October 12 Peace Love Activism
October 12, 1871: founded by former Confederate Army officers in December 1865, the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) operated as a secret vigilante group targeting black people and their allies with violent terrorism to resist Reconstruction and re-establish a system of white supremacy in the South. KKK violence was so intense in South Carolina after the Civil War that United States Attorney General Amos Akerman and Army Major Lewis Merrill traveled there to investigate. In York County alone they found evidence of 11 murders and more than 600 whippings and other assaults. When local grand juries failed to take action, Akerman urged President Ulysses S. Grant to intervene, describing the counties as “under the domination of systematic and organized depravity.” Merrill said the situation was a “carnival of crime not paralleled in the history of any civilized community.” On April 20, 1871, President Grant had signed the Ku Klux Klan Act, which made it a federal crime to deprive American citizens of their civil rights through racial terrorism. On October 12, 1871, President Grant warned nine South Carolina counties with prevalent KKK activity that martial law would be declared if the Klan did not disperse. The warning was ignored. (see Oct 17)
October 12, 1995: Jonny Gammage, cousin and business partner of Pittsburgh Steelers football player Ray Seals, was detained during a traffic stop while driving Mr. Seals’s Jaguar in the working-class suburb of Brentwood on the morning of October 12, 1995. According to testimony, Lt. Milton Mullholland pulled Mr. Gammage over for tapping his breaks and called Officer John Votjas for backup. The officers later claimed that Mr. Gammage, who was 5'6" and 165 pounds, pointed an object at the officers – which turned out to be a cell phone – and struggled. Mullholland and Votjas, along with Officer Michael Albert, Sgt. Keith Henderson, and Officer Sean Patterson, ultimately pinned Mr. Gammage face-down on the pavement; he asphyxiated and died after several minutes. On November 27, 1995, Mulholland, Votjas were charged with third degree murder, and Albert was charged with involuntary manslaughter. The charges against Mullholland and Votjas, were later reduced to involuntary manslaughter. Henderson and Patterson were not charged in the incident. Officer Votjas was acquitted by an all-white jury and, a year later, promoted to sergeant; Judge Joseph McCloskey dismissed charges against Mulholland and Albert after two trials resulted in mistrials. In January 1996, Brentwood police chief Wayne Babish, who had called for a complete investigation into Mr. Gammage’s death, was fired by the Brentwood City Council for failing to support the charged officers. Multiple public protests were held in Pittsburgh and elsewhere, calling for “Justice for Jonny” and federal intervention. However, in 1999 the Department of Justice declined to file civil rights charges, stating that there was not enough evidence that unreasonable force had been used. (Fact Sheet on the Murder of Jonny Gammage)(see Oct 16)
Pledge of Allegiance
October 12, 1892: during Columbus Day observances organized to coincide with the opening of the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Illinois, the pledge of allegiance was recited for the first time. Francis Bellamy, a Christian Socialist, had initiated the movement for such a statement and having flags in all classrooms. His pledge was: I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. In 1923: the National Flag Conference called for the words "my Flag" to be changed to "the Flag of the United States," so that new immigrants would not confuse loyalties between their birth countries and the United States. The words "of America" were added a year later. (see June 22, 1942)
October 12 Music et al
October 12 – November 15, 1963, “Sugar Shack” by Jimmy Gilmer & the Fireballs #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
see Robert A. Moog and Herbert A. Deutsch for more
October 12 – 16, 1964: Robert A. Moog and Herbert A. Deutsch introduced and demonstrated their music synthesizer at the convention of the Audio Engineering Society in NYC. (TM, see April 9, 1965; CM, see April 27, 1965)
October 12 – November 15, 1968: Big Brother and the Holding Company’s Cheap Thrills is the Billboard #1 album.
One of the greatest first 10 seconds of any song ever.
“I buried Paul”
October 12, 1969: a DJ on Detroit's WKNR radio station received a phone call telling him that if you play The Beatles 'Strawberry Fields Forever' backwards, you hear John Lennon say the words "I buried Paul." This started a worldwide rumor that Paul McCartney was dead. (see Oct 20)
October 12, 1964: Soviets V. M. Komarov, K. P. Feoktistov and B. B. Yegorov all flew on Voskhod 1, the first mission to send multiple men into space.
October 12, 1968: Equatorial Guinea independent from Spain. (see June 4, 1970)
October 12 Peace Love Activism
Kent State Killings and Aftermath
October 12, 1970: President Nixon announced the pullout of 40,000 more American troops in Vietnam by Christmas. (NYT article) (Kent State, see January 4, 1979; Vietnam, Nov 9)
October 12,1972: en route to the Gulf of Tonkin, a fight broke out involving more than 200 sailors aboard the United States Navy aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk; 40 persons were injured and 28 sailors arrested, all but one black. (NYT pdf) (Vietnam, see Oct 26; BH & RR see Nov 23)
WAR POWERS ACT
October 12, 1973: House approved joint conference committee’s resolution 238 – 123. (see Oct 24)
October 12, 1973: following the October 10 resignation of vice president Sprio Agnew, Nixon nominated House Minority Leader Gerald R. Ford, R-Mich., to succeed Agnew as vice president. (see Oct 20)
Crime and Punishment
October 12, 1984: The Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984 was enacted. It was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan. Among its constituent parts and provisions was the Armed Career Criminal Act. The ACCA provided sentence enhancements for felons who committed crimes with firearms, if convicted of certain crimes three or more times. If a felon has been convicted more than twice of a "violent felony" or a "serious" drug crime, the Act provided a minimum sentence of fifteen years, instead of the ten-year maximum prescribed under the Gun Control Act. The Act provided for a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. (see October 27, 1986)
October 12, 1984: The Provisional Irish Republican Army attempts to assassinate Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and the British Cabinet in the Brighton hotel bombing. (see Feb 28, 1985)
see Matthew Shepard murder for more
October 12, 1998: Shepard died at Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins, Colorado. (see Oct 17)
Alaska ban on gay marriage overruled
October 12, 2014: U.S. District Judge Timothy Burgess released his 25-page decision that struck down Alaska's first-in-the-nation ban on gay marriages. Five gay couples had asked the state of Alaska to overturn a constitutional amendment approved by voters in 1998 that defined marriage as being between one man and one woman. The lawsuit filed in May sought to bar enforcement of Alaska's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. It also called for barring enforcement of any state laws that refused to recognize gay marriages legally performed in other states or countries or that prevent unmarried gay couples from marrying. Burgess had heard arguments the previous Friday afternoon and promised a quick decision. (NYT article) (see Oct 25)
October 12, 2000: in Aden, Yemen, the USS Cole was badly damaged by two Al-Qaeda suicide bombers, who place a small boat laden with explosives alongside the United States Navy destroyer, killing 17 crew members and wounding at least 39. (see Dec 19)
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