This Week in History: U.S. Constitution is ratified, the Chesapeake–Leopard Affair, & the “forgotten” Boston Tea Party organizer

Happy Sunday! Attached is a summary of my “morning history” posts from this past week. Enjoy and have a great week!

Monday, June 20

On this day in 1782, the Confederation Congress adopted the Great Seal of the United States. Congress had been working on it since July 4, 1776, the same day that it approved the Declaration of Independence. On that day, it passed a resolution that “Dr. [Benjamin] Franklin, Mr. J[ohn] Adams and Mr. [Thomas] Jefferson, be a committee, to bring in a device for a seal for the United States of America.” All three men had helped write the Declaration. Now they would struggle together to create a graphic depiction of the values important to the new nation. FULL STORY: (Facebook); (Google+); (Instagram)

Tuesday, June 21

On this day in 1788, the United States Constitution becomes the law of the land! Article VII of the Constitution provides that the document goes into effect with the “Ratification of the Conventions of nine States.” At the end of May 1788, eight states had ratified the document. On June 21, three states were in the midst of their ratification conventions: New Hampshire, New York, and Virginia. Given the difficulties of communication and travel during that time, Americans were not entirely sure, at first, which state had provided the necessary 9th vote to ratify the Constitution. FULL STORY: (Facebook); (Google+); (Instagram)

Bonus quote: Alexander Hamilton: “It has been observed, by an honorable gentleman, that a pure democracy, if it were practicable, would be the most perfect government. Experience has proved that no position in politics is more false than this. The ancient democracies, in which the people themselves deliberated, never possessed one feature of good government. Their very character was tyranny; their figure, deformity.” MORE:

Wednesday, June 22

On this day in 1807, a British Royal Navy officer boards an American ship, looking for deserters. The humiliating affair ended when the American commander surrendered, having fired only one shot. How could this happen? The American public was outraged. FULL STORY: (Facebook); (Google+); (Instagram)

Thursday, June 23

On this day in 1780, the Battle of Springfield is fought. British Gen. Henry Clinton had meant to launch a two-pronged attack on George Washington, then at Morristown. Clinton would attack from one side while Lt. Gen. Baron Wilhelm von Knyphausen attacked from New York. If only Clinton had told Knyphausen! Instead, Knyphausen was on his own in New York, and he decided to act. On June 6, he marched his soldiers into New Jersey. The militia there responded gallantly! FULL STORY: (Facebook); (Google+)

Boston_Tea_Party_wFriday, June 24

On this day in 1777, one of the organizers of the Boston Tea Party passes away. You’ve probably never heard of Dr. Thomas Young! He was one of those little-known heroes who operated behind the scenes during our Revolution. In fact, one historian calls him “unquestionably the most unwritten about man of distinction of the American Revolution.” FULL STORY: (Facebook); (Google+); (Instagram)

Saturday, June 25

On this day in 1788, Virginia ratifies the Constitution. The state’s ratifying convention was a battle of heavyweights! On one side, the “Father of the Constitution,” James Madison, advocated for ratification. On the other side sat Patrick Henry, with his incredible oratorical skills and big personality. Oh, to be a fly on the wall! Can’t you just imagine Henry passionately ranting a bit? Madison countering his points in a more stoic way? FULL STORY: (Facebook); (Google+); (Instagram)

Check out my Saturday morning presidential trivia!

Sunday, June 26

On this day in 1784, a signer of the Declaration of Independence passes away. Caesar Rodney is perhaps best known for his midnight ride of July 1-2, 1776. He rode 80 miles through a storm, arriving in Philadelphia just in time to ensure that Delaware voted for independence. FULL STORY: (Facebook); (Google+); (Instagram)

Bonus quote: George Washington: “When we assumed the Soldier, we did not lay aside the Citizen; and we shall most sincerely rejoice with you in that happy hour when the establishment of American Liberty, upon the most firm and solid foundations, shall enable us to return to our Private Stations in the bosom of a free, peaceful and happy Country.” MORE: