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This Weekend in History: the beginning of the construction of the White House, the Battle of Bristoe Station and other events of the date
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This Weekend in History: the beginning of the construction of the White House, the Battle of Bristoe Station and other events of the date



A number of interesting events took place on October, 13th and 14th in U.S. history. Here is our take on the most interesting and valuable of them.

October 13, 1792 – The beginning of the construction of the White House

The cornerstone of the United States Executive Mansion that later became known as the White House was laid on this date 226 years ago. The mansion was a major feature of the plan of Pierre Charles L'Enfant for the newly established federal city, which Washington, D.C. was at that time. Despite a number of notable architects and citizens (for instance – Thomas Jefferson; he did it anonymously) participated in the contest, Pierre Charles L'Enfant managed to win it. Regarding the name of the mansion, it could originally be referred to in different ways: “President’s Palace”, “President’s House” or, simply, “Presidential Mansion” and was officially renamed “The White House” no earlier than in the year of 1811.

Important to mention, both the main residence and the mere foundations of the house, were largely built by enslaved African-American laborers with some help from the European constructors employed. Yet, since America is a country of immigrants, it is no wonder that most of the work was performed by people who never had American citizenship. It is widely-known, for instance, that the sandstone walls of the mansion were erected by Scottish immigrants.  

October 13, 1812 – The War of 1812. The Battle of Queenston Heights is fought. 

This battle was the first major clash of the War of 1812, which, in turn, was a quiet echo of the American Revolutionary War, since before this conflict the Brits kept on supporting the enemies of the young country, for example – Native Americans who raided American settlers in the frontier. In general, this war is either considered to be a part of the Napoleonic Wars (Europe) and an independent war conflict (the U.S. and Canada).

Americans invaded British-controlled Canada, so the Battle of Queenston Heights was fought due to the American attempt to establish a bridgehead on the Canadian side of the Niagara River. The Americans were in hurry, since they wanted to do this before winter. Eventually, losing almost five times as many as the Brits (100 to 21 killed) poorly equipped American army lost the battle decisively. Brits also captured 835 American soldiers, so this battle really was a disaster for the young country and its army.

October 14, 1863 - The American Civil War. The Battle of Bristoe Station is fought. 

The battle was fought in Virginia – the main battleground of the Civil War. The Union forces under the command of General Warren and Confederate forces commanded by General Hill clashed in Prince William County deploying 25 thousand soldiers on the battlefield, the battle was a part of the Bristoe Campaign. 

Despite the fact that the Confederate army outnumbered the Union’s by more than two to one (17 thousand combatants against a little more than 8 thousand), they were in defense and did it great, so the battle was really a harsh one. The battle resulted in a Union victory, as The Union II Corps managed to surprise and repel the Confederate attack on the Union rearguard. The Union lost 540 soldiers killed, while the losses of the Confederates were much heavier – 1380 Confederate soldiers lost their lives, when the clash was over.  

October 14, 1908 – The Chicago Cubs defeat The Detroit Tigers in the World Series

That was the second World Series in a row for the Cubs , who were defending champions at that time, as well as one of the strongest teams in the league in general. This victory poses much interest, because the next one only happened…two years ago, back in 2016, marking the end of more than a century long losing-streak for a notable MLB team. 

Back in 1908, The Cubs beat the Tigers with the overall result of 4:1, after that and before the lucky for them season and the World Series of 2016, the team would appear in seven more World Series - in 1910, 1918, 1929, 1932, 1935, 1938, and 1945, and lost each of them. 

These are the most notable events in U.S. history that occurred on this weekend, at least in our view.

Author: USA Really