On this day 241 years ago, General George Washington, with a band of hungry and cold soldiers, set out to cross the Delaware River to surprise 1,400 British troops in the American Revolutionary War. The challenging logistics and dangerous obstacles did not prevent Washington from successfully defeating the Hessian soldiers asleep in Trenton, New Jersey the following morning. (1776)
MORE Good News on this Date:
- In Austria, the first known Christmas carol, “Silent Night, Holy Night” (Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht), was sung (1818)
- US President Andrew Johnson granted unconditional pardon to all Civil War Confederate soldiers (1868)
- The now famous marching band tune “Stars & Stripes Forever” was written by John Philip Sousa (1896)
- Richard Starkey (later known as Ringo Starr) received his first drum set (1959)
- Prime Minister of Israel Menachem Begin met in Egypt with President of Egypt Anwar Sadat (1977)
- The first successful trial run of the system which would become the World Wide Web (1990)
And today, millions are celebrating Christmas around the world, the holiday that commemorates the birth of Jesus of Nazareth in Bethlehem, some time around the year 1 BCE. On this day in 1223, St. Francis of Assisi enacted one of the first Nativity scenes, having been inspired by a recent visit to the Holy Land where he was shown Jesus’s traditional birthplace.
The scene’s popularity inspired communities throughout Catholic countries to stage similar pantomimes. Nativity scenes depict the birthplace as a stable with animals nearby and a large star in the sky overhead.
And, on this day in 1946, Jimmy Buffett, the singer-songwriter known for his Caribbean-inspired songs about island living, was born.
With a devoted following of fans known as Parrotheads, he is best known for his 1977 hit “Margaritaville,” as well as “Come Monday”. Aside from his career in music, Buffett is also a best-selling author and is involved in two restaurant chains named after two of his best-known songs, “Cheeseburger in Paradise” and “Margaritaville”.