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Milestones: Wednesday, July 26, 2023

July 26, 2023 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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ADA BECOMES FEDERAL LAW — President George H.W. Bush on July 26, 1990 signed into law the AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT, which was a landmark affirmation of rights for the disabled in American history at the time. Disability rights attorney Arlene Mayerson, considered a key visionary and architect of the ADA wrote that the saga of the law began “when people with disabilities began to challenge societal barriers that excluded them from their communities, and when parents of children with disabilities began to fight against the exclusion and segregation of their children.”

Activists explicitly compared their struggle to the Civil Rights movement, arguing that federal requirements were needed to prevent disabled persons’ needs from being dismissed.

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ARMED FORCES UNIFIED — President Harry S. Truman on July 26, 1947 signed the National Security Act of 1947, which merged two branches of the United States military, the Navy and the Army, the latter of which had been called the War Department, and established a direct line of command for all military services. which also created the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Council.

The Air Force was separated from the Army at the same time and became an independent entity.

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INTEGRATION OF THE ARMED FORCES — The U.S. ARMY was desegregated for the first time on July 26, 1948 when President Harry Truman signed an order officially integrating the armed forces. Although the Army had during World War II ordered desegregation of its training camps, and Black platoons were assigned to white units, it wasn’t until Truman signed the Executive Order 9981 abolishing segregation.

Just one year before, Truman had merged the Army and Navy into the Department of Defense.

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A POPULAR GOVERNOR OF NY — GEORGE CLINTON, born on July 26, 1739, in Little Britain, N.Y., situated in present-day Orange County (west bank of Hudson River) was a Founding Father, Brigadier general serving under General George Washington during the American Revolution, a popular governor of New York who served two non-consecutive terms as governor and would go on to be the nation’s longest serving governor (until Terry Branstad of Iowa broke that record in 2015). George Clinton then served as vice president under Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. Clinton had opposed ratification of the Constitution unless it included a Bill of Rights, which didn’t happen until 1791. George Clinton was also the first vice president to die while in office.

George Clinton’s nephew, DeWitt Clinton, continued the family’s political legacy, later becoming governor of New York. He also served several terms as Mayor of New York and in the state legislature.

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DEMANDED BILL OF RIGHTS — NEW YORK ratified the U.S. Constitution on July 26, 1788, during the Convention of the State of New York, meeting in Poughkeepsie. New York thus became the 11th of the original 13 colonies to become officially the United States of America. Part of the issue delaying New York’s entry into the new nation was an absence of a Bill  of Rights, according  to the Historical Society of the New York Courts. A group of New York Anti-Federalists, which included Founding Father George Clinton (see above Milestone) believed that the absence of such a codicil would jeopardize the rights of both the states and the individual citizens.

A series of 12 amendments were drafted, with the first ten of these comprising the Bill of Rights. Two of the amendments not making the cut dealt with determining the size of the House of Representatives and determining when Congress could change its pay.  Both of these became amendments much later, in 2013 and 1992, respectively.

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DIRECTED PINK PANTHER SERIES — EDWARDS, born in Oklahoma on July 26, 1922 as William Blake Crump, was an American director known for the successful Pink Panther slapstick movies starring Peter Sellers as the hapless Detective Clouseau. Edwards also directed Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Days of Wine and Roses, 10 and Victor, Victoria, in which starred his wife, actress Julie Andrews. Edwards was presented with an honorary Academy Award in 2004 for his career achievements.

Blake Edwards once said, “I worked with the best directors — Ford, Wyler, Preminger — and learned a lot from them. But I wasn’t a very cooperative actor. I was a spunky, smart-assed kid. Maybe even then I was indicating that I wanted to give, not take, direction.”

See previous milestones, here.


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