Whose birthday am I celebrating today?

August 23, 2012

We have met the enemy, and they are ours.

Oliver Hazard Perry – who, symmetrically, was born and died on August 23 – 1785 and 1819, respectively.

Born in South Kingstown, Rhode Island, with a history of accomplished Naval officers on both sides of the family, Oliver served in the War of 1812, initially supervising the construction of naval vessels and the training of their crews for battling the British on Lake Erie.  In 1813 he engaged the British fleet off Put-in-Bay.

The British anticipated an easy victory and the early fighting went in their favor.  After losing his flag ship, Perry sailed for the ship Niagara and was able to ram the lead British ship while firing rifles on the crew.The Battle of Lake Erie became a decisive victory for the Americans.  As a result, Perry became a popular hero and is memorialized throughout the area.

Perry Monument, Put-in-Bay, South Bass Island, Ohio


Ohio History Central

Midwest Connection

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