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13 Star Flag

13 Star Flag.png
  • Flown from 14 June 1777 - 30 May 1795

Our first flag, the 13 Star Flag became the Official United States Flag on June 14th, 1777 when the Second Continental Congress authorized the first Flag Act.  This Flag was to last for a period of 18 years.  

Each star and stripe represented a Colony of which there were thirteen, united nearly one year earlier by the Declaration of Independence. The thirteen Colonies are listed below with the date that each ratified the Constitution and became a State.

Politics and Government

June 14, 1777: the Continental Congress adopts The Stars and Stripes, the American flag.

September 3, 1783: The Treaty of Paris is signed, officially ending the American Revolutionary War.

September 17, 1787: the Constitutional Convention signs The United States Constitution.

April 30, 1789: George Washington is inaugurated as the first President of the United States.

March 26, 1790: The Naturalization Act of 1790 is signed into law, establishing the rules for U.S. citizenship.

1791: The U.S. Congress establishes the First Bank of the United States to manage the country's finances

April 3, 1792: The Coinage Act of 1792 is passed, establishing the U.S. Mint and regulating coinage.

July 9, 1793: The Fugitive Slave Act of 1793 is enacted, allowing the capture of escaped slaves.


1794 Quok Walker Case: In the Massachusetts case of Quok Walker, a former slave, Chief Justice William Cushing ruled that slavery was incompatible with the state's constitution, effectively ending slavery in Massachusetts.

1794: The Jay Treaty is signed between the United States and Great Britain, aiming to resolve outstanding issues from the Treaty of Paris.


Science, Technology and Medicine

1781: The Massachusetts Medical Society is founded, becoming the first medical association in the United States.

November 21, 1783: The first successful manned flight in a hot air balloon takes place in Philadelphia 

Oliver Evans designs and builds the first automatic flour mill in the United States (1785).

May 14, 1787: The American Medical Association is founded in Philadelphia.

1789: Dr. Benjamin Rush publishes "Medical Inquiries and Observations Upon the Diseases of the Mind," contributing to the understanding of mental health (1789).

Samuel Blodgett patents a machine to spin cotton, contributing to the development of textile manufacturing (1794).

April 10, 1790: The U.S. patent system is established.

October 28, 1793: Eli Whitney applies for a patent for his cotton gin invention, revolutionizing the cotton industry.



1779 Thomas Jefferson's "Bill for the More General Diffusion of Knowledge": Thomas Jefferson proposed a bill to the Virginia General Assembly that sought to establish a system of public education in the state. Although the bill was not enacted, it laid the groundwork for discussions about public education.

1785 Land Ordinance of 1785: This ordinance set aside public lands in each township for the support of public schools. This marked an early effort to promote education through public resources.

December 5, 1791: The first U.S. law school, the Litchfield Law School in Connecticut, opens. 


1795 Free African Society: Richard Allen and Absalom Jones established the Free African Society, a mutual aid organization designed to provide support and assistance to newly freed black residents of Philadelphia. 


Arts, Culture and Literature

1780: The American Academy of Arts and Sciences is established in Boston, promoting intellectual and cultural advancement (1780).


1780: Gabriel Prosser's Rebellion: Enslaved African-American Gabriel Prosser planned a large-scale slave rebellion in Richmond, Virginia. 

1784: The first successful daily newspaper in the United States, the "Pennsylvania Packet & General Advertiser," begins publication.

1787: The first American comedy, "The Contrast," written by Royall Tyler, is performed in New York City (1787).

1787 Richard Allen and the Founding of the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME Church): Richard Allen, a former slave, and other black members of St. George's Methodist Episcopal Church in Philadelphia were forced to worship in a segregated balcony. Allen and his followers eventually left the church and established the AME Church.

1789: "The Power of Sympathy," often considered the first American novel, is published anonymously in Boston



1786 - The first American golf club, Harleston Green, is formed in Charleston , SC.

1791 -Earliest recorded reference to baseball game takes place in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. The bylaw was made to protect windows in town’s new Meeting House.

1795 - Creation of the Olympic Club: The Schuylkill Fishing Company of Pennsylvania, also known as the "Olympic Club," was founded in Philadelphia in 1732. While primarily a social and recreational club, it played a role in the development of early competitive rowing events on the Schuylkill River.


International Events (June 14, 1777 - April 30, 1795)

August 26, 1789: The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen is adopted in France during the French Revolution.

January 9, 1793: French revolutionary Louis XVI is executed, marking a turning point in the French Revolution.

Captain James Cook becomes the first European to visit the Hawaiian Islands, marking the beginning of significant interactions between Europeans and Hawaiians (1778).

The French Revolution begins with the convening of the Estates-General, leading to widespread social and political upheaval in France (1789).

Catherine the Great of Russia dies, and her son Paul I ascends to the throne (1796).

Napoleon Bonaparte becomes a prominent military leader in France after suppressing the Paris uprising on October 5 (1795).

The Treaty of Jassy is signed between Russia and the Ottoman Empire, ending the Russo-Turkish War of 1787-1792 (1792).

The British East India Company is granted a monopoly on trade in China through the Macartney Embassy (1793).

The Battle of Savenay takes place during the War in the Vendée, a conflict in western France (1793).

The Glorious First of June, a naval battle between the British Royal Navy and the French Navy, takes place during the French Revolutionary Wars (1794).

The Treaty of Basel is signed, ending the War of the First Coalition between France and Prussia (1795).

Maximilien Robespierre and other key figures in the French Revolution are arrested, marking the end of the Reign of Terror (1794).

The Treaty of Madrid is signed between Spain and the United States, settling territorial disputes (1795).

The Treaty of Greifswald is signed between Prussia and Sweden, ending the war between the two countries (1795).


The Treaty of Sistova is signed between the Ottoman Empire and the Habsburg Monarchy, ending the Russo-Turkish War of 1787-1792 (1791).

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