Sarah Roberts

Sarah Roberts

On  February 15, 1848 5-year-old Sarah Roberts (“a colored child..., a resident of Boston, and living with her father.”) had applied for admission to her nearest school. The school committee refused her application “on the ground of her being a colored person.”

Rather than walk past the five White schools to get to her assigned Black school, Sarah Roberts “went into the primary school nearest her residence, but without any ticket of admission...and was...ejected from the school by the teacher.”
Sarah's father Benjamin sued.

Roberts v. The City of Boston

Sarah Roberts

On December 4, 1849,  the case of Roberts v. The City of Boston began. Massachusetts Supreme Court Chief Justice Lemuel Shaw presided.
Sarah Roberts
Charles Sumner was the lawyer for Sarah Roberts
Abolitionist,and later United States Senator Charles Sumner and Robert Morris, a young Black abolitionist, represented Sarah Roberts. Their argument asserted that all persons, regardless of race or color, stand as equals before the law in Massachusetts.
Sarah Roberts
Robert Morris represented Sarah Roberts
In April 1850  Shaw decided in favor of the Boston Board. Shaw discounted the objection to the extra distance that Sarah had to walk as  trivial. "In Boston," he pointed out, "more than one hundred thousand inhabitants live within a space so small … it would be scarcely an inconvenience to require a boy of good health to traverse daily the whole extent of it." In light of this, he concluded, the extra distance that Sarah had to walk did nothing to make the committee's decision "unreasonable, still less illegal."
Sarah Roberts
cover to Sarah’s Long Walk about Sarah Roberts and others
Stephen Kendrick and Paul Kendrick wrote Sarah's Long Walk (2004) (click >>> Sarah's Long Walk)
Five years later, on April 28, 1855, Massachusetts desegregated the state’s public schools with a law that stated: “no distinction shall be made on account of the race, color, or religious opinions, of the applicant or scholar.”
Despite that progress, on May 18, 1896, the US Supreme Court, in Plessy v. Ferguson upheld the constitutionality of state laws requiring racial segregation in public facilities (including schools) under the doctrine of "separate but equal."
It was another 58 years, on May 17, 1954, that the US Supreme Court overturned Plessy and unanimously ruled in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kans that segregation in public schools was unconstitutional. It was a victory for NAACP attorney Thurgood Marshall, who became the first black US Supreme Court justice.

Busy Beatle December 1963

Busy Beatle December 1963

It was a Busy Beatle December in 1963. I always thought that I’d decided myself to like the Beatles. In retrospect, Uncle Capital Records may have had a hand in it..

Busy Beatle December 1963
December 4, 1963, Capitol Records issued a press release announcing that it would start selling “I Want To Hold Your Hand” on January 13, 1964.
Recorded in October, it was on December 6, 1963 that the UK Beatle Fan Club released the first Christmas recording: The Beatles Christmas Record.

On December 10, 1963, CBS TV broadcast the four-minute Beatle piece that the JFK assassination had pre-empted.
On December 17, 1963, WWDC DJ Carroll James played a UK copy of  “I Want to Hold Your Hand.” A 15-year-old girl from Silver Spring, MD had written to him  requesting Beatles music after seeing the CBS story.  James arranged to have a stewardess buy a U.K. copy of the Beatles’ single.
Busy Beatle December 1963
WWDC DJ Carroll James with the Beatles
The next day, Capitol Records threatened to sue WWDC , but  changed its mind and decided to rush-release “I Want To Hold Your Hand." Christmas leave was canceled as pressing plants and staff gear up for rush release.
Busy Beatle December 1963
How many of you still have your copy from 1964?
On December 23, 1963, Capitol Records issued a memo outlining an extensive “Beatles Campaign” using various promotional items: trade ads, a fake tabloid Beatles newspaper, buttons, stickers, wigs, and a battery-powered, “Beatles-in-motion,” bobble-head-like, window display for music stores.
Busy Beatle December 1963
flip side “I Saw Her Standing There”
December 26, 1963, Capitol Records started to distribute “I Want To Hold Your Hand."  It was a perfect storm with teenagers home for the holidays to listen to their radios and buy records.  In New York City, 10,000 copies were sold every hour.  In the first three days, 250,000 copies were  sold.  Capitol was so overloaded it contracted Columbia Records and RCA to help with the pressings.
December 30, 1963, a two-page ad from Capitol Records pitching the Beatles’ recordings ran in Billboard and Cash Box.  These ads had already been distributed to Capitol’s sales agents for use with radio stations and in enlarged,  easel-scale size for use in music store displays.

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