Judah P. Benjamin – Today In Southern History

6 August 1811  

On this date in 1811…

Confederate Secretary of State, Secretary of War, and Attorney General, Judah P. Benjamin was born in the British West Indies. Benjamin was the first Jewish member of any American president’s cabinet.

Other Years:
  • 1861 – Against U.S. President Abraham Lincoln’s promises, the federal government violated Kentucky neutrality by establishing a military camp outside Lexington. The action ultimately causes Kentucky to secede, especially after witnessing federal actions in Missouri.
  • 1864 – The Confederate raider C.S.S. Tallahassee broke the blockade and began a two-week campaign in which it destroyed 30 federal ships.
  • 1870 – With their votes no longer suppressed, white conservatives recaptured the Tennessee legislature.
  • 1901 – Kiowa land in Oklahoma was opened for white settlement, dissolving the Kiowa reservation.
  • 1939 – Tennessee native Dinah Shore became the first woman to host her own show on the NBC Blue radio network.
  • 1952 – Alabaman Robert Leroy “Satchel” Paige, at age 46, became the oldest pitcher to complete a major league baseball game.
  • 1965 – U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the “Voting Rights Act” which made it illegal for Southern states to set requirements for voting that were legal in other states.
  • 1998 – Former White House intern Monica Lewinsky spent 8 1/2 hours testifying before a grand jury about her relationship with former Arkansas governor and U.S. President Bill Clinton.

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