Historical Political Events for June 29

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Year Event
1767 The British parliament imposes the "Townshend Duties" on the American colonists. The act included taxes on glass, lead, paint, paper, and tea.
1906 The Hepburn Act is passed by Congress, further increasing the governments hold on the railroads. It gives the ICC (Interstate Commerce Commission) the powers to fix railroad rates.
1956 Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956, which increased the Federal support portion to 90%, is signed into law by President Eisenhower (R), authorizing funds for the interstate highway system. Estimated cost to 1996, $329 billion. (Why so many potholes?). Still, what is interesting about this government activity is that it is one of the few government acts that has been beneficial to the citizens, having a high ratio of productivity to fraud.
1972 The Supreme Court, in FURMAN v. GEORGIA, 408 U.S. 238 (1972), rules that the death penalty -- as invoked by the states at that time -- is unconstitutional. In another decision, in BRANZBURG v. HAYES, 408 U.S. 665 (1972), it declares that newsmen may be compelled to reveal to a grand jury information obtained in confidence.
1995 The Supreme Court, in MILLER v. JOHNSON, ___ U.S. ___ (1995), rules 5 to 4 that using race "as a predominant factor" in drawing congressional districts (Gerrymandering) should be presumed to be unconstitutional.
2004 U.S. Signs Social Security Agreement With Mexico. The Social Security Administration (SSA) signed a highly controversial agreement that could add millions of Mexicans, some who worked here illegally, to the Social Security rolls. At this time, the U.S. - Mexico Totalization treaty is still in the preliminary stages of ratification and can be disapproved by Congress.
2006 In a remarkable repudiation of the Bush administration's exercise of power in the war on terror, the Supreme Court ruled that the military commissions established to try Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detainees violate both U.S. law and the Geneva Conventions.
and . . .
Quote of
the Day
The most misleading assumptions are the ones you donít even know youíre making.
    — Douglas Adams, Last Chance to See. . . (1990)
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