April 23 Peace Love Activism

April 23 Peace Love Activism

Women’s Health

Mary Ware Dennett

April 23 Peace Love Activism

April 23, 1929: feminist and women’s health and sex education activist Mary Ware Dennett was convicted of obscenity for sending her sex education pamphlet, The Sex Side of Life: An Explanation for Young People, through the mails. Dennett had written the pamphlet for her two adolescent sons fifteen years earlier. As more people found out about it, she was flooded with requests for copies, and she finally published it for general circulation. Her prosecution became a national cause célèbre, and a national defense committee composed of several prominent Americans was organized. (BC, see “in the 1930s”; Dennett, see March 3, 1930)
Take Our Daughters to Work Day
April 23, 1992: The first Take Our Daughters to Work Day takes place. The event was founded by the Ms. Foundation for Women to create an opportunity for girls to share and communicate their expectations for the future. It is held on the fourth Thursday of every April. The program eventually expands to Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day in 2003. (see  Feminism  June 29, 1992)

The Red Scare

Soviet Foreign Minister Molotov
April 23, 1945: Soviet Foreign Minister Molotov arrived at the White House for a meeting with the new president, Harry Truman, who immediately lashed out at Molotov, "in words of one syllable," as the president later recalled. As Molotov listened incredulously, Truman charged that the Soviets were breaking their agreements and that Stalin needed to keep his word. At the end of Truman's tirade, Molotov indignantly declared that he had never been talked to in such a manner. Truman, not to be outdone, replied that if Molotov had kept his promises, he would not need to be talked to like that. Molotov stormed out of the meeting. Truman was delighted with his own performance, telling one friend that he gave the Soviet official "the straight one-two to the jaw." The president was convinced that a tough stance was the only way to deal with the communists, a policy that came to dominate America's early Cold War policies toward the Soviets. (see July 24)


School Desegregation
April 23, 1951: students attending Moton High School, Prince Edward County, Virginia led a walk out to protest separate and unequal school facilities. NAACP attorneys represented the students as they spearheaded the challenge to the system of segregated schools in Virginia. This case, along with others, helped to propel the passing of the 1954 landmark desegregation law in the United States. (BH, see Apr 28; SS, see May 17, 1954)
William Lewis Moore

April 23 Peace Love Activism

April 23, 1963: William Lewis Moore, a postman from Baltimore, was shot and killed in Attalla, Ala., during a one-man march against segregation. Moore had planned to deliver a letter to the governor of Mississippi urging an end to intolerance.

The gun belonged to a Floyd Simpson, whom Moore had argued with earlier that day, but no charges were ever filed against him.

Moore is among 40 martyrs listed on the Civil Rights Memorial in Montgomery, Ala. (see Apr 29)

Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song

April 23 Peace Love Activism

April 23, 1971: Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song released. Melvin Van Peebles wrote, produced, scored, directed and starred in his movie. After beating a couple of white cops he witnessed brutalizing a local black revolutionary, sex show performer Sweetback (Van Peebles) has to go on the run. As he flees through decrepit South Central Los Angeles, Sweetback demonstrates his formidable potency through sex as well as violence, evading the police manhunt by any means necessary. As Sweetback runs off into the sunset, however, Van Peebles warns that the story, like the 1960s racial strife, isn't over. The movie’s huge financial success prompted imitation by Hollywood studios that produced black-oriented films such as Shaft and Super Fly. (see Aug 21)

April 23 Music et al

see The Nerk Twins
April 23 & 24, 1960: the first of only 2 performances ever by The Nerk Twins at the Fox and Hounds pub in Caversham, Berkshire, UK. The Nerk Twins were actually Paul McCartney and John Lennon. From Paul in Anthology: "That spring of 1960, John and I went down to a pub in Reading, The Fox And Hound, run by my cousin Betty Robbins and her husband. We worked behind the bar. It was a lovely experience that came from John and I just hitching off down there. At the end of the week we played in the pub as The Nerk Twins. We even made our own posters." (see May 5)
Judy Garland
April 23, 1961: Judy Garland recorded Live at Carnegie Hall. (see Sept 18)
Merry Pranksters
April 23, 1965:  police raided the Prankster camp. Ken Kesey charged with marijuana possession. (see May 8 – 10)


New York City Bans Folk Music
April 23, 1961: an off-off-Broadway musical with Park Commissioner New-bold Morris as the villain was staged between police barriers on a street near Washington Square Park. (see April 30)

Space Race

Vladimir Komarov

April 23 Peace Love Activism

April 23, 1967: Vladimir Komarov commanded Soyuz 1. On its descent, the parachute became entangled and Soyuz 1 slams into the ground at high speed, killing Komarov. It is the first death to occur during a space flight. (see January 9, 1968)


Columbia University

April 23 Peace Love Activism

April 23, 1968: 300 Columbia students barricaded the office of the college dean, charging the university with supporting the Vietnam War and violating Harlem residents’ civil rights. (see April 24)
My Lai Massacre
April 23, 1969: the Office of the Inspector General began a full inquiry into the My Lai incident (My Lai, see June 5; Vietnam see April 24)
Gerald Ford

April 23 Peace Love Activism

April 23, 1975:  at a speech at Tulane University, President Gerald Ford said the Vietnam War was finished as far as America was concerned. "Today, Americans can regain the sense of pride that existed before Vietnam. But it cannot be achieved by re-fighting a war." This was devastating news to the South Vietnamese, who were desperately pleading for U.S. support as the North Vietnamese surrounded Saigon for the final assault on the capital city. (see April 29)
April 23 Peace Love Activism

Consumer Protection

Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act

April 23 Peace Love Activism

April 23, 1970: President Nixon signed the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act which banned the advertising of cigarettes on television and radio. (see January 2, 1971)


Dr. Robert Gallo

April 23 Peace Love Activism

April 23, 1984: Margaret Heckler, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, announced that Dr. Robert Gallo and his colleagues at the National Cancer Institute had found the cause of AIDS, the retrovirus HTLV-III. (see July 13)

Environmental Issues

Martinez Manufacturing Complex
April 23, 1988: a spill of approximately 9,400 bbl of San Joaquin Valley (CA) crude oil occurred from the Shell Oil Company Martinez Manufacturing Complex. Part of the high viscosity oil eventually reached Carquinez Strait and Suisun Bay. Areas initially affected by the spill included a 103-acre freshwater marsh, the shorelines of Carquinez Strait and Suisun Bay, saltwater marshes associated with both the strait and the bay, three marinas, two local parks, and waterfront properties in Benicia. (see February 14, 1989)
Fracking earthquakes
April 23, 2015: for the first time, the U.S. Geological Survey unveiled a map of earthquakes thought to be triggered by human activity in the eastern and central United States. Oklahoma was by far the worst-hit state recently, according to the USGS study (see Apr 21 above). The state last year had more earthquakes magnitude 3 or higher than California, part of a huge increase recorded in recent years.

Seismic activity in Texas near the Dallas-Fort Worth area had also increased substantially. Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico and Ohio had all experienced more frequent quakes in the last year. All of the areas highlighted on the map “are located near deep fluid injection wells or other industrial activities capable of inducing earthquakes,” the study said. Mark Petersen, chief of the USGS' National Seismic Hazard Project, said the pattern of increased quakes was troubling. (see Apr 26)

César E. Chávez

April 23 Peace Love Activism

April 23, 1993: Chávez died peacefully in his sleep in San Luis, AZ. (see May 1993)

Sexual Abuse of Children

April 23, 2002:  Pope John Paul II called emergency meeting with US cardinals in Rome. (see May 2)

Cultural Milestone

April 23 Peace Love Activism

April 23, 2005: co-founder Jawed Karim uploaded the first video to YouTube.com.

Iraq War II

April 23, 2006:  a former top CIA official, Tyler Drumheller, revealed evidence that Bush was told before the war by a high-level Iraqi informant that Iraq did not possess WMD. (see May 18)

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April 22 Peace Love Activism

April 22 Peace Love Activism


April 22 Peace Love Activism

April 22, 1864: Congress authorized the use of the phrase "In God We Trust" on U.S. coins. (see “in 1890”)

Native Americans

April 22 Peace Love Activism

April 22, 1889: the Oklahoma Land Rush of 1889. The land run started at high noon with an estimated 50,000 people lined up for their piece of the available two million acres (see December 15, 1890)


Alien radicals
April 22, 1935: in a telegram to ACLU Director Roger Baldwin, Rep. Hamilton Fish, (R–New York), one of the most vocal anti-communist and anti-radical members of Congress, said he did not believe alien radicals were entitled to freedom of speech. He added that radical aliens who promote “strikes, riots,” and other forms of “unrest” should be deported and their jobs given to “loyal American citizens.” (see Nov 26)
New York Worlds Fair

April 22 Peace Love Activism

April 22, 1964: New York Worlds Fair opened. President Johnson and fair organizers were met with picketers and sit-ins, mostly civil rights organizers.  They managed to heckle Johnson through his entire speech at the Federal Pavilion and sit in at several fair venues.  In particular, protesters camped out in shrubbery outside the pavilion and had to be forcibly removed.  "It was dreadful, dreadful," said one state official.

                By the end of the day, over 300 people had been arrested by police.  The video below doesn't paint the same picture. (see June 22)

Anti-picketing law
April 22, 1968: in 1965 the Supreme Court had remanded the case after a federal district court refused to grant an injunction against the law, which made it unlawful for individuals engaged in picketing “to obstruct or interfere with free ingress or egress to and from any public premises” (see Apr 26) 


Ernst Rothlin
April 22, 1943: after receiving Albert Hofmann's report regarding the effects of LSD-25, professor Ernst Rothlin was the second person to try the drug. Rothlin was Sandoz's chief pharmacologist at the time. Albert Hofmann gave Rothlin a small (60 microgram) dose of LSD about 1/4 of the dose Hofmann had tried.

In a Michael Horowitz interview with Albert Hofmann in 1976, Hoffmann stated: "Professor Ernst Rothlin, head of the Sandoz pharmacological department at the time. Rothlin was dubious about LSD ; he claimed he had a strong will and could suppress the effects of drugs. But after he took 60 micrograms, one quarter of the dose I had taken earlier, he was convinced. I had to laugh as he described his fantastic visions."  (see June 12, 1943)
First International Conference on LSD
April 22 – 24, 1959: the Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation held the First International Conference on LSD Therapy 9 in Princeton, NJ. (see  "in 1960")


April 22, 1944: a sit-in on this day, challenging racial discrimination at Thompson’s Restaurant in Washington, D.C., was one of several sit-ins during the mid-1940s and the late 1950s, which have been overshadowed by the famous sit-ins that began February 1, 1960. The sit-in was led by African-American students at Howard University, who had staged an earlier one the year before, on April 17, 1943.

                The sit-ins were eventually quashed by Southerners in Congress who had power of the budget for Washington, D.C. and Howard University. (see June 16)

Nuclear/Chemical News

Yucca Flat
April 22, 1952: for the first time viewers witnessed live the detonation of an atomic bomb at the U.S. testing site in Yucca Flat, Nevada on television, The atomic bomb tested was larger than those dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in World War II. (see “in June”)



Investigating Military
April 22, 1954: Senator Joseph McCarthy began hearings investigating the Army, which he charged with being "soft" on communism. The televised hearings gave the American public their first view of McCarthy in action, and his recklessness, indignant bluster, and bullying tactics quickly resulted in his fall from prominence. (see June 2)

April 22 Music et al


April 22 Peace Love Activism

April 22, 1969: the  first complete performance of The Who's rock opera Tommy during a performance in Dolton, England.


Clark Clifford
April 22, 1968: in a news conference, Defense Secretary Clark Clifford declared that the South Vietnamese have "acquired the capacity to begin to insure their own security [and] they are going to take over more and more of the fighting." (see April 23)
Antiwar demonstrations
April 22, 1972:  antiwar demonstrations prompted by the accelerated U.S. bombing in Southeast Asia draw somewhere between 30,000 to 60,000 marchers in New York; 30,000 to 40,000 in San Francisco; 10,000 to 12,000 in Los Angeles; and smaller gatherings in Chicago and other cities throughout the country. The new bombing campaign was in response to the North Vietnam's massive invasion of South Vietnam in March. As the demonstrations were happening, bitter fighting continued all over South Vietnam. In the Mekong Delta, for example, the fighting was the heaviest it had been in 18 months. (see April 25)
Richard M. Nixon
April 22, 1994, Richard M. Nixon (81), died at New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center, four days after suffering a stroke.
April 22 Peace Love Activism

Environmental Issues

Earth Day
April 22, 1970: an estimated 20 million people worldwide observed the first Earth Day.  Senator Gaylord Nelson promoted Earth Day, calling upon students to fight for environmental causes and oppose environmental degradation with the same energy that they displayed in opposing the Vietnam War. (see Sept 15)
Pegasus Pipeline oil spill

April 22 Peace Love Activism

April 22, 2013: the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S,. Department of Justice announced that Exxon Mobil Pipeline Co. and Mobil Pipe Line Co. agreed to pay a $5.07 million civil penalty to settle alleged violations of the Clean Water Act and Arkansas state environmental laws in connection with the 2013 crude oil spill from the Pegasus Pipeline in Mayflower, Arkansas. (see Apr 23)


Barbara Walters
April 22, 1976: Barbara Walters accepted a five-year contract as anchorwoman for the evening news with the ABC network. She is the first woman newscaster on U.S. network television.  (see June 28)


Iran–Contra Affair

April 22, 1986: US arrested 10 officials involved in Iran arms sales. (see Oct 5)


David Ritcheson

April 22 Peace Love Activism

April 22, 2006: two white teenagers, David Tuck and Keith Turner, attacked David Ritcheson, a 16-year-old Latino boy at a house party in Spring, Texas. Ritcheson allegedly tried to kiss a white girl at the party. Tuck and Turner knocked Ritcheson unconscious, dragged him outside, and beat him for approximately fifteen minutes while calling him a “beaner” and shouting “white power” and “Aryan nation.” The white teens then stripped Ritcheson naked, and Tuck cut Ritcheson's chest with a knife and burned his stomach and chest 17 times with a cigarette. Next, Turner placed a pole in Ritcheson's rectum and held it in place while Tuck kicked the end of the pole into Ritcheson's rectum. The two teens then poured bleach over Ritcheson's body.

                At least two other white teenagers witnessed the beating but did nothing to help and later went to sleep in the house. The mother of one of the witnesses was home, but claimed she slept through the incident. Medical help was not summoned until hours after the attack, when a witness awoke and found Ritcheson still laying in the backyard.

                After three months in the hospital and more than thirty surgeries, Ritcheson was able to return to school confined to a wheelchair and wearing a colostomy bag. 

Tuck and Keith Turner, 18, eventually were convicted of aggravated sexual assault. Tuck was given a life sentence, Turner 90 years.

Ritcheson jumped to his death from a cruise ship on July 1, 2007. (Terrorism, see May 4; Richeson, see April 7, 2007)


Trayvon Martin Shooting
April 22, 2012: George Zimmerman released on $150,000 bail. (see June 1)

Voting Rights

Crime and Punishment
April 22, 2016: Gov. Terry McAuliffe of Virginia used his executive power to restore voting rights to more than 200,000 convicted felons, circumventing the Republican-run legislature. The action overturned a Civil War-era provision in the state’s Constitution aimed, he said, at disenfranchising African-Americans.

                The sweeping order would enable all felons who have served their prison time and finished parole or probation to register to vote. Most are African-Americans. (VR, see Apr 25, C&P, see Aug 3)

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April 21 Music et al

April 21 Music et al

Roots of Rock

Elvis Presley

April 21 Music et al

April 21, 1956: Elvis Presley had his first number one hit with "Heartbreak Hotel". 

Elvis had recorded the song on January 10, 1956 with his band, The Blue Moon Boys along with guitarist Chet Atkins and pianist Floyd Cramer. His new record label, RCA Records, released it as a single on January 27, 1956. (see May 5)

Good Luck Charm

April 21 Music et al

Exactly six years later, from April 21 – May 4, 1962: “Good Luck Charm” by Elvis Presley became #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. 

Aaron Schroeder and Wally Gold wrote the song. Presley recorded it at RCA Studio B in Nashville, Tennessee (see April 11, 1964)

The Merry Pranksters

April 21 Music et al

April 21, 1965: The Merry Pranksters got a tip that police had a warrant would raid their La Honda (California) camp.   

From Tom Wolfe's Electric Kool Aid Acid Test:  By now the Pranksters had built up so much momentum they begin to feel immune even to a very obvious danger, namely, the cops. The citizens of La Honda were becoming more and more exercised about Kesey and the Pranksters, and so were the San Mateo County sheriff and federal narcotics officials. Not knowing what the hell accounted for the crazy life at Kesey's place, they apparently assumed there was some hard drug use going on—heroin, cocaine, morphine.  Late in 1964 they put Kesey's place under surveillance. The Pranksters knew about it and used to play games with the cops. The main federal narcotics agent in the area was a San Francisco Chinese, Agent William Wong. The Pranksters made a huge sign and put it up on the house: WE'RE CLEAN, WILLIE! It was fun, the cop game. The cops would be out in the woods at night, along the creek, and one of them would step into the creek and get his feet wet and say something. The Pranksters would pick all this up on the remote mikes in the woods, whereupon the voice of Mountain Girl, broadcasting from inside the cabin, would jeer out over an amplifier up in the redwoods: "Hey! Why don't you come in the house and dry off your feet, you cops! Quit playing the cop game and come in and git some nice hot coffee!" The cops were just playing their eternal cop game. That's all it seemed like to the Pranksters. (see April 23)
April 21 Music et al
The Road to Bethel
April 21, 1969: Canned Heat signed ($13,000) (see week of April 28)


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