Today in 1789 Pope Pius VI appointed John Carroll bishop of Baltimore, making him the first Catholic bishop in the United States. Significantly, this appointment made American Catholics independent of the British Catholic hierarchy.
Carroll oversaw the nation’s first Catholic university, Georgetown University (1789) and the first cathedral, Baltimore Basilica (1809).
Today in 1906 President Theodore Roosevelt embarked on a 17-day diplomatic tour to Panama and Puerto Rico, becoming the first president to travel outside the continental US. Other presidents traveled outside the US before and after serving in the office; this was the first for a sitting president.
Today in 1998 President Bill Clinton declared part of Detroit an “Automobile National Heritage Area,” which restricts land use. The area was later renamed the Motor Cities National Heritage Area. According to the National Park Service, “Not just Any Place, USA can be a National Heritage Area. It requires a unique story that is important to the heritage of America and an act of Congress to become a National Heritage Area. It encourages residents and visitors to recognize, celebrate, and share with others that they are part of a region where great things happened and continue to happen in ways that shape and mold America.”
There are 40 National Heritage Areas in the US.
Happy birthday John Philip Sousa, born in Washington, D.C. in 1854, famous composer and best remembered for his marches. Sousa died in 1932.
Congratulations Abraham Lincoln who today in 1860 was elected the 16th president and the first Republican to the office. He received 40% of the popular vote but beat three other candidates: Southern Democrat John Breckinridge; Constitutional Union John Bell; and Northern Democrat Stephen Douglas.
Of 44 presidents 18 have been Republicans; 15 have been Democrats.
Congratulations Jefferson Davis who today in 1861 was elected president of the Confederate States of America. Davis was unopposed and the election confirmed the earlier decision of the Confederate Congress. Davis suspected he might be the choice of Southern states and wrote, “Upon my weary heart was showered smiles, plaudits, and flowers, but beyond them I saw troubles and thorns innumerable.”