On January 14th in American History….
In 1784, the United States Congress ratified the Treaty of Paris with Great Britain, thus formally ending the Revolutionary War.
The terms of this treaty with the former Mother country had been agreed to and signed the previous September by such notables as John Adams, Ben Franklin, and John Jay. To make the treaty official, it had to receive the blessing of the new Congress of the United States.
Delegates from the thirteen states were called to convene in Annapolis, Maryland, in November of 1783. (Annapolis then served as the nation’s capital.) Ratification required at least 9 of the 13 states be present to sign off. The pressure was on, as the Congress was aware that it took two months to cross the ocean to return the signed document within the required six months stipulated by the treaty.
Anxiety arose in early January as the quorum had yet to be reached. But the arrival of Richard Beresford of South Carolina a few days later saved the day. The Congress voted unanimously to ratify the treaty, January 14, 1784. Thank you, Congressman Beresford!
John Dunlap, the official printer for the Congress, printed the proclamation “to notify…all the good citizens of these United States” that the treaty was signed and American Independence secured. Thirteen copies were printed—one for each state—but only some are known to survive. There is a copy in the Maryland State Archives and a few in the collections of the Library of Congress.
Also on January 14th in history:
In 1639: The first Connecticut Constitution (called the Fundamental Orders) was adopted in Hartford.
In 1699: The Colony of Massachusetts held a day of fasting for wrongly persecuting people who were accused of being witches.
In 1858: Napoleon III (nephew of Napoleon I) escaped an assassination attempt by an Italian revolutionary named Felice Orsini. Orsini was executed for the crime the following March.
In 1943: Franklin Delano Roosevelt became the first American President to leave American soil during wartime. FDR flew to Casablanca, Morocco, to meet with Winston Churchill and several other allied leaders to discuss strategies to end WWII.
And on January 14, 2013, may you make a positive impact on someone else's life as you create your own history. :)