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*On this date, in 1862, The Morrill Land-Grant Act was passed. This allowed for the creation of land-grant colleges in U.S. states and paved the way for many Historical Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) using the proceeds of federal land sales.
The Morrill Act of 1862 was enacted during the American Civil War, and the Morrill Act of 1890 (the Agricultural College Act of 1890 expanded this model. For 20 years before the first introduction of the bill in 1857, there was a political movement calling for the creation of agriculture colleges. Professor Jonathan Baldwin Turner of Illinois College led the movement.
For example, the Michigan Constitution of 1850 called for an "agricultural school." It was not until February 12, 1855, that Michigan Governor Kinsley S. Bingham signed a bill establishing the United States' first agriculture college. That was the Agricultural College of the State of Michigan, known today as Michigan State University, which served as a model for the Morrill Act.