Published by KBN See Action News reporter Marc Alan Urbach, Journalist, WTK teacher & author.
Thank you for this day. Thank you for this wonderful country in which we live. Please help to heal this country Father, unite your people. Help us to see each other not by our differences, but by our similarities, as we are all your children. Please help us to become better stewards of the Blessing of Liberties that you have so graciously bestowed upon us, so that our children and our children’s, children’s can live with the Freedom that we live with every day.
To say that Peter A. Robyn is a Patriot is a huge understatement. I have only talked with him four times, but his love of America, our Founding Fathers and children is second to none.
Robyn is a 59 year-old Christian conservative and Constitutionalist who loves teaching and inspiring students about the greatness of America and its founding documents.
An entrepreneur for 35 years, Robyn is the founder of “HistoryStrips” and “The Drums of Freedom!” presentations. A series of educational presentations, “The Drums of Freedom!” showcases the principles of liberty that were held by our Founding Fathers. Robyn states, “It is very important for all Americans, especially young people to become better educated about the requirements of living in a free society, if we are to continue to live in a free society.” The presentations include information about the time period when the Declaration of Independence was written. “Students need to understand why our Founding Fathers established self-government,” says Robyn.
The Declaration of Independence is a passion for Robyn. “It is in the Preamble of the Declaration of Independence where Jefferson proclaims to the world what kind of country we are: a nation founded with the precepts of the equality of rights to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.” It is absolutely amazing to watch and hear Robyn recite the Declaration from memory. “I love to do it and share its message with students.” Robyn also puts on a spectacular demonstration showcasing his drum set skills, whereby he entertains the audience.
HistoryStrips is a beautifully illustrated, patriotic and factually accurate time lines of American history. There will be five segments, in 50-year increments of American history. The first segments is available now and begins in 1761 with James Otis who gave his famous speech against the Writs of Assistance. Says Robyn, “The content is based on a priority of what is most important about our country’s founding principles. This is a great way for students to learn history by reading the text and looking at the wonderful pictures.” HistoryStrips can be purchased simply by going to the website, www.historystrips.com. They make a wonderful study guide because they have a great amount of diverse information. HistoryStrips was written about in the New York Times in 2010 and in 2011 Robyn was nominated for an award by the Sam Adams Alliance.
On Saturday, February 6th, Peter performed at the Cultural Realism Complex (CRC) in Darlington, SC with his Drums of Freedom presentation. “What an afternoon, what a great time I had teaching about The Constitution.” Peter said.
Robyn is a board member of We The Kids, an educational non-profit organization that instills the love of America, history and the Constitution for students. “We the Kids and I share a common mission to help better educate students about our great nation. I love working with Judy Lane/founder of WE THE KIDS, because she is a fighter who is dedicated to improving the lives of all Americans, especially students.”
Drawing the Lessons of History, Poster-Size
Nineteen years ago, Peter Robyn’s 10-year-old son came home from school on a day that, for Mr. Robyn, will live in infamy.
It was Dec. 7, 1991, the 50th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, and Mr. Robyn asked his son if he had learned about the event in class. He was surprised when his son said no.
“My father served in World War II, and it was very important to him,” Mr. Robyn said. “That day should have been remembered.”
Fifteen years later, Mr. Robyn, 53, said he was obligated to do something about Americans’ indifference to their own history. He sold a landscaping business, which operated out of Wilton, Conn., reached the limits on his credit cards and spent more than $35,000 to try to make history more accessible to more people. To raise money for the project that has been his obsession for four years, he has worked jobs up and down the East Coast.
That project is HistoryStrips poster-size timelines that feature colorful depictions of the bills, battles, politicians and patriots that have shaped the nation. Each strip chronicles a 50-year block of American history.
“Most Americans know very little about our country, our heritage,” he said. “It bugs me.”
History buffs have greeted the strips with enthusiasm. When Marty Maher, the Brooklyn Parks Department chief of staff who participates in colonial-era re-enactments in his spare time, saw the first strip, which covers 1763 to 1812, he knew that it was just the teaching tool needed to familiarize generations of Americans raised on television and video games with their history.
“It was laid out nicely and had good color,” Mr. Maher said. “You don’t have to stop and read it, but you see it so many times, it’s like osmosis.”
That Americans are uninformed about United States history has been well documented. The Intercollegiate Studies Institute has administered civil literacy tests since 2006. The results have been ugly.
When the test was last conducted, 71 percent of test-takers failed the basic quiz, which drew most of its questions from United States naturalization exams. Forty-nine percent could not even name the three branches of government.
History may not be at the top of Americans’ agenda, said Eric Wakin, a professor and Lehman curator for American history at Columbia University who teaches a class called “Public History in America.” In the course, he investigates the numerous ways Americans learn history, including movies, monuments and projects like Mr. Robyn’s HistoryStrips.
Professor Wakin said that a population more knowledgeable about history would be more politically engaged. But people can learn history in many ways, he noted. “You have to engage an audience in all the ways an audience is engaging themselves,” he said.
Mr. Robyn tries to do just that with his posters. They require more than a quick glance; there is a lot to take in.
Along the middle of the first strip, Mr. Robyn recounts the Revolutionary War, complete with blazing cannons and portraits of generals like George Washington and Nathanael Greene. The war scenes have as bookends the Boston Tea Party to the left and pictures of the Constitution on the right a design, Mr. Robyn said, that took him three years and four different graphic designers to polish.
“I found the most effective way to tell the stories using the space available,” Mr. Robyn said.
Ray McBride, the director of the Florence County Library System in South Carolina, saw so much promise in the design of the $20 posters that he bought four for his libraries. He said the library was considering framing and mounting one of them permanently.
Mr. Robyn said he could use more people like Mr. McBride, because the road to break even has been rough. After using the money he made selling his landscaping business four years ago, he has worked many jobs to finance his dream. Still, Mr. Robyn estimates it will be years before he can turn a profit.
This summer, Mr. Robyn worked as a film production assistant in New York. At night, he walked along Brooklyn sidewalks with so much history carried in his arms that he felt his limbs had stretched under the weight. At the end of the day, he would crawl into his green sleeping bag on the floor of the apartment of his son, William, now 29, in Bushwick, Brooklyn.
Each night he kept working on the strips, one way, he said, that he keeps his mind off how much has been sunk into his dream.
William Robyn said his father’s commitment was why HistoryStrips would be successful. He sees his father’s dedication as emblematic of what it means to be an American.
“These are the times that the tough have to get going,” William Robyn said. “That’s true American spirit, and that’s something that can’t be replaced.”
In October, the elder Robyn took a job as a deckhand on a boat in Georgia. He said he would go wherever he could to earn money, which he invests into his strips.
Author Marc Allen Urbach- Believe Do We Need a Third Great Awakening?
Our Founding Fathers were extremely religious men who used the Bible as the foundation for their lives. Article III of the Northwest Ordinance which was signed into law in 1789 said, “Religion, morality and knowledge being necessary to the good government and happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.” Meaning teach “Religion” ( Bible ) in the “schools” “forever.” And for about 160 years it was LEGAL & CONSTITUTIONALLY PROTECTED to do the following in our public schools: Teach the Bible, teach the Ten Commandments, a teacher to lead students in prayer, Invocations and Benedictions and prayer at athletic games. Now almost all gone……..