One hundred years ago last week, on March 23, 1912, Japan gave America a gift that keeps on giving: more than 3,000 cherry trees, whose blossoming beauty is celebrated each year. Japan desired friendship with America and our Founding Fathers urged us to reciprocate with all nations that desired amiable relations with our republic.

Patrick HenryLord Byron called him the “Forest-born Demosthenes.” Others called him the “Lion of Liberty.” Whatever the title, Patrick Henry (left) was never one to mince words in the defense of freedom. The silver-tongued orator was never at a loss for words, and he spoke with a ready arsenal of logic. Biographer William Wirt said of him in 1817, “Tis true he could talk — Gods how he could talk!”

James MadisonToday, March 16, is the 261st anniversary of the birth of the “Father of the Constitution,” James Madison, Jr. At Montpelier, the home Madison grew up in and then shared with his wife, Dolley, for the rest of his life, the staff throwing Mr. Madison a little shindig. From the official website:

Is technology and industry good or bad? There is no moral answer to the question. Certainly there are happy men and women who worked in old trades exchanging the material benefits of technology for the comfort and emotional satisfaction of keeping alive old ways of work. The delightful town of Williamsburg in Virginia or the equally happy Silver Dollar City in the Ozarks are filled with folks whose joy is preserving the making of horseshoes, candles, rock candy, and many other products whose manufacture is a part of our history.

Christianity has proven time and again to be the most resilient force against totalitarianism. This is as true in China today as it was during the days of Stalinist persecution of Christians. Yet some are ever ready to smear Christians with failing to oppose evil. For instance, there has been a spate of books over the last few decades accusing them of indifference or even complicity in connection with the Holocaust — the genocide of more than six million European Jews in Hitler's Germany during WWII. Yet history which was written during the 1930s gives a very different picture of how Christians responded to the evils of Nazism.