Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Camp David Accords


Camp David, Maryland (JFK+50) Thirty-five years ago today, March 26, 1979, President Anwar el-Sadat of Egypt and Prime Minister Menachem Begin of Israel signed a monumental peace agreement here at the presidential retreat in Maryland.

The Camp David Accords, sponsored by President Jimmy Carter, officially ended thirty years of hostilities between the two Middle-Eastern nations and establishes diplomatic and commercial ties as well.

Began and Sadat were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1978. 

The two middle eastern nations formally opened diplomatic relations with each other in 1982.

 Sadat, Carter and Begin 
at Camp David


Ninety-four years ago today, March 26, 1920, F. Scott Fitzgerald published his first novel, This Side of Paradise, which examines the lives and morality of youth of the post-World War I era.

Fitzgerald was born in St. Paul, Minnesota and is named after his famous ancestor, Francis Scott Key, the author of the "Star Spangled Banner".

The book's publisher was Charles Scribner and Sons of New York.

H.L. Mencken wrote that This Side of Paradise was the...

"best American novel I have seen of late".

Fitzgerald was wed to Zelda Sayre a week later and they began a life of glamorous parties and luxurious living.  

By 1925, they were living in Europe where Fitzgerald wrote his most famous work, "The Great Gatsby".

Zelda Fitzgerald died in a sanitarium and her husband died of a heart attack at the age of 44.


Key West, Florida (JFK+50) President John F. Kennedy and British Prime Minister Harold MacMillan met for the first time 53 years ago today. March 26, 1961, here in Key West and focused their discussions on the situation in Laos.

The two free world leaders were determined to end the civil war in Southeast Asia between the Royal government and the pro-Communist rebels.

In a joint statement they said:

"The situation....cannot be allowed to continue to deteriorate."

JFK and Harold Macmillan
 on the USS Sequoia
April 6, 1961
Photo by Abbie Rowe

They urged the Soviets to accept a British cease-fire proposal which would be arranged by the International Control Commission composed of representatives from Canada, India and Poland.


Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) The Supreme Court of the United States, led by Chief Justice Earl Warren, handed down its landmark decision 52 years ago today, March 26, 1962, in Baker v. Carr.

The majority ruling was that Federal courts can determine whether state legislatures reapportionment  plans are constitutional.

The case, which had been argued for almost a year, was brought by Charles Baker, a Shelby County, Tennessee Republican who complained that Tennessee had not redistricted, as required by the state constitution, since 1901.

The failure to redistrict had resulted in a higher value of votes in less populated rural counties.

The defendant was Tennessee Secretary of State, Joe Carr, who was the person responsible for state elections.

The Supreme Court decision established a "one person, one vote" standard for legislative redistricting which holds that each individual must be weighed equally in apportionment.

After his retirement, Earl Warren said that "Baker v Carr" was one of the most important cases of his tenure as Chief Justice.