Today's featured article
John Tyler (1790–1862) was the tenth President of the United States (1841–45). He served as a Virginia state legislator, governor, U.S. representative, and senator before his election as vice president in 1840 on the Whig Party ticket led by William Henry Harrison. He became the first vice president to succeed to the presidency without being elected to the office after his running mate's death in April 1841. Taking the oath of office, he immediately moved into the White House and assumed full presidential powers, a precedent that would govern future successions and eventually become codified in the Twenty-fifth Amendment. He found much of the Whig program unconstitutional, and vetoed several of his party's bills. The Whigs, led by Kentucky Senator Henry Clay, dubbed him "His Accidency", and expelled him from the party. Stalemated on domestic policy, Tyler had several foreign-policy achievements, including the Webster–Ashburton Treaty with Britain and the Treaty of Wanghia with Qing China. He dedicated his last two years in office to the annexation of Texas, then retired to his Virginia plantation. When the Civil War began in 1861, Tyler won election to the Confederate House of Representatives shortly before his death. (Full article...)
In the news
- A 12-hour siege at a hotel in Mogadishu, Somalia, ends with the death of more than 20 people, including a UN diplomat.
- Mathematicians John F. Nash, Jr. (pictured) and Louis Nirenberg share the Abel Prize for their work on partial differential equations.
- Saudi Arabia conducts airstrikes against Houthi militants and their allies after their advance on the provisional Yemeni capital of Aden.
- Germanwings Flight 9525 crashes in the French Alps, killing all 150 people on board.
- Lee Kuan Yew, the first Prime Minister of Singapore, dies at the age of 91.
- A solar eclipse is visible across much of Europe, with totality over the Faroe Islands and Svalbard.
- Suicide bombings at two mosques in Sana'a, Yemen, kill 142 people, including 13 children.