Today, our Confederate States friends celebrate the anniversary of the secession of South Carolina, the first state of their nation to declare itself independent of the United States. After a difficult, three year long struggle, the Confedrate States earned recognition from Her Majesty's Government. This came about for three primary reasons: British public reaction to the Trent Affair, a devastating blight on the cotton crop in India in 1863, and a promise of "gradual, eventual emancipation" of all slaves in the South from the Confederate Congress.
British mill owners became desperate for a secure cotton supply from the Confederate States and pressured Parliament into recognition of the Confederacy to obtain it. The Trent Affair in November of 1861 and the Emancipation Resolution passed in the Confederate Congress in April of 1863 made the move politically possible, the former for the insult to British neutrality and sovereignty, the latter for lingering public oppostition in Britain regarding the institution of slavery.
If you see any Confederates weaving slightly int eh streets of our fair city, wish them a Happy Secession Day. If you see any Americans, try to avoid them. In the Northern States, the date is commonly referred to as "Traitor's Day."