This Day in History: Thomas Jefferson & the Louisiana Purchase

On this day in 1803, the United States formally takes possession of the Louisiana Territory. The United States had just purchased 827,000 square miles of land from France. The price tag for the Louisiana Purchase? $15 million! France hadn’t owned Louisiana for too long. The territory had been a Spanish possession since the 1760s. But […]

This Day in History: Railroad companies create the first time zones

On this day in 1883, railroad companies create the first time zones. Yes, you heard that right. Private individuals saw a problem and solved it without involving the federal government. What a wonderfully American “do it yourself” mindset! Such determination and perseverance is what made our country great. Before time zones, Americans generally relied upon […]

This Day in History: Who stole $1 million from a young American government?

On this day in 1783, Samuel Swartwout is born in Poughskeepie, New York. He is perhaps best known for his role in the Swartwout-Hoyt scandal. Who stole more than $1 million from the still relatively new American government?! Swartwout was a supporter of Andrew Jackson during the presidential election of 1828. Jackson rewarded him by […]

This Day in History: Benjamin Harrison wins the White House, despite a popular vote defeat

On this day in 1888, Benjamin Harrison defeats Grover Cleveland for the presidency, despite losing the national popular vote. Cleveland had won 5.5 million votes nationwide! By contrast, Harrison had only 5.4 million. Wait. But Harrison won anyway!? Yes, he did! 😉 The national popular vote tally has no legal significance under our Electoral College […]