Trump praises army for ‘taking over airports’ in 1700s

Donald Trump has been mocked after praising the US Army which “took over the airports” during the revolutionary war in the 1700s.

The president made the remarks during his “Salute to America” speech yesterday, as the US marked the anniversary of the day the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776.

Air travel did not occur in the US until the early 20th century, with the Wright Brothers celebrated for flying the first plane in 1903.

Donald Trump spoke at a 'Salute to America' event to mark Independence Day
Image: Donald Trump spoke at a ‘Salute to America’ event to mark Independence Day
The US president spoke behind a protective barrier
Image: The US president spoke behind a protective barrier

It was not the only historical inaccuracy during this section of Mr Trump’s speech, as he also suggested the battle of Fort McHenry took place during the American Revolutionary War between 1775-1783 when it actually occurred in 1812.

Mr Trump praised the military and revelled in a show of pomp and patriotism yesterday, during a celebration his critics accused him of turning into a political event.

The president told the crowd: “In June of 1775, the continental congress created a unified army out of the revolutionary forces encamped around Boston and New York, and named after the great George Washington commander-in-chief.

“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.

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Spectators stand next to a tank at the Salute to America event at the Lincoln Memorial during Fourth of July Independence Day celebrations in Washington, D.C
Image: Spectators stand next to a tank near the Lincoln Memorial
People watch a marching band perform on the National Mall ahead of the "Salute to America" Fourth of July event with US President Donald Trump at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC, July 4, 2019. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Image: People watch a marching band perform on the National Mall

“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 rockets’ red glare, it had nothing but victory.”

The president was mocked by Twitter users, with Bleacher Reporter writer JE Snowden writing: “I’m glad President Trump finally pointed out that our control of the airports was key to success during the revolution.”

“Historians have been ignoring this for centuries,” he added.

Heather Mount wrote: “Watching Trump’s speech, my son turns to me and said ‘did he say airports?’ Does he think they had airports in the 1700s?” My son is 11!”

Former Republican politician Cheri Jacobus said: “In 1775 there were no aircraft nor were their airports.

“Trump is criminally stupid.”

A flyover took place near the Lincoln Memorial on 4 July
Image: A flyover took place near the Lincoln Memorial on 4 July

The US president was inspired to hold a military extravaganza after seeing a Bastille Day display in France two years ago.

He dismissed concerns ahead of the ceremony about the expense and militaristic overtones of the event outside the 97-year-old Lincoln Memorial, a symbol of national unity.

Mr Trump, flanked by Bradley fighting vehicles, largely steered clear of divisive political rhetoric during his speech.

However he echoed a theme from his campaign rallies when he said: “Our nation is stronger today than it was ever before. It is its strongest now.”

At times, an enthusiastic crowd could be heard chanting: “USA! USA! USA!”

A flyover by Air Force One, which Mr Trump had teased earlier in the day on Twitter, occurred unannounced and without fanfare.

But a low and spectacular flyover by six F-18s known as the “Blue Angels” took place at the conclusion of Mr Trump’s speech.

Source: SKY NEWS

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