Definitions

commission

Warren Commission

officially President's Commission on the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy

(1963–64) Group appointed by Pres. Lyndon B. Johnson to investigate the circumstances surrounding John F. Kennedy's slaying and the shooting of his assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald. It was chaired by Earl Warren and included two U.S. senators, two U.S. congressmen, and two former public officials. After months of investigation, it reported that Kennedy was killed by Oswald's rifle shots from the Texas School Book Depository and that Oswald's murder by Jack Ruby two days later was not part of a conspiracy to assassinate Kennedy. Its findings were later questioned in a number of books and articles and in a special congressional committee report in 1979, though no conclusive contradictory evidence was found.

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U.S. regulatory commission established by Congress in 1934. Its purpose was to restore investor confidence by ending the misleading sales practices and stock manipulations that had led to the stock market's 1929 collapse (see Stock Market Crash of 1929). It also prohibited the purchase of stock shares without adequate funds to pay for them, initiated registration and supervision of securities markets and stockbrokers, established rules regarding proxies, and prohibited unfair use of nonpublic information in stock trading (see insider trading). It also required that companies offering securities make full public disclosure of all relevant information. The discovery of fraudulent accounting practices among several large U.S. corporations brought demands for greater SEC oversight in the early 21st century.

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U.S. independent regulatory agency that oversees the civilian use of nuclear energy. Established in 1974 to replace the Atomic Energy Commission, the NRC licenses the construction and operation of nuclear reactors and other facilities and the ownership and use of nuclear materials. It issues standards, rules, and regulations for the maintenance of licenses, and it regularly inspects nuclear facilities to ensure compliance with public health and safety, environmental quality, national security, and antitrust laws. The NRC also investigates nuclear accidents, conducts public hearings, and reviews power-plant operations. Its commissioners are appointed by the president of the U.S.

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(1887–1995) First regulatory agency established in the U.S. and a prototype for independent government regulatory bodies. An agency of the U.S. Department of Transportation, it was responsible for the economic regulation of interstate surface transportation, including railroads, trucking companies, and buslines. It certified carriers, regulated rates, oversaw mergers, and approved railroad construction. The ICC was dissolved in 1995.

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