October 26 Peace Love Activism

October 26 Peace Love Activism

October 26 Peace Love Activism

Technological Milestone

US Labor History
October 26, 1825: after eight years and at least 1,000 worker deaths—mostly Irish immigrants—the 350-mile Erie Canal opened, linking the Great Lakes and the Atlantic Ocean via the Hudson River. Father John Raho wrote to his bishop that "so many die that there is hardly any time to give Extreme Unction (last rites) to everybody. We run night and day to assist the sick." Governor DeWitt Clinton of New York, the driving force behind the project, led the opening ceremonies and rode the canal boat Seneca Chief from Buffalo to New York City (TM, see November 26, 1832; Labor, see January 29, 1834)

BLACK HISTORY

Blacks in court
Prior to the Civil War, many Southern states, including Texas, barred enslaved or free black people from testifying against white people in court proceedings. Following the Confederacy’s defeat, those states were forced to comply with requirements created by the Republican-controlled Congress in order to be readmitted to the Union, including altering their laws and state constitutions to respect black Americans’ new status as citizens with civil rights.

On October 26, 1866, the Texas legislature passed a law redefining the circumstances in which blacks could testify in court. Rather than simply establish that black people would have full and equal rights to testify, Texas lawmakers crafted a statute that provided that “persons of color shall not testify” except in cases where “the prosecution is against a person who is a person of color; or where the offense is charged to have been committed against the person or property of a person of color.”

In civil cases between white parties and in criminal prosecutions of white people not charged with offenses against a black person, black people remained second-class citizens with no right to air their grievances in a court of law. In addition, even in the cases in which black witnesses were permitted to speak, few could have much faith in the promise of equal justice -- a court system that limited rights based on the color of one’s skin also was likely to judge credibility by those same terms. (see February 6, 1867)
President Warren G. Harding
October 26, 1921: President Warren G. Harding spoke at the 50th Anniversary celebration of the founding of Birmingham, Alabama. Before a crowd of about 100,000 whites and African-Americans, he gave a strong civil rights message: “Let the black man vote when he is fit to vote; prohibit the white man voting when he is unfit to vote.” Reportedly his statement was greeted with complete silence. (see Dec 20)
see Scottsboro Travesty for full story
October 26, 1937: the US Supreme Court declined to review the Haywood Patterson and Clarence Norris convictions. 

October 26, 1976: Alabama Governor George Wallace pardoned Clarence Norris.
MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR
October 26, 1960: Coretta Scott King and others were seriously worried that King might be lynched while in custody. Word of this reached John Kennedy’s presidential election campaign team, and they decided that Kennedy should call her. Kennedy did, on this day, and expressed his sympathy about her husband’s situation. He did not promise to take any action, but his brother, Robert Kennedy called both the governor of Georgia and the judge in the case, and that was thought to have had some effect. King was promptly released the next day, on October 27, 1960.

Word about Kennedy’s call circulated widely in the African-American community. Some political commentators believed the publicity gained Kennedy enough African-American votes to give him victory in the November presidential election, but others dispute this interpretation. (see Oct 27)
Ali/Quarry

October 26 Peace Love Activism

October 26, 1970: certain states and boxing commissions begin to consider allowing Ali to fight. After a three-year exile, Muhammad Ali returned to the ring in Atlanta to fight Jerry Quarry. Ali knocked out Quarry in the third round. (BH, see February 2, 1971: Ali, see March 8, 1971)

Calvin Graham

October 26, 1942: the USS South Dakota took part in the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands and shot down 26 Japanese planes. Graham's gun crew accounted for seven of them. (see Calvin Graham)

Women’s Health

October 26 Peace Love Activism

October 26, 1916: Margaret Sanger's clinic was raided by the vice squad and shut down. The women were arrested and all the condoms and diaphragms at the clinic are confiscated. (Sanger freed on bail) 

In 1917, Margaret Sanger will meet Katharine McCormick at one of Sanger's Boston lectures, and struck up an enduring friendship. Sympathizing with Sanger's movement, McCormick made small contributions to the cause and smuggled diaphragms into the United States for Sanger's clinics. (see Feb 2)

FREE SPEECH

October 26,1954: the Comic Book Code adopted on this day paralleled the earlier motion picture code (June 13, 1934) and was intended to “clean up” comic books so that they would not cause young people to become juvenile delinquents. The context of the code was a national panic over juvenile delinquency in the 1950s. (see October 24, 1955)

Vietnam

South Vietnam Leadership
October 26, 1955: Ngo Dinh Diệm proclaimed the formation of the Republic of Vietnam, with himself as its first President. Elections had been scheduled to reunify the country in 1956, but Diệm refused to hold them, claiming that a free election was not possible in the North. (Vietnam, see June 8, 1956; SVL, see May 9, 1957)
Henry Kissinger
October 26, 1972: National security adviser Henry Kissinger declared "peace is at hand" in Vietnam. (related NYT article) (see Nov 11)
October 26 Peace Love Activism

October 26 Music et al

see Rebel Without a Cause for more
October 26, 1955: Rebel Without a Cause movie released. The NY Times states: It is a violent, brutal, and disturbing picture of modern teen-agers.... Young people neglected by their parents or given no understanding and moral support by fathers and mothers who are themselves unable to achieve balance and security in their home...It is a picture to make the hair stand on end. (Teenage Culture, see January 23, 1957)
Peter, Paul, and Mary
October 26 – November 1, 1963,  a year after being the Billboard #1 album, Peter, Paul, and Mary’s Peter, Paul, and Mary  was again the #1 album. [Pete Seeger and Lee Hays wrote  If I Had a Hammer in 1949 in support of the progressive movement, and was first recorded by The Weavers, a folk music quartet composed of Seeger, Hays, Ronnie Gilbert and Fred Hellerman, and then by Peter, Paul and Mary. The Weavers released the song under the title "The Hammer Song" as a 78 single in March, 1950 on Hootenanny Records.  
The Beatles

October 26 Peace Love Activism

October 26, 1965: Queen Elizabeth presented the Beatles with the Member of the British Empire (MBE) medal. (NYT article) (Beatles, see Dec 3; medals, see November 25, 1969)
The San Francisco Pop Festival

October 26 Peace Love Activism

October 26 & 27, 1968, The San Francisco Pop Festival was held at the Alameda County Fairgrounds. (article) (see Dec 28 – 30) 

Performers:
  • Johnny Rivers
  • Jose Feliciano
  • Eric Burdon & The Animals
  • Iron Butterfly
  • Fraternity of Man
  • Buddy Miles Express
  • Rejoice
  • The Chambers Brothers
  • Canned Heat
  • The Grass Roots
  • Procol Harum
  • Deep Purple
  • Creedence Clearwater Revival
  • The Loading Zone
  • Womb

The Cold War & Cuban Missile Crisis

October 26, 1962: in one of the most dramatic verbal confrontations of the Cold War, American U.N. Ambassador Adlai Stevenson asked his Soviet counterpart during a Security Council debate whether the USSR had placed missiles in Cuba. Meanwhile, B-52 bombers were dispersed to various locations and made ready to take off, fully equipped. (see Cuban Missile Crisis)

October 26, 1973: the Yom Kippur War ends.
TERRORISM & Fourth Amendment
October 26, 2001: President George W. Bush signed the USA Patriot Act, giving authorities unprecedented ability to search, seize, detain or eavesdrop in their pursuit of possible terrorists. (Terrorism, see Dec 11; Fourth, see June 27, 2002)

Iraq War II

October 26, 2005:  American military death toll in Iraq reached 2,000 [MSNBC.com, 10/26/05] (see Dec 15)

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