Critics of President Donald Trump were flying high Thursday after his jaw-dropping gaffe in his Independence Day speech that the brave U.S. Army took over airports during the Revolutionary War.
Trump, clearly reading from a teleprompter, talked about how the Continental Congress in 1775 “created a unified Army out of the Revolutionary Forces encamped around Boston and New York.” The army suffered a “bitter winter of Valley Forge, found glory across the waters of the Delaware and seized victory from Cornwallis of Yorktown,” Trump said.
Here’s where it goes off the rails: “Our Army manned the air, it rammed (or ‘rand’) the ramparts, it took over airports, it did everything it had to do,” Trump added. “And at Fort McHenry, under the rockets’ red glare, had nothing but victory. When dawn came, the star-spangled banner waved defiant.”
The White House did not provide Trump’s complete prepared speech, so it wasn’t clear where exactly or how the the goof-up occurred. The president suddenly zoomed ahead from the Revolutionary War to the War of 1812, which involved Fort McHenry (he called it “McHendry”)— and the “rockets’ red glare” and the “star-spangled banner” of Francis Scott Key’s national anthem. He seemed to be squinting while reading the teleprompter and struggled with some of the words.
The nation’s maiden plane voyage by the Wright Brothers didn’t occur until 1903. Trump referred to that flight elsewhere in his speech.
Twitter foes were doing verbal loop-de-loops over the blunder. “Even back then, there were always flight delays on Colonial Airways, since there were no airplanes,” quipped one wag. Some takedowns involved colonial fighters writing home to lovers about being stranded on airplanes that didn’t yet exist.
#RevolutionaryWarAirportStories "One if by sea, Two if by land and Three if by AIR"
— M A K (@MAK7591) July 5, 2019
— Damian Ayers (@Talented_Xth) July 5, 2019
Apparently we took La Guardia Airport from the Brits in 1776 and have been trying to give it back for 243 years.
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) July 5, 2019
Dear @realDonaldTrump, It just occurred to me that you & my great, great, great grandpappy were on the same flight in 1812. The family stories of the emergency landing during the red flare are absolutely riveting. Just curious, what time do you start sundowning? xoBette #BeBette
— Bette Midler (@BetteMidler) July 5, 2019
We beat the British because they had to connect through Atlanta. #RevolutionaryWarAirportStories
— Steve Kish (@skishman) July 5, 2019
My Dearest Rose,
I'm afraid I must be the bearer of bad news. My flight has already been delayed a fortnight, and I fear it will be longer. The army has shut down the airport and the airplane will not be invented for 6 score and 7 years from now.#RevolutionaryWarAirportStories
— JackWBower (@Trumpet1984) July 5, 2019
My dear Frederick, They continue to hold us prisoner. All we have been given to eat are small portions of miniature pretzels, and no ale or mead. They torture us with stories of some mythical being called a “beverage cart,” yet it does not appear. #RevolutionaryWarAirportStories
— Deb Amlen (@DebAmlen) July 5, 2019
— Malcolm Nance (@MalcolmNance) July 5, 2019
That moment when Hamilton and Lafayette seized our airports was truly a surprise move. I thought they were riding through a marsh.
— William Shakespeare (@Shakespeare) July 5, 2019