This Day in the Law
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Today's Date – December 16
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On December 1, 1959, twelve nations, including the United States of America, signed the Antarctic Treaty.

On December 2, 1954, the United States and Republic of China, commonly referred to as Taiwan, signed the Sino-American Mutual Defense Treaty.

On December 3, 1854, the first and only armed civil uprising occurred in Australia called the Eureka Stockade - considered as the event that lead to the birth of democracy in Australia.

On December 4, 1982, China adopted its modern constitution.

On December 5, 1776, Phi Beta Kappa, φβκ, formed as the first collegiate Greek-letter fraternity in the United States.

On December 6, 1865, the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified.

On December 7, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt received the horrific news that Pearl Harbor had been attacked by Japan.

On December 8, 1974, the Greek people voted in a national referendum to abolish its monarchy and establish a new republic.

On December 9, 1861, the U.S. Congress created the Joint Committee on the Conduct of War.

On December 10, 1932, Thailand (formerly called Siam) adopted a constitution and changed from an absolute monarchy to a constitutional democracy.

On December 11, 1931, the British Parliament passed the Statute of Westminster to establish the British Commonwealth of Nations.

On December 12, 2000, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Bush v. Gore, overruled the Florida Supreme Court, and effectively made George W. Bush the president over Al Gore.

On December 13, 2003, Saddam Hussein, the former dictator of Iraq, was captured after spending nine months on the run.

On December 14, 1946, the United Nations General Assembly voted to establish its headquarters in New York City.

On December 15, 1791, the Bill of Rights became law.

On December 16, 2003, President George W. Bush signed into law the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003.

On December 17, 1819, Simón Bolívar became the first President of “Gran Columbia” (modern day Columbia).

On December 18, 1969, the United Kingdom officially abolished the death penalty for murder.

On December 19, 1984, the United Kingdom transferred the rights of Hong Kong to China to take effect on July 1, 1997.

On December 20, 1836, President Andrew Jackson submitted an Indian treaty to the United States Congress.

On December 21, 1980, Sunny von Bulow, a wealthy Rhode Island socialite, was found in a coma on her bathroom floor. She would spend the last 28 years of her life in that coma.

On December 22, 1775, the first Continental Navy was created by the Continental Congress.

On December 23, 1913, Congress passed the Federal Reserve Act which created the Federal Reserve Bank and Federal Reserve System.

On December 24, 1814, the United States and Great Britain and Ireland signed the Treaty of Ghent to end the War of 1812.

On Christmas Day, December 25, 800 A.D., Pope Leo III crowned Charlemagne king of the Holy Roman Empire in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

On December 26, 1991, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, commonly referred to as the Soviet Union, officially dissolved.

On December 27, 1944, 28 nations created the World Bank as a result of the Bretton Woods Conference in Bretton Woods, NH.

On December 28, 1973, President Richard Nixon passed the Endangered Species Act (ESA), which aims to protect threatened species and the ecosystems on which they depend.

On December 29, 1835 the United States government and Cherokee tribe signed the Treaty of New Echota, in which the entire Cherokee Nation was expected to move west.

On December 30, 1816, the United States government proclaimed the Treaty of St. Louis. The United States and the Ottowa, Ojibwa, and Potawatomi tribes signed the treaty in August of 1816.

On December 31, 1999, the United States gave the Panama Canal to Panama – at a tremendous cost to the U.S. taxpayer.