Year 24s of American History: Let's Review 1624, 1724, 1824, and 1924 as 2024 Kicks Off!
This year in history instead of this day in history.
I woke up this morning with the idea of approaching the New Year differently on this blog: looking at what happened in other 24th years. I have a "this day in history" category on this blog dedicated to information that might prompt you to dig deeper or fill your arsenal for the water cooler chat. It includes posts like this one.
Since we are kicking off a new year, one in which Lafayette's American tour will be celebrated, it hit me: drop a few notes about 1624, 1724, 1824, and 1924.
So here it is: a quick post sharing some historical facts from those years, covering (quickly!) 400 years of the Colonies and now United States of America.
Some events are BIG and some may not seem to be. But the truth is- the people, places, and all the events have an impact on some level- it's what I love about history.
Necessary disclaimer: As a blogger, I use affiliate links sometimes! I may receive commission from purchases I share; it does not change your price but sometimes you might get a discount.
Colonial Williamsburg actor historian Mark Schneider portraying 1824 Lafayette
- Virginia becomes an official crown colony, with Jamestown as the capital. This came upon the dissolution of the Virginia Company.
- 44 people traveled to Virginia and became part of our recorded history. Yes, you can look it up here, thanks to Virtual Jamestown!
- The Dutch colony of New Amsterdam becomes official. In the 1660's it became the English colony of New York, the state name we have today in honor of the Duke of York. (side note: I found this website which will honor the 400th anniversary of New York in case you want to be updated on events.)
Fort reconstruction, Historic Jamestowne
- The Chester Courthouse in Pennsylvania was built, not far from the Delaware River. According to their bicentennial committee, it's the earliest public building still standing in the United States.
- In April, two births that had an impact on the future of the Colonies. First, Lyman Hall, a physician and signer of the Declaration of Independence was born in Wallingford, Connecticut. He represented Georgia after moving south. Second, Col. Thomas Gardner, both a political figure and a soldier, was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts - he died during the revolution in 1775 and you can read more about him here, from the city named for him.
- In May, John Leverett the Younger, American President of Harvard died at age 61. If you didn't already know, Harvard is the oldest college in the United States, followed by Williamsburg's College of William and Mary.
Wren Building, College of William and Mary
- James Monroe got to see his old friend, the Marquis de Lafayette. He invited him to tour the United States of America! Lafayette was the last living Major General from the Revolutionary War and his tour will be celebrated here in 2024. Mark Schneider, Colonial Williamsburg (CW) actor historian portraying Lafayette will take part in multiple events.
- John Quincy Adams, son of former President John Adams and wife Abigail, was elected President. I dedicated a post to Mrs. Adams because of her letters- she and John seemed to be conscious of writing everything down and preserving history for us! Click here to read it.
- The Bureau of Indian Affairs was created under the U.S. War Department. This aspect of American history is one becoming a true passion of mine and I'm so grateful that it's a focus here in CW. I'm pretty sure you'll see more on the blog about our tribal nations.
CW interpreters, Midwinter Stories program, December 2023
- Calvin Coolidge, our 30th U.S. President was elected after defeating John W. Davis. Cool side note: Coolidge's father administered his oath of office to him, using the family bible.
- Washington tied Navy in the 10th-ever Rose Bowl. Having my parents spend years a few miles from Pasadena and being a Michigan State grad who followed Big 10 sports for years, I had to throw this one in!
- One more sports reference: American skater Charles Jewtraw claimed the first-ever Winter Olympic gold medal during the Chamonix Games in France. It marked the first Winter Olympics. His medal was in speed skating.
- Crosswords and road trips, true American past-times, got started. Simon and Schuster published the first crossword book (thanks to a man from Liverpool who emigrated to the U.S.) and Rand McNally published it's first road atlas!
What will 2024 bring?
For me... more of this blog and continuing my Free At 50 journey and life in Williamsburg. It may even include finding our friend Mark Schneider on Lafayette's re-enacted tour!
What will it bring for you? Will it include a little history? If you want to start your own blog - hit me up for a free call and maybe I can help! Click here.
Closing with a letter from Monroe about not being able to dine with Lafayette at Monticello.
Click here to read in full with citations.
To Thomas Jefferson from James Monroe, 31 October 1824
Highland Octr 31. 1824
Finding that Genl Lafayette will not arrive till thursday, and that the Dinner will not be given, on that day, and may be deferrd some days longer, I regret that it will be utterly out of my power, to remain in the county, to unite with you & other friends, in those demonstrations of regard for him, to which he is so justly entitled, & we all so sincerely feel. I have resolved therefore to set out, on my return to the city, early in the morning, wishing you to be so kind as to make the necessary explanations to him of the cause, in aid of those which are hastily suggested in the enclosed letter, which you will be so good as to deliver to him, on his arrival at your house. The meeting of Congress, is so near at hand, that I have not a moment to lose, in making the preparations which will be necessary, for my communications to that body. The collection & arrangments of the documents, will require time, as will the digest of the subject matter, to be communicated. I shall be heartily rejoicd when the term of my service expires, & I may retire home in peace with my family, on whom, and especially on Mrs Monroe, the burdens & cares of my long public service, have borne too heavily. with great respect & sincere regard I am dear Sir yr friend
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There is a huge practical disclaimer to the content on this blog, which is my way of sharing my excitement and basically journaling online.
1) I am not a historian nor an expert. I will let you know I’m relaying the information as I understand and interpret it. The employees of Colonial Williamsburg base their presentations, work, and responses on historical documents and mainly primary sources.
2) I will update for accuracy as history is constant learning. If you have a question about accuracy, please ask me! I will get the answer from the best source I can find.
3) Photo credit to me, Daphne Reznik, for all photos in this post, unless otherwise credited! All photos are personal photos taken in public access locations or with specific permission.