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.”
Aug. 21, 1878: The American Bar Association forms
One hundred lawyers founded the American Bar Association on Aug. 21, 1878, in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., as the first national organization for the legal profession. The ABA is a voluntary association for lawyers and law students that is not under any jurisdiction. Its most important stated activities are setting the academic standards for law schools and formulating model ethical codes related to the legal profession.
Aug. 20, 1989: Lyle and Erik Menendez murder their parents
On Aug. 20, 1989, brothers Lyle and Erik Menendez shot and killed their parents in their Beverley Hills home. After disposing of the weapons and attending a movie in order to secure an alibi, the brothers returned home and called 911, claiming they had found their parents dead. Both were arrested the following year after Erik's recorded confession during a therapy session surfaced.
A three-year court battle resulted, during which the admissibility of the tapes was questioned and the brothers described years of alleged sexual abuse. In 1996, after two deadlocked juries resulted in a retrial, Lyle and Erik were convicted to life in prison.
Aug. 18, 1920: The 19th Amendment is ratified
The 19th Amendment, which was created to extend to women the right to vote, was adopted Aug. 18, 1920, after ratification in Tennessee. The amendment prohibits both state and federal goverments from denying an individual the right to vote based on sex.
In the years leading up to the ratification, women's suffrage advocates had begun taking a more extreme approach to the cause. In 1916, the National Women's Party picketed the White House and organized marches in support of women's rights. In 1918, the 19th Amendment was passed by the House and was approved by the Senate the next year.
Aug. 17, 1998: President Clinton testifies before a grand jury
President Clinton testified before the Office of Independent Council on Aug. 17, 1998, in connection with a four-year investigation into his and his wife's illegal activities; that investigation led to the discovery of an affair between Clinton and Monica Lewinsky, a former White House intern.
Clinton became the subject of the grand-jury investigation after he denied the affair. In a national television broadcast after his testimony, he admitted to an inappropriate relationship with Lewinsky but maintained that he gave truthful answers in his testimony. The House voted to impeach Clinton later that year, but a five-week trial led to the Senate acquitting him.