This Day in History: The Great Chicago Fire of 1871

On this day in 1871, the Great Chicago Fire is finally extinguished. The fire had killed 300 people and destroyed nearly 3.5 square miles of the city. One in three residents would be left homeless. The tragedy would change Chicago forever. A legend grew that a woman by the name of Kate O’Leary had started […]

This Day in History: Rutherford B. Hayes & his controversial election

On this day in 1822, a future President of the United States is born. Rutherford B. Hayes’s election would be one for the record books! Would you believe that the 1876 election wasn’t decided until two days before Inauguration Day? It makes the contentious 2000 election look like a picnic. The election had started uneventfully […]

This Day in History: Francis Scott Key & the National Anthem

On this day in 1814, the British begin bombarding Fort McHenry. Famously, a young lawyer named Francis Scott Key watched the battle from a nearby ship. The next morning, Key was relieved to see the American flag waving proudly above the fort. Americans had not surrendered! Key was inspired to write a poem that would […]

This Day in History: The probable inspiration for Uncle Sam

On this day in 1854, the man who was the probable inspiration for Uncle Sam passes away during a cholera epidemic. Did you know that there was likely a real person behind the Uncle Sam character that you are used to seeing? Samuel Wilson was born on September 13, 1766, in Massachusetts.   Legend has it […]

This Day in History: The origins of Memorial Day, shrouded in mystery

During this week in 1971, Memorial Day is observed on a new date. If you don’t know much about the history of this weekend’s holiday, then you are not alone. To some degree, its origins remain shrouded in mystery. It all began with the Civil War—the deadliest conflict in American history. More than 600,000 soldiers […]