1: Articles of Confederation are formally ratified in 1781, establishing Congress as the governing body of the 13 American Colonies.
2: In celebration of Samuel Houston’s birthday, Texas declared its independence from Mexico in 1836. Okay, so the two probably aren’t related, but it’s a fun fact to point out! Also, did you know that in his teens, Sam Houston ran away and lived with the Cherokee?
4: Land grant in 1681 from King Charles II to William Penn, which later became ... you guessed it ... Pennsylvania.
4: The Constitution of the United States of America goes into effect in 1789.
5: The Boston Massacre in 1770 ... often presented as an action by overreactive British soldiers against a peaceable populace, but probably more likely the result of them cracking under provocation by a mob. The British were cleared in court of murder charges, after being defended by none other than John Adams.
9: Birth in 1451 of Amerigo Vespucci, the Italian explorer for whom our continent is named.
11: (from www.usmcu.edu) “Marines participated in the action [of the American Revolution] when the Continental Navy frigate Boston, enroute to France, sighted, engaged, and captured the British merchant ship Martha. As the drum of the Boston beat to arms, John Adams seized a musket and joined the Marines on deck until the frigate's captain, Samuel Tucker, sent him below for safety.” (1778)
12: Colonization in 1609 of Bermuda, discovered after a ship bound for Virginia wrecked on its reefs.
13: Harvard University named after clergyman John Harvard, in 1639.
15: Birth in 1767 of Andrew Jackson, 7th U.S. President (1829-1837), hero of the War of 1812. One could argue that his harsh policies toward Native Americans were shaped by his witnessing the Cherokee conflict in the Carolina backcountry and British occupation of the same, since he was a mere lad of not quite 13 at the Battle of Camden, where he and his family resided.
16: Birth in 1751 of James Madison, 4th U.S President (1809-1817)
19: Birth in 1589 of William Bradford, governor of Plymouth Colony and credited with much of its success. First sailed with a group of 100 Pilgrims aboard the Mayflower, originally bound for Virginia.
21: Birth in 1685 of Johann Sebastian Bach, musical composer.
23: Patrick Henry’s famous declaration in 1775, “Give me liberty, or give me death!” Credited with sparking the powder keg of revolution in the colonies.
25: In 1807, the British Parliament abolished the slave trade.
28: Nathaniel Briggs patents the washing machine in 1797.
31: Birth in 1596 of René Descartes, philosopher and mathematician.