Saturday, January 21, 2012

Learn Our History Today: January 21

On January 21, 1738, Revolutionary Patriot and hero Ethan Allen was born in northwestern Connecticut.  As a young man, Allen acquired land north of Connecticut and in 1770, he became the colonel-commandant of the Green Mountain Boys, a militia that defended the New Hampshire Grants.  And in 1777, when colonists in the area formally declared their independence from Britain, Allen played a key role in the creation of the public of Vermont.  But due to differences between Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York who all claimed the territory as their own, Vermont was unable to join the new republic as a state.  It wasn’t until two years after Allen’s death in 1789 that Vermont was made a state, the 14th in America.

Also on this day in 1977, President Jimmy Carter pardoned all who dodged the draft in the Vietnam War, whether the draft dodgers failed to register or simply left the country to avoid service.  Carter issued his pardon on his second day in office to any civilian who was convicted of violating the Military Selective Service Act between August 4, 1964 and March 28, 1973.

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