Historical Political Events for February 17

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Year Event
1600 The Inquisition condemns Giordano Bruno to be burnt at the stake for supporting Copernican astronomy and suggesting the possibility of more than one world.
1815 President Madison declares the War of 1812 at an end.
1863 The International Red Cross is founded in Geneva, Switzerland. (From the Encarta® 2000 New World Timeline © Copyright 1998, Helicon Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved.)
1913 First minimum wage law {pdf} in US takes effect, in Oregon.
1964 The US Supreme Court issued its "one man, one vote" decision in "Wesberry vs Sanders".
1993 Under pressure from a 2-year-long boycott called by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) in 1991, General Motors abandoned animal crash-testing of its cars.
2004 The U.S. government's national debt -- the accumulated debt from past budget shortfalls -- totaled more than $7 trillion for the first time as of this date, according to a Treasury Department report. [Thank goodness we have the Big-Government-Fighters, the Republicans, in charge or who knows what it would be!]
2009 Obama signs into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, aimed at rescuing the economy. A website, Recovery.gov, has been set up so taxpayers can track the programme's spending in their area. He also approves the sending of 17,000 more troops to Afghanistan. [What happened to "I will promise you this, that if we have not gotten our troops out by the time I am president, it is the first thing I will do. I will get our troops home. We will bring an end to this war. You can take that to the bank."?]
2009 National Debt Limit increased from $11,315 billion to $12,104 billion. It's only paper and the presses are running!
2011 Libya: Activists designate February 17 as a day of rage, a day after first riots in Benghazi.
and . . .
Quote of
the Day
The spirit of the times may alter, will alter. Our rulers will become corrupt, our people careless. A single zealot may commence persecutor, and better men be his victims. It can never be too often repeated that the time for fixing every essential right on a legal basis is while our rulers are honest and ourselves united. From the conclusion of [their] war [for independence, a nation begins] going down hill. It will not then be necessary to resort every moment to the people for support. They will be forgotten, therefore, and their rights disregarded. They will forget themselves but in the sole faculty of making money, and will never think of uniting to effect a due respect for their rights. The shackles, therefore, which shall not be knocked off at the conclusion of [that] war will remain on [them] long, will be made heavier and heavier, till [their] rights shall revive or expire in a convulsion.
    — Thomas Jefferson from Notes on Virginia Q.XVII, 1782
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