On this day, August 8, 1754 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Joseph Greer was born. One of eleven children, his family would move to the frontier of Staunton, Virginia and later the Watauga River area of Tennessee. In 1769 Joseph, his father and brothers were among 40 men who would defend Fort Watauga from more than 300 Indians—he had just turned 15. During
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In his General Orders of August 7, 1782 issued from his headquarters in Newburgh, New York, George Washington decreed the creation of two Honorary Badges of Distinction and a Badge of Military Merit. Previous custom was to only present military honors to the high-ranking officers of victorious forces rather than honoring individual soldiers. Of the
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On July 9, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was read for the first time in New York in front of George Washington and his troops. In reaction to what had been read, soldiers and citizens went to Bowling Green, a park in Manhattan, where a lead statue of King George III on horseback stood. The
On July 5, 1779, Hugh M. Brackenridge delivers an Eulogium to those gathered in Pennsylvania to honor those who have fallen during the Revolutionary War: “IT is the high reward of those who have risked their lives in a just and necessary war, that their names are sweet in the mouths of men, and every
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On this day, May 4, 1918, the relocated graves of Colonel Israel Agnell and his first wife, Martha, were dedicated at a ceremony in Providence, Rhode Island. Israel Agnell was born on August 24th, 1740 to Oliver and Naomi Agnell in Providence, Rhode Island and was a fifth generation descendant of one of the original settlers
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The Massachusetts Spy was a colonial weekly newspaper founded in 1770 by Isaiah Thomas and his former master, Zechariah Fowle; later Thomas would buy out Fowle to become sole publisher. Having a circulation of around 3,500, the Spy was substantially more popular than other newspapers of the day which typical had circulations of less than
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Thomas Jefferson, principle author of the Declaration of Independence, representative for Virginia to the Continental Congress, 3rd President of the United States, 1st Secretary of State under George Washington, 2nd Governor of the state of Virginia, diplomat, lawyer, philosopher and statesman, was born on this day in 1743. Thomas Jefferson was born in Shadwell, Virginia, the
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On This Day: Patrick Henry

If you’ve only heard the last line, Patrick Henry’s speech to the Virginia legislature on March 23rd, 1775 is worth reading in it’s entirety. Henry spoke as a delegate to the Second Virginia Convention at St. John’s Episcopal Church in the town of Richmond on that day. The convention was debating whether to include language
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On This Day: Crispus Attucks

On this day, March 5th 1770, Crispus Attucks is killed during the Boston Massacre. The first to defy, The first to die. On March 5, 1770, British soldiers Captain-Lieutenant John Goldfinch and Private Hugh White stood guard outside the Boston Custom House on King Street in Boston (known as State Street today). Edward Garrick, a wigmaker’s
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On This Day: John Hancock is Born

On this day, January 23rd, in 1737 John Hancock is born to Colonel John Hancock, Jr. (a soldier, planter, and politician) and Mary Hawke Thaxter. Hancock’s father would die in 1744 at which time the younger Hancock was sent to live with his aunt, Lydia, and uncle, Thomas. Thomas Hancock was a merchant and one
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