New Madrid Quake Starts a War – Today In Southern History

23 January 1812 

On this date in 1812…

An estimated magnitude 7.8 earthquake hit the Missouri boot-heel during the New Madrid earthquake swarm and was felt all across the South. When Shawnee chief Tecumseh had visited the Creek Indians, he told them to wait for a sign which would tell then it was time to begin their uprising against the whites. Tecumseh said he would stamp the ground and make every house in Tuckabatchee fall down. Many Creek felt this tremor was the sign.

Other Years:

  • 1861 – The Louisiana secession convention convened.
  • 1897 – Elva Zona Heaster is found dead in Greenbrier County, West Virginia. The resulting murder trial of her husband is perhaps the only case in United States history where the alleged testimony of a ghost helped secure a conviction.
  • 1964 – The 24th Amendment abolished the poll tax, which had originally been instituted in 11 southern states. 
  • 1973 – U.S. President Richard Nixon announced an accord had been reached to end the Vietnam War.

Read: Why Know Southern History?

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