Updated:
Original:
Year
1861
Month Day
November 06

Jefferson Davis elected Confederate president

On November 6, 1861, Jefferson Davis is elected president of the Confederate States of America. He ran without opposition, and the election simply confirmed the decision that had been made by the Confederate Congress earlier in the year.

Like his Union counterpart, President Abraham Lincoln, Davis was a native of Kentucky, born in 1808. He attended West Point and graduated in 1828. After serving in the Black Hawk War of 1832, Davis married Sarah Knox Taylor, the daughter of General (and future U.S. president) Zachary Taylor, in 1835.However,Sarah contracted malaria and died withinseveral months of their marriage. Davis married Varina Howells in 1845.He served inthe Mexican War (1846-48), during which he waswounded. After the war, he was appointed to fill a vacant U.S. senate seat from Mississippi, and laterserved as secretary of war under President Franklin Pierce.

When the Southern states began seceding after the election of Abraham Lincoln in the winter of 1860 and 1861, Davis suspected that he might be the choice of his fellow Southerners for their interim president. When the newly seceded states met in Montgomery, Alabama, in February1861, they decided just that.Davis expressed great fear about what lay ahead. “Upon my weary heart was showered smiles, plaudits, and flowers, but beyond them I saw troubles and thorns innumerable.” On November 6, Davis was elected to a six-year term as established by the Confederate constitution. He remained president until May 5, 1865, when the Confederate government was officially dissolved.

FACT CHECK: We strive for accuracy and fairness. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us!

ALSO ON THIS DAY

Bolsheviks revolt in Russia

Led by Bolshevik Party leader Vladimir Lenin, leftist revolutionaries launch a nearly bloodless coup d’État against Russia’s ineffectual Provisional Government. The Bolsheviks and their allies occupied government buildings and other strategic locations in the Russian capital of ...read more

Abraham Lincoln elected president

Abraham Lincoln is elected the 16th president of the United States over a deeply divided Democratic Party, becoming the first Republican to win the presidency. Lincoln received only 40 percent of the popular vote but handily defeated the three other candidates: Southern Democrat ...read more

UN condemns apartheid in South Africa

On November 6, 1962, the United Nations General Assembly adopts a resolution condemning South Africa’s racist apartheid policies and calling on all its members to end economic and military relations with the country. In effect from 1948 to 1993, apartheid, which comes from the ...read more

Teddy Roosevelt travels to Panama

On November 6, 1906, President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt embarks on a 17-day trip to Panama and Puerto Rico, becoming the first president to make an official diplomatic tour outside of the continental United States. Roosevelt entered office in 1901 with the firm intention of ...read more

A woman ices her husband with anti-freeze

Shirley Allen is arrested for poisoning her husband, Lloyd Allen, with ethylene glycol, commonly known as anti-freeze. After witnessing her mother spike Lloyd’s drinks with the deadly substance, Shirley’s own daughter turned her in to the authorities. Lloyd Allen was Shirley’s ...read more

British victory at Passchendaele

After more than three months of bloody combat, the Third Battle of Ypres effectively comes to an end on November 6, 1917, with a hard-won victory by British and Canadian troops at the Belgian village of Passchendaele. Launched on July 31, 1917, the Third Battle of Ypres was ...read more