American Civil War

The Legend of the Pony Express

The Legend of the Pony Express

On April 3, 1860, the Pony Express started delivering messages, newspapers, mail, even small packages from St. Joseph, Missouri across the Great Plains, over the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevada to Sacramento, California by horseback, using a series of relay stations. Although being an economic disaster, the Pony Express has become a U.S. national legend. Gold in California In January 1848, Gold was discovered in California, but the poor communication between…
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Clara Barton and the Start of the American Red Cross

Clara Barton and the Start of the American Red Cross

On December 25, 1821, American pioneering nurse Clarissa “Clara” Harlowe Barton was born. Barton is noteworthy for doing humanitarian work at a time when relatively few women worked outside the home. She worked as a hospital nurse in the American Civil War and was instrumental in the founding of the American Red Cross. “You are getting the reward, dear Bessie for the simple nature devoid of vaulting ambition which you have always had. Keep…
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Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin and his Rigid Dirigible Airships

Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin and his Rigid Dirigible Airships

On July 8, 1838, German aviation pioneer Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin was born. After retiring from his military carreer, he built the first rigid dirigible airships, named Zeppelin, and founded the Zeppelin airship company. Ferdinand von Zeppelin – Early Years Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin was born on the Dominican Island in Constance in what is now the Inselhotel. He was the son of Count Friedrich Jerôme Wilhelm Karl von Zeppelin (1807-1886), the former…
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The Sinking of the H.L. Hunley

The Sinking of the H.L. Hunley

On the night of February 17, 1864, the submarine H.L.Hunley of the American Confederate Army sank the steamship USS Housatonic with a torpedo and became the very first submarine to attack and sink an enemy vessel. The Hunley was lost at some point following her successful attack and all crewmen were lost. Although the Hunley only played a small part in the American Civil War, it was a large role in the…
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Nothing Really Mattered to Ambrose ‘Bitter’ Bierce

Nothing Really Mattered to Ambrose ‘Bitter’ Bierce

Author, journalist, satirist, and critic Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce was born on June 24, 1842. He had a great influence in the literature of the 20th century through his works, most of them dealing with the American Civil War. A prolific and versatile writer, Bierce was regarded as one of the most influential journalists in the United States. “Happiness, n. An agreeable sensation arising from contemplating the misery of another.” — The Devil’s Dictionary,…
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The Assassination of a President

The Assassination of a President

On Good Friday, April 14, 1865, as the American Civil War was drawing to a close, well known stage actor and Confederate spy John Wilkes Booth shot United States President Abraham Lincoln in the Presidential booth of the Ford’s theatre in Washington, D.C. And Lincoln should not be the last US president to be assassinated. He was followed by James A. Garfield, William McKinley, and John F. Kennedy, and if we also take attempts…
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Eli Whitney – The Invention of the Cotton Gin and the Antebellum South

Eli Whitney – The Invention of the Cotton Gin and the Antebellum South

On December 8, 1765, American inventor Eli Whitney was born. Whitney is best known for inventing the cotton gin. This was one of the key inventions of the Industrial Revolution and shaped the economy of the Antebellum South. Whitney’s invention made upland short cotton into a profitable crop, which strengthened the economic foundation of slavery in the United States. “As Arkwright and Whitney were the demi-gods of cotton, so prolific Time will yet…
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