TODAY IN HISTORY
In 1321, Italian poet Dante Alighieri died.
In 1752, the Gregorian calendar was officially adopted by the British Empire and its colonies in America.
In 1812, the Russians set fire to Moscow before Napoleon’s triumphant march into the city. Three-fourths of the city was destroyed in the next few days. Napoleon remained in Moscow for about a month while cold and hunger decimated the Grande Armee.
In 1814, the poem “Defence of Fort McHenry” (later becoming the lyrics to “The Star-Spangled Banner”) was written by Francis Scott Key following the British shelling of Fort McHenry in Maryland. The morning after, Key saw the American flag still flying over the fortress and wrote his poem. It was set to the tune of an English drinking song and it was designated as the U.S. national anthem in 1916 by President Woodrow Wilson, and his order was confirmed by an act of Congress in 1931.
In 1882, the steamer “Asia” sank in Georgian Bay during a fierce gale, claiming 126 lives.