On this day. 1862: President Abraham Lincoln signed the Homestead Act, giving 160 acres of land to family farmers ("homesteaders"). It was the first of a series of U.S. laws that gave an applicant ownership of land (called a "homestead") at little or no cost. The Homestead Acts were at first proposed as an expression of the "Free Soil" policy of Northerners who wanted individual farmers to own and operate their own farms — in contrast to Southern slave-owners who used slaves to operate farms.
On this day. 1995: In the wake of the Oklahoma City bombing, President Clinton said that traffic on Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House would be banned. The Secret Service feared a truck bomb, like the one used to destroy the Murrah federal building, could be detonated in front of the White House. Today, the stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue is a pedestrian mall.
Quote of the day
"Wherever there is interest and power to do wrong, wrong will generally be done." -James Madison
More from West Wing Reports...
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- What the collapse of the Ming Dynasty can tell us about American decline
- Why is American internet so slow?
- 7 ways to be the most interesting person in any room
- 10 things you need to know today: March 10, 2014
- Colorado’s new ‘drive high, get a DUI’ commercials are actually pretty clever
- Why is it so expensive to build a bridge in America?
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- 22 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Who are the real gay marriage bigots?
- Pics or it didn't happen: Millennials are a bunch of selfie-loving skeptics
Subscribe to the Week