What Happened Today has become quite the page so starting today - January 1, 2012 I will have pages for each month. This will make research much easier. I have found my information for these pages from the following sites and applications:
- Today in the 1770s
- Today in History
- Today in History - A timeline of events
- This Day in History
- Library of Congress
- National Park Service
January 2, 1788 - Georgia ratifies the US Constitution. Georgia was the last of the 13 colonies. It was founded by James Oglethorpe and was named for King George II in 1733. It was supposed to be a colony for people who were clogging the debtors' prisons in order to give them a second chance at life.
January 3, 1777 - George Washington has attacked the British at Princeton. Nearly 300 British soldiers and 40 Patriots die in the battle.
January 4, 1776 - Washington sends a letter to Congress where he vows to attack Boston. Washington kept up daily correspondence to keep Congress abreast of what was happening in the war.
January 5, 1781 - Benedict Arnold captures Richmond, VA. Thomas Jefferson, the current governor of Virginia, tried to prepare for it and left the capital. Remember Arnold used to fight for the Patriots. To this day, whenever someone mentions a traitor - they think of Benedict Arnold.
January 6, 1759 - George Washington and Martha Dandridge Custis were married.
January 7, 1789 - It seems only fitting that we begin our search for our new president this time of year. On this date, America's first election took place. And while only white men who owned property at the time could vote, they chose George Washington as President and John Adams as Vice President.
January 8, 1790 - President George Washington gives the first State of the Union address to Congress. He spoke about having a standing army to protect the country. He also spoke of a unified currency.
January 9, 1776 - Thomas Paine publishes "Common Sense". Thomas Paine was born in England and moved to the colonies in 1774. Common Sense sold 500,000 copies. He served in the US Army and worked for the Committee of Foreign Affairs.
January 10, 1777 - The HMS Cerberus is the target of a torpedo attack by David Bushnell's powder keg torpedoes. Many sailors were hurt but the ship was not severely damaged. In August 1778, it was burned to keep it from being captured.
January 11, 1770 - Rhubarb - Have you ever heard of it? It's a plant that has been around for over 4000 years, but it first arrived in North America on this date because Benjamin Franklin, having eaten some in Europe, sent a shipment to the colonies.
January 12, 1737 - This date is important because of who was born. John Hancock, the most recognized signer of the Declaration of Independence was born on this date. He was born in Braintree, Mass and graduated from Harvard College. He was orphaned as a child and adopted by a wealthy uncle. When Peyton Randolph resigned as the President of the Continental Congress, he took over. During the Revolution, England offered a reward for many patriots - one of them was John Hancock.
January 13, 1776 - The British raid Prudence Island, Rhode Island. A brief battle occurred before the British were forced to retreat. Of course, the residents evacuate the island and burned the homes, afraid to leave anything in the British hands.
January 14, 1784 - The Continental Congress ratified the Treaty of Paris that recognized the United States as an independent country. Great Britain had signed it on September 3, and then Congress had to return the ratified document to England within 6 months.
January 15, 1777 - Delegates from New Connecticut (actually a piece of New York) declare their independence from Britain. A piece of New York separates and decides to create its own state - New Connecticut. The name becomes Vermont, which means green mountain - vert - green and mont - mountain in French.
January 16, 1780 - The legendary Moonlight Battle occurs between the British and Spanish. More than 21 British ships take on 11 Spanish ships and send them in retreat. The chase continued through the night = a most unusual thing to occur.
January 17, 1781 - The Battle of the Cowpens between Brigadier General Daniel Morgan and British Lieutenant Colonel Tarleton occurs. The British lost 110 men and 200 were wounded, with 500 captured. The American patriots lost only 12 and 60 were wounded.
January 18, 1776 - The royal governor of Georgia is arrested. James Wright was placed under house arrest but he escaped, sailing for London. Later he returned with additional troops and retook Savannah, Georgia and he stayed there until 1782 when the British finally abandoned Georgia. Finally, he left for England to spend the rest of his days.
January 19, 1770 - The Battle of Golden Hill in New York takes place. Colonists had erected a Liberty Pole in opposition to the Townshend Acts. The British tried to blow up the pole. Over 3000 citizens gathered only to find the soldiers armed. The two groups classed. Some say one person died, others say no one really died. This conflict happened nearly one year before the Boston Massacre.
January 20, 1777- The Battle of Millstone, New Jersey was fought between Brigadier General Dickinson and Lieutenant Colonel Abercromby. It was merely a 20 minute battle, but the Patriots captured 107 horses, 49 wagons, 115 cattle, 70 sheep, 40 barrels of flour and more.
January 21, 1776 - George Washington tells his soldiers that if they bring their own firearms, they will be reimbursed if the weapon is lost during the war.
January 22, 1779 - the famous Cowboy of the Ramapos is hung in New York. A Tory outlaw, he used guerrilla tactics against the patriots.
January 23, 1775 - London merchants cannot handle the crisis much longer. Bills are not being paid and goods cannot be shipped because of the embargo. The merchants go to Parliament to ask for help. While the British merchants did find other places to send their goods, they still had bills not paid by the colonists.
January 24, 1781 - Light Horse Henry Lee and Francis "Swamp Fox" Marion raid Georgetown and capture 3 officers.
January 25, 1776 - Congress orders a memorial for Brigadier General Richard Montgomery be erected. Benjamin Franklin hires Jean Jacques Caffieri to design and build it. The statue was placed in New York at St. Paul's Chapel.
January 26, 1784 - Did you know the eagle was not the symbol some wanted? As a matter of fact, Benjamin Franklin wrote to his daughter how he longed for the symbol to be the turkey!!! Imagine if the symbol we saw on our dollar bills and coins was the turkey - GOBBLE GOBBLE!!!!
January 27, 1776 - Congress voted to allow over 40,000 pounds worth of trade goods in an attempt to improve relations with the Native Americans.
January 28, 1777 - The British general Burgoyne submits a plan to the government outlining a plan to break the colonies apart. He hopes to split New England from the rest of the colonies. Little did he realize the resolve the colonists would have on fighting on all fronts and maintaining the union of all colonies.
January 29, Washington asks for additional funds to pay for more regiments. Soldiers are needed in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Connecticut to fight in Canada.
January 30, 1781 - Maryland finally ratifies the Articles of Confederation. They are the last state to do so - three years after the deadline Congress had set - March 10, 1778. Many of the states did not like the wording of the Articles. Only one state - Virginia ratified them by the deadline. Maryland waited until Virginia gave up claims on the land north of the Ohio River.
January 31, 1776 - The Continental Congress accepts the Massachusetts delegates. Usually the delegates would need credentials to prove they were sent to represent the colony. In this case, Congress used newspaper articles declaring these men were the delegates in place of the credentials.