Historical Political Events for November 18

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Year Event
1883 An international agreement divides the U.S. into 4 time zones.
1909 U.S. ships and troops are dispatched to Nicaragua to suppress an unwanted revolution. Supposedly, 500 revolutionaries, two Americans among them, have been executed by the Nicaraguan dictator Jose Santos Zelaya. In the following weeks, the U.S. sent more warships and transports carrying Marines to the area. Hundreds of times in the last 210 years, the United States has deployed its military forces in conflicts abroad, although the U.S. has only formally declared war on eleven occasions.
1967 Population of the U.S. passes through the 200,000,000 mark.
1977 Soil and Water Resources Conservation Act enacted to further the conservation, protection, and enhancement of the nation's natural resources for sustained use.
1978 Jonestown Mass Suicide: On this date 912 followers of American cult leader Jim Jones ("Peoples Temple") died in a remote South American jungle compound called "Jonestown" in British Guyana. Some members were shot, others were forced to drink poison, but most willingly participated in what Jones said was an act of "revolutionary suicide."
1988 "Child Protection and Obscenity Enforcement Act", P.L. 100-690, becomes law. Also in this law is the "ANTI-DRUG ABUSE AMENDMENTS ACT", P.L. 100-690, which declares "it to be U.S. policy to create a drug-free America by 1995". Oh well, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. The Kerry Amendment to this act requires that "foreign nations must require financial institutions to report deposits of U.S. $10,000 or greater, and to make this information available to U.S. law enforcement."
1988 President Reagan (R) issues Executive Order 12657, "Federal Emergency Management Agency Assistance in Emergency Preparedness Planning at Commercial Nuclear Power Plants" {pdf}, which details FEMA to initially respond by coordinating federal response activities when advance state and local commitments (i.e., response planning) for accidents at fixed nuclear or power plants are absent or inadequate. E.O.'s have the force of law yet do not have to go through the cumbersome legislative process as dictated by the Constitution.
2006 Today's Example of a Most Interesting Government Purchase: The Lincoln Group received a big contract for Iraq war propaganda. The controversial public relations outfit has been awarded yet another Pentagon contract. This time, it's up to $20 million for monitoring the media. The website, "Media Transparency" (down!) reports that "Some $400 million in media consulting contracts has been awarded during the past few years by the Pentagon, for the purpose of helping 'to effectively communicate Iraqi government and Coalition goals with strategic audiences. . ."
and . . .
Quote of
the Day
Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job.
    — President Bush, to FEMA director Michael Brown, while touring hurricane-ravaged Mississippi, Sept. 2, 2005 (audio clip)
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