1. On June 23, 1865, Confederate General Stand Watie became the last Confederate General to surrender his forces west of the Mississippi River, effectively ending the Civil War in Indian Territory (now Oklahoma). This surrender helped bring a final end to the Confederacy and paved the way for Reconstruction.
2. June 23, 1916, marked the opening of the Columbia Speedway, a 1.25-mile dirt oval race track that hosted some of the biggest names in racing during the 1920s and 1930s, including the legendary driver and mechanic Barney Oldfield. The speedway sadly closed in 1933 and was eventually demolished, but it remains an important part of South Carolina's racing heritage.
3. On June 23, 1969, two military planes collided over North Myrtle Beach, killing all 14 crew members on board. The planes were participating in a training exercise when they crashed, and the tragic event remains one of the deadliest aviation accidents in South Carolina history.
4. In 1999, June 23 was declared "S.C. Aquarium Day" in honor of the grand opening of the South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston. The aquarium has since become a major attraction and educational resource for residents and visitors alike, showcasing the incredible diversity of marine life found in South Carolina's coastal waters.
5. On June 23, 2015, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley signed a bill to remove the Confederate battle flag from the grounds of the Statehouse in Columbia. The decision came following the tragic shooting at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, which spurred a national conversation about the Confederate flag and its place in Southern culture. The removal of the flag was a historic moment for South Carolina and a sign of progress towards a more inclusive and united state.
5 Fun Facts About June 23 In South Carolina History
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