Pulitzer Prize-winning author Carl Sandburg was born on January 6, 1878, in Galesburg, Illinois. He wrote his own “American fairytales” as well as children’s books and biographies on Abraham Lincoln.
On December 20, 1860, South Carolina became the first state to secede from the Union. Within months they were followed by 10 other states, forming the Confederate States of America, sparking the Civil War.
On November 25, 1758, British and Colonial American forces successfully took over Fort Duquesne from the French. This came near the end of several years of fighting in the French and Indian Wars.
On October 3, 1789 and 1863, two sitting presidents called on Americans to celebrate a day of Thanksgiving in November.
On August 21, 1858, Abraham Lincoln participated in the first of seven debates against Stephen Douglas. Part of a race for an Illinois seat in the US Senate, they became known as the Lincoln-Douglas Debates or the Great Debates of 1858.
On June 30, 1864, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Yosemite Land Grant. This made Yosemite Valley the first piece of land set aside by the US government for preservation and public use.
Edwin McMasters Stanton was born on December 19, 1814, Steubenville, Ohio.
On December 18, 1777, the United States celebrated its first national Thanksgiving. The celebration was in reaction to the recent victory at the Battle of Saratoga.