June 25, 1960: William Martin and Bernon Mitchell go on vacation to Mexico. Martin was born in 1931 in Georgia but his family moved to Washington soon after. He earned a degree in mathematics from the University of Washington in Seattle in 1947. He enlisted in the US Navy and served from 1951 to 1954 working as a cryptologist with the Naval Security Group in Japan. Mitchell was born in 1929 in California and enlisted in the Navy after one year of college. His years of service were also 1951 to 1954 and he, too served in Japan with the Naval Security Group as a cryptologist. He stayed an extra year in Japan and worked with the Army Security Agency and when back stateside, he graduation from Stanford University.
The two men became friends while in Japan and both were hired by the National Security Agency (NSA) in 1957. They were disturbed by what they learned of American surveillance which included incursions into foreign airspace. They realized that Congress was unaware of NSA-sponsored flights. In violation of NSA rules, they approached Ohio Congressman Wayne Hays in February 1959 after he expressed frustration with the information he was receiving from the NSA. The two men visited Cuba in December 1959 without notifying their superiors, breaking another rule.
On this day, the two left for a vacation in Mexico and never returned. Instead, they traveled to Havana and from there sailed on a Russian freighter to the USSR. On September 6, 1960, the two men appeared at a joint news conference at the House of Journalists in Moscow and announced they were requesting asylum and Soviet citizenship. They announced their dissatisfaction with information gathering especially with invasion of airspace. Both were appalled by US first-strike capabilities for nuclear war and refusal to disarm. America’s response was to deny all allegations and to brand both men as sexual deviants (homosexuals).
Mitchell was happy, apparently, with his choice to defect to Russia and not much is known of him except that he died in St. Petersburg in 2001. Martin changed his name and continued his studies at Leningrad University. He married a Soviet woman whom he divorced in 1963. He later told a Russian newspaper that his defection was “foolhardy” and attempted to repatriate several times. He spoke with Donald Duffy (VP of the Kaiser Foundation) and Benny Goodman (musician) asking for help to return to the US. In 1979 he approached the American Consulate about coming home causing his case to be reexamined. He was stripped of his American citizenship. He was denied permission to immigrate and was also denied a tourist visa. Martin eventually got as far as Mexico where he died of cancer in 1987.
Setting people to spy on one another is not the way to protect freedom. – Tommy Douglas
But I think the real tension lies in the relationship between what you might call the pursuer and his quarry, whether it’s the writer or the spy. – John le Carre
My notion of the KGB came from romantic spy stories. I was a pure and utterly successful product of Soviet patriotic education. – Vladimir Putin
Today’s difference between Russia and the United States is that in Russia everybody takes everybody else for a spy, and in the United States everybody takes everybody else for a criminal. – Friedrich Durrenmatt
Also on this day: Great Star of Africa – In 1905, The Cullinan diamond was discovered.
The End – In 1906, a bizarre love triangle ended badly.
Last Stand – In 1876, Custer was defeated at Little Bighorn.
Lady Doctor Elena – In 1678, Elena earned the first PhD awarded to a woman.
une 23, 1953: US patent 2,642,679 is granted to Frank Zamboni. Frank was born in Eureka, Utah in 1901. The Italian immigrant family purchased a farm in Idaho, where Frank grew up. The family moved again to Los Angeles in 1920. Frank attended a trade school in Chicago and he and his younger brother, Lawrence, opened an electrical supply shop in 1922 back in the Los Angeles suburbs. Five years later, the brothers added an ice-making plant to their business and began supplying blocks of ice, which they continued to find profitable until 1939 when the need was dropping and another way to earn a living using their knowledge of ice and refrigeration was needed.
They opened an ice rink. The rink was popular because Frank had figured out a way to keep the ice from rippling due to the pipes used to keep the rink frozen. The rink is still in operation and still owned by the Zamboni family. Keeping the ice smooth was a laborious process. Three to four workers would have to scrape, wash, and then squeegee the ice. Then a thin layer of water would be added for a new layer of smooth, fresh ice. Between 1942 and 1947, Frank tried, unsuccessfully, to automate the process using a vehicle which could resurface the ice quickly.
In 1947, Frank used a machine that would shave, wash, and squeegee the ice and it was mounted on an army surplus vehicle chassis. It was powered by a Jeep engine and transmission. The blade would shave the ice and a conveyer belt would load the shavings into a tank. Unfortunately, the blade was deficient and the handling was a problem. By 1949 The Model A Zomboni Ice-Resurfacer was a functional piece of equipment. Although it originally had four wheel drive, this was abandoned for front wheel drive for better handling. Other improvements were added, but it was still not very aesthetically pleasing. One wit said it looked like the offspring of a field tractor and a warehouse crate. But it worked.
Increasingly better models were built, each with the next letter designation. Finally, on this day, a patent was granted. That didn’t stop the improvements from coming and a major shift came in 1964 which meant the shaved ice was moved away differently, allowing for disposal without the driver having to shovel out the holding tank. This has been the industry standard ever since. Frank J. Zamboni & Co. have taken a hard line on protecting their trademark. They have pursued the integrity of their company name and not permitted Zamboni to by synonymous with ice resurfacers. They received a registered trademark for their name on August 15, 2000. Frank was awarded 15 patents mostly on ice resurfacing equipment. He died in 1988 at the age of 87, but his company lives on with Richard Zamboni running the show.
There are three things in life that people like to stare at: a flowing stream, a crackling fire and a Zamboni clearing the ice. – Charlie Brown
In skating over thin ice our safety is in our speed. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
I like ice hockey, but it’s a frustrating game to watch. It’s hard to keep your eyes on both the puck and the players and too much time passes between scoring in hockey. There are usually more fights than there are points. – Andy Rooney
Figure skating is theatrical. It’s artistic. It’s elegant. It’s extremely athletic. And there’s a very specific audience for that. – Johnny Weir
Also on this day: Mutiny on the Discovery – In 1611, Henry Hudson’s crew mutinies.
Clackity clack – In 1868, an improved typewriter was patented.
Lorena and John – In 1993, domestic violence made the world headlines.
Banff – In 1887, the Rocky Mountains Park Act of Canada was passed.
June 22, 1633: Galileo Galilei is handed his sentence from the Inquisition. The Galileo affair was a sequence of events beginning in 1610 when Galileo and the Catholic Church were in disagreement. Galileo supported Copernican astronomy and heliocentrism. He also supported secular philosophers while disagreeing with Aristotelianism. In 1610 Galileo published Starry Messenger in which he described what he had seen through his telescope. He had witnessed the phases of Venus and some of the moons of Jupiter. With these observations in hand, he promoted the Copernican theory of a heliocentric system which had been put forth in 1543. This displeased the Church and in 1616 the Inquisition proclaimed heliocentrism heretical.
Galileo proposed a theory of tides in that same year which were evidence of the motion of the Earth. He went on to propose a theory on comets in 1619. In 1632, the Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems was published and implicitly defended the theory stating the Sun was the center around which the Earth turned. The book, published in Italian, was a best seller and was dedicated to Galileo’s patron, Ferdinando II de’ Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany. The Inquisition was faced with the growing popularity of a system of thought they had declared heretical and Galileo came under investigation.
The offending book was originally called Dialogue on the Tides, but the Inquisition refused approval for this since tides were explained by the Earth’s movement and they insisted the Earth was immovable and the center of the universe. The title was changed. The book is presented as a series of discussions taking place over four days. The participants are two philosophers and a layman. One philosopher agrees with Copernicus, one with Ptolemy and Aristotle, and the layman is at first neutral. The discussions range over most of the science of the day and present rebuttals to traditional philosophers as well as observations which are inconsistent with the Ptolemaic model. Arguments for an elegant unified theory of the Heavens which proved the Earth was stationary were simply incorrect.
Galileo was found “vehemently suspect of heresy” since he refused to budge on his theory stating the Sun was stationary and Earth traveled around it. He was sentenced to formal imprisonment and was put under house arrest for the rest of his life. His Dialogue was banned and not announced, but enforced, was forbidding all future printing of any of his works including those he might write in the future. Although unable to publish, he continued to study science until his death on January 8 1642 at the age of 77. The ban on printing Galileo’s books was lifted in 1718. Several Popes since that time have praised his scientific work. Both Stephen Hawking and Albert Einstein have called him the father of modern science.
All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them.
I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.
In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual.
It is surely harmful to souls to make it a heresy to believe what is proved. – all from Galileo Galilei
Also on this day: Deke – In 1844, the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity is founded.
No Fun – In 1918, the worst circus train wreck took place.
Burn, Baby, Burn – In 1969, the Cuyahoga River caught fire.
Sweden – In 1906, Sweden adopted a new/old national flag.
June 21, 1734: Marie-Josèphe dite Angélique is executed. She was born around 1700 in Madeira in Portugal, one of the important nations plying the lucrative Atlantic slave trade. She was black and was sold to a Flemish man called either Nichus Block or Nicolas Bleeker. He brought her to the New World and she lived in New England before being sold again. This time, she was purchased by an important French businessman from Montreal. Francois Poulin de Francheville brought her north and after his death, she came under the ownership of his widow, Therese de Couagne. Slavery in New England and New France was mostly a domestic issues and not as in the rural South where slaves worked the fields on plantations.
Angélique worked in the Francheville home in Montreal and occasionally helped with the family’s small farm which produced supplies for Francheville’s trading expeditions. Angélique had three children while in Montreal, all dying before their first birthday. Listed as father was Jacques Cesar, a black slave from Madagascar owned by a neighbor of the Francheville family. Angélique became involved with a white indentured servant, Claude Thibault, also employed by the Franchevilles. While the new widow was taking care of business, she asked her brother-in-law to keep both slave and servant and the two tried to escape and flee to New England. They were captured and returned within two weeks. Thibault was imprisoned and released on April 8, 1734. Angélique went undisciplined for her escape attempt, probably because her mistress was getting ready to sell her since she couldn’t control her.
After his release from prison, Thibault returned to Francheville’s house to ask for back wages. He was paid, but told to never return. He also learned Angélique had been sold and would be moving to Quebec City. At 7 PM on April 10, 1734, the call went out that a fire was spreading. It was so intense, fire fighters could not approach. High winds helped to spread the fire which consumed 45 houses and the local hospital. Rumors started immediately blaming Angélique for starting the fires. She denied this but was brought to trial regardless. A warrant was also issued for Thibault, but he fled before being arrested.
There was no physical evidence presented against Angélique but everyone “knew” she had started the fire. There was no consensus of how and the prosecutor was near to asking for the use of torture to extract a confession. It was then a five year old testified she had seen Angélique carrying a shovelful of coals up to the attic of the house on the afternoon the fire started. Angélique was found guilty and she was tortured to get the confession of her guilt and find any accomplices. She admitted guilt, but denied any help. She was hung for her crime. Today, there is speculation that Angélique was indeed innocent while others believe she set the fire that destroyed most of Old Montreal.
The media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. – Malcolm X
Suspicion always haunts the guilty mind. – William Shakespeare
All things truly wicked start from innocence. – Ernest Hemingway
Once you start asking questions, innocence is gone. – Mary Astor
Also on this day: Job Insecurity – In 1919, the Winnipeg Strike goes horribly wrong.
Manchester Baby – In 1948, the world’s first stored program computer worked.
SpaceShipOne - In 2004, the first privately funded ship makes it into space.
Long – In 1948, the first LP album was demonstrated.
June 20, 1948: Toast of the Town premieres. From 1949 until its cancelation in 1971, the show ran, although the name changed, on CBS every Sunday at 8 PM. The hour long show was one of the few to have the same weekly time slot on the same network for over two decades. Every type of entertainment appeared on the show from opera singers and ballet dancers to rock and roll artists and comedy acts. There were dramatic presentations and circus acts. It was widely called the show’s host’s name before the official change to the Ed Sullivan Show on September 25, 1955. For this first year, the show began at 9 PM and was still an hour long.
On the debut program, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis performed as did Monica Lewis. The Broadway composers Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein previewed the score to their new show, South Pacific which opened on Broadway in 1949. The show was broadcast via live television from the Maxine Elliott Theatre in New York City. Eventually, it moved to its permanent home at CBS-TV Studio 50 which was renamed the Ed Sullivan Theater on the show’s twentieth anniversary. The last original show (#1068) was broadcast on March 28, 1971. Repeats were scheduled through June 6, 1971. The show was cancelled while in repeats.
Sullivan booked new talent to his show but he also had some repeating characters who showed up on a more regular basis such as Topo Gigio, an Italian mouse puppet, and Señor Wences, a ventriloquist. Most of the shows were live from New York, but Sullivan also traveled to locations and broadcast from Great Britain, Australia, and Japan. Back in the 1950s and 1960s, it was a family ritual to gather around the television set on Sunday nights and watch whatever Ed could bring our way. In the early years, it was all black-and-white, but TV changed and in 1965, CBS began televising in compatible color or dot-sequencing color systems which used a signal similar to the black-and-white systems, sending each dot in succession.
The most frequent performers on the show were there 58 times – the Canadian comedy team of Wayne & Shuster. Itzhak Perlman was introduced to America at the age of 13 and rode the wave of popularity to new heights, remaining even now as one of the world’s most famous violinists. Elvis Presley (who brought in 60 million viewers) and his wild dance moves appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show as did many bands from the British invasion led by The Beatles (who had 73.7 million Americans tuned in). The Supremes were aired 14 times and a were personal favorite of the show’s host. It wasn’t just humans made famous; Jim Henson also brought the Muppets to the show with various characters arriving 25 times. The list of guests is far too long to give everyone mention, but … Thanks, Ed. You made sure we saw them all.
If you do a good job for others, you heal yourself at the same time, because a dose of joy is a spiritual cure. It transcends all barriers. – Ed Sullivan
Ladies and Gentlemen…The Beatles! – Ed Sullivan
The little fella in front is incredible. – Ed Sullivan talking about Michael Jackson following the first performance by The Jackson 5 on The Ed Sullivan Show.
Before even discussing the possibility of a contract, I would like to learn from you, whether your young men have reformed in the matter of dress and shampoo. – Ed Sullivan’s response to a request by The Rolling Stones’ manager for a contract for a second appearance by The Stones on The Ed Sullivan Show.
Also on this day: Lizzie Borden Took an Axe – In 1893, Lizzie Borden is acquitted of murder.
Fort William – In 1756, the fort was attacked and 146 prisoners taken – the Black Hole of Calcutta.
Communication is Key – In 1963, a hot line was set up between the US and USSR.
Great Seal of the United States – In 1782, the Great Seal design was adopted.
June 19, 1910: The first Father’s Day is celebrated in Spokane, Washington. Anna Jarvis began the modern tradition of honoring a parent when she first celebrated Mother’s Day in 1908 in Grafton West Virginia. Her campaign to get this holiday recognized began in 1905, the year her mother died. In an effort to recognize other family members, Sonora Smart Dodd lobbied to have a Father’s Day, too. She was the daughter of US Civil War veteran William Jackson Smart. He was also a single parent who successfully raised six children in their Arkansas hometown of Jenny Lind. After hearing an inspiring sermon at her church about Mother’s Day in 1909, Dodd began a campaign to honor her father.
Her first suggestion for the date of this tribute was June 5, her father’s birthday. The pastor responded positively, but needed more time to prepare a sermon and the third Sunday in June was chosen. In 1910, the YMCA in Spokane officially commemorated fathers. The idea was not initially successful and Dodd stopped promoting it in the 1920s as she became more involved in her studies. The holiday faded into obscurity, even in Spokane. By the 1930s, Dodd returned to Spokane and began to revive the celebration. She enlisted the help of manufacturers who would benefit from the holiday, such as makers of ties, tobacco pipes, and other traditional presents to fathers.
By 1938, the Father’s Day Council was founded by the New York Associated Men’s Wear Retailers who helped to promote the day. Many Americans resisted the idea, seeing it only as a way for merchants to have the same success they enjoyed with Mother’s Day, something that irked Jarvis to the point of trying to eradicate her own celebration of Mothers. The trade groups did not give up. In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation creating a national holiday to celebrate mothers. A bill to also celebrate fathers was introduced into Congress in 1913 and even though Wilson went to Spokane in 1916 to honor fathers, Congress did not pass the bill seeing it only as a commercial opportunity they did not wish to perpetuate.
President Coolidge recommended Father’s Day be observed, but did not issue any official proclamation to that end. Two earlier attempts had been defeated in Congress when Margaret Chase Smith proposed again the celebration in 1957. It was not until 1966 when President Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation designated the third Sunday in June as the day for the event. Six years later, it was finally made an official permanent holiday when President Nixon signed it into law. This year, the day was celebrated on June 15. It’s hard to know how many ties were given as gifts.
My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me. – Jim Valvano
When a father gives to his son, both laugh; when a son gives to his father, both cry. – William Shakespeare
One father is more than a hundred schoolmasters. – George Herbert
It doesn’t matter who my father was; it matters who I remember he was. – Anne Sexton
Also on this day: NASCAR – In 1949, NASCAR begins.
Julius and Ethel – In 1953, the Rosenbergs were executed.
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis – In 1939, Lou Gehrig’s illness was named.
Emancipation Proclamation, a Bit Late – In 1865, the people of Galveston were informed of the proclamation.
June 18, 1940: Charles de Gaulle makes his Appeal of 18 June. The official start of World War II was September 1, 1939 when Germany invaded Poland. It took slightly more than a month for the country to fall to Germany’s control. Germany’s victories were swift and decisive and when Hitler turned his sights on France, it was felt he may have finally met his match. During the World War I, France had been one of the Triple Entente powers and the Alsace-Lorraine area was known as the Western Front. Trench warfare held the invaders at bay but at tremendous cost. Weaponry had not yet advanced enough although use of chemical warfare had left over 190,000 French casualties. France remained free.
So with this second invasion, it was assumed that France would once again be able to stand up to Germany. Weaponry, especially the tank, had improved greatly. In just one month and twelve days, France fell. The French Third Republic was replaced by Vichy France. Marshal Philippe Petain, a World War I hero, signed an armistice with Nazi Germany against the wishes of de Gaulle. Petain collaborated with Germany for the formation of the Vichy government. This allowed France to not be divided between Axis powers, but also placed 2 million French soldiers as forced laborers for Germany. The Vichy government also helped round up Jews and “undesirables” for disposal. Although some saw this as a way to keep French autonomy and territorial integrity, it was only achieved by capitulation to complete German oversight.
De Gaulle escaped to London on June 15 and became the leader of the Free French Forces and the French Resistance. It is thought this speech was the impetus behind the Resistance, but it was heard only by a few Frenchmen. De Gaulle’s June 22 speech on the BBC was much more widely heard. Either way, this speech is considered to be one of the most important speeches in French history. The British government was not thrilled with letting de Gaulle speak over their airwaves, but a determined Winston Churchill gave special permission. It was feared the speech could antagonize Petain into an even closer alliance with Germany.
The speech was not recorded but there is a transcript available. This was found in the Swiss intelligence archives where it was published on June 19 for their own use. De Gaulle spoke of the leaders of the French government being in contact with Germany and stopping the fighting. The basic differences between the two wars were the planes and the tanks, but even more telling were the tactical uses the Germans put them to. Sacrificing the nation to stop the fighting wasn’t de Gaulle’s idea of victory. He reminded the French people that both the British and US governments would support them militarily and economically. He vowed that all was not lost for France; she was not alone; the flame of French resistance would not be extinguished.
This war is not limited to the unfortunate territory of our country.
This war is not over as a result of the Battle of France.
This war is a worldwide war. All the mistakes, all the delays, all the suffering, do not alter the fact that there are, in the world, all the means necessary to crush our enemies one day.
Vanquished today by mechanical force, in the future we will be able to overcome by a superior mechanical force. The fate of the world depends on it. – all from the Appeal of 18 June speech by Charles de Gaulle
Also on this day: Mental Institutions and Being Governor – In 1959, Governor Earl Long was committed to a mental institution.
Taxi! – In 1923, the first Checker Cab rolled off the assembly line.
One Woman – No Vote - In 1873, Susan B. Anthony was found guilty of trying to vote.
What Was Up There? – In 1178, five monks observed an astronomical phenomenon.
June 17, 1885: The Statue of Liberty arrives in New York Harbor. Frederic Auguste Bartholdi was a French sculptor best known for this particular work of art. Liberty Enlightening the World was a gift from the French Third Republic created to represent the fraternal feeling between the two republics – France and the US. The actual originator of the idea is under debate, but Bartholdi claimed that a 1865 comment from Edouard Rene de Laboulaye served as inspiration which had to wait until the regime of Napoleon III ended. Also, the artist was busy with some of his other over-sized and impressive projects.
By 1875, it was announced that a combined French and American project would take place if funds could be secured. It was at that time the name Liberty Enlightening the World was chosen for work. The French would supply the statue if America would supply the pedestal. This proposal met with general approval in France, but some Frenchmen were disenchanted with the US for not coming to their aid in their war with Prussia. Plans were not even finalized before Bartholdi began to work on this creation. In 1876, he came to America as the French delegate for the Centennial Exhibition and had a huge painting of the statue shown in New York City. The statue would be built in pieces and several were displayed in various places. The arm lifting the torch came to Philadelphia in August 1876 and was displayed as part of the Exhibition, but due to its late arrival was not listed in the catalog.
In 1878, Lady Liberty’s head was displayed at the Paris World’s Fair. Fundraising continued throughout the process. Gustave Eiffel and his structural engineer, Maurice Koechlin, helped with the design. For construction, 200,000 pounds of copper was needed and over half of it was donated by French industrialist Eugene Secretan. Other copper merchants donated more of the copper. With Eiffel’s help, a framework was built to support the statue’s great weight as well as keep the skin from cracking. The statue had to survive winds and temperature shifts without falling to pieces. Galvanic corrosion between the copper skin and the iron support system was forestalled by insulating with asbestos.
Fundraising in the US was problematic as well. The Panic of 1873 led to a decrease in available funds for this project as well as the Washington Monument. Many Americans were upset that a “gift” from France was costing so much from Americans. Despite these arguments the pedestal was built using sketches from Eiffel to assure the pedestal could actually support the statue it was meant to display. On this day, the French steamer Isere, reached New York Harbor. The unloading of the crates was witnessed by 200,000 people on shore and in boats in the harbor. The pedestal was not completed until April 1886 and the assembly of the statue could then begin. After the framework was erected, the skin could be attached in sections. Instead of torchlights around the base which was disapproved by the Army Corps of Engineers, Bartholdi cut holes in the raised torch and put the lights there. The Statue of Liberty was officially dedicated in a ceremony held on October 28, 1886.
Give me your tired, your poor, / Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, / The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. / Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me: / I lift my lamp beside the golden door. – Emma Lazarus
Its magnificence was indescribable, and its magnitude was inconceivable. She felt overwhelmed in the presence of its greatness. – Mona Rodriguez
I recommend that the Statue of Liberty be supplemented by a Statue of Responsibility on the west coast. – Viktor E. Frankl
I’ve always had a strong feeling for the Statue of Liberty, because it became the statue of my personal liberty. – David Antin
Also on this day: Indian Princess – In 1631, Arjumand Banu Begum dies while giving birth to her fourteenth child.
Nicole and Ron – In 1994, OJ Simpson was arrested.
Smoot-Hawley Act – In 1930, this tariff act was signed into law.
Breed’s Hill? – In 1775, the Battle of Bunker Hill was fought.
June 16, 1858: Lincoln gives a famous speech. Abraham Lincoln was accepting the Republican Party’s nomination to run for United States senator from Illinois. The speech was delivered at the State Capitol in Springfield. Lincoln was launching his campaign against incumbent Stephen A. Douglas who began serving as Senator from Illinois in 1847. The campaign eventually brought the two men together with the Lincoln-Douglas debates later in the year. There were seven debates between Republican Lincoln and Democrat Douglas within each of the remaining congressional districts in the state. There are nine districts in all and each man had already spoken in two of them. The main topic of the debates, as of this speech, was slavery.
Lincoln’s House Divided speech is one of his three most famous along with the Gettysburg Address and his second Inaugural address. In this speech he was attempting to differentiate himself from Douglas as well as predict the future as he saw it. The idea of “A house divided against itself cannot stand” comes from Scripture, Mark 3:25 where Jesus is quoted. Thomas Hobbes in 1651, Thomas Paine in 1776, Abigail Adams in 1812, and Lincoln himself on two previous occasions (1843 and 1850) had used the idea. Lincoln’s address predicted the nation’s need to be all slave or all free as the two were incompatible. Douglas felt that popular sovereignty should decide whether or not future states would be free or slave.
Lincoln felt the Dred Scott decision had made Douglas’s proposal invalid. There were only two options after the decision was handed down. Either the US would be all one or all the other – all free or all slave. Since the North and South were so divided on this issue, the time would come when the government would no longer be able to function. Slavery had come to be part of every political, social, and economic decision facing the nation. Lincoln did not expect the nation to be dissolved, but some method of decision would be made and the country would once again be in agreement.
Douglas went on to win the election although he died in 1861 at the age of 48 from typhoid fever. He died almost two months after the US Civil War had begun and serving in a Senate headed by President Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln was elected to two terms as President and lived to see the end of the War and the reunited United States before he was assassinated on April 15, 1865 at the age of 56. His leadership through the war was instrumental in bringing the nation he loved back under one roof, undivided, and slavery at an end. There was still much work to be done and Reconstruction would have been much different had Lincoln been available to help heal the country after such horrific wounds had been inflicted.
A house divided against itself cannot stand.
I believe this government cannot endure, permanently, half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other.
Either the opponents of slavery will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction; or its advocates will push it forward, till it shall become lawful in all the States, old as well as new — North as well as South.
Let any one who doubts, carefully contemplate that now almost complete legal combination— piece of machinery so to speak—compounded of the Nebraska doctrine, and the Dred Scott decision. – Abraham Lincoln, from the House Divided speech
Also on this day: Red v. White – In 1487, the Battle of Stoke Field is fought ending the Wars of the Roses.
Education – In 1976, the Soweto Uprising took place.
Psycho - In 1960, Alfred Hitchcock’s thriller was released.
Children’s Party – In 1883, the Victoria Hall Disaster left 183 children dead.