This Day in History: The first trans-Atlantic crossing in a balloon

On this day in 1978, three Americans land a helium gas balloon, Double Eagle II, in France. They’d just become the first to cross the Atlantic Ocean in a balloon. Did you know that it took nearly two centuries to accomplish this feat? The first balloon took to the skies in 1783. The world had […]

This Day in History: Peter Salem, former slave & Revolutionary War veteran

On this day in 1816, Peter Salem passes away. This Patriot was born into slavery, but he ended life as a free man—and a veteran of George Washington’s army. Many details of Salem’s early years are lost to history, but we do know that he leapt to the defense of the Patriot cause early on. […]

This Day in History: The brave women of Bryan’s station

On this day in 1782, the Siege of Bryan’s Station begins. Once again, a group of American women showed incredible bravery—and their actions saved the day! Did you know that some fighting continued, even after George Washington’s victory at Yorktown? One hot spot for these skirmishes was Kentucky (then a territory of Virginia). The British […]

This Day in History: Gunpowder is stolen for the Patriot cause

On this day in 1775, more than 100 kegs of gunpowder are stolen for the Patriot cause. The incident came to be known as the Bermuda Gunpowder Plot. Bermuda was in a bit of a difficult situation during the American Revolution. As a colony of Great Britain, it was caught in the middle between its […]

This Day in History: Famous sharpshooter Annie Oakley is born

On this day in 1860, the woman known as Annie Oakley is born. That wasn’t her real name, of course. The famous sharpshooter’s name at birth was Phoebe Ann Mosey. Annie was nothing if not talented. “At 30 paces she could split a playing card held edge-on,” one commentator notes, “she hit dimes tossed into […]