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The Civil War’s Tragic Legacy

The Civil War’s Tragic Legacy

 

The Civil War’s Tragic Legacy
 

The Civil War produced at least two important outcomes. First, although it was not President Lincoln’s intent, it freed slaves in the Confederate States. Second, it settled, through the force of arms, the question of whether states could secede from the Union. The causes of and the issues surrounding America’s most costly war, in terms of battlefield casualties, are still controversial. Even its name the – Civil War – is in dispute, and plausibly so.

A civil war is a struggle between two or more factions seeking to control the central government. Modern examples of civil wars are the conflicts we see in Lebanon, Liberia and Angola. In 1861, Jefferson Davis, the President of the Confederate States, no more wanted to take over Washington, D.C. than George Washington wanted to take over London in 1776. George Washington and the Continental Congress were fighting for independence from Great Britain. Similarly, the Confederate States were fighting for independence from the Union. Whether one’s sentiments lie with the Confederacy or with the Union, a more accurate characterization of the war is that it was a war for southern independence; a frequently heard southern reference is that it was the War of Northern Aggression.

History books most often say the war was fought to free the slaves. But that idea is brought into serious question considering what Abraham Lincoln had to say in his typical speeches: “I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the states where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so.” Slavery makes for great moral cause celebre for the War Between the States but the real causes had more to do with problems similar to those the nation faces today – a federal government that has escaped the limits the Framers of the Constitution envisioned.

South Carolina Senator John C Calhoun expressed that concern in his famous Fort Hill Address July 26, 1831, at a time when he was Andrew Jackson’s vice-president. Calhoun said, “Stripped of all its covering, the naked question is, whether ours is a federal or consolidated government; a constitutional or absolute one; a government resting solidly on the basis of the sovereignty of the States, or on the unrestrained will of a majority; a form of government, as in all other unlimited ones, in which injustice, violence, and force must ultimately prevail.”

Calhoun’s fear, as well as that of Thomas Jefferson, was Washington’s usurpation of powers constitutionally held by the people and the states, typically referred to as consolidation in their day. A significant bone of contention were tariffs enacted to protect northern manufacturing interests. Referring to those tariffs, Calhoun said, “The North has adopted a system of revenue and disbursements, in which an undue proportion of the burden of taxation has been imposed on the South, and an undue proportion of its proceeds appropriated to the North.” The fact of the matter was that the South exported a large percentage of its output, mainly agricultural products; therefore, import duties on foreign products extracted far more from the South than the North. Southerners complained of having to pay either high prices for northern-made goods or high tariffs on foreign-made goods. They complained about federal laws not that dissimilar to Navigation Acts that angered the Founders and contributed to the 1776 war for independence. Speaking before the Georgia legislature, in November 1860, Senator Robert Toombs said, “. . . They [Northern interests] demanded a monopoly of the business of shipbuilding, and got a prohibition against the sale of foreign ships to the citizens of the United States. . . . They demanded a monopoly of the coasting trade, in order to get higher freight prices than they could get in open competition with the carriers of the world. . . . And now, today, if a foreign vessel in Savannah offer [sic] to take your rice, cotton, grain or lumber to New York, or any other American port, for nothing, your laws prohibit it, in order that Northern ship-owners may get enhanced prices for doing your carrying.”

A precursor for the War Between the States came in 1832. South Carolina called a convention to nullify new tariff acts of 1828 and 1832 they referred to as “the tariffs of abomination.” The duties were multiples of previous duties and the convention declared them unconstitutional and authorized the governor to resist federal government efforts to enforce and collect them. After reaching the brink of armed conflict with Washington, a settlement calling for a stepped reduction in tariffs was reached – called the Great Compromise of 1833.

South Carolinians believed there was precedence for the nullification of unconstitutional federal laws. Both Thomas Jefferson and James Madison suggested the doctrine in 1798. The nullification doctrine was used to nullify federal laws in Georgia, Alabama, Pennsylvania and New England States. The reasoning was that the federal government was created by, and hence the agent of, the states.

When Congress enacted the Morrill Act (1861), raising tariffs to unprecedented levels, the South Carolina convention unanimously adopted and Ordinance of Secession declaring “We assert that fourteen of the States have deliberately refused for years past to fulfill their constitutional obligations. . . . Thus the constitutional compact has been deliberately broken and disregarded by the nonslaveholding States; and the consequence follows is that South Carolina is released from her obligation. . . .” Continuing, the Ordinance declared, “We, therefore the people of South Carolina, by our delegates in Convention assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, have solemnly declared that the Union heretofore existing between this State and the other States of North America is dissolved and that the State of South Carolina has resumed her position among the nations of the world, as a separate and independent State, with the full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce and to do other things which independent States may of right do.” Next year war started when South Carolinians fired on Fort Sumter, an island in the harbor of Charleston, South Carolina.

The principle-agent relationship between the states and federal government was not an idea invented by South Carolina in 1861; it was a relation taken for granted. At Virginia’s convention to ratify the U.S. Constitution, the delegates said, “We delegates of the people of Virginia, . . . do in the name and on the behalf of the people of Virginia, declare and make known, that the powers granted under the Constitution being derived from the people of the United States, may be resumed by them whensoever the same shall be perverted to their injury or oppression, and that every power not granted thereby remains with them, and at their will. That therefore no right, of any denomination, can be canceled, abridged, restrained or modified by the Congress, by the Senate, or House of Representatives, acting in any capacity, by the President, or any department or officer of the United States, except in those instances where power is given by the Constitution for those purposes.” The clear and key message was: the powers granted the federal government, by the people of Virginia, “may be resumed by them whensoever the same shall be perverted to their injury or oppression” and every power not granted to the federal government by the Constitution resides with the people of Virginia. The people of Virginia, through their delegates, set up a contractual agreement, along with the several sovereign states (emerging out of the 1783 Treaty of Paris ending the war with Great Britain), created the federal government as their agent. They enumerated the powers their agent shall have. When the federal government violates their grant of power, then the people of Virginia have the right to take back the power they granted the federal government, in other words, fire their agent.

The War Between the States, having settled the issue of secession, means the federal government can do anything it wishes and the states have little or no recourse. A derelict U.S. Supreme Court refuses to do its duty of interpreting both the letter and spirit of the Constitution. That has translated into the 70,000 federal regulations and mandates that controls the lives of our citizens. It also translates into interpretation of the “commerce” and “welfare” clauses of our Constitution in ways the Framers could not have possibly envisioned. Today, it is difficult to think of one elected official with the statesman foresight of a Jefferson, Madison or Calhoun who can articulate the dangers to liberty presented by a run amuck federal government. Because of that, prospects for liberty appear dim. The supreme tragedy is that if liberty dies in America it is destined to die everywhere.

Surrender of Japan (1945)

Surrender of Japan (1945)

 

Surrender of Japan (1945)

On September 2, 1945, Japanese representatives signed the official Instrument of Surrender, prepared by the War Department and approved by President Harry S. Truman. It set out in eight short paragraphs the complete capitulation of Japan. The opening words, “We, acting by command of and in behalf of the Emperor of Japan,” signified the importance attached to the Emperor’s role by the Americans who drafted the document. The short second paragraph went straight to the heart of the matter: “We hereby proclaim the unconditional surrender to the Allied Powers of the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters and of all Japanese armed forces and all armed forces under Japanese control wherever situated.”

That morning, on the deck of the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay, the Japanese envoys Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu and Gen. Yoshijiro Umezu signed their names on the Instrument of Surrender. The time was recorded as 4 minutes past 9 o’clock. Afterward, Gen. Douglas MacArthur, Commander in the Southwest Pacific and Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers, also signed. He accepted the Japanese surrender “for the United States, Republic of China, United Kingdom, and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and in the interests of the other United Nations at war with Japan.”

On September 6, Col. Bernard Thielen brought the surrender document and a second imperial rescript back to Washington, DC. The following day, Thielen presented the documents to President Truman in a formal White House ceremony. The documents were then exhibited at the National Archives after a dignified ceremony led by Gen. Jonathan Wainwright. Finally, on October 1, 1945, they were formally received (accessioned) into the holdings of the National Archives.

 

 

 

 

Transcript of Surrender of Japan (1945)

INSTRUMENT OF SURRENDER

We, acting by command of and in behalf of the Emperor of Japan, the Japanese Government and the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters, hereby accept the provisions set forth in the declaration issued by the heads of the Governments of the United States, China, and Great Britain on 26 July 1945 at Potsdam, and subsequently adhered to by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, which four powers are hereafter referred to as the Allied Powers.

We hereby proclaim the unconditional surrender to the Allied Powers of the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters and of all Japanese armed forces and all armed forces under the Japanese control wherever situated.

We hereby command all Japanese forces wherever situated and the Japanese people to cease hostilites forthwith, to preserve and save from damage all ships, aircraft, and military and civil property and to comply with all requirements which my be imposed by the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers or by agencies of the Japanese Government at his direction.

We hereby command the Japanese Imperial Headquarters to issue at once orders to the Commanders of all Japanese forces and all forces under Japanese control wherever situated to surrender unconditionally themselves and all forces under their control.

We hereby command all civil, military and naval officials to obey and enforce all proclamations, and orders and directives deemed by the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers to be proper to effectuate this surrender and issued by him or under his authority and we direct all such officials to remain at their posts and to continue to perform their non-combatant duties unless specifically relieved by him or under his authority.

We hereby undertake for the Emperor, the Japanese Government and their successors to carry out the provisions of the Potsdam Declaration in good faith, and to issue whatever orders and take whatever actions may be required by the Supreme Commander for the Allied Poers or by any other designated representative of the Allied Powers for the purpose of giving effect to that Declaration.

We hereby command the Japanese Imperial Government and the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters at once to liberate all allied prisoners of war and civilian internees now under Japanese control and to provide for their protection, care, maintenance and immediate transportation to places as directed.

The authority of the Emperor and the Japanese Government to rule the state shall be subject to the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers who will take such steps as he deems proper to effectuate these terms of surrender.

Signed at TOKYO BAY, JAPAN at 0904 I on the SECOND day of SEPTEMBER, 1945

MAMORU SHIGMITSU
By Command and in behalf of the Emperor
of Japan and the Japanese Government

YOSHIJIRO UMEZU
By Command and in behalf of the Japanese
Imperial General Headquarters

Accepted at TOKYO BAY, JAPAN at 0903 I on the SECOND day of SEPTEMBER, 1945, for the United States, Republic of China, United Kingdom and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and in the interests of the other United Nations at war with Japan.

DOUGLAS MAC ARTHUR
Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers

C.W. NIMITZ
United States Representative

HSU YUNG-CH’ANG
Republic of China Representative

BRUCE FRASER
United Kingdom Representative

KUZMA DEREVYANKO
Union of Soviet Socialist
Republics Representative

THOMAS BLAMEY
Commonwealth of Australia
Representative

L. MOORE COSGRAVE
Dominion of Canada Representative

JACQUES LE CLERC
Provisional Government of the French
Republic Representative

C.E.L. HELFRICH
Kingdom of the Netherlands
Representative

LEONARD M. ISITT
Dominion of New Zealand Representative

 

Surrender of Germany (1945)

Surrender of Germany (1945)

Surrender of Germany (1945)

The unconditional surrender of the German Third Reich was signed in the early morning hours of Monday, May 7, 1945 at Supreme Headquarters, Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF) at Reims in northeastern France. Present were representatives of the four Allied Powers—France, Great Britain, the Soviet Union, and the United States—and the three Germany officers delegated by German President Karl Doenitz—Gen. Alfred Jodl, who had alone been authorized to sign the surrender document; Maj. Wilhelm Oxenius, an aide to Jodl; and Adm. Hans-Georg von Friedeburg, one of the German chief negotiators. Lt. Gen. Walter Bedell Smith, SHAEF chief of staff, led the Allied delegation as the representative of General Eisenhower, who had refused to meet with the Germans until the surrender had been accomplished. Other American officers present were Maj. Gen. Harold R. Bull and Gen. Carl Spaatz.

After the signing of the Reims accord, Soviet chief of staff Gen. Alexei Antonov expressed concern to SHAEF that the continued fighting in the east between Germany and the Soviet Union made the Reims surrender look like a separate peace. The Soviet command wanted the Act of Military Surrender, with certain additions and alternations, to be signed at Berlin. To the Soviets, the documents signed at Berlin on May 8, 1945, represented the official, legal surrender of the Third Reich. The Berlin document had few significant changes from the one signed a day earlier at Reims.

For more information, see Milestone Documents in the National Archives, “Germany Surrenders” (Washington: National Archives

Trust Fund Board, 1989), pp. 5–6, 8–9.

 

 

 

Transcript of Surrender of Germany (1945)

Only this text in English is authoritative

ACT OF MILITARY SURRENDER

We the undersigned, acting by authority of the German High Command, hereby surrender unconditionally to the Supreme Commander, Allied Expeditionary Forces and simultaneously to the Soviet High Command all forces on land, sea and in the air who are at this date under German control.

The German High Command will at once issue orders to all German military, naval and air authorties and to all forces under German control to cease active operations at 2301 hours Central European time on 8 May and to remain in the positions occupied at that time. No ship, vessel, or aircraft is to be scuttled, or any damage done to their hull, machinery or equipment.

The German High Command will at once issue to the appropriate commander, and ensure the carrying out of any further orders issued by the Supreme Commander, Allied Expeditionary Force and by the Soviet High Command.

This act of military surrender is without prejudice to, and will be superseded by any general instrument of surrender imposed by, or on behalf of the United Nations and applicable to GERMANY and the German armed forces as a whole.

In the event of the German High Command or any of the forces under their control failing to act in accordance with this Act of Surrender, the Supreme Commander, Allied Expeditionary Force and the Soviet High Command will take such punitive or other action as they deem appropriate.

Signed at RHEIMS at 0241 on the 7th day of May, 1945. France
On behalf of the German High Command.

JODL

IN THE PRESENCE OF

On behalf of the Supreme Commander,
Allied Expeditionary Force.
W. B. SMITH

On behalf of the Soviet High Command
SOUSLOPAROV

F SEVEZ
Major General, French Army
(Witness)

 

South Carolina Ordinance of Nullification December 10, 1832

South Carolina Ordinance of Nullification

 

On December 10, 1832, President Andrew Jackson issued a proclamation to the people of South Carolina that disputed a states’ right to nullify a federal law. Jackson’s proclamation was written in response to an ordinance issued by a South Carolina convention that declared that the tariff acts of 1828 and 1832 “are unauthorized by the constitution of the United States, and violate the true meaning and intent thereof and are null, void, and no law, nor binding upon this State.” Led by John C. Calhoun, Jackson’s vice president at the time, the nullifiers felt that the tariff acts of 1828 and 1832 favored Northern-manufacturing interests at the expense of Southern farmers. After Jackson issued his proclamation, Congress passed the Force Act that authorized the use of military force against any state that resisted the tariff acts. In 1833, Henry Clay helped broker a compromise bill with Calhoun that slowly lowered tariffs over the next decade. The Compromise Tariff of 1833 was eventually accepted by South Carolina and ended the nullification crisis.

South Carolina Ordinance of Nullification, November 24, 1832.
An ordinance to nullify certain acts of the Congress of the United States, purporting to be laws laying duties and imposts on the importation of foreign commodities.
Whereas the Congress of the United States by various acts, purporting to be acts laying duties and imposts on foreign imports, but in reality intended for the protection of domestic manufactures and the giving of bounties to classes and individuals engaged in particular employments, at the expense and to the injury and oppression of other classes and individuals, and by wholly exempting from taxation certain foreign commodities, such as are not produced or manufactured in the United States, to afford a pretext for imposing higher and excessive duties on articles similar to those intended to be protected, bath exceeded its just powers under the constitution, which confers on it no authority to afford such protection, and bath violated the true meaning and intent of the constitution, which provides for equality in imposing the burdens of taxation upon the several States and portions of the confederacy: And whereas the said Congress, exceeding its just power to impose taxes and collect revenue for the purpose of effecting and accomplishing the specific objects and purposes which the constitution of the United States authorizes it to effect and accomplish, hath raised and collected unnecessary revenue for objects unauthorized by the constitution.

We, therefore, the people of the State of South Carolina, in convention assembled, do declare and ordain and it is hereby declared and ordained, that the several acts and parts of acts of the Congress of the United States, purporting to be laws for the imposing of duties and imposts on the importation of foreign commodities, and now having actual operation and effect within the United States, and, more especially, an act entitled “An act in alteration of the several acts imposing duties on imports,” approved on the nineteenth day of May, one thousand eight hundred and twenty-eight and also an act entitled “An act to alter and amend the several acts imposing duties on imports,” approved on the fourteenth day of July, one thousand eight hundred and thirty-two, are unauthorized by the constitution of the United States, and violate the true meaning and intent thereof and are null, void, and no law, nor binding upon this State, its officers or citizens; and all promises, contracts, and obligations, made or entered into, or to be made or entered into, with purpose to secure the duties imposed by said acts, and all judicial proceedings which shall be hereafter had in affirmance thereof, are and shall be held utterly null and void.

And it is further ordained, that it shall not be lawful for any of the constituted authorities, whether of this State or of the United States, to enforce the payment of duties imposed by the said acts within the limits of this State; but it shall be the duty of the legislature to adopt such measures and pass such acts as may be necessary to give full effect to this ordinance, and to prevent the enforcement and arrest the operation of the said acts and parts of acts of the Congress of the United States within the limits of this State, from and after the first day of February next, and the duties of all other constituted authorities, and of all persons residing or being within the limits of this State, and they are hereby required and enjoined to obey and give effect to this ordinance, and such acts and measures of the legislature as may be passed or adopted in obedience thereto.

And it is further ordained, that in no case of law or equity, decided in the courts of this State, wherein shall be drawn in question the authority of this ordinance, or the validity of such act or acts of the legislature as may be passed for the purpose of giving effect thereto, or the validity of the aforesaid acts of Congress, imposing duties, shall any appeal be taken or allowed to the Supreme Court of the United States, nor shall any copy of the record be permitted or allowed for that purpose; and if any such appeal shall be attempted to be taken, the courts of this State shall proceed to execute and enforce their judgments according to the laws and usages of the State, without reference to such attempted appeal, and the person or persons attempting to take such appeal may be dealt with as for a contempt of the court.

And it is further ordained, that all persons now holding any office of honor, profit, or trust, civil or military, under this State (members of the legislature excepted), shall, within such time, and in such manner as the legislature shall prescribe, take an oath well and truly to obey, execute, and enforce this ordinance, and such act or acts of the legislature as may be passed in pursuance thereof, according to the true intent and meaning of the same, and on the neglect or omission of any such person or persons so to do, his or their office or offices shall be forthwith vacated, and shall be filled up as if such person or persons were dead or had resigned; and no person hereafter elected to any office of honor, profit, or trust, civil or military (members of the legislature excepted), shall, until the legislature shall otherwise provide and direct, enter on the execution of his office, or be he any respect competent to discharge the duties thereof until he shall, in like manner, have taken a similar oath; and no juror shall be impaneled in any of the courts of this State, in any cause in which shall be in question this ordinance, or any act of the legislature passed in pursuance thereof, unless he shall first, in addition to the usual oath, have taken an oath that he will well and truly obey, execute, and enforce this ordinance, and such act or acts of the legislature as may be passed to carry the same into operation and effect, according to the true intent and meaning thereof.

And we, the people of South Carolina, to the end that it may be fully understood by the government of the United States, and the people of the co-States, that we are determined to maintain this our ordinance and declaration, at every hazard, do further declare that we will not submit to the application of force on the part of the federal government, to reduce this State to obedience, but that we will consider the passage, by Congress, of any act authorizing the employment of a military or naval force against the State of South Carolina, her constitutional authorities or citizens; or any act abolishing or closing the ports of this State, or any of them, or otherwise obstructing the free ingress and egress of vessels to and from the said ports, or any other act on the part of the federal government, to coerce the State, shut up her ports, destroy or harass her commerce or to enforce the acts hereby declared to be null and void, otherwise than through the civil tribunals of the country, as inconsistent with the longer continuance of South Carolina in the Union; and that the people of this State will henceforth hold themselves absolved from all further obligation to maintain or preserve their political connection with the people of the other States; and will forthwith proceed to organize a separate government, and do all other acts and things which sovereign and independent States may of right do.

Done in convention at Columbia, the twenty-fourth day of November, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty-two, and in the fifty-seventh year of the Declaration of the Independence of the United States of America.

 

Social Security Act Amendments (1965)

Social Security Act Amendments (1965)

Social Security Act Amendments (1965)

In 1965, the passage of the Social Security Act Amendments, popularly known as Medicare, resulted in a basic program of hospital insurance for persons aged 65 and older, and a supplementary medical insurance program to aid the elderly in paying doctor bills and other health care bills. It was funded by a tax on the earnings of employees, matched by contributions by employers, and was well received. In the first three years of the program, nearly 20 million beneficiaries enrolled in it.

Debate over the program actually began two decades earlier when President Harry S. Truman sent a message to Congress asking for legislation establishing a national health insurance plan. At that time, vocal opponents warned of the dangers of “socialized medicine.” By the end of the Truman’s administration, he had backed off from a plan of universal coverage, but administrators in the Social Security system and others began to focus on the idea of a program aimed at insuring Social Security beneficiaries whose numbers and needs were growing.

The 1950 census showed that the aged population in the United States had grown from 3 million in 1900 to 12 million in 1950. Two-thirds of older Americans had incomes of less than $1,000 annually, and only one in eight had health insurance. Between 1950 and 1963, the aged population grew from about 12 million to 17.5 million, or from 8.1 to 9.4 percent of the U.S. population. At the same time, the cost of hospital care was rising at a rate of about 6.7 percent a year, several times the annual increase in the cost of living, and health care costs were rapidly outpacing growth in the incomes of older Americans.

Private insurers had long considered this illness-prone population a “bad risk.” A broad debate about the need for a social insurance program to provide older Americans with reliable health care coverage started within the Social Security Administration and in Congress. Public hearings were held, and the House of Representatives considered several proposals, but the debate did not intensify until 1960, when it became clear that private insurers were becoming increasingly incapable of providing comprehensive, affordable health care coverage to the rapidly growing population of older adults. Between 1960 and 1965, the health coverage debate was a front burner issue in Congress, with dozens of proposals introduced and testimonies given by representatives of major organizations, including the American Hospital Association, the American Medical Association, and the AFL-CIO.

After Congress passed the legislation in the summer of 1965, President Lyndon Johnson decided to sign the bill with former President Truman at the Truman Presidential Library in Independence, MO, in order to recognize Truman’s early effort to establish a national health insurance program. On July 30, 1965, Air Force One departed for Missouri with the President; Mrs. Johnson; George Meany, president of the AFL-CIO; Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare Anthony Celebrezze; Governor John Connally of Texas; 13 U.S. Senators; and 19 U.S. Representatives. President Johnson and his party were met by President and Mrs. Truman at the Truman Library in Independence. They visited for some time before moving on to the platform in the auditorium of the library for the bill signing. After some brief remarks, President Johnson signed into law the Medicare Social Security Amendments. Johnson gave the first souvenir pen to Mrs. Truman and the next to President Truman and then the remainder of the pens to guests on the platform.

 

 

 

 

Transcript of Social Security Act Amendments (1965)

AN ACT

To provide a hospital insurance program for the aged under the Social Security Act with a supplementary medical benefits program and an extended program of medical assistance, to increase benefits under the Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance System, to improve the Federal-State public assistance programs, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That this Act, with the following table of contents, may be cited as the “Social Security Amendments of 1965”.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

TITLE I—HEALTH INSURANCE FOB THE AGED AND MEDICAL ASSISTANCE
SEC. 100. Short title.

PART I—HEALTH INSURANCE BENEFITS FOR THE AGED
SEC. 101. Entitlement to hospital Insurance benefits.
SEC. 102. Hospital insurance benefits and supplementary medical Insurance benefits.

TITLE XVIII—HEALTH INSURANCE FOR THE AGED
SEC. 1801. Prohibition against any Federal interference.
SEC. 1802. Free choice by patient guaranteed.
SEC. 1808. Option to Individuals to obtain other health insurance protection.

PART A—HOSPITAL INSURANCE BENEFITS FOR THE AGED
SEC. 1811. Description of program.
SEC. 1812. Scope of benefits.
SEC. 1818. Deductibles and coinsurance.
SEC. 1814. Conditions of and limitations on payment for services.
(a) Requirement of requests and certifications.
(b) Reasonable cost of services.
(c) No payments to Federal providers of services.
(d) Payments for emergency hospital services.
(e) Payment for Inpatient hospital services prior to notification of noneligibility.
(f) Payment for certain emergency hospital services furnished outside the United States.
SEC. 1815. Payment to providers of services
SEC. 1816. Use of public agencies or private organizations to facilitate payment to providers of services.
SEC. 1817. Federal hospital insurance trust fund.

PARTT B—SUPPLEMENTARY MEDICAL INSURANCE BENEFITS FOR THE AGED
SEC. 1831. Establishment of supplementary medical insurance program for the aged.
SEC. 1832. Scope of benefits.
SEC. 1838. Payment of benefits.
SEC. 1834. Limitation on home health services.
SEC. 1885. Procedure for payment of claims of providers of services.
SEC. 1886. Eligible individuals.
SEC. 1887. Enrollment periods.
SEC. 1888. Coverage period.
SEC. 1889. Amounts of premiums.
SEC. 1840. Payment of premiums.
SEC. 1841. Federal supplementary medical insurance trust fund.
SEC. 1842. Use of carriers for administration of benefits.
SEC. 1848. State agreements for coverage of eligible individuals who are receiving money payments under public assistance programs.
SEC. 1844. Appropriations to cover Government contributions and contingency reserve.

TITLE I—HEALTH INSURANCE FOR THE AGED AND MEDICAL ASSISTANCE

SHORT TITLE
SEC. 100. This title may be cited as the “Health Insurance for the Aged Act”.

PART l—HEALTH INSURANCE BENEFITS FOR THE AGED

ENTITLEMENT TO HOSPITAL INSURANCE BENEFITS

SEC. 101. Title II of the Social Security Act is amended by adding at the end thereof the following new section:

“ENTITLEMENT TO HOSPITAL INSURANCE BENEFITS

“SEC. 226. (a) Every individual who—
” (1) has attained the age of 65, and
” (2) is entitled to monthly insurance benefits under section 202 or is a qualified railroad retirement beneficiary, shall be entitled to hospital insurance benefits under part A of title XVIII for each month for which he meets the condition specified in paragraph (2), beginning with the first month after June 1966 for which he meets the conditions specified in paragraphs (1) and (2).
“(b) For purposes of subsection (a)—
“(1) entitlement of an individual to hospital insurance benefits for a month shall consist of entitlement to have payment made under, and subject to the limitations in, part A of title XVIII on his behalf for inpatient hospital services, post-hospital extended care services, post-hospital home health services, and outpatient hospital diagnostic services (as such terms are defined in part C of title XVIII) furnished him in the United States (or outside the United States in the case of inpatient hospital services furnished under the conditions described in section 1814(f) ) during such months except that (A) no such payment may be made for post-hospital extended care services furnished before January 1967, and (B) no such payment may be made for post- hospital extended care services or post-hospital home health services unless the discharge from the hospital required to qualify such services for payment under part A of title XVIII occurred after June 30, 1966, or on or after the first day of the month in which he attains age 65, whichever is later; and
“(2) an individual shall be deemed entitled to monthly insurance benefits under section 202, or to be a qualified railroad retirement beneficiary, for the month in which he died if he would have been entitled to such benefits, or would have been a qualified railroad retirement beneficiary , for such month had he died in the next month.

” (c) For purposes of this section, the term ‘qualified railroad retirement beneficiary’ means an individual whose name has been certified to the Secretary by the Railroad Retirement Board under section 21of the Railroad Retirement Act of 1937. An individual shall cease to be a qualified railroad retirement beneficiary at the close of the month preceding the month which is certified by the…

 

Smoot-Hawley Tariff, 1930

Smoot-Hawley Tariff, 1930

Smoot-Hawley Tariff, 1930\

The Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of June 1930 raised U.S. tariffs to historically high levels. The original intention behind the legislation was to increase the protection afforded domestic farmers against foreign agricultural imports. Massive expansion in the agricultural production sector outside of Europe during World War I led, with the postwar recovery of European producers, to massive agricultural overproduction during the 1920s. This in turn led to declining farm prices during the second half of the decade. During the 1928 election campaign, Republican Presidential candidate Herbert Hoover pledged to help the beleaguered farmer by, among other things, raising tariff levels on agricultural products. But once the tariff schedule revision process got started, it proved impossible to stop. Calls for increased protection flooded in from industrial sector special interest groups and soon a bill meant to provide relief for farmers became a means to raise tariffs in all sectors of the economy. When the dust had settled, Congress had agreed to tariff levels that exceeded the already high rates established by the 1922 Fordney-McCumber Act and represented among the most protectionist tariffs in U.S. history.

The Smoot-Hawley Tariff was more a consequence of the onset of the Great Depression than an initial cause. But while the tariff might not have caused the Depression, it certainly did not make it any better. It provoked a storm of foreign retaliatory measures and came to stand as a symbol of the ‘beggar-thy-neighbor’ policies (policies designed to improve one’s own lot at the expense of that of others) of the 1930s. Such policies contributed to a drastic decline in international trade. For example, U.S. imports from Europe declined from a 1929 high of $1,334 million to just $390 million in 1932, while U.S. exports to Europe fell from $2,341 million in 1929 to $784 million in 1932. Overall, world trade declined by some 66% between 1929 and 1934. More generally, Smoot-Hawley did nothing to foster trust and cooperation among nations in either the political or economic realm during a perilous era in international relations.

The Smoot-Hawley tariff represents the high-water mark of U.S. protectionism in the twentieth century. Thereafter, beginning with the 1934 Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act, American commercial policy generally emphasized trade liberalization over protectionism. The United States generally assumed the mantle of champion of freer international trade, as evidenced by its support for the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and the World Trade Organization (WTO).

When the causes of the Great Depression are debated, at the top of the list is the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1930. [Half of my sources listed it as “Hawley-Smoot,” but we’ll go with the former.] In light of President Bush’s recent misguided steel tariff policy, a discussion of Smoot-Hawley (hereinafter, S-H) may provide us with a lesson or two, though as a free-trader myself, I have to admit my own mind was made up long ago.

In looking at the reasons behind the adoption of S-H, it’s important to remember that the history of commerce in America was always one of high tariffs. It’s a gross generalization, but as a young nation the interests of the business community seemed to be best served by protecting our burgeoning industries, like in agriculture and textiles, to name two, and our politicians were only too happy to comply by passing all manner of legislation towards that end.

Following World War I, however, U.S. business was particularly fearful that America would be flooded with the products of cheap European labor. Parts of Europe had been destroyed, nations had huge debts, and unemployment was rampant, thus, it’s easy to see how costs could be lower than in the United States.

The cry for protectionism was far and wide, but President Woodrow Wilson vetoed strict tariff legislation in March 1921, weeks before he relinquished the presidency to Warren G. Harding, saying in part:

“If ever there was a time when Americans had anything to fear from foreign competition, that time has passed. If we wish to have Europe settle her debts, governmental or commercial, we must be prepared to buy from her.”

Alas, Harding came in and enacted the Emergency Tariff Act of May 1921, which supported agricultural interests in particular, while that was followed by the Fordney-McCumber Tariff Act of 1922. Signed into law on September 19, 1922, this latter legislation established the highest rates in history, with tariffs on some products of up to 400%. One Republican senator labeled Fordney “protection run perfectly mad.”

Fordney-McCumber precipitated a huge trade war, yet prosperity in America continued throughout the decade of the 1920s. As we’ve discussed in some other “Wall Street History” articles, though, by the end of this period, much of the prosperity resulted from growth on Wall Street and industrial America, while the farmers were suffering due to a worldwide glut of product.

But when it came time for the presidential election of 1928, Republicans looked at the overall economic climate across the country and reached the conclusion that high tariffs worked, so it was a major proponent of the party platform. Many Democrats supported tariffs as well, as the shape of commerce in the South changed to one less reliant on agriculture.

So after President Herbert Hoover took office in March 1929, Congress immediately set to work on a new tariff regime. This is an important point, because you have to picture that this legislation was winding it’s way through committee long before eventual passage in June 1930. In other words, it is a fair statement to say that the prospects for Smoot-Hawley had something to do with the October 1929 market crash itself.

Granted, this is highly debatable, but as Robert Shiller points out, on Monday, October 28, the New York Times ran a front-page story on possible passage of Smoot-Hawley, while on Tuesday the 29th, the day of the Crash, other national papers had picked up on the issue. Shiller acknowledges, however, that the Times ran various stories on Smoot-Hawley, both pro and con, and it would be ludicrous to pin the blame on it for the market turmoil that fall. Regardless, the point is that S-H was in the news for a long time.

As for Hoover, he was determined to raise tariffs and by June 1930, when a delegation of bishops and bankers paid him a visit to ask for more public works projects amidst a tumbling economy, the President told them, “Gentlemen, you have come sixty days too late. The Depression is over.” On June 16, he then issued a statement through the newspapers that he would be signing a bill, in an attempt to aid those businesses damaged by the downturn.

From David M. Kennedy’s “Freedom From Fear.”

“Hoover went along with his party’s plan for tariff revision because he wanted two things: higher duties on certain agricultural imports, as part of his program to aid farmers, and a strengthened Tariff Commission, with power to adjust import duties by 50 percent. This ‘flexible tariff,’ said Hoover, would ‘get the tariff out of Congressional logrolling’ and thus be a large step toward reducing ‘excessive and privileged protection.’ As for tariffs on manufactured goods, they should be revised upward only where ‘there has been a substantial slackening of activity in an industry during the past few years, and a consequent decrease of employment due to insurmountable competition.'”

Arkansas Democratic Senator Robinson had the following comment on President Hoover’s signal of approval.

“I express the hope, but not with great confidence, that the Executive’s dream of a scientific tariff, uninfluenced by political considerations, may be realized through the efforts of the Tariff Commission as approved by the Executive. The promise by the President that complaints from foreign countries that duties have been fixed unduly high will be remedied by the Tariff Commission is likely to unsettle conditions and disturb the peace of mind of those who believe they have won a victory in the passage of the bill.

“The complaints from foreign countries involve many rates, and if the commission is to open the whole question of the tariff upon applications inspired by foreign governments or peoples, it is difficult to see how the anxiety and uncertainty which has embarrassed business during the last fifteen months can be escaped or terminated.” [Source: Richard Oulahan / NY Times?6/16/30]

[The above should be familiar to those following today’s debate on steel tariffs, as complaints from various foreign governments have forced President Bush to back off; infuriating even more interests in the U.S. than before.]

Influential journalist Walter Lippman weighed in on Smoot- Hawley.

“(The President has) surrendered everything for nothing. He gave up the leadership of his party. He let his personal authority be flouted. He accepted a wretched and mischievous product of stupidity and greed.”

Lippman, who had supported Hoover in the 1928 election, now said, “He has the peculiarly modern, in fact, the contemporary American, faith in the power of the human mind and will, acting through organization, to accomplish results,” but “the unreasonableness of mankind is not accounted for in Mr. Hoover’s philosophy?In the realm of reason he is an unusually bold man; in the realm of unreason he is, for a statesman, an exceptionally thin-skinned and easily bewildered man.” [Source: Kennedy, “Freedom From Fear”]

And how did the stock market respond initially to passage of the tariff act?

Sat., June 14?Dow Jones 244
Mon., June 16?Dow 230
Tues., June 17?Dow 228
Wed., June 18?Dow 218
Thurs., June 19?Dow 228?yes, no change.

[By June 24, the market did fall to 211, but by July 18 the Dow was back to 240, so the immediate impact was negligible. Of course we were still on our way to a Dow Jones of a mere 41 by July 1932.]

The business reality of Smoot-Hawley was far worse. 1,028 economists had earlier petitioned President Hoover to veto the bill, but with enactment, tariffs hit all-time levels on some 70 agricultural products and 900 manufactured items. The economists had warned that S-H would raise prices to consumers, damage export trade, hurt farmers, promote inefficiency and promote foreign reprisals. As to the issue of increased prices, you saw in a piece I did two weeks ago that consumer prices actually collapsed in the years 1930-32, a point that we will come back to.

As for foreign reprisals, nations were outraged. Historian Richard Hofstadter called the tariff act, “a virtual declaration of economic war on the rest of the world.” Within two years, 25 countries had retaliated and U.S. foreign trade took a huge hit. America had exported $5.24 billion in goods in 1929 and by 1932, the total was just $1.6 billion.

But while it is plain to see how Smoot-Hawley contributed to the spread of the Depression to Europe, some argue that the Act itself really had little to do with the continent’s problems, compared to the issues created by the post-World War I Treaty of Versailles. Certainly, had he lived, Woodrow Wilson may have agreed with this line of thinking.

Additionally, the May 1931 collapse of Austria’s leading bank, Creditanstalt (WSH Feb. ’02), was a death knell for the entire European financial system, the cause of which had far more to do with the rise of the Nazis in parliamentary elections in September 1930 and massive speculation, not Smoot-Hawley. And, as I alluded to above, while tariffs often lead to higher prices, the issue worldwide between 1930 and 1932 was deflation, not inflation.

In both “Wall Street History” and my “Week in Review” column, from time to time I use the phrase that “bad government can cause depressions.” I’m referring to Smoot-Hawley, primarily, but while this particular act was undoubtedly a major contributor to the economic upheavals of the 1930s, to place all blame solely on its passage wouldn’t be accurate. Nonetheless, it did play a major role in the Depression and should act as a lesson to those who argue for indiscriminate tariffs of any kind, without examining that which history teaches us.

Sherman Silver Purchase Act- 1878

Sherman Silver Purchase Act- 1878

Sherman Silver Purchase Act- 1878
An act directing the purchase of silver bullion and the issue of Treasury notes thereon, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted . . ., That the Secretary of the Treasury is hereby directed to purchase, from time to time, silver bullion to the aggregate amount of four million five hundred thousand ounces, or so much thereof as may be offered in each month, at the market price thereof, not exceeding one dollar for three hundred and seventy-one and twenty-five hundredths grains of pure silver, and to issue in payment for such purchases of silver bullion Treasury notes of the United States to be prepared by the Secretary of the Treasury, in such form and of such denominations, not less than one dollar nor more than one thousand dollars, as he may prescribe.
SEC. 2. That the Treasury notes issued in accordance with the provisions of this act shall be redeemable on demand, in coin, at the Treasury of the United States, or at the office of any assistant treasurer of the United States, and when so redeemed may be reissued; but no greater or less amount of such notes shall be outstanding at any time than the cost of the silver bullion and the standard silver dollars coined therefrom, then held in the Treasury purchased by such notes; and such Treasury notes shall be a legal tender in payment of all debts, public and private, except where otherwise expressly stipulated in the contract, and shall be receivable for customs, taxes, and all public dues, and when so received may be reissued; and such notes, when held by any national banking association, may be counted as a part of its lawful reserve. That upon demand of the holder of any of the Treasury notes herein provided for the Secretary of the Treasury shall, under such regulations as he may prescribe, redeem such notes in gold or silver coin, at his discretion, it being the established policy of the United States to maintain th two metals on a parity with each other upon the present legal ratio, or such ratio as may be provided by law.
SEC. 3. That the Secretary of the Treasury shall each month coin two million ounces of the silver bullion purchased under the provisions of this act into standard silver dollars until . . . [July I, 189I] . . ., and after that time he shall coin of the silver bullion purchased under the provisions of this act as much as may be necessary to provide for the redemption of the Treasury notes herein provided for, and any gain or seigniorage arising from such coinage shall be accounted for and paid into the Treasury.

* * * * * * * *

SEC. 5. That so much of the act of . . . [February 28, I878] . . ., entitled “An act to authorize the coinage of the standard silver dollar and to restore its legal tender character,” as requires the monthly purchase and coinage of the same into silver dollars of not less than two million dollars, nor more than four million dollars’ worth of silver bullion, is hereby repealed.

Sherman Anti-Trust Act (1890)

Sherman Anti-Trust Act (1890)

Sherman Anti-Trust Act (1890)

The Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890 was the first measure passed by the U.S. Congress to prohibit trusts. It was named for Senator John Sherman of Ohio, who was a chairman of the Senate finance committee and the Secretary of the Treasury under President Hayes. Several states had passed similar laws, but they were limited to intrastate businesses. The Sherman Antitrust Act was based on the constitutional power of Congress to regulate interstate commerce. (For more background, see previous milestone documents: the Constitution, Gibbons v. Ogden, and the Interstate Commerce Act.) The Sherman Anti-Trust Act passed the Senate by a vote of 51–1 on April 8, 1890, and the House by a unanimous vote of 242–0 on June 20, 1890. President Benjamin Harrison signed the bill into law on July 2, 1890.

A trust was an arrangement by which stockholders in several companies transferred their shares to a single set of trustees. In exchange, the stockholders received a certificate entitling them to a specified share of the consolidated earnings of the jointly managed companies. The trusts came to dominate a number of major industries, destroying competition. For example, on January 2, 1882, the Standard Oil Trust was formed. Attorney Samuel Dodd of Standard Oil first had the idea of a trust. A board of trustees was set up, and all the Standard properties were placed in its hands. Every stockholder received 20 trust certificates for each share of Standard Oil stock. All the profits of the component companies were sent to the nine trustees, who determined the dividends. The nine trustees elected the directors and officers of all the component companies. This allowed the Standard Oil to function as a monopoly since the nine trustees ran all the component companies.

The Sherman Act authorized the Federal Government to institute proceedings against trusts in order to dissolve them. Any combination “in the form of trust or otherwise that was in restraint of trade or commerce among the several states, or with foreign nations” was declared illegal. Persons forming such combinations were subject to fines of $5,000 and a year in jail. Individuals and companies suffering losses because of trusts were permitted to sue in Federal court for triple damages. The Sherman Act was designed to restore competition but was loosely worded and failed to define such critical terms as “trust,” “combination,” “conspiracy,” and “monopoly.” Five years later, the Supreme Court dismantled the Sherman Act in United States v. E. C. Knight Company (1895). The Court ruled that the American Sugar Refining Company, one of the other defendants in the case, had not violated the law even though the company controlled about 98 percent of all sugar refining in the United States. The Court opinion reasoned that the company’s control of manufacture did not constitute a control of trade.

The Court’s ruling in E. C. Knight seemed to end any government regulation of trusts. In spite of this, during President Theodore Roosevelt’s “trust busting” campaigns at the turn of the century, the Sherman Act was used with considerable success. In 1904 the Court upheld the government’s suit to dissolve the Northern Securities Company in State of Minnesota v. Northern Securities Company. By 1911, President Taft had used the act against the Standard Oil Company and the American Tobacco Company. In the late 1990s, in another effort to ensure a competitive free market system, the Federal Government used the Sherman Act, then over 100 years old, against the giant Microsoft computer software company.

 

 

 

Transcript of Sherman Anti-Trust Act (1890)

Fifty-first Congress of the United States of America, At the First Session,

Begun and held at the City of Washington on Monday, the second day of December, one thousand eight hundred and eighty-nine.

An act to protect trade and commerce against unlawful restraints and monopolies.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
Sec. 1. Every contract, combination in the form of trust or other- wise, or conspiracy, in restraint of trade or commerce among the several States, or with foreign nations, is hereby declared to be illegal. Every person who shall make any such contract or engage in any such combination or conspiracy, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and, on conviction thereof, shall be punished by fine not exceeding five thousand dollars, or by imprisonment not exceeding one year, or by both said punishments, at the discretion of the court.

Sec. 2. Every person who shall monopolize, or attempt to monopolize, or combine or conspire with any other person or persons, to monopolize any part of the trade or commerce among the several States, or with foreign nations, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and, on conviction thereof; shall be punished by fine not exceeding five thousand dollars, or by imprisonment not exceeding one year, or by both said punishments, in the discretion of the court.

Sec. 3. Every contract, combination in form of trust or otherwise, or conspiracy, in restraint of trade or commerce in any Territory of the United States or of the District of Columbia, or in restraint of trade or commerce between any such Territory and another, or between any such Territory or Territories and any State or States or the District of Columbia, or with foreign nations, or between the District of Columbia and any State or States or foreign nations, is hereby declared illegal. Every person who shall make any such contract or engage in any such combination or conspiracy, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and, on conviction thereof, shall be punished by fine not exceeding five thousand dollars, or by imprisonment not exceeding one year, or by both said punishments, in the discretion of the court.

Sec. 4. The several circuit courts of the United States are hereby invested with jurisdiction to prevent and restrain violations of this act; and it shall be the duty of the several district attorneys of the United States, in their respective districts, under the direction of the Attorney-General, to institute proceedings in equity to prevent and restrain such violations. Such proceedings may be by way of petition setting forth the case and praying that such violation shall be enjoined or otherwise prohibited. When the parties complained of shall have been duly notified of such petition the court shall proceed, as soon as may be, to the hearing and determination of the case; and pending such petition and before final decree, the court may at any time make such temporary restraining order or prohibition as shall be deemed just in the premises.

Sec. 5. Whenever it shall appear to the court before which any proceeding under section four of this act may be pending, that the ends of justice require that other parties should be brought before the court, the court may cause them to be summoned, whether they reside in the district in which the court is held or not; and subpoenas to that end may be served in any district by the marshal thereof.

Sec. 6. Any property owned under any contract or by any combination, or pursuant to any conspiracy (and being the subject thereof) mentioned in section one of this act, and being in the course of transportation from one State to another, or to a foreign country, shall be- forfeited to the United States, and may be seized and condemned by like proceedings as those provided by law for the forfeiture, seizure, and condemnation of property imported into the United States contrary to law.

Sec. 7. Any person who shall be injured in his business or property by any other person or corporation by reason of anything forbidden or declared to be unlawful by this act, may sue therefor in any circuit court of the United States in the district in which the defendant resides or is found, without. respect to the amount in controversy, and shall recover three fold the damages by him sustained, and the costs of suit, including a reasonable attorney’s fee.

Sec. 8. That the word “person,” or ” persons,” wherever used in this act shall be deemed to include corporations and associations existing under or authorized by the laws of either the United States, the laws of any of the Territories, the laws of any State, or the laws of any foreign country.

Approved, July 2, 1890.

 

Servicemen’s Readjustment Act (1944)

Servicemen’s Readjustment Act (1944)

 

Servicemen’s Readjustment Act (1944)

While World War II was still being fought, the Department of Labor estimated that, after the war, 15 million men and women who had been serving in the armed services would be unemployed. To reduce the possibility of postwar depression brought on by widespread unemployment, the National Resources Planning Board, a White House agency, studied postwar manpower needs as early as 1942 and in June 1943 recommended a series of programs for education and training. The American Legion designed the main features of what became the Serviceman’s Readjustment Act and pushed it through Congress. The bill unanimously passed both chambers of Congress in the spring of 1944. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed it into law on June 22, 1944, just days after the D-day invasion of Normandy.

American Legion publicist Jack Cejnar called it “the GI Bill of Rights,” as it offered Federal aid to help veterans adjust to civilian life in the areas of hospitalization, purchase of homes and businesses, and especially, education. This act provided tuition, subsistence, books and supplies, equipment, and counseling services for veterans to continue their education in school or college. Within the following 7 years, approximately 8 million veterans received educational benefits. Under the act, approximately 2,300,000 attended colleges and universities, 3,500,000 received school training, and 3,400,000 received on-the-job training. The number of degrees awarded by U.S. colleges and universities more than doubled between 1940 and 1950, and the percentage of Americans with bachelor degrees, or advanced degrees, rose from 4.6 percent in 1945 to 25 percent a half-century later.

By 1956, when it expired, the education-and-training portion of the GI Bill had disbursed $14.5 billion to veterans—but the Veterans Administration estimated the increase in Federal income taxes alone would pay for the cost of the bill several times over. By 1955, 4.3 million home loans had been granted, with a total face value of $33 billion.

In addition, veterans were responsible for buying 20 percent of all new homes built after the war. The results rippled through the rest of the economy; there would be no new depression—just unparalleled prosperity for a generation. The GI Bill has been extended several times. Nearly 2.3 million veterans participated in the program during the Korean War era and more than 8 million during the Vietnam era.

 

 

 

Transcript of Servicemen’s Readjustment Act (1944)

AN ACT
To provide Federal Government aid for the readjustment in civilian life of returning World War II veterans.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Repre8entatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That this Act may be cited as the “Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944”.

TITLE I
CHAPTER I-HOSPITALIZATION, CLAIMS, AND PROCEDURES

SEC. 100. The Veterans’ Administration is hereby declared to be an essential war agency and entitled, second only to the War and Navy Departments, to priorities in personnel, equipment, supplies, and material under any laws, Executive orders, and regulations pertaining to priorities, and in appointments of personnel from civil-service registers the Administrator of Veterans’ Affairs is hereby granted the same authority and discretion as the War and Navy Departments and the United States Public Health Service: Provided, That the provisions of this section as to priorities for materials shall apply to any State institution to be built for the care or hospitalization of veterans.

SEC. 101. The Administrator of Veterans’ Affairs and the Federal Board of Hospitalization are hereby authorized and directed to expedite and complete the construction of additional hospital facilities for war veterans, and to enter into agreements and contracts for the use by or transfer to the Veterans’ Administration of suitable Army and Navy hospitals after termination of hostilities in the present war or after such institutions are no longer needed by the armed services; and the Administrator of Veterans Affairs is hereby authorized and directed to establish necessary regional offices, sub- offices, branch offices, contact units, or other subordinate offices in centers of population where there is no Veterans’ Administration facility, or where such a facility is not readily available or accessible : Provided, That there is hereby authorized to be appropriated the sum of $500,000,000 for the construction of additional hospital facilities.

SEC. 102. The Administrator of Veterans’ Affairs and the Secretary of War and Secretary of the Navy are hereby granted authority to enter into agreements and contracts for the mutual use or exchange of use of hospital and domiciliary facilities, and such supplies, equipment, and material as may be needed to operate properly such facilities, or for the transfer, without reimbursement of appropriations, of facilities, supplies, equipment, or material necessary and proper for authorized care for veterans, except that at no time shall the Administrator of Veterans’ Affairs enter into any agreement which will result in a permanent reduction of Veterans’ Administration hospital and domiciliary beds below the number now established or approved, plus the estimated number required to meet the load of eligibles under laws administered by the Veterans’ Administration, or in any way subordinate or transfer the operation of the Veterans’ Administration to any other agency of the Government.

Nothing in the Selective Training and Service Act of 1940, as amended, or any other Act, shall be construed to prevent the transfer or detail of any commissioned, appointed or enlisted personnel from the armed forces to the Veterans Administration subject to agreements between the Secretary of War or the Secretary of the Navy and the Administrator of Veterans’ Affairs: Provided, That no such detail shall be made or extend beyond six months after the termination of the war.

SEC.103. The Administrator of Veterans’ Affairs shall have authority to place officials and employees designated by him in such Army and Navy installations as may be deemed advisable for the purpose of adjudicating disability claims of, and giving aid and advice to, members of the Army and Navy who are about to be discharged or released from active service.

SEC. 104. No person shall be discharged or released from active duty in the armed forces until his certificate of discharge or release from active duty and final pay, or a substantial portion thereof, are ready for delivery to him or to his next of kin or legal representative; and no person shall be discharged or released from active service on account of disability until and unless he has executed a claim for compensation, pension, or hospitalization, to be filed with the Veterans’ Administration or has signed a statement that he has had explained to him the right to file such claim: Provided, That this section shall not preclude immediate transfer to a veterans’ facility for necessary hospital care, nor preclude the discharge of any person who refuses to sign such claim or statement: And provided further, That refusal or failure to file a claim shall be without prejudice to any right the veteran may subsequently assert.

Any person entitled to a prosthetic appliance shall be entitled, in addition, to necessary fitting and training, including institutional training, in the use of such appliance, whether in a Service or a Veterans’ Administration hospital, or by out-patient treatment, including such service under contract.

SEC. 105. No person in the armed forces shall be required to sign a statement of any nature relating to the origin, incurrence, or aggravation of any disease or injury he may have, and any such statement against his own interest signed at any time, shall be null and void and of no force and effect.

Senate Resolution 301: Censure of Senator Joseph McCarthy (1954)

Senate Resolution 301: Censure of Senator Joseph McCarthy (1954)

Senate Resolution 301: Censure of Senator Joseph McCarthy (1954)

The early years of the Cold War saw the United States facing a hostile Soviet Union, the “loss” of China to communism, and war in Korea. In this politically charged atmosphere, fears of Communist influence over American institutions spread easily. On February 9, 1950, Joseph McCarthy, a Republican Senator from Wisconsin, claimed that he had a list of 205 State Department employees who were Communists. While he offered little proof, the claims gained the Senator great notoriety. In June, Senator Margaret Chase Smith of Maine and six fellow Republicans issued a “Declaration of Conscience” asserting that because of McCarthy’s tactics, the Senate had been “debased to the level of a forum for hate and character assassination.” However, McCarthy took advantage of the Cold War atmosphere of fear and suspicion and with strong support in the opinion polls, McCarthy’s attacks and interventions in senatorial elections brought defeat to some of his party’s Democratic opponents.

After Republicans took control of the White House and Congress in 1953, McCarthy was named chairman of the Committee on Government Operations and its Subcommittee on Investigations. From these posts he continued to accuse Government agencies of being “soft” on communism, but he was now attacking a Republican administration. In 1954 McCarthy’s investigation of security threats in the U.S. Army was televised. McCarthy’s bullying of witnesses turned public opinion against the Senator. On December 2, 1954, the Senate voted to censure him, describing his behavior as “contrary to senatorial traditions.”

Republican Senators Ralph Flanders of Vermont, Arthur Watkins of Utah, and Margaret Chase Smith of Maine led the efforts to discipline McCarthy. Flanders introduced two separate resolutions against McCarthy, one removing McCarthy from his chairmanships and the other calling for his censure. The censure resolution moved forward with debate beginning July 30, 1954. The full Senate took up the resolution on November 5. This copy of the resolution catches the debate on November 9 as the Senate refined the wording of its resolution. The substance of the first count, charging McCarthy with failure to cooperate with a Senate subcommittee, remained unchanged in the final resolution. The second count was dropped for a condemnation of McCarthy’s attacks on the very members of the committee that considered his censure.

 

 

 

Transcript of Senate Resolution 301: Censure of Senator Joseph McCarthy (1954)

Resolved, That the Senator from Wisconsin, Mr. McCarthy, failed to cooperate with the Subcommittee on Privileges and Elections of the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration in clearing up matters referred to that subcommittee which concerned his conduct as a Senator and affected the honor of the Senate and, instead, repeatedly abused the subcommittee and its members who were trying to carry out assigned duties, thereby obstructing the constitutional processes of the Senate, and that this conduct of the Senator from Wisconsin, Mr. McCarthy, is contrary to senatorial traditions and is hereby condemned.

Sec 2. The Senator from Wisconsin, Mr. McCarthy, in writing to the chairman of the Select Committee to Study Censure Charges (Mr. Watkins) after the Select Committee had issued its report and before the report was presented to the Senate charging three members of the Select Committee with “deliberate deception” and “fraud” for failure to disqualify themselves; in stating to the press on November 4, 1954, that the special Senate session that was to begin November 8, 1954, was a “lynch-party”; in repeatedly describing this special Senate session as a “lynch bee” in a nationwide television and radio show on November 7, 1954; in stating to the public press on November 13, 1954, that the chairman of the Select Committee (Mr. Watkins) was guilty of “the most unusual, most cowardly things I’ve ever heard of” and stating further: “I expected he would be afraid to answer the questions, but didn’t think he’d be stupid enough to make a public statement”; and in characterizing the said committee as the “unwitting handmaiden,” “involuntary agent” and “attorneys-in-fact” of the Communist Party and in charging that the said committee in writing its report “imitated Communist methods — that it distorted, misrepresented, and omitted in its effort to manufacture a plausible rationalization” in support of its recommendations to the Senate, which characterizations and charges were contained in a statement released to the press and inserted in the Congressional Record of November 10, 1954, acted contrary to senatorial ethics and tended to bring the Senate into dishonor and disrepute, to obstruct the constitutional processes of the Senate, and to impair its dignity; and such conduct is hereby condemned.