April 20th, 2006

10-S, 10-D

Ten random things: April 20

Ten dates in American history that are commemorated on the Leesburg Freedom Memorial:

  1. July 4, 1776: The Continental Congress approves a Declaration of Independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain
  2. January 1, 1863: The Emancipation Proclamation takes effect in Confederate territory
  3. April 9, 1865: Robert E. Lee surrenders the Army of Northern Virginia to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Courthouse, Va.
  4. November 11, 1918: World War I ends
  5. December 7, 1941: The Imperial Japanese Navy attacks the U.S. Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
  6. May 8, 1945: Germany surrenders, ending World War II in Europe
  7. August 14, 1945: Japan accepts the Allied terms of surrender in World War II
  8. November 19, 1863: Abraham Lincoln delivers the Gettysburg Address
  9. December 6, 1865: The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution is ratified, banning slavery
  10. June 6, 1944: Allied troops invade occupied France

I happened to stumble upon the Leesburg Freedom Memorial this afternoon. I didn't even know there was such a thing, but nevertheless, there it was. It's a curved brick wall, directly in the center of which is a large stone bearing the date September 11, 2001. On either side of the center stone are smaller stones with other dates on them, ten of them in all. In front of the wall is a flagpole, and around the flagpole on three sides are three more stones with dates inscribed on them. There is no explanation on site as to what happened on those dates, some of which are obvious (e.g. July 4, 1776, and December 7, 1941) while others are less so (November 19, 1863, and August 28, 1963). One of the dates (August 8, 1920) I still haven't figured out; I think it's supposed to be the date the 19th Amendment was ratified, but most of the sources I consulted indicate that the 19th Amendment was ratified on August 18. I don't know if I copied the date down wrong or if the designers messed up.