April 16, 1789: A reluctant President-elect George Washington left his estate in Mount Vernon, Va., for New York, where he would be sworn in as the first president of the United States. Washington was a reluctant president. He was 57 years old and wanted to retire. But he felt compelled to serve, worried that bickering among political factions threatened the future of the young United States.
April 16, 1865: President Abraham Lincoln, the victim of an assassin's bullet, lay in state in the East Room of the White House. The catafalque that held his coffin was later used for the caskets of, among others, Franklin Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, and Ronald Reagan. You can see it on display at the Capitol, in a room originally meant to be George Washington's tomb.
Quote of the Day
“I hope I shall possess firmness & virtue enough to maintain…the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man.” -George Washington
More from West Wing Reports...
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why is the Pentagon stuffing caves in Norway full of tanks?
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- The one thing the New Atheists get right about religion
- The U.S. government is actually trouncing Ebola. When will it get credit?
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- The simple trick to making better decisions in every aspect of life
- Syrian women know how to defeat ISIS
- Why America needs more billionaires
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- The real story behind Deliver Us From Evil
Subscribe to the Week