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Vin Scully calls Washington crossing the Delaware

Vin Scully is a national treasure. In honor of his unparalleled greatness, we're looking back at some of his greatest broadcasts. Today, we remember the night he announced George Washington's iconic crossing of the Delaware River -- December 26, 1776For best results, try reading aloud in the Voice of Vin.

It's the early morning hours of December the 26th, seventeen hundred and seventy-six. The Christmas cheer has given way to a bitter night air, and Washington and his boys are looking to launch an attack. It looks to me like the Red Coats aren't fully expecting this barrage.

The first man to step out toward the icy river is Henry Knox. He's Washington's friend and colonel since the war began. Raised in Boston, Knox left school at the age of 12 to work in a bookshop, if you can believe it, and those street smarts are coming in handy now.

He toes the water and steps back. It looks like the river is too cold for him, and [laughs] who can really blame him?

Washington's army is focused on this spine-tingling moment. I would think that a grasshopper carrying a union jack could lead these troops into battle, but they have a better man for that job.

Knox steps in the water again and he begins directing traffic. Washington looks at him with an approving nod and the first ships begin to cross. Ovid once wrote, "the burden which is well borne becomes light," and Mr. Washington is a wonderful example of those words.

Washington, you'll remember, is no stranger to midnight tactics. The general's performance during the French and Indian War makes us think that he has to be considered a real threat to the British squad.

The first Durham boats are only a few feet away from the far bank now. The rest of the soldiers are looking on with as many butterflies in their chests as they have bullets in their muzzle bags.

Two thousand soldiers are on their feet. And the first boats are across. Washington wipes his right hand across his forehead and dries it on his pantaloon leg.

The time is now four in the morning on the 26th of December. Washington himself now clamors into a boat. He stands at the bow of the ship.

He has had many historic battles, as we've said before. But tonight, George Washington might have the greatest achievement of his career.

Fifteen feet now. There are thousands of men watching and they must have thousands of frogs in their throats. As the poet said, "old men forget: yet all shall be forgot, but he'll remember with advantages what feats he did that day." Five feet now.

He's crossed the Delaware River.

[Ninety seconds of crickets chirping, quiet applause, and men shouting celebratory huzzahs]

Two thousand men are under his command, and tonight -- the 26th day of the 12th month of the year seventeen hundred and seventy-six, George Washington, American, has written his name into the history books of this great country.

-- Dakota Gardner /