Way back when: Today in history
BY GENE CURTIS
Monday, November 12, 2012
11/12/12 at 2:35 AM
1935 - Footballs, highballs
Former Gov. William H. Murray, who once said "there's too damn much emphasis in our colleges on footballs, basketballs and highballs," refused to attend a parents day football game at Oklahoma A&M College at the invitation of his son, Burbank, an engineering student. Murray had said earlier "I'll never attend a game" at any state college. Murray had shouted about the emphasis on sports and liquor when, as governor, he cut deeply into appropriations for Oklahoma colleges.
1968 - Evolution teaching ban law overturned
An Arkansas law that made it a crime to teach evolution in public schools and universities was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. "Government must be neutral in matters of religious theory, doctrine and practice," Justice Abe Fortas wrote in the decision. Fortas said that the law's motivation undoubtedly was "to suppress the teaching of a theory which it was thought, 'denied' the divine creation of man." The law was passed in a statewide election in 1928.
1975 - Douglas retires
Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas, who was considered a dissenter, a civil libertarian and a figure of controversy, retired because of ill health, ending a record 36 1/2-year tenure on the tribunal. "I have been unable to shoulder my full share of the burden," Douglas said in a letter to President Gerald Ford. Douglas had suffered a stroke nearly a year earlier that left him unable to use his left arm and left leg, and had been bothered by incessant and debilitating pain. Impeachment resolutions against Douglas had been introduced in 1953 and 1970, the latter by Ford while he was serving in the House of Representatives. John Paul Stevens was appointed by Ford to replace Douglas, who died Dec. 1, 1980.
1997 - Americans killed
Four American oil company employees and their Pakistani driver were shot to death in Karachi, Pakistan, as they were being driven to work in heavy traffic. The shooting came from two gunmen from another car who strode over to the Americans' car where they emptied the clips of their rifles into the victims. White House press secretary Mike McCurry called the killings "an outrageous act of barbarism." The killings followed by two days the U.S. conviction of Pakistani Mir Aimal Kasi in the fatal shootings of two CIA employees outside the agency's headquarters in Langley, Va. Kasi was sentenced to death for shooting the two with a rifle in morning traffic outside CIA headquarters.
William H. Murray