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 Pakistan won't hunt down the terrorists within its borders
- Sorry, GOP, tax cuts don't pay for themselves
- How academia's liberal bias is killing social science
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- Pope Francis' American problem
- Why torture doesn't work: A definitive guide
- Hey, bosses: Stop giving bonuses to your employees
- Why the Sony hack changes everything
- What is Molly? Everything you need to know about the party drug
Subscribe to the Week