Pearl Harbor

Just after preparing a Family Forest® Kinship Report for a friend’s 11 year old son, the Pearl Harbor movie came on TV last evening. We were only able to watch the first hour before the 57th Annual Emmy Awards came on, but the coincidences seemed dramatic, and I wondered how they might have impacted me when I was eleven.

I had just finished scrolling through Jesse’s 846-page Family Forest Kinship Report looking for some of his relatives who might be of interest. I found quite a few recognizable distant cousins, including Alec Baldwin, Countess Mercy Lavinia Warren Bump (General Tom Thumb’s 32-inch tall wife), Julia Child, Bing Crosby, Queen Elizabeth I, Richard Gere, Charles Dana Gibson (creator of the Gibson girl), President Ulysses S. Grant, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, John Batterson Stetson (the hat manufacturer), Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Jr. (publisher of the New York Times), Brigadier-General John Swift (entered the American Revolution at the age of 15), General Joseph G. Swift (first person to graduate from West Point), Raquel Welch, Orson Welles, and three signers of the Declaration of Independence.

Within the first hour of the Pearl Harbor movie, two of Jesse’s cousins either appeared, or were portrayed. The first was a Hollywood actor he shares 1600’s New England ancestors with, Alec Baldwin, portraying General Jimmy Doolittle who became famous for his daring raid on Tokyo. Coincidentally, within just a few hours later Alec Baldwin appeared on the 57th Annual Emmy Awards Show.

The second was one of the most popular U.S. Presidents that Jesse also shares 1600’s New England ancestors with, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, being portrayed by Hollywood actor Jon Voight. Coincidentally, within just a few hours later, the HBO movie about Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Warm Springs, won the 2005 Emmy Award for the best Made for Television Movie.

As counterintuitive as it may sound, everyone has cousins in Hollywood, and everyone has cousins who did something outstanding that history remembers them for.

How much intellectual curiosity might be stimulated, how much inspiration might be provided, and how much of a difference might it make if our future leaders discover this truth at the age of 11?

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