On this day. 1861: Following the Confederate shelling of Ft. Sumter, S.C., President Abraham Lincoln called for 75,000 volunteers to join the Union Army. 92,000 did, and the Civil War — the most devastating war in American history — was on. Lincoln quickly adapted to the role of commander-in-chief, assuming vast powers, many of which weren't granted to him by the Constitution. Supreme Court rulings declared Lincoln's wartime conduct unconstitutional. He ignored them, saying his priority was to preserve the Union.
On this day. 1861: Needing cash during the Civil War, President Lincoln signed the Revenue Act, imposing the first federal income tax. Lincoln asked for the first federal income tax — a 3 percent surcharge on income — because he recognized that Americans needed to pay for their wars.
On this day. 1865: President Abraham Lincoln died of an assassin's bullet. He was the 16th president, serving between 1861-65. Lincoln — the first of four presidents to be assassinated — had been shot the night before while attending a play at Washington's Ford's Theatre. He was succeeded by Vice President Andrew Johnson.
On this day. 1986: President Ronald Reagan ordered Operation El Dorado Canyon, which limited air strikes against Libya and the government of Moammar Gadhafi.
Quote of the day
"We cannot escape history...the fiery trial through which we pass will light us down, in honor or dishonor, to the latest generation." –Abraham Lincoln
More from West Wing Reports...
- Which professions have the most psychopaths?
- Diagnosing the Home Alone burglars' injuries: A professional weighs in
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- What to expect when you're expecting (100 years ago)
- There is a better alternative to raising the minimum wage
- What makes a word the word of the year?
- The executioners' lament
- A good night's sleep gives you an edge at work
- 7 health benefits of playing video games
- 10 things you need to know today: December 8, 2013
Subscribe to the Week