Daily readings about people, places, and events in American history.
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January 22nd
Abigail Adams
“My Dearest Friend,” wrote Abigail Adams on January 22, 1797, “We have had this day something very like a snow storm. It has banked some though not very deep. . . .” So ran one of hundreds of letters she penned to her husband, John, during their 54-year marriage.

When John began to aid the Patriot cause, Abigail stood beside him, even though rebellion threatened his livelihood as a lawyer. When he was asked to serve in the Massachusetts Assembly, she made ready to share whatever dangers would come, though it meant the king might consider her family traitors.

While John was in Philadelphia at meetings of the Continental Congress, Abigail stayed home in Quincy, Massachusetts, to run their farm. She tended the garden and orchards, looked after the livestock, sold milk and butter, and taught their children (one of them, John Quincy, a future president). When war came to Massachusetts, Abigail traded for food since American money was worthless. She took refugees into her house and calmed her children as gunfire sounded across the hills.

While John worked in Congress, she wrote to him almost daily, encouraging him, keeping up his spirits, giving advice, and sending him war news from New England.

Twice Abigail saw John cross the sea to represent the new American government abroad. It meant years of being apart. When John grew so miserable he could not go on without her, she sailed to Europe to join him.

When John became the second president, Abigail worked by his side, giving her counsel, helping him with his papers and speeches, and entertaining dignitaries. She opened the brand new White House, which at that time was an unfinished mansion in a swamp.

When we count this nation’s blessings, it is good to remember that without women like Abigail Adams, there would never have been a United States.

American History Parade
Abigail Adams writes to John, in Philadelphia, giving him news of home.

The uranium atom is split for the first time using a cyclotron at Columbia University in New York City.

In World War II, the Allies launch an offensive in central Italy with a hard-fought amphibious landing at Anzio Beach.

The Supreme Court hands down a decision in Roe v. Wade, legalizing abortion.

The Senate confirms Madeleine Albright as the nation’s first female secretary of state.
This content is courtesy of The American Patriot's Almanac
© 2008, 2010 by William J. Bennett and John T.E. Cribb

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