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Historical Glossary

There are 109 entries in this glossary.
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Taft–Hartley Act

(23 June 1947)    Passed over Harry S Truman's veto, this law regulated union administration and defined unfair practices by labor. It required unions to register and file financial reports to the Labor Department, and forbade Communists from serving as their officers. It forbade strikes without a majority vote by workers. It allowed a president to halt strikes prejudicial to the national interest by obtaining an injunction for an 80-day “cooling-off” period, so that an executive commission could investigate grievances and make recommendations, and after that Congress might enact a legislative solution.
The law outlawed closed shops, but not union shops. It defined as illegal union practices: secondary boycotts, jurisdictional strikes, demanding kickbacks to perform work, and union payments to political campaigns. It protected management's right to explain its position during organizational campaigns, to petition the National Labor Relations Board for elections to decertify unions or change union representation, and sue unions for breach of contract or strike-related damages. The Landrum–Griffin Act strengthened several of its provisions.
On 8 May 1950, the Supreme Court upheld (5–1) its requirement that union officials not be affiliated with the Communist party as a proper precaution to prevent political strikes from blocking interstate commerce in American Communications Association, CIO et al. v. Douds.
Taft–Katsura Memorandum

Taft–Katsura Memorandum

On 29 July 1905, Secretary of War William Taft and Japan's foreign minister finalized a secret agreement that the US would not criticize Japanese infringements of Korean sovereignty if Japan accepted US control over the P hilippines. On 21 December, Japan declared Korea to be a protectorate of itself.

Tammany Hall

The Society of St Tammany was founded as a fraternal and benevolent organization in 1786, and chartered on 12 May 1789. In the 1790s, Aaron Burr transformed it into a partisan vehicle for mobilizing Democratic voters. Tammany's votes ensured Thomas Jefferson's winning margin in the 1800 election. It emerged as New York's most powerful political club and built an imposing hall that became its symbol. Tammany's success rested on machine-like efficiency in turning out its voters, whose loyalty it earned by providing jobs and social-welfare services to incoming waves of immigrants. By 1860 Tammany was the most powerful city machine in the US and a major kingpin in the national Democratic Party. Increasingly dependent on voter fraud and graft to stay in power, it became synonymous with corruption and honest graft, especially after Boss William Tweed's administration (see Tweed Ring). After attaining near unassailable power under Mayor Charles Murphy (1902–24), its control was broken by the reform administration of Republican Fiorello La Guardia (1933–45). Tammany's influence also withered because New Deal programs made its social-welfare services less important to the poor. Carmine De Sapio revived the Tammany system in the 1950s, but the organization became moribund after another decade.

Taney, Roger Brooke

(b. Calvert County, Md., 17 March 1777; d. Washington, D.C., 12 October 1864)    He entered public life in the Federalist party, but became a Jacksonian Democrat. He was Md. attorney general (1827–31), US attorney general (1831–3), acting secretary of war (1831), and acting secretary of the Treasury (1833–4) before being confirmed as fourth chief justice on 15 March 1836. Taney was the first Catholic on the Supreme Court. His most important and enduring decision was Charles River Bridge v. Warren Bridge. In Dred Scott v. Sandford and Abelman v. Booth, he led the Court in affirming that slavery enjoyed constitutional protections beyond the power of either Congress or the states to violate. Taney's other major decisions included  Bank of Augusta v. Earle, Luther v. Borden, Kendall v. United States ex rel. Stokes, Holmes v. Jennison, Kentucky v. Dennison, and Ex Parte Merryman.

Tarawa Atoll, battle of

On 20 November 1943, General Holland Smith's 12,000 marines began landing against Rear Admiral Keiji Shibasaki's 4,836 Japanese soldiers. Japanese resistance ended on 23 November. US losses: 1,056 killed, 2,292 wounded. Japanese losses: 4,819 killed, 17 captured. Tarawa's capture ended the threat from its Japanese airfield and gained a base for the Marshall Islands campaign.