NYNEWYOR-L ArchivesArchiver > NYNEWYOR > 2011-11 > 1322199944
Subject: [NYNEWYOR] Happy Evacuation Day (Friday, November 25)
Date: Fri, 25 Nov 2011 00:45:44 -0500 (EST)
Friday, November 25, is the 228th Anniversary of Evacuation Day.
Now almost forgotten, Evacuation Day, especially in the NYC area, was
celebrated as a holiday long before the Fourth of July:
On November 25, 1783, the British Army boarded their naval vessels and
evacuated New York City (then only coterminous with New York County), their
wartime headquarters and their last military position* in the United States
during the Revolutionary War.
As the British sailed away south in retreat through the Narrows separating
Staten Island on the west and Long Island on the east, the last thing they
saw, as their ships sunk below the horizon, was the Flag of the United
States of America flying atop the Liberty Pole (an extended flag pole) in the
frontyard of the Dutch Reformed Church in the Hamlet of New Utrecht, Town
of New Utrecht, in the south-central part of Kings County. Today this
location is at Christopher Columbus Boulevard (18th Avenue) and Liberty Pole
Boulevard (84th Street) in the Bensonhurst neighborhood in the south-central
part of the New York City Borough of Brooklyn. (The NYC Borough of Brooklyn
is coterminous with the NYS Kings County).
Replaced six times over the years, the 106' Liberty Pole is the last
remaining Liberty Pole in the original thirteen United States. On top of the
Pole is the original eagle and weathervane. The eagle is made of wood and has
a 5' wingspan. After two hundred and twenty-eight years, the weather has
weakened it considerably and it has been reinforced with iron bands.
The eagle has looked over the bay and seen many sailing vessels,
steamships and war ships. It has been said that the eyes of this golden eagle has
looked upon more change in the world's history than occurred from the days of
Nebuchadnezzar to the day when the eagle was raised.
Here's the URL for the New Utrecht Liberty Pole Association:
Here's the URL for the Dutch Reformed Church (celebrated its 334th
anniversary on Thursday, October 27, 2011):
New Yorkers celebrated November 25 as Evacuation Day for well over a
century. But, with the warming of relations with England immediately preceding
World War I and R. H. Macy's publicity campaigns for a parade celebrating
another late November festival, Evacuation Day celebrations faded away.
I hope this information is useful or, at least, interesting.
Great Falls, MT & Jericho, NY
* Although the Treaty of Paris of 1783 said that Britain would evacuate
all posts within the new United States, they did not. Scattered posts from
present-day Vermont to present-day Michigan remained in British hands until
Jay's Treaty of 1795. Niagara was one of these British held forts on U. S.