This Day in History: House Judiciary Adopts Impeachment Articles; Washington Creates The State Department; Bomb at The Atlanta Olympics

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Washington creates first executive branch department (1789)
On July 27, 1789, George Washington created the first federal department of the executive branch – the Department of Foreign Affairs.

The Department of Foreign Affairs, led by the Secretary of State, is now known as the State Department.

The State Department, now headquartered at the Harry S. Truman building in D.C., advises the President on foreign policy matters. It is now run by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Tillerson was born in Wichita Falls, Texas. He was the CEO of Exxon Mobil for a decade before accepting his role with the Trump Administration.

Korean Armistice Agreement signed(1953)
Almost two centuries later, on July 27, 1953, the United States, North Korea and China reached an agreement to end the Korean War – the Korean Armistice Agreement.

It created the de-facto border for South and North Korea – the Korean Demilitarized Zone – but peace between the two nations has been turbulent ever since. The agreement is not considered a peace treaty so the two countries are still technically at war.

The United States, along with the United Nations, has been attempting to reach a peace treaty between the two countries, but North Korea’s development of nuclear weapons is seen as a major roadblock to any agreement.

Former-President Obama and current-President Trump have both attempted to use North Korea’s dependence on China and Russia against the nation, which has shown increasing commitment to test nuclear missiles capable of reaching the continental United States, but no efforts have been effective enough to stop Kim Jong Un, Supreme Leader of North Korea.

North Korea has announced it will no longer abide by the agreement six times since the start of the Clinton administration, but war has never broken out.

The ongoing diplomatic turbulence with North Korea has been a major issue for both Korean nations, China and the United States for the past decade with no signs of ending. North Korea has test several intercontinental missiles just this year.

President Bill Clinton dedicated the Korean War Veterans Memorial to the men and women who served, on behalf of the United States and the United Nations, on the 42nd anniversary of the armistice - July 27, 1995.


Nixon gains Republican Party nomination, later articles of impeachment adopted against him (1960-74)
On July 27, 1960, then-Vice President Nixon gained the Republican Party nomination for president.

Nixon narrowly lost the popular vote to John F. Kennedy; won more individual states; but lost the Electoral College 303-219.

Nixon won the 1968 and 1972 Presidential Elections, before eventually being forced to resign due to the Watergate Scandal.

Exactly 14 after Nixon was nominated, on July 27, 160, the House Judiciary committee adopted its first of three articles of impeachment against President Nixon. The first article was for obstruction of justice; the second for abuse of power; and the third for contempt of Congress. 

Nixon resigned less than two week later; he was pardoned by President Gerald Ford. It is the only time a United States President has resigned.

Centennial Park bombing (1996)
On July 27, 1996, a bomb was set off in Centennial Olympic Park, killing two and injuring over 100.

It was the first of four terrorist attacks committed by Eric Robert Rudolph. Rudolph was motivated by growing American support for abortions and same-sex marriage.

He is currently serving four consecutive life sentences as part of a plea bargain to avoid a death sentence. He remains incarcerated in Florence, Colorado.

Though his efforts were in hopes that the Summer Olympics would be cancelled, the ‘Centennial Olympic Games’ were a success.

The United States won nearly 40 more metals than Russia, with 101 total; 44 gold.

Charges dropped against those involved in Freddie Gray case (2016)
On July 27, 2016, a Maryland state attorney dropped all charges against the three police officers awaiting trial for the death of Freddie Gray, one of the most documented prosecutions against police accused of misconduct.

Freddie Gray, 25, was arrested for alleged possession of an illegal switchblade. Gray suffered a spinal injury while in police custody.

Six officers, three African-Americans and three Caucasians, were originally accused of unnecessary use of force during his arrest. All six denied and none were ever indicted of any crimes.

The city of Baltimore settled with Gray’s family for $6.4 million. 

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