January 13

January 13

US Labor History

January 13

January 13, 1874:  New York City Police Department crushed a demonstration involving thousands of unemployed in New York City's Tompkins Square Park. 

Feminism: & Voting Rights

January 13

January 13 – 31, 1919: twenty-two women arrested January 13 for lighting watch fires at White House and in Lafayette Park. Other arrests followed, including two women on January 24, five women on January 27, and five women on January 31. Suffragists continued to burn watch fires in various locations through first part of February.

DEATH PENALTY

January 13

January 13, 1947: in the case of Louisiana ex rel Francis v. Resweber, the Supreme Court confronted the situation of  Willie Francis who was condemned to die in the electric chair. For some reason, the chair was faulty, and although electric current apparently shot through Francis, he survived. The issue was whether a second electrocution could proceed or whether it was barred by the constitutional proscription of cruel and unusual punishment, double jeopardy and other violations of due process. QS Supreme Court Justice Frankfurter, finding that the chair's deficiency was entirely accidental, concurred in the decision of the 5 – 4  majority of the Supreme Court that nothing in the Constitution prevented the state from proceeding with a second execution, but he also implied that the situation was one in which a governor might be expected to intercede with executive clemency.  Not content with this, Frankfurter, after the opinion was filed, wrote a personal letter to the governor urging the extension of mercy. The governor allowed the execution. 

BLACK HISTORY

January 13, 1957: three days after terrorists bombed four black churches and two pastors' homes in Montgomery, Alabama, the congregations held Sunday services amidst the debris.

                The bombings, which injured no one but caused significant damage, came at a time of racial tension and civil rights progress in Montgomery. Less than a month before, a year-long boycott protesting racial segregation on city buses ended after achieving desegregation. Some local whites were threatened by this victory and reacted with acts of terrorism.

             Each of the churches bombed - Bell Street Baptist Church, Hutchinson Street Baptist Church, First Street Baptist Church, and Mt. Olive Church - had supported the bus boycott and the targeted pastors were civil rights leaders: Reverend Ralph D. Abernathy of First Street Baptist Church was a prominent boycott leader and proponent of desegregation and Reverend Robert Graetz, white minister of the predominantly black Trinity Lutheran Church, actively supported the bus boycott.

                Two days after the bombings, Reverend Abernathy announced plans for Sunday service, telling a reporter that "despite the wreckage and broken windows we will gather as usual at our church" and offer special prayers for "those who would desecrate the house of God."

                Two white men affiliated with the Ku Klux Klan, Raymond Britt and Sonny Livingston, were indicted in February 1957 after confessing to the bombings. An all-white jury acquitted them of all charges in May 1957, while spectators cheered.

January 13

January 13, 1966: Robert C. Weaver became the first black Cabinet member as he was appointed Secretary of Housing and Urban Development by President Lyndon B. Johnson

January 13

January 13, 1970, Black Panthers: Soldedad prision guard Opie G. Miller shot and killed three black inmates during a yard riot with members of the Aryan Brotherhood. Following the deaths Black Panther and inmate George Jackson became increasingly confrontational with corrections officials and spoke often about the need to protect fellow inmates and take revenge on guards for the deaths in what Jackson referred to as “selective retaliatory violence”

January 13, 2005, Attica Prison Riot: NY Governor George E. Pataki... reached a $12 million settlement with the surviving state workers who were involved in the 1971 riot at Attica state prison and the relatives of 11 employees killed then....

                A $2 million payment would be included in the settlement for the survivors' group, the Forgotten Victims of Attica, with the allocation of $10 million more over the next five years to the state employees or their survivors, the lawyer, Gary Horton, said.

                "There is language that acknowledges the suffering of the people in this group," Mr. Horton said. "My group is satisfied and they're happy to see a resolution."

January 13, 2014, Murders of Three Civil Rights Workers: the U.S. Supreme Court denied a rehearing request from Edgar Ray Killen, convicted in 2005 for the 1964 slayings of three civil rights workers in Mississippi. The justices issued the order without comment. 

LGBTQ

January 13

January 13, 1958: the Supreme Court, in One, Inc. v. Olesen, ended the Post Office ban on homosexual materials. The Court issued a per curiam decision on this day, citing its landmark Roth v. United States decision on obscenity (decided on June 24, 1957). The court did not comment on the legal status of homosexuality, but the decision marked the first occasion in which the Court ruled on the free press rights of material related to homosexuality.

                The idea for One, Inc. arose at a meeting of the Mattachine Society (founded on November 11, 1950 as the first national gay men’s rights group) in Los Angeles in October 1952, and the first issue was published in January 1953. The Post Office declared the magazine obscene and barred it from the mails in 1954. One, Inc. sued and succeeded in achieving the verdict on this day.

January 13

Music

January 13

January 13 – 26, 1962: “The Twist” by Chubby Checker #1 Billboard Hot 100 for the second time.

January 13

January 13, 1964, Bob Dylan released his third album, The Times They Are a-Changin

January 13

January 13, 1968, Johnny Cash recorded At Folsom Prison. It will be released in May.

January 13

January 13, 1969, The Beatles released Yellow Submarine album. (see Yellow Submarine album)

FREE SPEECH

January 13

January 13, 1988, Student Rights: Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier Administrators may edit the content of school newspapers. The principal of Hazelwood East High School edited two articles in the school paper The Spectrum that he deemed inappropriate. The student authors argued that this violated their First Amendment right to freedom of speech. The Supreme Court disagreed, stating that administrators can edit materials that reflect school values.

January 13

January 13, 2005, Religion and Public Education:  in Selman v. Cobb County, a US District Court rules that the stickers placed on science books by a Georgia school district stating that "evolution is a theory, not a fact" represent a violation of the establishment clause of the First Amendment.

Birth Control

January 13, 2014: the Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal from Arizona officials seeking to revive a state law that barred most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The justices offered no reasons for turning down the appeal, as is their custom.

                The case concerned an Arizona law, enacted in 2012, that prohibited abortions, except in certain medical emergencies, when the fetus reached 20 weeks gestation, dated from the woman’s last menstrual period. The law’s definition of medical emergency was narrow, encompassing conditions requiring an immediate abortion to avert a pregnant woman’s death or a “serious risk of substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function.” 

 

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