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Today in history: September 25
In 1981, Sandra Day O'Connor became the first female Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court
 
O'Connor led the way for women onto the Supreme Court.
O'Connor led the way for women onto the Supreme Court. (Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Sept. 25, 1789: Congress adopted 12 amendments to the Constitution — the Bill of Rights — and sent them to the states for ratification. The amendments were aimed at protecting the basic rights of Americans, including freedom of speech, press, assembly and religion. The Bill of Rights also guaranteed that powers not given to the federal government were given to the states.

Sept. 25, 1894: President Cleveland pardoned bigamists, adulterers and unlawful cohabitants. President Cleveland's proclamation was aimed at Mormons who had previously been in polygamous marriages.

Sept. 25, 1957: President Eisenhower ordered the Army to escort nine black students to an all-white high school in Little Rock, Ark. The forced enrollment of "the Little Rock Nine" in the all-white Central High School, was a major turning point in the fight against segregation. Eisenhower, who called the situation "troublesome beyond imagination," also federalized the entire 10,000-man Arkansas National Guard, taking it out of the control of Gov. Orville Faubus.

Sept. 25, 1981: President Reagan's first Supreme Court nominee, Sandra Day O'Connor, became the first female Justice of the high court.

Quote of the Day

"The means of defense against foreign danger historically have become the instruments of tyranny at home." — James Madison

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