On this day falls the anniversary of the effective end of the American Civil War. That day the famous Southern General Robert E. Lee surrendered to Northern General Ulysses S. Grant near the town of Appomattox, Virginia.
The act of signing the surrender document was done in the house of the wholesaler Wilmer McLean. The house now has a kind of monument status, especially its parlor, where the surrender was signed. Wilmer McLean allegedly used to joke that the Civil War “began in his front yard and ended in his front parlor”. To be more precise, the first major battle of the war began in the yard of McLean’s other house.
Victorious General Grant (who later became U.S. president, and is today on a U.S. $50 bill) was very compassionate toward the defeated southerners. General Lee, therefore, very much appreciated him and never allowed a bad word to be said about Grant. During the surrender they both acted like gentlemen, despite having been arch-enemies during the war.