On This Date April 20,1789 and 1861- Two Generals in History
April 20, 1789 – George Washington arrives at Grays Ferry, Philadelphia while en route to New
York City for his inauguration as the nation’s first president.
April 20, 1861 – Robert E. Lee, West Point graduate, resigns his commission in the United
States Army in order to command the forces of the state of Virginia. President Lincoln had
offered him the command of the Union Army, but Lee could not conceive of bearing arms
against his fellow Virginians.