July 4 - 1863 - The Surrender of Vicksburg

On the 4th of July, in the middle of the American Civil War, Pennsylvania native John C. Pemberton surrendered the city of Vicksburg, Mississippi to Illinois native Ulysses S. Grant. Pemberton was fighting for the South, though, as his wife was a Virginian and he felt an affinity for Southerners and even owned some slaves. After two months of siege and worsening conditions in Vicksburg, Pemberton recognized that surrendering on July 4th would be beneficial for surrender terms. Famously, Vicksburg, and many other parts of the former Confederacy, would not celebrate the 4th of July for generations.

William Floyd