What are the most significant pieces of US History that happened domestically that most Americans don't know about?

Eppy99

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For example the Tulsa Massacre of 1921 and the East St. Louis race riot of 1917. I know I was never taught about these events in school, I'm sure there's plenty more and I don't mean events that just involved Native Americans and African Americans. Here's your chance to educate me and likely many others. Please link the event for further reading if possible.
 

mcmurtry66

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And since I brought up the East St. Louis Race War/riot here's an article for further reading.

East St. Louis Race War
east stl is a fascinating place. in 1950 it was the 4th largest city in il. it's endured everything from deadly tornados to race riots to brutal declines in population from loss of industrial work. from i think 60-70 it lost 70 percent of its population. the urban planning dept at uic has devoted endless resources to studying it, trying to gentrify parts of it, etc. so many great athletes and musicians have come through E stl. right in the heart of east stl is a legal aid office called land of lincoln legal aid. a tiny, tiny woman named lois wood worked at the office for over 40 years - starting as a staff attny and later the executive director of the agency. she was a harvard law grad. amazing person. 4 foot nothing with a harvard law degree working her entire career in a war zone for peanuts. today it's still just a mess surrounded by casinos and strip clubs. as an aside people who grew up over here and went to bach parties over there had a little different experience than people around the rest of the country. i'll never forget when i was in my early 20s my club team played in a tourney in roswell ga just outside of atlanta. we wanted to go to cheetah real bad bc we had heard so much about it. within 15 minutes our entire team was on the parking lot kicked out. we had just assumed all strip clubs were like E stl. they aren't....
 
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hookyIU1990

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Texas has Shiner Bock and the famous Texas Hot Links thanks to the The Society for the Protection of German Immigrants in Texas. The idea was take over a large swath of Tejas with German immigrants and establish settlements.

 

TheOriginalHappyGoat

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The Toledo War. I believe it was the last armed conflict between states (or in this case, a state and a territory) outside the Civil War. Ohio and Michigan both claimed the strip of land that included Toledo and the mouth of the Maumee River, which was at the time a critical juncture in the shipping of goods from the Midwest to the East using the Great Lakes and a series of canals, which was far more cost effective then the old method of shipping goods down the Mississippi, and then along the Gulf Coast and up the entire Atlantic seaboard.

Despite the fact that Ohio had long claimed the land, it was effectively cut off from the rest of the state by the Great Black Swamp, so Michigan Territory occupied it and began setting up government services. Ohio protested, and tried to enforce its own laws there. Both states raised militias in preparation for war, but the only casualty came when a Michigan sheriff tried to arrest an Ohio citizen, Major Benjamin Stickney, who resisted. Stickney's son, Two*, stabbed the sheriff in the leg, and fled across the river to Ohio. The wound was not life threatening.

Congress resolved the matter by giving the Toledo Strip to Ohio, but giving Michigan the Upper Peninsula and statehood. Michigan rejected the compromise at first, but eventually accepted it. It was considered a bad deal for Michigan at first, but later, as railroads and the increasing size of cargo ships diminished Toledo's economic value, and valuable natural resources were discovered in the UP, it was generally agreed that Ohio got the short end of the stick in the long run.


* So named because he was Stickney's second son, no joke. His older brother was One Stickney. His sister, named after the state the Major had served in as an Indian agent, was Indiana Stickney.
 

Eppy99

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Ok, this one doesn't exactly fall under the "signnficant" category, but nonetheless it's a great story of war that almost began as the result of a pig. This is the story of the Pig War which took place on San Juan Island off of what is now Washington State. I took my family here a couple years ago and we were fascinated to hear about this story. It's amusing if anything!

 
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Eppy99

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The Toledo War. I believe it was the last armed conflict between states (or in this case, a state and a territory) outside the Civil War. Ohio and Michigan both claimed the strip of land that included Toledo and the mouth of the Maumee River, which was at the time a critical juncture in the shipping of goods from the Midwest to the East using the Great Lakes and a series of canals, which was far more cost effective then the old method of shipping goods down the Mississippi, and then along the Gulf Coast and up the entire Atlantic seaboard.

Despite the fact that Ohio had long claimed the land, it was effectively cut off from the rest of the state by the Great Black Swamp, so Michigan Territory occupied it and began setting up government services. Ohio protested, and tried to enforce its own laws there. Both states raised militias in preparation for war, but the only casualty came when a Michigan sheriff tried to arrest an Ohio citizen, Major Benjamin Stickney, who resisted. Stickney's son, Two*, stabbed the sheriff in the leg, and fled across the river to Ohio. The wound was not life threatening.

Congress resolved the matter by giving the Toledo Strip to Ohio, but giving Michigan the Upper Peninsula and statehood. Michigan rejected the compromise at first, but eventually accepted it. It was considered a bad deal for Michigan at first, but later, as railroads and the increasing size of cargo ships diminished Toledo's economic value, and valuable natural resources were discovered in the UP, it was generally agreed that Ohio got the short end of the stick in the long run.


* So named because he was Stickney's second son, no joke. His older brother was One Stickney. His sister, named after the state the Major had served in as an Indian agent, was Indiana Stickney.
Feel like an old man for asking but, how did you link your page versus my using the insert link? Your's is so much better.
 

Eppy99

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east stl is a fascinating place. in 1950 it was the 4th largest city in il. it's endured everything from deadly tornados to race riots to brutal declines in population from loss of industrial work. from i think 60-70 it lost 70 percent of its population. the urban planning dept at uic has devoted endless resources to studying it, trying to gentrify parts of it, etc. so many great athletes and musicians have come through E stl. right in the heart of east stl is a legal aid office called land of lincoln legal aid. a tiny, tiny woman named lois wood worked at the office for over 40 years - starting as a staff attny and later the executive director of the agency. she was a harvard law grad. amazing person. 4 foot nothing with a harvard law degree working her entire career in a war zone for peanuts. today it's still just a mess surrounded by casinos and strip clubs. as an aside people who grew up over here and went to bach parties over there had a little different experience than people around the rest of the country. i'll never forget when i was in my early 20s my club team played in a tourney in roswell ga just outside of atlanta. we wanted to go to cheetah real bad bc we had heard so much about it. within 15 minutes our entire team was on the parking lot kicked out. we had just assumed all strip clubs were like E stl. they aren't....
My wife and I lived in STL when my wife attended Washu and it was one of the more uncomfortable living experiences we've had. We lived there from 2003-2007. It was obvious from day one race tensions were high. My wife who was completing her medical residency at Barnes Jewish Hospital knew right away the African American patients didn't trust her or many of the doctors. Apparently theres some deep dark history and blacks were treated very poorly for many years. Obviously this isn't news, but compared to my experience of living in Indy and Cincinnati this felt much worse. The walls that surrounded many neighborhoods like Clayton and I think the Central West End felt very much like a Carmel suburb essentially telling people they're not welcome.

I'm sure these race riots have something to do with the long history of tensions in and around St. Louis.
 
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mcmurtry66

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My wife and I lived in STL when my wife attended Washu and it was one of the more uncomfortable living experiences we've had. We lived there from 2003-2007. It was obvious from day one race tensions were high. My wife who was completing her medical residency at Barnes Jewish Hospital knew right away the African American patients didn't trust her or many of the doctors. Apparently theres some deep dark history and blacks were treated very poorly for many years. Obviously this isn't news, but compared to my experience of living in Indy and Cincinnati this felt much worse. The walls that surrounded many neighborhoods like Clayton and I think the Central West End felt very much like a Carmel suburb essentially telling people they're not welcome.

I'm sure these race riots have something to do with the long history of tensions in and around St. Louis.
speakign of stl and weird history the first olympics in america were held in saint louis in 1904. they coincided with the world's fair. here's an account of the craziness that transpired

 
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Stuffshot

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For example the Tulsa Massacre of 1921 and the East St. Louis race riot of 1917. I know I was never taught about these events in school, I'm sure there's plenty more and I don't mean events that just involved Native Americans and African Americans. Here's your chance to educate me and likely many others. Please link the event for further reading if possible.
Don't know if significant, but....

I've read that the bootheel of Missouri was added on the south edge of the state boundary because some rich guy wanted his land to be in Missouri instead of Arkansas. So he basically bribed Congress to get his way in the enabling act.

Also, I've read that there is a bump on the northern border of Maine that was definitely in Canadian territory after the war of 1812, but the US wouldn't give it back because a tiny fort/outpost was there. So the armistice treaty left it the way it was, to the chagrin of Maine surveyors ever since.
 

TheOriginalHappyGoat

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Don't know if significant, but....

I've read that the bootheel of Missouri was added on the south edge of the state boundary because some rich guy wanted his land to be in Missouri instead of Arkansas. So he basically bribed Congress to get his way in the enabling act.

Also, I've read that there is a bump on the northern border of Maine that was definitely in Canadian territory after the war of 1812, but the US wouldn't give it back because a tiny fort/outpost was there. So the armistice treaty left it the way it was, to the chagrin of Maine surveyors ever since.
I haven't heard about that Maine one, before. Please share if you remember more. Lots of interesting things about the U.S.-Canada border. For example, also in Maine, there's a place where the final survey cut across a bunch of Canadians' back yards, so someone built a gas station behind their homes. As long as they do it during customs hours, Canadians can drive down the street and check in at border control, then back up their street in Canada, then pull off into the gas station, once again in America, and get cheap gas.
 

Noodle

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The Toledo War. I believe it was the last armed conflict between states (or in this case, a state and a territory) outside the Civil War. Ohio and Michigan both claimed the strip of land that included Toledo and the mouth of the Maumee River, which was at the time a critical juncture in the shipping of goods from the Midwest to the East using the Great Lakes and a series of canals, which was far more cost effective then the old method of shipping goods down the Mississippi, and then along the Gulf Coast and up the entire Atlantic seaboard.

Despite the fact that Ohio had long claimed the land, it was effectively cut off from the rest of the state by the Great Black Swamp, so Michigan Territory occupied it and began setting up government services. Ohio protested, and tried to enforce its own laws there. Both states raised militias in preparation for war, but the only casualty came when a Michigan sheriff tried to arrest an Ohio citizen, Major Benjamin Stickney, who resisted. Stickney's son, Two*, stabbed the sheriff in the leg, and fled across the river to Ohio. The wound was not life threatening.

Congress resolved the matter by giving the Toledo Strip to Ohio, but giving Michigan the Upper Peninsula and statehood. Michigan rejected the compromise at first, but eventually accepted it. It was considered a bad deal for Michigan at first, but later, as railroads and the increasing size of cargo ships diminished Toledo's economic value, and valuable natural resources were discovered in the UP, it was generally agreed that Ohio got the short end of the stick in the long run.


* So named because he was Stickney's second son, no joke. His older brother was One Stickney. His sister, named after the state the Major had served in as an Indian agent, was Indiana Stickney.
You forgot the part about how the two militias went out to fight but they couldn’t find each other.
Oh, and Stickney Avenue is still a somewhat main thoroughfare in Toledo.
My ggggg-grandfather was a whiskey runner on Lake Erie before and during the War of 1812. His cabin was on Cedar Point which juts out into the lake at Maumee Bay (not where the amusement park is).
 

TheOriginalHappyGoat

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You forgot the part about how the two militias went out to fight but they couldn’t find each other.
Oh, and Stickney Avenue is still a somewhat main thoroughfare in Toledo.
My ggggg-grandfather was a whiskey runner on Lake Erie before and during the War of 1812. His cabin was on Cedar Point which juts out into the lake at Maumee Bay (not where the amusement park is).
I just checked Google Maps out of curiosity, and it looks like your gggg-grandfather's cabin is under water now.
 

outside shooter

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Lots of massacres of Native Americans never really made the history books, since they occurred with such high frequency, consistent government support, and little sympathy among those that mattered, i.e., Christian white men of wealth.

Examples include two battles happening within 3 miles of my house.


 

cosmickid

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Don't know if significant, but....

I've read that the bootheel of Missouri was added on the south edge of the state boundary because some rich guy wanted his land to be in Missouri instead of Arkansas. So he basically bribed Congress to get his way in the enabling act.

Also, I've read that there is a bump on the northern border of Maine that was definitely in Canadian territory after the war of 1812, but the US wouldn't give it back because a tiny fort/outpost was there. So the armistice treaty left it the way it was, to the chagrin of Maine surveyors ever since.
I found this video pretty informative, esp since I'm one of the folks who always consider Canada as the frozen North. Not only do 70% of Canadians live south of the 49th parallel, but also more Americans than Canadians live North of Canada's southernmost boundary which is Middle Island in Lake Erie...

If you drew a straight line from Middle Island to the Pacific Coast the line would actually traverse extreme Northern CA. That's practically mind-boggling...

 

Noodle

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TheOriginalHappyGoat

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The cabin is long gone but here’s where it was (supposedly there may be some remnants of it but it’s a nature preserve with no public access to the area): https://maps.apple.com/?auid=13431169421909606616&ll=41.705365,-83.335925&lsp=7618&q=Marked Location&_ext=EiYpE/OspBXPREAx0yjJ32LgVMA5yD0CJD/bREBB9s4N8p/UVMBQDA==&t=m
Awesome. I just noticed that the very end of Cedar Point on the map doesn't show up on the satellite, like it's been washed away. But the part you have marked is still there. That's some cool family history.
 
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Noodle

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Awesome. I just noticed that the very end of Cedar Point on the map doesn't show up on the satellite, like it's been washed away. But the part you have marked is still there. That's some cool family history.
See Ol’ Joe Chevalier on p. 6 here: https://toledosattic.org/images/pdfs/nwoq-by-issue/NWOQ_1937_Vol9-1.pdf

The rest of the above link is fascinating as well, including the River Raisin massacre. Another forgotten nugget of history.

On my mom’s side, my ggggg-grandfather was a colonel under George Washington (Johann Michael Lindemuth).
 

TheOriginalHappyGoat

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See Ol’ Joe Chevalier on p. 6 here: https://toledosattic.org/images/pdfs/nwoq-by-issue/NWOQ_1937_Vol9-1.pdf

The rest of the above link is fascinating as well, including the River Raisin massacre. Another forgotten nugget of history.

On my mom’s side, my ggggg-grandfather was a colonel under George Washington (Johann Michael Lindemuth).
So Ol' Joe was your ancestor, huh? That's cool. I found a link that supposedly locates the Cedar Point Club House, just a few yards from Joe's cabin, but the satellite betrays no evidence of its continued existence. I imagine the environment on Cedar Point was not conducive to long-term survival of wooden structures.

 
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Noodle

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So Ol' Joe was your ancestor, huh? That's cool. I found a link that supposedly locates the Cedar Point Club House, just a few yards from Joe's cabin, but the satellite betrays no evidence of its continued existence. I imagine the environment on Cedar Point was not conducive to long-term survival of wooden structures.

I can't recall what happened to the Cedar Point Clubhouse. I thought it had burned down, but I could find no reference to that. Apparently the club donated the property for the Cedar Point National Wildlife Refuge in 1964, but it's not clear if the clubhouse was still standing then. I kind of doubt it given that the only picture of it seems to be quite old.

Here is some more really fascinating information about the area, including a little more on Ol' Joe (p.10): https://filecabinet9.eschoolview.co...r10_OldLandmarksInterestingPeopleandItems.pdf

There is a cool picture on p. 25 of the clubhouse that also includes the original "clubhouse" - actually, an old wooden barge that looks more like a recreation of Noah's ark.

What's crazy is that I recognize many of the names mentioned at the above link as I either grew up with their descendants or, in one instance, actually work with one of their descendants. You probably recognize some of the names from your days in Toledo, such as Navarre, Momenee, Metzger, Cousino, etc. (Cousino's Steakhouse?).

Rev. Larry Michaels (who at one time was pastor at my old church in East Toledo) has written some really interesting books about Toledo history, particularly East Toledo. Had I stayed in Toledo I am certain I would have dove into this stuff full bore. Here are some of Larry's books (could not find a comprehensive list - I believe I have three of his):


While I have no desire to return to Toledo and reside there, I still love the place - warts (lots of them) and all.
 

SqueakyClean

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I found this video pretty informative, esp since I'm one of the folks who always consider Canada as the frozen North. Not only do 70% of Canadians live south of the 49th parallel, but also more Americans than Canadians live North of Canada's southernmost boundary which is Middle Island in Lake Erie...

If you drew a straight line from Middle Island to the Pacific Coast the line would actually traverse extreme Northern CA. That's practically mind-boggling...

Not under the "significant" list, but tangential to this post: There are a few locations in the US where kids cross the border to get to school each day.
I had forgotten about this fact when Covid closed the Canadian border and hadn't considered what this did to the kids.


 

Noodle

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Not under the "significant" list, but tangential to this post: There are a few locations in the US where kids cross the border to get to school each day.
I had forgotten about this fact when Covid closed the Canadian border and hadn't considered what this did to the kids.


Reminds me of the kids living on the islands of Lake Erie that used to fly to school in an old Ford Tri-Motor airplane (built in the late 1920s?). I think they operated until at least the 1980s, and it was marketed as the world's shortest airline. The flights would have been less than 5 miles.
 

cosmickid

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It's actually the "Bowling Green Massacre" and is a fictional account of a supposed terrorist attack that KellyAnne Conway used in a couple of print interviews as part of her attempt to justify Trump's Muslim travel ban. She said she misspoke, and basically conflated the arrest of a couple of terrorists in BG in 2011 with an actual massacre...
 

cosmickid

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For example the Tulsa Massacre of 1921 and the East St. Louis race riot of 1917. I know I was never taught about these events in school, I'm sure there's plenty more and I don't mean events that just involved Native Americans and African Americans. Here's your chance to educate me and likely many others. Please link the event for further reading if possible.
Predating both of those is the 1898 Wilmington (NC) attempted White Supremacist coup. Some people may be surprised to learn that Jan 6 was not the first attempt by (largely) White Supremacist insurgents to overthrow a duly elected Govt on US soil...

"Wilmington’s Lie: The Murderous Coup of 1898 and the Rise of White Supremacy by David Zucchino, which was awarded this year’s Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction, tells a story that’s more than a century old but feels as fresh as today’s headlines. After the collapse of Reconstruction, the port city of Wilmington, North Carolina, was one of the few locales in the South where a so-called Fusion government of Black and white officials, both elected and appointed, ran a smoothly functioning city that was prosperous, racially integrated, and relatively peaceful.

The county coroner, jailer, and treasurer were Black. There were Black doctors, lawyers, magistrates, letter carriers, and health inspectors. Ten of the city’s 26 policemen were Black. The mayor and police chief were white Republicans. John C. Dancy, a Black man appointed federal customs collector, earned the astonishing salary of $4,000 a year—more than the governor. And the Black-owned Daily Record newspaper enjoyed a wide readership and a solid advertising base among businesses both Black and white. “Nowhere in the South during post-Reconstruction did whites and blacks so successfully unite in a multiracial political partnership,” Zucchino writes. “Fusionists managed to win the statewide election in 1894 and seize control of the North Carolina legislature.”

With the 1898 elections approaching, white supremacists set about making sure history did not repeat itself. Spurred by the Raleigh newspaper editor Josephus Daniels and other prominent white supremacists, the white men of Wilmington decided to do exactly what the pro-Trump mob in Washington tried to do on Jan. 6. As Zucchino writes, “It was tacitly understood among white supremacists, at both the state and local level, that violence might be required to overthrow city government regardless of the election outcome in November.”

 
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DANC

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I found this video pretty informative, esp since I'm one of the folks who always consider Canada as the frozen North. Not only do 70% of Canadians live south of the 49th parallel, but also more Americans than Canadians live North of Canada's southernmost boundary which is Middle Island in Lake Erie...

If you drew a straight line from Middle Island to the Pacific Coast the line would actually traverse extreme Northern CA. That's practically mind-boggling...

I'm sure it boggles your mind.
 

TheOriginalHappyGoat

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Reminds me of the kids living on the islands of Lake Erie that used to fly to school in an old Ford Tri-Motor airplane (built in the late 1920s?). I think they operated until at least the 1980s, and it was marketed as the world's shortest airline. The flights would have been less than 5 miles.
 

CO. Hoosier

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For example the Tulsa Massacre of 1921 and the East St. Louis race riot of 1917. I know I was never taught about these events in school, I'm sure there's plenty more and I don't mean events that just involved Native Americans and African Americans. Here's your chance to educate me and likely many others. Please link the event for further reading if possible.
When I read your thread title the Pig War was the first historical tidbit Ithat came to mind. You beat me to it.

So, my offering for obscure important history Is The Royal Road, the oldest commercially used trail in the Western Hemisphere. We all know about the wagon trains on the Santa Fe, Oregon and similar trails. The Royal Road predates all of those. The Royal Road was an important link to Spanish settlement of the Southwest U.S. it established Santa Fe New Mexico as a vibrant and thriving community while the English struggled at Jamestown. The entire history of the Western U. S. is dominated by Spanish culture, language, customs, and agriculture. For my money, New Mexico is the most culturally and historically interesting state. An important Civil War battle was even fought North East of Santa Fe. This history is not well taught nor understood. And yes, Spanish is a native language just as English is.

 

MyTeamIsOnTheFloor

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Richard Nixon allegedly paid for his first political campaign with money he won playing poker while in the Navy during WWII.

If true, it’s a huge window into his personality.