World History 1863

About the history of the world in 1863, the first roller skate, official Thanksgiving, and dress pattern, Lincoln gives the Emancipation Proclamation.

TWO CENTURIES OF WORLD HISTORY: 1778-1978

1863

* Mary Harris Thompson became the first female surgeon in the U.S. She later founded a charity hospital for windows and poor children, lost it in the Chicago Fire, and opened another. Still in operation in Chicago, this facility is known as the Women's and Children's Hospital.

* U.S. inventor James L. Plimpton patented the first four-wheeled roller skate, which started a craze for roller-skating in the U.S. and western Europe.

* Ebenezer Butterick manufactured the first dress pattern in Sterling, Mass.

* The French forces of Napoleon III captured Mexico City, drove reformist Mexican Pres. Benito Juarez into hiding, and imported Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian of Austria to serve as a puppet ruler. He became Emperor Maximilian of Mexico.

* Vat 69 Scotch was concocted for the first time just before a panel of experts, hired by Scottish distiller William Sanderson, sampled 100 different blends set out in numbered vats. They proclaimed the batch marked 69 the best.

Jan. 1 With hands numbed by three hours of handshaking at the White House, President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing all slaves "then, thenceforward, and forever." The action inflicted an estimated $3 billion property loss on Southern slaveholders. Exempt from the edict were slaves held in certain parts of Louisiana and Virginia. (See "Eyewitness Reports on Highlights of U.S. History," Chap. 3.)

Feb. 10 Tom Thumb (real name Charles S. Stratton), 25, the 2 ft. 11 in. circus star discovered by P. T. Barnum, married Lavinia Warren, a 21-year-old Massachusetts schoolteacher 3 in. shorter than he, before an overflow crowd of dignitaries at New York City's Grace Church.

Oct. President Lincoln proclaimed the fourth Thursday in November as Thanksgiving Day.

Nov. 19 President Lincoln, in his piercing treble voice, slowly delivered his brief--yet moving--address at Gettysburg, Pa., honoring the 3,100 Union soldiers and 3,900 Confederates who had died in battle there four months earlier.

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