FYI August 27, 2019

On This Day

1776 – Battle of Long Island: In what is now Brooklyn, New York, British forces under General William Howe defeat Americans under General George Washington.
The Battle of Long Island is also known as the Battle of Brooklyn and the Battle of Brooklyn Heights. The victory over the Americans gave the British control of strategically important Port of New York. It was fought on August 27, 1776, and was the first major battle of the American Revolutionary War to take place after the United States declared its independence on July 4, 1776. In troop deployment and combat, it was the largest battle of the entire war.

After defeating the British in the Siege of Boston on March 17, 1776, commander-in-chief General George Washington brought the Continental Army to defend the port city of New York, located at the southern end of Manhattan Island. Washington understood that the city’s harbor would provide an excellent base for the Royal Navy, so he established defenses there and waited for the British to attack. In July, the British under the command of General William Howe landed a few miles across the harbor from Manhattan on the sparsely-populated Staten Island, where they were reinforced by ships in Lower New York Bay during the next month and a half, bringing their total force to 32,000 troops. Washington knew the difficulty in holding the city with the British fleet in control of the entrance to the harbor at the Narrows, and he moved the bulk of his forces to Manhattan, believing that it would be the first target.

On August 22, the British landed on the shores of Gravesend Bay in southwest Kings County, across the Narrows from Staten Island and more than a dozen miles south from the established East River crossings to Manhattan. After five days of waiting, the British attacked U.S. defenses on the Guan Heights. Unknown to the Americans, however, Howe had brought his main army around their rear and attacked their flank soon after. The Americans panicked, resulting in twenty percent losses through casualties and capture, although a stand by 400 Maryland and Delaware troops prevented a more substantial portion of the army from being lost. The remainder of the army retreated to the main defenses on Brooklyn Heights. The British dug in for a siege but, on the night of August 29–30, Washington evacuated the entire army to Manhattan without the loss of supplies or a single life. Washington and the Continental Army were driven out of New York entirely after several more defeats and forced to retreat through New Jersey and into Pennsylvania.



Born On This Day

1875 – Katharine McCormick, American biologist, philanthropist, and activist (d. 1967)
Katharine Dexter McCormick (August 27, 1875 – December 28, 1967) was a U.S. suffragist, philanthropist and, after her husband’s death, heir to a substantial part of the McCormick family fortune. She funded most of the research necessary to develop the first birth control pill.




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