On this day in 1777, the Stars and Stripes was flown for the first time
History Channel – 1777 The American flag is flown in battle for the first time, during a Revolutionary War skirmish at Cooch’s Bridge, Maryland. Patriot General William Maxwell ordered the stars and strips banner raised as a detachment of his infantry and cavalry met an advance guard of British and Hessian troops. The rebels were defeated and forced to retreat to General George Washington’s main force near Brandywine Creek in Pennsylvania.
Three months before, on June 14, the Continental Congress adopted a resolution stating that “the flag of the United States be thirteen alternate stripes red and white” and that “the Union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation.” The national flag, which became known as the “Stars and Stripes,” was based on the “Grand Union” flag, a banner carried by the Continental Army in 1776 that also consisted of 13 red and white stripes. According to legend, Philadelphia seamstress Betsy Ross designed the new canton for the Stars and Stripes, which consisted of a circle of 13 stars and a blue background, at the request of General George Washington. Historians have been unable to conclusively prove or disprove this legend.
Other Important Anniversaries
On this day in 1919, President Woodrow Wilson embarks on a tour across the United States to promote American membership in the League of Nations, an international body that he hoped would help to solve international conflicts and prevent another bloody world war like the one from which the country had just emerged—World War I. The tour took an enormous toll on Wilson’s health.
On this day in 1939, in response to Hitler’s invasion of Poland, Britain and France, both allies of the overrun nation declare war on Germany.
In 2004 a three-day hostage crisis at a Russian school in Beslan comes to a violent conclusion after a gun battle erupts between the hostage-takers and Russian security forces. In the end, over 300 people died, many of them children, while hundreds more were injured.