This Week in History: Battles of Trenton & Princeton, George Washington marries Martha, & the story of the Panama Canal

Happy Sunday! Attached is a summary of my “morning history” posts from this past week. For those who are interested, links to these posts can now be found on Pinterest, too. Enjoy and have a great week!

Monday, January 1

Medal of Honor Monday! On this New Years’ Day in 1945, Americans fight the Battle of the Bulge in freezing temperatures. Would you believe the cold saved at least one life? Who would have thought that all the snow would turn out to be a blessing in disguise? Sergeant Charles MacGillivary lost his arm that day, but he survived the experience because he was able to use snow and ice to stop the bleeding. “If it had been summer, I’d be dead,” he later said. FULL STORY: Permalink; Facebook; Google+; Instagram

Bonus quote: Federalist Paper No. 31: “Every thing beyond this must be left to the prudence and firmness of the people; who, as they will hold the scales in their own hands, it is to be hoped, will always take care to preserve the constitutional equilibrium between the general and the State governments.” MORE: Permalink; Facebook

Tuesday, January 2

On this day in 1777, the second battle of Trenton occurs. Only a week earlier, George Washington’s army had made a difficult trip across the Delaware River and won a surprise victory at Trenton. When British Gen. William Howe heard the news, he ordered Charles Cornwallis back to New Jersey with a force of 8,000 men. In the meantime, Washington had a problem: Many of his troops were free to leave at the end of the year. He made an appeal. FULL STORY: Permalink; Facebook; Google+; Instagram

Bonus quote: Federalist Papers No. 32 & 33: “If the federal government should overpass the just bounds of its authority and make a tyrannical use of its powers, the people, whose creature it is, . . . [must] take such measures to redress the injury done to the Constitution as the exigency may suggest and prudence justify.” MORE: Permalink; Facebook

Wednesday, January 3

On this day in 1777, George Washington wins the Battle of Princeton. Yesterday’s post left Washington cornered near Trenton. British Gen. Charles Cornwallis retired for the night, believing he had “the Old Fox safe” and would “bag him” in the morning. Washington refused! He and his army snuck away during the night. They took back roads toward Princeton, where Cornwallis had left troops behind. At daybreak, these British troops were preparing to join Cornwallis. Imagine their surprise when they saw a portion of the American force coming! FULL STORY: Permalink; Facebook; Google+; Instagram

Thursday, January 4

On this day in 1746, Benjamin Rush is born. He was the only medical doctor to sign the Declaration of Independence. Soon after the Declaration was signed, he left the relative comfort of Philadelphia and departed for the field of battle. His mission? Help establish a field hospital and tend to the wounded.Rush was with George Washington’s army in the days before and after its famous crossing of the Delaware and its victories at Trenton and Princeton. The experience was difficult, to say the least. He’d never experienced war. FULL STORY: Permalink; Facebook; Google+; Instagram

Friday, January 5

On this day in 1933, President Calvin Coolidge  passes away. He was a man known for his dedication to the Constitution and his determination to keep the government as small as possible. Perhaps a lover of small government is inclined to be less than generous in the number of words he uses?! Coolidge earned the nickname “Silent Cal” because he was frugal with his words, as well.. FULL STORY: Permalink; Facebook; Google+; Instagram

Bonus quote: Federalist Papers No. 34 & 35: “The expenses arising from those institutions which are relative to the mere domestic police of a state . . . are insignificant in comparison with those which relate to the national defense.” MORE: Permalink; Facebook

Saturday, January 6

On this day in 1759, George Washington marries Martha Dandridge Custis. They had known each other for less than 10 months, and Martha had been widowed for less than 18 months. They were married at her home. Can you believe her home was called “the White House”? FULL STORY: Permalink; Facebook; Google+; Instagram

Check out my Saturday morning presidential trivia! Facebook

Sunday, January 7

On this day in 1914, an old crane boat becomes the first self-propelled vessel to cross the Panama Canal. The man-made waterway would officially open a few months later. Do you know how and why Americans ended up building that canal in the first place? Let’s just say that Teddy Roosevelt’s “speak softly, and carry a big stick” mentality might have played a role. FULL STORY: Permalink; Facebook; Google+; Instagram