Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) 200 years ago today, August 23, 1814, British forces attacked Washington, D.C. The attack was part of an offensive in the third year of the War of 1812.
British forces under Major General Robert Ross* had rolled through American defenses at Bladensburg, Maryland to get in position to launch their attack on the Capital.
According to an account by one of Ross's men, George Gleig, the General attempted to negotiate a truce but his party carrying a white flag was fired upon by an enemy sniper and Ross's horse was killed.
Gleig's version of events says that this resulted in General Ross's decision to cause as much damage to the city as possible.
His army headed toward the President's House where James Madison's wife, Dolley, ordered the Gilbert Stuart portrait of President George Washington cut out of its frame, rolled up, and whisked away to safety.
Mrs. Madison escaped across the Potomac River by carriage. The portrait the First Lady saved was actually a copy of Stuart's original.
*General Ross was killed a few days later during the battle at Baltimore, MD.
George Washington Portrait
"The British Burn Washington, D.C., 1814," Eyewitness to History, www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/ (2003).
STATE OF FRANKLIN DECLARED 230 YEARS AGO TODAY
Jonesborough, North Carolina* (JFK+50) Representatives of four counties of upper western North Carolina declared their independence two centuries and 30 years ago today, August 23, 1784, and declared those counties the State of Franklin.
The representatives were from Washington, Sullivan, Spencer and Greene counties.***
**Today Jonesborough and all counties which were part of the proposed State of Franklin are located in Upper East Tennessee.
***A petition for statehood was filed but it fell short of the 2/3 majority needed to pass.
Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) John F. Kennedy, just seven months after moving in as the 35th President of the United States, greeted the 1 millionth visitor to the White House 53 years ago today, August 23, 1961.
The visitor and his family, who were from Georgia, were given the opportunity to meet the President in person.
This was the first time in history that a million visitors had toured the White House in any single year.