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Evacuation Day & Sinking A Ship

25 November 1783 – Evacuation Day. On this day in 1783 the last of the British Army left New York following the end of the Revolutionary War. After the Battle of Long Island, in 1776, the city had remained in British control with the British flag flying above Fort George till the British evacuation. During the British occupation of New York, over 10,000 Patriot Sailors and Soldiers would die, more than the combined deaths of every battle fought during the Revolution. The commander of the remaining British forces in America, Sir Guy Carleton, would receive orders to evacuate New York but could not give a date as to when it would be completed. This uncertainty was as a result of over 29,000 loyalist refugees gathering in New York, a combination of loyalists, liberated slaves and military members. As the American forces under George Washington entered the city they found a remaining British Union Jack. The flag had been nailed to a greased poll as a last act of defiance, making the removal of it a hard task. In 1787, the forth anniversary of the evacuation, the first public celebrations were held and it would become a de facto national holiday for nearly a century to follow. 

29 November 1944 – During WW2 the submarine USS Archerfish sinks the Japanese aircraft carrier Shinano. The USS Archerfish was on her fifth patrol of the war near Tokyo Bay, and the ships crew would observe what they thought was an escorted tanker ship leaving the bay and follow it. The crew would discover the tanker was a large aircraft carrier after more observation and after six hours of tracking the enemy ships the USS Archerfish would attack. The submarine would fire 6 torpedoes at the large carrier as it turned into the its line of attack, the torpedoes were set to run shallow in the water in order to hit high on the ship and hopefully cause it to flip from the damage. The Japanese ship would quickly sink and when the USS Archerfish reported the attack officials believed it was just a small carrier, as no large carriers were suspected to be in the area. Later on it was found that the submarine had sunk the Shinano, the largest aircraft carrier in the world at the time. USS Archerfish was credited with sinking the 72,000 ton super carrier, and to this day holds the record for the largest ship sunk by a submarine. The USS Archerfish would receive the Presidential Unit Citation and the captain of the ship would receive the Navy Cross for actions taken. 

2 December 1823 – During his seventh annual State of the Union Address, President Monroe would outline what would become known as the Monroe Doctrine. This doctrine asserted the the Old and New World would remain separate, with any intervention in politics in the Americas by foreign powers to be deemed potentially hostile to the USA. In short the doctrine opposed continued European colonization of the Americas and the neutrality of the US in European affairs. Most of Europe ignored the doctrine and the US was not able to actively enforce it due to the small US Navy at the time. Great Britain however supported it and would help keep European powers out of the Americas. The doctrine would shape international policy for years to come, with the USA taking it upon itself to ensure that the Americas remain democratic and free of foreign intervention. 

4 December 1783 – After leading the Continental forces for nearly 8 and a half years, General George Washington would bid farewell to his officers in Fraunces Tavern in New York City and resign his commission days later as the leader of the Continental forces. His resignation gave nations around the world hope that the new nation would not degenerate into chaos with its new independence and was acclaimed in America and abroad.

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