Winning the Battle of New Orleans
Do you know what many people, especially in
the South, used to celebrate on January 8? On this day in
1815, Major General Andrew Jackson led a small, poorly equipped
army to victory against 8,000 British troops at the Battle of
New Orleans. Jackson became a hero (and later the seventh
president of the United States). Every January 8, during
the 19th century, many people held parties and dances to
celebrate the anniversary of the great victory.
unexpected victory of Jackson's troops is still celebrated in
our culture today. Americans like to cheer for the
"underdog," or the person no one expects to win. Songs
were written about the day like "Huzza! for General Jackson."
"Huzza" was a word shouted in appreciation, like "bravo" or
"hurrah." Here are some lyrics from the song:
New Orleans I say,
Where Jackson show'd them Yankee play,
And beat them off and gain'd the day,
And then we heard the
Huzza! For Gen'ral Jackson."
The song "The
Eighth of January" became a favorite tune for square dancing
even into the 1940s. Perhaps members of your family have heard
the song. Invite them to listen to the traditional fiddle tune
"The Eighth of January" and together yell "Huzza!"