This Day in History: Maryland Ratifies the Constitution

On this day in 1788, Maryland becomes the seventh state to ratify the U.S. Constitution. Oddly, anti-Constitution forces had failed to mount an effective defense in Maryland. The state was home to Luther Martin and John Mercer, both of whom had walked out of the Constitutional Convention in disgust. What on earth happened? Why were […]

This Day in History: James Monroe’s little-known service in Washington’s army

On this day in 1758, future President James Monroe is born. Did you know that Monroe was a participant in George Washington’s famous crossing of the Delaware River? Monroe was then only 18 years old. He almost did not survive the experience. Washington’s army had spent much of the fall of 1776 retreating across New […]

This Day in History: The British hire mercenaries to fight the American Revolution

On this day in 1776, Lord George Germain informs British General William Howe that Hessian troops are on their way to America. What are Hessians? And why on earth would they be headed to American shores? The answer may not be what you expect. When the American Revolution began, the British had trouble recruiting sufficient […]

This Day in History: John Wilkes Booth is found hiding in a barn

On this day in 1865, John Wilkes Booth is shot and killed on a farm in Virginia. Did you ever wonder what happened to him in the days after he’d assassinated Abraham Lincoln? Booth’s infamous attack on Lincoln occurred as the President watched a comedy at Ford’s Theatre on Good Friday. Partway through the show, […]

This Day in History: Virginia militia make a stand at Petersburg

On this day in 1781, the battle of Petersburg is fought in Virginia. Some history books list the event as a “skirmish,” but it was surely more than that. The battle was fought by roughly 3,500 men and lasted for 3 hours! The British had not really focused on Virginia for most of the Revolutionary […]

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