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Bullets to Save Ballots

By Aaron Zelman

Read about the Battle of Athens, Tennessee. Write your thoughts on the topic. Become eligible to win several great prizes. It's that simple to enter JPFO's first nationwide essay contest. (Details below.)

A Battle in Tennessee … in 1946?

When local officials tried to hijack the county election in Athens, Tennessee, a group of American ex-GIs took a stand. On the night of August 1-2, 1946, these men used armed force as a last resort to overthrow their corrupt county tyrants. These ordinary Americans simply wanted honest government. They had tried the ballot box, but the elections were rigged. They had pleaded for honest leadership from the soap box. They had begged state and federal officials to come to their aid with the jury box, but their pleas were ignored.

When every one of those famous "boxes of freedom" failed them, the former military men turned to the last box available -- the cartridge box. In one long night of battle, they took their county government back. This battle reaffirmed what the Founding Fathers repeatedly told us -- that when you can't get redress of grievances by working "within the system," then freedom must be preserved through armed force.

Unfortunately the "GI Party" formed by those Tennessee patriots faded away after winning a few elections. Today, the party and the battle
are long forgotten by most Americans – we aim to change that.

Essay Contest Rules & Prizes

In honor of the upcoming 58th anniversary of the Battle of Athens, Tennessee, JPFO is holding a nationwide essay contest that is open to anyone regardless of age. Complete rules are available at the JPFO website,, but here are the basics:

1. Read the complete story of the Battle of Athens at

2. Write an essay that addresses the topic question: How would America be different today if politicians feared citizens, rather than citizens fearing their government?

3. Submit the essay, preferably by e-mail, no later than June 17, 2004. The essay's length should be between 1,000 and 2,000 words.

4. Essays will be judged for content and style by a panel including JPFO staffers and guest judges. JPFO's judging decisions are final.

5. Prizes will be announced on July 31, 2004 in time for the anniversary of the Battle of Athens. Prizes include:

1st PRIZE: * "Keeping the Vote Honest" – An 18-inch tall sculpture of one of the soldiers at the Battle of Athens, cast in polymer resin with a bronze-patina finish and placed on a solid walnut stand, signed by the sculptor, Dale Newman of Athens, Tennessee. Value: $600

2nd PRIZE: * A full-sized replica M1 Garand battle rifle on a plaque (courtesy of Collectors Armoury: Value: $299

3rd PRIZE: * A full-sized replica Colt Government Model 1911 pistol on a plaque (courtesy of Collectors Armoury). Value: $89



* A VHS copy of the Hallmark Hall of Fame movie An American Story – the film based on the Battle of Athens.

* A one-year subscription to Concealed Carry magazine. [Check it out: ]

* An autographed copy of The State vs the People.

* Publication of their essay on the JPFO website.

Charge Ahead and Win!

We're asking you, or your sons, daughters or students to envision an America in which people are willing to lay themselves on the line for liberty. Write about life in that alternative America where people -- like the members of the Athens GI Party -- refuse to stand for corrupt, out-of-control

You're too busy? Then urge your teenagers or college-aged children to write their vision of freedom. Involve your local homeschooling group, scout troop, or religious youth organization. Publish this notice on your Web site to alert other freedom lovers to this chance to win the extraordinary first prize sculpture or one of the other valuable awards.

June 17 is the deadline – because that is the anniversary of the heroic Battle of Bunker Hill in 1775. Americans can be proud of their history of fighting for freedom. This essay contest helps keep that spirit alive.

Visit the JPFO website at to get more details. E-mail submissions to Fax them to (425) 451-3959. Or mail them to the address below.

Don't delay – write your essay today!

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