Thank You, Grigory Shelikhov!

Today in History, August 14, 1784:

Russian Grigory Shelikhov founds Three Saints Bay on Kodiak Island, establishing Alaska for Russia. Over the next several decades Russian fur trappers moved into the interior, and down into California, where they were turned back by American frontiersmen.

By the 1850’s Russia was ready to sell Alaska and offered it to the United States. The negotiations were delayed during the American Civil War, but in 1867 Secretary of State William H. Seward negotiated it’s purchase for .02 cents per acre.

He was excoriated for the purchase; it was called “Seward’s Folly” or “Seward’s Icebox”. The treaty passed the Senate by just one vote. Since then Seward has been vindicated, with gold and oil and nature.

The Second Seminole War Ends

Today in History, August 14, 1842:

After seven years of war on the Florida peninsula, the second Seminole War is declared to be at an end.

The war had begun when the US government attempted to enforce the Indian Removal Act and the Treaty of Ft. Gibson in which the Seminole Tribe was to move to the Creek Reservation west of the Mississippi River, in Indian Territory.

The tribe resisted with the leadership of Osceola beginning in 1835. Numerous battles ensued, but the government began to succeed with smaller raids and false truces with which they captured as many as 3-4,000 Seminoles, forcing their removal.

Osceola was captured in 1837 and imprisoned in Charleston, SC where he died.


Today in History, August 14: 1945 – How long did WWII last? The August Revolution. On the day that the Japanese formally surrendered to the Allies aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay, Japanese officials in Vietnam turned over government buildings to Ho Chi Minh and the Communist Viet Minh, in defiance of the peace terms. There would be a temporary peace as the Viet Minh “attempted” to work with the British and French occupation forces of “French Indo-China”. There were Chinese occupation forces also. None of this would last, and the Japanese actions contributed to the eventual First Indo-China War. Thirty years later, after much blood and sacrifice by both French and American soldiers, sailors and airmen, the Vietnam War would finally end.