January 18

January 18

US Labor History

January 18

January 18, 1909:  the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Moyer v. Peabody that a governor and officers of a state National Guard may imprison anyone—in the case at hand, striking miners in Colorado—without probable cause “in a time of insurrection” and deny the person the right of appeal.

Birth Control

January 18, 1939: at the 18th annual meeting of the American Birth Control League (ABCL), Margaret Sanger’s organization, the group agreed to merge with the Birth Control Clinical Research Bureau to create the Birth Control Foundation of America. The new group eventually adopted the name Planned Parenthood Foundation, by which it is known today.

                Margaret Sanger, the founder of the birth control movement in America, was reportedly furious when the name “Planned Parenthood” was adopted. Throughout her career, she had always refused to accept the use of euphemism for the term “birth control.”

Vietnam

January 18, 1950: People's Republic of China formally recognized the communist Democratic Republic of Vietnam and agreed to furnish it military assistance. 

January 18

January 18, 1962: the US began spraying foliage with herbicides in South Vietnam, in order to reveal the whereabouts of Vietcong guerrillas.

January 18

January 18, 1971: in a televised speech, Senator George S. McGovern (D-South Dakota) began his antiwar campaign for the 1972 Democratic presidential nomination by vowing to bring home all U.S. soldiers from Vietnam if he were elected.

BLACK HISTORY

January 18

January 18, 1957: Federal Judge Hobart H. Grooms ruled that University of Alabama officials were justified in expelling Autherine Lucy Foster. (see Autherine Lucy Foster for full story)

January 18, 1960: the City of Atlanta approved a plan to desegregate schools.
January 18
Cox
January 18, 1965: B Elton Cox had been the leader of a civil rights demonstration in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, of 2,000 Black students protesting segregation and the arrest and imprisonment the previous day of other Black students who had participated in a protest against racial segregation. The group assembled a few blocks from the courthouse, where Cox identified himself to officers as the group's leader and explained the purpose of the demonstration. Following his refusal to disband the group, he led it in an orderly march toward the courthouse. In the vicinity of the courthouse, officers stopped Cox who, after explaining the purpose and program of the demonstration, was told by the Police Chief that he could hold the meeting so long as he confined it to the west side of the street. Cox directed the group to the west sidewalk, across the street from the courthouse and 101 feet from its steps. There, the group, standing five feet deep and occupying almost the entire block but not obstructing the street, displayed signs and sang songs which evoked response from the students in the courthouse jail. Cox addressed the group. The Sheriff, construing as inflammatory appellant's concluding exhortation to the students to "sit in" at uptown lunch counters, ordered dispersal of the group which, not being directly forthcoming, was effected by tear gas. Cox was arrested the next day and was convicted of peace disturbance, obstructing public passages, and courthouse picketing. The Louisiana Supreme Court affirmed the convictions, two of which (peace disturbance and obstructing public passages) were involved in this case.

                On January 18, 1965 in Cox v. Louisiana, the US Supreme Court ruled that held that a state government cannot employ "breach of the peace" statutes against protesters engaging in peaceable demonstrations that may potentially incite violence. 

January 18, 1965: Black civil rights advocates met at Brown Chapel. Following speeches and prayers, King and John Lewis lead 300 marchers out of the church. Selma Police Chief Wilson Baker allowed them to march in small groups to the courthouse to register despite Hare's (July 9, 1964) injunction, but Sheriff Jim Clark has them line up in an alley beside the courthouse, where they are out of sight, and left them there. None were registered.

January 18

January 18, 1966: Robert C. Weaver becomes the first HUD Secretary. He also became the first Black person appointed to the Cabinet. (see NYT article/obit)

Music

January 18

January 18 – February 7, 1960: “Running Bear” by Johnny Preston #1 Billboard Hot 100. Second of three #1 songs in a row in which a person or persons die. The song was written by J. P. Richardson (aka The Big Bopper) with background vocals by Richardson and George Jones, who do the Indian chanting of "UGO UGO" during the three verses, as well as the Indian war cries. (see Running Bear for more)

January 18, 1964: the Beatles' "I Want To Hold Your Hand" entered Billboard  at No. 45. 

World Trade Center

January 18

January 18, 1964: plans to build the New York World Trade Center announced.

Clarence Earl Gideon

January 18

January 18, 1972: after his acquittal, Gideon resumed his previous way of life and married again some time later. He died of cancer in Fort Lauderdale, Florida at age 61. Gideon's family in Missouri accepted his body and buried him in an unmarked grave. The local chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union later added a granite headstone, inscribed with a quote from a letter Gideon wrote to his attorney, Abe Fortas. 

Iran–Contra Affair

January 18

January 18, 1994: prosecutor Lawrence Walsh released his final report in which he said former President Reagan had acquiesced in a cover-up of the scandal. Reagan called the accusation "baseless."

Sexual Abuse of Children

January 18, 2002:  defrocked Boston priest John Geoghan, 66, was convicted of indecent assault and battery as a priest sex scandal in the archdiocese widens. Geoghan, 66, has been accused of abusing 130 children while he was actively serving as a priest in the Archdiocese of Boston over a 30-year period. He faces more criminal and civil suits.  On February 21, 2002 Geoghan was sentenced to 9-10 years in prison as the archdiocese continues to reel from the scandal. The extent of the cover-up and the sheer number of priests involved has shocked Boston's large Catholic community, leading to calls for Cardinal Bernard Law to step down. Meanwhile, new cases are being reported in several other states.

 

January 17

January 17

Feminism

January 17

in January 1792: Deborah Samson petitioned the Massachusetts State Legislature for pay which the army had withheld from her because she was a woman. Her petition passed through the Senate and was approved, then signed by Governor John Hancock. The General Court of Massachusetts verified her service and wrote that she "exhibited an extraordinary instance of female heroism by discharging the duties of a faithful gallant soldier, and at the same time preserving the virtue and chastity of her gender, unsuspected and unblemished". The court awarded her a total of 34 pounds.

US Labor History

January 17

January 17, 1915: organized and led by radical labor organizer, Lucy Parsons, more than 1,500 people march in Chicago, demanding relief from hunger and high levels of unemployment in the city. Parsons was described by the Chicago Police Department as “more dangerous than a thousand rioters.” 

January 17, 1962: an order by President Kennedy allowed federal employees to organize, join unions, and bargain collectively with the government. It did not give them the right to strike. The move begins an era of public employee unionization.

BLACK HISTORY

January 17, 1834: the Alabama State Legislature passed Act 44 as part of a series of increasingly restrictive laws governing the behavior of free and enslaved blacks within the state.

                In the immediate aftermath of the infamous Nat Turner slave rebellion in Virginia (see August 21 - 22, 1831), Alabama passed a statute in 1833 that made it unlawful for free blacks to settle in Alabama. That statute provided that freed blacks found in Alabama would be given thirty days to vacate the state. After thirty days, the freed slave could be subject to a penalty of thirty-nine lashes and receive an additional twenty-day period to leave the state. After that period had expired, the free person could be sold back into slavery with proceeds of the sale going to the state and to those who participated in apprehending him.

                Act 44 expanded on this legislation by specifying a series of procedures that had to be followed for a slave to be freed within the state. One of the requirements was that emancipation for an enslaved person could take effect only outside of Alabama's borders. Further, if an emancipated slave returned to Alabama, he could be lawfully captured and sold back into slavery. In fact, Act 44 required sheriffs and other law enforcement officers to actively attempt to apprehend freed slaves who had entered Alabama for any reason.

January 17

January 17, 194: Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr. born in Louisville, Kentucky. About Clay’s childhood, Ali’s younger brother, Rudy said “All the time, he used to ask me to throw rocks at him. I thought he was crazy, but he’d dodge every one. No matter how many I threw, I could never hit him.” (see Muhammad Ali for more)

January 13

January 17, 1970: George Jackson was charged along with Fleeta Drumgo and John Clutchette for murdering Soledad prison guard John V. Mills. Mills was beaten and thrown from the third floor of Soledad’s Y wing. This was a capital offense and a successful conviction could put them in the gas chamber.

                Mills  was apparently murdered  in retaliation for the shooting deaths of three black inmates by a Soledad officer Opie G Miller the year prior. Miller was not convicted of any crime, a grand jury ruling his actions to be justifiable homicide. (see January 13 for more)

January 17, 2013: James A. Hood died in Gadsden, Ala. He was 70. Hood integrated the University of Alabama on June 11, 1963 together with his fellow student Vivian Malone after Gov. George C. Wallace capitulated to the federal government in a signature moment of the civil rights movement known as the “stand in the schoolhouse door,” 

Cultural Milestone

January 17

January 17, 1920: the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution took effect and prohibition began.  Section 1 read:

                After one year from the ratification of this article the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited. 

LSD

January 17

January 17, 1966: Ken Kesey tried for marijuana possession arrest in October 1965. He was found guilty and sentenced to six months on a work farm and three years probation.

Nuclear News

January 17

January 17, 1966: a B-52 bomber collided with a KC-135 jet tanker over Spain's Mediterranean coast, dropping three 70-kiloton hydrogen bombs near the town of Palomares and one in the sea. None explode.

DEATH PENALTY

January 17, 1977: a Utah firing squad made Gary Gilmore the first person executed in the U.S. in almost 10 years.

January 17, 2006:  California executed Clarence Ray Allen, its oldest death row inmate, minutes after his 76th birthday. The execution took place despite arguments that putting to death an elderly, blind and wheelchair-bound man was cruel and unusual punishment. Allen arranged a triple murder 25 years earlier. 

Iraq/Iran

January 17, 1986: 4000 more Tow missiles for Iran authorized by Reagan, supplied through Israel.

January 17, 1991: Iraq fires eight Scud missiles into Israel.

January 17, 2004:  500 U.S. soldiers dead in Iraq since the invasion.

Birth Control

January 17, 2014: U.S. District Judge Catherine Eagles ruled that North Carolina law requiring women who want an abortion to have an ultrasound and then have a medical provider describe the image to them is a violation of constitutional free-speech rights. Eagles stated that states don't have the power to force a health care provider to be the bearer of what she called an "ideological message in favor of carrying a pregnancy to term."

Environmental Issues

January 17, 2015: oil pumped in the Bakken formation in North Dakota and Montana leaked from a pipeline into the Yellowstone River near Glendive, Montana. The 12-inch crude line was shut, according to Bill Salvin, an outside spokesman for True Companies, whose Bridger Pipeline LLC operated the Poplar pipe system. As much as 1,200 barrels of oil leaked from the pipeline, much of which went into the Yellowstone River, said Dave Parker, spokesman for Montana Governor Steve Bullock. 

January 16

January 16

Native Americans

January 16

January 16, 1832: the General Assembly of Alabama enacted provisions prohibiting the Creek and Cherokee from practicing customs or making laws that conflicted with Alabama law. The provision stated, “All laws, usages and customs now used, enjoyed, or practiced, by the Creek and Cherokee nations of Indians, within the limits of this State, contrary to the constitution and laws of this State, be, and the same are hereby abolished.”

                This statute was created just three years after another that effectively extended the jurisdiction of Alabama into Creek territory. In response to that first law, and white settlers’ increasing unlawful encroachment into the Creek Nation, the Creek Council repeatedly – yet unsuccessfully – petitioned the federal government for assistance and protection.

                Even without federal support, many Creeks refused to succumb to mounting pressure to emigrate west of the Mississippi River, and their leaders continued organizing efforts to secure their tribal lands. These efforts were frustrated by this 1832 law, which also declared it illegal for tribal leaders to “meet in any counsel, assembly, or convention” and create “any law for said tribe, contrary to the laws and constitution of this State.” Punishment for violating this law was imprisonment “in the common jail of the proper county, for not less than two, nor more than four, months.”

                The 1832 law also provided that the Cherokee and Creek could only testify in court in suits involving other Cherokee and Creek, effectively ensuring that Creeks defrauded and illegally deprived of their land by white intruders would have no recourse in the Alabama courts. White settlers, speculators, and those intending to illegally occupy tribal lands were enticed by the law preventing any suit for trespass and traveled to Creek territory in Alabama to take advantage of the law. Both the Alabama and federal government’s singular goal was removal of Indians from Alabama to the Western Territory and this law furthered those aims. By 1837, 23,000 Creeks had emigrated out of the Southeast

January 16, 2000: The activist group Grass Roots Oyate began its occupation of the Red Cloud Building at the Oglala Sioux Tribal Headquarters, Pine Ridge Reservation, in protest of what they deemed the corrupt, oppressive and ineffective politics of tribal leadership. Federal officials removed financial records the following day, and the elected tribal president was suspended. The activists vowed to continue the occupation until their demands were met. 

US Labor History

January 16, 1946: the meatpacking industry in the U.S. effectively shuts down when both the United Packinghouse Workers of America and the Amalgamated Meat Cutters and Butcher Workmen of North America go on strike over wages. Just ten days into the strike, using the War Labor Disputes Act, President Harry Truman seized control of the plants and ordered the workers back to work with the greatest single wage increase ever in the industry.

Billboard

January 16

January 16 – 22, 1961: Bob Newhart’s comedy album returns to #1 for a fourth time.

January 16 - 22, 1965: “Come See About Me” by the Supremes #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. It had already been #1 in December.

Vietnam

January 16, 1968: Youth International Party (YIPPIES!) founded. 

January 16, 1969: an agreement is reached in Paris for the opening of expanded peace talks. It was agreed that representatives of the United States, South Vietnam, North Vietnam, and the National Liberation Front would sit at a circular table without nameplates, flags or markings.

Space Race

January 16, 1969: two manned Soviet Soyuz spaceships became the first vehicles to dock in space and transfer personnel. 

IRAN

January 16, 1979:  Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi of Iran flees Iran with his family, relocating to Egypt. 

BLACK HISTORY

January 16

January 16, 1989: three days of rioting began in Miami when police officer William Lozano fatally shot a black motorcyclist, causing a crash that also claimed the life of a passenger. 

Dissolution of the USSR

January 16, 1990:  in the wake of vicious fighting between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces in Azerbaijan, the Soviet government sent in 11,000 troops to quell the conflict.

 The fighting--and the official Soviet reaction to it--was an indication of the increasing ineffectiveness of the central Soviet government in maintaining control in the Soviet republics, and of Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev's weakening political power. 

IRAQ War I

January 16

January 16, 1991: Operation Desert Storm began with air strikes against Iraq.

Birth Control

January 16

January 16, 1997: Eric Rudolph bombed an abortion clinic in the Atlanta suburb of Sandy Springs
January 16
LGBTQ
January 16, 2015: the Supreme Court agreed to decide whether all 50 states must allow gay and lesbian couples to marry. The court’s announcement made it likely that it would resolve one of the great civil rights questions of the age before its current term ends in June.

The justices ducked the issue October, refusing to hear appeals from rulings allowing same-sex marriage in five states. That surprise action delivered a tacit victory for gay rights, immediately expanding the number of states with same-sex marriage to 24 from 19, along with the District of Columbia.

Largely as a consequence of the Supreme Court’s failure to act in October, the number of states allowing same-sex marriage had grown to 36, and more than 70 percent of Americans lived in places where gay couples could marry.

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