Abraham Lincoln issues Emancipation Proclamation, declaring slaves in Confederate states to be free.
1863 · The Battle at Gettysburg
The Battle of Gettysburg involved the largest number of casualties of the entire Civil war and is often described as the war's turning point. Between 46,000 and 51,000 soldiers lost their lives during the three-day Battle. To honor the fallen soldiers, President Abraham Lincoln read his historic Gettysburg Address and helped those listening by redefining the purpose of the war.
1869 · Transcontinental Railroad Reaches San Francisco
The first transcontinental railroad reached San Francisco in 1869. The Western Pacific Railroad Company built the track from Oakland to Sacramento. The Central Pacific Railroad Company of California built the section from Sacramento to Promontory Summit Utah. The railroad linked isolated California to the rest of the country which had far-reaching effects on the social and economical development of the state.
English, Scottish, and northern Irish: patronymic from the personal name Will , a very common medieval short form of William .