Franklin Pierce (1804–1869) was the 14th President of the United
States (1853–57), whose inability to calm tensions over slavery kept
the country on the path to the Civil War. A northern Democrat from New
Hampshire, Pierce served in the U.S. House of Representatives and the
Senate and took part in the Mexican–American War as a brigadier
general before becoming the Democrats' compromise candidate in the 1852
presidential election. He saw the abolitionist movement as a fundamental
threat to the unity of the nation. He was a Young America expansionist
who signed the Gadsden Purchase of land from Mexico and led a failed
attempt to acquire Cuba from Spain. His polarizing actions in signing
the Kansas–Nebraska Act and enforcing the Fugitive Slave Act failed to
stem intersectional conflict. Although Pierce expected to be renominated
by the Democrats, he was abandoned by his party and failed in his bid to
be re-elected. His wife Jane suffered from illness and depression for
much of her life, and all of their children died young. Pierce, a heavy
drinker for much of his life, died of cirrhosis of the liver. Today he
is widely regarded as one of the worst presidents in U.S. history.
Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franklin_Pierce>
Today's selected anniversaries:
Perkin Warbeck, a pretender to the English throne during the
reign of King Henry VII, was hanged after reportedly attempting to
escape from the Tower of London.
William "Boss" Tweed, a New York City politician who had been
arrested for embezzlement, was handed to US authorities after having
escaped from prison to Spain.
Edwin Hubble published evidence in a newspaper that the
Andromeda Nebula, previously believed to be part of the Milky Way, is
actually another galaxy, one of many in the universe.
An Anglo-Ethiopian boundary commission in the Ogaden
encountered a garrison of Somalis in Italian service at Walwal, which
led to the Abyssinia Crisis.
A crowd of people on their way to register the candidacy of
Esmael Mangudadatu in the upcoming election for Governor of Maguindanao,
Philippines, were attacked by supporters of his rival, resulting in at
least 57 deaths.
Wiktionary's word of the day:
A lady, especially a noblewoman; the title given to a lady in Italy.
Wikiquote quote of the day:
I am not … a "good man"! … And I'm not a bad man. … I am
not a "hero" — and I'm definitely not a President — and no — I'm
not an officer! … You know what I am? … I AM … an IDIOT! … with
a box — and a screwdriver — passing through, helping out, learning.
I don't need an army, I never have. …because love, it's not an emotion
— Love is a promise!
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