Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Harlan Fiske Stone dies at the age of 73 in Washington, D.C. He was only appointed Chief Justice in 1941, making his one of the shortest terms of a Chief Justice in the history of the Supreme Court.
Harlan Fiske Stone was also the first U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice to have never served in any elected office.
One the most important decisions made while Harlan Fiske Stone was Chief Justice was Ex parte Quirin, which upheld the right of the president to try Nazi saboteurs in military tribunals rather than criminal courts. Stone was also very critical of the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunals, calling them a fraud:
"[Chief US prosecutor] Jackson is away conducting his high-grade lynching party in Nuremberg.
I don't mind what he does to the Nazis, but I hate to see the pretense that he is running a court and proceeding according to common law. This is a little too sanctimonious a fraud to meet my old-fashioned ideas."
In a private letter Stone asked:
"... I wonder how some of those who preside at the trials would justify some of the acts of their own governments if they were placed in the status of the accused."