Myths and Legends Day

Myths and Legends Day is an internationally-celebrated day on October 11 every year. Who knew? I’d never heard of it until this year.

I found it on a list of days.

This week seems to have more than its share of such days. Tomorrow wins the special day contest. It’s Cookbook Launch Day, Free Thought Day, and Old Farmers Day. My favorite thing to celebrate tomorrow, though, is International Moment of Frustration Scream Day.

International Moment of Frustration Scream Day

I think most of us could really get into International Moment of Frustration Scream Day during this pandemic. If I were a betting person, I’d bet money that there are some healthcare workers and teachers who could show us how to do it.

I wanted to scream when I learned that the local legend in Lancaster County, South Carolina around which I had written the first draft of a novel was just that. A legend. It makes for a wonderful story, but as with many yarns spun for 250 years, it’s just not true. At least, it’s not provable.

Nevertheless, I took a bit or that legend and something I saw years ago on a segment of the PBS TV series, “History Detectives,” and I’ve spun my own unique story. The working title is The Doubloon or The Spanish Coin and, if you and I live long enough, we’ll get to see it in print. Authors use the abbreviation WIP for Work in Progress. My novel is definitely a WIP.

Back to Myths and Legends Day

That brings me back to Myths and Legends Day. Look online and you can hardly find anything about it. Several websites actually use the same photograph to illustrate the day: children dressed as their favorite characters such as Superman, Robinhood, and several I can’t identify. It does sound like something fun for elementary students to celebrate and might even encourage some of them to read.

Paul Revere

One legend that came to my attention recently is the famous “midnight ride of Paul Revere.” It’s a wonderful story, and it’s true. The problem is, it’s not the whole story.

On the night of April 18, 1775, Paul Revere rode horseback through the northern Boston area to warn the Americans about the movement of British troops. I hate to burst your bubble, but he did not ride through the countryside shouting, “The British are coming! The British are coming!” I know. That’s what I’ve thought all my life, too.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem, “Paul Revere’s Ride” has been memorized by many a school student. Paul Revere took on a superhuman aura. He did make that ride, and I don’t mean to take anything away from him; however, he’s not the only person to make such a dangerous journey.

William Dawes

William Dawes was also sent to ride that night to Lexington, Massachusetts to warn Samuel Adams and John Hancock that they were soon to be arrested. Also, his task was to alert the Minutemen that the British troops were on the move. Revere got to Lexington a half hour before Dawes. It’s thought that Revere had the faster horse. Also, Dawes was thrown by his horse as he and Revere headed on to Concord, Massachusetts, his horse escaped, and Dawes had to walk back to Lexington.

Samuel Prescott

Paul Revere recruited Samuel Prescott of Concord to meet him along the way since he was more familiar with the Concord area. He supposedly guided Revere through the darkness. When Revere, Dawes, and Prescott were met by British officers on the way to Concord, they split up and Prescott was the only one that made it all the way to Concord. Revere was captured.

Israel Bissell

Then, there was Israel Bissell. He rode 345 miles on the Old Post Road from Watertown, Massachusetts to Philadelphia to warn militia companies of British troop movements. He covered that amazing feat in four days and six hours. The horse he started out with died near Worchester, Massachusetts.

You think all that’s astounding and possibly news to you? Just wait.

What about Sybil Ludington?

I wish I’d been told about Sybil Ludington when I was in school! Her journey was more than two years after that of the above four men, but she rode 40 miles (twice as far as Paul Revere) to alert the residents of Danbury, Connecticut that the British were approaching. She was all of 16 years old.

She made her roundtrip journey between 9:00 p.m. on April 26, 1777 and dawn the next morning. Unfortunately, the British had already torched Danbury. That doesn’t take anything away from her efforts, though. She was later commended by George Washington and this statue of her atop her horse is in Carmel, New York.

Statue of Sybil Ludington in Carmel, New York

“Remember the ladies” ~ Abigail Adams

I’m reminded of Abigail Adams’ often quoted excerpt from her March 31, 1776 letter to her husband, John Adams, as he was away at a meeting of the Continental Congress in Philadelphia helping to work out the details of the American Revolution:

 “I long to hear that you have declared an independency. And, by the way, in the new code of laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make, I desire you would remember the ladies and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the husbands. Remember, all men would be tyrants if they could. If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation.”

Yes, indeed. Remember the ladies!

Since my last blog post

My reading list so far this month might raise some eyebrows and get me some attention from the police. In conjunction with the novel I’m writing, this month I’ve read a variety of forensics books.

Until my next blog post

Note: I drew heavily in my post today from the following website: https://www.constitutionfacts.com/us-declaration-of-independence/the-five-riders/. That’s where I also found the photo of the Sybil Ludington statue.

Don’t forget to celebrate International Moment of Frustration Scream Day tomorrow!

Janet

10 thoughts on “Myths and Legends Day

  1. I would say Janet that our culture, our history is made great through legends. The truth, the verifiable, the one that can “stand up in court” is raw and un-interesting, but legends are grand! Lovely post as usual, and keep writing that hard work develops our talent and our talent guides our work into precision and perfection. I am happy to say that I am back in Spain after spending three glorious months in the Aegean coast of Turkey, a place I know quite well and that I love too much, but Spain is my real home and I am so glad to be back. We are having a bit of a long summer, temps are only around 20 degrees Celsius so it is nice! All the best to you!
    Francesc

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Always good to hear from you, Francis. Three months on the Aegean coast! How marvelous! I’m glad you had such a wonderful three months there. Summer is holding on here, too. The mornings are crisp and cool, but we’re still having highs in the mid-80s many days. I love it, since I’m not a fan of cold weather. I’d be happy if it stayed like this all year. Just two more weeks and my writing course will be over. Overall, it’s been a good experience. What it’s lacking is feedback, so we’re left on our own to judge how well we’re grasping new material. It was only after I’d submitted a scene to the instructor once that she made it known that one such submission was each student’s limit for the entire eight weeks. That was disappointing, to say the least. Oh well. We live and learn. I’m still very glad I took the course. Enjoy getting adjusted to being back home, and soak in these last days of warm weather. Janet

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you Janet. It is definitely nice to be back in Valencia at this time of the year when the nights are cool and the days are not hot, but very comfortable weather (60-65 degrees F) and there is little humidity and nice breezes. So you are on the way to completing the course. That is wonderful, I am sure that you have learned much from such an experience. And as you have also learned, there are limitations to the amount of material you can submit for feedback, but although you will have to judge for yourself, I am sure that the learning experience will suffice so that you can accurately judge the merits, or not, of what you are working on. It comes a time when one has to be one’s judge and one begins to just see the mistakes, as they will clearly stand out, and also the good parts. It happens that way in art as well. Well, I hope your wish comes true and you do not have a harsh winter in NC, so for the time, stay warm and enjoy. All the best from Valencia,
    Francis

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you, Francis. I know you’re right. I’ll have to just rely on my own judgment for now and see what works and what doesn’t work. Good advice. My best from North Carolina. Janet

    Liked by 1 person

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