On This Day: President Andrew Johnson Impeached

English: President Andrew Johnson.Image via Wikipedia

On Feb. 24, 1868, Andrew Johnson became the first U.S. president to be impeached; the Senate subsequently acquitted him by a single vote.

House Impeaches President Johnson

Andrew Johnson was sworn in as president afterPresident Abraham Lincoln was assassinated in April 1865. Lincoln, a Republican, had chosen Johnson, a Democrat who served as military governor of Tennessee, as his running mate for re-election in 1864 because he was a southerner who supported the war and was loyal to the Union.

The main issue facing Johnson was how to readmit the Southern states that had seceded. He opposed military rule over Confederate states, pardoned rebel soldiers and returned property to rebels. He also vetoed two bills passed by the Republican-controlled Congress that established rights for freed slaves.

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