Learn Our History Today:

Discussion in 'History Forum' started by Revmitchell, May 24, 2013.

  1. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
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    On May 24, 1844, before members of Congress, Samuel Morse officially opened the first telegraph line and sent the first ever telegraph message. Morse, an accomplished painter, had learned of the idea for the telegraph in 1832, and for years all that crossed his mind was coming up with a working telegraphy instrument. In addition, he also set about coming up with a set of signals that could represent words in a telegraph device; an idea that would eventually evolve into the famed Morse code.

    Intrigued by the positive possibilities that would result from being able to communicate very quickly using the telegraph, Congress ordered the first machine to be set up inside the capital with a direct line going to the city of Baltimore. With many members of congress watching, Morse sent the first telegraph message using his Morse code. The message was inspired by a bible verse and was suggested to him by his daughter. It read, “What hath God Wrought?” It was a very fitting first message for a device which was about to take the United States by storm and have a profound effect on American life. Within ten years, 20,000 miles of telegraph wire stretched across the nation, boosting business conducted across the great expanse of American territory, and allowing for a much more coordinated military strategy during the coming Civil War.
     
  2. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
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    Learn Our History Today: May 27 marks the annual observance of Memorial Day, a Federal Holiday honoring the men and women of the United States armed forces that have died while in service. Sometimes confused with Veteran’s Day, another holiday which similarly honors all of the United States’ service members - not just the ones who died in the line of duty - Memorial Day started out as Decoration Day, a holiday which emerged in the aftermath of the brutal and deadly Civil War to honor the thousands of dead soldiers both Union and Confederate by placing flowers or other decorations at their grave sites. Unfortunately, as the years wore on following the Civil War, the observance of the holiday of decoration day gradually declined, and it may have dropped off completely were it not for World War II. In the aftermath of this terrible war, another of America’s deadliest, interest in this nearly forgotten holiday peaked, as American’s understandably sought to honor their fallen loved ones. In 1967, Memorial Day became an official Federal Holiday, with the date set to observe it being the last Monday in May.
     

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