This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.
Find the past “On This Day in History” here.
January 16 is the 16th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 349 days remaining until the end of the year (350 in leap years).
On this day in 1919, the 18th Amendment to the US Constitution, prohibiting the “manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors for beverage purposes,” is ratified.
The movement for the prohibition of alcohol began in the early 19th century, when Americans concerned about the adverse effects of drinking began forming temperance societies. By the late 19th century, these groups had become a powerful political force, campaigning on the state level and calling for total national abstinence. In December 1917, the 18th Amendment, also known as the Prohibition Amendment, was passed by Congress and sent to the states for ratification.
The amendment and its enabling legislation did not ban the consumption of alcohol, but made it difficult to obtain it legally.
Following significant pressure on lawmakers from the temperance movement, the House of Representatives passed the amendment on December 18, 1917. It was certified as ratified on January 16, 1919, having been approved by 36 states. It went into effect one year after ratification, on January 17, 1920. Many state legislatures had already enacted statewide prohibition prior to the ratification of the Eighteenth Amendment.
When Congress submitted this amendment to the states for ratification, it was the first time a proposed amendment contained a provision setting a deadline for its ratification. The validity of that clause of the amendment was challenged and reached the Supreme Court, which upheld the constitutionality of such a deadline in Dillon v. Gloss (1921).
Because many Americans attempted to evade the restrictions of Prohibition, there was a considerable growth in violent and organized crime in the United States in response to public demand for illegal alcohol. The amendment was repealed by the Twenty-First Amendment on December 5, 1933. It remains the only constitutional amendment to be repealed in its entirety.
To define the language used in the Amendment, Congress enacted enabling legislation called the National Prohibition Act, better known as the Volstead Act, on October 28, 1919. President Woodrow Wilson vetoed that bill, but the House of Representatives immediately voted to override the veto and the Senate voted similarly the next day. The Volstead Act set the starting date for nationwide prohibition for January 17, 1920, which was the earliest date allowed by the 18th Amendment.Volstead Act, on October 28, 1919. President Woodrow Wilson vetoed that bill, but the House of Representatives immediately voted to override the veto and the Senate voted similarly the next day. The Volstead Act set the starting date for nationwide prohibition for January 17, 1920, which was the earliest date allowed by the 18th Amendment.
27 BC – The title Augustus is bestowed upon Gaius Julius Caesar Octavian by the Roman Senate.
550 – Gothic War (535-552): The Ostrogoths, under King Totila, conquer Rome after a long siege, by bribing the Isaurian garrison.
929 – Emir Abd-ar-Rahman III established the Caliphate of Cordoba.
1120 – The Council of Nablus is held, establishing the earliest surviving written laws of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem.
1362 – A storm tide in the North Sea destroys the German city of Rungholt on the island of Strand.
1412 – The Medici family is appointed official banker of the Papacy.
1492 – The first grammar of the Spanish language is presented to Queen Isabella I.
1547 – Ivan IV of Russia aka Ivan the Terrible becomes Tsar of Russia.
1556 – Philip II becomes King of Spain.
1572 – Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk is tried for treason for his part in the Ridolfi plot to restore Catholicism in England.
1581 – The English Parliament outlaws Roman Catholicism.
1605 – The first edition of El ingenioso hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha (Book One of Don Quixote) by Miguel de Cervantes is published in Madrid.
1707 – The Scottish Parliament ratifies the Act of Union, paving the way for the creation of Great Britain.
1761 – The British capture Pondicherry, India from the French.
1780 – American Revolution: Battle of Cape St. Vincent.
1786 – The Commonwealth of Virginia enacted the Statute for Religious Freedom authored by Thomas Jefferson.
1809 – Peninsular War: The British defeat the French at the Battle of La Coruna.
1847 – John C. Fremont is appointed Governor of the new California Territory.
1878 – Russo-Turkish War (1877-1878) – Battle of Philippopolis: Captain Burago with a squadron of Russian Imperial army dragoons liberates Plovdiv from Ottoman rule.
1883 – The Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act, establishing the United States Civil Service, is passed.
1896 – Defeat of Cymru Fydd at South Wales Liberal Federation AGM, Newport, Monmouthshire.
1900 – The United States Senate accepts the Anglo-German treaty of 1899 in which the United Kingdom renounces its claims to the Samoan islands.
1909 – Ernest Shackleton’s expedition finds the magnetic South Pole.
1919 – Temperance movement: The United States ratifies the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, authorizing Prohibition in the United States one year after ratification.
1920 – The League of Nations holds its first council meeting in Paris.
1938 – The Benny Goodman Orchestra performed the first jazz concert at Carnegie Hall.
1939 – The Irish Republican Army (IRA) begins a bombing and sabotage campaign in England.
1942 – Crash of TWA Flight 3, killing all 22 aboard, including film star Carole Lombard.
1945 – Adolf Hitler moves into his underground bunker, the so-called Fuhrerbunker.
1956 – President Gamal Abdal Nasser of Egypt vows to reconquer Palestine.
1968 – The Youth International Party is founded.
1969 – Czech student Jan Palach commits suicide by self-immolation in Prague, in protest against the Soviets’ crushing of the Prague Spring the year before.
1969 – Soviet spacecraft Soyuz 4 and Soyuz 5 perform the first-ever docking of manned spacecraft in orbit, the first-ever transfer of crew from one space vehicle to another, and the only time such a transfer was accomplished with a space walk.
1970 – Buckminster Fuller receives the Gold Medal award from the American Institute of Architects.
1979 – The Shah of Iran flees Iran with his family and relocates to Egypt.
1986 – First meeting of the Internet Engineering Task Force.
1991 – The United States goes to war with Iraq, beginning the Gulf War (U.S. Time).
1992 – El Salvador officials and rebel leaders sign the Chapultepec Peace Accords in Mexico City ending the 12-year Salvadoran civil war that claimed at least 75,000.
2001 – Congolese President Laurent-Desire Kabila is assassinated by one of his own bodyguards.
2001 – US President Bill Clinton awards former President Theodore Roosevelt a posthumous Medal of Honor for his service in the Spanish-American War.
2002 – The UN Security Council unanimously establishes an arms embargo and the freezing of assets of Osama bin Laden, Al-Qaida, and the remaining members of the Taliban.
2003 – The Space Shuttle Columbia takes off for mission STS-107 which would be its final one. Columbia disintegrated 16 days later on re-entry.
2006 – Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is sworn in as Liberia’s new president. She becomes Africa’s first female elected head of state.
* Christian Feast Day:
o http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B… [Berard of Carbio]
* National Religious Freedom Day (United States)
* Teacher’s Day (Thailand)