Aug. 16, 1984: A former car maker is cleared of drug charges
On Aug. 16, 1984, after 29 hours of deliberation, a jury cleared former car maker John DeLorean of all charges of drug trafficking in Los Angeles. In October 1982, DeLorean was arrested for conspiracy for smuggling to the U.S. $20 million worth of cocaine. The jury found that the U.S. government had set up DeLorean in order to find evidence to arrest him.
Aug. 15, 2006: The wife and murderer of a Tennessee minister is released from jail
In March 2006, Mary Winkler was arrested for and confessed to fatally shooting her husband, a Selmer, Tenn., minister, after an argument but said the gun accidentally discharged. She was released Aug. 15, 2006, on $750,000 bail. The jury in her April 2007 trial sentenced her to three years in prison, but the judge ruled that she had to serve only 210 days.
Aug. 14, 1935: President Roosevelt signs the Social Security Act
President Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law as part of his New Deal in an attempt to provide financial support to both the unemployed and the elderly. With most of America still in the midst of the Great Depression, the act gave hope to those who had fallen victim to joblessness or a lack of retirement benefits. Today, Social Security still works to support retirees and the disabled.
Aug. 13, 1961: East Germany begins building the Berlin Wall
During the nighttime hours between Aug. 12 and 13, East German soldiers started laying barbed wire and bricks between Soviet-run East Berlin and democratic West Berlin. By 1970, the Berlin Wall grew to a 10-foot-high concrete divider with watchtowers and searchlights.
The Soviets took control of part of Germany and the eastern half of Berlin after World War II. East Berliners left in droves to the democratic half of the city, so Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev ordered access cut off between the city halves. After the fall of the Soviet Union, the Berlin Wall came down in November 1989 and East and West Germany united.
Aug. 12, 2004: New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey resigns
Jim McGreevey was the 52nd governor of New Jersey from January 2002 until his resignation Nov. 15, 2004. Controversy arose over McGreevey's appointment of Golan Cipel as an adviser to the state's Department of Homeland Security. In addition to Cipel lacking the experience many thought necessary for the position, evidence of a relationship between him and McGreevey soon surfaced. After stepping down at McGreevey's request, Cipel threatened to file a sexual harassment suit against the governor, prompting his resignation. Upon declaring his upcoming resignation, McGreevey also publicly announced his homosexuality.