Just how did this particular day, Tuesday, November 2nd, get picked as Election Day? Why not Monday, March 2nd or Thursday, July 15th?
The Constitution, Article II, Section 1 to be exact, provides that "Congress shall determine the Time of choosing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their votes; which Day shall be the same throughout the United States."
And in 1845, Congress did just that for all states, establishing "Tuesday next after the first Monday in the month of November of the year in which they are to be appointed."
While they may not have battled rush hour traffic or been stuck at the office answering emails, Americans in those days were busy - and that's part of the reason why the Tuesday after the first Monday in November was chosen. The United States was a largely rural nation, and with the harvest typically completed by this time of year, busy farmers were freed up to cast their votes. In northern states, travel by horse or by foot was not yet obstructed by harsh winter weather.
The Tuesday after the first Monday in November, in particular, was chosen to keep elections from falling on the first day of the month, which was usually reserved for court business at the county seat - a common polling place. In addition, it gave citizens a full day's travel time between Sunday, widely observed by religious groups as a day of rest, and voting day.
The Fox News Brainroom contributed to this report.