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Death of a President & Red Dawn

13 December 1952 – The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution are moved from the Library of Congress to the National Archives. The move was in order to place the Charters of Freedom, The Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and Bill of Rights, all in one location for public access. The move was accompanied with a parade and military protection. The documents were transported in a USMC armored personnel carrier, the wooden encased, gas sealed documents being laid on top of a mattress for extra protection during the move. As well as being transported in the APC, the documents were accompanied by a color guard and military procession, two light tanks were there for protection as they traveled. Upon arrival at the National Archives it would take 48 hours for the documents to be stored in their new home, with each document being stored in a humidity controlled case filled with helium. Today the documents are viewed by over 1 Million visitors each year.   

13 December 2003 – Operation Red Dawn. With the support of 1st Brigade 4th Infantry Division, Task Force 121 would capture Saddam Hussein as he hid in ad-Dawr, near Tikrit, Iraq. Saddam had been in hiding since the initial stages of the invasion of Iraq, with him being labeled as the top target by the military. After months of capturing members of his inner circle his location was narrowed down to a remote farming compound in ad-Dawr. After the initial search areas were cleared with no trace of him, US Special Operations members prepared to withdraw from the area. It was only when an operator accidentally exposed the hole Saddam was hiding in that he was found. Saddam would not resist his capture and was found with several weapons and $750,000 in his possession. He would be tried for crimes against humanity and executed in December 2006.

14 December 1799 – After spending two days in bad winter weather and a day laying sick in bed George Washington would die. The snow, sleet and cold brought about a severe inflammation in his throat and a combination of possibly improper treatment caused his condition to only worsen. During the two days of treatment doctors would perform bloodletting, with at least five pints of blood being bleed from him. With death looming Washington would instruct his private secretary to wait three days before burying him, over fears of being buried alive. On December 18th his body would be laid to rest at his estate at Mount Vernon. His wife Martha would wear a black cape in mourning of his death for a year and burn all their letter correspondence, with only five letters written between known to still exist.  Washington’s last words as recorded by his private secretary were “Tis Well” in respect to his conversation about his last wishes.

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