Abraham Lincoln elected 16th President

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On this date in 1860, Abraham Lincoln beat John C. Breckinridge, Stephen A. Douglas and John Bell to be elected as the 16th President of the United States, the first Republican to hold that office.

There was already talk that if Lincoln were elected President, South Carolina might take the lead in seceding from the Union. His position on slavery is one of the central issues in American history.

Lincoln often expressed moral opposition to slavery in public and private. He believed that the extension of slavery in the South, Midwest and Western lands would inhibit “free labor on free soil.” He did not call for the immediate end of slavery everywhere in the U.S. until the proposed 13th Amendment became part of his party platform for a later election (1864). (Wikipedia and Cute Calendar)

King Tut

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King Tut Day celebrates the date of the discovery of King Tutankhamen’s Tomb in 1922. Tutankhamun was the 11th pharaoh of Dynasty 18 of the New Kingdom in Ancient Egypt, making his mummy over 3,300 years old. The discovery of the tomb as a whole was one of the most significant and famous archeological discoveries in modern times.  (from Wikipedia and Cute Calendar)

Statue of Liberty

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The Statue of Liberty was presented by France to the U.S. this date in 1886.

The Statue of Liberty is a neoclassical sculpture on Liberty Island in New York Harbor in New York City. The copper statue, designed by Frederic Auguste Bartoldi, a French sculptor, was built by Gustave Eiffel (of Eiffel Tower fame). It was a gift to the United States from the people of France that harkened back to the fact that France supplied troops and leadership in the American War of Independence and, following the American example, the French undertook their own fight for independence from their monarchy.

The statue is of a robed female figure representing Libertas, the Roman goddess, who bears a torch and a tablet evoking the law upon which is inscribed the date of the American Declaration of Independence. A broken chain lies at her feet. The statue is an icon of freedom and of the United States. It stands 151 feet from the statue base to the torch; from ground level to the torch is 305 feet 1 inch.

It was proposed that the French finance the statue and the Americans provide the site and build the pedestal. Fundraising proved difficult, especially for the Americans, and by 1885 work on the pedestal was threatened due to lack of funds. Publisher Joseph Pulitzer of the New York World started a drive for donations to complete the project that attracted more than 120,000 contributors, most of whom gave less than a dollar. The statue was constructed in France, shipped overseas in crates, and assembled on the completed pedestal on what was then called Bedloe’s Island. The statue’s completion was marked by New York’s first ticker-tape parade and a dedication ceremony presided over by President Grover Cleveland.

The statue was administered by the United States Lighthouse Board until 1901 and then by the Department of War. Since 1933 it has been maintained by the National Park Service. Public access to the balcony surrounding the torch has been barred for safety reasons since 1916.

(me and Wikipedia)

Gunfight at the O.K. Corral

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On this date in 1881 the “Gunfight at the OK Corral” occurred. Wyatt Earp, his two brothers and “Doc” Holliday had a shootout with the Ike Clanton gang.

The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral was a 30-second gunfight between lawmen and members of a loosely organized group of outlaws called the “Cowboys” that took place at about 3:00 P.M. on a Wednesday this date in 1881 in Tombstone, Arizona Territory. The gunfight was the result of a long-simmering feud with Cowboys Billy Claiborne, Ike and Billy Clanton, and Tom and Frank McLaury on one side; town Marshall Virgil Earp, Special Policemen Morgan Earp and Wyatt Earp, and temporary policeman Doc Holliday were on the other side.

All three Earp brothers had been the target of repeated death threats made by the Cowboys, who were upset by the Earps’ interference in their illegal activities. Billy Clanton and both McLaury brothers were killed. Ike Clanton claimed he was unarmed and ran from the fight, along with Billy Claiborne. Virgil, Morgan and Doc Holliday were wounded, but Wyatt Earp was unharmed. The shootout has come to represent a period of the American Old West when the frontier was virtually an open range for outlaws, largely unopposed by law enforcement officers, who were spread thin over vast territories.

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The gunfight was not well-known to the American public until 1931 when Stuart Lake published an initially well-received biography, Wyatt Earp: Frontier Marshall, two years after Earp’s death. The book was the basis for the 1946 film My Darling Clementine, directed by John Ford, and the 1957 film Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, after which the shootout became known by that name. (me and Wikipedia)

United Nations created

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The United Nations came into existence this date in 1945.

The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization formed  to promote international cooperation. A replacement for the ineffective League of Nations, the organization was established after World War II in order to prevent another such conflict. At its founding, the UN had 51 member states; there are now 193.

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Headquarters of the UN is in Manhattan, New York City. The organization is financed by assessed and voluntary contributions from its member states. Its objectives include maintaining international peace and security, promoting human rights, fostering social and economic development, protecting the environment, and providing humanitarian aid in cases of famine, natural disaster and armed conflict. (from Wikipedia)

 

Women’s Right to Vote

 

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25,000 women marched in New York City demanding the right to vote this date in 1915.

The Constitution did not define who was eligible to vote, allowing each state to determine who was eligible. In the early history of the U.S., most states allowed only white adult property owners to vote. These property ownership requirements were eliminated in all states by 1856. Tax-paying requirements remained in five states until 1860 and two states until the 20th Century.

Subsequently, the “right to vote” was expressly addressed in five Amendments to the U. S. Constitution, and they limit the basis on which the right to vote may be abridged or denied: The 19th Amendment (1920) is the one that gave women the right to vote: “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.”

Incandescent Lamp Invented

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Thomas Edison is given credit for inventing the incandescent electric lamp in 1879.

In addressing the question of who invented the incandescent lamp, historians list 22 inventors of incandescent lamps prior to Edison. They conclude that Edison’s version as able to outstrip the others because of a combination of three factors: an effective incandescent material, a higher vacuum than others were able to achieve and a higher resistance that made power distribution from a centralized source economically viable.

Historian Thomas Hughes has attributed Edison’s success to his development of an entire integrated system of electric lighting. The lamp was a small component in his system of lighting and no more critical to its effective functioning than the Edison Jumbo Generator, the Edison main power source and feeder, and the parallel distribution system. Other inventors with generators and incandescent lamps, and with comparable ingenuity and excellence, have long been forgotten because their creators did not preside over their introduction in a system of lighting. (from Wikipedia)