This Day (Washington Froze Here Edition)

Published:October 31, 2012 by Brendan Wolfe

On this day in 1753, the Virginia governor dispatched George Washington and six of his best men to trek all the way to Ohio country, where they were to demand the departure of a French military force.

Good luck with that.

The journey, conducted in winter, proved an arduous one, and the French, predictably, told the future Founding Father to go stuff it. Nevertheless, Washington rinsed and repeated the next year, this time with 140 soldiers at his side. This, as the February 20, 1950, issue of Life magazine declared, was Washington’s “Trek to Fame”—so-named because he killed the French commander, heard the “charming” sound of whistling bullets (as he wrote his brother), and started the French and Indian War, in which he would become a hero.

Still … as treks go, this one looked to be wicked cold.