William Rufus Day

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Day, William Rufus,

1849–1923, American statesman and associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1903–22), b. Ravenna, Ohio. Admitted (1872) to the bar, Day practiced law in Ohio and served (1886–90) as judge of the court of common pleas. He became (1897) assistant to the Secretary of State and then (Apr., 1898) Secretary of State in the month when war was declared against Spain. He was successful in converting France and Germany from an attitude of seeming hostility to definite neutrality. Made chairman (Sept., 1898) of the U.S. commission to arrange peace after the Spanish-American War, he insisted upon purchase of the Philippines rather than claiming these islands by right of conquest. The treaty therefore provided for the payment of $20 million. Day became (1899) a judge of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and in 1903 President Theodore Roosevelt appointed him to the Supreme Court, where he generally voted for the dissolution of truststrust,
in law, arrangement whereby property legally owned by one person is administered for the benefit of another. Three parties are ordinarily needed for the relation to arise: the settlor, who bequeaths or deeds the property for another's benefit; the trustee, in whose hands
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 and the preservation of states' rightsstates' rights,
in U.S. history, doctrine based on the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution, which states, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
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Day, William Rufus

(1849–1923) diplomat, Supreme Court justice; born in Ravenna, Ohio. As secretary of state under McKinley, he helped to negotiate peace in the Spanish-American War (1898). President Theodore Roosevelt named him to the U.S. Supreme Court (1903–22).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.