If you don’t know who this guy in the middle is, you are in for some fun and education at the same time! He is Stan Ellsworth from American Ride, and he teaches history lessons while traveling across America on a Harley. My son and I got to meet him and shake his hand recently for Constitution Day.
You can watch his history TV shows on BYUtv here. The amazing thing is that none of his shows are scripted. He just has all of this knowledge of American history in his head and lets it pour out when the cameras start rolling. He said he grew up in Manassas VA practically in the shadow of a statue of General Stonewall Jackson. He would ride his bike to the statue, stare at it, and say, “I’m going to be like him when I grow up.” I am not sure if he meant that he wanted to be a “Confederate” or if he just wanted to be involved in American history. We had a little conversation about the real cause of the War Between the States and he acknowledged that it was about economics, not so much about slavery, except how slavery was involved in economics. He does have a southern perspective about the War Between the States, but he also has to have his show previewed by a PhD on top of a PhD, so it sounds like not much of the southern perspective has come through yet. I haven’t watched all of the episodes on the War Between the States yet so I can’t tell. They are in Season 2 (one episode, about what led up to war) and then the rest are in Season 3.
These are great shows to watch with your kids to make history come alive. He shows maps and goes to the sites so you see where the events took place. I showed the episode “A House Divided” for my LEMI Sword of Freedom class last week. This class is all about the Civil War/War Between the States. Stan told the story of John Brown and Harper’s Ferry so much better than I could have because he was right there, showing what the arsenal looked like and the old fire station and then the courthouse in Charleston where John Brown was put on trial. One of my sons is taking a class on the Constitution for our Family School Commonwealth. I am going to start watching the earlier episodes (Season 1) about the Revolutionary War to inspire this 12 year old boy to watch them.
I love that he said that the Constitution is not just he master plan, but “The Master’s Plan.” God our Father was the force behind inspiring our Founding Fathers to create the Constitution. Let’s get our children excited about this truth! The Constitution is what God wanted for our nation and we must do all we can to uphold it.
Here is a link to an audio called “You Were There-The Ratification of the Constitution” and here is another audio about what life would be like without the Constitution, called “Magnificent Possession.”
Here is another audio about the origin of the US Constitution.