War of 1812
Yanks invaded Canada? Brits swarmed Wisconsin? It's the bicentennial of the war no one remembers.
© Beth Gauper
On July 17, 1812, British forces invaded Mackinac Island at what is now known as British Landing.
This summer, you'll be hearing about the bicentennial of the War of 1812.
Now what was that war about, anyway?
Most Americans know only that it produced “The Star Spangled Banner.'' But Americans were the aggressors, looting and burning York — today, Toronto — in 1813.
The British returned the favor in 1814, burning Washington, D.C., including the Capitol and White House.
As the center of the lucrative fur trade, this region had a few dogs in the fight.
On July 4, the Door County Maritime Museum in Sturgeon Bay opens the exhibit “The War of 1812 – Naval Battle for the Great Lakes.''
On July 17, Fort Mackinac on Mackinac Island will reenact its capture that day by British forces, accompanied by the replica sloop Friends Good Will, a fur-trade ship seized by the British a few days after their victory and conscripted into the Royal Navy.
The home of the Friends Good Will, the Michigan Maritime Museum
in South Haven, is showing a War of 1812 bicentennial exhibit, "War on the Great Lakes!''
For more events on both sides of the border, see the Official War of 1812 Bicentennial
For an entertaining take on the war from the Canadian viewpoint, read “That Time We Beat the
"To Canada’s good fortune, the post-Revolution U.S. Army was stacked with bunglers and officers past their prime,'' the author writes. "It might have taken Canada easily, if not for the miraculously systemic idiocy among the top brass.''
One of the bunglers was Brigadier Gen. Zebulon Pike,
the explorer who negotiated, more or less, the treaty that gave the United States much of modern-day Minneapolis and St.
Paul. He died in 1813 in an explosion set by the British during the Battle of York.
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