Today in history – 150 years ago.

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What does Abraham Lincoln and 30,000 acres have to do about this day in history?

July 2, 1862: 150 years ago, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Morrill Land Grant College Act into law. It was this act that donated 30,000 acres of public land to “several States and Territories which may provide Colleges for the Benefit of Agriculture and the Mechanic Arts”.   It was this act that provided for the establishment of colleges such as Texas A&M College (now Texas A&M University). Now you know what the A and the M means.  This Act offered opportunity of higher education to the people.

The land-grant colleges establish a place where subsequent acts of Congress such as the Hatch Act of 1887 and the Smith-Lever Act of 1914 served to further established and strengthen the land-grant university system with the agricultural experiment station and cooperative extension service, respectively.

To read more about this day in history, check out the following links:

Abraham Lincoln and Agriculture (USDA-National Ag Library)

Texas A&M newswire TAMUtimes article from June 28,2012

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