Happy Presidents’ Day Weekend! In a previous post about Abraham Lincoln, Chimesfreedom noted the importance of remembering that great leaders were human because we should recognize that fallible humans may still accomplish fantastic feats. Nothing makes us more human than our stupidity, and early U.S. leaders were idiots when it came to slavery. So this post features a story about Oney “Ona” Judge, a slave in George Washington’s household who escaped when she was 23 years old from the Philadelphia President’s House in 1796 while Washington was president.
History does not have to be boring, so we will let someone else tell the tale about Oney Judge in a funny video featuring actors Denny McBride and Tymberlee Hill. But storyteller Jen Kirkman is drunk and swears a bit (so do not play loud at work) . . .
Not only did Oney Judge escape slavery, she escaped from the U.S. President! How cool is that? According to Wikipedia, at the time when Philadelphia was the U.S. capital, Pennsylvania had a law that prohibited nonresidents from possessing slaves in the state for more than six months. If six months passed, the slaves had legal power to free themselves. George and Martha Washington, though, worked around the law by rotating their slaves in and out of the state so none were in the state for six months or more. So even though the Father of our Country did many terrific things as a general and as a president, he also could be a douchebag. This website for the President’s House in Philadelphia features two interviews with Judge from the 1840s.
But what about that video? My friend Mike recently introduced me to the Drunk History videos on YouTube. I am a little late coming to the party, so you may have already seen them. But if not, check out some other ones too. Drunk History videos feature a drunk person telling about a historical event while famous actors reenact what is being described. The series started a few years ago on the Funny or Die website. The series, created by comedian Darek Waters, is pretty funny, but be warned that they generally include swearing and some other drunken activities. Kids: Don’t try this at home. Not only are they funny, though, they are entertaining and educational discussions of history. Check out the links below.
Bonus Drunk History Video: Here is a funny Drunk History video about Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison, featuring John C. Reilly and Crispin Glover. Yes, even the pigeon part is true.
More Bonus Drunk History Video Links: Here is a Drunk History video about Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, starring Will Ferrell and Don Cheadle. Here is the original Drunk History episode, about Aaron Burr.
Bonus George Washington Information: In case you need to be reminded of some of the great things that George Washington accomplished, check out the official White House page for a short biography.
What do you think? Leave a comment.
(Some Related Chimesfreedom Posts)