On April 12, 1861, the American Civil War began when Brig. Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard opened fire on Fort Sumter in Charleston harbor forcing its surrender. In response to the attack, President Lincoln called for 75,000 volunteers to suppress the rebellion. While Northern states responded quickly, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Arkansas refused, opting to join the Confederacy instead.

On April 12, 1961, exactly one hundred years later, the Soviets launched the first man in space, Yuri Gagarin.

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