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Today’s Notable Events
Memorable U. S. Event
December 14, 1799 – Death of George Washington
On December 12, 1799, Washington spent several hours inspecting his farms on horseback, in snow and later hail and freezing rain. He sat down to dine that evening without changing his wet clothes. The next morning, he awoke with a bad cold, fever, and a throat infection called quinsy that turned into acute laryngitis and pneumonia. Washington died on the evening of December 14, 1799, at his home aged 67, while attended by Dr. James Craik, one of his closest friends, Dr. Gustavus Richard Brown, Dr. Elisha C. Dick, and Tobias Lear V, Washington’s personal secretary. Lear would record the account in his journal, writing that Washington’s last words were “‘Tis well.” Modern doctors believe that Washington died largely because of his treatment, which included calomel and bloodletting, resulting in a combination of shock from the loss of five pints of blood, as well as asphyxia and dehydration.
Throughout the world men and women were saddened by Washington’s death. Napoleon ordered ten days of mourning throughout France and in the United States thousands wore mourning clothes for months. To protect their privacy, Martha Washington burned the correspondence between her husband and herself following his death. Only three letters between the couple have survived.
Civil War Cycle – Era of Good Feeling – First Turning, High (1788-1821)
Notable Foreign Birthday
Tycho Brahe – Early astronomer
Tycho Brahe, born Tyge Ottesen Brahe (de Knudstrup) (14 December 1546 – 24 October 1601), was a Danish nobleman known for his accurate and comprehensive astronomical and planetary observations. Coming from Scania, then part of Denmark, now part of modern-day Sweden, Tycho was well known in his lifetime as an astronomer and alchemist.
Elder of U. S. Contemporaries: Colonial Cycle – Puritan Generation – Prophet (Idealist) (1584-1614)