This Weekend in History: Wilmington Insurrection, Veterans Day Established and Other Events
A number of interesting events have taken place on November 10th and 11th in U.S. history. Here is our take on the most interesting and valuable of them.
November 10, 1847 - Stephen Whitney Ship Wreck
Stephen Whitney was an American passenger carrying sailing ship and it tragically wrecked near the shores of Ireland on the 10th of November 1847. As a result of the catastrophe 92 out of 110 passengers and crew members aboard were killed.
The ship of 1,034 tons left New York City on October 18th and took the course to Liverpool. The ship was carrying both passengers and a cargo, such as corn, cheese, resin, raw cotton and, eventually, 20 boxes of American clocks to be traded in the U.K. The disaster happened when in the thick fog conditions the captain of Stephen Whitney mistook two lighthouses and led the ship in the wrong direction. Everything happened at around 10 p.m., as Stephen Whitney struck the western tip of West Calf Island, and broke up completely about 10 minutes after.
November 10, 1898 - Wilmington Insurrection
This insurrection might also be referred either as the Wilmington massacre of 1898 or the Wilmington race riot of 1898. The event occurred in the town of Wilmington, North Carolina on November 10, 1898, and is considered by many historians to be true a turning point in post-Reconstruction North Carolina politics, as it marked the beginning of an era of more severe racial segregation and effective disenfranchisement of African Americans throughout the Southern states. This is also the only successful coup d'état ever registered in the U.S history.
The Democratic Party organized a series of riots that led to this coup, when a mob of about 2000 primarily White men overthrew the legitimately-elected local Fusionist government, expelled opposition leaders (who were both Black and White) from the city and killed up to 300 hundred Blacks destroying their property.
The Insurrection wasn’t the only event that marked it, actually, as a shift was already underway since the state of Mississippi adopted a new constitution eight years before, in 1890, establishing racial barriers for electoral process. As one of the researchers of this topic, Laura Edwards, wrote in her book “Democracy Betrayed,” “what happened in Wilmington became an affirmation of white supremacy not just in that one city, but in the South and in the nation as a whole".
November 11, 1918 – Veterans Day Established
Originally known as Armistice Day, this official national American holiday appeared once the First World War was over, and was established this day by the special address of the U.S. President Woodrow Wilson:
“To us in America the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service, and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of nations…”
The Armistice Day was renamed into Veterans Day in 1954, so as to commemorate all the veterans who ever served in American military forces and fought in all the wars the U.S. had been involved in.
November 11, 1919 - The Centralia Massacre
Exactly a year after the establishment of Armistice Day, the massacre (also known as Centralia Tragedy and Armistice Day Riot) occurred during a parade in celebration of it.
There existed a conflict between the American Legion and workers who were members of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW or, in other words, "Wobblies"), which led to a brutal clash between them in Centralia, Washington, and resulted in six deaths and many more wounded.
The massacre at the celebration of Armistice Day also led to multiple prison terms, and an ongoing and bitter dispute over the motivations and events that precipitated the event, as a mini Civil War between groups of people with different political views was on display in many other states at that time.
These are the most notable events in U.S. history that occurred this weekend, at least in our view.