August 19 Peace Love Activism

August 19 Peace Love Activism


Virginia’s first slaves arrive
August 19, 1619: the first enslaved Africans arrived in the Virginia colony at Point Comfort on the James River. There, “20 and odd Negroes” from the White Lion, an English ship, were sold in exchange for food; the remaining Africans were transported to Jamestown and sold into slavery.

Historians have long believed that these first African slaves in the colonies came from the Caribbean but Spanish records suggest they were captured in the Portuguese colony of Angola, in West Central Africa. While aboard the ship São João Bautista bound for Mexico, they were stolen by two English ships, the White Lion and the Treasurer. Once in Virginia, the enslaved Africans were dispersed throughout the colony.. (see January 3, 1624)

Cultural Milestones

Smithsonian Institution

August 19 Peace Love Activism

August 19, 1846: Congress chartered the Smithsonian Institution, named after English scientist James Smithson, whose bequest of $500,000 made it possible. (see March 13, 1852)

August 19 Peace Love Activism

August 19, 2004: the Internet search engine Google went public. (see February 14 2005)

Native Americans

August 19 Peace Love Activism

August 19, 1854: sent to arrest an Indian who had killed a cow to feed his starving family, Lt. John Grattan encounterd a larger group than anticipated. After failed negotiations and nervous shooting by the American cavalry,  Grattan’s forces were surrounded and killed. The encounter became known as the “Grattan Massacre.” (see  September 3, 1855)


August 19, 1919:  Afghanistan independent from United Kingdom. (see Dec 11, 1931)


Emmett Till
In August 1955  Emmett Till's great uncle Moses Wright traveled from Mississippi to Chicago to visit family. At the end of his stay, Wright planned to take Till's cousin, Wheeler Parker, back to Mississippi with him to visit relatives. Emmett learned of these plans he begged his mother to let him go along. Initially, Mamie Till said no. She wanted to take a road trip to Omaha, Nebraska and attempted to lure Till to join her with the promise of open-road driving lessons. But Till desperately wanted to spend time with his cousins in Mississippi and she gave her permission. (BH, see Aug 13)

August 19, 1955:  Till’s mother gave Emmett his late father's signet ring, engraved with the initials L.T. Louis Till had died in 1945 while a private in Europe during World War II. (see Aug 20)
Oklahoma City sit-in
August 19, 1958: inspired by the success of Wichita, Kansas, sit-in on August 11, an NAACP youth chapter staged a sit-in at a segregated lunch counter in Oklahoma City. (see Sept 12)

The Cold War

August 19, 1960: the Soviet Union sentenced Francis Gary Powers to 10 years for espionage. NYT article (CW, see Oct 19; Powers, see February 10, 1962)

Nuclear/Chemical News

August 19, 1960: the first commercial atomic energy reactor, and the third in the U.S., achieved a self-sustaining nuclear reaction. It began producing power for distribution on 10 Nov 1960. This was the $57 million Yankee Atomic Electric Company's plant at Rowe, Mass., on the Deerfield River. The pressurized light-water reactor produced 125,000 kilowatts of electricity. The company was formed by twelve New England utility companies which signed a contract with the Westinghouse Corporation as the principal contractor. It was permanently shut down on 26 Feb 1992, due to reactor vessel embrittlement, after more than 31 years of service. (see Dec 14)

August 19 Music et al

see The Beatles play the Cow Palace for more
August 19, 1964: The Beatles had taken America by storm during their famous first visit, wowing the millions who watched them during their historic television appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show in February 1964. But after the first great rush of stateside Beatlemania, the Beatles promptly returned to Europe, leaving their American fans to make do with mere records. By late summer of that same year, however, having put on an unprecedented and still unmatched display of pop-chart dominance during their absence, the Beatles finally returned. On August 19, 1964, more than six months after taking the East Coast by storm, the Fab Four traveled to California to take the stage at the Cow Palace in San Francisco for opening night of their first-ever concert tour of North America.

Although in retrospect it would seem a laughable underestimation of their drawing power in America, Beatles' manager Brian Epstein chose venues like the 17,000-seat Cow Palace for the 1964 tour expressly because he feared that the Beatles might not sell out large sports stadiums like San Francisco's Candlestick Park, where they would play their final official concert in 1966. Suffice it to say that the Beatles had no difficultly filling the Cow Palace, which was packed with 17,130 screaming fans when the group bounded to the stage shortly after 9:00 p.m. on this day in 1964 and launched into "Twist And Shout."

The Beatles' set that night and throughout the tour that followed featured only 12 songs, most often in this order: "Twist and Shout", "You Can't Do That," "All My Loving," "She Loves You," "Things We Said Today," "Roll Over Beethoven," "Can't Buy Me Love, " "If I Fell," "I Want to Hold Your Hand," "Boys," "A Hard Day's Night," and "Long Tall Sally."
 At other stops on the tour, the Beatles' performances would last approximately 33 minutes, but the show that night in San Francisco lasted some five minutes longer—not because of any difference in the Beatles' performance, but because of police intervention to stem the growing pandemonium. Within the first few seconds of the first song that night, at least one radio journalist traveling with the Beatles had been trampled to the ground along with a young female fan who broke a leg in the melee.    And thanks to an offhand comment by George Harrison about the group's favorite candy in the days leading up to the show, the Beatles themselves were pelted with flying jelly beans throughout that night's set. Though John, Paul, George and Ringo were uninjured, they left the Cow Palace that night by ambulance after their limousine was swarmed by berserk fans. It was a scene that would become familiar to them as they continued on their first historic tour of America in the months ahead. (see August 28)
All You Need Is Love
August 19 – 25, 1967: “All You Need Is Love” #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. (see Aug 25)


 My Lai Massacre
August 19, 1969: authorities at Fort Benning decided to press charges against Lieutenant Calley. (My Lai, see Sept 5, Vietnam, see Sept 2)
August 19 Peace Love Activism

Gerald Ford nominated

August 19, 1976: U.S. President Gerald Ford edged out challenger Ronald Reagan to win the Republican Party presidential nomination in Kansas City. NYT article

Women’s Health

August 19, 1993: Rachel “Shelley” Shannon shot Dr. George Tiller in both arms, outside his Wichita, Kansas clinic. (WH, see March 5, 1994; Shannon, see April 26, 1994)

US Labor History

August 19, 1997: after a 16-day walkout, United Parcel Service agreed to a contract with the Teamsters, marking labor's first successful nationwide strike in two decades. One of the main issues leading to the strike is the company's practice of using part-time workers to avoid paying benefits. (see July 28, 1998)

Iraq War II

August 19, 2006:  1,249 days since the war began — the war in Iraq surpassed the length of WWII. (see Aug 21)

Fair Housing

August 19, 2015: in response to an unsparing audit by its watchdog, the Department of Housing and Urban Development flipped its stance and said would urge housing authorities nationwide to evict tenants who earn too much to qualify for government subsidies.

The initiative represented an about-face from the agency’s earlier response to the audit by HUD’s inspector general. That review found that more than 25,000 tenants make more than the maximum income allowed to qualify for public housing. The threshold varies depending on local economic circumstances, ranging, for example, from an income limit of $32,750 for a family of four in the District to $14,500 in Mississippi.

Although many of the “over income” tenants exceeded the limit by a small amount, the audit revealed that nearly half were over the threshold by $10,000 to $70,000. And some of the cases were eye-popping, such as a family of four in New York City with a $497,911 salary that is paying $1,574 in rent for a three-bedroom apartment in public housing.

The review, released on July 21, said that some public housing tenants who exceed HUD’s low-income threshold were committing “egregious” abuses and were squeezing out truly needy families.

 “This audit, like others, provides HUD an opportunity to re-evaluate policies and initiatives and make improvements where necessary,” agency spokesman Jereon M. Brown said in a statement. “As a result, HUD is taking additional steps to encourage housing authorities to establish policies that will reduce the number of over income families in public housing.” (see Nov 12)

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August 18 Peace Love Activism

August 18 Peace Love Activism

Native Americans

August 18 Peace Love Activism

August 18,1862: a Sioux Uprising began in Minnesota. It resulted in more than 800 white settlers dead and 38 Sioux Indians condemned and hanged. The Minnesota Uprising began when four young Sioux murdered five white settlers at Acton. The Santee Sioux, who lived on a long, narrow reservation on the south side of the Minnesota River, were reacting to broken government promises and corrupt Indian agents. A military court sentenced 303 Sioux to die, but President Abraham Lincoln reduced the list. The 38 hangings took place on December 26, 1862, in Mankato, Minn. (see Sept 2, 1862)

Cold War

see Pete Seeger for more
August 18, 1954: Pete Seeger testified before H.U.A.C. He refused to answer questions. (see Aug 24)

President Clinton and Cubans
August 18, 1994: with hundreds of Cubans continuing to flee each day in rafts and rubber dinghies, the Clinton Administration announced, that it would detain Cubans for an indefinite period after they arrived in the United States. The move, effective immediately, was a major departure from an open-door policy toward Cubans, who, for three decades, had usually been granted free entry into the United States after a brief interview by immigration authorities.

                Attorney General Janet Reno announced the new policy at an unusual late-night news conference, saying the move was intended to slow the fast-growing flow of refugees from Cuba to the United States, which Ms. Reno ascribed to deep dissatisfaction with the Government of Fidel Castro. (see October 17, 1995)

August 18 Music et al

Beatles School of Hard Knocks
August 18, 1960: new stage name and first performance as "The Beatles" at the Indra Club in Hamburg, Germany. Paul McCartney (on discussing performing and other things they learned in Hamburg): "Sex...was one of the first things 'cause we were kids just let off the leash, you know. And then there was like, the amount of music we played -- we played -- the shear amount of music. Some evenings I think we probably...we played eight hour periods 'cause you'd come on and another band would take an hour and you'd take an hour, so we probably played four hours but we had to stretch it over an eight hour period. And that's an awful long time, man, to play. I mean even bands now with three or four hours sets is a hell of a long time." (see October 15)
Ringo joins the band
August 18, 1962: Ringo Starr made his debut with The Beatles at the horticultural society Dance, Birkenhead, England, having had a two-hour rehearsal in preparation. This was the first appearance of The Beatles as the world would come to know them: John, Paul, George, and Ringo. (see August 22)

Women’s Health

Sherrie Finkbein
August 18, 1962: Sherrie Finkbein, a 30-year-old mother of four in Phoenix, Arizona, underwent an abortion in Sweden on this day, after being unable to obtain one in the United States. Mrs. Finkbein had discovered that she had inadvertently taken the drug Thalidomide, which was responsible for the birth of thousands of physically deformed infants in England and Canada. (The side effects of Thalidomide at the time were an international scandal.) Her unsuccessful attempts to obtain an abortion in Arizona touched off the first national debate over the right to abortion. Arizona law at the time permitted abortion only to save the life of the mother. The Royal Swedish Medical Board approved the abortion to protect Mrs. Finkbein’s “mental health.” 

Roman Catholic Church and birth control
In 1965the Roman Catholic Church’s Second Vatican Council commission on marriage voted overwhelmingly to recommend that the church rescind its ban on artificial contraception, saying that it was not “intrinsically evil” (see Jan 28)
Florida’s funding restored
August 18, 2016: U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle permanently blocked parts of a Florida law that had aimed to cut off state funding for preventive health services at clinics that also provide abortions.

                Hinkle had issued a preliminary order in June after state Planned Parenthood affiliates challenged provisions as unconstitutional. The June order had come just before the restrictions were to take effect.

                “The preliminary injunction is made permanent with this order,” Hinkle wrote in a three-page decision.

                The judge had found the clinics were unacceptably targeted by state efforts to eliminate funding for other healthcare services they also provided, such as Women’s Health and screening for cancer and sexually transmitted diseases. (BC, see Dec 14; F, see February 18, 2017)


James H Meredith

August 18 Peace Love Activism

August 18, 1963: Meredith received his bachelor of arts degree in political science and thus became the first African-American alumnus in the 115-year University’s history. (BH, see Aug 20; Meredith, see September 8, 1965)
South Africa and Olympics
August 18, 1964: the International Olympic Committee barred South Africa from participating in the Summer Olympics due to the country's Apartheid policy. The nation would not be reinstated until 1992. (see June 16, 1976)
Steve Biko

August 18 Peace Love Activism

August 18, 1977: in South Africa police arrested Steve Biko [headed the Black Consciousness Movement and was the country’s best known political dissident] and Peter Jones at Grahamstown. (see Sept 11)
August 18 Peace Love Activism

George H.W. Bush

August 18, 1988: the Republican National Convention in New Orleans nominated George H.W. Bush for President and Dan Quayle for Vice President.


see Ryan White for full story

August 18, 1990: President George Bush signed the Ryan White Care Act, a federally funded program for people living with AIDS. (first Ryan White entry, see December 9, 1971) 
Visual AIDS

August 18 Peace Love Activism

In 199 the New York-based Visual AIDS, adopted the red ribbon as a symbol of awareness and compassion for those living with HIV/AIDS. (AIDS, see December 3, 1992 ; LGBTQ, see July 29, 1992)
Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis
August 18, 2016: U.S. District Court Judge David Bunning dismissed three lawsuits filed against Kentucky's Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis for refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay couples last year.

Couples who were denied licenses filed the federal lawsuits claimed a violation of civil rights.

Bunning issued an order dismissing the lawsuits. Bunning noted that last January Gov. Matt Bevin signed an order removing names of county clerks from marriage licenses, and that the General Assembly later passed legislation which creates a new marriage license form that does not require the county clerk's signature. (see Sept 12)

César E. Chávez

August 18 Peace Love Activism

August 18, 2000: César Chávez Day established when California Governor Gray Davis signs into law SB 984, authored by Senator Richard Polanco, D-Los Angeles. The day of service is celebrated on March 31.(see Nov 12, 2000)

Iraq War I

August 18, 2010:  the final U.S. combat troops in Iraq crossed the border into Kuwait. 4,487 American troops had died. (see Aug 31)


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August 17 Peace Love Activism

August 17 Peace Love Activism


Emma Goldman
August 17, 1894: Goldman released from prison. Her account of the experience appears in the New York World the next day. (see Feb – June, 1898)
Voting Rights
August 17, 1917: after three days of brutal attacks on pickets by mobs and police, six pickets arrested (Edna Dixon, Lavinia Dock, Lucy Ewing, Catherine Flanagan, Natalie Gray, Madeleine Watson) and sentenced to 60 days at Occoquan Workhouse, this time without pardon from President Wilson. (see Aug 28)

US Labor History

August 17, 1918: the jury’s deliberations in the IWW trial in Chicago took less than 2 hours. It returned a verdict of guilty for all. The defendants were stunned. Wobbly leader and defendant Bill Haywood stated, "I believe Judge Landis's instructions pointed clearly to an acquittal,"  At sentencing, the defendants were given heavy fines and prison terms ranging up to 20 years. Haywood jumped bail, finding refuge in the Soviet Union. (Haywood, see May 18, 1928)

In 1919, following World War I, there was a wave of strikes. More than 40,000 coal workers and 120,000 textile workers walked off the job. In Boston, a police strike caused chaos in the city. The labor unrest was associated with the Red scare and agitators were rounded up and the public turned suspicious of labor unions.

From 1919 – 1921 there was the First Red Scare: In 1971, Murray Levin in his book,  Political Hysteria in America: The Democratic Capacity for Repression wrote that the "Red Scare" was "a nation-wide anti-radical hysteria provoked by a mounting fear and anxiety that a Bolshevik revolution in America was imminent—a revolution that would change Church, home, marriage, civility, and the American way of Life." (book link) (see Jan 21)



Remove term: August 17 Peace Love Activism August 17 Peace Love Activism

August 17, 1945:  Indonesia independent from the Netherlands. (see Sept 2)


Remove term: August 17 Peace Love Activism August 17 Peace Love Activism

August 17, 1960: Gabon independent from France. (see Sept 22)

August 17 Music et al

Remove term: August 17 Peace Love Activism August 17 Peace Love Activism

August 17, 1960: The Beatles arrived very early in the morning om Hamburg and the Indra Club was closed. A manager from a neighboring club found someone to open it up, and the group slept on the red leather seats in the alcoves.

The group played at the club on the same night. Management  said that they could sleep in the Bambi Kino's storeroom. The Bambi Kino was small cinema and the storage room was cold, noisy, and directly behind the movie screen.

Paul McCartney later said, "We lived backstage in the Bambi Kino, next to the toilets, and you could always smell them. The room had been an old storeroom, and there were just concrete walls and nothing else. No heat, no wallpaper, not a lick of paint; and two sets of bunk beds, with not very much covers—Union Jack flags—we were frozen."[30] Lennon remembered: "We were put in this pigsty. We were living in a toilet, like right next to the ladies' toilet. We'd go to bed late and be woken up next day by the sound of the cinema show and old German fraus [women] pissing next door." After having been awoken in this fashion, the group were then obliged to use cold water from the urinals for washing and shaving. They were paid £2.50 each a day, seven days a week, playing from 8:30-9:30, 10 until 11, 11:30-12:30, and finishing the evening playing from one until two o'clock in the morning.

German customers found the group's name comical, as "Beatles" sounded like "Peedles", which meant a small boy's penis.[see Aug 18)
Bob Dylan
August 17, 1963: Peter, Paul, and Mary’s cover of “Blowin’ In the Wind” reached number two on the Billboard pop chart, with sales exceeding one million copies. (see Oct 8)
People Got to Be Free
August 17 – September 20, 1968: “People Got to Be Free” by the Young Rascals #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
see Woodstock for much more
August 17: day three of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair.  Abbie Hoffman interrupted The Who’s set to protest John Sinclair’s imprisonment. (Black History, see Dec 11, 1971)

The Cold War

see Francis Gary Powers for more
August 17, 1960: the trial of U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers began in Moscow. (CW & Powers, see Aug 19)
Cuban Missile Crisis
August 17, 1962: US Central Intelligence Agency Director John McCone stated at a high-level meeting that circumstantial evidence suggested that the Soviet Union was constructing offensive missile installations in Cuba. Dean Rusk and Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara disagree with McCone, arguing that the build-up is purely defensive. (Cold War, see Aug 25; Cuban Missile Crisis, see Aug 29)


August 17, 1965: after a deserter from the 1st Vietcong regiment revealed that an attack was imminent against the U.S. Marine base at Chu Lai, the American army launched Operation Starlite. In this, the first major battle of the Vietnam War, the United States scored a resounding victory. Ground forces, artillery from Chu Lai, ships, and air support combined to kill nearly 700 Vietcong soldiers. U.S. forces sustain 45 dead and more than 200 wounded. (see Aug 31)
August 17 Peace Love Activism

US Labor History

Juan de la Cruz
August 17, 1973: Juan de la Cruz, 60, and his wife were walking a picket line along the highway between Arvin and Weedpatch, California. As a caravan of non-union workers drove out of the fields, five shots were fired from one of the pick-up trucks. Juan de la Cruz saved his wife, shoving her to the ground, but was himself killed by a twenty-two caliber semiautomatic rifle slug just below his heart.

Bayani Advencula, a 20 year old Filipino worker, was identified as the pick-up truck passenger who fired the rifle into the picket line. Advencula was charged with murder and then freed on $1,500 bail. Advencula was later acquitted of all charges by a Kern County jury. The county paid for the cost of his trial. (see January 15, 1974)
August 17, 1985: members of a local of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) union in Austin, Minnesota, go on strike against the Hormel Foods Corporation, ignoring the advice of their national union. Highlighting the confusion within the labor movement, the workers continue their action even after the company vows to reopen the plant with replacement workers. Some union members cross the picket lines and the strike drags on for ten months with no gains for union members. The futile action is emblematic of a labor movement in disarray. (see Sept 22)
Student Rights
August 17, 2015: the National Labor Relations Board dismissed a petition by Northwestern football players who were seeking to unionize, effectively denying their claim that they were university employees and should be allowed to collectively bargain. In a unanimous decision that was a clear victory for the college sports establishment, the five-member board declined to exert its jurisdiction in the case and preserved one of the N.C.A.A.’s core principles: that college athletes were primarily students.

                The board did not rule directly on the central question in the case — whether the players, who spend long hours on football and help generate millions of dollars for Northwestern, are university employees. Instead, it found that the novelty of the petition and its potentially wide-ranging impacts on college sports would not have promoted “stability in labor relations.” (LH, see Aug 27; SR, see June 5, 2017)


August 17, 1998: President Bill Clinton became the first sitting president to testify before a grand jury investigating his conduct. After the questioning at the White House is finished, Clinton goes on national TV to admit he had an inappropriate relationship with Monica Lewinsky. (see Aug 18)


Iraq War II
August 17, 2009: the AP reported that Iraqi militiamen were torturing and killing gay Iraqi men with impunity in a systematic campaign that had spread from Baghdad to several other cities, a prominent human rights group said in a report. Human Rights Watch called on the Iraqi government to act urgently to stop the abuses, warning that so-called social cleansing poses a new threat to security even as other violence recedes. [Associated Press, 8/17/09] (see Aug 21)
Jim Cato and Joe Stapleton

Remove term: August 17 Peace Love Activism August 17 Peace Love Activism

August 17, 2015: attorneys for a gay couple who sued a Texas county clerk who denied them a marriage license on religious grounds announced they had reached a settlement of the lawsuit. In a statement, attorneys for Jim Cato and Joe Stapleton said that they’ve settled their federal lawsuit against Hood County Clerk Katie Lang for what they’ve spent in attorneys’ fees — almost $44,000. Cato and Stapleton had filed the lawsuit July 6 after they’d been refused a marriage license for almost a week after the Supreme Court recognized the right of gay couples to marry. The couple was granted a license the day they filed their lawsuit. (see Aug 26)

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What's so funny about peace, love, and activism?