1777, 242 years ago
British Gen. John “Gentleman Johnny” Burgoyne retreats north in an effort to reach Fort Edwards, but his 5,800-man army finds itself surrounded by 20,000 American regulars and militiamen. Burgoyne surrenders. The Americans have won the Battles of Saratoga.
Burgoyne and Gen. Horatio Gates, commander of the American army, draw up surrender terms in the Convention of Saratoga, and in agreeing to them, Gates blunders and nearly nullifies the great American victory.
By the terms of surrender, the British soldiers will be taken to Boston and from there sail to England. They promise never again to fight Americans in the Revolutionary War. If the terms are carried out, though, Burgoyne’s men will be available in Europe to fight the French. This will not please the French. The Americans hope that their victory at Saratoga will convince the French to join the Americans and provide them with financial, military and naval support (they eventually did).
So, the Continental Congress steps in and Burgoyne’s soldiers are held prisoners for the duration of the war, most of them in Charlottesville, Virginia. (A majority of them remained in the new United States of America after the war ended in 1783 and today many American families are descended from British and German soldiers who surrendered at Saratoga.)
1919, 100 years ago
Music at work
The sound of music fills the Savage Arms plant on Utica’s eastern boundary (later the site of CharlesTown) when area performers are brought in to put on a musical show for employees in the plant auditorium. Among those in the audience are some employees from Savage’s sister plant in Sharon, Pennsylvania.
1944, 75 years ago
Harriet A. Ackroyd is named chairwoman of the 1944 Christmas Seal fundraising campaign for the Oneida County Tuberculosis & Health Association. Money raised will help support the association’s two tuberculosis clinics and conduct health education programs throughout the county.
1969, 50 years ago
A symbolic groundbreaking ceremony is held at the new permanent, $7.7 million campus for Herkimer County Community College. Thousands of yards of dirt already have been moved as construction continues. The college will have 1,100 students when construction is completed in the fall of 1971.
Dr. W. Stewart Tosh is sworn in as the second president of the 23-year-old Mohawk Valley Community College. An inaugural procession is led by Professor Robert Jorgensen, chairman of the college faculty, and includes the college’s first president, Dr. Albert Payne.
The Mt. Carmel Players presents “The Man Who Came to Dinner.” It is directed by Etta San Andres and its cast includes Roger Amodio (as the title character Sheridan Whiteside), Helen Cody, Robert Shaut, Joyce Capraro, Joseph (Jay) Trisolino, Louis Damello Jr., Carmel Ann Sacco, Virginia Caramadre, Philip Macero Jr., Cynthia Walczak, Victor Scalise, Charles Sardina and Denise Gosling.
In bowling news, Charlie Smith rolls a 667 series in the Aurora Service Club League on games of 226, 199 and 242. Nancy Lewek leads the women with a 570 in the Aurora City League on games of 192, 180 and 198.
1994, 25 years ago
The Calvary Baptist Church on Whitesboro Street in Utica celebrates its 100th anniversary with a concert with Jim and Jessie Kerr-Whitt. The church leader is Thekla Raisner. A special worship service is conducted by the Rev. Claude Marvin, Calvary’s retired lay pastor.
The B Sharp Musical Club’s annual scholarship benefit concert is presented in the Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute’s Museum of Art auditorium. Performers include pianist Anita Hunter, soprano Lauralyn Kolb accompanied by Tina Toglia and a quintet comprised of Cathy McGowan, flute; John McGowan, oboe; Heather Johnsen, clarinet; Steve Smardon, bassoon; and Bruce Bush, horn.
In high school football, New York Mills defeats West Canada Valley 6-0. Kevin Cahill’s 33-yard pass to Jeremy Voorhees sets up a three-yard run by Brett Geruntino as he follows right tackle Jason Santillo into the end zone.
2009, 10 years ago
The Kiwanis Club of the Central Adirondacks honors members of the Town of Webb School Key Club for “outstanding performances throughout the school year,” including helping the Salvation Army and wrapping gifts in the Christmas for Kids project. Diane Amos is club adviser and officers include: Justin Connerty, president; Ashley Carroll, vice president; Ashley Booton, treasurer; and Allison Frey, secretary.
I’ll name the events, you name the U.S. presidents at the time. (1) the Philippines, Puerto Rico and Guam are acquired by the United States. (2) the “Star-Spangled Banner” officially is adopted as our national anthem. (3) Alaska is proclaimed our 49th state and Hawaii is admitted as our 50th state. (Answers will appear here next week.)
Answer to last week’s question: Herbert Hoover, president from 1929 to 1933, was the first president born west of the Mississippi. He was born in West Branch, Iowa, on Aug. 10, 1874.
This Week in History is researched and written by Frank Tomaino. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.