On April 5, 1792, George Washington exercised the first presidential veto of a congressional bill, a new plan for dividing seats in the House of Representatives, which would have increased the number of seats for northern states. Washington vetoed only one other bill during his two terms in office, an act that would have reduced the number of cavalry units in the army.
On April 5, 1856, Booker T. Washington, American educator, first leader of the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, author of 14 books, including his autobiography, “Up From Slavery,” was born a slave in southwestern Virginia. Though Washington faced criticism from leaders of the new NAACP, especially W. E. B. Du Bois, for not protesting the lack of civil rights more strongly, he secretly funded litigation for civil rights cases, such as challenges to southern constitutions and laws that disfranchised blacks.