ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY.

American diplomat known, on account of the acute letter famine, as ——– —–.

On this day in 1797, Congress rescinded the Treaty of Alliance with France in response to the XYZ Affair, a scandal in which it was discovered that the French government had delayed negotiating with an American commission until the Americans had used up all the letters of the alphabet. The scandal led to an undeclared war known as the Quasi-War, undeclared because no more letters were available to write a declaration of war. Not until 1812 was the United States Government finally able to scrape together enough letters for a proper declaration; and then, because the letters F and C were still hard to come by, it declared war against Great Britain instead of France.