This Day In History
Sunday, May 20, 2018
On This Day

1861

Events

January 11, 1861

Alabama secedes from the United States. Alabama declared its secession from the Union and joined the Confederate States of America. While few battles were fought in the state, Alabama contributed about 120,000 soldiers to the American Civil War. Alabama's slaves were freed by the 13th Amendment in 1865. During Reconstruction, the new state legislators created a public school system for the first time, as well as establishing some welfare institutions to help its people. Alabama was officially restored to the Union in 1868.
Alabama, United States

January 29, 1861

Seal of Kansas
Seal of Kansas
Kansas is admitted as the 34th U.S. state. Kansas is a U.S. state located in the Midwestern United States. It is named after the Kansas River which flows through it, which in turn was named after the Kansa Native American tribe, which inhabited the area. The tribe's name is often said to mean "people of the wind" or "people of the south wind," although this was probably not the term's original meaning. Residents of Kansas are called "Kansans."
Kansas, United States

February 4, 1861

Great Seal
Great Seal
In Montgomery, Alabama, delegates from six break-away U.S. states meet and form the Confederate States of America. The Confederate States of America (also called the Confederacy, the Confederate States, C.S.A. and The South) was a government set up from 1861 to 1865 by eleven Southern slave states that had declared their secession from the United States. Secessionists argued that the United States Constitution was a compact among states, an agreement which each state could abandon without consultation. The U.S. government (The Union) rejected secession as illegal. Following a Confederate attack upon Fort Sumter, a federal fort in the Confederate state of South Carolina, the U.S. used military action to defeat the Confederacy. No foreign nation officially recognized the Confederate States of America as an independent country, but several did grant belligerent status.
Confederate States of America, American Civil War

June 3, 1861

Union forces rout Confederate...
Union forces rout Confederate troops in Barbour County, Virginia, now West Virginia, in first land battle of the War. The Battle of Philippi, also known mockingly as "The Philippi Races", was fought on June 3, 1861, in and around Philippi, Virginia (now West Virginia) as part of the Western Virginia Campaign of the American Civil War. It was the first organized land action in the war (the impromptu Battle of Fairfax Court House took place two days earlier), but is often treated dismissively as a skirmish rather than a significant battle.
battle, Philippi, American Civil War

October 26, 1861

The Pony Express officially...
The Pony Express officially ceases operations. The Pony Express was a fast mail service crossing the Great Plains, the Rocky Mountains, and the High Sierra from St. Joseph, Missouri, to Sacramento, California, from April 3, 1860 to October 1861. It became the west's most direct means of east-west communication before the telegraph and was vital for tying California closely with the Union just before the American Civil War.
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Births

September 30, 1861
William Wrigley Jr

William Wrigley Jr. was a U.S. chewing gum industrialist. He was founder and eponym of the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company in 1891. He was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
November 6, 1861
James Naismith

James A. Naismith was a Canadian-American sports coach and innovator. He invented the sport of basketball in 1891 and is often credited with introducing the first football helmet. He wrote the original basketball rulebook, founded the University of Kansas basketball program, and lived to see basketball adopted as an Olympic demonstration sport in 1904 and as an official event at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin.
November 30, 1861
Ludwig Thuille

Ludwig Thuille was a German composer and teacher, numbered for a while among the leading operatic composers of the 'Munich School', whose most famous representative was Richard Strauss.

Deaths

April 8, 1861
Elisha Otis

Elisha Graves Otis was an American industrialist, founder of the Otis Elevator Company, and inventor of a safety device that prevents elevators from falling if the hoisting cable fails. He worked on this device while living in Yonkers, New York in 1852, and had a finished product in 1854.
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