On this day: the Bray Head railway accident

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On the 9th of August, 1867 sudden subsidence at Brandy Hole Viaduct caused a train to derail.

The location of the disaster was Bray Head, County Wicklow, Ireland. Four people died and twenty-five were injured.

The report into the disaster was published a few weeks later, and can be found in full HERE.

“The train to which this accident happened was the up train leaving Enniscorthy for Dublin, at 6.30 a.m. It consisted of an engine and tender, six carriages, of which the first was fitted with a break, and a guard’s break van. A porter acting as guard rode in this van at the rear of the train. It left Delgany about its proper time, 9.5 a.m., and was travelling slowly round Bray Head in obedience to orders which had been given to all drivers, and had nearly reached this wooden viaduct (called Brabazon corner in the details supplied by the engineer (the late Mr. Brunel), previous to the opening of the line in October 1855), when the acting guard says he got a knock in his van, looked out of the window, and saw the carriages hopping on the rails, and then he put on his break.”

On this day: the St-Hilaire train disaster

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On the 29th of June, 1864, a train in Quebec, Canada fell through an open swing bridge and into the Richelieu River.

The worst train disaster in Canadian history, it is thought ninety-nine people died in the crash. The majority of people on board were European immigrants.

The investigation placed the blame for the disaster on Grand Trunk Railway, as the train failed to acknowledge stop signals that would have prevented it from falling through the bridge.

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.