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5 Fun Facts About April 17 In District Of Columbia History

---Learn Every Day: DC Today In History Facts Texted Each Day - Text: history dc To: 618-270-4005---

1. On April 17, 1790, President George Washington signed an act that established the District of Columbia as the nation's capital. The city was chosen for its central location between the northern and southern states.

2. In 1861, the Mayor of Washington, D.C., arrested Maryland secessionist John Merryman for his alleged involvement in the Baltimore riots. This led to a legal battle that tested the power of the writ of habeas corpus during the American Civil War.

3. On April 17, 1865, Mary Surratt was arrested in Washington, D.C., for her alleged involvement in the conspiracy to assassinate President Abraham Lincoln. Surratt was later convicted and hanged, becoming the first woman to be executed by the federal government.

4. In 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act into law in the East Room of the White House. The landmark legislation prohibited discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin in employment, public accomodations, and education.

5. On April 17, 1995, a truck bomb exploded outside the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people and injuring more than 680. The attack was perpetrated by Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, who were later convicted and sentenced to death.
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