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Great Stories in American History-


By Rebecca Price Janney, Oct 22 2018 01:45PM

I just love stories about Americans from the past, especially anecdotes that reveal their humanity. When I was growing up, I devoured biographies of figures like Franklin Roosevelt, George Washington, and Abraham Lincoln. I wanted to be an overcomer like they were, to be honorable and a blessing to my family, friends, and community. When we know the stories behind our leaders, they often give us glimpses into our own souls. We also get to know them apart from their exalted status as national icons, to see how human they really were.

Today I’m sharing a couple of stories about the 19th century Supreme Court Justice John Marshall. You might immediately picture him as a tall, straight man, dignified and a bit aloof. A quick listen to my podcast will put him in a different light! Enjoy.

By Rebecca Price Janney, Oct 8 2018 06:27PM

This year, the modern Jewish State turned 70 years old. So much drama went into its creation, as well as its initial years facing enemies on all sides. However, there’s a little known story about the signifcant role U.S. President Harry S Truman played in that nation’s founding, including the influence of an old friend. (By the way, the “S” in the chief executive’s name didn’t stand for anything!)

Here’s the story:

By Rebecca Price Janney, Oct 3 2018 01:26PM

An Afternoon with Rebecca Price Janney and the Bachmann Players: Celebrating the Lives of the Northampton County Flying Camp, November 10, 2018, 3:00 pm, Bachmann Publick House

Dr. Rebecca Price Janney will join us at the Bachmann Publick House to give a talk about her new historical fiction novel Easton at the Crossroads. She and the Bachmann Players will tell the harrowing story of Colonel Peter Kichline and the Northampton County Flying Camp battalion that traveled north to fight in the Battle of Long Island with General George Washington.

$20 members, $25 non-members

*a signed copy of Easton at the Crossroads is included in the price of admission.

The first two books in Dr. Janney‘s Easton series will also be available for sale.

Seating is limited. Reservations required.

RSVP to 610-253-1222 or

Or reserve online via Paypal:

1. Click here to reach our Paypal donation page.

2. Type in the dollar amount and click “Donate with Paypal.”

3. In the comments section please note that you are reserving spots for the “Afternoon with Rebecca Price Janney” event.

By Rebecca Price Janney, Oct 2 2018 12:54PM

I’m a fan of classic movies, and right up there in my top five is “Sergeant York,” an early 1940s film featuring Gary Cooper, one of my favorite actors. He stars as a winsome, principled man from rural Tennessee, who comes up hard but ends up steady and strong. Although he dislikes the idea of killing in a war because his Christian faith teaches the sanctity of human life, York concludes the only way to end a destructive war is to destroy the enemy, which will probably involving killing the enemy at some point.

York was part of the massive Meuse-Argonne Offensive, which began at the end of September, 1918. The largest conflict of WWI, this action signaled the beginning of the end of that bitter war which had decimated Europe over the course of four brutal years. York became one of the most well-known of the offensive’s heroes. I tell his story on my podcast, “Great Stories in American History with Rebecca Price Janney:

Alvin C. York (Wiki Commons)
Alvin C. York (Wiki Commons)

By Rebecca Price Janney, Sep 24 2018 04:54PM

One of my all-time American heroes is Pennsylvania’s founder , William Penn. The English colony, given to him by King Charles II, was actually named for William’s father, something the son objected to. He would never have been that vain! However, the king insisted and who, after all, can prevail against a reigning monarch?

I love Penn for his integrity, his deep faith, which he lived out consistently, and for his desire to create a haven of rest for Europe’s persecuted religious minorities. Some of my ancestors were Mennonites who accepted his invitation to come to the New World to begin anew, arriving in 1683. My husband’s Janney and Wynne families were themselves Quakers and friends of Penn, who also came in that initial wave to Pennsylvania. I am also grateful to be able to count Penn as one of my relatives—he’s my second cousin, ten generations removed.

Another reason I admire this man is because of his commitment to forge peaceful relations with the Native Americans already living in Pennsylvania. I believe if his model had been followed, American history would have looked quite different with respect to Anglo-Indian affairs.

Here’s a story of Penn and his initial encounters with the natives of Pennsylvania and New Jersey:

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