Today in media history: New York Post reports the British have attacked Washington, D.C.

Here are two events that happened on this date and a trivia question.

August 27, 1814
The New York Post reports that the British army has attacked Washington, D.C. The invasion became one of the key military engagements during the War of 1812. According to the book, “Encyclopedia of American Journalism,” “The American press played an important role in the years of growing tension. Newspapers provided information about the arguments with Great Britain prior to the war and details of the military conflict once war was declared.” On this date in 1814, The New York Post writes:

This day we have the disagreeable task of recording the capture and destruction of the city of Washington, the capital of the United States!….Is it possible that after being two years at war, our capital, the seat of our general government should have been left so defenseless? Can it be believed that a small armament of a few ships, and from six to ten thousand troops, which came into our waters on the 17th instant, could demolish our capital on the 24th? But such is the fact.

(NPR’s August 21, 2014 story: “BREAKING: British Burn Washington … 2 Centuries Ago“)

August 27, 1964
Southeast Florida is hit by Hurricane Cleo. The South Florida Sun-Sentinel looks back:

Hurricane Cleo blasted Key Biscayne and then moved north along the state’s coastline, following State Road 7 and passing over Miami, Opa-locka, West Hollywood and Fort Lauderdale.

The hurricane caused massive flooding, structural damage and destruction of the citrus crop. It also prevented the Fort Lauderdale News from publishing — for the only time in its history.

Like all newspapers of the era, the News, an afternoon newspaper that was the precursor to the Sun-Sentinel, was printed using linotype machines and molten lead.

Thanks to Cleo, the power was out so long the News could not melt lead to form news type. News employees were trapped inside overnight.

— “1964 – Hurricane Cleo. The day the News didn’t publish
A story excerpt from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel

(Video: “Hurricane Cleo 1964 WCKT”)

Media History Trivia Question
The President of the United States during the War of 1812 helped write the Bill of Rights and the First Amendment. What was his name? (Answer)

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  • DNACowboy

    That’ll teach you uppity rebels ;-)