This Day in the Law
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Today's Date – July 20
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On July 1, 1870, the United States Department of Justice formally came into existence. The Department of Justice (DOJ) is the United States federal department responsible for the enforcement of the law and administration of justice, and is led by the Attorney General.

On July 2, 2000, the Mexican people elected Vicente Fox Quesada as the first President of Mexico from a party opposing Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI).

On July 3, 1608, Samuel de Champlain founded the city of Quebec, Canada.

On July 4, 1776, the Second Continental Congress adopted The Declaration of Independence proclaiming the United States’ independence from Great Britain.

On July 5, 1775, the Continental Congress adopted the Olive Branch Petition in an attempt to avoid all-out war with Great Britain.

On July 6, 1887, the King of Hawaii was forced to sign the Bayonet Constitution, thus stripping Hawaii of its monarchy.

On July 7, 1958, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the Alaska Statehood Act, allowing Alaska to become the 49th state in the United States.

On July 8, 1970, President Richard Nixon declared that the official policy of the United States with regard to Native Americans would be Native American self-determination.

On July 9, 1868, the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution was ratified by the states, and over time has expanded the protection of civil rights to more people than ever before.

On July 10, 1973, the Bahamas gained full independence from Britain but remained part of the Commonwealth of Nations.

On July 11, former U.S. President, William Howard Taft, was sworn in as the 10th Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

On July 12, 1862, U.S. Congress authorized the Medal of Honor for use.

On July 13, 1787, Congress of the Confederation of the United States enacted the Northwest Ordinance.

On July 14, 1798, U.S. Congress passed the Sedition Act.

On July 15, 1870, Georgia became the last of the former Confederate states to be readmitted to the Union, thus unifying the United States once more.

On July 16, 1790, Congress authorized President George Washington through the Residence Act to select a permanent U.S. capital.

On July 17, 1945, Allied leaders met at the castle of Cecilienhof in the city of Potsdam, Germany, a suburb of Berlin.

On July 18, 1968, Integrated Electronics Corporation, commonly referred to as Intel, was founded in Santa Clara, California.

On July 19, 1848, one of the earliest women’s rights conventions, the Seneca Falls Convention, began in Seneca Falls, New York.

On July 20, 1973, the War Powers Resolution was passed as a joint resolution of Congress.

On July 21, 1949, the United States ratified the North Atlantic Treaty.

On July 22, 1942, the United States government began rationing gasoline consumption as a measure to conserve both gasoline and rubber during World War II.

On July 23, 1914, Austria-Hungary issued an ultimatum to Serbia to abide by multiple demands and hand over all those involved in the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand.

On July 24, 1847, Brigham Young and his group of fellow Mormons settled their church in Salt Lake City, Utah.

On July 25, 1969, President Richard Nixon declared the Nixon Doctrine and stated that the United States expected its allies to take care of their own military defense.

On July 26, 1990, President George Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA).

On July 27, 1789, President George Washington established the Department of Foreign Affairs.

On July 28, 1868, Congress adopted the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. It was one of the Reconstruction Amendments that were adopted after the Civil War.

On July 29, 1858, the United States and Japan signed the the Harris Treaty to increase trade between the two countries, after many years of struggle by the U.S. to open up trade with Japan.

On July 30, 1619, the first representative assembly in America, the Virginia House of Burgesses, convened in Jamestown, Virginia.

On July 31, 1790, Samuel Hopkins received the first U.S. patent for a device in "the making of Pot ash and Pearl ash by a new Apparatus and Process."