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Today's featured article

Walled stone fort on top of a green hill overlooking a lake

Fort Ticonderoga is a large 18th-century fort built at a narrows near the south end of Lake Champlain in upstate New York. The site controls a river portage alongside the mouth of the rapids-infested La Chute River in the 3.5 miles (6 kilometers) between Lake Champlain and Lake George that was strategically important during the 18th-century colonial conflicts between Great Britain and France, and again to a lesser extent during the American Revolutionary War. At stake were commonly used trade routes between the English-controlled Hudson River Valley and the French-controlled Saint Lawrence River Valley. The fort attained a reputation for impregnability during the 1758 Battle of Carillon when 4,000 French defenders repelled an attack by 16,000 British troops near the fort. In 1759, the British returned and drove a token French garrison from the fort merely by occupying high ground that threatened the fort. During the American Revolutionary War, the Green Mountain Boys and other state militia under the command of Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold captured it in a surprise attack. The Americans held it until June 1777, when British forces under General John Burgoyne again occupied high ground above the fort and threatened the Continental Army troops, leading them to withdraw. The British abandoned the fort following the failure of the Saratoga campaign, and it ceased to be of military value after 1781. A foundation now operates the fort as a tourist attraction, museum, and research center. (more...)

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De Magere Compagnie

De Magere Compagnie (completed 1637), which depicts a company of schutterij, a voluntary city guard or citizen militia in the medieval and early modern Netherlands. Frans Hals was commissioned to create this, but he was unable to complete it after three years, and the company hired Pieter Codde to finish it. Group portraits such as this of schutterij were known as schuttersstuk, and were popular among the guards themselves.

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