By Chuck Springston
Statue of Oliver Hazard Perry at Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial on South Bass Island in Ohio.
Statue of Oliver Hazard Perry at Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial on South Bass Island in Ohio.
The year 2013 was a milestone anniversary for many important events in American history, including the bicentennial of the Battle of Lake Erie and the sesquicentennial of the Civil War.

These major events were commemorated this year:

50 years ago, 1963

Aug. 28: March on Washington. Thousands gathered on the National Mall for the March on Washington, during which Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech.

Nov. 22. Kennedy’s assassination. President John F. Kennedy was killed by Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas.

100 years ago, 1913

Feb. 3. Income tax. The 16th Amendment, creating the income tax, was ratified. The tax rate in 1913 ranged from 1 to 7 percent.

Dec. 23. Creation of The Fed. The Federal Reserve Act was signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson, creating a central bank for the United States. The Fed’s responsibilities include setting interest rates and regulating banks.

150 years ago, 1863

July 1-3. The Battle of Gettysburg. Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee’s invasion of the North was stopped in a small Pennsylvania town by Union forces under the command of Gen. George Meade, essentially ending the Confederacy’s chances for victory in the war.

Oct. 3. Thanksgiving Day Proclamation. President Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation that established Thanksgiving Day at the end of November as a national holiday.

Nov. 19. The Gettysburg Address. Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address, stating that “government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

200 years ago, 1813

Sept. 10. The Battle of Lake Erie in the War of 1812. In 1813, one year after the war began, U.S. ships led by Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry defeated British naval forces near South Bass Island. Perry famously stated in a dispatch to Gen. William Henry Harrison, “We have met the enemy and they are ours.”  The victory gave the Americans control of the lake, disrupted British supply lines and enabled the U.S. Army to achieve victories on land.

250 years ago, 1763

Feb. 10: The Treaty of Paris ended the French and Indian War. Great Britain won control over almost all of France’s territory in North America and then helped pay off the costs of the war by taxing the 13 Colonies without their consent, which ultimately led to protests, the Boston Tea Party and the American Revolution.



12 books of Christmas: a history buff's guide

Men and women of the founding generation

Abe Lincoln and the politics of Thanksgiving

Jefferson 2.0: Economic advice for the ages

Folklore shrouds writing of the Gettysburg Address

What Lincoln's Gettysburg Address and Washington's Mount Vernon have in common