US Federal Crop Insurance program authorized
Farmers and the United States government had always had a close, if not symbiotic, relationship. Congress allocated special help to the farmers suffering from the dust bowl with the creation of the Federal Surplus Relief Corporation, which paid farmers to slaughter their pigs and not brings them to market, so as to stabilize prices. Five years later, after portions of the previous Congressional acts were found unconstitutional, the government hit upon the idea of insuring farmers against crop loss.
On this day, February 16, in 1938, Congress created the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation, providing protection against “catastrophic” loss of crop.
Enrollment in the insurance program was optional, but there was no reason for farmers not to enroll, as premiums for the program were paid by the United States government. That changed in 1994, when participation became mandatory, but the mandate was repealed again just two years later.
James Byrd Jr. was an African-American man who was murdered by three white supremacists in Jasper, Texas, on June 7, 1998. Shawn Berry, Lawrence Brewer, and John King dragged Byrd for three miles behind a pickup truck along an asphalt road. Byrd, who remained alive throughout most of his ordeal, was killed about halfway through the dragging when his body hit the edge of a culvert, severing his right arm and head. The murderers drove on for another 1 ¹⁄₂ miles before dumping Byrd’s torso in front of a black cemetery in Jasper