Archive for February 12th, 2009
February 12, 1865
Garnet preaches to House on slavery and Civil War
The Rev. Dr. Henry Highland Garnet, the first African American to address the U.S. House of Representatives, delivers a sermon to a crowded House chamber. His sermon commemorated the victories of the Union army and the deliverance of the country from slavery.
Garnet, a former slave himself, was a pastor of the 15th Street Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C. President Abraham Lincoln, with the unanimous consent of his Cabinet and the two congressional chaplains, had arranged for the special Sunday service to be held on February 12, the president’s 56th birthday.
Garnet escaped to the North in 1824, where he became a prominent abolitionist, famous for his radical appeal to slaves to rise up against their masters. In 1881, he was appointed U.S. minister to Liberia but died only two months after his arrival in the African nation.
“Garnet preaches to House on slavery and Civil War.” 2009. The History Channel website. 12 Feb 2009, 10:58 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=tdihArticleCategory&id=4760.
1554 – Lady Jane Grey was beheaded after being charged with treason. She had claimed the throne of England for only nine days.
1870 – In the Utah Territory, women gained the right to vote.
1892 – In the U.S., President Lincoln’s birthday was declared to be a national holiday.
1909 – The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was founded.
1915 – The cornerstone of the Lincoln Memorial was laid in Washington, DC.
1940 – Mutual Radio presented the first broadcast of the radio play “The Adventures of Superman.”
1998 – A U.S. federal judge declared that the presidential line-item veto was unconstitutional.
2001 – The space probe NEAR landed on the asteroid Eros. It was the first time that any craft had landed on a small space rock.
2002 – Kenneth Lay, former Enron CEO, exercised his constitutional rights and refused to testify to the U.S. Congress about the collapse of Enron.
February 12, 1809
Abraham Lincoln is born
On this day in 1809, Abraham Lincoln is born in Hodgenville, Kentucky.
Lincoln, one of America’s most admired presidents, grew up a member of a poor family in Kentucky and Indiana. He attended school for only one year, but thereafter read on his own in a continual effort to improve his mind. As an adult, he lived in Illinois and performed a variety of jobs including stints as a postmaster, surveyor and shopkeeper, before entering politics. He served in the Illinois legislature from 1834 to 1836, and then became an attorney. In 1842, Lincoln married Mary Todd; together, the pair raised four sons.
Lincoln’s sense of humor may have helped him to hide recurring bouts of depression. He admitted to friends and colleagues that he suffered from “intense melancholia” and hypochondria most of his adult life. Perhaps in order to cope with it, Lincoln engaged in self-effacing humor, even chiding himself about his famously homely looks. When an opponent in an 1858 Senate race debate called him “two-faced,” he replied, “If I had another face do you think I would wear this one?”
Lincoln is remembered as “The Great Emancipator.” Although he waffled on the subject of slavery in the early years of his presidency, his greatest legacy was his work to preserve the Union and his signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. To Confederate sympathizers, however, Lincoln’s signing of the Emancipation Proclamation reinforced his image as a hated despot and ultimately led John Wilkes Booth to assassinate him on April 14, 1865. His favorite horse, Old Bob, pulled his funeral hearse.
“Abraham Lincoln is born.” 2009. The History Channel website. 12 Feb 2009, 11:05 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=183.
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