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tv   Legends Lies The Patriots  FOX News  July 11, 2016 12:00am-1:01am PDT

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chris will be here next week when we travel to ohio for the quicken loans arena for what's certain to be an interesting time. have a good week. we will see >> previously on "legends and lies: the patriots"... >> the liberties of our country have been purchased at the expense of our treasure and our blood. >> life, liberty, property. i am not prepared to cede these rights to any man, no matter how noble his title! >> the british have taken bunker hill. >> sounds as though we have work to do. >> we are in want of weapons, of
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uniforms, of all things required by a proper army, or this war will be over before it even begins. [ bell tolling ] [ gavel bangs ] >> the house recognizes mr. patrick henry of hanover county. >> the question before the house is one of awful moment for this country. for my own part, i consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery. are fleets and armies necessary? let us not deceive ourselves, sir. these are the implements of war and subjugation. they are sent over to bind and rivet upon us the chains which
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the british ministry have so long been forging! gentlemen may cry, "peace, peace," but there is no peace! the war has actually begun! why stand we here idle? i know not what course others may take. but as for me, give me liberty or give me death! >> ♪ my country, 'tis of thee ♪ sweet land of liberty ♪ land where my fathers died ♪ land of the pilgrims' pride
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♪ from every mountainside ♪ let freedom ring >> pushed to their limits by an oppressive empire, a determined group of rebels unites under the cause of liberty. their quest for freedom will unify a people, ignite a revolution, and forge a new system of government. in time, these brave men and women will come to be known as the american patriots. [ gavel bangs ] the declaration of independence, engineered by congress but given its spirit by one man -- thomas jefferson, writer, philosopher, politician, and
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conflicted soul. but behind every writer stands a man. and behind every legend lies the truth. [ gavel bangs ] >> thomas jefferson is widely considered the best writer of the founding fathers. after all, he drafts the declaration of independence. jefferson's prose earns him fame and admiration in congress, but the young lawmaker prefers his quiet home in monticello to the contentious debates of philadelphia. >> a new toy? >> i acquired it this morning. i must occupy myself with something. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. dickinson? >> we must exhaust all options for ending this crisis peaceably. >> the war for independence is being fought on two fronts -- in
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congress and on the battlefield. with the british marshalling their forces for an attack on new york, george washington comes to congress with a reminder -- the clock is ticking. >> has not parliament already denounced us as traitors? >> 'tis true. they do not hesitate to remind us that the punishment for treason is hanging. >> hanging would be a blessing, sir. for while our bodies still live, we would have our bowels torn out and burnt before our faces. if we are to die, gentlemen, let us die as a free people, not as
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slaves to tyranny! we must act now! let us declare our independence. >> hear, hear! hear, hear! >> washington is frustrated by what he sees as congressional dithering on a declaration of independence. and he will petition congress personally to pass such a document so that it can become a rallying cry that will clearly state our causes for the breach. >> once congress realizes the british are bearing down on new york, the push for independence gains momentum. a document to declare so officially is written but not by thomas jefferson. richard henry lee presents a resolution from the virginiahatt time, formally calls for
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independence. >> the virginia resolution is a bold, uncompromising break from britain that some delegates may never accept. yet congress moves ahead, anyway, selecting a committee to draft america's grievances with the crown. [ bird cawing ] the vote for independence hinges on the very wording of the declaration. the committee's options to draft it include john adams and thomas jefferson, two of congress' strongest writers and biggest egos. >> you should write it, adams. you've been one of the main instigators in the drive for independence, after all. >> i will not. you should do it. >> why me, john? >> because, as you said, we new englanders instigated the drive for independence. therefore, a virginian ought to be seen at the head of this business to avoid alienating the south. >> and are those your only
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reasons? >> and... you can write far better than i. >> hear, hear. >> though one of the youngest members of congress, thomas jefferson has been preparing to write the declaration of independence his entire life. >> as a young man, jefferson hears the ideas of the enlightenment -- that all men are entitled to life, liberty, and property. but he also still lives the lavish lifestyle that's dependent on slavery. these are the kinds of complexities that shape the thomas jefferson who then crafts the declaration of independence. >> far from the tranquility of his monticello home, jefferson's virginia sensibilities clash with life in philadelphia and with his servant, bob hemings. >> a man's duty
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transcends even his desire for hearth and home. we can no longer live our lives beholden to some king. don't you agree? good god, man. why are you so gloomy? speak up. >> nothing, really. it's just i've been hearing that the king is willing to free any slaves willing to fight for him. >> eerie idea, slaves taking up arms against those who care for them. >> it is no secret that thomas jefferson owns a plantation that runs on slave labor. but he also believes in the abolition of slave trading. this contradiction about slavery plagues jefferson and many of the founding fathers during the revolution and beyond. [ birds chirping ] >> this was the object of the declaration of independence, to place before mankind the common sense of the subject in terms so plain and firm as to command
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their assent and to justify ourselves in the independent stand we are compelled to take. >> jefferson clearly saw that, with slavery, you were not being true to this concept of a god-given right to liberty. however, there's the reality of this being such an important part of the economy. these are subjects that jefferson wrestles with. >> majority of the founding fathers all owned slaves. thomas jefferson had slaves, and george washington had slaves, too. how could you fight for american freedom and yet still have slaves of your own? >> mr. jefferson? >> bob, what have i told you about interrupting me? >> i'm sorry, mr. jefferson. it's only that... what are you writing?
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>> it's for the congress -- political mess. doesn't concern you. you may go. >> as jefferson struggles to reconcile the ideal of freedom with the economic realities of slavery, the fight for liberty will soon take center stage in congress, where true equality among americans could become a casualty of war. p?p?h
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>> what begins as a colonial rebellion against economic oppression becomes a revolution against tyranny. as the continental congress debates whether to declare war for independence, thomas jefferson struggles to put into words what freedom is and whether it applies to everyone. as george washington rides to new york to prepare for battle, he has no idea his life is so close to danger, because even among his own men, some will not
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tolerate independence. >> was definitely hard for a lot of colonists to choose the continental army, to choose the patriot cause, because the british government is your government. people didn't necessarily change their mind overnight. and if they did, they might be spies. >> he looks worn out. >> i have a feeling his excellency won't be commanding this army in a month's time... one way or another. >> there were rumors of a plot to assassinate washington, and it originated with a soldier named thomas hickey, who deserted from the british army and serves in what's called "washington's life guard." these are the guys that are physically closest to him all the time. >> washington may be blind to the danger in his own ranks, but he sees clearly the threat posed by the british.
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he knows that, having abandoned boston, they will target an even larger port, seeking a foothold for the battle ahead. >> new york was key because taking new york would mean splitting the new england militiamen away from the south. and then this typical divide-and-conquer strategy operating out of new york, the british could just mop up. >> the debates in congress are echoed on the streets of new york, as tensions between loyalists and patriots reach a breaking point. >> king george! >> there was a strong loyalist contingent within new york. and so it was unclear which side of the war new yorkers were going to take. and washington didn't know exactly where he was secure or who he could rely on. >> any further news on the british fleet? >> last we heard, howe's fleet is in halifax. we should go indoors, your excellency.
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>> i prefer the fresh air, colonel reed. >> hickey! >> your excellency! >> oh, calm yourself, colonel. these men were doing their job. >> the revolution is in serious jeopardy. washington is a target for assassination. and the continental congress is bitterly divided over independence, even as they wait for thomas jefferson's first draft of the words declaring it.
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for jefferson, the declaration of independence is perfect, an inspired work of art. but it must be confirmed by the committee. john adams and benjamin franklin are the first and most critical test. >> [ clears throat ] >> now, this passage is certain to turn some heads. the king is blamed for slavery. >> from the pen of a virginia plantation owner. >> i have sufficient slaves to maintain my home and work my fields. but i do not engage in the buying and selling of men for profit. >> a fine distinction, i should think. >> the enslaving of your fellow humans is going to cause a thinking man to question whether this is correct or not. so, of course, they thought about it. in fact, that's where you get the various justifications for it and coming from people
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thinking about it. >> as the committee seeks consensus on jefferson's declaration, in new york, two members of george washington's life guard are plotting an end to the revolution by eliminating its leader. >> it was at that point even the british realized that george washington was essential to keeping this army together. without him, the whole thing would bust apart. so, there were lots of stories about the attempts on washington's life, some real, some fanciful. but the gist of it was true. >> thomas hickey? >> who's asking? >> thomas hickey is just a pawn in the larger conspiracy to assassinate george washington. in a scandal that rocks the colonies, arrests are made across new york city, including the mayor and several other loyalist officials. george washington petitions congress for the authority to send a message with a swift execution.
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>> the george washington we learn about in school is not the one who hung people. but washington is a savvy commander. he knows that this is going to be, as perverse as it may seem to us, a morale booster. they are going to hang the person who is attempting to bring an end to the drive to independence. >> on the same day thomas hickey is hanged, thomas jefferson delivers his draft of the declaration. but the delegates are still hopelessly divided over independence. >> the continental congress understood that it would have much greater power if it was a unanimous vote. if it was a split decision, then the british could say, "see, you guys are just arguing among yourselves. it's not americans against us. it's americans against americans."
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>> to proceed with a declaration of independence is to brave the storm in a skiff made of paper. >> it is too late for peace. general washington expects the entire british fleet within days. >> john dickinson doesn't see this as simply a vote for independence. he sees it as a vote to condemn his countrymen to a cruel and unusual fate. and that is a step that he's unwilling to take. >> congress must break their impasse soon. the british army isn't waiting for them to reach an agreement. >> the signal fire is lit.
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general howe's army is here. colonel reed, send a message to congress. ask if they plan on declaring independence before this city is overrun by the british! >> yes, your excellency. >> as more british ships arrive in new york harbor, troops begin to land on the undefended shores of staten island. they're led by general william howe, commander of the british army in america. howe is looking for a decisive victory in new york while washington continues to wait on congress. today, we vote on the
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virginia resolution that these united colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent states. >> sir, no decision we ever take will be as grave as this one. >> independence was not a decision taken lightly because the consequences of it were death. and as long as there are people who are still resisting, nothing definitive is actually going to happen. >> massachusetts. >> massachusetts says yea. >> virginia. >> virginia votes yes. >> yes. >> aye. >> georgia votes yes. >> pennsylvania? >> that vote will come down to one representative from pennsylvania. one dissenting voice could bring this all to an end.
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>> pennsylvania, how do you vote? >> pennsylvania says aye. >> the resolution is approved. >> despite his opposition, john dickinson abstains from voting, sacrificing his own beliefs for the sake of a unanimous decision. >> a resolution was passed without one dissenting colony. the greatest question was decided which ever was debated in america. and a greater perhaps never was or will be decided among men. >> we are an independent nation, gentlemen. now for us to tell the king. >> the debate over independence has been won. but the fight over how to declare it is only beginning.
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and the battle brewing in new york threatens to destroy independence before it even takes root.
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>> as the british empire threatens the rebel army with the full force of its military might, the revolution grinds to a halt in congress over thomas jefferson's condemnation of king george for the slave trade.
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>> "in every stage of these oppressions, we have petitioned for address in the most humble terms. determined to keep an open market where men are bought and sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit and restrain this execrable commerce." >> this is but a pretext for the abolition of slavery. >> this is why i refuse to draft any document edited by committee. >> this isn't editing. this is butchery. >> the southern states resist the anti-slavery language of the declaration and threaten to withdraw from an already fragile union unless the language is removed.
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>> the clause reprobating the enslaving the inhabitants of africa was struck out in complacence to south carolina and georgia, who had never attempted to restrain the importation of slaves and who, on the contrary, still wish to continue it. >> do we look back at the founding fathers and say, "they failed us because they didn't abolish slavery?" or do we look back and then say, "they gave us the weapons. they gave us the ideology"? they were building a nation, a new nation. and they were gonna move forward. >> do all approve the declaration as revised by this committee? >> aye. >> aye. >> aye. [ gavel bangs ] >> aye! >> aye! >> well, now, it seems, we must all hang together, or we most assuredly will hang separately. >> the declaration of independence is approved on july 4th.
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but there is no elaborate signing ceremony to mark the occasion. the declaration must be printed and distributed immediately. so, to save time, congressional president john hancock is the only signer that day. it is not until one month later, on august 2nd, that his fellow congressmen attach their names to the declaration. >> news of independence spreads throughout the colonies, now the 13 united states of america. general george washington stands at the head of an army that will soon fight as a nation of free people. >> sir. >> well, what do we have here? they did it!
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>> congress has given washington what he wants. they've declared independence. and now, all he has to do is confront the greatest army on the planet. [ insects chirping ] >> with staten island overrun by british troops, and the royal navy soon to join them, washington assembles his american army and equips them with a powerful weapon -- their freedom. >> "when, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people..." >> the declaration of independence was, in a sense, a propaganda tool, as well as everything else. and washington especially knew this. the soldiers needed to know what they were fighting for. >> "we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."
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>> when the continental army hears the declaration of independence, a near riot breaks out. the war now takes on even deeper personal meaning. the men fight under the flag of a new nation. in the celebration that follows, they tear down a lead statue of king george and melt it into 40,000 musket balls to be used in their fight for freedom. >> america is now a free and independent nation, unrestricted by tyrannical oppression. thomas jefferson has charted the course to freedom. but it is now up to george washington to claim it.
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>> just three days after the declaration of independence is read in new york, the british deliver a message to
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george washington, sending two heavily armed warships up the hudson river. >> the basic british military strategy is one of intimidation. all of the signs were in england's favor. england had a larger, better-trained army. >> washington, emboldened by the declaration of independence, refuses to be intimidated by this arrogant display of brute force. >> it's chaos, your excellency. many of the men are simply watching the british ships sail by. >> we ought to strike now. >> respectfully, general, we are not prepared. >> i'm sorry, your excellency. but we must preserve what little we have. >> washington's instinct is to
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strike right away. but he's voted down by his generals. he's very upset about this. but it's a good thing, too, because he would've lost. >> that same day, general howe's brother, admiral lord richard howe, arrives with the first navy ships from england. within a month, the british fleet fills the harbor, and 32,000 enemy troops are gathered on staten island, the largest overseas military force of the 18th century. >> it's just an amazing troop commitment. the british were hoping that they would make the colonists think twice about continuing their rebellion. [ birds chirping ] >> sir, i bear a letter from
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general howe. >> lord howe has arrived. he and the general, his brother, are appointed commissioners to dispense pardons to repenting sinners. >> george washington, esquire. there is no one here by that name. this is general george washington, commander in chief of the continental army. >> you've seen the ships in the harbor. you are outmanned and outgunned. >> perhaps. but our spirit is unmatched. you will have to wade through much blood and slaughter before you can take any part of these states.
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>> even during wartime, communication between opposing military officers is traditionally respectful. proper etiquette calls for civil formality. but lord howe, in a show of disrespect, violates this protocol. his refusal to address washington as general is symbolic of the disregard the british have for all americans. but the former british colonies are now an independent nation. and they, like their commander in chief, will not accept such inequality. >> in the french and indian war, washington had been denied a commission in the british army because he was colonial. so, he had a certain personal stake in this to prove these men wrong. >> washington needs the british to see him as a commanding general because that's what makes this a revolution. you don't secure independence from a nation as powerful as great britain by being a bunch of, as the british call them, "rabble."
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>> as the british prepare for war against their rebellious countrymen, they have the weapons and numbers on their side. but the americans stand firm with their newfound freedom. and they would rather die than surrender. >> ah! >> the only option now is to declare our independence. >> america is at war, dr. franklin. >> welcome home. >> for more revealing stories on these and other patriots featured in "legends and lies," purchase the companion book, available at and bookstores nationwide. they brought this on themselves.
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fight. it's the beginning of a new one. >> my business here is done, john. i'm called home by duty, not only to virginia, but to my family. >> our business here has just begun, thomas. you -- you must stay. >> jefferson has done his part for the revolution. the independence he declares on paper must now be won on the battlefield by george washington. in new york, general howe finally begins his attack, leading 20,000 troops from staten island to brooklyn. but washington believes it's a bluff and sends fewer than 10,000 men to face them. >> george washington decided to divide his army, one in manhattan and one in brooklyn. and the british outflank washington, a military disaster.
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[ insects chirping ] >> washington and his army hold the fate of the revolution in their hands. but as his remaining troops retreat in disgrace, washington can feel freedom slipping away. >> the battle of long island slowly clues washington into the fact that, as long as he keeps this army together, the revolution will remain alive. >> we cannot hold this position. we must evacuate across the river tonight. >> that's -- that's impossible. >> this is my failure, mr. reed. hundreds of men died. i cannot lose any more. >> yes, your excellency. >> get every skiff you can muster. keep the campfires burning along the heights, so the british think we are settled for the night. we must not make a sound.
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>> the continental army was forced into a corner in brooklyn heights with nothing but water between them and manhattan. and washington knew, if he fought and lost, this thing was over. so, he was gonna move his army out in the dead of night. but when the sun came out, there was a third of the army still in brooklyn. >> it will be full light soon, general. there will be no hiding from the british. >> washington is trapped. a tactical error has the continental army surrounded. if he's stopped here, it will mean the end of his fight. and the declaration of independence will become nothing more than a worthless relic.
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[ birds chirping ] >> after a punishing defeat in brooklyn, george washington must risk everything to fight another day, potentially sacrificing himself for the cause of liberty. as day breaks, the retreat from
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manhattan is still under way, and the british are closing in. >> sir, they are getting closer. you must go for the sake of the cause. >> i will be on the last boat, colonel. >> when the british realize that washington was on the march out, what was left of his army could certainly be annihilated. washington's major break was the fact that a fog rolled in. >> this fog is heaven-sent. i can scarcely see a man at 6 yards. keep them moving. the fog could lift at any moment. >> the fog was something not normal to the area, not normal to the season. some called it "the miracle in the mist." >> it was amazing that washington was able to escape without being captured. and the war would've been over at that point. that would've been it. game over.
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>> washington's retreat from new york is one of his great tactical recoveries from a near-fatal blunder. the unlikely move risked the entire fate of the war by betting on the cover of darkness and fog -- some would say a bit of help from the divine hand of providence. >> after evading the british in new york, washington confronts the reality of facing off with the world's strongest military. >> we must put a spy behind enemy lines. >> if you're outnumbered, if the enemy has more experience, you have to ask yourself, "what do we do better than they do?" what we knew is, we knew the land. we knew what we were fighting for. we had to outthink them and outmaneuver them. we had to find out what they were doing before they were
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doing it. >> captain nathan hale reporting for duty, your excellency. >> captain hale... you understand that if you are caught, you will be hanged? >> and i am willing to do what i must. >> i hope so, for you may be called upon to do more than you ever bargained for. >> so, when washington needs a spy, guess whose hand shoots up first? it's nathan hale. this is a ivy league grad who could not wait to fight for the cause. >> come. let's go over my plan. >> as nathan hale prepares for his covert mission, washington knows that winning american independence will take more than
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issuing a declaration. it takes strategy, sacrifice, and compromise on the battlefield and in the political arena. in the wake of the fight to declare independence, congress turns to aiding washington's war effort. but thomas jefferson returns home to monticello, still haunted by the compromise on slavery that paves the way for independence. >> you can be moral and immoral at the same time. they were declaring to the world that liberty is a gift from god, that all men are created equal, endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights. yet we're violating these inalienable rights. but by establishing that, they were giving weapons to the enslaved in their struggle for freedom. >> the declaration of independence creates a noble pursuit for all its people. it indicts tyranny and defines equality as a natural-born right.
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yet that promise is unfulfilled for a large portion of the new nation's population. as slave owners who fight for equality, thomas jefferson and george washington struggle with a double standard that becomes an irrational compromise. but it is not their moral contradictions that endure. rather, it's the strength of their ideals that define the true american spirit and continue to offer hope for all of us. [ insects chirping ] >> there he is! let's get him!
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we begin with a fox news alert. police unveiling disturbing details about the dallas killer. he may have had much deadlier plans in the works before turning his hate-filled fury. the gunman that shot 14 people may have changed his plans at the last minute to coincide with the protest against police brutality. we know officers found bomb-making materials and weapons in his home. what his original target was remains a mystery, at least publicly. we are hearing from more people injured in the chaos that night. one woman shared her


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