This Day In History: 2017-12-05

December 8, 2009 – “U.S. Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Brought by Native Americans for $3.4 Billion”
The United States federal government announced that it intends to pay $3.4 billion to settle claims that it has mismanaged the revenue in American Indian trust funds. In 2012, it finalized this settlement, ending one of the largest and most complicated class-action lawsuits ever brought against the United States. The lawsuit lasted 15 years in total and involved hundreds of thousands of land trust accounts that date back to the 19th century. Specialists in federal tribal law described the suit as one of the most important in the history of legal disputes involving the government’s treatment of American Indians.

History Spotlight

2017 1963 - “First African-American Woman to Hold a Cabinet Position and Serve as a U.S. Ambassador” Advocate of women’s rights, Patricia Roberts Harris was appointed by President John F. Kennedy to co-chair the National Women’s Committee for Civil Rights. In 1965, one year after the civil rights act, Patricia R. Harris made history under President Lyndon B. Johnson as the first black female U.S. ambassador to Luxembourg. She broke another barrier two years later as the first Dean of Law at her alma mater, Howard University; she became the first black woman to head a law school in the U.S.

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