Day-By-Day Walk Through US Legal History: October
1 October 1924 – Jimmy Carter is born in Plains, Georgia. He went on to become 36th President of the United States (1977 – 1981) and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work with the Carter Center on advancing human rights.
2 October 1990 – The Senate votes 90-9 to confirm Supreme Court nominee David H. Souter. He was a reliably liberal member of the court, voting with liberals on matters such as the death penalty, employee rights and criminal rights. He retired in 2009.
3 October 1965 – President Lyndon Johnson signs the Immigration and Nationality Act into law. The Act put an end to the nation of origin based immigration quota system that had been in place since 1882, and introduced a worldwide quota that disregarded nation of origin.
4 October 2010 – For the first time in US history, three women served on the Supreme Court, as Elena Kagan took up her place on the bench.
5 October 1953 – Earl Warren was sworn in as the 14th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. He succeeded Fred M. Vinson.
6 October 1949 – The American-born Iva Toguri D’Aquino is convicted for her involvement in The Zero Hour radio show that broadcast English-language propaganda to the Allied soldiers during WWII, using the pseudonym ‘Tokyo Rose’. She was charged with eight counts of treason.
7 October 1963 – President John F. Kennedy signs the first nuclear test ban treaty with Britain and the Soviet Union.
8 October 2001 – President George W Bush announces the establishment of the Office of Homeland Security. The Office was created in response to the September 11 attacks, and is responsible for anti-terrorism, border security, immigration and disaster responses.
9 October 1635 – Roger Williams was banned from the colony of Massachusetts for his preaching that the civil government had no right to interfere in religion.
10 October 1973 – Amidst allegations of tax fraud, Vice-President Spiro Agnew resigns from his office.
11 October 1884 – Eleanor Roosevelt, the 39th First Lady of the United States was born. She served as the US Delegate to the United Nations General Assembly from 1945 to 1952 and served as the first chair of the UN Commission on Human Rights.
12 October 1973 – President Nixon nominates the House Majority Leader, Gerald R. Ford, for the position of Vice-President after Spiro Agnew resigned in the face of tax fraud allegations.
13 October 1775 – The U.S. Continental Congress orders that a Continental Navy be established (it later became the United States Navy).
14 October 1890 – Dwight D. Eisenhower is born in Denison, Texas. He served as the 34th President of the United States (1953-1961), and prioritized nuclear deterrence to keep pressure on the Soviet Union. He also authorized the establishment of NASA.
15 October 1914 – The Clayton Antitrust Act, a key component of the early competition law framework in the US, is passed by Congress. The Act prohibited price-fixing practices, the abuse of power to gain a monopoly, and agreeing with other businesses to control supply of products.
16 October 1962 – The Cuban Missile Crisis began after President John F. Kennedy was informed of reconnaissance photos showing missile bases in Cuba.
17 October 1977 – President Jimmy Carter signed a bill to retroactively restore US citizenship to Jefferson Davis. Davis was the President of the Confederate States of America during the Civil War, a Senator for Mississippi and US Secretary of War.
18 October 1972 – The Clean Water Act is passed by Congress, overriding President Nixon’s veto. Nixon proceeded use his Presidential powers to impound the money intended to be spent under the Act, and it was only after the Supreme Court decision in Train v City of New York (1975) that the money was restored to the cause.
19 October 1765 – The Stamp Act Congress, so named because of a Stamp Act passed by the British imposing a tax for the upkeep of British troops in North America, meets in New York and approve a Declaration of Rights.
20 October 1973 – The ‘Saturday Night Massacre’, orchestrated by President Nixon, takes place. Nixon abolished the office of special Watergate prosecutor Archibald Cox, accepted the resignation of Attorney General Richardson and first the Deputy Attorney General.
21 October 1876 – The first law reporter, The Syllabi, comes into production in the US. It was founded by John B. West, owner of West Publishing Company and was aimed at lawyers in Minnesota.
22 October 1962 – President John F. Kennedy announces a naval blockade of Cuba. The blockade was intended to prevent offensive weapons from entering Cuba after it was announced that the Soviet Union had placed nuclear weapons in Cuba.
23 October 1987 – The nomination of Robert H. Bork for the Supreme Court is rejected by the US Senate. He was nominated by President Reagan and rejected by a majority Democrats senate 42-58. His nominated had provoked considerable public debate, with staunch opposition by women’s groups and civil rights leaders.
24 October 1945 – The United Nations Charter officially comes into effect, creating the United Nations.
25 October 1988 – The first court trial to be televised goes on air in New York. It was the trial of Joel Steinberg for murder, and the screening was part of an 18 month experiment to televise court proceedings.
26 October 1947 – Hillary Rodham Clinton was born. She started her career as a lawyer, was the 44th First Lady of the United States, and the 67th Secretary of State.
27 October 1858 – Theodore Roosevelt is born. He went on to become the 26th President of the United States (1901-1909) and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1906 for his efforts to end the Russo-Japanese War.
28 October 2009 – President Barack Obama signs the Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which was named for Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr., both the victims of hate crimes. The Act gives the Department of Justice the power to prosecute hate crimes based on characteristics such as gender, race and religion.
29 October 1828 – Thomas F. Bayard, American statesman, lawyer and diplomat, was born in Wilmington, Delaware. He was a Peace Democrat during the Civil War, and was appointed by President Cleveland to serve as Secretary of State in 1885.
30 October 1735 – The second president of the United States, John Adams, was born in Braintree Massachusetts.
31 October 1864 – Nevada is admitted to the Union after sending to Washington the longest and most expensive telegraph to that date. The telegraph consisted of the complete text of the proposed state constitution.