Today in Legal History: President Truman Signs National Security Act

On July 26, 1947, President Truman signed the National Security Act of 1947, a central document in U.S. Cold War policy. The Act, which took more than a year to craft, directed a major reorganization of the foreign policy and military establishments of the U.S. Government. The Act established the National Security Council (NSC), merged the War and Navy departments into the Department of Defense headed by the secretary of defense, and recognized the Air Force as independent from the Army. The Act also established the role of the CIA by assigning the responsibility of foreign intelligence to the CIA.

More information is available at:


 

Today in Legal History: Reagan and Gorbachev Meet

On November 19, 1985, President Ronald Reagan met with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev for the first time in Geneva, Switzerland.  Reagan was no friend of the Soviet Union, referring to it as the “Evil Empire,” but Gorbachev was newly in power, with great plans for his country.  The two hit it off.  It was, perhaps, the start of something beautiful.  Within five years, the Cold War would be over.

More information is available at: