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Thousands Turn Out For 40th Re-enactment of Washington’s Delaware Crossing

December 26, 1992

WASHINGTON CROSSING, Pa. (AP) _ Thousands lined the frozen banks of the Delaware River on Friday to watch the 40th re-enactment of George Washington’s Christmas Day crossing into New Jersey during the Revolutionary War.

In 1776, Washington’s soldiers surprised British-led Hessian troops celebrating the holiday near Trenton, N.J. Historians believe the victory was a turning point in the Revolutionary War.

Four big wooden rowboats carried 120 people on Friday’s 21-minute crossing.

Retired stockbroker James Gallagher, impersonating Washington for the eighth straight year, stood in the stern of one boat.

″It was fantastic, thrilling, and remarkable how the crowd responded, how enthusiastic they were, how they cheered,″ said Gallagher, 70.

″There was a girl from Bosnia, who was impressed with the liberty that we have in the United States,″ he said.

More than 10,000 people watched, said Janet Lowry, executive director of Washington Crossing Historic Park, located about 30 miles northeast of Philadelphia.

James Aldridge, 65, of Joshua, Texas, annually visits his daughter in nearby Willow Grove and has watched the re-enactment for the past two decades.

″I love it,″ he said. ″This is the greatest thing in the world. It really makes you feel good and appreciate where you live.″

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