Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) One hundred and fifty years ago today, March 3, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln signed a law creating the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands. The agency, called the Freeman's Bureau, was assigned to the War Department.
The Bureau directed the transition of freed slaves from bondage to freedom providing food rations, medical services, land distribution and education.
By 1870, the agency had established more than 1000 schools for freedmen in the South. Half of the teachers selected were Southern whites.
General Oliver O. Howard was appointed to serve as the agency's commissioner. Originally, the Freedmen's Bureau was set up for one year, but it existed for 7 years. The Bureau was unprecedented in that it marked the first involvement of the federal government in social welfare and labor relations.
"Freedmen's Bureau," www.en.wikipedia.org/
"The Freedmen's Bureau," The Freedmen's Bureau Online, www.freedmensbureau.com
Office of the Freedmen's Bureau
Memphis, TN (1865)
NYPL Digital Gallery
Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) Eighty-four years ago today, March 3, 1931, President Herbert Hoover signed a law making the Star Spangled Banner the official National Anthem of the United States of America.
The words of the song were originally penned by Francis Scott Key on September 14, 1814 during the British attack on Fort McHenry near Baltimore, Maryland. The lyrics were published in Baltimore on September 20, and later set to the tune "To Anacreon in Heaven".
President Woodrow Wilson signed an Executive Order in 1916 formally making the song "Our National Anthem." The legislation signed by President Hoover on March 3, 1931 made it official.
Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) Rutherford B. Hayes, having been declared the winner of the presidential election of 1876 by a special election commission, was sworn in 138 years ago today, March 3, 1877, in a private ceremony in the Red Room at the White House.
Hayes, a Republican from Ohio, lost the popular vote to Samuel Tilden of New York, but because there were 20 disputed electoral votes, the House of Representatives was assigned by the United States Constitution to determine the winner.
The official date of the inaugural was scheduled for March 4th, but since that date fell on a Sunday, another inaugural ceremony for the President was set for Monday, March 5.
Rutherford B. Hayes Inaugural
MISSOURI COMPROMISE BILL PASSES CONGRESS
Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) On March 3, 1820, 195 years ago today, the Congress of the United States passed a bill to resolve the first serious problem the nation had faced over the slavery issue.
The compromise legislation made Missouri a slave state while Maine became a free state. This arrangement maintained a critical balance in the number of slave and free states in the United States Senate.
The law also stated that slavery would be prohibited in the territory, which is part of the original Louisiana Purchase, north of the 36th parallel.
The Missouri Compromise of 1820 would be repealed by the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 which would allow a popular vote on the slavery issue north of the 36th parallel.