This Day in History: The War of 1812, the “forgotten” war

On this day in 1812, President James Madison signs a declaration of war against the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. His signature marked the official beginning of the War of 1812, a war that has been called the “forgotten” war. Today, no one really seems to understand the War of 1812 or to […]

This Day in History: Andrew Jackson defeats the British at New Orleans

On this day in 1815, Americans defeat British forces at the Battle of New Orleans. Did you know that we used to celebrate January 8 as a national holiday, with fireworks and celebrations, just like we do the Fourth of July? Several weeks ago, I made a similar statement about “Evacuation Day,” the once-celebrated (now […]

This Day in History: Fort Niagara & the War of 1812

On this day in 1813, the British sneak across the Niagara River. They would capture the American garrison at Fort Niagara the next day, then begin razing the countryside. The War of 1812 was in full swing! Unfortunately, the campaign in New York was just the beginning. By August, the British would burn Washington, D.C., […]

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 War of 1812 & a British siege of Fort Erie

On this day in 1814, the British besiege Fort Erie. It had been mere days since American and British forces had clashed at the Battle of Lundy’s Lane, the bloodiest land battle of the War of 1812! At that battle, Americans under Major General Jacob Brown fought until late in the night, but they finally […]