writes “if you mention Sarah Palin you’re doing it wrong. This article is about Paul Revere, a historical figure who died nearly two centuries before Sarah Palin came to prominence. She has absolutely nothing to do with the article. I would expect to see contemporary sources and theories proposed by modern historians, but Sarah Palin is neither here nor there.”
For the blissfully unaware, Palin, a potential presidential candidate in 2012, seemed to be confused when asked in Boston about the story of Paul Revere.
Palin, on a bus tour, said Revere went on his midnight ride to notify the British that they shouldn’t confiscate American weapons.
Her actual quote was something like this: “[Revere] warned the British that they weren’t gonna be takin’ away our arms, by ringing those bells, and makin’ sure as he’s riding his horse through town to send those warning shots and bells that we were going to be sure and we were going to be free, and we were going to be armed.”
Perhaps Revere was the progenitor of the Second Amendment to the Constitution, which came about 16 years later, but I don’t recall that from the history books I’ve read.
Revere, according to history, rode through an area north of Boston in 1775 to warn residents that British forces were on the move. He didn’t really shout “The British are coming,” because, at that time, almost everyone in the area was considered “British.”
If nothing else, the U.S. public, and a few candidates it seems, will learn more about their country this election cycle.