J. L. BELL is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

140 Revolutionary Characters

The Journal of the American Revolution is in the middle of one of its group interviews, and today’s question was a challenge to “describe the American Revolution in 140 characters or less.” Check out the various answers at AllThingsLiberty.com.

That reminded me of Slate magazine’s public challenge back in 2010 to summarize the Declaration of Independence in 124 characters or less, leaving room for the #TinyDeclaration hashtag in a Twitter posting.

For reasons that became obvious, I had to share that news back then:

The third runner-up, for straddling the delicate balance between the literal and humorous: @Boston1775: “We seek independence based on noble and universal ideas combined with petty and one-sided grievances.”

The second runner-up, for his direct and confrontational tweet, goes to @TJMonticello: “All peeps are equal. Sick and tired of your tyrannical BS. Seeking independence. Your permission requested, not required.”

The first runner-up, for both historical accuracy and a Twitter-worthy modernization of communication, goes to @badanes: “Our Rights from Creator (h/t @JLocke). Life, Liberty, PoH FTW! Your transgressions = FAIL. GTFO, @GeorgeIII. -HANCOCK et al.”

And finally, our winner—according to his Twitter bio, a former writer for Conan O’Brien and The Daily Show—is @ApocalypseHow, for reminding us that brevity is the soul of wit: “Bye George, we’ve got it.”
My favorite not on this list came from @NEHgov: “Dear George, it’s not you. It’s U.S.”

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