4/3/1860 – Pony Express is initiated.
11/6/1860 – Abraham Lincoln elected President.
12/20/1860-South Carolina secedes from the Union.


1/1861 – Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi secede from the Union.
2/1861 – Texas secedes from the Union.
4/12/1861 – Confederates fire on Fort Sumter, the first engagement of the Civil War.
5/1861 – Arkansas, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia secede from the Union.
10/24/1861 – Pony Express announces its closure as the transcontinental telegraph reaches Salt Lake City.


9/17/1862 – Battle of Antietam (Sharpsburg), Maryland – McClellan forces Lee to fall back but doesn’t follow.
9/22/1862 – Emancipation Proclamation is issued effective January 1, 1863.
12/13/1862 – Battle of Fredricksburg.


3/3/1863 – First Union conscription act.
3/15/1863 – Confederate privateer J. M. CHAPMAN is captured in San Francisco harbor.
8/17/1863 – Confederate raider CSS Shenandoah is launched, conducts raids along Pacific coast until August 1865, four months after end of Civil War.
7/1/1863-7/3/1863 – Battle of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
7/13/1863 – Draft riots in New York.
11/26/1863 – National Thanksgiving holiday is decreed by Lincoln on 10/3/1863.


11/15/1864-12/21/1864 – Sherman’s march to the sea.


4/9/1865 – Surrender of Lee to Grant at Appomatox Courthouse.
4/15/1865 – Lincoln is assassinated.


Congressional elections in the North usher in the Reconstruction Era following the Civil War, which all but devastates the South.


Military Reconstruction Acts of 1867 divides the South into five military districts and specifies governmental structure.


Impeachment of President Andrew Johnson, a moderate who supported the South’s recovery efforts, opens the way for more punitive treatment of the Southern states.


1/1/1869 – Louisa May Alcott delivered the second half of the manuscript for ‘Little Women’.
5/10/1869 – Transcontinental railroad completed; trip east goes from six months to six days.
9/24/1869 – Black Friday financial panic caused by attempt to corner gold market on New York Gold Exchange.



10/8/1871 – Great Chicago Fire destroys 3.3 square miles of the city.
7/1871-10/1871 – Smallpox epidemics strike New York and Philadelphia; 11/1871 – Baltimore, MD.
1871 – New method of tanning buffalo hides developed by Wright Moar in New York precipitates mass slaughter of herds.


10/1/1872 – Equine epidemic appears and spreads rapidly throughout the U.S. Because of the near-total dependence on horsepower to move commerce, as many as 20,000 businesses fail, a third of all railroads go bankrupt, and unemployment spikes to almost 15 percent.
11/9/1872 – Great Boston Fire, massive losses; firefighting efforts are paralyzed by equine epidemic.


3/1/1873 – Remington began production of its first typewriter; it had a QWERTY keyboard layout.
2/12/1873 – Fourth Coinage Act demonetizes silver.
9/18/1873 – Failure of major banking house Jay Cooke & Company precipitates national depression.



1/8/1875 – Silver stock market collapses.
8/26/1875 – Bank of California shuts its doors due to bank run; reopens 10/2/1875.

(Posted January 2013)