200th Anniversary Of The End Of The War Of 1812

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Of course, even this doddering old guy knows it’s 2015. However, if you slept through history class about that long-ago, almost-forgotten war, you should know some obscure facts. It didn’t officially end until a peace treaty was signed in February 1815 by England and the United States.

Were you taught why that war happened? It was because the British captured and impressed American sailors into their Navy. I can relate to that, because when I joined the U.S. Navy, I hoped girls would be impressed by my bell-bottom trousers and coat of Navy blue.

Another fact is that the British captured Washington DC and burned the White House. It probably happened because the Secret Service guys were busy outside on the lawn chasing a kid with a toy drone.

Have you heard that one of the most important battles of the war was fought while the peace treaty was being signed in Ghent, Belgium? The Battle of New Orleans was in January, 1815, but U.S. General Andy Jackson didn’t get the news (very limited SmartPhones then) in time. If you think the government was late back in those days, just ask guys today waiting for treatment at a veterans hospital.

Do you remember what was next for Jackson? He fought a duel and killed a guy who insulted Andy’s wife. He later was elected President of the United States. Would Bill Clinton do that to today’s Republicans who diss Hillary daily?

The War of 1812 is perhaps most remembered as when our national anthem was written. Francis Scott Key was being held on a British ship in Baltimore Harbor when inspired by the Americans on Fort McHenry. After shells burst all night, the flag was still flying in the morning. How proud Key would be if he knew his song today is always sung off-Key at all major sports events.

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