Happy 8th January

What? You don’t know about the 8th of January? For shame! January 8th is the date of the US victory over the British in 1815 in the Battle of New Orleans. Tragically neither party was aware that an end to the war of 1812 had been negotiated with the signing of the Treaty of Ghent on December 24, 1814. The victory was celebrated with great enthusiasm in the United States, and gave Andrew Jackson the reputation of a hero which propelled him to the Presidency. Had the Americans lost, well, perhaps Headlife‘s Grand Union flag would be waving in more than just irony.

Well, in eighteen and fourteen we took a little trip

along with Colonel Jackson down the mighty Mississip.

We took a little bacon and we took a little beans,

And we caught the bloody British near the town of New Orleans.

(The Battle of New Orleans by Jimmy Driftwood)

January 8th used to be a major holiday in America, but was superceded as a patriotic event by some celebration in July. There’s an old film “about” the Battle of New Orleans (with Yul Bryner and Charlton “Don’t call me Moses” Heston) called The Buccaneer.

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