September 4

September 4, 1875, BLACK HISTORY & Race Riots: Republicans in Hinds County, Mississippi, held a barbecue and meeting in the town of Clinton that was attended by 3000 people. Hoping to curb the risk of violent political conflict, Clinton authorities appointed special police and prohibited serving liquor. When the Republican speakers began making their political speeches in the afternoon, Democratic party representatives unexpectedly joined the meeting and requested speaking time. In the interest of keeping peace, Republicans accommodated the request and arranged for a public discussion between Judge Amos R. Johnston, a Democratic candidate for state senate, and Captain H.T. Fisher, Republican editor of the Jackson Times.

Both speakers were to be given an equal amount of speaking time, and Johnston spoke first, giving a cordial address. Fisher expressed optimism that meetings between the parties could take place peacefully in the future but eight minutes into his address the crowd was disrupted by an altercation. Soon after, a gunfight erupted between whites and blacks, and bystanders panicked in a rush to escape the danger. About 15 minutes later, three whites and four blacks were dead, and six whites and 20 blacks were wounded.

Newspapers reported that the blacks who fired weapons did so in self defense but local whites were enraged by the show of force. That night, armed whites from Clinton and Vicksburg formed roving bands intent on killing black men. By the next day, an estimated 50 blacks had been killed and many more had been forced into the woods and swampland to avoid attack, where they remained until the violence subsided on September 6, 1875.



September 4, 1886, Native Americans: Apache chief Geronimo surrendered to U.S. government troops. For 30 years, the Native American warrior had battled to protect his tribe’s homeland; however, by 1886 the Apaches were exhausted and hopelessly outnumbered. General Nelson Miles accepted Geronimo’s surrender, making him the last Indian warrior to formally give in to U.S. forces and signaling the end of the Indian Wars in the Southwest.



September 4, 1949, The Red Scare, McCarthyism, and the Cold War , BLACK HISTORY & TERRORISM: attending from a re-scheduled August 27 concert at which anti-Communist vigilantes attacked concert-goers with baseball bats and rocks and blocked a concert in Peekskill, New York, more than 140 attendees were injured in the “Peekskill Riots.”. The victims were among the 20,000 people leaving a concert featuring African-American Paul Robeson, well-known for his strong pro-unionism, civil rights activism and left-wing affiliations. The departing concert-goers had to drive through a miles-long gauntlet of rock-throwing racists and others chanting “go on back to Russia, you niggers” and “white niggers”

September 4, 1951, Technological Milestone: in the first live coast-to-coast TV broadcast, President Harry S. Truman addressed the nation from the Japanese peace treaty conference in San Francisco.

September 4, 1954, The Red Scare, McCarthyism, and the Cold War: Lucille Ball, star of the enormously popular television show I Love Lucy, was interviewed in private by an investigator with the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) on this day. She had registered to vote as a Communist in the 1930s but was not otherwise active in the Communist Party. The I Love Lucy show was the most popular television program at the time, and HUAC was apparently reluctant to publicly challenge her.

September 4, 1962, The Beatles before their US appearance: following The Beatles’ first session for EMI on 6 June 1962, they returned for a second attempt at recording their debut single. This was Ringo Starr’s first recording session with the group.

September 4, 1968, Vietnam: the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) delivered the fourth in a series of reports on the anti-Vietnam War movement, entitled “Restless Youth.” The reports had been ordered by President Lyndon Johnson, who was convinced that the movement was supported by foreign governments. CIA Director Richard Helms told Johnson that spying within the U.S. would violate the CIA charter and be illegal, but Johnson ordered him to do it anyway. After their meeting, the secret CIA spying began on August 15, 1967. None of the CIA investigations reported any foreign government support for the anti-war movement. The first three reports were delivered to the president on November 15, 1967; December 22, 1967, and January 5, 1968.

The CIA spying continued and evolved into a larger program, known as CHAOS, which The New York Times exposed on December 22, 1974. Following the revelations — and enormous political uproar — about the CIA by the Times, President Gerald Ford tried to head off Congressional investigations by creating the Rockefeller Commission to investigate the CIA on January 4, 1975, but that effort failed when Congress established its own committees to investigate the CIA and the other intelligence agencies. The Senate created the Church Committee on January 27, 1974, and the House created the Pike Committee on February 19, 1975.