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History's Happenings for October 13

Birth of the United States Navy
1775

(Stay tuned for a write-up on this event.
On the other hand, if you'd like to try writing
one  ... send it in! )

White House Cornerstone Laid
1792

The first official building to be constructed in the newly (1790) selected site of the U.S. capital was, appropriately enough, the president's house. Although the new city was named for him, and though he laid its cornerstone on October 13, 1792, George Washington is the only U.S. president never to have lived in what became familiarly known as the White House.

In March of that year, a prize of $500 and a building lot had been offered to the architect who would submit the most satisfactory design for an executive mansion -- then envisioned as no more than a residence for the president. Among many submissions, that of Charleston architect James Hoban was chosen, a design supposedly modeled after the residence of the Duke of Leinster in Dublin, Ireland. The original edifice, built of Virginia sandstone and comprising only the central rectangular building in today's White House, without porticos, was completed in November, 1800 -- in time for outgoing president John Adams to enjoy a short stay.

President Thomas Jefferson built the outlying walkways, which were rebuilt in the twentieth century and today connect with the west wing executive offices, and the east wing. The familiar porticos were added in the 1820's.

During the War of 1812, the British set fire to the Executive Mansion while sacking the city, and the building was gutted. James Hoban supervised its rebuilding, adding a coat of whitewash over the sooted original stone that eventually gave it its namesake. Teddy Roosevelt sanctioned the term White House, by having it engraved on his stationery in 1901. He also added the executive offices on the west wing.

The laying of the White House cornerstone in the carefully planned new city preceded that of the nation's capitol by just eleven months.

B'nai B'rith Founded
1843

The Jewish service organization B'nai B'rith, "Children of the Covenant", was founded on October 13, 1843, in New York City.

B'nai B'rith today, with over 500,000 members worldwide, is focused on Jewish education and culture, interfaith relations, racial and religious tolerance and community service.

American Troops Enter Aachen
1944

(Stay tuned for a write-up on this event.
On the other hand, if you'd like to try writing
one  ... send it in! )




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