[Daily article] February 9: USS Constellation vs L’Insurgente

The USS Constellation captured the French L’Insurgente in a single-ship
action between the frigates on 9 February 1799. The previous year,
French privateering attacks against American vessels had led to the
undeclared Quasi-War. Four US naval squadrons were sent to the Caribbean
with orders to seize armed French vessels and prevent attacks on
American ships. The squadron under Commodore Thomas Truxtun was on
assignment in the waters between Puerto Rico and Saint Kitts when his
flagship Constellation, cruising independently, met and engaged
L’Insurgente, commanded by Michel-Pierre Barreaut. After chasing the
French ship through a storm, Truxtun forced an engagement. The French
frigate surrendered after 74 minutes with heavy casualties; the
Americans sustained only a few casualties. L’Insurgente was taken to
Saint Kitts and commissioned into the United States Navy as
USS Insurgent. The action was the first victory over an enemy warship
for the newly formed navy, and Truxtun was praised by the American
government and public.

Read more:

Today’s selected anniversaries:


After no presidential candidate received a majority of
electoral votes, the United States House of Representatives elected John
Quincy Adams president.


A group of meteors was visible across much of the eastern
seaboard of North and South America, leading astronomers to conclude
that the source had been a small, short-lived natural satellite of the


World War II: Allied forces declared Guadalcanal secure, ending
the Guadalcanal Campaign as a significant strategic victory for Allied
forces fighting Japan in the Pacific War.


The Boeing 747 made its first flight, with test pilots Jack
Waddell and Brien Wygle at the controls and Jess Wallick at the flight
engineer’s station.


Breaking a seventeen-month ceasefire, the Provisional Irish
Republican Army detonated a powerful truck bomb in Canary Wharf, London,
killing 2 people and injuring more than 100 others.

Wiktionary’s word of the day:

grand fromage:
(humorous) A big cheese; an important person.

Wikiquote quote of the day:

  Above all, do not lie to yourself. A man who lies to himself and
listens to his own lie comes to a point where he does not discern any
truth either in himself or anywhere around him, and thus falls into
disrespect towards himself and others. Not respecting anyone, he ceases
to love, and having no love, he gives himself up to passions and coarse
pleasures, in order to occupy and amuse himself, and in his vices
reaches complete bestiality, and it all comes from lying continually to
others and to himself. A man who lies to himself is often the first to
take offense. It sometimes feels very good to take offense, doesn’t
it? And surely he knows that no one has offended him, and that he
himself has invented the offense and told lies just for the beauty of
it, that he has exaggerated for the sake of effect, that he has picked
on a word and made a mountain out of a pea — he knows all of that, and
still he is the first to take offense, he likes feeling offended, it
gives him great pleasure, and thus he reaches the point of real
–Fyodor Dostoevsky

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