Bicentennial of the War of 1812 — the forgotten war

Friday, 15 June 2012

Written by  Scott LaMar, Director of Radio Smart Talk

June 18, 1812 is when the United State and Great Britain began the War of 1812.

The War of 1812 most often conjures up images of the Star-Spangled Banner, Fort McHenry in Baltimore, Dolly Madison, the British burning Washington and Andrew Jackson at the Battle of New Orleans.

But do you know what the war was actually about?  How about impressment?

What was that?

The British would capture American ships and force their sailors to serve on British vessels.  Think kidnapping on the high seas.  It greatly restricted American trade.

One of the most significant battles of the war had a Pennsylvania tie.   American warships defeated the British for the first time at the Battle of Lake Erie in 1813.  Commodore Oliver Perry made the famous declaration, “Don’t Give Up the Ship” before Americans beat an entire British squandron.

On Monday’s program, we’ll hear about the War of 1812 from Washington Post military reporter and author of the forthcoming book, Through the Perilous Night, Steve Vogel, and Walter Rybka, Site Administrator of the Erie Maritime Museum and Captain of the U.S. Brig Niagara.

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