Posts Tagged ‘legal history’

  • 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 […] Read more...
  • Today in Legal History: Apollo 11 Mission

    President John F. Kennedy predicted in 1960 that by the end of the decade the country would put a man on the moon and return him home safely.  The triumphant Apollo 11 moon landing on July 20, 1969, began an era of moon exploration that has so far gone unrivaled.  American astronauts Neil Armstrong and […] Read more...
  • President Abraham Lincoln Fatally Shot by John Wilkes Booth, April 14, 1865

    The attack on President Lincoln by John Wilkes Booth came five days after General Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox. Booth’s initial plot was to kidnap Lincoln and take him to Richmond, the Confederate capital. When this plot, which was to have occurred in mid-March became moot, because Richmond soon fell, he devised a second […] Read more...
  • U.S. Supreme Court Rules on the Amistad Case, March 9, 1841

    The Amistad case is a seminal case in the history of slavery in America. A group of men captured in West Africa and being transported to America revolted and took control of the transport ship, the Amistad. Intending to sail back to Africa, the ship was instead diverted to New York where the men were […] Read more...
  • Today in Legal History: Constitution Goes into Effect

    The Constitutional Convention was the result of intense negotiation and compromise, although it is said that George Washington, who was president of the assembly, spent much of that time fishing. One of the central controversies was the form of government for the new country. Some delegates favored the adoption of a monarchy, but Madison, an […] Read more...
  • Today in Legal History: First session of first Supreme Court

    The first session of the U.S. Supreme Court met on February 1st, 1790. President George Washington’s inaugural nominations were John Jay (Chief Justice), John Rutledge, William Cushing, John Blair, Robert Harrison, and James Wilson. The Court got off to a faltering start. Robert Harrison refused the nomination, John Jay was abroad attending diplomatic duties during […] Read more...
  • Today in Legal History: Gandhi Assassinated, 1948

    Gandhi was the leading figure in India’s drive for independence.  He studied law in England and practiced for a short time in South Africa where he encountered the racism of the apartheid system first hand.  His first success with political activism and civil disobedience occurred in South Africa.  Gandhi returned to India in 1914 and […] Read more...
  • In Legal History: Roe v. Wade Decided

    On January 22, 1973, the Supreme Court issued one of the most famous and controversial legal decisions of our era.  Justice Harry Blackmun authored the majority opinion in Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion.  At the time, news of the decision was pushed off the front page of many newspapers when former President Lyndon B. […] Read more...
  • This Week in Legal History

    Formal Transfer of Alaska Territory to the United States, October 18, 1867 Although considered foolish at the time, the United States bought the Alaska territory for $7,200,000 from Russia at the behest of William Seward, Secretary of State. Opposition in the House of Representatives postponed appropriation of funds for over a year. The new territory […] Read more...
  • The Zacarias Moussaoui (September 11) Trial

    Zacarias Moussaoui is the only person charged in a United States courtroom in connection with the 9-11 attacks. In August of 2001, Moussaoui was suspected of possible terrorist activity after raising suspicion at a flight school for requesting information about flying a 747. U.S. immigration officials arrested him, and he was in custody during the […] Read more...