The Shot Heard ‘Round The World

It was 240 years today, and in the dim hours of the morning came 400 British regulars, soldiers of their own government, well known as the mightiest and most well-trained army in the world. 80 Minutemen stood in defense of their homeland.

They were there to confiscate any supplies of defense – shot, powder, firearms, and cannon. Paul Revere’s famous ride had warned scouts that informed the villages. The men assembled upon the Lexington common, including one slave who was a Minuteman Private (wounded but survived, fought throughout the war and was emancipated). An army officer demanded they lay down their arms and be searched. They refused.

A shot was fired – “the shot heard round the world” – and from this resistance sprang forth a revolution that birthed America.

But, as usual, there is more to the story.

Samuel Whittemore was born in England on July 27th, 1695, and came to North America as a Captain in His Majesty’s Dragoons, fighting the French in 1745. He was involved in the capture of the French stronghold, Fort Louisburg, and there captured a decorative french officer’s sword, which he cherished for the rest of his life. About its capture, all Sam would say is that its previous owner had “died suddenly”.

It is recorded that Sam believed in American independence stating that he wanted his descendants to be able to enact their own laws and not be subject to a distant king. So, it is not surprising when he again took up arms on April 19th, 1775.

That night he watched as Colonel Smith led his column of 700 soldiers through Menotomy. He was probably concerned, but the British had come out of Boston before and there had not been any serious trouble. Later that morning he heard rumors that there had been fighting at Lexington and Concord. But, when General Percy marched through the town with an additional 1,400 soldiers, Sam’s military experience told him there was serious trouble – – ‘why else would the British be sending reinforcements?’ , he probably asked himself.

Word had come to Menotomy that the combined, heavily engaged, columns of Smith and Percy were retreating toward the town, and were burning homes along the way, so the aged warrior decided to take action in spite of his being eighty years old! He strapped on his captured french sword, stuck his brace of dueling pistols in his belt, put on his powder horn and shot bag, took his musket from its place on his fireplace mantle and went to war!

Sam selected a position that gave him a excellent view of the road from Lexington, and sat down to wait. His fellow minuteman from Menotomy pleaded for him to find a safer position, but he choose to ignore them.

His fellow minuteman started firing at the oncoming British Grenadiers of the 47th Regiment of Foot, falling back to reload, then firing again. Sam waited. Finally, when the column was directly in front of him, he stood and fired his musket. A grenadier fell dead. He drew his two pistols, firing both at almost point blank range. Another grenadier fell dead, a third fell mortally wounded. The British soldiers were on top of him, he had not the time to reload his musket or pistols, so drawing his sword, he . started flailing away at the bayonet wielding soldiers. A soldier leveled his Brown Bess musket, at point blank range and fired. The .69 calibre ball struck Sam in the cheek, tearing away part of his face and throwing him to the ground. Sam valiantly tried to rise, fending off bayonet thrusts with his sword, but he was overpowered. Struck in the head with a musket butt, he went down again, then was bayoneted thirteen times and left for dead.

After the British column had fought its way clear, the town’s people and minuteman started to search for their wounded compatriots. Several had seen Sam Whittemore’s “last stand” and approached to remove his body. To everyone’s astonishment Sam was not only still alive, but conscious and still full of fight. Laying there, he was trying to load his musket!

Using a door as a makeshift stretcher, Sam was carried to Cooper Tavern, which was being used as a emergency hospital. Doctor Nathaniel Tufts of Medford attended to Sam. He cut off his bloody clothes, and exposed the gaping bayonet wounds. Sam’s face was horribly injured. Doctor Tufts knew the injuries were fatal, stating it wouldn’t do any good to even dress the wounds. Sam’s family and friends insisted and Dr. Tufts did the best he could. He tried to make the old man as comfortable as possible. After his wounds were attended to Sam was carried to his home, to die surrounded by his family. To everyone’s utter amazement Captain Sam Whittemore lived! He recovered and remained active for the next eighteen years. He was terribly scarred, but always was proud of what he had done for his adopted country. He is quoted as having stated that he would take the same chances again.

And now, as the late Paul Harvey would say, you know the rest of the story.

Say a prayer of thanks for the brave patriots who started the experiment that became our American Republic.



We Always Lie To The Voters

Sooner or later, within the next couple of days, some idiot, speaking of the election on April 7th will say; “The people have spoken.” people have spoken In Morton Grove, at least, that is a bit far from the truth. In a village of 14,873 registered voters only 2,381 found the time to participate in choosing who will run the town for the next 4 years. What is even more astounding is that the difference between the third place candidate who was elected and the fourth place candidate who was not, was the astronomical number of 315 votes. Since there are 16 precincts in Morton Grove that comes out to just under 20 votes, (average), per precinct. If you chose not to vote on April 7th., 20 folks in your neighborhood decided who was going to control your tax bill, who was going to determine how much you will pay for water and whether or not your street will be repaired. 30994-screwed There have been many theories put forth on why people refuse to participate in elections. Some say it is because people aren’t interested as long as the garbage is picked up and the snow is cleared in the winter time. Some have voiced the opinion that folks feel that their vote doesn’t make any difference, so why bother? They believe that elections are about Hope and no change – Going to the voting booth only changes the players… not the game. Every single election cycle people fill themselves with hope. They delude themselves into believing that everything will get better if they vote the right guy into office. Of course, the right guy very quickly turns into the last guy. And nothing changes.   There’s a trend in politicians that I have always found repulsive, and that’s the idea that they are akin to modern royalty — that they are elected and given free reign to do whatever they want, and they aren’t responsible for carrying out the wishes of their electorate. That the voters who elected them are too stupid for their own good, and need someone to make the important decisions for them. This can be seen in the imperial attitude of Morton Grove’s current administration.   The KING   The entire point of an election is to identify a candidate who supports your beliefs and will be an advocate for your opinions in government. In order to make that possible, candidates put themselves in the spotlight and make their positions known on everything from  gun rights to whether they want to spend money fixing the pothole on your street. The system only works so long as the candidates truthfully describe their own beliefs, and detail what they will do once in office. The current administration lies about each other, they lie about themselves, they lie about issues they know intimately, and they lie about issues they barely understand. political party lies If an Action Party politician met you, he’d tell you a lie within 15 seconds of shaking your hand, and if he knew he were going to meet your mother, he’d invent a special set of lies for her. Politicians lie not because they’re wicked – though some are – but because they’ve learned that political markets rarely reward honest campaigners. The political market spoke many years ago and continued to speak on Tuesday: Telling the truth is not great for winning political campaigns –  if it were, more people would be doing it. Still… remember if just 20 more people came out and voted in each precinct in Tuesday’s election the outcome, could have been very different. Makes you think, doesn’t it? Land_Of_Make_Believe



With only 6 days before the bell rings and the gate is lifted for the four horses running in this year’s Morton Grove stakes, the Morton Grove News handicaps the entrants and our opinion on the probable outcome.

Daily racing form


In gate position number one is John Thill. He is still carrying water for the New Action Party even after the Party dumped his pals Maria Toth & Shel Marcus. Some day he might figure out that the New Action Party is not about the Village anymore it’s about Dan DiMaria. Even though he has the extra baggage of the Village President and The New Action Party, he will be running hard. Expect him to finish in the money. jockey-Thill


In gate position number two is Rita Minx. This is her fourth time at the gate. She claims she is running again to complete the ten year plans the Caucus Party had for the Village back in 2005.

In the 2005 race her literature claimed she had a better plan but, nobody has ever seen it.

 Now, once again, in 2015 she says she has another plan… follow Village President DiMaria’s Plan. The only problem is, nobody has seen this plan either.

 Back in 2005 she saddled up with a plan not to pay the village’s pension obligation… supposedly to save the tax payer’s money. Unfortunately, that’s one of the reasons the village’s bond rating went down.

She did vote to kill the OTB for Morton Grove and hand it, gift wrapped to Niles. This cost Morton Grove tax payers over eight million dollars in unencumbered revenue over the past ten years.

She has repented now though. She fully backs the expansion of video poker parlors throughout Morton Grove.

We don’t see her getting a lot of traction from the gate and fading fast because of her support of the 28 % real-estate tax hike she voted for the last time she ran at the stakes. Don’t bet the rent money on this horse. Minx  jockey cartoon


In gate position number three is Janine Witko. This is her first time in the Morton Grove Stakes and she appears nervous at the gate. Never being in a race for all the marbles has put her on edge.

 She trailed the rest of her stable in the qualifying race which surprised everyone being she had no baggage of her own to carry, only the Village President’s.

 She has been groomed by Mr. DiMaria from the start when she was appointed trustee two years ago.

Witko has carried a lot of water for DiMaria over the past two years, but now that she has a race of her own DiMaria seems to be back at the Club House.

 She lacks a track record of her own. What has she done?

Her one claim to fame was on the Planning Board where she helped kill a karaoke Bar that wanted to open on Waukegan Rd. Her claim was that was too close to a school more than 1000 feet away. However, there was a bar less than 500 feet across the street and a full liquor store 400 feet closer to the school than the karaoke Bar would have been.   No problem now, she backs Mr. DiMaria in bringing in more Video Poker Bars. She can only run as fast as her mentor will allow, and he doesn’t seem to be engaged in this race, so don’t bet on this horse either. small_pony Witko


In gate position number four is Mark Albers. This too is his first time at the Morton Grove Stakes and he is skittish in the gate.

 Picking up where Toth & Marcus left off, he is left with a muddy track. He seems to understand that his only chance to win is to find his own groove, the INDEPENDENT groove, where none of the other horses can run… but, by the time Albers found his groove the New Action Party jumped in behind him.

 Fortunately this is a two lap race ( twice around the track) with the New Action party working the independent Groove they have paved the way for Mark Albers to find smooth track to run on.

 With the Action Party touting their “Independent Thinkers” theme, and placing his literature on their Facebook page, it only helps Albers in the Voting booth.


He is the only candidate listed as an independent… all others are posted as Action party. Double down on your bet to win, place, or show with this horse.

When you vote, vote for number four and no more.

Daily racing form FRONTPAGE