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A future American President escapes assassination. A former President and a British general cross paths, without actually seeing each other. Two historic dates share a shattering event that caused economic reform in their time. These events in the past share a common thread. A thread that makes history a fascinating, fun and educational experience for everyone.

While examining the following four events of the 18th century, ask yourself, did these events happen by design, or were they historic accidents. Each of these events altered the course of time. In addition, as you examine these events, you will notice that history can and does repeat itself. The players and circumstances may be different; nevertheless, they happened and altered history, as we know it today.

What do an English Prison, an American President and a British General have in common?

Congress appointed Henry Laurens, the late President of the Continental Congress as commissioner to the Netherlands in 1780 to negotiate a treaty. During the voyage to the Netherlands, he was captured by the British and imprisoned in the Tower of London for 15 months. He was soon exchanged for General Charles Cornwallis, who surrendered to the Americans at Yorktown. Laurens was the last American held as a prisoner of war in the Famous Tower of London.

What do the years 1720 and 1929 have in common?

The Stock markets of the United States and Britain crashed. October 1929 was the year that Wall street crashed to the ground, and millions were financially ruined. In 1720, the South Seas Bubble Burst.

In each instance, people borrowed heavily to gain profit. The companies offering the stock to the public to gain more buyers manipulated prices of stocks. In the end, both events caused economic reform and regulation of the market.

What do George Washington and Patrick Ferguson have in common?

They both were at the Battle of Brandywine. Both were Military officers of the highest caliber. Patrick Ferguson, designer of the Ferguson Rifle, had the chance to shoot George Washington. He chose not to because as he later wrote, "The idea of shooting in the back someone who was going about his duties so coolly, and did not pose a threat, 'disgusted' him."( Patrick Ferguson Biography)

What do Benjamin Franklin, Chief Joseph Brant, Paul Revere, Lord Nelson and Mozart have in common?

Each of these men is a famous Freemason of the 18th century. Freemasonry is a fraternal order of brotherhood that teaches morality and ethics and trains its members to be of service to their families and communities. People accused Freemasonry as a conspiracy to create a one-world order that controls every aspect of daily life.

These are but four events that share a common thread in time. There are countless other events that share a common thread or idea. So as you read about the past, or do research for your classes, keep in mind that history is more than facts, dates and events. It is a story of coincidence and accidents that make the human story a fascinating subject.