December 19th is the birthday of physicist Albert A. Michelson (born 1852, died May 9, 1931), who was the first American to be awarded a Nobel Prize in science, for measuring the speed of light. I’m related to him, by marriage. One of my great-aunts married his brother. – JWR
On Dec 19, 1776, Thomas Paine published “American Crisis”. Here is an excerpt: “These are the times that try men’s souls; the summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.” These words were an inspiration to Washington’s dispirited men, having suffered humiliating defeats and encamped at McKonkey’s Ferry on the Delaware River. The beleaguered troops mustered their remaining hopes for victory, crossed the Delaware, and defeated the hung-over Hessians. The revolution had been salvaged.