How the Scots Invented the Modern World

What do pneumatic tires, ATMs, toasters, disposable contact lenses, and the telephone have in common?

All were invented by Scots!

How about penicillin, the television, and the MRI machine?   Yup, Scots invented them as well.

In addition to these more modern items, Scots have been at the forefront of radical change in the arts, philosophy, architecture, politics, and religion for almost as long as recorded history.

In the 2007 publication, “How the Scots Invented the Modern World”, Dr. Arthur Herman delves into  Scotland’s complicated history and how it shaped the modern world.

Do yourself a favor and pick up this fantastic book!

Amazon.com Review

“I am a Scotsman,” Sir Walter Scott famously wrote, “therefore I had to fight my way into the world.” So did any number of his compatriots over a period of just a few centuries, leaving their native country and traveling to every continent, carving out livelihoods and bringing ideas of freedom, self-reliance, moral discipline, and technological mastery with them, among other key assumptions of what historian Arthur Herman calls the “Scottish mentality.”

It is only natural, Herman suggests, that a country that once ranked among Europe’s poorest, if most literate, would prize the ideal of progress, measured “by how far we have come from where we once were.” Forged in the Scottish Enlightenment, that ideal would inform the political theories of Francis Hutcheson, Adam Smith, David Hume, and other Scottish thinkers who viewed “man as a product of history,” and whose collective enterprise involved “nothing less than a massive reordering of human knowledge” (yielding, among other things, the Encyclopaedia Britannica, first published in Edinburgh in 1768, and the Declaration of Independence, published in Philadelphia just a few years later). On a more immediately practical front, but no less bound to that notion of progress, Scotland also fielded inventors, warriors, administrators, and diplomats such as Alexander Graham Bell, Andrew Carnegie, Simon MacTavish, and Charles James Napier, who created empires and great fortunes, extending Scotland’s reach into every corner of the world.

Herman examines the lives and work of these and many more eminent Scots, capably defending his thesis and arguing, with both skill and good cheer, that the Scots “have by and large made the world a better place rather than a worse place.” –Gregory McNamee

A Brief History of Highland Games

According to Wikipedia; “Highland games are events held in spring and summer in Scotland and other countries with a large Scottish diaspora, as a way of celebrating Scottish and Celtic culture, especially that of the Scottish Highlands”.

One would think that the largest of these events would be held in Scotland, but you would be incorrect.

The largest three events in the world, in terms of attendance, are The Grandfather Mountain Games in North Carolina (30,000), The New Hampshire Highland Games and Festival (35,000), and the Pleasanton, California Highland Games (40,000+).

The Scots’ Charitable Society is not only a participating group at the New Hampshire Games, but we sponsor the annual trophy for the Adaptive Highland Athletics, held for participants with physical limitations. 

For more info about the New Hampshire Games, follow this link.

For more information about Highland Games, follow this link.

Hope to see you in New Hampshire September 16 – 18!

Save the Date: Scots’ Charitable Annual Golf Outing

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The Scots’ Charitable Annual Golf Outing RETURNS on August 28th, 12:30pm at Black Swan Country Club in Georgetown, MA.

To see photos from the 2021 Golf Outing, click here.

The Scottish Game

Beginning July 10, 2022, the 150th Open Championship returns to the “Home of Golf,” The Old Course at St. Andrew’s in Scotland.

Sometimes referred to as the “British Open,” it was first held on October 17, 1860, making it the oldest golf tournament in the world.

The history of golf goes back much further than 1860, however, with the original rights to play on the links being granted to the townspeople of St. Andrew’s by Archbishop John Hamilton in 1552!

To this day, the St. Andrew’s Links, which encompasses seven golf courses, remains in a public trust owned by local authorities.

The courses are open to the public for golf seven days a week, with the exception of the Old Course, which gets a day of rest each Sunday.  On those days it is not uncommon to see locals walking their dogs on the course. Can you imagine someone walking their dog at Augusta National or Pebble Beach?!

For more information about the history of St. Andrew’s, we encourage you to click these links:

Old Course
Wikipedia Page
The History of Golf

By Dennis Napier

Scots’ Charitable Presents: A Symphony in Stone

Join us at the First Presbyterian Church in Quincy at 1:30 PM ET for a special screening of A Symphony In Stone with the movie’s producer, Tony Burton.

Join us at the NYC Tartan Day Parade!

Join fellow SCS members, family and friends at this year’s Tartan Day Parade. Contact alanmccall461@hotmail.com if you would like to join in the fun!

Scots Day at Fort Ticonderoga

Celebrate Scottish culture and military heritage at Fort Ticonderoga’s Scots Day on June 18th! Scots’ Charitable members are invited to join the St. Andrew’s Society of Albany at their tent! Sit in the shade, enjoy the view, and enjoy a traditional beverage. Get your tickets by clicking the link below and look for the St. Andrews Society’s tent! Call 518-235-7234 if you would like to meet up! If you are looking for a place to stay the night the St. Andrew’s Society recommends checking out the lovely BnBs Vermont has to offer.

The day includes a memorial service to the Scots of the Black Watch, who charged bravely at the Battle of Ticonderoga; many soldiers from Massachusetts also fought there.

Discover your own Scottish connection by visiting clan tents and vendors and enjoy the sounds of Scottish music performed throughout the day. Discover the stories of centuries of Scottish soldiers in the British Army through a military timeline.

Fort Ticonderoga preserves 2,000 acres of historic landscape on Lake Champlain, and Carillon Battlefield, and the largest series of untouched Revolutionary War era earthworks surviving in America. As a multi-day destination and the premier place to learn more about our nation’s earliest years and America’s military heritage, Fort Ticonderoga, a historic destination with many attractions, welcomes more than 75,000 visitors each year and offers programs, historic interpretation, boat cruises, tours, demonstrations, and exhibits throughout the year, and is open for daily visitation May through October. 

Happy Burns Night from Scots’ Charitable!

It is with great delight that we share not one, but TWO, Address to the Haggis videos in celebration of Burns Night! Grab your haggis, scotch, and bagpipes and watch our members and special guests honor Robert Burns!

To learn more about Robert Burns, check out our 2021 blog post here.

Many thanks to SCS members and to special guest Peter Abbott, British Consul General, who appears in video #2. Special thanks to Dennis Napier who upped the ante by providing an introduction in honor of the Bard as well as stunning verse, and Jack MacLean for piping in the Haggis! You may recognize the scenery in one of the videos from Skyfall, the James Bond Movie, as one of our members filmed live in front of Duntrune Castle, and another video from the (virtual) interior of Burns’ Cottage in Alloway!

St. Andrew’s Day Toast

Members! Join us on November 20th at The Haven for a Saint Andrew’s Day toast!

RSVP by 11/10 to SCSEventsChair@scotscharitable