July 21, 1861–> First Battle of Bull Run
About three months after the American Civil War erupted at Fort Sumter, SC, the first major land battle of the War happened on this day in 1861. A large Union force headed by Union General Irvin McDowell was swiftly defeated by the Confederate army lead by General Pierre G.T. Beauregard. The fighting started with three Union divisions crossing the Bull Run stream, and the Confederate troops were driven back to nearby Henry House Hill. But, at that location, Beauregard had formed a strong defensive anchored by a brigade of infantry from Virginia under General Thomas J. Jackson. Firing from a concealed slope, Jackson’s men fended off a series of charges from Union troops. This is where Jackson earned his famous nickname “Stonewall.”
July 21, 1899–> Ernest Hemingway is Born
Today 118 years ago, Ernest Miller Hemingway, author of such American literary classics such as A Farewell to Arms, The Sun Also Rises, A Moveable Feast For Whom the Bell Tolls, and The Old Man and the Sea, was born in Oak Park Illinois-a suburb of Chicago. This just makes the list of people from Oak Park even bigger, and includes names such a Frank Lloyd Wright, Bob Newhart, Dan Castellaneta, Ray Kroc, and Betty White. After graduating from Oak Park & River Forest High School in 1917, he found a job as a reporter for the Kansas City Star. The next year, he was a volunteer ambulance driver for the Red Cross in Italy during World War I, and was wounded by mortar fire and it took him months to recuperate (he would use his experiences overseas to write what is possibly his most famous work, A Farewell to Arms). Hemingway was a part of the famous “Lost Generation”, a group of artists who came of age during WWI, many of whom fled to Paris to work and find inspiration. One of the great American authors., we thank you for your service Mr. Hemingway.