This Day in New York History, May 18th

May 18, 2011 Updated: May 18, 2011

1864: Printed Lincoln Statement A Hoax

New York World and New York Journal of Commerce printed a false statement reportedly written by Abraham Lincoln. The fabricated statement said that May 26 (8 days later) should be “set apart throughout these United States as a day of fasting, humiliation, and prayer.” More notably, it called forth all citizens between 18 and 45 years old, with the plan to assemble 400,000 troops to fight against the Confederates. Later that same day, Lincoln denounced the publication as treason, ordered all “editors, proprietors, and publishers of the aforesaid newspapers” to be arrested and held until they could be brought to trial. He also ordered a takeover of the newspapers' publications, and to halt them until further notice.


1896: Express Train Makes First Run

The Black Diamond Express, a state of the art luxury train, made its first run between Buffalo and New York City. Though facing three competitors, it would remain in service for the next 63 years. The travel time between the two cities was 10 hours for the approximately 374-mile trip, with a top speed of about a mile a minute. The Lehigh Valley Railroad (LV) built and owned the train. LV held a contest featuring a $25 cash prize and the right to name the train. Charles Montgomery of Toledo, Ohio won.

1918: President Wilson Speaks at Parade

A Red Cross parade was held in New York to raise funds for World War I. Mrs. Wilson accompanied him on the trip. He delivered his speech in the Metropolitan Opera House, his first since World War I started. He spoke about the American Red Cross as “a great fraternity and fellowship, which extends all over the world.” Wilson also discussed how what the suffering Americans were enduring was uniting them.

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