The Day Independence Came
Irwin Springer, a middle schooler interested in history, falls when trying to get a book and imagines that he visited the American Revolution and witnessed the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
Irwin Springer loves history-especially about the American Revolution. So he is excited when Whit leaves a book about Benjamin Franklin for Irwin in The Library. Unfortunately, Irwin's enthusiasm causes him to temporarily lose good sense. Irwin climbs on a rolling chair to reach the book, which is on top of a tall bookcase. The chair moves just enough for Irwin to fall off and get knocked unconscious.
When he awakens, he's in a forest, where a man is telling him to run. Suddenly, a bullet whizzes by Irwin's head and splats into a tree. Irwin runs, and he and the man hide in some bushes. The men chasing them run up, and to Irwin's amazement, they're Redcoats from the British Colonial Army! Irwin has been transported back in time. He and the man narrowly escape the Redcoats by pulling down a wasps' nest onto the men, but then Irwin and his companion are attacked by the wasps. They jump into a nearby pond and swim to the opposite shore. There, the man introduces himself - as Nathan Hale!
Hale takes Irwin back to the Continental Army camp, where he meets George Washington. Irwin can't believe any of this is happening. He's especially awed when General Washington asks him to take a message to the Continental Congress in Philadelphia. Irwin doesn't know how to ride a horse, but he certainly can't refuse a request from George Washington. So Irwin runs off to Philadelphia.
In Philadelphia, he meets the patriots, who are debating over whether to sign a document called the Declaration of Independence. Irwin delivers his message, the debate rages on, and finally the Declaration is signed. Ben Franklin tells Irwin to spread the news to every village and town - the United States are free! Irwin does, but his horse stumbles and falls, knocking Irwin unconscious again. When he awakens this time, he's back in the library at Whit's End. It was all just a dream... or was it?
- Why is it important to know the history of your country?
- How did the signing of the Declaration of Independence change America?
- Read Proverbs 28:16. How does God feel about unjust rulers?
VERSION DIFFERENCE: [view]
- The beginning of the broadcast version has Chris at a fireworks show, during which a “musical rocket” that plays the Odyssey theme is set off.
- At the end of the first broadcast on July 01, 1988, Chris advertised that the next show would be “Stormy Weather”.
- At the end of the second broadcast on July 02, 1989, Chris says that an evil man would be coming the following week. Chris was referring to Regis Blackgaard, who made his first appearance the following week in the first broadcast of #77: “The Nemesis, Part 1”.
- The Chick-fil-a version of this episode is shortened.
- Late actor Charles Knox Robinson makes his series debut in this episode playing Nathan Hale. Robinson would go on to play several other notable minor characters, including recurring villain Hank Murray and the angel Nagle.
- This episode is also included in the sampler album, "Star Spangled Stories", along with #149: “By Dawn's Early Light”.
- The reason Benjamin Franklin says the United States are free (as opposed to is free) is because until after the American Civil War, the citizens considered each state to be a country loosely joined together in one big federation. After the Civil War everyone looked at the United States as one nation.
- The music from this episode can be heard on OMNI's website.
- A few scenes from this episode were used in a 1989 Documentary about Adventures in Odyssey sound design.
- During this episode, Ben Franklin gives his famous speech that begins: "I have lived, Sir, a long time..." In reality, Franklin would not give this speech until the the Constitutional Convention 11 years later.
QuotesNathan Hale: Well, we've had quite an adventure, and I don't even know your name or where you're from.
Irwin Springer: I'm Irwin Springer from Odyssey.
Nathan Hale: Well Irwin Springer from Odyssey, I thank you for saving my life.
Irwin Springer: Likewise, I'm sure. And you are?
Nathan Hale: My name is Hale, Nathan Hale.
Irwin Springer: Nathan Hale, the Nathan Hale!?
Nathan Hale: You've heard of me?
Irwin Springer: Who hasn't heard of you?!
Irwin Springer: Oh wow, oh wow!
George Washington: Oh, wow? Is that some sort of Indian greeting?
Nathan Hale: I don't know, sir. He does seem to say it often, though.
George Washington: Well, in the interests of maintaining good relations with the people of Odyssey, I say "Oh wow" to you, Irwin Springer.
Irwin Springer: Thank you, sir!
Tom Riley: Look at him go. You'd think he was looking for buried treasure or something.
John Whittaker: Who's to say he isn't?
Nathan Hale: Can you swim?
Irwin Springer: No.
Nathan Hale: Well, there's no time like the present to learn.
Irwin Springer: Benjamin Franklin looked and sounded just like you!
John Whittaker: Really? <in Ben Franklin's voice> Poor fellow.
Irwin Springer: <beat> Oh, wow!