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What Happened on January 8?

  • Woodrow Wilson outlined his Fourteen Points. (1918) The points would go on to form the backbone of American foreign policy after World War I, and would later be used in establishing the League of Nations.

  • African-American men were granted the right to vote in Washington DC. (1867) President Andrew Johnson had tried to veto the bill allowing suffrage for African-American men in DC, but Congress overrode the veto and passed the bill. It was one of the first steps for universal suffrage in America, and was critical in forming the 15th Amendment, which made it illegal to discriminate against a voter because of race anywhere in the US.

  • The US national debt was eradicated. (1835) The US had started out in debt, which grew until a brief period of prosperity under President Andrew Jackson. The debt ballooned into the millions again in the Civil War, and has continued to grow since then.

  • Newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst stopped running ads for Citizen Kane. (1941) The movie, by Orson Welles, was strongly similar to Hearst's life, but painted him in an unflattering light. Hearst also used his influence in Hollywood to play down the movie, which was actually booed at that year's Academy Awards. Since then, it has been declared one of the best American movies ever made.

  • A trial over the breaking and entering of the Watergate building started which led to the Watergate scandal. (1973) Though the importance of the event was unknown at the time, the trial piqued the interest of reporters at the Washington Post. It was eventually found that President Nixon had authorized the burglary, and he resigned in dishonor.

  • The Mona Lisa was displayed at the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC. (1963) It was one of the few times the painting ever left Italy intentionally (without being stolen). The fact that it even came to the US at all was largely due to the influence of First Lady Jackie Kennedy, who mentioned to a French dignitary that she would like to see it. He replied off the cuff that the painting should visit America, and Kennedy held him to it.

  • President Andrew Jackson defeated the British in the Battle of New Orleans. (1815) This would be the final engagement between British and American forces in the War of 1812, and marked the last British American conflict on the North American continent.

  • US President Lyndon B. Johnson declared a War on Poverty. (1964) Johnson began a program of social reforms known as the War on Poverty in response to an almost 20 percent poverty rate in the US. Though many of the programs initiatives were later phased out, its legacy lives on in the Head Start program and the Job Corps.

  • US forces left Gallipoli. (1916) It was the end of a disastrous campaign against the Ottoman Empire. The Allied forces were greatly discredited by the campaign, and lost around 250,000 troops in less than a year.

  • The No Child Left Behind Act was signed into law. (2002) George W. Bush began a major overhaul of the education system in the No Child Left Behind Act, which rewarded schools based on their students' performance. The act was extremely controversial, since some felt it caused schools to sacrifice good education just to get good test scores.

Discussion Comments

By anon239328 — On Jan 08, 2012

Nice straight-forward, non-biased analysis of the news (LOL) - L.B. Johnson's war on poverty's "legacy" vs. Bush's "extremely controversial" NCLB act.

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