Thursday, December 13, 2012

Dec. 13 in History

I am so bored with "fiscal cliff" news, in fact all the news being reported right now. So let's look back at important things that happened on this date in history.

Drake Leaves England
In 1577 left Plymouth, England with orders from Queen Elizabeth to circumnavigate the globe and pirate such Spanish shipping as he encountered. This was Drake's second departure on this mission, he had been forced to return when his sails become befouled in a violent storm and Drake had to dismast his own ship.

Of the six ships that started the trip only one crossed into the Pacific Ocean. But that was the hard part. The remaining ship, the Golden Hind, casually plundered Spanish settlements along the Pacific coast for six months. Drake returned to England three years after departing with over 20 tons of booty for the Queen.

Battle of Fredericksburg
Not a lot of battles are fought in December for obvious reasons, the weather. In 1862, Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia held the high ground overlooking the Rappahannock River. Unfortunately for the Union side, Ambrose Burnside had just been given command of the Army of the Potomac and wanted to prove himself. He stupidly ordered an uphill attack against entrenched positions. It wasn't the worst spanking Lee gave the Union army in Virginia but it was a bloody mess. The defeat earned Burnside the nickname the "Butcher of Fredericksburg" and left the Union army demoralized and nearly mutinous. Burnside resigned his command before the end of January.

Famous Births
Abe Lincoln's wife Mary Todd (1818)
Actor Dick Van Dyke (1925)
Pizza honcho Herman Cain (1945)

Famous Deaths
Nobody famous ever died on this date.

The biggest celebration held on December 13 is Acadian Remembrance Day which commemorates when the British kicked French settlers out of Nova Scotia.

Let's face it. December 13 is, and always has been a really boring day.

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