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Connections: Paul Revere, Nobel Prize and #1 Hit Song
Old 05-12-2018, 10:05 AM   #1
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Connections: Paul Revere, Nobel Prize and #1 Hit Song

This is the true story connecting Paul Revere, a Nobel Peace Prize and a Number One hit song. A little "Six Degrees of Separation" if you will.

We’re all familiar with Longfellow’s poem “The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere” who set out to warn the Boston countryside about the impending arrival of British troops. While historically inaccurate, the poem solidified Revere’s name in history even though he was more of a composite of several men (and one woman) who rode that night in 1775.

Last week, May 10, marked the 200th anniversary of the death of Paul Revere who died at the age of 83 in 1818. Well beyond and after his famous “Midnight Ride” Paul had an amazing life and career as a silversmith, engraver, statesman and businessman. There’s an entire town named after him among other notables, including siring 16 children! In fact, many of his descendants still live in Massachusetts to this day; a few of them, yes, named Paul Revere!

What is not so well known is that Revere did not ride alone on his way to Lexington and Concord. There were several other riders who headed out that night to alert other towns along different routes; Revere headed out of Boston with two others. In fact, while Revere was able to get as far as Lexington, he was soon stopped and detained by the British Army and never completed his intended route to Concord. (Today, there’s a roadside marker commemorating the spot where he was captured).

What happened was this: Just after midnight, Revere and his two fellow riders approached a contingent of British soldiers at a checkpoint just outside of Lexington. They knew they were in trouble. They were spotted and the three of them scattered in different directions. Only Revere was detained. In the confusion the two others were not captured.

One of the two who escaped was a man by the name of William Dawes. He rode into a field, was thrown from his horse, the horse took off and Dawes ended up walking back to Lexington on foot. His role the rest of that evening is a bit murky but he continued in later weeks and months as a patriot actively involved the cause for American independence. He was eventually commissioned as a major in the Boston militia regiment and acted as quartermaster. He died in 1799.

But his story does not end there.

Mr. Dawes’ had a great-great grandson by the name of Charles Dawes. He was born in 1865, 90 years after the famous ride and over time became a successful businessman. Eventually he ended up in politics and under President Harding was appointed to the Allied Reparations Project to help Germany restore its economy after World War I. This led to what was known as the “Dawes Plan” and his work on this earned him the Nobel Peace Prize in 1925.

After a stint in Congress, Charles became Vice President of the United States under Calvin Coolidge in 1925.

After leaving politics he went back to his business interests and died in 1951 at the age of 85.

But the story does not end there!

It seems that back in 1912, Charles wrote an instrumental titled “Melody in A Major” for violin. It was a minor popular song at the time and was largely forgotten. Forty years later in 1951 a fellow by the name of Carl Sigman added lyrics to the song and renamed it “It’s All in the Game” (many a tear has to fall, but it’s all in the game) where, in 1958 it sat for six weeks as the number one hit on American Billboard’s charts.

So, that’s the whole story connecting Paul Revere, a Nobel Prize and a #1 hit song.

Mr Dawes and Bob Dylan share the distinction of being the only Nobel Prize winners and #1 song writers. He is also the only member of Congress besides Sonny Bono with a #1 song and the only Vice President with a #1 song to his credit.
His great grandson is Bill Shultz, a Fox News personality.

Just a little history for you!

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Old 05-12-2018, 10:33 AM   #2
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I'm a history buff, and thoroughly enjoyed this story!

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Old 05-12-2018, 10:49 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by mystang52 View Post
I'm a history buff, and thoroughly enjoyed this story!
Happy to hear! I have another story connecting sewing machines, John Lennon and the Statue of Liberty that I'll share sometime.
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Old 05-12-2018, 11:03 AM   #4
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That was really, really interesting. Thanks! I wonder if Bob Dylan has ever covered Dawes’s song, to bring the story full circle.
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Old 05-12-2018, 11:08 AM   #5
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Very interesting, thanks!
would love to read your other one, too.
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Old 05-12-2018, 11:45 AM   #6
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I didn’t realize that Paul Harvey was a forum member “and now you know the rest of the story. Good day!”
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Old 05-12-2018, 12:44 PM   #7
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Revere Ware, pots,pans and skillets are made (or used to be) in Revere, Mass.

The Revere metals plant that make the stuff, along with non-ferrous plate (industrial) products, was a direct competitor of my plant when I was Plant Manager, Anaconda Metals, in Detroit in the 1970's.

Marko, thanks for the history lesson!
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Old 05-12-2018, 01:35 PM   #8
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That's a really interesting story. My brain was struggling re what Dylan song topped the charts. Of course he never did as a performer, but wrote Mr. Tambourine Man which the Byrds took to #1.

Please do share the Lennon story when you have a chance. Huge fan.

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