October 3, 2012
Newt and Callista Gingrich
When you cast your vote for president on November 6th, you won’t just be deciding between President Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney, but making a choice about whether we remain dedicated to the values and principles that have characterized America from our very beginning, or whether we cast those beliefs aside.
In our view, President Obama has moved as far from our founding principles as any president in American history. That’s a tragedy for our country and especially for the next generation of Americans.
The settlers who first came to America four centuries ago were rugged people. They exemplified the traits that have historically defined America – including hard work, integrity, resourcefulness, perseverance, and a desire to be free.
These are the traits Ellis the Elephant discovers in Land of the Pilgrims’ Pride, Callista’s new children’s book. Following Ellis’s adventures through American history in the New York Times bestseller, Sweet Land of Liberty, Ellis explores Colonial America in Land of the Pilgrim’s Pride – beginning with the first English settlement in Jamestown, Virginia.
From there, Ellis discovers each of the 13 original colonies and learns about:
- Pilgrims landing in Massachusetts and signing the Mayflower Compact.
- Peter Minuit and the Dutch purchasing the island of Manhattan from Native Americans.
- Settlers in New Hampshire making a law that every village would have a school.
- The fallen and underprivileged in Georgia who have a second chance and work their way out of debt.
- Benjamin Franklin’s famous discovery of electricity.
And many more fascinating moments in colonial history!
It’s so important to introduce our children to American history so they grow up knowing what it means to be American. If the next generation doesn’t appreciate the qualities that have made America exceptional, they won’t be able to keep America the freest and most prosperous country in the world. And if they don’t know our history, they won’t be able to defend our founding principles and values when they come under assault.
Unfortunately, schools today are failing our students when it comes to teaching American history. Data released by the Department of Education shows that most fourth graders can’t explain why the Pilgrims left England — among the most basic and famous stories in Colonial American history. And unfortunately, the history that is taught today is often revisionist or politically correct.
How many students know that the first thing the Jamestown settlers did upon landing in Virginia was to plant a cross at Cape Henry?
Colonial America is a crucial part of our history — comprising nearly 170 years from the arrival of the first settlers at Jamestown in 1607 until the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. We believe children should know what life was like for the early settlers who began to build our great nation over 400 years ago.
It’s so important that young Americans feel proud of our country, just like Ellis the Elephant does. November 6th is a reminder of how fortunate we are to have the freedom to elect our leaders. Before Election Day, we encourage you to talk about Colonial America with at least one young American. Ellis the Elephant and Land of the Pilgrims’ Pride might just be your perfect companion!