Orlando Sentinel - - PEOPLE & ARTS -

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.

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