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History's Happenings for November 13

Birth of Justice Louis Brandeis
1856

Justice Louis Brandeis

One of the Supreme Court's most famous justices, and the first Jew to sit on the Court, Louis Brandeis was born on November 13, 1856 in Louisville, KY.

A graduate of Harvard Law, Brandeis was a successful Boston attorney, often on taking pro bono public-interest cases, and providing intellectual stimulation that prompted Woodrow Wilson to remark that "a talk with Brandeis always sweeps the cobwebs out of one's mind." In 1914 Brandeis produced his book Other People's Money And How the Bankers Use It, which helped strengthen the federal antitrust laws. In 1916 President Wilson appointed him to the Supreme Court.

Brandeis was a strong liberal presence on the Court, often supporting the dissenting opinions of Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes against the prevailing conservatism of Chief Justice William Howard Taft.

When the Roosevelt administration rolled around in 1932, the Court swung left and Brandeis overwhelmingly supported the New Deal cases that came before it. In the mid-thirties the Court as a whole found much of Roosevelt's ideas to be unconstitutional, but reversed itself after he threatened to pack it -- enlarge it -- in 1937.

Justice Brandeis retired from the Court in 1939, and died in 1941.

Continentals Take Montreal
1775

(Stay tuned for a write-up on this event.
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Holland Tunnel Under Hudson Opens
1927

(Stay tuned for a write-up on this event.
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FDR Lowers Draft Age to 18
1942

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