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Today January 5th is a day when history and genealogy come together, there are many days during the year that have events from the past that interest the genealogist or the historian and today is a day that each will find interest in the same events.

The first of these events occurred in 1781 when Benedict Arnold led a British Navy expedition landing in Richmond Virginia where they would burn Richmond. Arnold known as a turncoat having been born in Connecticut, served with both General Washington and for the British.

Benedict Arnold was appointed a Brigadier General of the British Army and after burning Richmond, his second wife Peggy Shippen Arnold pleaded she had no knowledge of the incident. She was sent by carriage to Philadelphia on the orders of General George Washington. To this day the name Benedict Arnold remains a name used to mean a traitor.

The next event that took place on this day of significance was in the year 1896, this was when a type of radiation was discovered by Wilhelm Roentgen a German Physicist that would become the X-ray.

Both of these events made changes in history, the burning of Richmond is something that has been played out in many different ways in books and on movie screens. Just as the medical community gaining the technology of the X-ray. This can benefit the genealogist in knowing that by the 1900’s certain conditions could be seen by X-ray and might be more accurate than conditions diagnosed before this advancement in medical technology.

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