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First engagement of the French and Indian War

May 28, 2025

On May 28, 1754, the first engagement of the French and Indian War occurred as a Virginia militia led by 22-year-old George Washington launched a surprise attack on a party of French in southwestern Pennsylvania. 🇬🇧🇫🇷

The skirmish had international implications. Though fighting began in 1754, war wasn’t officially declared between Great Britain and France until 1756 when the Seven Years War began in Europe. It would rage on across the world until 1763.

Did you know? Benjamin Franklin’s famous “Join or Die” cartoon (a drawing of a snake broken into pieces, each representing a colony) was first created for the French and Indian War. Franklin was encouraging colonial governments to unite into a federation in order to win the war. 🐍🐍🐍

Present day Cajuns are descended from Acadians expelled from Canada by the British during the French and Indian War. The refugees fled to French-held Louisiana, where “Acadian” was soon shortened to “Cajun.”

Portrait of George Washington, Charles Willson Peale, 1772


May 28, 2025
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