This is the twentieth in my series of posts about the five businessmen the History Channel profiled in a terribly inaccurate and un-historical TV miniseries titled The Men Who Built America. I’m writing these posts in response to several comments and e-mails from TV viewers who have expressed interest in a more accurate version of the story. (Click here to see all Al’s columns on the program and its subjects.)
Post #20: The Race for the Telephone
In the year 1876 the United States celebrated its centennial in an atmosphere of rapid and uneven societal change. On June 25 and 26 of that year Indians killed “General” (actually Colonel) George Armstrong Custer and all his men at the Battle of the Little Bighorn in the Montana Territory. On the 25th, the day the battle started, Alexander Graham Bell demonstrated a working telephone at the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia.