I think we should start planning now to once again annually celebrate Evacuation Day in NYC on November 25th, for it is the day the last of the British troops departed from NYC in 1783 after occupying NYC for seven years during the Revolutionary War. How many New Yorkers know NYC was once occupied, so here’s the scoop.
Though not celebrated officially in recent years, Evacuation Day is an important Day in NYC history, and one I did not know about until recently. The British evacuated NY Harbor on November 25, 1783, after occupying it for seven years, starting on November 16,1776 when George Washington retreated with his Continental Army. Evacuation Day was celebrated annually until 1844, and then intermittently afterwards , as Thanksgiving Day became the priority celebration starting with Abraham Lincoln.
I call for an annual celebration of Evacuation Day in The Battery or Governor’s Island starting in 2016, where people stood, watched and cheered as the British ships left the Harbor back in 1783. This would be 240 years after the British first occupied New York City, and 233 years to the day when they high-tailed out.