Tomorrow, Saturday, November 25, is Evacuation Day here in New York. It commemorates the day in 1783 when the British left Manhattan after the American Revolutionary War when General George Washington returned in a triumphant parade. He had left the city, starting a long strategic retreat, when he abandoned Fort Washington (in my part of Manhattan) in November of 1776. For the next seven years Manhattan was the headquarters of the British command (as usual, at the center of all important things). Meanwhile our boy George re-grouped and engineered a comeback and stunning victory that turned the world upside down (to coin a phrase).
Evacuation Day was a very important holiday for a very long time in this city with its own special traditions and celebrations. It slowly faded into obscurity, ending completely about the time we entered the Great War (WWI) on the side of the British, making it politically incorrect to taunt our new ally. So it has been about a century since anyone here celebrated the holiday. Perfect for me. Raise a glass – Down the British, Up the Yanks – to steal movie dialogue. Happy Evacuation Day!
NEXT WEEK: A mixed bag.