Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) The Twenty-second Amendment to the United States Constitution stipulating that "No person shall be elected to the office of President more than twice...." was ratified by the required number of states 63 years ago today, February 27, 1951.
George Washington, the 1st President of the United States, set the precedent of serving no more than two terms, but no law or amendment restricted the number of terms or years a president could serve until passage of the 22nd amendment.
Franklin D. Roosevelt was the first incumbent President to seek a third term in 1940 and was also the first to win a third term.
FDR would go on to run for and be elected to a fourth term in 1944. After President Roosevelt's death in April 1945, there was a move in Congress to place a limit on the length of presidential service.
While there have been presidents since the 22nd amendment was ratified who spoke out in favor of its repeal, (Ronald Reagan for example) Congressman John F. Kennedy voted for the proposed law and supported it as president.
In a televised interview in December, 1962, President Kennedy was reminded of his vote and asked if he would be in favor of the amendment as a sitting president.
JFK laughed and said that although he had not served a second term yet he believed "two terms are enough."
KUWAIT LIBERATED 23 YEARS AGO
Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) President George H.W. Bush announced 23 years ago today, February 27, 1991, that Kuwait had been liberated after having been seized August 2, 1990 by Iraqi troops of Sadam Hussein.
When Hussein refused to remove his troops, a coalition of allies led by the United States began military action.
The invasion of Kuwait not only represented a violation of international law, the country had the fifth largest oil reserves in the world.
President Bush ordered a suspension of military operations the following day.
REICHSTAG DESTROYED BY FIRE 81 YEARS AGO
On February 27, 1933, the Reichstag, or German legislative building, was gutted by a fire. The fire, according to Herman Goring, was not an accident.
Goring told Adolf Hitler: "This is a communist outrage."
Chancellor Hitler, saying this is a "sign from heaven," asked for civil liberties in Germany to be suspended.
The next day, President Paul von Hindenburg granted Hitler's request and by the Reichstag Fire Decree, most civil liberties were suspended.
Many historians believe this is the pivotal event leading to the establishment of the Nazi state. The cause of the fire itself, however, continues to be debated today.