Today in World History: July 23rd

Ulysses S. Grant, American General during the civil war and the eighteenth president of the United States, died on this day in 1885. The Commanding General of the Union troops during the war, he helped lead his army to victory, working with his close friend and ally, President Abraham Lincoln. Born in 1822 in Ohio, Grant had previously been enrolled in the American army, serving in the American-Mexican war that led to the American domination of the West Coast. Upon the end of Andrew Jackson’s presidency in 1868, Grant was elected and sworn in in March of 1869. He led the country during many political reforms, ensuring Lincoln’s fight to end slavery in America would end victoriously. He also restructured the country’s foreign policy, so that America would be able to expand its influence while remaining peaceful. He helped bring an end to the Ku Klux Klan, and other organizations like it, leading to his re-election in 1872. Upon the end of his second and final term in office, after several allegations of corruption and a weak economy, Grant did not run for a third term immediately, but when the opportunity did arise, the Republicans voted instead for James Garfield, who would go on to be elected and the assassinated in the same year. In the Fall of 1884, Grant was diagnosed with throat cancer, and on this day in 1885, he died, at the age of sixty-five. Today, he is regarded as one of the greatest of America’s leaders.

“The friend in my adversity I shall always cherish most. I can better trust those who helped to relieve the gloom of my dark hours than those who are so ready to enjoy with me the sunshine of my prosperity.”

-Ulysses S. Grant

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