Historians lead town hall discussion in Ruskin on myths of the nation's founding era

Join a town hall discussion in Ruskin on how America's political culture draws on myths of the nation's founding era
Published January 9

Did George Washington ever tell a lie? Were his teeth really made of wood? Did he really throw a silver dollar across the Potomac River?

Join University of South Florida Prof. Philip Levy, a George Washington scholar, and two Alexander Hamilton experts Jan. 17 in Ruskin for a town hall discussion of myths of the United States’ founding era and how America’s political culture draws on them. The event is scheduled for 1 to 2 p.m. at SouthShore Regional Library, 15816 Beth Shields Way.

Levy; Rand Scholet, president of the Alexander Hamilton Awareness Society; and Susan Holloway Scott, author of I, Eliza Hamilton, will lead the discussion.

This program is part of Revisiting the Founding Era, a three-year national initiative of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, presented in partnership with the American Library Association and the National Constitution Center, with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

A curated reader of primary resources that illustrate the era’s themes is available to all participants on the Founding Era website: http://foundingera.org/downloads/foundingera/GLI_RevisitingtheFoundingEra_Reader.pdf.

“We hope to inspire not just the young but every generation to examine and appreciate the struggles, contributions, and legacies of the founders, and to engage with a renewed sense of purpose in the civic life of their community and their country today,’’ according to the site.

The site features four sections: declaring independence, realizing independence, creating the Constitution and governing a new nation. They draw from the founding era to discuss issues facing Americans today. The “founding a new nation’’ part, for example states:

“This section prompts a number of critical questions: How do the debates over free speech and national security that roiled the Founding Era persist today? Does the national government have the right to enforce its laws if states or groups of citizens reject them? How does your community view the process for electing a president and the role of the Electoral College?’’

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, call the library at (813) 273-3652.