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Today In History – April 30 – The First Presidential Inauguration (Final Post In This Series)





Editors Note: Due to other blogging commitments, (there is only so much we can do in one day), this is the last post in our Today In History series.

1789: The first presidential inauguration: In New York City, George Washington, the great military leader of the American Revolution, is inaugurated as the first president of the United States.

In February 1789, all 69 presidential electors unanimously chose Washington to be the first U.S. president. In March, the new U.S. constitution officially took effect, and in April Congress formally sent word to Washington that he had won the presidency. He borrowed money to pay off his debts in Virginia and traveled to New York. On April 30, he came across the Hudson River in a specially built and decorated barge. The inaugural ceremony was performed on the balcony of Federal Hall on Wall Street, and a large crowd cheered after he took the oath of office. The president then retired indoors to read Congress his inaugural address, a quiet speech in which he spoke of “the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people.” The evening celebration was opened and closed by 13 skyrockets and 13 cannons. More here

1803: Louisiana Purchase concluded: On April 30, 1803, representatives of the United States and Napoleonic France conclude negotiations for the Louisiana Purchase, a massive land sale that doubles the size of the young American republic. What was known as Louisiana Territory comprised most of modern-day United States between the Mississippi and the Rocky Mountains, with the exceptions of Texas, parts of New Mexico, and other pockets of land already controlled by the United States. A formal treaty for the Louisiana Purchase, antedated to April 30, was signed two days later. More here

1927: The first federal prison for women opens: The Federal Industrial Instituttion for Women, the first women’s federal prison, opens in Alderson, West Virginia. All women serving federal sentences of more than a year were to be brought here.

Run by Dr. Mary B. Harris, the prison’s buildings, each named after social reformers, sat atop 500 acres. One judge described the prison as a “fashionable boarding school.” In some respects the judge was correct; the overriding purpose of the prison was to reform the inmates, not punish them. The prisoners farmed the land and performed office work in order to learn how to type and file. They also cooked and canned vegetables and fruits. More here

1945: Hitler commits suicide: Now burning in hell, on this day in 1945, holed up in a bunker under his headquarters in Berlin, Adolf Hitler commits suicide by swallowing a cyanide capsule and shooting himself in the head. Soon after, Germany unconditionally surrendered to the Allied forces, ending Hitler’s dreams of a “1,000-year” Reich. More here

More today in History here and here

Previous entries here

 

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