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This Day at Law

Gdansk Agreement reached

On August 31, 1980, the communist government of Poland and labor leaders settled the Gdansk Agreement. The accord settled a summer of labor strikes at the Lenin Shipyard in Gdansk, Poland. With the Agreement, Poland became the first communist country to allow the creation of an independent labor union, which was called Solidarity. Solidarity then became the driving force that ended communism in Poland.Learn more about the history of Solidarity.

President Johnson signed law against burning draft cards

On August 31, 1965, President Johnson signed a law making the burning of draft cards a federal offense subject to a five-year prison sentence and $1000 fine. In response to the law and in protest of the war in Vietnam, the student-run National Coordinating Committee to End the War in Vietnam staged the first public burning of a draft card in the United States on October 15, 1965. The constitutionality of the federal law was upheld in 1968 by the US Supreme Court in US v. O'Brien.

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