On This Day
1360 – The Treaty of Brétigny is ratified, marking the end of the first phase of the Hundred Years’ War.
The Treaty of Brétigny was a treaty, drafted on 8 May 1360 and ratified on 24 October 1360, between King Edward III of England and King John II of France (the Good). In retrospect, it is seen as having marked the end of the first phase of the Hundred Years’ War (1337–1453) as well as the height of English power on the Continent.
It was signed at Brétigny, a village near Chartres and later ratified as the Treaty of Calais on 24 October 1360.
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1854 – The Battle of Balaclava takes place during the Crimean War. It is soon memorialized in verse as The Charge of the Light Brigade.
The Battle of Balaclava, fought on 25 October 1854 during the Crimean War, was part of the Siege of Sevastopol (1854–55), an Allied attempt to capture the port and fortress of Sevastopol, Russia’s principal naval base on the Black Sea. The engagement followed the earlier Allied victory in September at the Battle of the Alma, where the Russian General Menshikov had positioned his army in an attempt to stop the Allies progressing south towards their strategic goal. Alma was the first major encounter fought in the Crimean Peninsula since the Allied landings at Kalamita Bay on 14 September, and was a clear battlefield success; but a tardy pursuit by the Allies failed to gain a decisive victory, allowing the Russians to regroup, recover and prepare their defence.
The Russians split their forces. Defending within the allied siege lines was primarily the Navy manning the considerable static defenses of the city and threatening the allies from without was the mobile Army under General Menshikov.
The Allies decided against a slow assault on Sevastopol and instead prepared for a protracted siege. The British, under the command of Lord Raglan, and the French, under Canrobert, positioned their troops to the south of the port on the Chersonese Peninsula: the French Army occupied the bay of Kamiesch on the west coast whilst the British moved to the southern port of Balaclava. However, this position committed the British to the defence of the right flank of the Allied siege operations, for which Raglan had insufficient troops. Taking advantage of this exposure, the Russian General Liprandi, with some 25,000 men, prepared to attack the defences around Balaclava, hoping to disrupt the supply chain between the British base and their siege lines.
The battle began with a Russian artillery and infantry attack on the Ottoman redoubts that formed Balaclava’s first line of defence on the Vorontsov Heights. The Ottoman forces initially resisted the Russian assaults, but lacking support they were eventually forced to retreat. When the redoubts fell, the Russian cavalry moved to engage the second defensive line in the South Valley, held by the Ottoman and the British 93rd Highland Regiment in what came to be known as the “Thin Red Line”. This line held and repulsed the attack; as did General James Scarlett’s British Heavy Brigade who charged and defeated the greater proportion of the cavalry advance, forcing the Russians onto the defensive. However, a final Allied cavalry charge, stemming from a misinterpreted order from Raglan, led to one of the most famous and ill-fated events in British military history – the Charge of the Light Brigade.
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Born On This Day
1788 – Sarah Josepha Hale, American author and poet (d. 1879)
Sarah Josepha Buell Hale (October 24, 1788 – April 30, 1879) was an American writer, activist, and an influential editor. She was the author of the nursery rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb”. Hale famously campaigned for the creation of the American holiday known as Thanksgiving, and for the completion of the Bunker Hill Monument.
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1875 – Carolyn Sherwin Bailey, American author and educator (d. 1961)
Carolyn Sherwin Bailey (October 25, 1875 – December 23, 1961) was an American children’s author. She was born in Hoosick Falls, New York and attended Teachers College, Columbia University, from which she graduated in 1896. She contributed to the Ladies’ Home Journal and other magazines. She published volumes of stories for children like methods of story telling, teaching children and other related subjects, which include Boys and Girls of Colonial Days (1917); Broad Stripes and Bright Stars (1919); Hero Stories (1919); and The Little Rabbit Who Wanted Red Wings (1945). She wrote For the Children’s Hour (1906) in collaboration with Clara M. Lewis. In 1947, her book Miss Hickory won the Newbery Medal.
Jerry Jeff Walker (born Ronald Clyde Crosby; March 16, 1942 – October 23, 2020) was an American country music singer and songwriter. He is best known for writing the 1968 song “Mr. Bojangles”.
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