Historical Political Events for August 10

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Year Event
1821 The state of Missouri is admitted to the Union.
1914 France declares war on Austria.
1917 Congress passes the Lever Act which permits the U.S. Food Administration to fix the price of wheat and otherwise establish government control over food and fuel.
1949 Department of Defense created (out of the former, more appropriately named, 'War Department').
1971 Federal Boat Safety Act signed. CG given wider authority over recreational boating in U.S. Defines a safety-related defect to mean a defect "which creates a substantial risk of personal injury to the public." We like vague laws.
1974 The Election Reform Act is passed by congress. It limits to $1,000 the amount that any individual may contribute to a candidate for federal office. The politicians quickly figured out ways around it.
1977 United States and Panama agree to transfer Panama Canal to Panamanian control by year 2000.
1993 Clinton (D) signs Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, H.R. 2264 - approved in the House on Aug. 5 with no votes to spare. Labeled as "largest tax increase in history". National Debt Limit increased from $4.37 trillion to $4.9 trillion.
1995 President Clinton (D) announced the proposed rule by the Food and Drug Administration to prevent young people from using tobacco products, later implemented in an executive order which gave the Food and Drug Administration broad powers to curb sales of tobacco to children. Executive orders have the force of law but are not burdened with the annoyance of having to go through the cumbersome Legislative Process. Very useful for suspending constitutional privileges of the citizens -- such as the incarceration of the Japanese-Americans in WWII.
2004 Today's Example of a Most Interesting Government Purchase: CACI Receives Army Contract for Interrogation at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. "To get the Pentagon the services it wanted, Interior officials used an existing contract with CACI for information technology services to write 11 "task orders," valued at more than $66 million. Later government investigations found that 10 of those orders went beyond the scope of the original contract.", according to GAO. "Contractors Were Poorly Monitored, GAO Says".
and . . .
Quote of
the Day
The U.S. War Department becomes the Defense Department August 10 under terms of the National Security Act of 1947. The first secretary of defense James V. Forrestal resigned in March with symptoms of nervous exhaustion and depression, entered Bethesda Naval Hospital, and jumped from a window there May 22, dying at age 57.
    — Anonymous (People's Chronology)
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