Ever since Sarah Palin misspoke about Paul Revere, lots of ink has been spilled regarding it, but this article from CNN, I think, is the most helpful:
Palin and the truth about Paul Revere By Kenneth C. Davis, CNN, June 8, 2011
He rightly reminds us that too often we mangle history to fit our own needs. Even when corrected, we fail to see our errors.
Here's an excerpt:
But it is also dangerous when people "cherry pick" pieces of the story to suit their purposes, when the foot is cut to fit the shoe. A sanitized but incomplete, or worse, wildly inaccurate, version of history can be cited to support just about any political stand. Like scripture, the words and deeds of the Founders, mixed with bits and pieces of American mythology, are trumpeted to support positions on every issue from individual rights, states' rights, gun rights or gun control, to taxes, immigration, public prayer and, most dangerously, taking the nation to war.
When American history is gutted, innocently, ignorantly or deliberately, the outcome can be deadly. If we are told that there is no separation of church and state in the First Amendment, that the Founders worked tirelessly to end slavery or that the Revolution was all about taxes on tea, we are hearing half-truths or outright fabrications. Our extraordinary history deserves better. The truth shall set you free.
Indeed the truth shall set you free. Read it all here.