Daily readings about people, places, and events in American history.
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January 27th
Lincoln on Reverence for the Laws
On January 27, 1838, when he was almost twenty-nine years old, Abraham Lincoln delivered an address before the Young Men’s Lyceum in Springfield, Illinois, entitled “The Perpetuation of Our Political Institutions.” In his speech he argued that liberty could not survive without reverence for laws, a theme prompted in part by the recent murder of an abolitionist by a mob in Alton, Illinois.

Let every American, every lover of liberty, every well-wisher to his posterity, swear by the blood of the Revolution, never to violate in the least particular the laws of the country, and never to tolerate their violation by others. As the Patriots of Seventy-six did to the support of the Declaration of Independence, so to the support of the Constitution and laws, let every American pledge his life, his property, and his sacred honor. Let every man remember that to violate the law is to trample on the blood of his father, and to tear the character of his own, and his children’s, liberty. Let reverence for the laws be breathed by every American mother to the lisping babe that prattles on her lap. Let it be taught in schools, in seminaries, and in colleges. Let it be written in primers, spelling books, and in almanacs. Let it be preached from
the pulpit, proclaimed in legislative halls, and enforced in courts of justice. And, in short, let it become the political religion of the nation; and let the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the grave and the gay, of all sexes and tongues, and colors and conditions, sacrifice unceasingly upon its altars.
American History Parade
Georgia becomes the first state to charter a state-supported university, the University of Georgia.

Abraham Lincoln addresses the Young Men’s Lyceum in Springfield, Illinois.

Thomas Edison receives a patent for his electric incandescent lamp.

The National Geographic Society is founded in Washington, D.C.

Astronauts Gus Grissom, Edward White, and Roger Chaffee die in a fire aboard their Apollo I spacecraft at Cape Canaveral, Florida.

The Paris Peace Accords officially end the Vietnam War.
This content is courtesy of The American Patriot's Almanac
© 2008, 2010 by William J. Bennett and John T.E. Cribb

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