The election of Abraham Lincoln to the presidency occured on November 6th 1860 (a few days more than 150 years ago). His inauguration was not due until March 1861. (It was only after 1933 that the transition period was cut - with Inauguration Day moving to January 20th). During that long period states from the South seceded from the Union.
2011 will mark the 150th anniversary of the Civil War - which will be commemorated in a number of ways. This Saturday C-SPAN 3 [In the guise of American History TV] is airing live a day's symposium at the National Archives.
LIVE Sat. 9 am - 5:30 pm ET (2pm-10.30pm UK time)
9 am - Archivist of the United States David Ferriero gives a welcome address, and University of Richmond President Edward Ayers delivers the keynote.
10:45 am - Historians look at how the war impacted everyday life.
2:15 pm - A discussion on the international impact of the war.
4 pm - Panelists debate the state of the nation before and after the war.
The event can be viewed over the internet here.
A seperate programme airs at Saturday 8pm & midnight; Sunday 1pm and Monday 6am (UK times Sunday 1am, 5am, 6pm & Monday 11am) which Professor Matthew Pinsker gives a class specifically on Abraham Lincoln's role in the election and how - in his view - the election forever transformed American politics. A preview of this programme is available here.