December 25 - 1776 - George Washington Crosses the Delaware
George Washington crossing the Delaware River in the middle of the night at the head of his troops is one of the iconic images of American history. The moment's fame can often underrate the risk Washington took in moving the Continental Army across an icy river. The war was going terribly for Washington and he was looking for a way to get an important psychological victory. Yet December was the worst time to move with troops or engage in battle, so Washington's options are limited. Across the Delaware from his encampment in Pennsylvania was a large garrison at Trenton, New Jersey, guarded by Hessian mercenaries. Washington's successful crossing and victory at the Battle of Trenton made the entire American morale turn around and propelled his men to fight more successfully throughout the rest of the Revolutionary War.