This Day in the Law
Today's Date – August 4
Select Month:

On August 1, 2001, Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore installed a monument with the Ten Commandments in the rotunda of the Alabama judiciary building and prompted national attention.

On August 2, 1790, the first official United States census was taken.

On August 3, 1972, the United States and the Soviet Union ratified the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABMT) in order to limit the use of anti-ballistic missiles.

On August 4, 1977, the United States Department of Energy was formed.

On August 5, 1861, the United States Army officially abolished flogging as a form of corporal punishment.

On August 6, 1962, Jamaica gained independence from Britain. Today, Jamaicans celebrate this day as Independence Day.

On August 7, 1782, General George Washington ordered the creation of the first U.S. military award, the Badge of Military Merit, to honor soldiers wounded in battle.

On August 8, 1974, President Richard Nixon announced his resignation on national television, effective the next day, stemming from the Watergate Scandal.

On August 9, 1842, the United States and Canada signed the Webster–Ashburton Treaty, resolving several border issues between the countries.

On August 10, 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed the Civil Liberties Act of 1988 into law, granting Japanese-Americans reparations for their time spent in internment camps during World War II.

On August 11, 1934, the first civilian prisons arrived at the federal prison on Alcatraz Island. Before that, the island’s use as a prison was limited to the military.

On August 12, 1851, Isaac Singer received a patent for his sewing machine, which would go on to be one of the most famous and best-selling sewing machines in history.

On August 13, 1918, the U.S. Marine Corps allowed women to enlist for the very first time. Do you know the name of the first woman to enlist with the Marines?

On August 14, 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt singed into law the Social Security Act creating the first federal government pension system for the retired - and a colossal entitlement program for the federal government to administer.

On August 15, 1947, India declared its sovereignty and independence from the United Kingdom after nearly 200 years of rule.

On August 16, 1863, a group of resistance fighters raised the flag of the Dominican Republic on Capitol Hill in Santo Domingo.

On August 17, 1943, the First Quebec Conference began. It was a highly secret military conference held during World War II between the British, Canadian and U.S. governments.

On August 18, 1920, the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified, granting women the right to vote.

On August 19, 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed the day to be National Aviation Day.

On August 20, 1998, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that Quebec could not secede from Canada without approval by the federal government.

On August 21, 1878, the American Bar Association (ABA) was founded in Saratoga Springs, New York by around 100 lawyers from 21 states.

On August 22, 1864, twelve countries signed the First Geneva Convention creating the Red Cross and the first international humanitarian laws.

On August 23, 1305, William Wallace, now famously known as Braveheart, was hung, drawn and quartered for treason by King Edward I.

On August 24, 1891, world-renowned inventor Thomas Edison filed a patent for the motion picture viewer.

On August 25, 1916, Congress created the U.S. National Park Service through the National Park Service Organic Act.

On August 26, 1789, the French Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen to provide natural rights to all men without exception.

On August 27, 1928, fifteen countries signed the Kellogg-Briand Pact in Paris, France to outlaw all future wars.

On August 28, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered the "I Have a Dream Speech" on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. to over 200,000 civil rights supporters and on national television to America and the world.

On August 29, 1916, Congress passed the Jones Act to give the Philippines the autonomy of self-government and to prepare the country for future independence.

On August 30, 1963, the United States and the Soviet Union established a hotline between Washington D.C. and the Kremlin to avert a potential nuclear holocaust.

On August 31, 1803, U.S. Army Captain Meriwether Lewis and Lieutenant William Clark led the first United States expedition across the West to the Pacific Ocean that changed the course of American history.