May 27, 2019

Today in History: John Peter Altgeld

Today in History–December 30–the Library of Congress features politician John Peter Altgeld, born on this day in 1847. A lawyer, Altgeld served as a city attorney and a county prosecutor before serving on the bench of Cook County's Superior Court from 1886 to 1891. In 1892 he was elected governor of Illinois. A progressive, Altgeld passed penal and legal system reforms, as well as early child and women’s labor legislation. He is most famous, though, for his June, 1893 pardon of three men … [Read more...]

Today in History: The Gadsden Purchase

Today in History–December 30–the Library of Congress features the Gadsden Purchase (treaty), signed on this day in 1853. U.S. Secretary of War Jefferson Davis influenced President Franklin Pierce to send U.S. Minister James Gadsden to negotiate the treaty in order to obtain land for construction of a southern transcontinental railroad. Under the treaty, the United States paid Mexico $10 million for land in what is now southern New Mexico and Arizona. Learn more by visiting … [Read more...]