Judah Benjamin (1811–1884) was a lawyer and United States Senator from
Louisiana, a Cabinet officer of the Confederate States and, after his
escape to the United Kingdom at the end of the American Civil War, an
English barrister. He was the first person professing the Jewish faith
to be elected to the Senate, and the first Jew to hold a cabinet
position in North America. After attending Yale, Benjamin moved to New
Orleans, where he read law and passed the bar. He rose rapidly both at
the bar and in politics, becoming a wealthy slaveowner, and serving in
both houses of the Louisiana legislature prior to his election to the
Senate in 1852. There, he was an ardent supporter of slavery. When war
began, Confederate President Jefferson Davis appointed him Attorney
General, and later Secretary of War. Made Secretary of State in 1862,
Benjamin unsuccessfully tried to gain recognition of the Confederacy by
France and the United Kingdom. When Davis fled from Virginia in early
1865, Benjamin went with him. He escaped to Britain and settled there,
becoming a barrister and again rising to the top of his profession
before retiring in 1883. He died in Paris the following year.
Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judah_P._Benjamin>
Today's selected anniversaries:
European settlers landing on the north banks of the Yarra River
in Southeastern Australia founded the city of Melbourne (Parliament
Philippine Revolution: In the Battle of San Juan del Monte, the
first real battle of the war, a Katipunan force temporarily captured a
powder magazine before being beaten back by a Spanish garrison.
World War I: The Battle of Tannenberg resulted in the almost
complete destruction of the Russian Second Army by the German Eighth
The title of National Hero of Indonesia was first given, the
recipient being the writer-cum-politician Abdul Muis.
Bosnian War: NATO began its bombing campaign against the Army
of Republika Srpska in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Wiktionary's word of the day:
1. (transitive) To apply a leech medicinally, so that it sucks blood from
2. (transitive) To drain (resources) without giving back
Wikiquote quote of the day:
Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy
to be broken.
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