On this day. 1917: President Woodrow Wilson learned of the Zimmerman telegram, an attempt by Germany to form a Mexican-German alliance against the U.S. in World War I. During the war, U.S. ships were attacked by Germany, but America still stayed neutral. The Zimmerman telegram changed that; America declared war on April 6.
On this day: 1929: Calvin Coolidge, in one of his final acts as president, dedicated land for what became Grand Teton National Park.
On this day. 1987: The Tower Commission rebuked President Ronald Reagan for failing to control his staff in the wake of the Iran-Contra affair. Iran-Contra was a complicated scheme on which Reagan administration officials, seeking to free U.S. hostages in Lebanon, sold weapons to Iran — and then funded the revenue to aid anti-communist rebels in Nicaragua. Although Reagan took responsibility for the scandal and called it a "mistake," no conclusive evidence has been found showing he authorized the Iran-Contra deal. There was talk of impeaching the president, and eleven administration officials were convicted — though many convictions were eventually overturned. President George H.W. Bush also pardoned some of those who had been convicted of wrongdoing.
Quote of the day
"If it were not for the reporters, I would tell you the truth." –Chester Alan Arthur
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