The Confederate Constitution – Today In Southern History

11 March 1861  

On this date in 1861…

The Confederate Congress unanimously adopted the Constitution of the Confederate States of America.  


Other Years:

  • 1824 – John C. Calhoun, U.S. Secretary of War, created the Bureau of Indian Affairs, within the War Department. Thomas McKenney was appointed its first commissioner.
  • 1861 – General Braxton Bragg assumed command of the Confederate forces in Florida.
  • 1862 – Confederate General Thomas J. Stonewall Jackson evacuated Winchester, Virginia.
  • 1897 – A meteorite entered the earth’s atmosphere and exploded over New Martinsville, West Virginia. The debris caused damage but no injuries.
  • 1953 – A U.S. Air Force B-47 bomber accidentally dropped a nuclear bomb from 15,000 feet onto Mars Bluff, South Carolina. The bomb created a crater 75 feet across, but did not detonate due to its safety devices.
  • 1993 – Janet Reno of Florida was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate to become the first female attorney general.

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Sam Steele Murdered – Today In Southern History

10 March 1893  

On this date in 1893…

New Mexico State University canceled its first graduation ceremony after its only graduate Sam Steele was robbed and killed the night before.

Other Years:

  • 1656 – In the colony of Virginia, suffrage was extended to all free men regardless of religion. 
  • 1785 – Thomas Jefferson of Virginia was appointed minister to France, succeeding  Benjamin Franklin. 
  • 1848 – The U.S. Senate ratified the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which ended the war with Mexico
  • 1865 – Skirmish at Boyd’s Station, Alabama
  • 1969 – James Earl Ray pled guilty in Memphis to assassinating Martin Luther King Jr. He later repudiated the guilty plea and maintained his innocence until his death in April, 1998.
  • 1994 – White House officials began testifying before a federal grand jury about the Whitewater controversy, a botched real estate development in Arkansas.

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Battle of the Ironclads – Today In Southern History

9 March 1862  

On this date in 1862…

The U.S.S. Monitor and the C.S.S. Virginia fought the first battle between two totally ironclad armored warships.


Other Years:

  • 1728 – A force of 250 volunteers from South Carolina, under Colonel John Parker, attack the Yamassee tribe living near the Spanish Mission of Nombre de Dios near St. Augustine in retaliation for their raiding English settlements.
  • 1856 – Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity was founded in the Johnston Mansion  on the University of Alabama campus in Tuscaloosa.
  • 1865 – Battle of Monroe’s Crossroads, North Carolina.
  • 1916 – Five hundred soldados of Mexican bandit and revolutionary, Pancho Villa raided the U.S. Army outpost at Columbus, New Mexico, killing 92 soldiers and civilians.
  • 2012 – Rock ‘n’ roll legend Jerry Lee Lewis (76) married his cousin’s ex-wife, Judith Brown (62) in Natchez, Mississippi.

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Racing at Daytona – Today In Southern History

8 March 1936  

On this date in 1936…

The first stock car race was held on Daytona Beach, Florida.

Other Years:

  • 1848 – Future Confederate General James Longstreet married Maria Louisa Garland in Lynchburg, Virginia.
  • 1853 – The first bronze statue of Andrew Jackson was unveiled in Washington, DC
  • 1861 – St. Augustine, Florida surrendered to federal troops.
  • 1862 – The C.S.S. Virginia began patrol near Hampton Roads, Virginia. The Virginia sank U.S.S. Cumberland, and damaged both the U.S.S. Minnesota and U.S.S. Roanoke on its first day.
  • 1865 – The Battle of Kinston, North Carolina began.
  • 1949 – WBAP-FM, began broadcasting in Fort Worth Texas.
  • 1988 – At Fort Campbell, Kentucky 17 U.S. soldiers were killed when two Army helicopters suffered a midair collision.

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Coal Miner's Daughter – Today In Southern History

7 March 1980  

On this date in 1980…

Coal Miner’s Daughter, the Academy Award-winning movie about the life of Loretta Lynn was released. Texans Sissy Spacek played Loretta and Tommy Lee Jones played the part of Moony Lynn. (Urban legend claims that Bologna sales increased ten-fold.) 

Other Years:

  • 1524 – Giovanni da Verrazano, sailing for France, anchored his ship, the Dauphine, near Wilmington, North Carolina.
  • 1850 – U.S. Senator Daniel Webster endorsed the Compromise of 1850 as a method of preserving the Union. 
  • 1887 – North Carolina State University was founded by the North Carolina General Assembly.
  • 1911 – In the wake of the Mexican Revolution, the U.S. sent 20,000 troops to the border of Mexico. 
  • 1935 – Malcolm Campbell set an auto speed record of 276.8 mph in Florida.
  • 1965 – State troopers and sheriff’s deputies broke up a march by 600 civil rights demonstrators at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama.

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