December: A month of historic anniversaries

Among the December anniversaries: The Boston Tea Party.
Among the December anniversaries: The Boston Tea Party.
Image: StudyHall.Rocks.
We have reached the end of the year, a time of holiday celebrations. But some of the most important and poignant events in American history occurred in December.

    Here are four examples from Colonial and Revolutionary history, along with links to longer stories about each:

A dark December–the Conestoga Massacre:  On Dec. 14, 1763, 50 men from Pennsylvania's western frontier, known as the Paxton Boys, killed and scalped six members of the Conestoga tribe -- three men, two women and a child. Approximately 14 members of the tribe were away from the settlement, and in an attempt to protect those people, local officials locked them in a Lancaster workhouse. But on Dec. 27, the Paxton gang charged into town and murdered the men, women and children in the workhouse. While the gang argued that tribe members were treacherous, other Colonials of the time disagreed.  See the rest of the story here. 

Dec. 16, 1773: Behind the Boston Tea Party: In this well-known uprising before the Revolutionary War, colonists with faces and hands stained with soot and carrying tomahawks (hatchets), tossed tea into Boston Harbor. Read more here.

Myth followed Washington across the Delaware: Gen. George Washington and his staff had laid out detailed plans for a surprise attack on the Hessian troops at Trenton, New Jersey, And on Dec. 25, 1776, Washington and his army crossed the Delaware, an event commemorated in a famous painting by Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze. But there are major mistakes in that painting. Read our story to know more.  

Washington’s prayer at Valley Forge, fact or fiction: The Continental Army reached Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, on Dec. 19, 1777. The army was tired and sick. But while there are many good reasons to remember that difficult winter, a preacher’s fable about George Washington praying in the snow has taken on mythic proportions. This story separates fact from fiction.


     Quick Study: George Washington  

     5 reasons to note Washington's birthday

     What was the Sugar Act?

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