This Day In History – February 25


” Bound as our lives are to the tyranny of time, it is through what we know of history that we are delivered from our bonds and escape – into time.
~A.L. Rowse, The Use of History ”


Plow & Hearth




The Capture of Ft. Sackville by Frederick C. Yohn, 1923 - Wikipedia

American Revolution 1779 – British surrender Fort Sackville

On this day in 1779, Fort Sackville is surrendered, marking the beginning of the end of British domination in America’s western frontier.

Eighteen days earlier, George Rogers Clark departed Kaskaskia on the Mississippi River with a force of approximately 170 men, including Kentucky militia and French volunteers. The party traveled over 200 miles of land covered by deep and icy flood water until they reached Fort Sackville at Vincennes (Indiana) on February 23, 1779. After killing five captive British-allied Indians within view of the fort, Clark secured the surrender of the British garrison under Lieutenant-Governor Henry Hamilton at 10 a.m. on February 25.

George Rogers Clark

Upon their arrival in Vincennes, French settlers, who had allied themselves with Hamilton when he took the fort in December, welcomed and provisioned Clark’s forces. Inside Fort Sackville, Hamilton had only 40 British soldiers and an equal number of mixed French volunteers—French settlers fought on both sides of the American Revolution—and militia from Detroit. The French portion of Hamilton’s force was reluctant to fight once they realized their compatriots had allied themselves with Clark.

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George Rogers Clark




Samuel Colt

General Interest 1836 – Samuel Colt is granted a United States patent for the Colt revolver.

Samuel Colt received a British patent on his improved design for a revolver in 1835, and two U.S. patents in 1836, one on February 25 (later numbered U.S. Patent 9430X) and another on August 29 (U.S. Patent 1,304). That same year, he founded his first corporation for its manufacture, the Patent Arms Manufacturing Company of Paterson, New Jersey, Colt’s Patent.


“The good people in this world are very far from being satisfied with each other and my arms are the best peacemaker.”
~ Samuel Colt (1852)


Colt’s Manufacturing Company (CMC, formerly Colt’s Patent Firearms Manufacturing Company) is a United States firearms manufacturer, whose first predecessor corporation was founded in 1836 by Samuel Colt. Colt is best known for the engineering, production, and marketing of firearms over the later half of the 19th and the 20th century. Colt’s earliest designs played a major role in the popularization of the revolver and the shift away from earlier single-shot pistols. While Sam Colt did not invent the revolver concept, his designs resulted in the first very successful ones.

The most famous Colt products include the Walker Colt, Single Action Army or Peacemaker, and the Colt Python. John Browning worked for Colt for a time, and came up with a design for a semiautomatic pistol, which debuted as the Colt M1900 pistol and eventually evolved into the Colt M1911 pistol.

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Drawing of 1836 Colt Texas Paterson Revolver




Comparison of a $5 Demand Note (upper image) and an 1862 issue $5 United States Note (lower image). Note the removal of the words "On Demand" and of the phrase "Receivable in Payment of All Public Dues". Also note the Treasury Seal added to the United States Note. - Wikipedia

American Civil War 1862 – U.S. Congress passes Legal Tender Act

On this day in 1862, the U.S. Congress passes the Legal Tender Act, authorizing the use of paper notes to pay the government’s bills. This ended the long-standing policy of using only gold or silver in transactions, and it allowed the government to finance the enormously costly Civil War long after its gold and silver reserves were depleted.

Soon after the war began, the federal government began to run low on specie. Several proposals involving the use of bonds were suggested. Finally, Congress began printing money, which the Confederate government had been doing since the beginning of the war. The Legal Tender Act allowed the government to print $150 million in paper money that was not backed by a similar amount of gold and silver. Many bankers and financial experts predicted doom for the economy, as they believed there would be little confidence in the scheme. There were also misgivings in Congress, as many legislators worried about a complete collapse of the nation’s financial infrastructure.

The paper notes, called greenbacks, worked much better than expected. The government was able to pay its bills and, by increasing the money in circulation, the wheels of Northern commerce were greased. The greenbacks were legal tender, which meant that creditors had to accept them at face value. In 1862, Congress also passed an income tax and steep excise taxes, both of which cooled the inflationary pressures created by the greenbacks.

Another legal tender act passed in 1863, and by war’s end nearly a half-billion dollars in greenbacks had been issued. The Legal Tender Act laid the foundation for the creation of a permanent currency in the decades after the Civil War.

Source This Day In History


A political cartoon from the 1864 election depicting Secretary Fessenden of the Lincoln administration running "Chase's Mill" at left to flood the country with Greenbacks - Wikipedia


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Luke Short - Wikipedia

Old West 1881 – Gunfight in Tombstone Arizona sends another resident to Boothill

Luke Short, having just arrived from Dodge City with Bat Masterson, kills the drunken Charlie Storms in a street duel Today In Old West History

Western frontiersman Luke L. Short (1854-September 8, 1893) was a noted gunfighter, who had worked as a farmer, cowboy, whiskey peddler, army scout, dispatch rider, gambler and saloon keeper at various times during the four decades of his life.

Short was born in Mississippi, his family moving to Texas when he was two. As a teenager he left home, rumored to having killed another youth with a pair of scissors, and became a cowboy, working herds north to the Kansas railheads. He traveled to Abilene, Kansas in 1870, and attempted to make a living as a professional gambler.

In 1876 he arrived in Sidney, Nebraska where he obtained employment as a whiskey peddler. During this time he sold whiskey illegally to Sioux Indians from a trading post far north of Sidney. This was a federal offense. Short later admitted to killing a half dozen inebriated Sioux natives on various occasions during this venture. Despite this record, Short was hired as a scout for the US Cavalry, and worked for them from 1878 to 1879.

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Boot Hill cemetery in 1940 before it was fully restored. - Wikipedia




Thomas Davenport

Science 1837 – American Blacksmith Thomas Davenport patents first practical electric motor

Thomas Davenport patented the first practical electrical motor (No. 132) as “an application of magnetism and electro-magnetism to propelling machinery.” The rotating electromagnets have cores of soft iron, wound with copper wire insulated with layers of silk. The wires from the coil run parallel down the shaft to touch copper contacts on the base. These wires make contact with different plates at each half-turn. When the contacts are connected to opposite poles of the battery supplying current, provision is made to reverse the direction of the current in the rotating coils at each half-turn such that magnetic repulsion is maintained between the rotating coil and the pole of the fixed magnet they face at that point in the shaft’s rotation. He had his first successful with his invention on 27 Nov 1834.


Davenport Motor




French marines in the trenches - Wikipedia

World War I

On February 25, 1916, German troops seize Fort Douaumont, the most formidable of the forts guarding the walled city of Verdun, France, four days after launching their initial attack. The Battle of Verdun will become the longest and bloodiest conflict of World War I, lasting 10 months and resulting in over 700,000 total casualties.

In February 1916, the walls of Verdun were defended by some 500,000 men stationed in two principal fortresses, Fort Douaumont and Fort Vaux. The Germans, commanded by Chief of Staff Erich von Falkenhayn, sent 1 million men against the city, hoping for a decisive victory on the Western Front that would push the Allies towards an armistice. The first shot was fired on the morning of February 21. By the end of that first day, the Germans had captured only the front-line trenches, much less progress than they had hoped to make. They pushed on, however, and by February 23 had advanced two miles and captured 3,000 French soldiers with the help of a lethal new weapon, the flammenwerfer, or flamethrower. By February 24, the Germans had overrun the second line of French trenches and taken another 10,000 prisoners, forcing the French defenders to within eight kilometers of the city itself. Forts Douaumont and Vaux, however, had managed to hold out.

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World War I: Battle Of Verdun 1/4


The Hell of Verdun – 1916




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February 25




” History is a vast early warning system.” ~Norman Cousins


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


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