1861 - West Virginia began a convention to discuss the potential of secession from Virginia pending Virginia's secession from the U.S. as a Civil War loomed. A series of political meetings and votes were taken over the next year. Its existence as a new state was formalized by Congressional recognition of the state of West Virginia in 1863
1865 The steamboat Sultana exploded on the Mississippi River near Memphis, Tenn. and killed 1,700 passengers and many discharged Union soldiers. The boat was overloaded because the federal government promised to pay $5 for each enlisted man and $10 for each officer delivered to the North. When the Sultana left Vicksburg, it carried 2,100 troops and 200 civilians, more than six times its capacity and carried only one life boat. The Sultana accident was one of the largest maritime disasters in U.S. history.
1936 - Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 49th Infantry Division Artillery, was organized and federally recognized in the California National Guard at Long Beach, Cali. as the 143d Ambulance Company, an element of the 40th Division Army National Guard (California).