At high noon today, EDT, Barack Obama issued a challenge to America’s schoolchildren. In his much anticipated back-to-school speech, he appealed to students to stay in school, work hard, set goals, and not use personal crosses as an excuse to fail.
"This isn't a policy speech. It's a speech designed to encourage kids to stay in school," an Obama administration spokesman told the Cable News Network in response to the uproar over the president's planned webcast and TV speech to the nation's schoolchildren on September 8. "The goal of the speech and the lesson plans is to challenge students to work hard, stay in school and dramatically reduce the dropout rate."
May 1917 was a time of troubles. In France the titanic Battle of Arras was raging. The United States, which had declared war on Germany the previous month, was in the process of drafting millions of men, more than 100,000 of whom would lose their lives. The great empire of Russia was in turmoil, its Czar, Nicholas II having abdicated the throne in February in response to the first of two revolutions. The second revolution — the October bloodbath that would thrust those living under Russian rule under the heel of Bolshevism — lay only months away.
Whether or not President Barack Obama’s September 8 back-to-school speech will be “historic” as his Department of Education (DOE) states, it certainly is headline grabbing. His talk is currently the talk of the nation, but thus far the only historic aspect of it is the opposition it has inspired.