Evening Edition - June 28

June 28, 2020 |


Around the Fourth of July, we hear a lot of songs about all the great things about America: “God Bless America,” “God Bless The USA,” “America the Beautiful.” All week long, our resident musicologist Pat Reeder has been reminding us that there are many more we seldom hear. But before them all, even before “The Star-Spangled Banner,” there was the original American patriotic anthem, “Yankee Doodle.” But it didn’t start out as a celebration of Americans but as a mockery of them.

Since 1776, the song “Yankee Doodle” has been as much a symbol of America as the flag. Every child learns it from the cradle. But many of us grew up without ever knowing what it really means. Like, why did he call his cap macaroni? Did he use cheese for hair mousse? Well, I’ll finally give you the answers to those questions and more.

“Yankee Doodle” actually dates back long before 1776. It most likely started as a German nursery rhyme, since “dudel” is an Old German word for “fool.” It first became associated with America when British soldiers made up their own lyrics to it to mock the ragtag American Revolutionaries. That baffling line – “stuck a feather in his cap and called it macaroni” – makes sense when you know that a macaroni wig was one of those ridiculously large powdered wigs that dandies of the time wore. The Brits were ridiculing Americans as a bunch of hayseeds, so dumb they’d think sticking a feather in their hat would make them look sophisticated. Imagine a Huffington Post article about Trump voters from Alabama, and you’ll have a pretty good idea of just how much arrogant condescension they intended to convey with that.

Unfortunately for the British, it turned out wars weren’t settled according to who had the spiffiest uniforms (in fact, red coats just made you a brighter target.) Those unfashionable Americans were fighting for their homes, their families and their freedom. So they did what Americans have done ever since: they took the ridicule aimed at them, threw it back in the faces of those who mocked them, and got the last laugh.

The Americans took the song “Yankee Doodle” that was meant to belittle them and adopted it as their anthem. They marched to it in the streets, sang it in bars, and made up their own new lyrics to promote the cause of freedom and glorify leaders like General Washington, “upon his strapping stallion.” It wasn’t long before the British learned to dread the sound of that tune, especially when it was played on a fife and drum, accompanied by American militiamen. A Boston newspaper reported that Minutemen who captured two British officers forced them to dance to “Yankee Doodle” until they collapsed. After that, the Brits admitted that that mocking little song didn’t sound so sweet to them anymore.

Well, now you know how “Yankee Doodle” came to be the unofficial American battle anthem that later inspired another great patriotic song for this time of year, George M. Cohan’s “Yankee Doodle Dandy.” As Cohan proudly sang, “I’m a Yankee Doodle Dandy, a Yankee Doodle, do or die…A real live nephew of my Uncle Sam, Born on the Fourth of July!”

Of course, Cohan was actually born on the third of July. But that’s another story for another day.


I’ve been astounded recently by the way the left has been so successful at using “hate speech” and school shootings to convince young people to demand that their own First and Second Amendment rights be taken away. Somehow, they have managed to bamboozle a large slice of the young generation into simultaneously believing that they are wise and mature enough to start voting and even writing laws at 16; yet they are so childish and irresponsible, they can’t be trusted to handle a firearm until they’re 21 or to hear an opposing opinion without rushing to a safe space to cuddle a puppy.

When young people don’t know their rights, where those rights came from, and how much was sacrificed to secure them, it’s easy to convince them to trade them away for empty promises of comfort and security. These days, students barely learn the most basic facts about American history, let alone all the great stories you discover when you dig into the details. This seems like the perfect week for a lesson in how America came to be born. And I’ll try to put it into terms they can relate to.

Maybe – possibly – today’s students can identify Paul Revere (although I doubt they had to memorize the poem, the way we did.) But how many know there was another heroic midnight rider who warned that the British were coming, only this one was a teenage girl from Duchess County, New York? She’s just one of many American heroes that kids don’t learn about because modern textbooks scrub history of everything interesting or inspiring to promote trendy social and political agendas that downgrade America. But kids, history is simply everything that ever happened to everyone before you came on the scene. Seek it out. Trust me: it can be pretty cool, and you can actually learn things from it.

For instance, listen, my children, and you shall hear of the midnight ride of…Sybil Ludington? As the oldest of 11 children, Sybil had to take on a lot of responsibility at a young age. She was barely 16 on the night of April 26, 1777. She had just tucked all her siblings into bed when, suddenly, there came an urgent knock at the door. It was a messenger, coming to warn her father, Col. Henry Ludington, that British troops were invading.

His troops weren’t expecting an attack and were scattered all over the countryside. Gathering them meant a dangerous ride over pitch-black roads, through enemy soldiers, wild animals, and hostile Indians (sorry: “Native Americans.”) Understandably, the messenger refused an order to go. But Sybil volunteered. Her father protested, but she pointed out that she knew where all his men lived. As any father of a strong-willed daughter will recognize, he’d long since learned that arguing with her was futile. So Sybil mounted up and rode off.

It was a rainy night. The British had already set nearby Danbury, Connecticut, on fire, and the flames cast an eerie, red glow on the fog. It spurred Sybil on as she galloped from house to house, banging on doors and shouting that the British were coming. According to legend, at one point, a highway robber tried to intercept Sybil, but she raised her father’s musket and sent him running. Yet another reason why teenagers should think twice before demanding that the Second Amendment be taken away from them.

By dawn, Sybil and her horse were cold, wet, and exhausted. She’d roused over 400 troops, who joined the Battle of Ridgefield and helped drive the British all the way back to Long Island Sound. Gen. Washington personally honored Sybil for her heroism.

Today, there are historic markers all along her route, and statues of her in New York and Washington. But I’ll bet most young people never even heard of Sybil Ludington, a teenager much like them. Maybe it’s because nobody wrote a famous poem about her midnight ride -- even though it was over twice as long as Paul Revere’s.


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Comments 1-25 of 90

  • Christine Harper

    07/02/2020 02:35 PM

    Thank you as of July 1st 2020 i was so burnt out i only turned tv on to watch programs. Not any form of news or political talk shows.
    I intend to vote Trump.

  • Dona Kirk

    07/01/2020 02:15 PM

    I would love to set in on a history class with you teaching it. What an inspiration that would be;
    And, a true history lesson. Love learning from you Governor Huckabee!!! Keep it coming.

  • DoloresC Johnson

    06/30/2020 10:55 AM

    Loved the explanation of Yankee Doodle Dandy and I’ve never heard the story of Sybil. Such an inspiration!

  • Faye M Linton

    06/30/2020 09:45 AM

    At 76 yrs young, I never heard that story. I try to share your name to others whom are tired of news as usual. "Please check out Mike Huckabee. He's relevant without anger. Tries to get to the truth with an awesome sense of humor. Try him, you just might like him." I don't want to imagine your arguments with your daughter Sarah. Who woulda thunk she'd be a president's news person. Great tribute to you sir. Thank you so much for being true to God in your personal and family life, imperfect as we all are.

  • Eleanor B Steadman

    06/29/2020 11:24 PM

    That is a great story. Never heard it before. Thanks for sharing. A lot of wonderful teenagers out there. Their voices will be heard in times coming.

  • Carol Carlton

    06/29/2020 10:00 PM

    Loved the story of the 16 year old. I had not heard that story before and was raised most of my life in Canada so I didn't hear it in the British history that I learned either. Thanks for all of the information you give us. Keep up the good work.

  • Denise A Wright

    06/29/2020 06:11 PM

    Absolutely loved the history lesson about the brave young woman Sybil Ludington riding throughout a cold and wet night to warn the colonists the British were coming!
    Awesome! The best part was when she scared the dickens out of the highway robber who tried to intercept Sybil, but she raised her father’s musket and sent him running!
    I am a baby boomer and I never knew this about Sybil!!
    Thank you Governor Huckabee

  • Daniel Craft

    06/29/2020 01:35 PM

    I had heard that story many years ago, but had forgotten it. There were others involved the night of Paul Revere's ride as well. I love American History.; rich and exciting.
    On another note. I wrote a song concerning 2 Chronicles 7:14 many years ago. It is very applicable to this day and time. Blessings and peace, Daniel C.

  • Judy Dulski

    06/29/2020 12:06 PM

    Great stories. I am sending to my 15 year old grandson.

  • Donna Beckstein

    06/29/2020 11:20 AM

    Thank you so much for this wonderful inspiring story of heroism and patriotism! I get so many political emails that I don’t have time to read so they are deleted - but I always take the time to read yours because they contain valuable and honest information always filtered from a Christian and truly humane conservative viewpoint . You are doing good work - Godly work. Thank you!

  • Catherine Boutz

    06/29/2020 11:18 AM

    Thank you for this history lesson. I had heard this story before but enjoyed hearing it again!

  • Thomas Douglas Roper

    06/29/2020 11:17 AM

    I understand you say you personally read all these comments. That's an awful lot of reading. I hope you read this and can answer.
    I'm trying to wrap my head around how fast this Coronavirus, COVID-19 or as you call it the Chinese Virus could spread froma single transmission in a small town in China to various parts of the world at the same time so rapidly at such magnitude.
    No one that I have heard states exactly when the initial exposure was. It begs me to wonder if this was purposely transmitted. IE people exposed and sent out to various parts of the world as carriers. I'm not much a conspiratorial fan but to me it's the only explanation.

  • Susan Dozier

    06/29/2020 11:11 AM

    Thank you for this article. I'm passing it along to my children to read to their children. I needed to hear this.

  • Jerry Korba

    06/29/2020 11:06 AM

    People of the next generation will look back at 2020 and maybe if allowed to be seen will be the beginning of a lost world the country of Freedom will look like Jurassic Park vegetation grown over our cities we already have human and other animal waste fertilizing the cities now; our members of society the off spring of the greatest generation will be long gone our offspring may be able to tell their grandchildren what it was like to have the freedom people gave their life to defend these freedoms ;maybe BLM will have the cemeteries destroyed or make them forbidden zones not to be viewed; this is a very dark approach but it is not impossible the demise has started oh maybe a couple 100 arrests have been made it may slow down the disposal of America's history The leadership has got to get more forceful before the election I mean now. I don't believe corporate America cares they are funding this why hasn't a MSM conservative news station come onto the scene and counter the fake news. So a few million people watch Fox news we have 350 million people get shitff propaganda 24/7 from 6 Networks. People still believe the NYT and WP; sorry the year 2020 will go down as the year Freedom dies if the The Trump Administration dies and Pelosi keeps the House Mitch loses the Senate the Country really can sing Bye Bye America as we knew it. It is Possible

  • Janet Burton

    06/29/2020 10:06 AM

    Thank you for this wonderful reminder of this young women who so long ago helped this country to become our nation. I do remember reading about Sybil a very long time ago, haha I am 72, so it was a long time ago. It was so nice to read something positive. Thank you for all the articles that you do cover. I know I can get the truth. I pray every day that God will turn our country back to those of us who truly love and appreciate what a great country we have.

  • James A Wilson

    06/29/2020 09:41 AM

    Mike , Barb( my Wife of 54 years )and I are so blessed to Have from the Beginning watched TBN to see your program on Saturday Nights..from time to time we are one week behind on TBN"s Availability but even a few days later not available ...Help...we so Enjoy your clean wholesome, God Honoring and People Respecting Spirit Filled ways ...May Jesus Christ
    Get All the GLORY!!!

  • Carol MacMillan Godsey

    06/29/2020 09:07 AM

    Thanks, Governor - I'm sharing these with my grandgirls (7 and 10). High time our youngest received factual rather than "manu-factual" history lessons!!

  • jerald bishop

    06/29/2020 07:36 AM

    I keep hearing about southerners that fought against the Union are traders! This makes the groups against the Government ,traders also!Burning and looting, and battery the same?

  • Carol Barlow

    06/29/2020 06:34 AM

    I thoroughly enjoyed this article!

  • Ed Johnson

    06/29/2020 06:28 AM

    There is only person who can sing God Bless America, Miss Kate Smith. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7AOAH2lv3H0

  • James Pearce

    06/29/2020 02:56 AM

    As a youg boy growing up, I was brought to realize the rich history of America by my adopted dad Joe Pearce. My Dad as I refer to him, because I never knew my father. He left us before I was one year old. So my dad I came to know around 8 years of age was a lover of history. Were it not for him I never would have been exposed to history as he did for my sister and me. Every summer dad would take us to more historical sites around the south and east of the states as far as the money was saved that year would take us. We made the most of the momey by staying at cheap motels and eating lots of cheese and crackers and bologna sandwiches. But thanks to my adopted father I learned a lot about early America and the struggles that were endured. Not all our history is good, but it tells the story of a young and growing nation made up of a mix of people from all parts of the world. Many people trying to protect a way of life that was all they knew, for good or bad. We must treasure our past and learn from it to continue to grow. As I grew into a man I learned to appreciate those long summer trips and what my dad was trying to do for us by exposing us to as much history as he could. Dad left us in 2001, taken by pancreatic cancer, a slow painful death. I miss him ever so much, but Dad lives on in my heart and mind for as long as I live. I look forward to seeing him again when I am called home by father time and God my maker and Jesus my redeemer.

  • Joyce tucker

    06/29/2020 02:33 AM

    Thank you for the mini history lesson, Governor Huckabee. I am always comforted by your letters...true, funny and soundminded!

  • Cindy dee

    06/29/2020 01:47 AM

    I need to speak my piece mr Huckabee. Where is President Trump?! I was his staunchest supporter from day1. I sang his praises to Everyone I knew. He was The One. The Man of the Hour to save us and our country. So where is he? We toasted his win in New York in the primaries and knew the wind was at his back and the country would soon rejoice. We did. For a time. Too short. Where’s President Trump? Our cities are on fire...our police forces are being destroyed and done away with. Where’s President Trump? Our stores and restaurants and churches are closed! I can’t receive communion! I Can’t Receive Jesus! Where’s President Trump? Statues torn down and our history being destroyed and disappearing before our very eyes! Where’s President Trump?! My children and grandchildren may not have the beautiful American life I had and loved and enjoyed all my life. Where’s President Trump? I’m crying now. I don’t know if my country will survive this awful infestation of hate and evil. I trusted President Trump. I loved President Trump. But I can’t find that man that I believed was America’s savior. And so I’m writing this out of sadness and sorrow for a once great country that is slipping away from my loved ones and my friends and all citizens. I can only Pray mr Trump will step into his Presidents shoes and walk like the man and leader I believed in. Thank you.

  • Janice LaMar

    06/29/2020 01:16 AM

    I've been a student of history (basically, his story) since I was in grade school. In high school I had a wonderful welshman with a flair for teaching world history that I remember to this day. Thank you for the story about Sybil Ludington, a teenager who rode further than Paul Revere and defended herself against a highwayman. Also, had never heard the neat facts surrounding Yankee Doodle Dandy.

  • Linda Olds

    06/29/2020 12:44 AM

    It was good to learn about Sybil Ludington. It is nice to hear something positive!
    But what I really want to hear about is indictments raining down on the perpetrators of the coup attempt against President Trump.