On this day in 1812, The United States issued a declaration of war on Great Britain (cheeky colonial bastards). And so began the easy to remember when it took place War of 1812, prompted by Britain’s violations of America’s rights on the high seas (impressing sailors into service with the British Navy) and the involvement of the British in Indian uprisings on the frontiers. The Brits proceeded to loose three in a row frigate on frigate engagements at sea (which nearly drove the rest of their Navy crazy) but pretty much spanked us on land early on, taking Washington DC and burning the capitol and the White House. The war is famous for the unsuccessful bombardment of Fort McHenry with Congreve rockets
(which apparently produced a red glare) and for our slaughter of the Brits in New Orleans well after the war ended.