On This Day

April 20

On This Day. 1871: At President Ulysses S. Grant’s urging, Congress passed the Ku Klux Klan Act, aimed at giving the government more power to protect voters. The KKK Act allowed the president to use federal troops and suspend the writ of habeas corpus to ensure that civil rights were upheld.

On This Day. 1898: President William McKinley asked Congress to declare war on Spain, two months after the U.S.S. Maine blew up in Havana harbor. “Remember the Maine!” was the battle cry as America went to war with Spain. But the Navy later determined that an on-board accident, not an attack, blew up the battleship. The Spanish-American war was fueled by sensationalist newspaper coverage from tycoons like William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer. A term was born: yellow journalism. Yellow journalism is known for its emphasis on scandals, exaggerations and stirring up drama (thank goodness we don’t have that anymore).

On This Day. 1999: President Clinton said he was “profoundly shocked and saddened” by shootings at Colorado’s Columbine high school. The massacre - at the hands of two students - sparked calls for stricter gun laws in the United States. 


Quote of the Day

“That’s all a man can hope for during his lifetime—to set an example.”
-William McKinley


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1898: McKinley asks for war...



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