On This Day
Laura Secord (née Ingersoll; 13 September 1775 – 17 October 1868) was a Canadian heroine of the War of 1812. She is known for having walked 20 miles (32 km) out of American-occupied territory in 1813 to warn British forces of an impending American attack. Her contribution to the war was little known during her lifetime, but since her death she has been frequently honoured in Canada. Though Laura Secord had no relation to it, most Canadians associate her with the Laura Secord Chocolates company, named after her on the centennial of her walk.
Laura Secord’s father, Thomas Ingersoll, lived in Massachusetts and fought on the side of the Patriots during the Revolutionary War (1775–1783). In 1795 he moved his family to the Niagara region of Upper Canada after he had applied for and received a land grant. Shortly after, Laura married Loyalist James Secord, who was later seriously wounded at the Battle of Queenston Heights early in the War of 1812. While he was still recovering in 1813, the Americans invaded the Niagara Peninsula, including Queenston. During the occupation, Secord acquired information about a planned American attack, and stole away on the morning of 22 June to inform Lieutenant James FitzGibbon in the territory still controlled by the British. The information helped the British and their Mohawk allies repel the invading Americans at the Battle of Beaver Dams. Her effort was forgotten until 1860, when Edward, Prince of Wales awarded the impoverished widow £100 for her service on his visit to Canada.
The story of Laura Secord has taken on mythic overtones in Canada. Her tale has been the subject of books, plays, and poetry, often with many embellishments. Since her death, Canada has bestowed honours on her, including schools named after her, monuments, a museum, a memorial stamp and coin, and a statue at the Valiants Memorial in the Canadian capital.
Born On This Day
1918 – Cicely Saunders, English Anglican nurse, social worker, physician and writer (d. 2005)
Dame Cicely Mary Strode Saunders OM DBE FRCS FRCP FRCN (22 June 1918 – 14 July 2005) was an English nurse, social worker, physician and writer. She is noted for her work in terminal care research and her role in the birth of the hospice movement, emphasising the importance of palliative care in modern medicine.
By Maria Popova’s Brain Pickings: 200 years of beloved writers on nature as an antidote to depression, Leibniz on how difference dignifies the world, and more
By Ayun Halliday, Open Culture: Exquisite 2300-Year-Old Scythian Woman’s Boot Preserved in the Frozen Ground of the Altai Mountains
ByJosh Jones, Open Culture: Miles Davis is Attacked, Beaten & Arrested by the NYPD Outside Birdland, Eight Days After the Release of Kind of Blue (1959)
By Josh Jones, Open Culture: In 1968, a Teenager Convinced Thelonious Monk to Play a Gig at His High School to Promote Racial Unity; Now the Concert Recording Is Getting Released
By MessyNessy 13 Things I Found on the Internet Today (Vol. CDXCXVIII): ‘Sciopticon’ magic lantern projector, c. 1890; A Private Collection of 19th Century Photographs of Black Victorians; The ‘Seven Sisters’; A look at the making of Flair, “History’s Most Beautiful Magazine”; An Interesting Historical Insight on Typeface origins: Why this font is everywhere and more ->
Fast Company Compass: These 10 super-useful Gmail add-ons will change how you work