Historical Political Events for January 12

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Year Event
1932 Ophelia Wyatt Caraway, a Democrat from Arkansas, becomes the first woman to be elected to the U.S. Senate.
1951 The "FEDERAL CIVIL DEFENSE ACT" is signed by President Truman (D) and becomes law. This act created the opportunities for a major increase in bureaucracy and funding at both the state and federal levels based on the fears of nuclear attack. When the generated public hysteria began to wane, the act was quickly expanded into natural disasters, such as floods and tornadoes.
1951 The Oregon legislature made it illegal to pump gasoline into one’s own automobile. It was believed that foolish individuals would mishandle gasoline and cause severe accidents – at least that’s the story Oregon legislators fed to the public back then. A similar law is on the books in New Jersey.
1984 President Ronald Reagan (R) endorsed the Space Station Freedom program in his State of the Union message. After many delays and the usual cost increases, GAO (Thanks GAO, NASA seems to mumble a lot about costs) now estimates (as of 1995) that the station (now called the International Space Station) will cost $93.9 billion by the time it is actually in orbit in 2002. "Please don't hold us to this skimpy estimate as harassment from Congress tends to make us estimate low (and hide a few costs)."
1991 The U.S. Congress voted to authorize President George Bush (R) to use force to make Iraq get out of Kuwait. [Clinton (D), on the other hand, found that getting such Congressional approval time consuming and totally unnecessary.]
1994 Amid mounting political pressure, President Bill Clinton (D) reluctantly requested the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate the brewing Whitewater scandal.
1998 The Wall Street Journal on this day reports that former Senator Robert Dole (R) signed a $30,000 per month contract as a foreign agent for Taiwan.
and . . .
Quote of
the Day
Of course I believe in free will. I have no choice.
    — Isaac Bashevis Singer (1904 - 1991)
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