MOUNT VERNON — On June 18, 1812, the United States declared war on Great Britain in an attempt to end British violations of its sovereignty and to preserve its national honor. Monday marked the 200th anniversary of that declaration of war, so to create an awareness of that important period of Ohio and United States history, all 88 counties in Ohio held a flag remembrance ceremony.
Knox County commissioners Teresa Bemiller and Roger Reed were on hand, along with the county’s maintenance superintendent John Alberts, who raised the flag in front of the county courthouse as the city bells peeled in the background.
Also attending were Susan Ruschel, Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR); Beverly Riggs, Daughters of 1812; and Judy Smith and Lois Taylor, both with the DAR and Daughters of 1812.
Commissioner Bemiller read a brief history of the conflict.
On June 1, 1812, President James Madison gave a speech to the U.S. Congress, recounting American grievances against Great Britain, though not specifically calling for a declaration of war. After Madison’s speech, the House of Representatives and the Senate quickly voted to declare war. The conflict formally began on June 18, 1812, when Madison signed the measure into law.
This was the first time that the United States had declared war on another nation.