April 15th 1865- Abraham Lincoln, 16th American president, dies from gunshot wound at 56.
“Four years of disastrous war had deeply divided the nation. But Lincoln initiated the effort to bring the South back into the fold. Unlike many members of his party, Lincoln believed it would be wrong to harshly punish the South. He planned to pursue a Reconstruction policy in which the South was given generous treatment. But he also listened to the Radical Republicans who insisted on punishing the Confederacy.
Before Lincoln could guide Reconstruction, an assassin cut his life short. On April 14, 1865,John Wilkes Booth, a supporter of the Confederacy and of slavery, shot Lincoln as the president and his wife watched a performance at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C. The president died the next morning, and Vice President Andrew Johnson entered the nation’s highest office.”
This week in history:
- April 14 1912 - HMS Titanic hits an iceberg at 11.40pm off Newfoundland
- April 15 1689 - French king Louis XIV declares war on Spain
- April 16 1178 BC - A solar eclipse may have marked the return of Odysseus, legendary King of Ithaca, to his kingdom after the Trojan War.
- April 17 1534 - Sir Thomas More confined in London Tower
- April 18 1775 - Paul Revere & William Dawes ride from Charleston to Lexington warning the “regulars are coming!
Lithograph of ”Death of President Lincoln At Washington, D.C. April 15th 1865 / The Nation’s Martyr.”, by Currier & Ives, 1865.
This lithograph can be seen at the New Hampshire Historical Society .
April 8th 1789- House of Representatives has its 1st meeting
“The 1st Congress (1789–1791) finished what the Founders started: filling out the U.S. Constitution’s skeletal framework by addressing concerns raised during ratification and by creating the federal architecture—a revenue system, the first executive departments, and the judiciary. Congress also assumed state Revolutionary War debts and decided the location of the future capital. Under the leadership of Representative James Madison of Virginia, this Congress authored the constitutional amendments which eventually became the Bill of Rights. Amid this activity Congress moved from New York to Philadelphia in 1790.”
This week in history:
- April 7th 30 - Scholars’ estimate Jesus crucified by Roman troops in Jerusalem
- April 8th 1513 - Explorer Juan Ponce de Leon claimed Florida for Spain
- April 9th 1912 - Titanic leaves Queenstown Ireland for NY
- April 10th 1925 - Scribners publishes “The Great Gatsby” by F Scott Fitzgerald
- April 11th 1689 - William III & Mary II crowned as joint rulers of Britain
Thank you, Historical Society of Washington D.C., for this lovely picture inside the great hall of the Library of Congress.
April 1st, 1792- Gronings feminist Etta Palm demands women’s right to divorce.
"Revolutionary writer who called herself Baroness Palm d’Aelders, Etta-Lubina Johanna Derista Alders married in 1762 Ferdinand Palm, about whom little is known. It seems like after his marriage he left for India and never returned. Etta traveled extensively throughout Europe. In 1768, she settled in Paris. Not much has surfaced about her activities until November 26, 1790 when, according to Paule-Marie Duhet, she publicly embraced the feminist cause. This was reported in the Orateur du Peuple and La Bouche de Fer. Soon after December 30, 1790, she read in front of the Assemblee Federative des Amis de la Verite a famous speech entitled “Sur l’injustice des loix en faveur des hommes au depend des femmes (On the Injustice of the Laws in Favor of Men at the Expense of Women). In the speech she asks men to be fair towards the physically weaker but intellectually equal sex. She laments that laws favor men at the expense of women and asks for changes. On February 14 1791, at the request of the municipality of Creil, she was awarded the French cockade and national medals. On this occasion, she made another speech deploring the state of education for women in the French capital.
The same year, she created the Societe Patriotique des Amies de la Verite, a feminist organization that was intended to be the female version of the Confederation des Amis de la Verite. Inveterate defender of equal liberties for men and women, she greatly admired the French revolutionary ideals and wrote a fiery pamphlet (March 23, 1791) attacking the enemies inside and outside of France. She probably was one of the first women too propose public nurseries and centers where women could ask for help. Following a denuciation by a woman named Louise Robert, Etta made another speech on June 12, 1791 to justify herself. She is also credited with an extolment in 1791 to better morality in France with the help of the government. The speech was entitled “Appel aux Francaises sur la regeneration des moeurs necessite de l’influence des femmes dans un gouvernment” (Call to the French People on the Regeneration of Morality and the Necessity of Woman’s Influence in a Government).
In September 1792, Etta Palm d’Aelders was charged with a diplomatic mission to the United States where the French government wanted to send an ambassador. That attempt ended in failure. She returned to Paris and not much is heard about her until her arrest in January 1793. She was accused of Orangiste affiliation. There exists no record of what happened to Etta Palm d’Aelders after that fateful date. It can be presumed without any proof that she might have paid in an unexpected fashion for her fictitious title of baroness.”
This week in history:
- March 31st 1870- 1st black person to vote in US (Thomas P Mundy of Perth Amboy NJ)
- April 1st 1748- Ruins of Pompeii found
- April 2nd 1917- Jeannette Rankin (Rep-R-Mont) begins her term as 1st woman member of US House of Reps
- April 3rd 1919- Austria expels all Habsburgers
- April 4th 1917- Lenin issues his April Theses calling for Soviets to take power
The above photograph is of fellow American feminist, Eva Perry Moore and can be seen at the General Federation of Women’s Clubs.