July 4, 1754

Washington Surrenders Fort Necessity

George Washington surrenders Fort Necessity—a defensive position he establishes for a small detachment of British regulars, provincials, and Native Americans—after his attempt to force the French to withdraw from the Ohio country goes terribly wrong. In the surrender document, he also unwittingly admits to the assassination of a French envoy. The engagement, which would become famous throughout the Atlantic world, is considered the spark that ignites the Seven Years War.

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