Noah Webster: The Forgotten Founding Father
Video background from The Library of Congress Webcasts site:
"Noah Webster's name is synonymous with the dictionary he created, but his story is not nearly so well-known. Webster hobnobbed with various Founding Fathers and was a young confidant of George Washington and Ben Franklin. He started America's first daily newspaper, predating Alexander Hamilton's New York Post. His "blue-backed speller" for schoolchildren sold millions of copies and influenced early copyright law. But perhaps most important, Webster was an ardent supporter of a unified, definitively American culture, distinct from the British, at a time when the United States of America were anything but unified—and his dictionary of American English is a testament to that. Joshua Kendall has written an absorbing and insightful account of how American English came to be codified in his new book."