On this day, with the firing of the first rifle shot, the American Civil War began. It happened in the port city of Charleston in the state of South Carolina. That country seceded from the United States a few weeks before, and on that day one of the Northern warships tried to enter the port. Southern cadets fired warning shots from the Citadel that protected the harbor. The shots flew over the ship’s bow and three of them hit the ship, which then turned around and left the harbor sailing for New York. The warship was named the “Star of the West”, so this event is also known as the “Star of the West” incident. As an aside, the city of Charleston gave the name to a famous dance that originated in the 1920s.