TITUSVILLE, N.J. (AP) — George Washington made his Christmas Day trip across the Delaware River — with considerably better weather than the first time.
Re-enactors playing Washington and his troops crossed the Delaware River in the 62nd re-enactment of his daring Christmas 1776 crossing of the river — the trek that turned the tide of the Revolutionary War — between Washington Crossing, Pennsylvania, and Titusville, New Jersey, on Thursday afternoon.
As opposed to the severe weather, including snow and freezing temperatures, that Washington and his troops faced in 1776, the re-enactment was done under mostly sunny skies and 50-degree temperatures.
"This is an iconic event, and for lots of people it's part of their Christmas tradition to see this happen and to honor these early Americans," Joseph Capone, executive director of the nonprofit Friends of Washington Crossing Park, told Trenton's The Times newspaper.
Hundreds of people lined both sides of the river to watch as re-enactors used four replica Durham boats like the ones Washington's troops used. The actor playing Washington, John Godzieba, boarded the final boat, and a cannon blasted as he reached the other side.
Godzieba's three-year term as Washington ends this year.
During the original crossing, boats ferried 2,400 soldiers, 200 horses and 18 cannons across the river. Washington's troops marched 8 miles downriver before battling Hessian mercenaries in the streets of Trenton.
Thirty Hessians were killed, and two Continental soldiers froze to death on the march, but none died in battle.