Today in Southern History: The Declaration of Independence

4 July 1776  

On this date in 1776…

The Second Continental Congress announced that it had unanimously adopted the Declaration of Independence, largely authored by Thomas Jefferson. (Actually adopted and signed on the 2ndof July)

Other Years:
  • 1584 – An expedition Sir Walter Raleigh dispatched and led by Philip Amadas and Arthur Barlowe to explore the eastern coast of North America arrived with the first colonists on Roanoke Island to establish Sir Walter Raleigh’s colony.
  • 1777 – Shawnee warriors attacked Boonesborough for a second time in four months. Again, the stockade proved too strong against the Shawnee assault and the Indians broke off the attack.
  • 1803 – The Louisiana Purchase was announced to the American people.
  • 1828 – Confederate General John Johnston Pettigrew was born in Tyrrell County, North Carolina.
  • 1863 – Vicksburg, Mississippi fell to federal forces.
  • 1863 – More than six hundred died in a failed Confederate assault on federal forts around Helena, Arkansas in an effort to relieve pressure on the besieged town of Vicksburg, Mississippi by drawing away federal troops.
  • 1870 – The Great Steamboat Race ended when the Robert E. Lee reached St. Louis, Missouri six hours and thirty-six minutes ahead of the Natchez.
  • 1881 – Booker T. Washington established the Tuskegee Institute in Tuskegee, Alabama.
  • 1984 – Richard Petty won his 200th and final victory in the Firecracker 400 at Daytona International Speedway.

Read: Why Know Southern History?

© 2022 KnowSouthernHistory.Org
All Rights Reserved

Courtesy of KnowSouthernHistory.Org

Today in Southern History: Pickett’s Charge

3 July 1863  

On this date in 1863…

Confederate generals George Pickett and John Pettigrew launched their divisions on a doomed charge up Cemetery Ridge at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. After ineffective artillery fire began the battle, Pickets Division was practically destroyed by massed federal rifle and artillery fire, but even still managed to reach and briefly take a small part of the federal line before being repulsed by a counter attack.

Other Years:
  • 1724 – Frenchman Etienne Veniard de Bourgmont left Fort Orleans to meet with the Padoucas tribe in an effort to establish peace and trade with them. He is accompanied by 100 Missouri and 64 Osage warriors.
  • 1775 – Gen. George Washington took command of the Continental Army.
  • 1962 – Jackie Robinson of Cairo, Georgia became the first black player to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
  • 1990 – The members of the 2 Live Crew rap group were formally charged with obscenity in Florida.
  • 1994 – According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, This is the deadliest day in Texas traffic history, with forty-six people were killed in crashes on the state’s highways.
  • 1997 – Mississippi became the first state to settle the tobacco lawsuit.

Read: Why Know Southern History?

© 2022 KnowSouthernHistory.Org
All Rights Reserved

Courtesy of KnowSouthernHistory.Org

Today in Southern History: Day Two at Gettysburg

2 July 1863  

On this date in 1863…

The Battle of Gettysburg continued to rage with Confederate assaults on Little & Big Round Tops, Devil’s Den, the Wheatfield, the Peach Orchard, Cemetery Hill and Culp’s Hill at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

Other Years:
  • 1776 – Richard Henry Lee of Virginia’s resolution that the American colonies “are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States” was adopted by the Continental Congress.
  • 1810 – Confederate statesman and general, Robert Augustus Toombs was born in Washington, Georgia.
  • 1843 – An alligator fell from sky during a thunderstorm into the streets of Charleston, South Carolina.
  • 1947 – An object crashed near Roswell, New Mexico that the U.S. Army Air Force insisted was a weather balloon, but eyewitness accounts claimed was an alien spacecraft.
  • 1962 – The first Wal-Mart Discount City opened in Rogers, Arkansas.
  • 1964 – U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the most sweeping civil rights legislation since Reconstruction.
  • 1980 – U.S. President Jimmy Carter re-instated draft registration for males 18 years of age. 
  • 1998 – Atlanta-based CNN retracted a story it aired  that alleged that U.S. troops had used nerve gas to kill American defectors during the Vietnam War. 

Read: Why Know Southern History?

© 2022 KnowSouthernHistory.Org
All Rights Reserved

Courtesy of KnowSouthernHistory.Org

Today in Southern History:

1 July 1941


On this date in 1941…

The U.S. Congress established the Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky.


Other Years:
  • 1861 – The U.S. War Department decreed that Kansas and Tennessee were to be scoured for “volunteers” to bolster the federal army.
  • 1862 – The Battle of Malvern Hill, Virginia.
  • 1863 – The Battle of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania began when Confederate troops searching for shoes and other needed desperately supplies collided with federal cavalry.
  • 1933 – Wiley Post of Texas became the first person to fly solo around the world, traveling 15,596 miles in seven days, 18 hours and 45 minutes.
  • 1980 – U.S. President Jimmy Carter signed legislation that provided for 2 acres of land near the Lincoln Memorial for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. 

Read: Why Know Southern History?

© 2022 KnowSouthernHistory.Org
All Rights Reserved

Courtesy of KnowSouthernHistory.Org

Today in Southern History: The Statehouse Dome Flag

30 June 2000  

On this date in 2000…

Despite overwhelming public opposition, the Confederate Battleflag was removed from the statehouse dome in Columbia, South Carolina.  Voter outrage with a “No Votes for Turncoats” campaign replaced the governor and almost all legislators responsible during the next election.

Other Years:

  • 1521 – Spanish Captains Francisco Gordillo, and Pedro de Quexos, landed in Florida and claimed it for the King of Spain.
  • 1831 – Future Confederate General Robert E. Lee married Mary Custis at the Arlington House in Arlington, Virginia.
  • 1834 – The U.S. Congress created Indian Territory in present-day Oklahoma.
  • 1862 – The Battle of Frayser’s Farm (White Oak Swamp), Virginia.
  • 1870 – The steamboats Natchez and Robert E. Lee began their historic race on the Mississippi River at New Orleans, Louisiana.
  • 1911 – The U.S. Assay Office in St Louis, Missouri closed.
  • 1936 – Margaret Mitchell’s novel Gone with the Wind was published.
  • 1986 – Georgia’s anti-sodomy law was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision.
  • 2013 – Nineteen fire fighters were killed while trying to control a wildfire in Yarnell, Arizona.

Read: Why Know Southern History?

© 2022 KnowSouthernHistory.Org
All Rights Reserved

Courtesy of KnowSouthernHistory.Org