Sept. 24, 1789: President Washington signed a bill creating the federal court system. Article III of the Constitution established a Supreme Court, but the authority to create lower federal courts was left to Congress. The Judiciary Act of 1789 established the structure and jurisdiction of the federal court system, and also created the position of attorney general.

Sept. 24, 1869: "Black Friday" on Wall Street after President Grant ordered the Treasury to sell gold, causing markets to plunge. Grant acted after hearing that friends of his brother-in-law were trying to corner the gold market. His standing with the American people fell.

Sept. 24, 1955. While visiting Denver, President Eisenhower suffered a heart attack. His doctor said it was "slightly more than a moderate heart attack." Government officials and the White House press corps promptly moved to Denver to be near the president.

Sept. 24, 1964: President Johnson received the Warren Commission report on the assassination of President Kennedy. The report said the Secret Service made poor preparations for Kennedy's visit to Dallas and failed to sufficiently protect him. It also said that a lone gunman, Lee Harvey Oswald, was solely responsible for the president's murder. This finding has been highly controversial, though subsequent research, has tended to support this theory. One good book on the subject: Case Closed, by Gerald Posner.

Sept. 24, 1996: President Clinton and other world leaders signed a treaty aimed at ending all development and testing of nuclear weapons.

Quote of the Day

"Last night would have been a hell of a night to assassinate a president" – John F. Kennedy, on the morning of his murder

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