Thursday, December 06, 2007

December 6, 1884:

Washington Monument Completed

December 6 boasts of a number of events in presidential and near-presidential history. In 1884, the long-planned, long-delayed Washington Monument was completed with the setting of its capstone, making the monument 555 feet 5⅛ inches tall, then the tallest structure in the world. (It would be surpassed by the Eiffel Tower a few years later.)

Five years later, on December 6, 1889, the first and only president of the CSA, Jefferson Davis, died of natural causes at age 81. He was in New Orleans at the time of his death, and buried there. In 1893, a funeral train was organized to take his body to Richmond via Gulfport, Miss.; Mobile; Montgomery; Atlanta; Greenville, SC; Raleigh; and Danville, Va. Thousands turned out along the route to pay their respects.

In 1923, Calvin Coolidge's first State of the Union speech was also the first one ever broadcast on the radio, in this case six powerful stations -- perhaps as many as a million people heard the speech. On March 4, 1925, his inauguration was the first one broadcast.

In 1973, Gerald Ford was sworn in as the 40th Vice President of the United States. Ford was one of the seven vice presidents who spent less than a year in that position -- a fraternity that also includes John Tyler, Andrew Johnson, William R. King, Harry Truman, Theodore Roosevelt, Chester Arthur and Thomas Hendricks.

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