Andy took a number of liberties with the story of Paul Revere's famous ride, no doubt to make it more interesting to Opie and his pals (added a little jam as Andy put it). For one, Paul Revere's warning and famous ride were planned well ahead of time. The signal was planned by several early patriots, including Revere so that if he were to see the lights burning in the Old North Church he would know exactly what to do (Andy says Paul Revere "Didn't know what to do but he know'd he had to do something). Also, although it's been speculated for a century or more, no one really knew the name of Revere's horse (the name Nelly was never even mentioned as a possibility) but it is known that the horse did not belong to Paul Revere but was most certainly borrowed. Another fib - Paul Revere was hardly as poor as Job's turkey. He was actually a wealthy and prominent Boston silversmith.
Neither Griffith nor the writers intended for Helen Crump to be a recurring character. Andy Griffith stated that if they had known she would be Andy's long term (and final) love interest they would have given her a more attractive name than "Crump." (Since Griffith was fond of using local names and places in and around his hometown of Mt. Airy, NC, it's likely the name came from the name of a town near Mt. Airy - Crumpville.) Griffith and the producers liked Aneta and her character so much they brought her back a few episodes later as Andy's new love interest. She would remain on the series until it ended and she and Andy would marry in the first episode of the spin-off series Mayberry RFD. In a later RFD episode she and Andy would have an infant son named Andy Taylor Jr. and Aneta Corsaut would reprise her role as Mrs. Helen Taylor in the reuinion show "Return to Mayberry."
(to get them interested in Miss Crump's history class, Andy has told the boys about the American Revolution and "the shot heard round the world")
Andy: You fellas look through that book, I bet you in a couple of weeks you'd be comin' in here tellin' me stories. That might not be a bad idea, you know that.
Andy: Form a kind of a troop... a history troop... Mayberry Minutemen.
Johnny Paul: Hey!
Howie: How 'bout that!
Whitey: I got a canteen!
Barney: (excited) Will you help us? (the boys look at him) Uh, I mean... help them.
Opie: Will you, Pa?
Andy: Sure. Be a pleasure. Soon as you pass the fitness test I'll deputize you.
Howie: What's the fitness test?
Andy: Oh, let's see... uh... oh... uh... how 'bout that list of dates the teacher give you?
Howie: You mean we gotta learn all that stuff?
Andy: Well you can't let in everybody.
Johnny Paul: He's right. We gotta keep somebody out… or it ain't a club.
Andy: What say? Mayberry Minutemen... always ready with the answers?
All the boys: Yeah!
Opie: And any guy that don't join is British!
This episode marks the first appearance of Helen Crump.
Aunt Bee says that there's been a lot more history since Dewey took Manila - George Dewey was an admiral of the United States Navy, best known for his victory (without the loss of a single life of his own forces due to combat; one man died of a heart attack) at the Battle of Manila Bay during the Spanish-American War. He was also the only person in the history of the United States to have attained the rank of Admiral of the Navy, the most senior rank in the United States Navy.
According to Barney when asked about the Emancipation Proclamation - "There was these folks and they wanted to get emancipated and how else was they gonna get emancipated without a proclamation so they got together and come up with this proclamation and called it the Emancipation Proclamation."
In reality, the Emancipation Proclamation consisted of two executive orders issued by United States President Abraham Lincoln during the American Civil War. The first one, issued on September 22, 1862, declared the freedom of all slaves in any state of the Confederate States of America as did not return to Union control by January 1, 1863, and the second one, issued on January 1, 1863, enumerated the specific states where it applied.
The Emancipation Proclamation was widely attacked at the time as freeing only the slaves over which the Union had no power, but in practice, it committed the Union to ending slavery, which was controversial in the North. It was not a law passed by Congress, but a presidential order empowered, as Lincoln wrote, by his position as "Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy" under Article II, section 2 of the United States Constitution.
Andy: "the shot heard round the world"
The quote is from Ralph Waldo Emerson's famous poem, "Concord Hymn," about the Minutemen and the start of the American revolution, sung at the completion of the Concord Battle Monument on July 4, 1837. The first four lines are:
By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April's breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood
And fired the shot heard round the world.