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May 20, 1785 The U. S. Congress approves a plan for the sale of land in the Northwest Territories to settlers.
May 20, 1835
May 22, 1835
Democrats hold their Presidential nominating convention in Baltimore more than a year before the election Maryland
  Election of 1836
  Democratic Party
May 20, 1861 Kentucky declares its neutrality in the War Between The States Kentucky
  Confederate Order of Secession
May 20, 1861 Delegates to the North Carolina Secession Convention vote to withdraw from the Union North Carolina
  Confederate Order of Secession
  North Carolina Ordinance of Secession
May 20, 1862 Lincoln signs the Homestead Act, giving citizens 21 years or older the right to buy 160 acres of land in the West
  Abraham Lincoln
May 20, 1864 President Lincoln signs the legislation creating the Official Records
  Official Records
  Abraham Lincoln
May 20, 1868
May 21, 1868
Republican Convention nominates Ulysses S. Grant to run for President of the United States and Schuyler Colfax as Vice-president
  Election of 1868
  Ulysses S. Grant
  Republican Party

Ongoing on this day:
April 12, 1861
May 10, 1865
The American Civil War
  The Civil War
May 9, 1864
May 24, 1864
Sheridan's Raid on Richmond Virginia
  Sheridans Raid on Richmond
  Richmond, Virginia
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