On this day: a President’s first address

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US President Abraham Lincoln gave his first inaugural address on the 4th of March, 1861.

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The speech, considered by many to be one of the greatest in American history, was delivered in the shadow of the not yet completed dome of the US Capitol in Washington.

On this day: the inauguration of a Confederate President

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This photograph, taken on the 18th of February, 1861, shows people arriving for the inauguration of Jefferson Davis, the first and only president of the Confederate States of America.

The ceremony took place in Montgomery, Alabama, the first Confederate capital,

Davis served in as leader until he was captured in 1865 at the end of the Civil War.

On this day: Texas Secedes

On the 1st of February, 1861, Texas seceded from the United States. They were admitted to the Confederacy the following month.

The event occurred as part of the Secession Convention, where it was also determined that slavery was beneficial, as “the African race” was ‘an inferior and dependent race’.

This document from the day dissolves the state’s association with the United States.

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Despite heavy political support to secede, there was also significant opposition, and many Unionists were executed.

Following their defeat in the American Civil War, Texas was restored to the Union in March 1870.

On this day: Mississippi Secedes

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To this day, Mississippi’s state flag retains Confederate imagery.

On the 9th of January, 1861, Mississippi followed the direction of South Carolina to become the second state to secede from the Union in the American Civil War.

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Scars of a whipped slave, credited either as Mississippi or Louisiana.

The first states to leave the Union were those with high numbers of slaves. Records from Mississippi in 1860 list 55% of the state’s population as being enslaved – that is nearly 440 000 people. Fewer than one thousand African-Americans in Mississippi were free.

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The decision to leave was made with overwhelming support, with a vote of 84-15.