"I believe that to have interfered as I have done as I have always freely admitted I have done in behalf of His despised poor, was not wrong, but right. Now, if it is deemed necessary that I should forfeit my life for the furtherance of the ends of justice, and mingle my blood further with the blood of my children and with the blood of millions in this slave country whose rights are disregarded by wicked, cruel, and unjust enactments, I submit; so let it be done!"
On this date in 1859 John Brown set out with a small group and headed to Harper's Ferry, Virginia (now West Virginia). His goal was to seize weapons from the federal arsenal and lead enslaved persons to freedom in the nearby mountains. He wanted this army to grow until all of the enslaved persons in the southern states had gained their freedom too.
Brown's raid was considered a failure. He was captured and later hanged. Two of his sons were killed as were five others. His supporters denied him. One even committed himself to a mental hospital in order to escape punishment. Brown's captors included Robert E. Lee and Jeb Stewart and John Wilkes Booth was a witness to his hanging.
Despite those facts, Brown was a success. He started the civil war which was the only hope for the enslaved millions. This is a great day in history and must always be celebrated.
(It makes more sense than celebrating Columbus Day.)