On this day in 1789, George Washington becomes the first and only president to be unanimously elected by the Electoral College. He repeated this notable feat on the same day in 1792.
On this day in 1865, at the Battle of Dabney’s Mill (also known as Hatcher’s Run), Union and Confederate forces around Petersburg, Virginia, begin a three-day battle that produces 3,000 casualties but ends with no significant advantage for either side.
On this day in 1778, during the American Revolution, representatives from the United States and France sign the Treaty of Amity and Commerce and the Treaty of Alliance in Paris.
On this day in 1862, one day after the fall of Fort Henry on the Tennessee River, Confederate General Albert Sidney Johnston, commander of Rebel forces in the West, orders 15,000 reinforcements to Fort Donelson. This fort lay on the Cumberland River just a few miles from Fort Henry. Johnston’s decision turned out to be a mistake, as many of the troops were captured when the Fort Donelson fell to the Yankees on February 16.
On this day in 1943, Japanese troops evacuate Guadalcanal, leaving the island in Allied possession after a prolonged campaign. The American victory paved the way for other Allied wins in the Solomon Islands.
On this day in 1942, the Normandie, regarded by many, as the most elegant ocean liner ever built, burns and sinks in New York Harbor during its conversion to an Allied trip transport ship.
On this day in 1763, The Seven Years’ War, a global conflict known in America as the French and Indian War, ends with the signing of the Treaty of Paris by France, Great Britain, and Spain.