Tell me a (his)story…

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Some of you may be old enough to remember Paul Harvey’s radio show, during which he told historical stories with a surprise ending. His tag line after the big reveal was, “And now you know the REST of the story.”

We heard several Harvey-worthy tales at the Alamo yesterday from fabled folk like Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie – all part of the celebration honoring the anniversary of the fall of the Alamo.

My favorite story was told by a reenactor who is also a certified artillery instructor. He totes a canon around with him, and occasionally fires it.

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He let us hold surprisingly heavy cannonballs and taught us about “grapeshot,” which is a canister full of small cannonballs that when fired, hurls the balls in all directions – similar to a shotgun blast.

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He also told us about a military man who took the traditional cannonball, hollowed it, then stuffed the inside with gunpowder and added a fuse. When the cannon fired, it lit the fuse, and when the fuse lit the gunpowder, the cannonball exploded, hurling bits of metal everywhere. The name of the man who invented this? Henry Shrapnel.  And now you know the REST of the story.

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