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History's Happenings for September 10

Perry Defeats British At Lake Erie

When the British captured Detroit in August of 1812, they immediately set to building and placing a fleet on Lake Erie. By 1813 they had full command of the Lake region.

In the spring of 1813, American Naval Commander Oliver Hazard Perry was sent with a force of about 500 men to build an opposing American fleet on the Lake.

By September, the fleet of nine ships toting 54 guns was complete, and at about midday on this day in 1813, the two navies met in the single fierce battle to occur on the Lake. The British fleet was slightly smaller, but carrying more guns than the Americans. Perry's flagship, a choice target, was heavily damaged and he transferred his flag, continuing the fight. By mid-afternoon, the British surrendered with all ships, and Perry sent out his famous message to Brigadier General (later President) William Henry Harrison: "We have met the enemy, and they are ours!"

The losses of about 250 sailors in the battle were about evenly divided between the two opponents.

Sewing Machine Patented

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

Big Red One Welcomed Home

Arriving home in the Port of New York in 1919 from heroic service in Europe, General John J. "Blackjack" Pershing and the Army's First Infantry Division were welcomed in typical New York ticker-tape style. The Division had been America's first to arrive in France in June, 1917.

Even as the World War began in Europe, the U.S. fielded no division-sized units, the largest peacetime organization being the regiment. Maneuvers on the Mexican border in 1916 required the cobbling together of various regiments from different posts.

The Big Red One, along with other famous units like the Rainbow Division, had been hurriedly assembled from the nation's previously semi-autonomous state National Guard regiments after the U.S. entry into the World War. The new organization became permanent after the Armistice, and labels like the "20th Maine" -- famous for its defense of Little Round Top at Gettysburg -- were gone forever.

Just twenty-five years later, the Big Red One would again be among the first U.S. divisions to return to France -- in the first wave onto Omaha Beach, D-Day, June 6, 1944,

Carter Pardons Puerto Rican Terrorists

(Stay tuned for a write-up on this event.
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one  ... send it in! )

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