TODAY IN HISTORY
On Dec. 18, 1787, New Jersey became the third state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.
In 1865, the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, abolishing slavery, was declared in effect by Secretary of State William H. Seward.
In 1917, Congress passed the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibiting “the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors” and sent it to the states for ratification.
In 1940, Adolf Hitler signed a secret directive ordering preparations for a Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union.
In 1969, British Parliament made permanent a 1965 ban on the death penalty for murder.
In 1998, South Carolina carried out the nation’s 500th execution since capital punishment resumed in 1977.