Tuesday, April 12, 2011

On April 12

On this day in ...
... 1861 (150 years ago today), about a month and a half after the inauguration of Abraham Lincoln as President, the United States' Civil War began when artillery troops in the newly formed Confederacy, comprising states that had seceded from the Union, opened fire on Fort Sumter, a Union base located on an island in the harbor of Charleston, South Carolina. (credit for photo of ruins of the fort, now a U.S. monument) The fort surrendered within a couple days and remained a Confederate holding throughout the 4-years-long conflict. Today marks the beginning of the sesquicentennial of the Civil War; well worth a read in this vein is How Slavery Really Ended in America, a New York Times Magazine essay that links a little-known event at the beginning of the Civil War not only to the eventual abolition of slavery in the United States, but also to contemporary popular uprisings in North Africa and elsewhere.

(Prior April 12 posts are here, here, here, and here.)

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