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TODAY:Tue, 21 Aug 2018       

This Day In HistoryMay 20

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1862: U.S. Homestead Act signed.

On this day U.S. President Abraham Lincoln signed the Homestead Act, which provided 160 acres (about two-thirds of a square km) of public land virtually free of charge to those who had lived on and cultivated the land for at least five years. One of the early supporters of the Homestead movement was Senator (later President) Andrew Johnson of Tennessee. By the turn of the century, more than 80 million acres (300,000 square km) had been claimed by a total of 600,000 homestead farmers.

More events on this day

1939:Pan American Airways' Yankee Clipper inaugurated transatlantic airmail service, flying from Port Washington, New York, to Lisbon.
1908:American actor and motion-picture star Jimmy Stewart was born in Indiana, Pennsylvania.
1875:The International Bureau of Weights and Measures, an organization founded to bring about the unification of systems of measurement, was established in Paris.
1897:During the Greco-Turkish wars, the Greeks—fighting for the annexation of Crete—yielded to pressures from European powers to withdraw their troops from Crete and accept armistice on the mainland.
1882:Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy secretly formed the Triple Alliance, a treaty organization that provided for mutual protection against attacks by other European powers until Italy entered World War I.
1806:English economist and philosopher John Stuart Mill was born in London.
1784:The Netherlands yielded to Great Britain some of its holdings in India and Indonesia in a treaty signed at the Peace of Paris, a collection of treaties that concluded the American Revolution.