Glenn’s latest book, Miracles and Massacres: True and Untold Stories of the Making of America, will be available online and in bookstores everywhere tomorrow, and on radio this morning, Glenn read a brief excerpt from the chapter devoted to the Battle of Athens.
It was Athens, Tennessee, August 1st, 1946. The war was over. The boys were home. At 9:00 at night Bill White stood across from the McKean County jail, and the red brick fortress that was now protecting 60 deputies. Wendy Wise and Paul Cantrell, names Americans will soon forget, but it's what Paul and Wendy had that the 60 deputies that were on the take were protecting in that fortress. They were the ballot boxes. If they were counted fairly, Cantrell and his political machine, his mob of thugs and thieves would fall in spectacular fashion.
Bill White was standing in the dark. He called out again, “Bring out the damn ballot boxes." The silence was broken by the unmistakable locking sound of a shotgun barrel's snapping into his handle. "Go to hell," shouted a deputy, who then aimed his weapon into the crowd and pulled the trigger. The blast echoed down White Street past the Dixie Cafe, past the county courthouse and beyond. Glass windows shattered and sparks punctuated the darkness. Bill White fired both cartridges from his double barrel shotgun, emptied the rounds in his rifle, and then shot his pistol until there weren't any bullets remaining. He then reloaded all three weapons and repeated the cycle. "One more time. One more damn time I have to fight for what's right." The Battle of Athens had begun.
“This is one of the stories that I believe I have been trying to, quite honestly, When we are not spending our money on just trying to stabilize the news and everything else, I am going to make this into a miniseries: the Battle of Athens. It is a story that needs to be told,” Glenn said. “When I first brought it to the attention of everybody on my staff, it took me about 40 minutes to tell [the story]… When we finished, I said, ‘You want to know why they are trying to make sure that our veterans are discredited? You want to know for sure why they are doing everything they can to get the guns out of the hands of law-abiding citizens?’ It's called the Battle of Athens. You want to know why you've never heard of the Battle of Athens? Read the story and find the power with inside of you. It is absolutely one of the most important stories in American history – from the last hundred years – and you never heard of it.”
Sharing the little-known stories of history was Glenn’s primary motivation for putting Miracles and Massacres together. The book is a compilation of 12 events in U.S. history, presented in a way that is both truthful and thrilling.
“We are going to tell stories, true stories, amazing stories, and stories that uplift and educate. Tomorrow, Miracles and Massacres comes out. The first story starts in 1781 and the last story is 2001. And they are 12 stories that I thought captured the essence of who we are, both good and bad,” Glenn explained. “What we did in our country, what we allowed to happen, what we've turned a blind eye to will blow your mind. And I don't mean just the bad things. I mean the miracles as well. We no longer accept that miracles have happened in our country, and I'm telling you now that miracles are what built this country. And if we don't learn from our mistakes, if we gloss over the massacres and then we dismiss the miracles, there's no chance of putting this country back together. None.”
You can purchase your copy of Miracle and Massacres HERE.