Monday, February 24, 2014


Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) Two centuries and eleven years ago today, February 24, 1803, Chief Justice John Marshall announced the Supreme Court's decision in the landmark case Marbury v. Madison.

The majority ruled that President Thomas Jefferson was wrong when he permitted his Secretary of State, James Madison, to prevent William Marbury from receiving his commission as Justice of the Peace here in the Nation's Capital.

The court also ruled that it had no jurisdiction in the case and that the Judiciary Act of 1789 which allowed it jurisdiction was unconstitutional.

This marked the first time the high court had ruled when a federal law does not meet the test of the United States Constitution, it is invalid.  

The decision in Marbury v. Madison firmly established the principle of judicial review.

William Marbury


San Antonio, Texas (JFK+50) General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, whose forces numbered several thousand surrounded less than 200 Texan rebels within the compound of an old abandoned Spanish mission called the Alamo at San Antonio de Bexar 178 years ago today, February 24, 1836.

Santa Anna demanded its' commander, Colonel William B. Travis, to surrender.

Travis, assisted by Jim Bowie, commander of volunteers, answered the demand with a cannon shot.

Congressman David Crockett, accompanied by some of his "Tennessee volunteers", was also at the Alamo.

This began a 13 day siege culminating in a final assault on March 6, 1836.  All Texans inside the walls of the Alamo were either killed in the battle or put to the sword thereafter.

William B. Travis


Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) The House of Representatives voted 11 articles of impeachment 146 years ago today against President Andrew Johnson of Tennessee here in Washington.

9 of the 11 articles related to Johnson's violation of the Tenure of Office Act by the removal of Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton, a radical, who like many members of Congress opposed Johnson's reconstruction policies which they considered to be too lenient.

Andrew Johnson became the first President of the United States in history to be impeached or charged with "high crimes and misdemeanors."

The Senate impeachment trial, lasting from March 13 to March 26, 1868, ended with Johnson's acquittal.  He would complete his term which began with the death of President Abraham Lincoln on April 15, 1865.

Impeachment Trial of Andrew Johnson
United States Senate