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5 Fun Facts About January 18 In Vermont History

---Learn Every Day: VT Today In History Facts Texted Each Day - Text: history vt To: 618-270-4005---

1. In 1777, Vermont declared itself an independent republic, becoming the first state to abolish slavery, and the first to offer free public education. January 18 is celebrated as Vermont's Independence Day, in honor of this historic moment.

2. In 1862, Vermont troops under General William F. "Baldy" Smith played a key role in the Union victory at the Battle of Mill Springs, which was the first significant Union victory of the Civil War.

3. In 1894, the Vermont State House, located in Montpelier, was destroyed by a fire caused by a heating system malfunction. Fortunately, no one was injured, but the fire destroyed most of the building's interior. The current Vermont State House was completed in 1859 and is still in use today.

4. In 1936, the Vermont Marble Company unveiled a new statue of Abraham Lincoln, carved from Vermont marble, that was placed in the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. The statue is one of the most iconic and recognizable sculptures in the world.

5. In 2018, Vermont became the ninth state in the U.S. to legalize recreational marijuana. The law went into effect on July 1, 2018, and allows individuals over the age of 21 to possess and consume up to one ounce of marijuana, and to grow up to six plants at home for personal use. January 18th serves as a reminder of Vermont's progressive and independent character, and its ongoing commitment to social justice and individual freedoms.
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