On this day: a Victorian School Opens

Harby_Primary_School_1895 The village school and pupils 1895 Leicestershire England Victorian Era Christian

Pupils of the school photographed in 1895.

The Church of England Primary School in the village of Harby in Leicestershire, England opened on the 25th of March, 1861.

Part of the National Society for Promoting Religious Education, an organisation formed to promote education in England and Wales before the government began to regulate the school system, the building was constructed in 1860. It had two classrooms, and living accommodations for the teacher.

On this day: a President’s first address



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



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



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.



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


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.


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.



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

On this day: the beginning of the American Civil War

The Civil War in the United States began on the 12th of April, 1861 with Confederates firing shots on Fort Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina.

It is estimated that 620 00 to 750 000 people died over the next four years of war.

Attack_on_Fort_Sumter Bombardment of Fort Sumter by the batteries of the Confederate states 12th April 1861.


Melbourne Cup Day

The Melbourne Cup, widely recognised as one of the world’s most significant horse races, is run in Australia on the first Tuesday of November each year.

The race was first run in 1861. This is an engraving of the finish line of the race in 1881.


Engraving of the finish line at the Melbourne Cup of 1881. Made by S.B. published in the Illustrated Australian News in November 1881.