Britain Burns US Capital

Two hundred years ago this week British troops torched and looted the US White House in one of the final episodes of the War of 1812.

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Unfortunately, the British scientific experiment to blockade the United States failed.

More happily, the United States experiment to take Toronto from the British also failed.

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British troops collected souvenirs from their fire, including portraits of the monarch King George III and Queen Charlotte, which they took to the safety of Bermuda.

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Strangely, the Americans have no interest in reclaiming the pictures. But the White House still shows scars from the fire, due to the reluctance to redecorate one of the doorways.