Tuesday, December 18, 2007

On December 18, ...

... 1892 (115 years ago today), at the Maryinsky Theater in St. Petersburg, Russia, a ballet written by Igor Tchaikovsky and choreographed by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov, had its world premiere (above). Initial reviews panned the spectacle, yet "The Nutcracker" went on to "become the most attended holiday ballet ever produced."
... 1944, the U.S. Supreme Court issued 2 decisions respecting the country's internment of more than 100,000 U.S. citizens and residents of Japanese ancestry during World War II. In Ex parte Endo, the Court unanimously granted the habeas petition of Mitsuye Endo (right), who had been a typist for the Department of Motor Vehicles in Sacramento and was interned notwithstanding her undisputed loyalty to the United States. In Korematsu v. United States, the Court affirmed, by a vote of 7 to 2, the conviction of Fred Korematsu (above left), a 22-year-old Bay Area welder, for having violated the exclusion order that preceded detention. "[P]ressing public necessity" justified the deprivation of liberty, Justice Hugo Black wrote for the Court. The conviction would be voided in 1984 via the order by which U.S. District Judge Marilyn Hall Patel (left) granted Korematsu's petition for a writ of coram nobis.

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