On This Day
On This Day

November 19, 1863

Pres. Lincoln delivers the Gettysburg Address.

But the famous speech would not have happened without this one man whose name isn’t as well known.

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“It will be a source of great gratification to the many widows and orphans that have been made almost friendless by the Great Battle here, to have you here personally.”

Gettysburg Attorney David Wills who wrote a letter to President Abraham Lincoln on November 2, inviting him to speak at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery on November 19.
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David Wills

  • 32-years-old when the Civil War battle raged between Union & Confederate soldiers.
  • Helped care for those injured, clear the battlefield of dead, communicate with families looking for missing relatives
  • One of the main forces behind purchasing 17 acres for a cemetery to honor the fallen.
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The Battle of Gettysburg

  • Brutal battle: July 1-3, 1863
  • 100,000+ Americans fought; 1 in 5 killed, wounded or missing.
  • Union soldiers pushed back Confederates, the victory arguably a tipping point in the war.
  • It took nearly another 2 years of fighting until the South officially surrendered.
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“We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that nation might live.”

Pres. Lincoln stayed at David Wills' personal home before he delivered the Gettysburg address, reportedly finishing the speech the night before in his second-story bedroom - a home where months earlier the wounded and/or dying received care.
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David Wills' home is still standing in Gettysburg, PA. You can visit the room where Pres. Lincoln slept the night before he delivered the Gettysburg Address. Re-read the whole speech on our source page.

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November 14, 1732

How the simple hiring of a librarian in Philadelphia set the stage for the world’s largest library before America even existed.

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What Happened:

  • A young 20-something Benjamin Franklin helped found the Library Company of Philadelphia in 1731
  • On November 14, 1732, the Library Company hired its first librarian.
  • Operating like a membership service (costing 40 shillings to join &10 shillings per year), patrons could visit & borrow books arriving from Europe that would be too expensive for them to buy.
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Historical Importance

  • The library became the first lending library in America.
  • “The Club” allowed members of the first Continental Congress to use it as a resource for free. This privilege continued for politicians post-revolution and set the groundwork for The Library of Congress – “the oldest cultural institution in the nation.”
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We discovered this "On This Day" while perusing one of our favorite websites: LOC.gov (Library of Congress). If you put all the bookshelves in the Library of Congress end to end, they would stretch from Washington D.C. to Cape Canaveral, Florida.

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November 12, 1954

 

 

 

 

Ellis Island closes

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End of An Era

  • Opened 1892.
  • First immigrant processed: 15-yr-old Irish immigrant Annie Moore, w/ her two younger brothers.
  • 12M immigrants filed through Ellis Island.
  • Last man standing: Nov. 12, 1954, the U.S. released a Norwegian seaman who overstayed shore leave.
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Why It Matters:

  • Ellis Island, the first FEDERAL immigration center, signified the move of immigration policy away from states & into the hands of the federal gov’t.
  • Ellis Island closure came as federal laws limited immigration for certain ethnicities, making Ellis Island less relevant & effective; many could (or had to) apply for legal status at U.S. embassies.
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Ellis Island: Did You Know?

  • Although Ellis Island officially closed in 1954, it stopped processing immigrants in the mid-1920s, after the rush of immigration post-WWI.
  • Ellis Island served as: WWII hospital, Coast Guard training center, place to hold alleged communists during the Red Scare.
  • Once known for its oyster beds…or a place to hang pirates.
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Ships transporting immigrants into New York never landed AT Ellis Island. 1st & 2nd class passengers disembarked in NYC, bypassing the "Gateway To America." 3rd class passengers immediately loaded a barge that took them to Ellis Island for processing.

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On This Day

Word On The Street

Stocks hit record highs as Wall Street marks 90 years since the crash of 1929.

Why the rally? What’s next?

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“The market is sending you a very strong message…If the economy was going to hit a really bad patch, these stocks wouldn’t be recovering.”

Andrew Slimmon, managing director at Morgan Stanley Investment Management, says cyclical stocks (shares in companies that depend on consumers having discretionary spending) continue to do well despite concerns about an economic slowdown.
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Something To Consider

You are witnessing history. The stock market rally is one of the greatest rallies in history. It has lasted longer than the stock market boom of the 1990s (although it has returned less in earnings).

The Dow Jones Industrial (stock market index of 30 well-known bellwethers of American business) has quadrupled in the last decade.

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What Happened: 1929

  • One Misconception: Market did not hit bottom on “Black Tuesday” (October 29, 1929). Stocks briefly rebounded but then continued to fall until 1932 and didn’t fully recover until the 1950s.
  • Why Did It Happen: Several reasons incl. over-speculation; investors placing bets on stocks, pushing the market higher despite a slowing economy.
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WILL HISTORY…REPEAT?

“Bull markets don’t die of old age. They end in recessions.”

Chief investment officer of wealth management, Kurt Spieler, First National Bank of Omaha. Economic data does not support the threat of recession (for now). One similarity between 1929 and 2019? The end of a decade of growth.
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“For everyone who says the market is great, there are a lot of respected people who say it’s overvalued. That probably means we won’t have another great crash.”

Financial historian Richard Sylla to TIME on comparing the Wall Street crash of 1929 to today. Skylla notes that while both periods were preceded by strong markets, today there is more market skepticism that may prevent the over-speculation of 1929.
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On Monday, stocks rallied in part on optimism over a trade deal with China. Lack of a deal, or what investors perceive as a bad deal, could negatively impact the stock market.

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October 11, 1884

 

 

 

 

America’s longest-serving First Lady is born.

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Eleanor Roosevelt

  • Born in New York City; orphaned by 10-years-old.
  • Niece of Pres. Theodore Roosevelt (who gave her away at her wedding).
  • Wife of her distant cousin, Franklin – who served 4 terms in office, more than any other president.
  • At one time, one of the most popular columnists in America.
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“…generalities are always dangerous.”

First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt writing in her syndicated column, "My Day," where she shared her life (and issues she felt passionate about) directly with the American people. She wrote the above in regards to an observation while traveling - having initially believed women preferred trains, while men preferred planes. She also discussed the challenges of "long distance housekeeping" in her column on Oct 11, 1939, 80 years ago on her 55th birthday.
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Eleanor Roosevelt started writing "My Day" as part of her husband's re-election campaign in 1935. She continued until 1961, often submitting columns 6 days a week. At one point she was published in more than 60 newspapers and had a readership of 4M.

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June 14, 1777

 

 

 

 

The Continental Congress approved the design of the American flag.
The maker remains a mystery.

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The Final Resolution:

“… the flag of the United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.”

Red: valor
White: purity
Blue:perseverance

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Who Made The First Flag?

  • It remains one of the great mysteries of American history.
  • Common lore suggests Betsy Ross, a seamstress in Philadelphia, the city where the Continental Congress met.
  • Surprisingly, no facts support or document this story.
  • Historians generally agree Ross likely knew Gen. Washington & sewed flags in her family’s shop.
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Pres. Woodrow Wilson proclaimed June 14th "Flag Day" in 1916, but it didn't become an official day until 1949 when Pres. Harry Truman signed it into law. Why does the flag get folded 13 times? Each fold has a meaning. Read more:

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June 12, 1924

Pres. George H.W. Bush was born.

 

 

 

America’s 41st president died last November & received an honor today seldom given to someone so soon after they have passed.

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A *Forever* Honor

  • On what would’ve been his 95th birthday, the U.S. Postal Service revealed a Pres. George H.W. Bush *forever* stamp.
  • This is an exception to a USPS rule that no one will be honored earlier than 3 yrs after his/her death.
  • Special twist to this news: Pres. Bush was a prolific letter writer to friends, family & beyond.
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Did you know YOU can nominate someone for a stamp? You just have to make the request in writing. You cannot nominate a living person and the USPS asks you submit a nomination 3 year prior to a potential issuance date (for research). Who would you nominate for a stamp?

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June 2, 1953

 

 

 

The coronation of Queen Elizabeth II – the only time in British royal history a mother had her child present for her official ascension to the throne.

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Historic

  • Queen Elizabeth II remains the longest serving British monarch (67 years & counting).
  • first televised coronation – an important milestone for the ceremony which dates back more than 1,000 years.
  • first time a mother had her child present at a coronation. 4-year-old Prince Charles watched his 25-yr-old mother become Queen.
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Royal Style

  • Silver & gold thread adorned the Queen’s white satin dress featuring emblems of her kingdom – the U.K. & the Commonwealth. She’s worn it again – 6 times to other events.
  • The coronation ceremony includes “anointing oils”. The ones used in Queen Elizabeth’s coronation? “orange, roses, cinnamon, musk & ambergris.”
On This Day

Queen Elizabeth II formally invited Pres. Trump for a State Visit starting tomorrow June 3rd. The timing is as important as the invitation - an invitation only extended to two other U.S. Presidents (Pres. G.W.Bush & Pres. Obama).

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May 15, 1940

Two brothers open America’s first McDonald’s. They didn’t start with hamburgers, or even french fries … and there was no “Ronald.”

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“At first it was a struggle and we didn’t know where our next cent was coming from. But we believed in our enterprise.”

Maurice McDonald, who with his brother Richard opened the first McDonald's. The two brothers left their home state of New Hampshire after the Great Depression, and headed to California to make it in the movie business. When their Hollywood adventure failed, they started with a hot dog stand, & later opened a restaurant in San Bernadino.
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Did You Know….

  • The first McDonald’s was actually “McDonald’s Bar-B-Q.”
  • 1948: A “revamped” McDonald’s opens, focusing on a limited menu with 15-cent burgers & fast service. Fries appear on the menu the following year.
  • 1954: Milkshake machine salesman Ray Kroc visits restaurant, becomes a franchise operator & buys business in 1961.
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“I was an overnight success alright, but 30 years is a long, long night.”

Ray Kroc developed the "McDonald's System" which later became the McDonald's Corporation. He focused on consistent, fast service across franchises, which also led to the development of Hamburger University where attendees received their degree in Bachelor of Hamburgerology. The program continues today.
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The brothers sold their McDonald's to Kroc for just under $3M. Now the company's market cap: $150B+.

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May 13, 1995

“I am on the top of the world and I love you dearly.”

A British mother sends this message to her children as she becomes the first woman to summit Everest unaided.

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Alison Hargreaves

  • Developed a love for climbing as a child in Britain.
  • Her 6 & 4-year-old son & daughter stayed with her husband in Scotland as she attempted her summit.
  • Climbed Everest with NO supplemental oxygen (only second person in history to do so), and did not use ropes left by other climbers.
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“My kids are pretty active, and they need a lot of time and energy, which is great. But sometimes you need a break. I found that solo climbing was totally opposite to looking after the kids because it’s so self-indulgent.”

Alison Hargreaves describing how she got into "solo-climbing." She said it was hard for her to find climbing partners because her husband, a climbing photographer, was often traveling. When he got home, he'd watch the kids and she'd head to the mountains alone.
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3 months after her historic Everest summit, she also became one of the first women to summit Pakistan's K2, one of the world's highest peaks, but didn't survive the descent. Tragically, her 30-year-old son died climbing in Pakistan this past March.

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8 years ago…

 

 

 

… the world learned the mastermind of 9/11 & leader of al-Qaeda was killed. Why some say the terror group is stronger than ever.

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You May Not Know…

  • The FBI put Osama Bin Laden on its Most Wanted List in 1999 due to his role in the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Tanzania & Kenya that killed approx. 200 people; offered $25M reward.
  • Bin Laden had a large collection of American books in his Pakistan compound, reportedly used to find vulnerabilities in American culture & security.
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“Since 9/11, al-Qaeda’s footprint has greatly expanded…al-Qaeda maintains an active insurgency, and in some, al-Qaeda’s branches or allies control a significant amount of land.”

Bill Roggio, Foundation For Defense of Democracies, who testified Tues. before Congress on the "Global Terrorism Landscape." He says al-Qaeda has a footprint in Yemen, Saudi Arabia, North & West Africa, Somalia, East Africa, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Myanmar & Syria.
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Connecting The Dots

  • The Taliban provided safe haven for al-Qaeda to recruit and train in Afghanistan before & after 9/11.
  • Pakistan, where Bin Laden found safe haven, continues to provide safe haven for the Taliban and other jihadi groups.
  • The U.S. considers Pakistan an ally & is negotiating with the Taliban on terms of American withdrawal from Afghanistan.
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The U.S. recently offered $1M for info on the whereabouts of Bin Laden's son, Hamza, who reportedly lives near the Afghan-Pakistan border & has taken a leadership role in the terror group, calling for attacks on the U.S.

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April 25, 1917

 

 

 

 

The First Lady of Song makes her “debut”: Ella Fitzgerald

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Ella Fitzgerald

  • Born 1917, just as the U.S. entered WWI.
  • Mother died when she was 15.
  • Ran away from reform school & danced on Harlem streets during Great Depression to make $$.
  • At 17, she won amateur night at the famed Apollo Theater & quickly joined a band.
  • Won 13 Grammy awards & sold over 40 million albums
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Fitzgerald could imitate every instrument in an orchestra. She initially wanted to be a dancer, but got stage fright and decided to sing instead. Let's just say everything worked out the way it should as she famously said: "If I was dancin', I'd have been starving a long time ago."

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