On May 7, 1775 George Washington left his home at Mount Vernon, Virginia and rode North on his horse to philadelphia to attend the Second Continental Congress. Bill Bennett describes Washington’s ride that day: As he rode along, his thoughts were pulled in opposite directions. Ahead, war loomed—fighting had broken out at Lexington and Concord. Behind him, at his beloved plantation, the fields were full of green wheat and newly planted corn. Herring were running in the river, and the gardens were in bloom. He was not sure when he would be able to return.
Washington loved his country life and probably hoped the looming war for independence would not last long and that he would soon return to his agriculture pursuits. Twenty-two years passed before he returned after years of a hard won war and 8 years as America’s first president. “At the age of sixty-five I am recommencing my agricultural pursuits and rural amusements, which at all times have been the most pleasing occupation of my life, and most congenial with my temper,” he wrote in 1797. He died two years later in 1799 and was laid to rest on a hillside at Mount Vernon, where he and Martha Washington still rest today.
Also on this day,
In 1915 a German U-boat sunk the British Liner Lusitania off the coast of Ireland. 1200 people died including 178 Americans. It has become a legend of history that this event hastened the entry of the United States into WW I. But since it was almost 2 years later, in April of 1917, before the U.S. actually did enter WW I, this theory is weak.
May 7th is also VE day, Victory over Europe, because the Germans officially surrendered that day. That didn’t end WW II because Japan did not surrender until after atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6th and 9th.