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1863 was 8 years before the founding of the City of Birmingham, 44 years after Alabama became a state, and 2 years after Alabama joined the Confederacy.





William Elias B. Davis in 1887




In 1863, the Civil War and Taiping Rebellion continued. Harper's Weekly published Thomas Nast's first drawing of the modern Santa Claus. The first section of the London Underground Railway opened. The world-famous midgets General Tom Thumb and Lavinia Warren were married in New York City. Arizona and Idaho were organized as territories. West Virginia was admitted as a state. The largest battle of the Civil War, the Battle of Gettysburg, was fought. Thanksgiving was proclaimed a national holiday.

Books published in 1863 included The Water-Babies by Charles Kingsley, Five Weeks in a Balloon by Jules Verne, and The Cossacks by Leo Tolstoy.

Notable births in 1863 included automobile pioneer Henry Royce, newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst, automobile manufacturer Henry Ford, statesman Austen Chamberlain, and astronomer Annie Jump Cannon. Notable deaths included Confederate General Stonewall Jackson, Confederate General Lewis Armistead, statesman Sam Houston, painter Eugène Delacroix, folklorist Jacob Grimm, King Frederick VII of Denmark, and novelist William Makepeace Thackeray.

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