THIS DAY IN VIRGINIA HISTORY
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December 29, 1924
Washington Crossed the Allegheny River
Returning from delivering a missive from Lieutenant Governor Robert Dinwiddie (1692–1770) to the French commander at Fort Le Boeuf (in modern-day Waterford, Pennsylvania), Major George Washington (1732–1799) braved a dangerous nighttime crossing of the ice-filled Allegheny River. He and his companion, Christopher Gist (1706–1759), hastily built a raft, which they abandoned in the river after Washington fell into the water. They struggled to an island, and in the morning found that the water had iced over, thus allowing them to walk to the other side of the river. In 1924 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, opened a bridge near the place of Washington's crossing.