Grateful American® Foundation

January 1 — January 15, 2024

History Matters

Showing our children that their past is prelude to their future

America was very efficient when it came to shaping a government. On January 7 1789 six years after the finish of the Revolutionary War Congress committed to a date for the first election; less than a month later, George Washington ascended to the presidency.

“Americans [still] vote for President and Vice President of the United States, they are actually voting for presidential electors, known collectively as the Electoral College. It is these electors, chosen by the people, who elect the chief executive… the United States still uses the Electoral College system, which today gives all American citizens over the age of 18 the right to vote for electors, who in turn vote for the president. The president and vice president are the only elected federal officials chosen by the Electoral College instead of by direct popular vote,” according to

For more information, the Grateful American Book Prize suggests Kathleen Bartoloni- Tuazon’s For Fear of an Elective King: George Washington and the Presidential Title Controversy of 1789.

Washington’s first inauguration, April 30, 1789, Federal Hall, New York City

Wyatt Earp has been the subject of a plethora of books, movies, TV shows-and-even a song by Johnny Cash. He mythicized his gunfight at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone, Arizona, transposed himself into a bona fide cowboy-hero, and lived by his revolver until he reached eighty.

According to, “the Earp brothers had long been competing with the Clanton-McClaury ranching families for political and economic control of Tombstone, Arizona, and the surrounding region. On October 26, 1881, the simmering tensions finally boiled over into violence, and Wyatt, his brothers Virgil and Morgan, and his close friend, Doc Holliday, killed three men from the Clanton and McLaury clans in a 30-second shoot-out on a Tombstone street near the O.K. Corral. A subsequent hearing found that the Earps and Holliday had been acting in their capacity as law officers and deputies, and they were acquitted of any wrongdoing.”

The Grateful American Book Prize endorses Wyatt Earp: The Life Behind the Legend by Casey Tefertiller.

Wyatt Earp, age 21 in 1869 or 1870, while married to Urilla Sutherland; taken in Lamar, Missouri

On January 14, 1639, Hartford, Connecticut endorsed its “Fundamental Orders:

“The Dutch discovered the Connecticut River in 1614, but English Puritans from Massachusetts largely accomplished European settlement of the region. During the 1630s, they flocked to the Connecticut valley from the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and in 1638 representatives from the three major Puritan settlements in Connecticut met to set up unified government for the new colony … Roger Ludlow, a lawyer, wrote much of the Fundamental Orders, and presented a binding and compact frame of government that put the welfare of the community above that of individuals. It was also the first written constitution in the world to declare the modern idea that ‘the foundation of authority is in the free consent of the people’,” says

The history of the U.S. Constitution is told in the book The Framers’ Coup: The Making of the United States Constitution by Michael J. Klarman, says the Grateful American Book Prize.

Thomas Hooker founded the Colony of Connecticut. In 1639 they adopted a constitution called the “Fundamental Orders.”

History Matters is a biweekly feature courtesy of The Grateful American Book Prize.

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