Archive for White House

The Burning of Washington

Posted in 2011, History, The Big Chili Cook-Off, USA with tags , , , , , , , , on 12-12-2011 by thebigchilicookoffevergreen

In August, 1814, the United States and England were at war. President James Madison and his wife, Dolley, resided in the White House in Washington D.C., and on August 22nd, President Madison left the White House to meet with his generals on the battlefield. At just this time, British troops were about to enter the capitol, threatening to burn it in retaliation for the American attack on York (now Toronto), Ontario, Canada in June 1812.

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The President's House after the fire - 1814

As President Madison was preparing to leave, he asked Dolley if she had the “courage or firmness” to wait for his return, and asked her to collect important state papers and prepare to flee at a moment’s notice. The next day, Dolley and some remaining servants scanned the horizon looking for either Madison’s return, or the appearance of the British. As British troops gathered, Dolley abandoned the Madison’s personal belongings, and chose instead to save a portrait of George Washington by removing it from the frame which was screwed to the wall. Dolley escaped, and met up with her husband at a predetermined meeting place.

When the British arrived at the White House, the Madisons had already fled to safety and the house was empty. According to reports, the soldiers sat down to a meal from the White House scullery and used White House dishes and silver before ransacking the mansion and setting it on fire, destroying all but the outer walls. British troops burned many public buildings, including the U.S. Capitol, although private buildings were preserved. This has been the only time since the Revolutionary War that a foreign power has occupied the United States capital.

The Madisons never again lived in the White House. It was not until 1817, when James Monroe was elected, that a president once again resided at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

On a different note ~  if you haven’t gotten your 2012 Firefighter Calendar yet, it’s not too late! You can purchase them at The Big Chili. 100% of the proceeds from every calendar sold through the end of the year goes to our local fire departments.



Posted in 2011, Our Heros, Remembering September, The Big Chili Cook-Off, USA with tags , , , , , , , on 06-30-2011 by thebigchilicookoffevergreen

Nearly 3,000 people lost their lives on September 11, 2001. Forty of these were passengers and crew members on United Airlines Flight 93 flying out of Newark, New Jersey. The passengers charged the cockpit of the hijaccked airliner in an attempt to gain control of the plane. The plane crashed in a field near Shnksville, Pennsylvania, possibly preventing it from hitting the U.S. Capitol or the White House – only twenty minutes flight time away. “Because of the quick and determined actions of the passengers and crew, Flight 93 was the only one of the four hijacked aircraft that failed to reach the terrorists’ intended target that day. The passengers and crew showed unity, courage, and defiance in the face of adversity.” The National Park Service released on Monday new design images of a planned memorial to the victims of Flight 93, being built in the Pennsylvania field where it crashed. Jeff Reinbold, site manager of the memorial, said the memorial was on schedule to open a day before the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks. Pictures of the planned memorial can be viewed on the National Park Service website.

Never Forget

Posted in 2011, Our Heros, Remembering September, The Big Chili Cook-Off, USA with tags , , , , , , , , on 05-06-2011 by thebigchilicookoffevergreen

The International Association of Fire Fighters General President Harold Schaitberger issued this statement following President Obama’s announcement that Osama bin Laden was killed.

“The nation’s fire fighters and paramedics are grateful to President Obama, our intelligence agencies and the U.S. military forces, including the Navy SEALS who carried out the mission, for providing some peace to the families of those who died in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. We will always remember the 343 members of the FDNY who lost their lives responding that day and continue to think of and assist those still suffering the incredible health effects from working at Ground Zero and the Pentagon. We will never forget their sacrifice. This is a proud moment for America.”

The death of Bin Laden does not undo the events of September 11, 2001, but hopefully this will bring a sense of peace and justice to the families of those we lost.

May we never forget.