This Day In History – August 20


Microsoft Store


Follow ‘This Day In History’ During Weekdays At FACEBOOK Legacy-America

An 1896 depiction of the battle from Harper's Magazine.

August 20, 1794 – American Westward Expansion – Indian Wars

Battle of Fallen Timbers

The Battle of Fallen Timbers was an important victory for the United States Army against natives in the Northwest Territory.

In 1792, President George Washington appointed Anthony Wayne as the commander of the United States Army of the Northwest, then currently serving in the Northwest Territory. The major purpose of this army was to defend American settlers from Indian attack. Josiah Harmar and Arthur St. Clair had both suffered defeat at the hands of Native Americans in the previous few years, and Washington hoped that Wayne would be more successful. Wayne arrived with additional troops to supplement the Army of the Northwest in May 1793. He positioned his force at Fort Washington, near Cincinnati. Wayne repeatedly drilled his troops, hoping to avoid the horrific defeats that befell Harmar and St. Clair. In October, Wayne finally left the Cincinnati area and headed to Fort Jefferson. He proceeded six miles to the north of Fort Jefferson and ordered the construction of Fort Greene Ville. His army remained here for the winter of 1793-1794. He also had his men build Fort Recovery on the site of St. Clair’s Defeat.

Read more at Ohio History Central

Further reading:
The Battle of Fallen Timbers – MetroParks Toledo Area
Blue Jacket – Last Principal War Chief Of The Shawnee Indians
Treaty of Greenville

Shawnee Chief Blue Jacket At Fort Miami


August 20, 1804 – Old West – Westward Expansion

Corps of Discovery ‘Lewis & Clark Expedition’ suffers its only death

Sergeant Charles Floyd dies three months into the voyage of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, becoming the only member of the Corps of Discovery to die during the journey.

Lewis and Clark left St. Louis the previous May, heading up the Missouri River with a party of 35 men, called the Corps of Discovery. Among the voyagers was Charles Floyd, a native of Kentucky who had enlisted in the U.S. military a few years earlier. When word went out asking for volunteers to join the ambitious expedition across the continent to the Pacific, Floyd was among the first to apply. Young, vigorous, and better educated than most of the soldiers, Floyd was a natural choice. The two co-captains not only selected him to join the mission, they promoted him to sergeant.

Read more at This Day In History

Further reading:
Lewis & Clark – Into The Unknown – PBS
Lewis & Clark Expedition – Wikipedia


1872 portrait of Greeley by J.E. Baker

August 20, 1862 – American War Between The States

Horace Greeley’s “The Prayer of Twenty Millions” is published

New York Tribune editor Horace Greeley publishes a passionate editorial calling on President Abraham Lincoln to declare emancipation for all slaves in Union-held territory. Greeley’s blistering words voiced the impatience of many Northern abolitionists; but unbeknownst to Greeley and the public, Lincoln was already moving in the direction of emancipation.

In 1841, Greeley launched the Tribune, a newspaper to promote his reform ideas. He advocated temperance, westward expansion, and the labor movement, and opposed capital punishment and land monopoly. Greeley served a brief stint in the U.S. House of Representatives, and he introduced legislation that eventually became the Homestead Act of 1862.

Read more at This Day In History

Further reading:
Horace Greeley’s “The Prayer of the Twenty Millions” – Civil War Home
Horace Greeley – Wikipedia
Slavery In The United States – Wikipedia

Slaves Waiting for Sale: Richmond, Virginia. Painted upon the sketch of 1853


Plow & Hearth


Kathe Kollwitz, German (1867 - 1945)

August 20, 1932 – World War I

German artist unveils monument honoring soldiers killed in World War I

On this day in 1932, in Flanders, Belgium, the German artist Kathe Kollwitz unveils the monument she created to memorialize her son, Peter, along with the hundreds of thousands of other soldiers killed on the battlefields of the Western Front during World War I.

Born in 1867 in Koningsberg, East Prussia, Kollwitz was schooled privately and sent to study art in Berlin, an unusually progressive education for a woman in the 1880s. Influenced by Realist artists and writers including Max Klinger and Emile Zola, as well as the works of Edvard Munch, Kollwitz became known for her drafting and printmaking skills, as well as for the dark subject matter of her work, which chronicled scenes from the poverty-ridden lives of working-class people in Germany in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Her work before the beginning of World War I included drawings with such titles as Homeless, Waiting for the Drunkard and Unemployment.

Read more at This Day In History

Further reading:
Kathe Kollwitz
Kathe Kollwitz Museum Berlin

The Grieving Parents, a memorial to Kollwitz' son Peter, now in Vladslo German war cemetery.


A group of resistants at the time of their joining forces with the Canadian army at Boulogne, in September 1944.

August 20, 1944 – World War II

Brits launch Operation Wallace and aid French Resistance

On this day in 1944, 60 British soldiers, commanded by Major Roy Farran, fight their way east from Rennes toward Orleans, through German-occupied forest, forcing the Germans to retreat and aiding the French Resistance in its struggle for liberation. Code-named Operation Wallace, this push east was just another nail in the coffin of German supremacy in France.

The Germans had already lost their position in Normandy, and had retreated from southern France. Most of the German troops in the west were trapped—and were either being killed or taken prisoner—in what was called “the Falaise Pocket,” a site around the eastern town of Falaise, which was encircled by the Allies. The Allies were also landing tens of thousands of men and vehicles in France, and the French Resistance was becoming more brazen every day. On the 19th, the French police force announced its loyalty to the Resistance cause by seizing the Prefecture de Police in Paris, raising the French national flag, and singing the Marseillaise, the French national anthem.

Croix de Lorraine

Major Roy Farran, a veteran of the fighting in Italy, employed his British Special Air Service force to boldly burst eastward from Rennes to the region just north of Orleans through the German lines of defense in order to attack the enemy from within its own strongholds. Along the way, French Resistance fighters joined the battle with him. Farran was taken aback by the strength of the French freedom fighters, and the anticipation of liberation in the air. Describing one Frenchwoman, Farran said, “Her smile ridiculed the bullets.”

Source – This Day In History

Further reading:
French Resistance – Wikipedia
Falaise pocket – Wikipedia
Other Battlefields and places of interest from Waterloo to WWII
1st SS Panzer Division and Operation Lüttich and Falaise Pocket 1944
The Falaise Gap – Canada At War

French Resistance German Prisoner

Falaise Road

Falaise Road

The cemetery and memorial in Vassieux-en-Vercors where, in July 1944, German Wehrmacht forces executed more than 200, included women and children, in reprisal for the Maquis's armed resistance.

The French Resistance

The French Resistance: The Silent Heroes of WWII


A people who do not know their history are rudderless in the path of the whims of the “well meaning” and gales of tyrants. What their ancestors gained by struggles and sorrows, and hoped to bequeath to their posterity will count for nothing. All will have to be struggled for and learned once again.


America remember and honor your history – it will give direction,
purpose and security to your future.


Sundance Catalog


Related Posts:

    %d bloggers like this: