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This Day In History – December 27

 

But every child in America should be acquainted with his own country. He should read books that furnish him with ideas that will be useful to him in life and practice. As soon as he opens his lips, he should rehearse the history of his own country he should lisp the praise of liberty and of those illustrious heroes and statesmen, who have wrought a revolution in her favor. —Noah Webster

 
 

Plow & Hearth

 
 

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Ancient History 537 – The Third Church at Hagia Sophia is inaugurated

Hagia Sophia (from the Greek: Ἁγία Σοφία, “Holy Wisdom”; Latin: Sancta Sophia or Sancta Sapientia; Turkish: Ayasofya) is a former Orthodox patriarchal basilica, later a mosque, and now a museum in Istanbul, Turkey. From the date of its dedication in 360 until 1453, it served as the Greek Patriarchal cathedral of Constantinople, except between 1204 and 1261, when it was converted to a Roman Catholic cathedral under the Latin Patriarch of Constantinople of the Western Crusader established Latin Empire. The building was a mosque from 29 May 1453 until 1931, when it was secularized. It was opened as a museum on 1 February 1935.

On 23 February 532, only a few days after the destruction of the second basilica, Emperor Justinian I elected to build a third and entirely different basilica, larger and more majestic than its predecessors. The emperor, together with the patriarch Eutychius, inaugurated the new basilica on 27 December 537 with much pomp.

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Hagia Sophia, Istanbul – Sacred Destinations


Istanbul, Turkey: Hagia Sophia

 
 

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A U.S. postage stamp commemorating religious freedom and the Flushing Remonstrance.

Colonial America – Religious Liberty 1657 – The Flushing Remonstrance is signed

The Flushing Remonstrance was a 1657 petition to Director-General of New Netherland Peter Stuyvesant, in which several citizens requested an exemption to his ban on Quaker worship. It is considered a precursor to the United States Constitution’s provision on freedom of religion in the Bill of Rights.

According to Kenneth T. Jackson, the Flushing Remonstrance was remarkable for four reasons: it articulated a fundamental right that is as basic to American freedom as any other, the authors backed up their words with actions by sending it to an official not known for tolerance, they stood up for others and were articulating a principle that was of little discernible benefit to themselves, and the language of the remonstrance is as beautiful as the sentiments they express.

You have been pleased to send unto us a certain prohibition or command that we should not receive or entertain any of those people called Quakers because they are supposed to be, by some, seducers of the people. For our part we cannot condemn them in this case, neither can we stretch out our hands against them, for out of Christ God is a consuming fire, and it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

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Document
Remonstrance of the Inhabitants of the Town of Flushing to Governor Stuyvesant
December 27, 1657

 
 

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General Daniel Morgan

American Revolution 1780 – Americans raid Hammonds Store

On this day in 1780, American Brigadier General Daniel Morgan detaches a force of approximately 275 troops commanded by Colonel William Washington to destroy a force of 250 British Loyalists under the command of Colonel Thomas Waters, who had been terrorizing Patriots in the vicinity of Fairforest Creek, on Bush River, South Carolina.

Hammonds Store was a blacksmith’s shop and trading post in what became Laurens County, northeast of Mountville, in the district of Fort Ninety-Six. Colonel Washington, a cousin of General George Washington, surprised the Loyalists and Redcoats camping at the store. American forces killed or wounded 150 British Loyalists and captured 40 prisoners during the four-day siege without incurring any losses of their own. The Patriots consisted of 75 dragoons (cavalry on horseback) under Washington’s direct command and 200 members of the South Carolina militia under Lieutenant Colonels Joseph Hayes and James McCall.

The area around Hammonds Store had seen its first European settler less than 30 years before. The ensuing Cherokee War of 1760-1761 had rendered the western Carolinas an area of ungovernable violence throughout the 1760s, with factional allegiances continuing to color settlers’ politics during the revolution. In an area where murder, rape and plunder had been par for the course for 20 years, the violence at Hammonds Store seemed comparatively mild.

After their resounding victory, the Patriots burned the store. The exact location of the store has since been lost to time.

Source This Day In History

Surrender of General Burgoyne Col. Morgan is shown in white, right of center

 
 

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Alexander William Doniphan

Mexican-American War 1846 – Doniphan’s Thousand takes El Paso

The rag-tag army of volunteers known as Doniphan’s Thousand, led by Colonel Alexander W. Doniphan, wins a major victory in the war with Mexico with the occupation of El Paso.

Born in Kentucky in 1808, Doniphan moved to Missouri in 1830 to practice law. But the tall redheaded man was not satisfied with fighting only courtroom battles, and he volunteered as a brigadier general in the Missouri militia. When war between Mexico and the U.S. erupted in 1846, the men of the 1st Missouri Mounted Volunteers elected Doniphan their colonel, and marched south to join General Stephen Kearny’s army in New Mexico.

Since they were not professional military men, Doniphan’s troops cared little for the traditional spit-and-polish of the regular troops, and reportedly looked more like tramps than soldiers. Likewise, Doniphan was a casual officer who led more by example than by strict discipline. Nonetheless, Doniphan’s Thousand proved to be a surprisingly effective force in the war with Mexico.

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Battle of Veracruz

 
 

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American Civil War 1864 – Confederate General Hood’s army crosses the Tennessee River

On this day in 1864, the broken and defeated Confederate Army of Tennessee finishes crossing the Tennessee River as General John Bell Hood’s force retreats into Mississippi.

The last half of 1864 was a disaster for the army. In May, Union General William T. Sherman began his drive on Atlanta from Chattanooga, Tennessee. The Confederate army was commanded then by Joseph Johnston, who responded to Sherman’s flanking maneuvers by retreating slightly each time. From May to July, Johnston slowly backed into Atlanta, exchanging territory for time. When the troops reached Atlanta, Confederate President Jefferson Davis replaced Johnston with the offensive-minded Hood.

Yellow-haired Hood with his wounds and his empty sleeve,
Leading his Texans, a Viking shape of a man,
With the thrust and lack of craft of a berserk sword,
All lion, none of the fox.
When he supersedes
Joe Johnston, he is lost, and his army with him,
But he could lead forlorn hopes with the ghost of Ney.
His bigboned Texans follow him into the mist.
Who follows them?
Stephen Vincent Benét’s poem Army of Northern Virginia included a poignant passage about Hood

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Yellow Rose of Texas

The ‘Yellow Rose of Texas’ became popular with Confederate Army troops, especially those from Texas, though the last verse and the chorus are slightly different. It was sung after the defeat of Gen. John Bell Hood’s Army at the Battle of Nashville in December 1864.

(Last verse)
Oh my feet are torn and bloody, and my heart is full of woe,
I’m going back to Georgia, to find my Uncle Joe,
You may talk about your Beauregard, and sing of General (or Bobby) Lee,
But the gallant Hood of Texas, played hell in Tennessee.

This refers to famous Confederate generals Joseph Johnston, P. G. T. Beauregard, Robert E. Lee, and John Bell Hood.

 
 

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Charlie Bowdre

Old West 1880 – Charlie Bowdre associate of Billy the Kid dies at the hands of Sheriff Pat Garret & his posse

New Mexico Territory- Charlie Bowdre died when Sheriff Pat Garret & his posse trapped Billy the Kid and his gang including Dave Rudabaugh at Stinking Springs. Charlie was hit by bullets 7 times and is said to be buried next to Billy the Kid. Today In Old West History

Charles Bowdre (1848 – December 23, 1880) was an American cowboy and outlaw. He was an associate and member of Billy the Kid‘s gang.

Bowdre was born in Wilkes County, Georgia. When he was three years old, he and his parents moved to Mississippi. By 1854, young Charlie started working in his father’s farm, and as he grew up became an adept farmer. Much of what Bowdre did between the year in which his last sister was born (1863) and 1874, remains a mystery.

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Billy The Kid (1859-1881)

 

Extremely rare photo of Billy when captured at Stinking Springs, December 24th 1880. Pat Garrett is clearly recognisable extreme left and Bob Olinger is next to him. Billy is on the extreme right where a deputy aims a Colt revolver at Billy's head. One of Billy's compadres, Charlie Bowdre, had been killed in the encounter.

 


‘Billy the Kid’ – Marty Robbins

 
 

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American Music 1895 – The legend of “Stagger Lee” is born

Murder and mayhem have been the subject of many popular songs over the years, though more often than not, the tales around which such songs revolve tend to be wholly fictional. Johnny Cash never shot a man in Reno, and the events related in such famous story songs as “El Paso” and “I Shot The Sheriff” never actually took place. The same cannot be said, however, about “Stagger Lee”—a song that has drifted from the facts somewhat over the course of its many lives in the last 100-plus years, but a song inspired by an actual murder that took place on this day in 1895, in a St. Louis, Missouri, barroom argument involving a man named Billy and another named “Stag” Lee“.

Under the headline “Shot in Curtis’s Place,” the story that ran in the next day’s edition of the St. Louis Daily Globe-Democrat began, “William Lyons, 25, colored, a levee hand… was shot in the abdomen yesterday evening at 10 o’clock in the saloon of Bill Curtis… by Lee Sheldon, also colored.” According to the Globe-Democrat’s account, Billy Lyons and “Stag” Lee Sheldon “had been drinking and were in exuberant spirits” when an argument over “politics” boiled over, and Lyons “snatched Sheldon’s hat from his head.” While subsequent musical renditions of this story would depict the dispute as one over gambling, they would preserve the key detail of “Stag” Lee Sheldon’s headwear and of his matter-of-fact response to losing it: “Sheldon drew his revolver and shot Lyons in the abdomen… When his victim fell to the floor Sheldon took his hat from the hand of the wounded man and coolly walked away.”

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STAGGER LEE by Taj Mahal

 
 

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Honor, justice and humanity call upon us to hold and to transmit to our posterity, that liberty, which we received from our ancestors. It is not our duty to leave wealth to our children; but it is our duty to leave liberty to them. No infamy, iniquity, or cruelty can exceed our own if we, born and educated in a country of freedom, entitled to its blessings and knowing their value, pusillanimously deserting the post assigned us by Divine Providence, surrender succeeding generations to a condition of wretchedness from which no human efforts, in all probability, will be sufficient to extricate them; the experience of all states mournfully demonstrating to us that when arbitrary power has been established over them, even the wisest and bravest nations that ever flourished have, in a few years, degenerated into abject and wretched vassals. —John Dickinson

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

 

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