What Happened in December 1776

Historical Events

  • Dec 5 First US fraternity, Phi Beta Kappa (William & Mary College), forms

Historic Event

Dec 8 George Washington's retreating army crosses Delaware River from NJ

Historic Publication

Dec 19 Thomas Paine publishes his 1st "American Crisis" essay beginning "These are the times that try men's souls" (date disputed)

  • Dec 23 Continental Congress negotiates a war loan of $181,500 from France
  • Dec 25 George Washington crosses Delaware, surprises and defeats 1,400 Hessians
  • Dec 26 George Washington defeats Hessians at Battle of Trenton in American Revolutionary War
  • Dec 31 Rhode Island establishes wage & price controls to curb inflation: Limit is 70 cents a day for carpenters, 42 cents for tailors

Famous Birthdays

  • Dec 6 Paul Friedrich Struck, composer, born in Stralsund, Holy Roman Empire (d. 1820)
  • Dec 16 Johann Wilhelm Ritter, German physicist (d. 1810)
  • Dec 27 Nikolay Kamensky, Russian general (d. 1811)
  • Dec 29 Charles Macintosh, Scottish chemist and inventor (waterproof fabric), born in Glasgow, Scotland (d. 1843)
  • Dec 31 Johann Spurzheim, German physician, born in Trier, Electorate of Trier, Germany (d. 1832)

Famous Deaths

  • Dec 26 Johann Gottlieb Rall, Hessian colonel/mercenary, dies in battle in American Revolutionary War