Monday, July 04, 2016

Top 5 - Memorable Things that Happened on the 4th of July

Happy 4th of July. Here are the top 5 things that happened in US history on the 4th of July. Don't forget that July is American Beer Month.

1. 1776 Colonies declare independence
2. 1826 Presidents, patriots, rivals and friends John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both die on the same day
3. 1863 The surrender of Vicksurg to General Grant (Vicksburg would not celebrate the Fourth of July for the next 81 years)
4. 1831 James Madison, last of the founding fathers, dies
5. (tie) 1804 Lewis and Clark celebrate first 4th of July west of the Mississippi (tie) 1939 Lou Gehrig gives his "luckiest man alive" speech at Yankee Stadium


  1. Vicksburg is almost always overshadowed by Gettysburg, but was more decisive in the long run.

  2. Taking Vicksburg split the Confederacy into two but if Lee prevailed at Gettysburg - Jefferson Davis might have been able to sue for peace. Re-reading Killer Angels over the weekend. I would have to say Gettysburg was much more significant.

  3. Even if Lee marched unopposed on Washington (unlikely, because the remnants of Meade's army would have shadowed him), what was there for him? Richmond was a major industrial base for the South. Washington was not. Congress would have panicked and fled, leaving them in no position to accept peace proposals. Lincoln would never have accepted an independent Confederacy.

    Lee's strategic situation was poor at that time of the war. His invasion of the North was mostly designed to get his army out of Virginia and relieve the strain of supplying it. He was no Sherman, leaving a mile-wide wake of misery, he was buying supplies from the locals.

    Granted, this is all hindsight, but the South lost the strategic advantage when they adopted the defensive strategy at the beginning of the war. They had their reasons, but ultimately the encouraged encroachment on their territory with the result that nearly all of the war was fought in Confederate territory.

  4. Yes Lee bought supplies from locals in Maryland and Pennsylvania but he did it with Confederate script. :)

    I agree with you that the story of Vicksburg is woefully undertold in teaching US history given its importance in the overall impact on the Civil War and thus on the history of this country.

  5. Reposted this from last year because I enjoyed the comments