On this day in 1908...


Harry A. Blackmun is born in Nashville, Ill.

Blackmun, grew up in St. Paul in the Dayton's Bluff neighborhood, and would serve 11 years on the U.S. Court of Appeals before being named to the Supreme Court by Richard Nixon in 1970.

He would work alongside Chief Justice Warren Burger, who was born in St. Paul, and the Supreme Court duo would be referred to as the Minnesota Twins.

Blackmun penned the Court's controversial decision in Roe v. Wade, making abortion legal in the United States and invalidating a Texas statute that made assisting in an abortion a felony.

While he would be indelibly linked to one of the biggest decisions in Supreme Court history, he also made other key decision while residing as a member of the nation's highest court, including retracting his support of the death penalty in 1994, his final year on the bench.

Before his time as a judge, he served as adjunct faculty at the University of Minnesota Law School, and St. Paul College of Law (now William Mitchell College of Law).

He died in 1999 at the age of 90.

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