On This Day. 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.
On This Day. 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
- Who are the real gay marriage bigots?
- Why is American internet so slow?
- Watch The Daily Show mock Fox News' confused man-crush on Vladimir Putin
- Don't worry: World War III will almost certainly never happen
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- What the collapse of the Ming Dynasty can tell us about American decline
- 10 things you need to know today: March 7, 2014
- Religious liberty should be a liberal value, too
- Russia's Ukraine invasion is a moral crisis
- The end of academic freedom?
Subscribe to the Week