November 25, 2011 - Evacuation Day

Celebrate the end of the Revolutionary War! The last troops of British “Redcoats” left America on this day in 1783, boarding a fleet of ships and sailing away. The last shot of the war, a cannonball shot from the departing ships at the jeering crowds, fell well short of the shore.

The British flag still flew in Battery Park, at the southern tip of Manhattan, as it was nailed to the top of a greased flagpole. Several men tried to tear down the flag, called the Union Jack, but could not reach it; so people cut and nailed wooden cleats to the pole, and a veteran named John Van Arsdale used a ladder to get to the top of the pole, remove the flag, and replace it with the American Stars and Stripes. He managed to do this while the British fleet was still in sight!

With the American flag flying, the signal was given to George Washington that Manhattan was ready for the victory march, and Washington led the Continental Army down Broadway to the Battery.

For more than a century, this event was celebrated by a reenactment – with a competition to see who could get up the greased pole to tear down the Union Jack! However, once Thanksgiving Day was proclaimed by Abraham Lincoln, Evacuation Day subsided in importance.

Since it is the day after Thanksgiving, today is also...

You're Welcoming Day
             A day to say “you're welcome” to all the people who thanked you the day before...

Black Friday
             A day to spend money while trying to save money, buying gifts at the store...

No comments:

Post a Comment