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This Day in History

Sun, 18 Mar 2018

Landmark US Supreme Court Decision Guarantees Right to Counsel (1963)

After he was accused of breaking into a bar in Florida in 1961, Clarence Gideon was unable to afford a lawyer and was forced to defend himself. Sentenced to five years in prison, he had ample time to study the law, and he began petitioning the courts with the claim that his right to legal counsel had been violated. In 1963, the US Supreme Court agreed with him, establishing that state courts were required to provide attorneys for poor defendants. What happened when Gideon was retried? Discuss

Sat, 17 Mar 2018

The Richard Riot (1955)

Maurice Richard was a star ice-hockey player for the Montreal Canadiens and a hero of the French-Canadian population. After he was involved in a violent confrontation during a game with the Boston Bruins, Richard was suspended for the rest of the season as well as the playoffs. Many fans in Montreal believed the penalty to be overly severe and motivated by prejudice against French-Canadians. At a game just days later, the fans rioted. Who did the mayor of Montreal blame for inciting the riot?

Fri, 16 Mar 2018

Samoset Walks into Plymouth Colony, Greets Pilgrims in English (1621)

Half of the English pilgrims from the Mayflower perished during their first winter in the New World, and as the survivors struggled to build their settlement at Plymouth, they had several tense encounters with Native Americans. That spring, a Native American named Samoset unexpectedly walked into their settlement and greeted them in English. Within days, he had introduced them to their neighbors. As it happened, Samoset was merely visiting the area. Where had he learned English?