Historical Political Events for December 17

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Year Event
1914 The United States passed the Harrison Act on this date (Ch. 1, 38 Stat. 785) , which "became the cornerstone of domestic narcotics policy" for nearly 65 years. The act, in fact, did not prohibit drugs. The act only regulated and taxed the importation and distribution of "opium or coca leaves, their salts, derivatives, or preparations, and for other purposes." In use, however, the act became the basis for drug prohibition.
1943 President Roosevelt (D) repeals the "Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 {pdf}" that severely limited the immigration of Chinese to the US.
1963 President Johnson (D) signs Public Law 88206, the latest version of the "Clean Air Act".
1992 President Bush (R), Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and Mexican President Carlos Salinas de Gortari signed the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in separate ceremonies.
1996 Peru: MRTA rebels take 700 hostages at the Japanese Ambassador's residence in Lima; all rebels are killed in successful rescue.
1998 The House of Representatives delays start of impeachment proceedings against President Clinton (D) because he chose this moment to launch military strikes against Iraq. Some say it was a "Wag the Dog" scenario.
2003 President Bush (R) issues a directive to Homeland Security requiring "a national domestic all-hazards preparedness goal, establishing mechanisms for improved delivery of Federal preparedness assistance to State and local governments, and outlining actions to strengthen preparedness capabilities of Federal, State, and local entities."
2005 Presidend Bush (R) Admits Authorizing Secret Domestic Spying Program. But see the LEHRER interview of Bush wherein he declines to talk about it.
and . . .
Quote of
the Day
I have become comfortably numb.
    — Pink Floyd, "Comfortably Numb"
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