It’s back-to-school time (even though the weather is still on summer vacation). In Greenwich, Norwalk and Westport, CT the heat will be our homeroom for a little while longer (so call us if you need any AC maintenance). Many kids will be back at the books at any one of our esteemed public schools. It all got us to thinking, we pass so many schools, named after so many people, but do we know who those people were? Often times, not. We thought, in the spirit of research papers, dioramas and oral reports, we’d research a few of the namesakes who grace some of the schools in our area. Don’t worry, there won’t be a test.
Naramake Elementary School
There’s so much history all over our neck of the woods, and Naramake Elementary School sits atop one swath of it. Named after Native American Chief, Chief Naramake, the location of the school was once the home of the Algonkian IndianTribe. After Europeans displaced the tribe from their land, the site became home to a farm and apple orchard. You can still see the original apple trees on the property today.
Nathan Hale Middle School
If you paid attention in middle school, you probably already know that Nathan Hale (1755 –1776) was an American Patriot, soldier and spy for the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. Hale is considered an American hero, and is the officially designated state hero of Connecticut. He graduated Yale with first-class honors, and became a teacher at 18. When the Revolutionary War began, Hale joined and was elected first lieutenant of a Connecticut militia unit. Inspired by a letter from his college friend Benjamin Tallmadge which read, ”Our holy Religion, the honor of our God, a glorious country, & a happy constitution is what we have to defend”, Hale accepted a commission as first lieutenant in the 7th Connecticut Regiment. He was also a part of Knowlton’s Rangers, the first organized intelligence service organization of the United States of America. When the Continental Army moved to Manhattan to defend New York City against the anticipated British attack, General George Washington was desperate to determine the location of the imminent British invasion. To that end, Washington called for a spy behind enemy lines. Hale was the only volunteer. During this intelligence-gathering mission in New York City, he was captured by the British and executed.
Brien McMahon High School
Brien McMahon (1903 – 1952) was a lawyer and politician who served in the United States Senate and was a major figure in the establishment of the Atomic Energy Commission. He was also key figure in atomic weapons development and an advocate for the civilian control of nuclear development. He proposed an “army” of young Americans to act as “missionaries of democracy”, an idea which later became the Peace Corps. He was mentioned as a possible candidate in the 1952 Democratic Party presidential primaries, with his slogan being “The Man is McMahon”, and a platform of global peace through strength of atomic weaponry. You can see actual footage of McMahon giving a speech in the 1982 documentary “The Atomic Cafe”.
We certainly have an esteemed throng of historical giants above the doors of our public learning institutions. May the the pursuit of knowledge, the true freedom, continue to guide the young minds of tomorrow. Remember, clean indoor air is the best for learning. Call Climate Care for an Indoor Air Quality upgrade. We’ll consider it a vote for the future of America.