Harvard: Whig Improvement and Constitutional Conservation

On September 30, 2022, Harvard University's Program on Constitutional Government will host JMC faculty partner Greg Weiner for a lecture on Whig political thought and conserving the Constitution. Friday, September 30, 2022 • 12:00 PM EDT CGIS North (Knafel), Room K-354 • Harvard University RSVP to attend: pcg@gov.harvard.edu Andy Zwick, Executive Director     Greg […]

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On this day in 1908, Ford’s Model T went on sale for the first time

On this day in 1908, Ford’s Model T went on sale for the first time. One of the first mass-production vehicles, the Model T is generally considered the first affordable automobile made for use by the general populace. Though modern cars existed long before the Model T, they were not particularly accessible to ordinary people. […]

Samford University “Tocqueville, Law, and the Priests of Democracy” with Richard Avramenko, October 3 at 6:30

Tocqueville, Law and the High Priests of Democracy Speaker: Richard Avramenko of the University of Wisconsin Date: Monday, October 3rd at 6:30 p.m. Location: Regions Community Resource Room: BSOB 400 at Cooney Hall, Samford University Why is democracy important? Why has Americafought so hard to preserve its constitution andgovernment? On Monday, Oct. 3, Samford University's Colloquium […]

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On this day in 1871, the Great Chicago Fire began

On this day in 1871, the Great Chicago Fire began, destroying thousands of buildings and claiming roughly 300 lives over the course of three days. A dangerously dry summer and gusting winds made conditions in the Midwest ripe for fire – the same day that the Great Chicago Fire started, devastating fires also broke out […]

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On this day in 1901, the White House officially became the “White House”

On this day in 1901, the White House officially became “the White House”. Prior to Theodore Roosevelt’s order, the White House was officially called “the Executive Mansion.” Did you know? As a nickname, “the White House” dates back to 1798, when the new building was first whitewashed to protect its porous sandstone walls from freezing. […]

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On this day in 1754, Mary Ludwig Hays McCauley was born near Trenton, New Jersey

On this day in 1754, Mary Ludwig Hays McCauley (an inspiration for legendary Revolutionary War hero Molly Pitcher) was born near Trenton, New Jersey. Like many soldiers’ wives during the Revolution, McCauley followed her husband’s troop and performed mundane (but crucial) tasks like washing clothes and hauling water. Did you know? There is no definitive […]

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National No Beard Day!

It’s National No Beard Day! 🪒🪒🪒 Did you know? Nearly every U.S. president could celebrate this day – only 5 of our 46 presidents have worn beards, the first being Abraham Lincoln.🧔🧔🧔🧔🧔 11-year-old Grace Bedell famously wrote to him, urging Abe to grow a beard: “I have got 4 brothers and part of them will […]

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On this day in 1797, the USS Constitution was launched in Boston Harbor

On this day in 1797, the USS Constitution (“Old Ironsides”) was launched in Boston Harbor. Still afloat in Boston today, the USS Constitution is the oldest ship commissioned in the United States Navy and the oldest commissioned warship afloat in the world. Did you know? George Washington named the Constitution. The nickname, “Old Ironsides,” was […]

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The American origins of the Jack o’ Lantern

Jack o’ lanterns as we know them today have American origins. Pumpkins are native to the Americas (first grown in Central America) so the first jack o’ lanterns carved in Europe was made with turnips or other similar root vegetables. 🥔🍠🥔 Plentiful in America, pumpkins were a valuable source of food for early colonists in […]

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On this day in 1913, the Great Lakes Storm of 1913 began

On this day in 1913, the Great Lakes Storm of 1913 began. Over the course of 4 days, the blizzard killed over 250 people and sunk 19 ships. Bystanders reported whiteout snow conditions and hurricane-force winds as the storm tore through the Great Lakes region. 🌨❄️💨 Waves swelled up to 35 feet. 🌊🌊🌊 The blizzard […]

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On this day in 1775, the U.S. Marine Corps was created

On this day in 1775, the U.S. Marine Corps was created as the Second Continental Congress passed a resolution to form two battalions of Continental Marines to augment naval operations. The Marines made their first amphibious raid a few months later, successfully seizing British gunpowder and munitions at Fort Nassau in the Bahamas. Did you […]

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On this day in 1620, 41 colonists signed the Mayflower Compact

On this day in 1620, 41 colonists signed the Mayflower Compact off the coast of present-day Cape Cod, Massachusetts. A religiously divided group of Separatist Pilgrims and pro-Church of England colonists, the settlers needed some type of binding governance to survive together in a new land. The Mayflower Compact filled this need, organizing the colonists […]

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Happy Veterans Day!

Each year, Veterans Day honors the bravery and sacrifice of American veterans, both past and present. 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 Did you know? For many years, Veterans Day was Armistice Day. Although World War I officially ended with the Treaty of Versailles in 1919, fighting ceased much earlier with an armistice on November 11, 1918. President […]

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On this day in 1801, the first issue of the New York Post was published

On this day in 1801, the first issue of the New York Post was published. The newspaper was founded by Alexander Hamilton, and, like its founder, supported Federalist policies on a central bank and foreign policy. Did you know? Hamilton wrote attack pieces on Thomas Jefferson in the Post using the pseudonym, "Lucius Crassus," after […]

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving from JMC! Thanksgiving, one of our country's oldest holidays, has roots in both Native American and European traditions. The Wampanoags and other Native American tribes traditionally held ceremonies of thanksgiving for successful harvests and instances of good fortune. Long before coming to North America, Europeans too gave thanks for good harvests with feasting […]

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First night of Hanukkah for Jewish communities around the world

This evening marks the first night of Hanukkah for Jewish communities around the world. Did you know? In comparison to major Jewish holidays like Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, Hanukkah is actually a fairly minor religious festival. In the 19th century, however, both Hanukkah and Christmas saw a rise in popularity in the United States. […]

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On this day in 1835, American author Mark Twain was born in Florida, Missouri

On this day in 1835, American author Mark Twain (né Samuel Clemens) was born in Florida, Missouri. Popular for his colorful and humorous style, Twain nonetheless tackled serious issues in American society, such as slavery and race, morality, and human nature. His most famous book may be The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, which portrays slavery […]

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Happy National Cookie Day!

It’s National Cookie Day! 🍪 🍪 🍪 Did you know? Cookies in colonial America were made from simple ingredients like sugar and butter. These butter cookies were close relatives of teacakes and shortbread of the Old World. With progress in shipping and transportation, however, cookie varieties eventually exploded – in modern times we enjoy cookies […]

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Happy Bill of Rights Day!

Happy Bill of Rights Day! 📜 🖋 📜 🖋 📜 On this day in 1791, the Bill of Rights was ratified, consisting of the first ten amendments to our Constitution. Inspired by such documents as the Magna Carta and Virginia Declaration of Rights, the Bill of Rights explicitly protected such basic American rights as freedom […]

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On this day in 1773, the Boston Tea Party took place

On this day in 1773, the Boston Tea Party occurred as American colonists protested the Tea Act and British “taxation without representation” by dumping over 45 tons of tea into Boston Harbor. That’s right – tons. The tea was worth over $1,000,000 in today’s currency. ☕️ 💵 ☕️ 💵 ☕️ 💵 The event served as […]

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On this day in 1777, the first national Thanksgiving was celebrated

On this day in 1777, the first national Thanksgiving was celebrated to give thanks for the American victory at the Battle of Saratoga. The victory proved to be a crucial turning point, helping to persuade the French to recognize and assist the patriotic cause. Proclaimed by then-General George Washington, the day of Thanksgiving called Americans […]

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On this day in 1732, Benjamin Franklin first published Poor Richard’s Almanack under the pseudonym of Richard Saunders

On this day in 1732, Benjamin Franklin first published Poor Richard’s Almanack under the pseudonym of Richard Saunders. The best-selling almanac contained a calendar and weather predictions (as expected), but also entertained readers with humor pieces, proverbs, poems, and more. Some of Poor Richard’s proverbs included: “No gains without pains.” 💪 😫 “Early to bed […]

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Today marks the first day of winter

Today marks the first day of winter and is the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. Did you know? In the United States, several Native American tribes observed (and still observe) the beginning of winter with traditions including dance, prayer, and, in particular, storytelling. Winter Landscape in the Sun, Carl Kenzler, c. […]

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It’s Christmas Day

Did you know? Although the holiday is believed to date back to 336 A.D., Christmas did not catch on across the United States until the latter half of the 1700s. During colonial times, celebrations (or lack thereof) greatly depended on the predominant sect of each region. In Puritan New England, Christmas celebrations were often banned […]

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28th president Woodrow Wilson was born in Staunton, Virginia

On this day in 1856, 28th president Woodrow Wilson was born in Staunton, Virginia. During Wilson’s administration, he was responsible for the United States abstention from (and subsequent entry into) World War I, as well as the implementation of several progressive policies. Wilson was also responsible for founding the League of Nations. Though the United […]

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17th president Andrew Johnson was born in Raleigh, North Carolina

On this day in 1808, 17th president Andrew Johnson was born in Raleigh, North Carolina. The successor to Lincoln, Johnson had huge shoes to fill, wrestling with Reconstruction in a nation still heavily divided. Johnson was at odds with his “Radical Republican” Congress, who condemned his policies as too lenient to the South. This tension […]

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The first New Year’s Eve “ball drop” in Times Square

On this day in 1907, the first New Year’s Eve “ball drop” in Times Square took place in New York City. The first ball was tiny but heavy – only 5 feet in diameter, but 700 pounds, it was carefully lowered down a flagpole by pulley. Unlike the modern ball, which is famously covered in […]

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Happy New Year!

In colonial America, it was customary to exchange small gifts on New Year’s Day and visit with friends and neighbors. One common (and fragrant!) gift was an orange with cloves stuck into it, often forming designs. 🍊🍊🍊 In the American South, people traditionally ate black-eyed peas for New Year. The peas were thought to resemble […]

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Happy National Bird Day!

One of the most famous (and rare) books of American birds is John J. Audubon’s Birds of America. Printed as a subscription from 1827 to 1838, the book contains over 400 watercolor illustrations of North American birds that are still studied and admired today. Did you know? Audubon was likely the first person in North […]

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13th president Millard Fillmore was born in Cayuga County, New York

On this day in 1800, 13th president Millard Fillmore was born in Cayuga County, New York. His presidency was defined by the passage of the Compromise of 1850, which temporarily staved off disputes between pro-and anti-slavery factions. Though the Compromise abolished slavery in Washington D.C. and created a free state in California, it also included […]

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On this day in 1790, George Washington delivered the first State of the Union Address to Congress at Federal Hall in New York City

On this day in 1790, George Washington delivered the first State of the Union Address to Congress at Federal Hall in New York City. Among other things, Washington presented the young nation’s current affairs in foreign policy, the economy, immigration, and national defense. Informed by a requirement in Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution, […]

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Virginia enacted the Statute for Religious Freedom

On this day in 1786, Virginia enacted the Statute for Religious Freedom. The statute disestablished the Church of England as Virginia’s official state-supported religion and implemented freedom of worship. 🙏 ✝️ 🙏 ☪️ 🙏 ✡️ 🙏 Authored by Thomas Jefferson, the statute was an important precursor to the protection of religious liberty and separation of […]

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Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day!

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day! Did you know? It took over 15 years for Martin Luther King Jr. Day to come into being. In the year after King’s death, Congressman John Conyers Jr. introduced legislation to create the federal holiday. Three years later, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference also presented Congress with a petition […]

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On this day in 1809, Edgar Allan Poe was born in Boston, Massachusetts

On this day in 1809, American suspense and horror writer Edgar Allan Poe was born in Boston, Massachusetts. Poe’s short stories and poems, including such classics as “The Raven”, “The Tell-Tale Heart” and “The Cask of Amontillado”, are still widely read and admired for their macabre themes and mysterious story-telling. Did you know? Poe was […]

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National Hot Sauce Day!

It’s National Hot Sauce Day! 🌶🌶🌶 Did you know that hot sauce has deep American roots? Chilis were domesticated in present-day Mexico around 5000 B.C. The Aztecs and Mayans combined […]

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John Hancock was born in Braintree, Massachusetts

On this day in 1737, founding father, successful merchant, and first signer of the Declaration of Independence John Hancock was born in Braintree, Massachusetts. Before the Revolution, Hancock was one […]

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Happy National Peanut Butter Day!

Happy National Peanut Butter Day! 🥜 🥜 🥜 This uniquely American treat was first patented in the late 1800s, as Canadian Marcellus Gilmore Edson and American John Harvey Kellogg experimented with creating pastes out of roasted and raw peanuts. Kellogg’s easily digested paste was used as a healthy food for sanitarium patients. As a result […]

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On this day in 1892, Bessie Coleman was born in Atlanta, Texas

On this day in 1892, Bessie Coleman, the first African-American and Native American woman pilot was born in Atlanta, Texas. Coleman gave speeches, and lessons, and toured across America and Europe, encouraging other women to pursue flight and dazzling crowds with her daring air tricks. 🛩 🛩 🛩 She also publicly stood up against segregation, […]

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On this day in 1843, 25th president William McKinley was born in Niles, Ohio

On this day in 1843, 25th president William McKinley was born in Niles, Ohio. His presidency was notable for an increase in protective tariffs and imperialist policies that led to the annexation of the Philippines, Guam, and Puerto Rico. Tragically, McKinley was the third president assassinated – an anarchist shot him at the Pan-American Exposition […]

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Happy Groundhog Day!

Today, the groundhog saw his shadow – six more weeks of winter! 🌨🌨🌨 Groundhog Day was first officially celebrated on this day in 1887 in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. Members of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club still gather in Gobbler’s Knob to lift Phil high in the air and oversee the proceedings in Pennsylvania Dutch. So, where did […]

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On this day in 1870, the 15th Amendment was ratified

On this day in 1870, the 15th Amendment was ratified, giving all American men the right to vote, regardless of race or previous state of servitude. Significantly, this meant that emancipated slaves and other African Americans had all the rights and privileges awarded by the Constitution to every U.S. citizen. The immediate effects of the […]

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On this day in 1756, Aaron Burr was born in Newark, New Jersey

On this day in 1756, infamous American politician Aaron Burr was born in Newark, New Jersey. Though he may be best-known for his duel with Alexander Hamilton (which proved fatal to Hamilton), Burr was also a Revolutionary War hero and served as vice president in the Jefferson administration, during which time he set a high […]

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9th president William Henry Harrison born in Berkeley, Virginia

On this day in 1773, 9th president William Henry Harrison was born in Berkeley, Virginia. He served the shortest term of any president – a mere month – before expiring from pneumonia. Though he didn’t make much impact as president, Harrison was well-known as a general in the War of 1812 and in battles with […]

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16th president Abraham Lincoln born near Hodgenville, Kentucky

On this day in 1809, 16th president Abraham Lincoln was born near Hodgenville, Kentucky. We particularly honor Lincoln for his leadership in steering the country through a civil war intact and for taking the necessary steps to end slavery once and for all. Did you know? Outside of his political prowess, Lincoln was an inventor. […]

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day! ❤️❤️❤️ Though this holiday has origins in the Roman fertility festival of Lupercalia and as a Christian feast day, it wasn’t until the 17th and 18th centuries that it became popular to mark the day by exchanging notes and tokens of affection with friends and lovers. 💋💝🥂💐 Did you know? Handmade cards […]

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Susan B. Anthony born in Adams, Massachusetts

On this day in 1820, American activist Susan B. Anthony was born in Adams, Massachusetts. An icon of the women’s suffrage movement, Anthony founded the National American Woman Suffrage Association with Elizabeth Cady Stanton and helped pave the way for the Nineteenth Amendment. Aside from her activism for women’s rights, Anthony was also a vocal […]

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Adventures of Huckleberry Finn first published in the U.S.

On this day in 1885, Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was first published in the United States. The book, still widely-read for its portrayal of race relations, focuses on the relationship between a young boy, Huckleberry Finn, and an escaped slave, Jim. Though a sequel to The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, it far surpassed […]

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George Washington born in Westmoreland County, Virginia

On this day in 1732, founding father and our 1st president George Washington was born in Westmoreland County, Virginia. Aside from serving two terms as our first president, Washington was Commander in Chief of the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. Uniquely, he was in a position of steering the emerging nation to success not […]

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow born in Portland, Maine

On this day in 1807, American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was born in Portland, Maine. He is one of the best-known poets of the nineteenth century, authoring such prominent and lasting works as “Paul Revere’s Ride”, “The Courtship of Miles Standish”, The Song of Hiawatha, and Evangeline. His works appealed to the masses. Did you […]

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Yellowstone National Park established in 1872

On this day in 1872, Yellowstone National Park was established as President Ulysses S. Grant signed an act protecting over 2 million acres of wilderness as “a public park or pleasuring-ground for the benefit and enjoyment of the people.” It was the first national park in America. 🏕🌲🦌🌳 Did you know? Yellowstone contains roughly 75% […]

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“The Star-Spangled Banner” becomes the U.S. national anthem

On this day in 1931, the United States officially adopted “The Star-Spangled Banner” as its national anthem. The song was penned in 1814, but gained greater meaning throughout the 19th century, becoming particularly impactful during and after the Civil War. Why? During the upheaval of the war, the American flag had become an even more […]

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Boston Massacre occurs on King Street in Boston

On this day in 1770, the Boston Massacre occurred on King Street in Boston, Massachusetts as colonists rioted and British troops panicked, opening fire and killing 5 men. The incident […]

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Harriet Tubman Day

On this day in 1913, American abolitionist and leading conductor in the Underground Railroad Harriet Tubman died in Auburn, New York. An escaped slave herself, Tubman took great personal risks to lead at least 70 slaves out of the South to freedom – she never lost a passenger. Did you know? Aside from her work […]

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! 🍀🍺🍀🍺🍀🍺 Irish-Americans (and not so Irish Americans) across the country celebrate Irish heritage today with parades, corned beef and cabbage, and festive green attire. The holiday, traditionally a celebration of Ireland’s patron saint, has been marked in North America for hundreds of years. The first St. Patrick’s Day parade took place […]

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On this day in 1837, Grover Cleveland born in Caldwell, New Jersey

On this day in 1837, 22nd (and 24th) president Grover Cleveland was born in Caldwell, New Jersey. Cleveland is the only president to have served for two separate terms. His time in office was characterized by political reform, hot debates over tariffs and the gold standard, and the greatest economic depression yet seen in the […]

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First Lady Lou Hoover born in Waterloo, Iowa

On March 29, 1874, First Lady Lou Hoover was born in Waterloo, Iowa. The wife of 31st president, Herbert Hoover, Lou served as first lady during the first years of the Great Depression. Did you know? A geology major while at university, Lou had a love of nature and the outdoors and was a strong […]

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President John Tyler birthday

  Today marks the birthday of the 10th president John Tyler. Did you know that Tyler was the first vice-president to take office after the death of a sitting president? He became president after the death of William Henry Harrison, who held the shortest term in U.S. history. He is also known as the only […]

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Establishment of the Civilian Conservation Corps

On this day in 1933, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was established to organize young, unemployed American men to work on America’s parks and forests. In addition to providing jobs for the unemployed, the program led to a greater appreciation and awareness of America’s wilderness. ⁠ ⁠ Did you know that over the course of […]

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On this day in 1918, First Lady Betty Ford born in Chicago, Illinois

On April 8, 1918, First Lady Betty Ford was born in Chicago, Illinois. During her time as First Lady, Ford brought special attention to drug and alcohol addiction, as well as breast cancer awareness. Having faced addiction and breast cancer herself, Ford made the personal public to reduce stigma around these issues. Did you know? […]

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Official end of the Civil War

On this day in 1865, the Civil War unofficially ended as General Robert E. Lee surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant in Appomattox Court House, Virginia. ⁠ ⁠ Did you know?: Lee arrived at the meeting in his full dress uniform, while future president Grant wore his muddy field uniform for the occasion. ⁠Terms of […]

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First Boston Marathon

On this day in 1897, the first Boston Marathon took place. Only 15 runners (all men) took part in the race, with John J. McDermott of New York finishing victorious. The number of participants has grown to roughly 30,000 runners in more recent times.⁠ ⁠ Did you know? Women weren’t allowed to enter the marathon […]

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15th President James Buchanan birthday

  On this day in 1791, 15th president James Buchanan was born. The last president born in the 18th century, he served just one term from 1857 to 1861, as the immediate predecessor to Abraham Lincoln. ⁠ ⁠ Though Buchanan aimed to compromise in an increasingly divided nation, he failed to prevent the conflict of […]

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On this day in 1800, the Library of Congress was established

On this day in 1800, the Library of Congress was established in Washington, D.C. It is our nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world! Since 1801, the collection has increased from its initial 740 volumes “necessary for the use of Congress” to over 170 million items. ⁠ ⁠ The Library […]

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On this day 1788, Maryland was ratified into the United States

On April 28, 1788, 7th state Maryland was ratified into the United States. Did you know? The Maryland State House is the oldest state capitol in continuous legislative use. It also served as the national Capitol when Annapolis was our nation’s capitol – Washington resigned his commission as commander-in-chief of the army here. What’s in […]

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On this day in 1812, Louisiana was admitted to the United States

On April 30, 1812, Louisiana was admitted to the United States as our 18th state. Did you know? Perhaps unsurprisingly, Louisiana is the birthplace of jazz. The port city of New Orleans was the perfect melting pot for jazz’s development, as the genre borrows elements of both African and European musical traditions. Jazz developed in […]

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Mary Kies becomes the first woman to receive a U.S. patent

On May 5, 1809, Mary Kies became the first woman to receive a U.S. patent for her new method of weaving straw hats using silk and thread. 👒👒👒 Did you know? First Lady Dolley Madison was so impressed with Kies’ innovation that she wrote to her with congratulations for boosting the female-dominated straw hat-making industry. […]

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American Abolitionist John Brown born in Torrington, Connecticut

On May 9, 1800, American abolitionist John Brown was born in Torrington, Connecticut. He’s best remembered for his forceful means of fighting slavery, in particular the raid he led on Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia in 1859. The raid was meant to incite a nationwide slave rebellion and heightened already rising tensions over slavery between North […]

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Minnesota admitted as 32nd State

On May 11, 1858, Minnesota was admitted into the United States as our 32nd state. Did you know? Minnesota was the first Union state to volunteer troops to fight in the Civil War. Roughly half of Minnesota’s eligible men fought in the war. Minnesota’s nickname, “Land of 10,000 Lakes,” is no exaggeration. In actuality, the […]

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The Lewis and Clark expedition begins

On May 14, 1804, the Lewis and Clark expedition began as William Clark departed from Camp Dubois in Illinois to join Meriwether Lewis in St. Charles, Missouri. Over the course of the next two and a half years, the men and their expedition would explore the newly obtained Louisiana Purchase, traveling 8,000+ miles to and […]

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On this day in 1860, First Lady Ellen Wilson born in Savannah, Georgia

On May 15, 1860, First Lady Ellen Wilson was born in Savannah, Georgia. First Lady to Woodrow Wilson, she took a particular interest in art and children’s issues. Before marrying, she attended the prestigious Art Students League. 🎨 🖌 Did you know? Wilson directed the addition of the famous Rose Garden to the White House […]

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New York Stock Exchange established

On May 17, 1792, the New York Stock Exchange was established as businessmen met under a buttonwood tree on Wall Street and signed a trading agreement to give preference to each other while buying and selling. 💸💸💸 Trading often took place outside (weather-permitting) as well as in nearby taverns and coffeehouses. 🌳☕️🌳 Did you know? […]

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On this day In 1954, Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka was decided

On this day in 1954, Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka was decided with the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruling that race-based segregation in public schools was unlawful and denied black children equal educational opportunities. The landmark case began as five separate cases drawn from Kansas, South Carolina, Virginia, Delaware, and D.C. At the […]

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First Lady Dolley Madison born in Guilford County, North Carolina

On May 20, 1768, First Lady Dolley Madison was born in Guilford County, North Carolina. The wife of founding father James Madison, Dolley balanced his taciturn nature with her sociability, friendliness, and fun-loving tendencies. Their marriage is remembered as a particularly happy one despite their difference in natures and wide age gap of 17 years. […]

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Crater Lake National Park established in Oregon

On May 22, 1902, Crater Lake National Park was established in Oregon. Aside from being jaw-droppingly beautiful, the lake is the deepest in the United States, reaching depths of 1,943 (the ninth deepest in the world). Did you know? Crater Lake was formed by the eruption and collapse of the volcano Mount Mazama 7,700 years […]

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World Wrestling Day

May 23 is World Wrestling Day! Several U.S. presidents didn’t just wrestle, but were good at it, including Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and Zachary Taylor. Abraham Lincoln was renowned in his region for his wrestling skills, only losing one match in a dozen years. He is the only president to be conducted into the […]

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On this day in 1844, telegraph inventor Samuel Morse sent the first telegraph message from the Capital building in Washington D.C. to Baltimore MD

  On this day in 1844, telegraph inventor Samuel Morse sent the first telegraph message from the Capitol building in Washington, D.C. to Baltimore, MD. 🏛️➡️➡️➡️➡️🏘️ Though now obsolete, the telegraph made a lasting impact on nationwide (and eventually worldwide) communications and was indispensable for war correspondence during the Civil War. ⁠ ⁠ Did you […]

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Constitutional Convention begins

On May 25, 1787, the Constitutional Convention began in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Delegates from nearly every state, including George Washington, James Madison, and Benjamin Franklin, met to discuss the future of the United States and a revision of the Articles of Confederation. Over the next few months, the delegates would develop and vote on the U.S. […]

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Around this time in 1888, American Athlete Jim Thorpe was born

Around this time in 1888, American athlete Jim Thorpe was born near Prague, Oklahoma, a member of the Sac and Fox Nation. Competing in the 1912 Olympics, he was the first Native American to win a gold medal for the United States. Thorpe was a multi-talented athlete - among other sports he was skilled in […]

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First engagement of the French and Indian War

On May 28, 1754, the first engagement of the French and Indian War occurred as a Virginia militia led by 22-year-old George Washington launched a surprise attack on a party of French in southwestern Pennsylvania. 🇬🇧🇫🇷 The skirmish had international implications. Though fighting began in 1754, war wasn’t officially declared between Great Britain and France […]

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Rhode Island becomes the 13th State

On May 29, 1790, our 13th state, Rhode Island, was ratified into the United States. Though it was the first colony to renounce allegiance to Great Britain, it was the last of the Thirteen Colonies to ratify the Constitution, and the only state to boycott the Constitutional Convention. Though it is tiny (the smallest state […]

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On this day in 1922, the Lincoln Memorial was dedicated in Washington D.C.

On this day in 1922, the Lincoln Memorial was dedicated in Washington, D.C. The structure honors our 16th president and his actions to end slavery and preserve the Union. ⁠ ⁠ The 1922 dedication ceremony was attended by such prominent figures as Robert Lincoln (Lincoln’s only surviving son), past president William Howard Taft, and keynote […]

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First Lady Helen “Nellie” Taft born in Cincinnati, Ohio

On June 2, 1861, First Lady Helen “Nellie” Taft was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. Taft was enthusiastic about music and travel. She had a degree in music from the Cincinnati College of Music and founded the city’s orchestra association. 🎼🎺🎻 Even before her time as First Lady, she had close presidential ties. Taft’s parents were […]

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First drive-in movie theater opens in Pennsauken, New Jersey

On June 6, 1933, the first drive-in movie theater, Camden Drive-In, opened in Pennsauken, New Jersey. 🎬🎟🚗 Richard Hollingshead, an auto products manager, came up with the idea after witnessing his mother’s discomfort while sitting in the standard movie theater seat. Striking on the comfort of the roomy car seat, he tested the idea in […]

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First Lady Ida McKinley born in Canton, Ohio

On June 8, 1847, First Lady Ida McKinley was born in Canton, Ohio. McKinley suffered from many tragedies in her life – aside from her husband’s assassination in 1901, she had previously lost both of her children and suffered from a serious illness that caused debilitating headaches, fainting, and seizures. Before marrying and while healthy, […]

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Revolutionary War patriot Joseph Warren born in Roxbury, Massachusetts

On June 11, 1741, American patriot and physician Joseph Warren was born in Roxbury, Massachusetts. A significant figure in the early days of the Revolutionary War, Dr. Warren led up several patriot organizations in Boston, and was the person that enlisted Paul Revere for his famous midnight ride. Sadly, Warren would never see the fruits […]

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Loving v. Virginia

  On June 12, 1967, the Supreme Court ruled in Loving v. Virginia that the prohibition of interracial marriage was unconstitutional. The case came to the Court after Mildred Jeter (a black woman) and Richard Loving (a white man) were married in Washington, D.C. and returned to Virginia, where they were charged with violating state […]

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Happy Flag Day!

⁠Happy Flag Day! Today marks the  anniversary of the adoption of the American flag. First celebrated locally in northern states during the Civil War, June 14th wasn’t officially established as Flag Day until President Woodrow Wilson made a proclamation in 1916. Although not an official federal holiday, Flag Day is an official state holiday in […]

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Happy Father’s Day!

Father’s Day was not, as one may imagine, founded by a father, but by a loving daughter, Sonora Smart Dodd. While sitting in at a church service for Mother’s Day, Dodd was inspired to start a day for dads. Her own father, William Smart, was a Civil War veteran who single-handedly raised Dodd and her […]

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On this day in 1876, the Battle of Little Bighorn took place

On this day in 1876, the Battle of Little Bighorn took place in what is now Montana. Combined Native American forces consisting of Lakota Sioux, Northern Cheyenne, and Arapaho warriors soundly defeated General George Armstrong Custer and his men, none of whom survived.⁠ ⁠ The battle, also known as “Custer’s Last Stand,” was one of […]

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On this day in 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the Federal-Aid Highway Act

On this day in 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the Federal-Aid Highway Act, officially creating the U.S. Interstate Highway System. The new system of highways (41,000 miles in total) greatly improved infrastructure and increased the efficiency of nationwide travel.⁠ ⁠ The project is considered one of the most important achievements of Eisenhower’s presidency. ⁠ […]

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Happy Independence Day!

Happy Independence Day! On this day in 1776, our nation was born as the Second Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence. Independence Day has only been a federal holiday since 1941, but July 4th has been celebrated as our country’s birthday since the eighteenth century. 🎆  🇺🇸 🎉⁠ ⁠ Did you know? Fittingly, the […]

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On this day in 1787, Congress adopted the Northwest Ordinance

On this day in 1787, Congress adopted the Northwest Ordinance, which established formal procedures for transitioning American territories into states, encouraged public education, and, perhaps most importantly, banned slavery in the Northwest Territory. Did you know? The Northwest Territory consisted of the current states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, and parts of Minnesota. Almost […]

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On this day in 1913, 38th president Gerald Ford in Omaha, Nebraska

On this day in 1913, 38th president Gerald Ford was born in Omaha, Nebraska. During his administration, the United States exited the Vietnam War and faced a domestic energy crisis. Ford is remembered as the successor to Richard Nixon, who resigned amidst the Watergate Scandal – Ford controversially pardoned the former president. Did you know? […]

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On this day in 1862, Ida B. Wells was born in Holly Springs, Missouri

On this day in 1862, civil rights and women’s rights activist Ida B. Wells was born in Holly Springs, Missouri. An investigative journalist, she reported on and exposed the violence of lynchings in the South and spoke out against segregation. During this time, Wells received threats to her life and work but did not waver […]

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On this day in 1902, the first air conditioner was created

On this day in 1902, the first air conditioner was created. Willis Carrier, a young mechanical engineer in Buffalo, New York, invented modern A/C while seeking ways to reduce humidity’s effects on paper. Modern air conditioning came to be used for much more than keeping paper dry. Today, it’s still easy to appreciate the value […]

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On this day in 1848, the Seneca Falls Convention began in Seneca Falls, New York

On this day in 1848, the Seneca Falls Convention began in Seneca Falls, New York. The two-day convention for women’s rights is traditionally considered the beginning of the organized women’s rights movement in the United States. Figureheads Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott were inspired to organize the convention after being denied as delegates at […]