Saturday 24 August 2019

Donald Trump says US army ‘took over airports’ in 1775 during Revolutionary War

Many on Twitter have pointed out aeroplanes were invented over a century later.

(Carolyn Kaster/AP)
(Carolyn Kaster/AP)

By Edd Dracott, PA

Donald Trump has said the US army “took over airports” during the Revolutionary War – a conflict which was fought over a century before the invention of the aeroplane.

The US president made the claim during his Independence Day speech by the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC.

“In June of 1775, the Continental Congress created a unified army out of the revolutionary forces encamped around Boston and New York,” he said. “The Continental Army suffered a bitter winter of Valley Forge, found glory across the waters of the Delaware, and seized victory from Cornwallis of Yorktown.

“Our army manned the air, it rammed the ramparts, it took over the airports, it did everything it had to do, and at Fort McHenry, under the rocket’s red glare it had nothing but victory.”

The president’s statement has drawn mockery on social media, where many pointed to the fact that the Wright brothers, Orville and Wilbur, did not complete their first successful plane flight until 1903.

Even the first successful human-carrying hot air balloon flight did not occur until two months after the end of the war in 1783, and that was in France – thanks to brothers Joseph-Michel and Jacques-Etienne Montgolfier.

They also pointed out that the battle at Fort McHenry took place during the War of 1812 not the American Revolution and inspired the writing of US national anthem The Star-Spangled Banner by Francis Scott Key.

The gaffe from Trump even inspired memes, with some recreating historical images with modern technology added.

Trump celebrated “the greatest political journey in human history” during his speech on a rainy July 4 in the US capital.

Supporters welcomed his tribute to the US military while protesters attacked him for putting himself centre stage on a holiday devoted to unity.

He went on to tell the crowd gathered in the rain in the US capital: “Very soon, we will plant the American flag on Mars.”

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