1862 – In the U.S., slavery was abolished by law in the District of Columbia.


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On this day in 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed into law a bill ending slavery in the District of Columbia. Congress, acting in the second year of the Civil War, also provided compensation to former slave owners.

In signing the legislation, Lincoln wrote: “I have never doubted the constitutional authority of Congress to abolish slavery in this district, and I have ever desired to see the national capital freed from the institution in some satisfactory way.” It took nine more months for Lincoln to sign the Emancipation Proclamation.

The statute created an Emancipation Claims Commission, which hired a Baltimore slave trader to assess the value of each freed slave. It awarded compensation for 2,989 freed slaves. The 1860 census enumerated 11,131 free blacks and 3,185 slaves then living in the nation’s capital.

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For the complete article go to: politico.com

1862 – Confederate President Jefferson Davis approved conscription act for white males between 18 and 35.


April 16, 1862 – President Jefferson Davis signed a bill into law requiring all able-bodied white men between the ages of 18 and 35 to serve at least three years in the Confederate military. This was the first national draft in American history.

Confederate President Jefferson Davis | Image Credit: Wikispaces.com
Confederate President Jefferson Davis | Image Credit: Wikispaces.com

By this time, Federal forces were closing in on Richmond, New Orleans, and vital points along the Mississippi River and Atlantic coast. The Confederates had just lost thousands of men in the largest battle ever fought in America up to that time, and many men who had enlisted in the Confederate army for 12 months at the beginning of the war were about to go home.

All these factors led to a growing call for conscription, which had been intensely debated in the Confederate Congress. Opponents argued that it violated the same civil liberties southerners had seceded to uphold. Some claimed that forcing men into the army showed weakness by indicating that volunteerism alone was no longer enough to maintain the war effort.

For the complete article go to: civilwarmoths.com

history… april 16


0069 – Otho committed suicide after being defeated by Vitellius’ troops at Bedriacum.

0556 – Pelagius I began his reign as Catholic Pope.

1065 – The Norman Robert Guiscard took Bari. Five centuries of Byzantine rule in southern Italy ended.

1175 – Frederick I, Holy Roman Emperor, signed the Treaty of Montebello with the Lombard League.

1705 – Queen Anne of England knighted Isaac Newton.

1746 – The Duke of Cumberland defeated Bonnie Prince Charlie (and his Jacobites) at the battle of Culloden.

1818 – The U.S. Senate ratified Rush-Bagot amendment to form an unarmed U.S.-Canada border.

1851 – A lighthouse was swept away in a gale at Minot’s Ledge, MA.

1854 – San Salvador was destroyed by an earthquake.

1862 – Confederate President Jefferson Davis approved conscription act for white males between 18 and 35.

1862 – In the U.S., slavery was abolished by law in the District of Columbia.

1883 – Paul Kruger became president of the South African Republic.

1900 – The first book of postage stamps was issued. The two-cent stamps were available in books of 12, 24 and 48 stamps.

1905 – Andrew Carnegie donated $10,000,000 of personal money to set up the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

1912 – Harriet Quimby became the first woman to fly across the English Channel.

1917 – Vladimir Ilyich Lenin returned to Russia to start Bolshevik Revolution after years of exile.

1922 – Annie Oakley shot 100 clay targets in a row, to set a women’s record.

1922 – The Soviet Union and Germany signed the Treaty of Rapallo under which Germany recognized the Soviet Union and diplomatic and trade relations were restored.

1935 – “Fibber McGee and Molly” premiered.

1940 – The first no-hit, no-run game to be thrown on an opening day of the major league baseball season was earned by Bob Feller. The Cleveland Indians beat the Chicago White Sox 1-0.

1942 – The Island of Malta was awarded the George Cross in recognition for heroism under constant German air attack.

1943 – In Basel, Switzerland, chemist Albert Hoffman accidently discovered the the hallucinogenic effects of LSD-25 while working on the medicinal value of lysergic acid.

1944 – The destroyer USS Laffey survived immense damage from attacks by 22 Japanese aircraft off Okinawa.

1945 – American troops entered Nuremberg, Germany.

1947 – The Zoomar lens, invented by Dr. Frank Back, was demonstrated in New York City. It was the first lens to exhibit zooming effects.

1947 – In Texas City, TX, the French ship Grandcamp, carrying ammonium nitrate fertilizer, caught fire and blew up. The explosions and resulting fires killed 576 people.

1948 – In Paris, the Organization for European Economic Co-operation was set up.

1951 – 75 people were killed when the British submarine Affray sank in the English Channel.

1953 – The British royal yacht Britannia was launched.

1962 – Walter Cronkite began anchoring “The CBS Evening News”.

1967 – At the Western Open in El Monte, CA, Ken Barnes Jr. became the first skeet shooter to break a perfect 400 x 400 in all four guns (.410, 28, 20, and 12 gauges). He is also the only shooter to do this with pump action guns.

1968 – The Pentagon announced that troops would begin coming home from Vietnam.

1968 – Major league baseball’s longest night game was played when the Houston Astros defeated the New York Mets 1-0. The 24 innings took six hours, six minutes to play.

1972 – Apollo 16 blasted off on a voyage to the moon. It was the fifth manned moon landing.

1972 – Two giants pandas arrived in the U.S. from China.

1975 – The Khmer Rouge Rebels won control of Cambodia after a five years of civil war. They renamed the country Kampuchea and began a reign of terror.

1978 – In Orissa, India, 180 people died when a tornado hit.

1982 – Queen Elizabeth proclaimed Canada’s new constitution in effect. The act severed the last colonial links with Britain.

1983 – China shelled the Vietnam border in retaliation for raids.

1983 – Brazil detained four Libyan planes en route to Nicaragua after finding weapons, explosives and ammunition on the planes.

1985 – Mickey Mantle was reinstated after being banned from baseball for several years.

1987 – The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) sternly warned U.S. radio stations to watch the use of indecent language on the airwaves.

1987 – The U.S. Patent Office began allowing the patenting of new animals created by genetic engineering.

1992 – Italian financier Carlo de Benedetti and 32 others were convicted of fraud in connection with the 1982 collapse of Banco Ambrosiano.

1992 – The House ethics committee listed 303 current and former lawmakers who had overdrawn their House bank accounts.

1995 – The European Union and Canada agreed to protect threatened fish stocks in the north Atlantic.

1996 – Britain’s Prince Andrew and his wife, Sarah, the Duchess of York, announced that they were in the process of getting a divorce.

1996 – An Italian court found former Prime Minister Bettino Craxi guilty on charges of corruption. He was sentenced to eight years and three months in prison.

1999 – Wayne Gretzky announced his retirement from the National Hockey League (NHL).

2002 – The U.S. Supreme Court overturned major parts of a 1996 child pornography law based on rights to free speech.

2007 – In Blacksburg, VA, a student killed 33 people at Virginia Tech before killing himself.

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