Lost and Found – September 29th Edition

What to remember about September 29th…

  • 1780  John André, British spy and accomplice of Benedict Arnold is convicted and sentenced to hang
  • 1902  Cornerstone of Washington National Cathedral is laid; construction is finally completed on same date in 1990
  • 1918  Allied forces breach the Hindenburg Line; last of the German defenses on the Western Front
  • 1939  After the invasion of Poland, Germany and the Soviet Union agree to divide control of the country between them
  • 1966  The Chevrolet Camaro officially goes on sale at dealerships
  • 1982  The 1st of 7 victims dies in the Chicago Tylenol poisonings
  • 1988  Mountain climber Stacy Allison becomes 1st American woman to reach the summit of Mt. Everest
  • 1988  Space Shuttle program resumes after Challenger disaster with launch of Discovery
  • 1990  American F-22 Raptor flies for the 1st time
  • 2005  Senate confirms John Roberts as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
  • 2006  U.S. Navy SEAL Michael A. Monsoor dies in Iraq; he will be awarded the Medal of Honor for his selfless actions

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One response to “Lost and Found – September 29th Edition

  1. In response to some comments and questions about Benedict Arnold…

    I would argue that in addition to Arnold’s wounded pride and weak character, his wife had a great deal to do with his treason. Arnold had remarried after his retirement for “medical reasons” in 1778. His new wife was the socialite daughter of a British sympathizer. Trying to live up to her standards left him in dire financial straits at home and under pressure in the community. His wife’s continued and frequent personal contacts on the British side helped to facilitate early communication for the treasonous plot. Once he was revealed and had escaped, Arnold did write to Washington to have his wife granted safe passage to her family in Philadelphia. Washington granted the wish but tried to exchange Major Andre for Arnold so as to bring justice to the person he saw as the greater villain.

    Historians have long disagreed over the character of Arnold in his early life. Many of those tales may be the result of the demonization he was subject to after his treason. However, the trail of lawsuits, accusations, and financial settlements that occurred after the war may just indicate that the man felt that after treason there were no standards left to uphold. He even fathered a bastard child and only aknowledged him after death.

    Whatever his stated reasons or our imperfect understanding of his actions, the life of Benedict Arnold stands as a cautionary tale that “If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.”