Heavens to Betsy! (Ross)
Last August, my good friends Luke and Georganne and I spent about 36 hours in the Philadelphia. This trip was to celebrate Luke and my joint birthday (both born on August 20th – what are the odds?!) and to do some historical site-seeing. What a concept, right? A trip literally to have fun and have an adult field trip. (Special thanks to George and Pam Way for child care duties to allow us to scoot off to the big city for a night.)
During this nerdy getaway, we visited Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, ran up the steps to the Philadelphia Museum of Art just like Rocky Balboa (see photo below), and my personal favorite: The Betsy Ross house. I have felt a connection to Ms. Ross my whole life for obvious surface level reasons, but the more we walked around the house which she inhabited, I felt a deep connection to the revolutionary bad-a$$ American woman.
Here are some of my favorite Betsy Ross facts (feel free to use these this weekend around the firepit/picnic table/barbeque/kiddie pool):
*Betsy sewed the flag in 1777, but she really only got credit for it in 1870 (and Betsy had died in 1836, mind you) when her grandson, William Canby presented a research paper to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, explaining her role in producing this pivotal American symbol.
*Betsy convinced General George Washington to change the design of the star from 6-points to 5-points (because those are a bit easier to applique onto the flag... Duh, George!)
*Ms. Ross had a successful tailoring, flag making, and upholstering business for over 50 years. She designed and sewed flags and sails (by hand, btw) for the Pennsylvania navy during the American Revolution, as well as tailored uniforms.
*She and her first husband (son of Episcopal priest) eloped and this caused a rift in her family and expulsion from the Quaker religious community. She eventually went back to the Quaker tradition, and believed in pacifism.
*Betsy gave birth to seven daughters (5 of whom lived to adulthood) was widowed 3 times, and ultimately supported herself financially and her daughters with her successful upholstering business. (Life insurance and pensions and 401ks were not things, then.)
*When Ross sewed the U.S. flag, she was renting a room in a house IN WHICH BRITISH SOLDIERS ALSO LIVED! If she had been caught, she would have been tried (and most likely shot/hanged) for treason.
Talk about a brave revolutionary.
These next two photos is of Georganne and I feeling all the feminist feels outside the Betsy Ross house:
Hope that historical snapshot of one of our founding mothers helps us all appreciate to an even greater degree the amount of bravery, ingenuity, and sacrifice our fellow Americans endured to get us the freedoms we enjoy today.
For me, running and running a business have been two of the greatest gifts and two of the greatest freedoms of my life. I am so thankful to live in a country where I can make these dreams of mine a reality.
I am also acutely aware of my privilege and realize we have much work to do to ensure ALL Americans have equal opportunity to pursuit the rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Let’s keep working towards our individual and collective societal goals and thank those who have worked and sacrificed in many different ways throughout our country’s history.
If you would like to exercise your inalienable right to exercise this weekend, and need some new shoes and apparel to make it a fun (and comfortable!) pursuit of happiness, visit the Suda's FitFoot online shop at www.sudasfitfoot.com/shop and we can get you same day delivery in the Gainesville, FL area (3 day shipping across the US.)
HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!