April 12: The Civil War begins as Confederate forces open fire
on Fort Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina.
August 22: At the Geneva Convention, 12 governments pledge
to respect humanitarian rules of war regarding wounded on the field of battle.
After the Civil War ends, an eight-year old Wilson watches
Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederacy, brought through town in chains
on his way to a Union prison.
April 14: President Abraham Lincoln is assassinated by John
The Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, outlawing slavery,
is ratified. Later in the year, the Ku Klux Klan forms to reestablish white
authority and intimidate African Americans and other ethnic and religious minorities
throughout the South.
Suffering from dyslexia, Wilson remains unable to read at the
age of 10.
Karl Marx publishes Das Kapital, the economic and political
treatise that will become a founding document of the international socialist
November 17: The Suez Canal opens in Egypt, linking the
Mediterranean and Red Seas.