Christmas Past ...
On Christmas Day two hundred thirty-seven years ago, Captain James Cook guided H.M.S. Resolution to anchor at a coral atoll in the Pacific Ocean just north of the equator. He claimed the island as a discovery of the British Empire and named it Christmas Island after the date, Christmas Day 1777. The island was a tropical paradise.Just a little history of two major world events occurring at the same time, a mere 237 years ago.
Weeks later, Cook would discover more tropical islands and these he would name the Sandwich Islands after a prominent benefactor, the Earl of Sandwich. They would later become known as the Hawaiian Islands.
At the same time as Captain James Cook was enjoying tropical trade winds, General George Washington, along with 11,000 soldiers of the Continental Army, were fending off harsh winter winds in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. The British had captured Philadelphia and defeated the Americans at the battles of Brandywine and Germantown.
Washington's army was bedraggled, beaten, and some were barefoot. They were underfed, underclothed, and low on ammunition. Christmas 1777 was a time of desperation at Valley Forge. And, within weeks, fully half of the Continental Army was lost due to death, disease, and desertion.