U.S. Presidential History: January

January 1

President Abraham Lincoln signs the final Emancipation Proclamation, leading to the end of slavery in the United States. The proclamation freed all slaves in states that were still in rebellion during the time of the American Civil War.

group of men

January 2

Senator John F Kennedy, announces his candidacy for the United States Presidency.

January 3

Alaska becomes the United States’ 49th state when President Eisenhower signs a special proclamation admitting the territory into the Union. Alaska became the largest state of the Unites States.

January 4

During the 110th United States Congress, Nancy Pelosi is elected the United States’ first female Speaker of the House.

Nancy Pelosi

January 5

President Richard Nixon signs a $5.5 million bill authorizing a development of a space shuttle program.

January 6

The 26th President of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt, dies at his home in New York. In 1901 he became the youngest president at the age of 43 after his predecessor President William McKinley was assassinated.

January 7

The first U.S. presidential election is held. George Washington won the election and became the first U.S. president on April 30, 1789. The election system used in 1789 is still in use today.

George Washington

January 8

President George Washington delivers the first State of the Union address. President Washington gave a brief outline of his policies designed by Alexander Hamilton.

man giving speech

Congress expands suffrage, granting all American males the right to vote, including African Americans.

January 9

Richard Nixon, the 37th President of the Unites States, is born in California.

January 11

President Theodore Roosevelt makes the Grand Canyon a U.S. National Monument.

man on a horse

January 12

Ophelia Wyatt Caraway, a Democrat from Arkansas, becomes the first elected female senator.

January 13

Robert C. Weaver becomes the first African American cabinet member. Appointed by President Lyndon B. Johnson, Weaver became the head of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

January 14

President Franklin D. Roosevelt becomes the first U.S. President to travel by airplane on official business. President FDR flew on a Boeing 314 Flying Boat to a meeting with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in Casablanca, North Africa.

men on a plane

January 15

Today marks the first time a donkey is used to refer to the Democrat Party. The imagery appeared in an issue of Harper’s Weekly magazine. A political cartoon entitled “A Live Jackass Kicking a Dead Lion,” depicted the donkey as a representation of Democrat-dominated newspapers of the South.

political cartoon

January 17

President Dwight D. Eisenhower bids farewell to the nation in a televised speech for the last time as president.

January 18

President Woodrow Wilson attends the Paris Peace Conference, an event which officially marked the end of World War I.

men at a conference

January 19

President Franklin D. Roosevelt is inaugurated to his fourth term in office. He was the only U.S. president to have served three terms in office. President FDR died just three months after his fourth inauguration.

January 20

John F. Kennedy is inaugurated as the 35th president of the United States.

Richard Nixon becomes the 37th president of the United States.

Ronald Reagan, who was once a Western movie actor, is sworn in as 40th president of the United States.

January 22

President Lyndon B. Johnson dies at the age of 64 due to a heart attack.

January 23

Madeline Albright is sworn in as America’s first female Secretary of State by Vice President Al Gore. Albright became the highest ranking female official in U.S. history.

Madeline Albright

January 25

Congress authorizes the first national memorial dedicated to Brigadier General Richard Montgomery, who was killed during the Revolutionary War.

Richard Montgomery

President John F. Kennedy holds the first televised news conference.

January 26

President George W. Bush appoints Condoleezza Rice as the Secretary of State, making her the highest ranking African-American woman to serve in a presidential cabinet.

January 29

William McKinley, the 25th president of the Unites States, is born on this day in Ohio.

January 30

Franklin D. Roosevelt, who later became the United States’ only president to be elected four times, is born.