The Eighth of January

You'll be happy to know that today marks the 198th anniversary of the Battle of New Orleans, the last big battle of the War of 1812. The British sailed around Florida after being repelled from Baltimore – You remember that fight, it was where Francis Scott Key wrote the Star Spangled Banner – and attacked New Orleans. Little did the combatants know that a peace treaty had already been signed and the war was over. It proved to be another rout for the unhappy British, celebrated by the Americans in song and story. The Eighth of January pretty much tells it like it was, except for the part about the alligators.

Kate Gallison