This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.
November 6 is the 310th day of the year (311th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 55 days remaining until the end of the year.
On this day in 1860, Abraham Lincoln is elected the 16th President of the United States over a deeply divided Democratic Party, becoming the first Republican to win the presidency. Lincoln received only 40 percent of the popular vote but handily defeated the three other candidates: Southern Democrat John C. Breckinridge, Constitutional Union candidate John Bell, and Northern Democrat Stephen Douglas, a U.S. senator for Illinois.
Lincoln received 1,866,452 votes, Douglas 1,376,957 votes, Breckinridge 849,781 votes, and Bell 588,789 votes. The electoral vote was decisive: Lincoln had 180 and his opponents added together had only 123. Turnout was 82.2%, with Lincoln winning the free Northern states. Douglas won Missouri, and split New Jersey with Lincoln. Bell won Virginia, Tennessee, and Kentucky, and Breckinridge won the rest of the South. There were fusion tickets in which all of Lincoln’s opponents combined to form one ticket in New York, New Jersey, and Rhode Island, but even if the anti-Lincoln vote had been combined in every state, Lincoln still would have won a majority in the electoral college.
As Lincoln’s election became evident, secessionists made clear their intent to leave the Union. On December 20, 1860, South Carolina took the lead; by February 1, 1861, Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas followed. The seven states soon declared themselves to be a sovereign nation, the Confederate States of America. The upper South (Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, and Arkansas) listened to, but initially rejected, the secessionist appeal. President Buchanan and President-elect Lincoln refused to recognize the Confederacy. There were attempts at compromise, such as the Crittenden Compromise, which would have extended the Missouri Compromise line of 1820, and which some Republicans even supported. Lincoln rejected the idea, saying, “I will suffer death before I consent…to any concession or compromise which looks like buying the privilege to take possession of this government to which we have a constitutional right.”
Lincoln, however, did support the Corwin Amendment to the Constitution, which had passed in Congress and protected slavery in those states where it already existed. A few weeks before the war, he went so far as to pen a letter to every governor asking for their support in ratifying the Corwin Amendment as a means to avoid secession.
355 – Roman Emperor Constantius II promotes his cousin Julian to the rank of Caesar, entrusting him with the government of the Prefecture of the Gauls.
1528 – Shipwrecked Spanish conquistador Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca becomes the first known European to set foot in Texas.
1632 – Thirty years war: Battle of Lutzen is fought, the Swedes are victorius but the King of Sweden, Gustavus Adolphus dies in the battle.
1789 – Pope Pius VI appoints Father John Carroll as the first Catholic bishop in the United States.
1844 – The first constitution of the Dominican Republic is adopted.
1856 – Scenes of Clerical Life, the first work of fiction by the author later known as George Eliot, is submitted for publication.
1861 – American Civil War: Jefferson Davis is elected president of the Confederate States of America.
1865 – American Civil War: CSS Shenandoah is the last Confederate combat unit to surrender after circumnavigating the globe on a cruise on which it sank or captured 37 vessels.
1869 – In New Brunswick, New Jersey, Rutgers College defeats Princeton University (then known as the College of New Jersey), 6-4, in the first official intercollegiate American football game.
1913 – Mohandas Gandhi is arrested while leading a march of Indian miners in South Africa.
1917 – World War I: Third Battle of Ypres ends: After three months of fierce fighting, Canadian forces take Passchendaele in Belgium.
1918 – The Second Polish Republic is proclaimed in Poland.
1925 – Secret agent Sidney Reilly is executed by the OGPU, the secret police of the Soviet Union.
1928 – Sweden begins a tradition of eating Gustavus Adolphus pastries to commemorate the king.
1934 – Memphis, Tennessee becomes the first major city to join the Tennessee Valley Authority.
1935 – Edwin Armstrong presents his paper “A Method of Reducing Disturbances in Radio Signaling by a System of Frequency Modulation” to the New York section of the Institute of Radio Engineers.
1935 – First flight of the Hawker Hurricane.
1935 – Parker Brothers acquires the forerunner patents for MONOPOLY from Elizabeth Magie.
1939 – World War II: Sonderaktion Krakau takes place.
1941 – World War II: Soviet leader Joseph Stalin addresses the Soviet Union for only the second time during his three-decade rule. He states that even though 350,000 troops were killed in German attacks so far, the Germans had lost 4.5 million soldiers and that Soviet victory was near.
1942 – World War II: Carlson’s patrol during the Guadalcanal Campaign begins.
1943 – World War II: the Soviet Red Army recaptures Kiev. Before withdrawing, the Germans destroy most of the city’s ancient buildings.
1944 – Plutonium is first produced at the Hanford Atomic Facility and subsequently used in the Fat Man atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan.
1947 – Meet the Press makes its television debut (the show went to a weekly schedule on September 12, 1948).
1962 – Apartheid: The United Nations General Assembly passes a resolution condemning South Africa’s racist apartheid policies and calls for all UN member states to cease military and economic relations with the nation.
1963 – Vietnam War: Following the November 1 coup and execution of President Ngo Dinh Diem, coup leader General Duong Van Minh takes over leadership of South Vietnam.
1965 – Cuba and the United States formally agree to begin an airlift for Cubans who want to go to the United States. By 1971, 250,000 Cubans made use of this program.
1971 – The United States Atomic Energy Commission tests the largest U.S. underground hydrogen bomb, code-named Cannikin, on Amchitka Island in the Aleutians.
1975 – Green March begins: 300,000 unarmed Moroccans converge on the southern city of Tarfaya and wait for a signal from King Hassan II of Morocco to cross into Western Sahara.
1977 – The Kelly Barnes Dam, located above Toccoa Falls Bible College near Toccoa, Georgia, fails, killing 39.
1985 – In Colombia, leftist guerrillas of the April 19 Movement seize control of the Palace of Justice in Bogotá, eventually killing 115 people, 11 of them Supreme Court justices.
1985 – The Iran-Contra Affair: The American press reveals that U.S. President Ronald Reagan had authorized the shipment of arms to Iran.
1986 – Sumburgh disaster – A British International Helicopters Boeing 234LR Chinook crashes 2.5 miles east of Sumburgh Airport killing 45 people. It is the deadliest civilian helicopter crash on record.
1999 – Australians vote to keep the Head of the Commonwealth as their head of state in the Australian republic referendum.
2004 – An express train collides with a stationary carriage near the village of Ufton Nervet, England, killing 7 and injuring 150.
2005 – The Evansville Tornado of November 2005 kills 25 in Northwestern Kentucky and Southwestern Indiana.