Civil Rights Rhetoric that Lacks RealityThe US Congress passes a law banning racial discrimination in all public and private facilities this allows access to theaters, public transportation, and allows ex-slaves to sit on juries. This bill is signed into law by President Grant, but it has been kicking around Congress for the last 5 years or so. The Vice-President had to cast a tie-breaking vote in the Senate, and it finally passed in the House. It has been slow-going because Southern Democrats are being voted back into office, replacing many Republicans (including Black Republicans). This is a consequence of a loss in faith in Republicans. The Grant Administration has proven exceptionally corrupt, although President Grant, himself, appears to be impeccably honest. That is probably his weak point. He was a General, and hasn't been able to make the transition to politician. This will be the last of the Civil Rights laws enacted until the Civil Rights Act of 1957 where all of the laws they passed in 1875 will be passed again with equal effect. The problem is enforcement. The Federal government has only limited authority to enforce Federal law within the states... at least... everyone will believe that is true until they stop believing it. That will take several more generations and a systematic "forgetting" of the Constitution... in part, thanks to our educational system which teaches students to read and write, but not how to think critically about what they are reading or writing... or watching.  
A Friendly Act of InsuranceBefore there was the welfare state there were benevolence societies, otherwise known as "Friendly Societies". People join together for the purpose of providing medical and pension benefits for their members. (In modern terms the AARP would qualify as such an organization.) These societies grew up out of a need to help the sick, the elderly and helpless without need to resort to government intervention. At this point, the government of the United Kingdom is amazingly benevolent compared to governments of the past, but it would be considered cruel to modern sensibilities. Necessities, such as retirement, are seen as a problem for the individual to handle. Since it often becomes an intractable problem for the individual, community organizations have sprung up to mitigate the issue... at least for some people. This year, government is blessing these benevolent societies and sets up rules and regulations to manage them for the benefit of the public. 
In Other News
- The first ice hockey game is played indoors... ON PURPOSE! It takes place in Victoria Skating Rink in Montreal, Canada.