In 1775, the colonists organized a Continental Navy fleet. It was a cool thing to do, as long as you didn't end up being one of the rowers.

On this date in 1807, Congress passed the Embargo Act, which cut off all trade with Europe. Not to be confused with the Escargo Act, which resulted in a line of salt being drawn around the entire U.S.

In 1864 during the Civil War, Union General William T. Sherman sent a message to President Lincoln from Georgia, saying, "I beg to present you as a Christmas-gift the city of Savannah."
  • Of course, the toughest part was finding that much wrapping paper. 
  • Talk about taking chance! How awkward would that one have been to exchange. 

On this date in 1882, Ed Johnson switched on the first Christmas Tree with electric lights in his home in New York City. So blame him.
Ed also had the privilege of discovering that when one goes out, the rest don't stay lit.
  • The cork-popping sound that followed was from down at the electric company. 
  • Next time you're way up on that ladder and looking for someone to curse, think fondly of Ed. 
  • Several hours later, after figuring out which bulbs were burned out, the lights came on! 

On this date in 1982, the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco was closed for two hours due to a severe storm and high winds. On that same day, Tony Bennett's heart was blown from San Francisco over to Oakland.

In 1989, Romania's hard-line president, Nicolae Ceausescu, was toppled from power in a popular uprising. Those tend to be much more effective than unpopular uprisings.


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