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Today in History – April 12th

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Today in History: April 12th is a historic day, as the American Civil War began with the battle at Fort Sumter, President Franklin D. Roosevelt died of a cerebral hemorrhage and the first man flew in space.

The American Civil War Began

The American Civil War began today in 1861 as the first shots were fired by the Confederate forces on South Carolina’s Fort Sumter.  The Union troops holding the fort surrendered the following day and after their surrender Lincoln  called for 75,000 troops to suppress the rebellion in the South, officially igniting the Civil War, America’s deadliest war.

According to Wikipedia,  “in September 1862, Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation made ending slavery in the South a war goal, and dissuaded the British from intervening…After four years of devastating warfare (mostly within the Southern states), the Confederacy surrendered and slavery was outlawed everywhere in the nation…The restoration of the Union, and the Reconstruction Era that followed, dealt with issues that remained unresolved for generations.”

President Franklin D. Roosevelt Died

Then in 1945 63-year-old, President Franklin D. Roosevelt died of a cerebral hemorrhage after living with polio for 24 years.  As the 32nd President of the United States and the only American president to be elected for more then two terms,  FDR is known for being a central figure in world  politics, specifically during World War II and for his formation of the “New Deal” – a complex relief program that created government jobs for the unemployed, aimed to recover the economy and regulate Wall Street, banks and transportation.

Aerospace Accomplishments

Yuri Gargarin was the first person to journey into outer space as his Soviet spacecraft successfully orbited the Earth on April 12, 1961.  A Soviet pilot and astronaut, Gargarin earned the highest honor of the Soviet Union being called, “Hero of the Soviet Union.”

Then 20 years later, on the anniversary launch of Gargarin, the United State’s spaceshuttle, “Columbia” was launched from Cape Canaveral for a 2-day, 36-time orbit of the Earth.  The “Columbia” spaceshuttle was the first spaceworthy shuttle in NASA’s fleet and it successfully completed 27 missions before being destroyed on it’s 28th mission upon reentry, February 1, 2003.

In 1985, Senator Jake Garn from Utah became the first member of Congress launched into outer space in the shuttle, “Discovery.”

Today is April 12, 2011, are you making history today?

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