History & Celebrations Today – March 18

Celebrations Today – March 18

Holidays and observances

Celebrations Today – USA: March 18

National Awkward Moments Day
National Biodiesel Day
National Lacy Oatmeal Cookie Day
National Sloppy Joe Day
National Supreme Sacrifice Day
National Quilting Day – Third Saturday in March
National Campfire Girls Day
National Doctor-Patient Trust Day
National St. Patrick’s Day

Today in US History: March 18

John C. Calhoun

Calhoun Tomb
Tomb of John C. Calhoun
Charleston, South Carolina, circa 1900-1910.
Touring Turn-of-the-Century America: Photographs from the Detroit Publishing Company, 1880-1920

On March 18, 1782, John C. Calhoun was born near Abbeville, South Carolina. Calhoun served as a congressman, senator, secretary of war, secretary of state, and vice president of the United States.

A formidable theorist, Calhoun is remembered for his determined defense of the institution of slavery. During the course of his career, he reversed his stand as a nationalist and advocated states’ rights as a means of preserving slavery in the South. As a South Carolina senator, Calhoun used the argument of states’ rights to protect slavery in what is known as the Nullification Crisis of 1832-1833.

At the end of his senatorial career, Calhoun opposed the Compromise of 1850 because of its proposed limits on slavery during the westward expansion of the nation. Calhoun was clearly a dying man as he was assisted to his desk on the Senate floor a few minutes past noon on March 4, 1850. A black cloak, which he had pulled around his emaciated body, added to the drama of the scene.

Too weak to deliver the forty-two-page speech himself, Calhoun had his colleague, Senator James Murray Mason (1798-1871) of Virginia, read from a printed version for him. The emphasis of the speech was wholly on northern aggressions and against conciliation and compromise. Calhoun believed that two separate nations now existed, and that if the differences between them could not be settled, the two entities should agree to part in peace.

Three days later, on March 7, Senator Daniel Webster argued in favor of the compromise. He both cautioned Southerners that disunion would lead to war and advised Northerners to forgo antislavery measures. The Compromise of 1850 was passed and Calhoun died soon after on March 31, 1850.

Calhoun's Speech
John Calhoun’s Speech, March 4, 1850.
Words and Deeds in American History: Selected Documents Celebrating the Manuscript Division’s First 100 Years

Webster's Speech
Daniel Webster’s Speech, March 7, 1850.
Words and Deeds in American History: Selected Documents Celebrating the Manuscript Division’s First 100 Years

Today in History – March 18-External Links

Today’s Weather in History
Today in Earthquake History
This Day in Naval History
Today’s Document from the National Archives
Today’s Events, Births & Deaths –Wikipedia
Today in History by AP
On this Day -1950 to 2005 – Today’s Story–BBC
On This Day: The New York Times
This Day in History –History.com
Today in Canadian History – Canada Channel
History of Britain that took place On This Day
Russia in History –Russiapedia