This Day in History: Former Vice President Aaron Burr is arrested for treason

On this day in 1807, former Vice President Aaron Burr is arrested for treason. Less than three years earlier, he had killed Alexander Hamilton in a duel. Perhaps the guy just couldn’t stay out of trouble?! At the time, many thought Burr was trying to conquer land in the newly acquired Louisiana Purchase, separating it […]

This Day in History: The surprising origins of Groundhog Day

On this day in 1887, the first Groundhog Day is celebrated in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. The celebration seems so solidly American, doesn’t it? Yet it actually stems from old traditions carried across the Atlantic centuries ago. American adaptations were made, of course. In Europe, badgers or hedgehogs could be used to predict the weather. But in […]

This Day in History: William McKinley, one of our lesser-known Presidents

On this day in 1843, William McKinley is born. He is one of those Presidents that you don’t hear too much about, perhaps in part because his time in office was cut short by a deranged gunman. As a young man, McKinley fought for the Union during the Civil War. He served under future President […]

This Day in History: President John Tyler, “His Accidency”

On this day in 1862, former President John Tyler passes away. You probably don’t know too much about Tyler. His presidency was fairly unremarkable — except for the congressional resolution to annex Texas, of course! Having said that, Tyler set one very important precedent: What happens when a President dies in office? It had never […]

This Day in History: Edwin Stanton avenges Lincoln’s death

On this day in 1862, Edwin Stanton is confirmed as Abraham Lincoln’s Secretary of War. He’d been nominated only two days earlier. It’s hard to imagine such an easy confirmation process these days, isn’t it? Stanton would become one of Lincoln’s closest advisors, so perhaps it is unsurprising that he rushed to Lincoln’s side when […]