Thursday, August 5, 2010

Question of the Day #6

American History is rittled with violence. . .  and fires.. lots of fires... even from the very beginning... here's a chance to check your american history knowledge coupled with your knowledge of the fire service.....

as always... no oogling Google  :-) and leave some comments....

During what war was the White House set on fire by the invading army?

A. The American Civil War

B. The War of 1812

C. The Spanish-American War

D. The Mexican-American War of 1846-1848


During what war was the White House set on fire by the invading army?

B. The War of 1812

During the War of 1812, The British burned Washington, DC. On, August 24, 1814, the British reached Washington, and found the city largely deserted, with the only resistance being ineffective sniper fire from one house. The first order of business for the British was to attack the Navy yard... which they burned. British troops next arrived at the US Capitol, which was still unfinished. According to later accounts, the British were impressed by the fine architecture of the building, and some of the officers had qualms about burning it. According to legend, British Admiral Cockburn sat in the chair belonging to the Speaker of the House and asked, "Shall this harbor of Yankee democracy be burned?" The British Marines with him yelled "Aye!" Orders were given to torch the building. The British troops worked diligently to set fires inside the Capitol, destroying years of work by artisans brought from Europe. With the burning Capitol lighting the sky, troops also marched to burn an armory. At about 10:30 pm, approximately 150 Royal Marines formed up in columns and began marching westward on Pennsylvania Avenue, following the route used in modern times for inauguration day parades. The British troops moved quickly, with a particular destination in mind, The White House, which they in turn set ablaze as well. The British troops then turned their attention to the adjacent Treasury Department building, which was also set on fire. The fires burned so brightly that observers many miles away recalled seeing a glow in the night sky.

“Capture and Burning of Washington by the British, in 1814,” an 1876 wood engraving.

1 comment:

  1. @MattTheMedic added a great point I had forgot... Thanks Matt!

    ... Side note:The British commander spared the Commandant of the Marine Corps home out of respect for the MC