April 19th is, on most of our calendars, just another day. But it also happens to be the day the American Revolution started. So we thought we'd celebrate Trivia Today style, with a few questions about the Revolutionary War.
Who Fired That "Shot Heard Round the World"? During the initial battle on Lexington Green, British troops and colonial Minutemen faced each other as someone fired off a shot from a musket. Frustratingly, no one knows who fired first. It could have been the colonists, or it could have been the British. Interestingly, though, it could also have been an accident. The colonists were rushing to get weapons out of a storage space at the town hall, and it's possible that the famous "shot heard round the world" was really a gun accidentally going off as the Minutemen tried to load it. Regardless of who shot first, the resulting battle signaled that the colonists were now serious about fighting back.
Which Future President Served as a Courier in the Revolutionary War When He Was Just 13-Years-Old? President Andrew Jackson was only 13 when he joined his local militia and served informally as a patriot courier. His older brother had died in battle the year prior, and both he and his other brother, Robert, immediately began attending local militia drills. In 1781, both brothers were captured, beaten, and imprisoned by British troops after the boys refused to polish the Redcoats' shoes. One officer slashed Jackson with a sword on his face and hand, permanently scarring him physically and also permanently instilling a sense of disdain for the British that would last the rest of Jackson's life.
What Possession Did George Washington Return to British General William Howe After the Battle of Germantown? His dog. After suffering painful and humiliating defeats at Brandywine and Germantown, Washington happened across a stray dog who had wandered into the Patriot camp. Washington surprisingly found a nametag attached to the dog, revealing it was the pet of General Howe. Always a man of honor, Washington returned the pup to its owner along with a note (scribed by Alexander Hamilton) offering his compliments in battle.
Where Was the Last Major Battle of the Revolution Fought? The Battle of Yorktown, which came to an end on October 19, 1781, is widely regarded as the beginning of the end of the Revolutionary War. General Cornwallis negotiated the surrender of his army after being surrounded by a combination of American and French forces. The symbolic surrender of Cornwallis's sword was initially offered to the French, who refused and insisted George Washington be the one to accept it. It would take two years before the conflict officially ended and the Treaty of Paris gave America its independence.