On this day…

Today is the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s death.

16 December 1775 – 18 July 1817

Portrait of Jane Austen in watercolour and pencil. By Cassandra Austen.

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On this day…

This early 1900s postcard is of the Battle of Alamance, a pre-American Revolution battle that took place in North Carolina on the 16th of May, 1771.

Battle_of_Alamance_Postcard Battle of Alamance Postcard 16th May 1771

On this day: the US Marine Corps was formed

Sketch of Tun Tavern in the Revolutionary War, birthplace of the Continental Marines, from which is descended the USMC.

The Tun Tavern as it was during the American Revolution

On the 10th of November, 1775, a meeting was held at the Tun Tavern in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Two battalions of Marines were needed for the American Revolution.

This meeting is generally recognised as the day the US Marine Corps was formed, though it is possible the location is not accurate.

The tavern played a part in a number of significant moments in US history. Others who met there include Benjamin Franklin, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.

The Tun Tavern burnt down in 1781. Today the U.S. Marine Corps National Museum has a Tun Tavern-themed restaurant.

On this day: Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary was published in London

Title page from the second edition of Samuel Johnson's Dictionary 1755

The second edition, 1755.

On the 15th of April, 1755, A Dictionary of the English Language was first published. Created by Samuel Johnson, famously known as Dr Johnson, it was the most influential dictionary of its day, and continued to hold that position until the publication of the Oxford English Dictionary 173 years afterwards.

Samuel Johnson c. 1772, painted by Sir Joshua Reynolds.

Samuel Johnson c. 1772, painted by Sir Joshua Reynolds.

English writer Johnson was born in September 1709 and died in December 1784.