This Day in History: “Seward’s Folly” and the purchase of Alaska

On this day in 1867, the United States takes control of territory in Alaska. Secretary of State William Seward had just brokered a deal to buy it from the Russians. Perhaps you’ve heard that the purchase was decried and labeled as “Seward’s Folly”? It’s a catchy phrase, isn’t it? Except it’s not exactly true. “The […]

This Day in History: USS Kearny is torpedoed by a German U-boat

On this day in 1941, USS Kearny is torpedoed by the Germans. But wasn’t the United States neutral in World War II at that juncture? The attack at Pearl Harbor and declarations of war on Japan and Germany were still nearly two months away. Believe it or not, several American vessels clashed with the Germans […]

This Day in History: John Brown tries to incite a slave rebellion

On this day in 1859, John Brown launches a raid at Harpers Ferry. He hoped to incite a slave rebellion, but the effort fell flat on its face. Brown was an abolitionist who had long been involved in attempts to end slavery. Nor did he mind a little violence, if it would help his objectives! […]

This Day in History: The little-known Battle of Shallow Ford

On this day in 1780, a band of Loyalists are defeated at the lesser-known Battle of Shallow Ford. It was the second Patriot victory within a matter of days! The Battle of Shallow Ford was a relatively small battle, and it doesn’t usually get too much attention in history books. The bigger American victory at […]