Posts Tagged ‘Stamp Act

22
Mar
09

On This Day, March 22: Loyalty Checks

March 22, 1947

Truman orders loyalty checks of federal employees

In response to public fears and Congressional investigations into communism in the United States, President Harry S. Truman issues an executive decree establishing a sweeping loyalty investigation of federal employees.

As the Cold War began to develop after World War II, fears concerning communist activity in the United States, particularly in the federal government, increased. Congress had already launched investigations of communist influence in Hollywood, and laws banning communists from teaching positions were being instituted in several states. Of most concern to the Truman administration, however, were persistent charges that communists were operating in federal offices. In response to these fears and concerns, Truman issued an executive order on March 21, 1947, which set up a program to check the loyalty of federal employees. In announcing his order, Truman indicated that he expected all federal workers to demonstrate “complete and unswerving loyalty” the United States. Anything less, he declared, “constitutes a threat to our democratic processes.”

The basic elements of Truman’s order established the framework for a wide-ranging and powerful government apparatus to perform loyalty checks. Loyalty boards were to be set up in every department and agency of the federal government. Using lists of “totalitarian, fascist, communist, or subversive” organizations provided by the attorney general, and relying on investigations by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, these boards were to review every employee. If there existed “reasonable grounds” to doubt an employee’s loyalty, he or she would be dismissed. A Loyalty Review Board was set up under the Civil Service Commission to deal with employees’ appeals.

Truman’s loyalty program resulted in the discovery of only a few employees whose loyalty could be “reasonably” doubted. Nevertheless, for a time his order did quiet some of the criticism that his administration was “soft” on communism. Matters changed dramatically in 1949-1950. The Soviets developed an atomic bomb, China fell to the communists, and Senator Joseph McCarthy made the famous speech in which he declared that there were over 200 “known communists” in the Department of State. Once again, charges were leveled that the Truman administration was “coddling” communists, and in response, the Red Scare went into full swing.

“Truman orders loyalty checks of federal employees.” 2009. The History Channel website. 22 Mar 2009, 03:27 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=2614.

 

On this Day

1457 – Gutenberg Bible became the first printed book.

1630 – The first legislation to prohibited gambling was enacted. It was in Boston, MA.

1638 – Anne Hutchinsoon, a religious dissident, was expelled from the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

1765 – The Stamp Act was passed. It was the first direct British tax on the American colonists. It was repealed on March 17, 1766.

1794 – The U.S. Congress banned U.S. vessels from supplying slaves to other countries.

1874 – The Young Men’s Hebrew Association was organized in New York City.

1882 – The U.S. Congress outlawed polygamy.

1903 – Niagara Falls ran out of water due to a drought.

1905 – Child miners in Britain received a maximum 8-hour workday.

1933 – U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a bill legalizing the sale and possession of beer and wine containing up to 3.2% alcohol.

1945 – The Arab League was formed with the adoption of a charter in Cairo, Egypt.

1946 – The British granted Transjordan independence.

1980 – People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) was founded by Ingrid Newkirk and Alex Pacheco.

1988 – The Congress overrode U.S. President Reagan’s veto of a sweeping civil rights bill.

 

March 22, 1965

Officials confirm “non-lethal gas” was provided

The State Department acknowledges that the United States had supplied the South Vietnamese armed forces with a “non-lethal gas which disables temporarily” for use “in tactical situations in which the Viet Cong intermingle with or take refuge among non-combatants, rather than use artillery or aerial bombardment.” This announcement triggered a storm of criticism worldwide. The North Vietnamese and the Soviets loudly protested the introduction of “poison gas” into the war. Secretary of State Dean Rusk insisted at a news conference on March 24 that the United States was “not embarking upon gas warfare,” but was merely employing “a gas which has been commonly adopted by the police forces of the world as riot-control agents.”

“Officials confirm “non-lethal gas” was provided.” 2009. The History Channel website. 22 Mar 2009, 03:25 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=tdihArticleCategory&id=1744.

On This Day in Wisconsin: March 22

1854 – Eugene Shepard, Father of the Hodag
On this date Eugene Shepard was born near Green Bay. Although he made his career in the lumbering business near Rhinelander, he was best known for his story-telling and practical jokes. He told many tales of Paul Bunyan, the mythical lumberjack, and drew pictures of the giant at work that became famous. Shepard also started a new legend about a prehistoric monster that roamed the woods of Wisconsin – the hodag. Shepard built the mythical monster out of wood and bull’s horns. He fooled everyone into believing it was alive, allowing it to be viewed only inside a dark tent. The beast was displayed at the Wausau and Antigo county fairs before Shepard admitted it was all a hoax. [Source: Badger saints and sinners, by Fred L. Holmes, p.459-474]

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18
Mar
08

On This Day, 3-18-08: William Durant

GM founder dies

William C. Durant, the founder of General Motors (GM), died in New York City at the age of 85. Economic historian Dana Thomas described Durant as a man “drunk with the gamble of America. He was obsessed with its highest article of faith–that the man who played for the steepest stakes deserved the biggest winnings.” General Motors reflected Durant’s ambitious attitude toward risk-taking in its breathtaking expansionist policies, becoming in its founder’s words “an empire of cars for every purse and purpose.” But Durant’s gambling attitude had its downside. Over a span of three years, Durant purchased Oldsmobile, Oakland (later Cadillac and Pontiac), and attempted to purchase Ford. By 1910, GM was out of cash, and Durant lost his controlling interest in the company. Durant would get back into the game by starting Chevrolet, and he would eventually regain control of GM–only to lose it a second time. Later in life, Durant attempted to start a bowling center and a supermarket; however, these ventures met with little success.

“GM founder dies.” 2008. The History Channel website. 16 Mar 2008, 01:42 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=7318.

0037 – The Roman Senate annuls Tiberius’ will and proclaims Caligula emperor.

1190 – Crusaders killed 57 Jews in Bury St. Edmonds England.

1532 – The English parliament banned payments by English church to Rome.

1541 – Hernan de Soto observed the first recorded flood of the Mississippi River.

1766 – Britain repealed the Stamp Act.

1850 – Henry Wells & William Fargo founded American Express.

1881 – Barnum and Bailey’s Greatest Show on Earth opened in Madison Square Gardens.

1911 – Theodore Roosevelt opened the Roosevelt Dam in Phoenix, AZ. It was the largest dam in the U.S. at the time.

1922 – Mohandas K. Gandhi was sentenced to six years in prison for civil disobedience in India. He served only 2 years of the sentence.

1940 – Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini held a meeting at the Brenner Pass. The Italian dictator agreed to join in Germany’s war against France and Britain during the meeting.

1942 – The third military draft began in the U.S. because of World War II.

1943 – American forces took Gafsa in Tunisia.

1944 – The Russians reached the Rumanian border in the Balkans during World War II.

1945 – 1,250 U.S. bombers attack Berlin.

1949 – The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was ratified.

1968 – The U.S. Congress repealed the requirement for a gold reserve.

1974 – Most of the Arab oil-producing nations ended their five-month embargo against the United States, Europe and Japan.

1981 – The U.S. disclosed that there were biological weapons tested in Texas in 1966.

1990 – The first free elections took place in East Germany.

04
Mar
08

On This Day, 3-4-08 Franklin Delano Roosevelt Inaugurated

Dulles asks for action against communism

Speaking before the 10th Inter-American Conference, Secretary of State John Foster Dulles warns that “international communism” is making inroads in the Western Hemisphere and asks the nations of Latin America to condemn this danger. Dulles’s speech was part of a series of actions designed to put pressure on the leftist government of Guatemala, a nation in which U.S. policymakers feared communism had established a beachhead.

Dulles was stern and direct as he declared that there was not “a single country in this hemisphere which has not been penetrated by the apparatus of international communism acting under orders from Moscow.” Communism, he continued, was an “alien despotism,” and he asked the nations of Latin America to “deny it the right to prey upon our hemisphere.” “There is no place here,” he concluded, “for political institutions which serve alien masters.” Though he did not mention it by name, it was clear to most observers that Dulles was targeting Guatemala.

The United States had been concerned about political developments in Guatemala since 1944, when a leftist revolution overthrew long-time dictator Jorge Ubico. In the years since, U.S. policymakers were increasingly fearful that communist elements were growing in power in Guatemala and deeply troubled by government policies that seemed to threaten U.S. business interests that nation. By 1954, Dulles and President Dwight D. Eisenhower were convinced that international communism had established a power base in the Western Hemisphere that needed to be eliminated. As evidence, they pointed to Guatemala’s expropriation of foreign-owned lands and industries, its “socialistic” labor legislation, and vague allegations about Guatemala’s assistance to revolutionary movements in other Latin American nations.

Dulles’s speech did get some results. The Latin American representatives at the meeting passed a resolution condemning “international communism.” As Dulles was to discover, however, the Latin American governments would go no further. In May, Dulles requested that the Organization of American States (OAS) consider taking direct action against Guatemala. The OAS was established in 1948 by the nations of Latin America and the United States to help in settling hemispheric disputes. Dulles’s request fell on deaf ears, however. Despite their condemnation of “international communism,” the other nations of Latin America were reluctant to sanction direct intervention in another country’s internal affairs. At that point, Eisenhower unleashed the Central Intelligence Agency. Through a combination of propaganda, covert bombings, and the establishment of a mercenary force of “counter-revolutionaries” in neighboring Nicaragua and Honduras, the CIA was able to destabilize the Guatemalan government, which fell from power in June 1954. An anti-communist dictatorship led by Carlos Castillo Armas replaced it.

http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=2596

1933: FDR inaugurated

On March 4, 1933, at the height of the Great Depression, Franklin Delano Roosevelt is inaugurated as the 32nd president of the United States. In his inaugural address, Roosevelt outlined his New Deal–an expansion of the U.S. federal government as an instrument of employment opportunity and welfare–and famously asserted that the only thing that Americans had to fear was fear itself. Although criticized by some in the business community, Roosevelt’s progressive legislation improved America’s economic climate, and in 1936 he swept to reelection. He won re-election two more times, in 1940 and 1944, making him the longest-serving U.S. president in history.

http://www.thehistorychannel.co.uk/site/this_day_in_history/this_day_March_4.php

I AM certain that my fellow Americans expect that on my induction into the Presidency I will address them with a candor and a decision which the present situation of our Nation impels. This is preeminently the time to speak the truth, the whole truth, frankly and boldly. Nor need we shrink from honestly facing conditions in our country today. This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory. I am convinced that you will again give that support to leadership in these critical days.

For the complete text please see: http://www.bartleby.com/124/pres49.html  

1634 – Samuel Cole opened the first tavern in Boston, MA.

1681 – England’s King Charles II granted a charter to William Penn for an area that later became the state of Pennsylvania.

1766 – The British Parliament repealed the Stamp Act, which had caused bitter and violent opposition in the U.S. colonies.

1778 – The Continental Congress voted to ratify the Treaty of Amity and Commerce and the Treaty of Alliance. The two treaties were the first entered into by the U.S. government.

1789 – The first Congress of the United States met in New York and declared that the U.S. Constitution was in effect.

1791 – Vermont was admitted as the 14th U.S. state. It was the first addition to the original 13 American colonies.

1794 – The 11th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was passed by the U.S. Congress. The Amendment limited the jurisdiction of the federal courts to automatically hear cases brought against a state by the citizens of another state. Later interpretations expanded this to include citizens of the state being sued, as well.

1813 – The Russians fighting against Napoleon reached Berlin. The French garrison evacuated the city without a fight.

1861 – The Confederate States of America adopted the “Stars and Bars” flag.

1904 – In Korea, Russian troops retreated toward the Manchurian border as 100,000 Japanese troops advanced.

1908 – The New York board of education banned the act of whipping students in school.

1917 – Jeanette Rankin of Montana took her seat as the first woman elected to the House of Representatives.

1933 – Labor Secretary Frances Perkins became the first woman to serve in a Presidential administrative cabinet.

1952 – Ronald Reagan and Nancy Davis were married.




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