21 May 1542
On this date in 1542…
Spanish Conquistador Hernando de Soto died of a fever near present day Lake Village, Arkansas. Before his death, he appointed Luis de Moscoso his successor. De Soto’s body was later weighted and buried in the Mississippi River to prevent desecration of his remains by hostile natives. Because of the changing course of the river, some believe his actual burial site to now be in Lake Chicot, the largest oxbow lake in the world.
- 1822 – Confederate General and founder of the Southern Historical Society, Dabney H. Maury was born in Fredericksburg, Virginia.
- 1863 – The siege of the Confederate citadel at Port Hudson, Louisiana began. Port Hudson remains the longest siege in U.S. military history.
- 1961 – Governor Patterson declared martial law in Montgomery, Alabama.
- 1987 – Operation of the Xignals computer bulletin board system (BBS) began in Alabama.
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