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In just a few days, we will celebrate, or at least honor, two remarkably significant events of American history. They both occurred in Pennsylvania, one obviously in 1776, the other in 1863. But a third one – also in the Keystone State, also in 1863 – deserves some recognition today (June 28th), its anniversary.
The first and most obvious is American Independence Day, July 4th, celebrating our Declaration of Independence from Great Britain and its “Mad King,” George III. The second would occur just 87 years later on a battlefield at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
But there’s a third, almost forgotten event that involves the burning of a bridge of the Susquehanna River in southern Pennsylvania, which separates the cities of York, to the west, and Lancaster, to the east. Not far north is the state Capitol, Harrisburg. In the lower left-hand corner of this map, you’ll find Gettysburg. And this event would have some bearing on events there just a few days later, in 1863.