First woman nominated to the US Supreme Court
President Ronald Reagan nominates El
Paso born Sandra Day O'Connor, 51, an Arizona court of appeals judge,
to the US Supreme Court. Known as a moderate conservative, O'Connor
is to replace retiring justice Stewart Potter, a Dwight D. Eisenhower
appointee. O’Connor’s Senate confirmation hearings would begin later
in the summer in the US Capitol.
On September 21, the Senate unanimously
approved her appointment, and on September 25, she was sworn in by
Chief Justice Warren E. Berger as the first female Supreme Court justice
in US history. After ruling conservatively during the 1980s, O'Connor
emerged in the 1990s as the leading figure of a centrist bloc of justices.
President Ronald Reagan nominates Sandra
Day O'Connor, an Arizona court of appeals judge, to be the first woman
Supreme Court justice in US history. On September 21, the Senate unanimously
approved her appointment to the nation's highest court, and on September
25 she was sworn in by Chief Justice Warren Burger. Sandra Day was
born in El Paso, Texas, in 1930. She grew up on her family's cattle
ranch in southeastern Arizona and attended Stanford University, where
she studied economics. A legal dispute over her family's ranch stirred
her interest in law, and in 1950 she enrolled in Stanford Law School.
She took just two years to receive her law degree and was ranked near
the top of her class. Upon graduation, she married John Jay O'Connor
III, a classmate. Because she was a woman, no law firm she applied
to would hire her for a suitable position, so she turned to the public
sector and found work as a deputy county attorney for San Mateo, California.
In 1953, her husband was drafted into the US Army as a judge, and
the O'Connors lived for three years in West Germany, with Sandra working
as a civilian lawyer for the army. In 1957, they returned to the United
States and settled down in Phoenix, Arizona, where they had three
children in the six years that followed. During this time, O'Connor
started a private law firm with a partner and became involved in numerous
volunteer activities. In 1965, she became an assistant attorney general
for Arizona and in 1969 was appointed to the Arizona State Senate
to occupy a vacant seat. Subsequently elected and reelected to the
seat, she became the first woman in the United States to hold the
position of majority leader in a state senate. In 1974, she was elected
a superior court judge in Maricopa County and in 1979 was appointed
to the Arizona Court of Appeals by Governor Bruce Babbitt, a Democrat.
Two years later, on July 7, 1981, President Reagan nominated her to
the Supreme Court to fill the seat of retiring justice Stewart Potter,
an Eisenhower appointee. In his 1980 presidential campaign, Reagan
had promised to appoint a woman to the high court at one of his earliest
opportunities, and he chose O'Connor out of a group of some two dozen
male and female candidates to be his first appointee to the high court.
O'Connor, known as a moderate conservative, faced opposition from
anti-abortion groups who criticized her judicial defense of legalized
abortion on several occasions. Liberals celebrated the appointment
of a woman to the Supreme Court but were critical of some of her views.
Nevertheless, at the end of her confirmation hearings on Capitol Hill,
the Senate voted unanimously to endorse her nomination. On 25 September
1981, she was sworn in as the 102nd justice--and first woman justice--in
Supreme Court history. Initially regarded as a member of the court's
conservative faction, she later emerged from William Rehnquist's shadow
(chief justice from 1986) as a moderate and pragmatic conservative.
On social issues, she often votes with liberal justices, and in several
cases she has upheld abortion rights. She is known for her dispassionate
and carefully researched opinions on the bench and is regarded as
a prominent justice because of her tendency to moderate the sharply
divided Supreme Court. .
1978 Solomon Islands gains independence from Britain (National
Solar-powered plane crosses Channel and then some.
The world's first solar-powered aircraft,
the Solar Challenger, designed by Paul MacCready, 55, flies from the
Pointoise Cormeilles airport, near Paris, to the Manston Royal Air
Force Base, in Kent, Eng., a distance of 258 km, in 5 hr 23 min at
an average speed of about 48 km/h and a cruising altitude of 3350
m. The pilot is Stephen Ptacek, weighing 55 kg. The plane, powered
by 16'128 solar cells connected to two electric motors, weighs 95
kg and has a wingspan of 14.3 m.
human-powered MacCready plane, the Gossamer Albatross, had made a
37 km crossing of the English Channel on June 12, 1979.
|1976 Female cadets enrolled
at West Point
the first time in history, women are enrolled into the United States
Military Academy at West Point, New York. On May 28, 1980, sixty-two
of these female cadets would graduated and be commissioned as second
The US Military
Academy, the first military school in America, was originally founded
as a school for the US Corps of Engineers on March 16, 1802. Located
on the high west bank of the Hudson River, West Point was the site
of a Revolutionary-era fort built to protect the Hudson River Valley
from British attack. In 1780, Patriot General Benedict Arnold, the
commander in charge of the fort, agreed to surrender West Point to
the British in exchange for six thousand pounds. However, the plot
was uncovered before it fell into British hands, and Arnold fled to
the growing threat of another war with Great Britain resulted in congressional
action to expand the US Military Academy's facilities and increase
the West Point corps. Beginning in 1817, the academy was reorganized
by superintendent Sylvanus Thayer--later known as the "father of West
Point"--and the school became one of the nation's finest sources of
During the Mexican-American
War, West Point graduates filled the leading ranks of the victorious
US forces, and with the outbreak of the Civil War, former West Point
classmates regrettably lined up against each other in the defense
of their native states. In 1870, the first African-American cadet
was admitted into the US Military Academy, and in 1976, the first
female cadets. The academy is now under the general direction and
supervision of the department of the US Army, and has an enrollment
of about 4300 students.
years later, military women are still complaining about harassment
(in all parts of the US Armed Forces). See above
(year 2000) also http://www.militarywoman.org/harass5.htm
1969 Canada's House of Commons gives final approval to
a measure making the French language equal to English throughout the national
| 1969 First US troops withdrawn
from South Vietnam
A battalion of the US 9th Infantry Division leaves Saigon in the initial
withdrawal of US troops. The 814 soldiers were the first of 25,000
troops that were withdrawn in the first stage of the US disengagement
from the war. There would be 14 more increments in the withdrawal,
but the last US troops did not leave until after the Paris Peace Accords
were signed in January 1973.
1960 USSR shoots down a US aircraft over Barents sea
|1964 New US ambassador arrives
Maxwell Taylor, the new US ambassador to South Vietnam, arrives in
Saigon. As a military man with considerable experience in Vietnam,
he was viewed by the South Vietnamese government, the US military
establishment, and the Johnson administration as the ideal individual
to coordinate and invigorate the war effort. Presumably because of
his arrival, a bomb was thrown at the US Embassy and two grenades
exploded elsewhere in Saigon; no one was injured and only slight damage
1958 US President Eisenhower signs Alaska statehood
|1955 China announces it will
provide aid to Hanoi
Officials in China and Hanoi announce that Beijing will extend 800
million yuan (about $200 million) in economic aid to Hanoi. This announcement
followed a trip to Beijing by Ho Chi Minh and his ministers of finance,
industry, agriculture, education and health. On July 18, the Soviet
Union announced that it would grant Hanoi 400 million rubles (about
$100 million) in economic aid. This aid from fellow communist nations
helped sustain North Vietnam in its war against the South Vietnamese
and their American allies until 1975, when they defeated the South
Vietnamese forces and reunified the country.
1946 Italian-American educator, Mother
Frances Xavier Cabrini (1850-1917) becomes the first American citizen
to be declared a saint by the Catholic Church. She arrived in the USin 1889,
and was naturalized in 1909.
Edsel team formed
Ford Motor Company forms a styling team to take on the project of
designing an entirely new car that will later be named the Edsel.
The decision comes as Ford enjoys its greatest historical success
in the 1950s. The 1954 Thunderbird had outsold its Chevy counterpart,
the Corvette, and the consumer demand for automobiles, in all price
brackets, was steadily increasing. In exuberant Ford plants signs
that had once read "Beat Chevrolet" were changed to a more ambitious
tune: "Beat GM."
[photo: 1958 Edsel Citation >]
The Ford Motor Company consisted of
four brand names: Ford, Mercury, Lincoln, and Continental, listed
from lowest to highest in price range. Ford executives believed that
there was a gap in the marketplace between the Mercury and the Lincoln,
where a new car would compete against GM’s Oldsmobile and Buick lines.
In the middle of the 1950s Americans seemed to have an insatiable
hunger for high horse-powered, heavily styled cars, with lots of chrome
and many accessories. So Ford planned to fill the public’s appetite
with a suitable answer. The company spared no expense in the development
of its new car, even going so far as to employ famous American poet
Marianne Moore to supply possibilities for its name. After an extensive
name search and no satisfactory result, somebody suggested that the
car be named after Henry Ford II’s father, Edsel. Ford balked at the
suggestion initially but later relented on the grounds that his father
deserved a tribute, and he urged the car’s designers to live up to
his father’s name. Edsel had always had a knack for design, even if
his business sense hadn’t always lived up to his father’s expectations.
The Edsel project was launched with
great fanfare and vigorous advertising. During the years between the
car’s conception and its production, the American economy took a downturn.
By the time the Edsel was released in 1957, the high end of the car
market had once again contracted. Public reaction to the car’s exaggerated
styling was tepid at best, with particular objections aimed at the
Edsel’s awkward looking "horse collar" grill. Sales for the car started
slowly and foundered.
company vice-president Robert McNamara was charged with the task of
salvaging the operation. Had McNamara held the position years earlier,
historians point out, the Edsel project may never have been taken
on as McNamara strongly believed Ford should concentrate on the economy
car market. McNamara attempted to improve the car’s construction and
appearance, but when the attempt failed he was forced to halt production
of the car at a disastrous loss of $250 million. To this day the Edsel
remains the biggest failure in American car history, "a monumental
disaster created for tomorrow’s markets created by yesterday’s statistical
inputs." However, history has treated the Edsel more kindly, and its
looks are now considered to be an attractive example of 1950s flair.
to sterilize Jews at Auschwitz
Himmler, in league with three others, including a physician, decides
to begin experimenting on women in the Auschwitz
concentration camps and to investigate extending this experimentation
on males. Himmler, architect of Hitler's program to exterminate Europe's
Jewish population, convenes a conference in Berlin to discuss the
prospects for using concentration camp prisoners as objects of medical
experiments. The other attendees are the head of the Concentration
Camp Inspectorate, SS General Richard Glueks; hospital chief, SS Major-General
Gebhardt; and one of Germany's leading gynecologists, Professor Karl
Clauberg. The result of the conference is that a major program of
medical experimentation on Jewish women at Auschwitz is agreed upon.
These experiments were to be
carried out in such a way as to ensure that the prisoners were not
aware of what was being done to them. (The experimentation would take
the form of sterilization via massive doses of radiation or uterine
injections.) It was also decided to consult with an X-ray specialist
about the prospects of using X rays to castrate men and demonstrating
this on male Jewish prisoners. Adolf Hitler endorsed this plan on
the condition that it remained top secret.
Himmler would propose such a conference or endorse such a program
should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with his resume. As
head of the Waffen-Schutzstaffel ("Armed Black Shirts"), the SS,
the military arm of the Nazi Party, and assistant chief of the Gestapo
= “Secret State Police”) ), Himmler was able over time to consolidate
his control over all police forces of the Reich. This power grab would
prove highly effective in carrying out the Fuhrer's Final Solution.
It was Himmler who organized the creation of death camps throughout
Eastern Europe and the creation of a pool of slave laborers.
1937 Japanese and Chinese troops clash, which will become
|1941 US forces occupy Iceland
During World War II, the neutral United
States moved closer to war with Germany when US forces landed on Iceland
to take over its garrisoning from the British. From thereon, the US
Navy took over the responsibility of protecting convoys in the nearby
sea routes from attack by German submarines. With Iceland now under
US protection, the Royal Navy had a freer hand to concentrate their
warships in a defense of their embattled Mediterranean positions.
The US military operation came less than a month after, when President
Franklin D. Roosevelt froze all German and Italian assets in the United
States and expelled the countries' diplomats in response to the German
torpedoing of the American destroyer Robin Moor. With the occupation
of Iceland, much of the North Atlantic was now in the American sphere,
and US warships patrolled the area and notified London of all enemy
activity they encountered.
1930 Construction begins on Boulder
Dam, later renamed Hoover Dam.
White Fleet leaves SF Bay
|1914 Tuesday : in the aftermath of the June
28 assassination in Sarajevo of Archduke Francis Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary
and of his wife, Sophia: The Austro-Hungarian Ministerial
Council meets to consider the implications of the 'blank check'.
Some sort of action will be taken against Serbia. Hungarian Prime
Minister Tisza voices reservations on these plans.
Parker Ariz (state record)
1904 Fermez les écoles
religieuses! Toutes les congrégations religieuses, y compris celles
qui jusque-là étaient autorisées, se voient interdire de dispenser un enseignement.
La promulgation de cette loi entraînera la fermeture de 2400 écoles.
1898 US President McKinley signs resolution of annexation
of Hawaiian Islands.
1863 Siege of Port Hudson, Louisiana continues
attacks the gold
Presidential campaign of 1896 was, in many ways, a battle over money.
As was expected, the Republican campaign, led by the party's presidential
nominee, Ohio governor William
McKinley, centered on maintaining the gold standard. On the other
side of the fence, the Democrats took a cue from the Populist party
and latched on to the free coinage of silver as one of their guiding
While the Democrat's
decision to support silver shocked a number of political observers,
their nominee for the Oval Office proved to be even more surprising.
The Democrats had already settled on their issue, but the summer of
1896 found them without a clear candidate for the Oval Office. That
all changed at the party's national convention in Chicago on July
7 when William
Jennings Bryan, then just a young scribe from Nebraska, stepped
to speak before the Democrat's 20'000 delegates. An ardent supporter
of the silver movement, Bryan seized the reins of the party by railing
against the Republican's and their "demand for a gold standard."
During his speech, Bryan laid down
his now famous vow against gold and the Republicans: "You shall not
press down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns, you shall
not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold." These indelible words sent
the delegates into frenzy and effectively sealed Bryan's unlikely
nomination as the Democrat's candidate for President. Alas, Bryan's
fiery oratory proved to be no match for McKinley's fat coffers: backed
by the money and influence of the nation's business leaders, the Republicans
were able to lavish roughly $7 million on their campaign. Bryan, on
the other hand, spent a scant $300'000 and ultimately lost his bid
for the White House.
first military draft by US (exemptions cost $100)
1861 Skirmish at Laurel Hill, Virginia (now West Virginia)
Carson's campaign against the Amerindians
Lt. Colonel Christopher "Kit" Carson leaves Santa Fe with his troops,
beginning his campaign against the Indians of New Mexico and Arizona.
A famed mountain man before the Civil War, Carson was responsible
for waging a destructive war against the Navajo that resulted in their
removal from the Four Corners area to southeastern New Mexico. Carson
was perhaps the most famous trapper and guide in the West. He traveled
with the expeditions of John C. Fremont in the 1840s, leading Fremont
through the Great Basin. Fremont's flattering portrayal of Carson
made the mountain man a hero when the reports were published and widely
read in the east. Later, Carson guided Stephen Watts Kearney to New
Mexico during the Mexican-American War. In the 1850s he became the
Indian agent for New Mexico, a position he left in 1861 to accept
a commission as lieutenant colonel in the 1st New Mexico Volunteers.
Although Carson's unit saw action in the New Mexico battles of 1862,
he was most famous for his campaign against the Indians. Despite his
reputation for being sympathetic and accommodating to tribes such
as the Mescaleros, Kiowas, and Navajo, Carson waged a brutal campaign
against the Navajo in 1863. When bands of Navajo refused to accept
confinement on reservations, Carson terrorized the Navajo lands--burning
crops, destroying villages, and slaughtering livestock. Carson rounded
up some 8000 Navajo and marched them across New Mexico for imprisonment
on the Bosque Redondo, over 500 km from their homes, where they remained
for the duration of the war.
1846 US annexation of California is proclaimed at Monterey
after the surrender of a Mexican garrison.
|1853 Ouverture commerciale du
Perry commandant une escadre des États Unis débarque au Japon. Un
traité de commerce sera signé. Il ouvrira le Japon aux américains
et aux occidentaux. Jusqu'au milieu du XIX ème siècle, les étrangers
n'avaient pu prendre pied au Japon, sauf rares exceptions. C'était
à cette époque un petit pays dont le nom "Hih-Pen" signifie "l'Empire
du Soleil Levant".
1838 Central American federation is dissolved.
of Senator Blount
the first time in US history, the House of Representatives exercised
its constitutional power of impeachment, and voted to charge Senator
Blount of Tennessee, 48, with "a high misdemeanor, entirely inconsistent
with his public duty and trust as a Senator."
In 1790, President George Washington had appointed Blount, who had
fought in the American Revolution, as governor of the "Territory South
of the River Ohio," now known as Tennessee. Although he was a successful
territorial governor, personal financial problems led him to enter
into a conspiracy with British officers to enlist frontiersmen and
Cherokee Indians to assist the British in conquering parts of Spanish
Florida and Louisiana. Before the conspiracy was uncovered, Blount
presided over the Tennessee Constitutional Convention, and in 1796
became the state's first US senator.
However, in 1797, the plot was revealed, and on July 7, the House
of Representatives votes to impeach Senator Blount. The next day,
the Senate votes by a two-thirds majority to expel him from its ranks,
and on December 17, 1798, exercises its "sole power to try all impeachments,"
as granted by the Constitution, and initiates a Senate trial against
As vice president of
the United States, Thomas Jefferson was president of the Senate and
thus presided over the impeachment trial proceedings. After two months,
Jefferson and the Senate decided to dismiss the charges against Blount,
determining that the Senate had no jurisdiction over its own members
beyond its constitutional right to expel members by a two-thirds majority
vote. By the time of the dismissal, Blount had already been elected
as a senator to the Tennessee state legislature, where he was appointed
speaker and served as such until his death on March 21, 1800. The
constitutional conundrum of conducting a trial of an impeached senator
has not yet been resolved.
In Paris, a company of Swiss mercenary soldiers arrives at the Bastille
to bolster its garrison of 82 soldiers, at the request of Bernard-Jordan
de Launay, the military governor of the Bastille, who feared that his fortress
would be a target for the revolutionaries. There were severe food shortages
in France that year, and popular resentment against the rule of King Louis
XVI was turning to fury. In June, the Third Estate, which represented commoners
and the lower clergy, had declared itself the National Assembly and called
for the drafting of a constitution. Initially seeming to yield, Louis legalized
the National Assembly but then surrounded Paris with troops and dismissed
Jacques Necker, a popular minister of state who had supported reforms. In
response, mobs began rioting in Paris at the instigation of revolutionary
1768 Firm of Johann Buddenbrook founded,
in Thomas Mann's 1900 novel
1668 Isaac Newton receives
MA from Trinity College, Cambridge