July 5, 1935: President Roosevelt signs the National Labor Relations Act into law
The National Labor Relations Act, also called the Wagner Act, allows for the protection of workers to form labor unions, engage in collective bargaining and participate in strikes. In addition, the National Labor Relations Board was established to investigate charges of unfair labor practices and organize elections by which workers could decide if they wanted to be represented by a union.
July 4, 1919: Congress approves the 19th Amendment
The 19th Amendment, approved July 4, 1919, gave women the right to vote under Constitutional protection. In 1918, President Wilson announced his support of the amendment, yet the proposal failed to receive enough support from the Senate in an October vote. However, after the 1919 elections resulted in a heavily pro-suffrage Congress, the amendment passed and was ratified Aug. 18, 1920.
July 3, 1989: The Supreme Court imposes restrictions on abortion assistance
The Supreme Court's decision July 3, 1989, in Webster v. Reproductive Health Services upheld a Missouri law that restricted state funds and facilities assisting with or counseling on abortions. Many felt the decision compromised abortion rights set by Roe v. Wade. A federal district court had overruled the Missouri law, but Missouri’s attorney general appealed the prohibition of its enforcement, leading to the Supreme Court ruling.
July 2, 1890: Congress passes the Sherman Anti-Trust Act
The Sherman Anti-Trust Act, the oldest of all U.S. antitrust laws, was the government's first effort to limit monopolies. It placed responsibility on district courts and government attorneys to pursue trusts along with companies suspected of violating the act. It was initially proposed to break up the Standard Oil trust but was aimed at anything that caused a “restraint of trade.”
July 1, 1870: The Justice Department officially begins operations
On July 1, 1870, the Justice Department began its operations. In 1868, William Lawrence, leader of the House Committee on the Judiciary, introduced a bill proposing the creation of the Justice Department. The bill proved unsuccessful, having an untimely introduction on the cusp of President Andrew Johnson’s impeachment. A second bill introduced in 1870 by Rep. Thomas Jenckes passed both the Senate and the House. President Grant signed the Act to Establish the Department of Justice on June 22, 1870.