ADVERTISEMENT

March 6, 1820: President James Monroe signed the Missouri Compromise, which admitted Missouri to the Union as a slave state, but Maine and part of Massachusetts as a free state.

March 6, 1857: In a decision that helped lead to the Civil War, the Supreme Court, in its famous "Dred Scott Decision," ruled that neither slaves — nor their descendants — could ever become U.S. citizens. The decision is also acknowledged for the influential role it played in altering the national political landscape: It launched Abraham Lincoln's national political career and ultimately allowed for his election.

More from West Wing Reports...