March 12 Peace Love Activism

March 12 Peace Love Activism

Immigration History

Exclusion Act

March 12 Peace Love Activism

March 12, 1888: six years after the Exclusion Act (May 6, 1882) the Chinese government agreed to its fundamental principles. Under pressure from the U.S., the Chinese signed a treaty agreeing not to allow any laborers to immigrate to America. Only in 1943, when China became a valuable ally in the war against Japan, did the U.S. finally abandon this policy. (LH, see August 29, 1889; IH, see January 1, 1892)

US Labor History


March 12 Peace Love Activism

March 12, 1912: the Lawrence, Mass., "Bread and Roses" textile strike ended when the American Woolen Co. agreed to most of the strikers’ demands, (LH, see June 4; Feminism, see March 3, 1913)
Oregon Steel Mills, Inc.
March 12, 2004: steelworkers approved a settlement with Oregon Steel Mills, Inc and its CF & I Steel subsidiary, ending the longest labor dispute in the USWA’s history and resulting in more than $100 million in back pay for workers. (see Jul 15)

Cold War

March 12, 1947: in a speech to a joint session of Congress, President Harry S. Truman asked for U.S. assistance for Greece and Turkey to forestall communist domination of the two nations. Historians have often cited Truman's address, which came to be known as the Truman Doctrine, as the official declaration of the Cold War. (see Mar 21)


School Desegregation

March 12 Peace Love Activism

March 12, 1956: ninety-six U.S. congressmen from eleven southern states signed the “Southern Manifesto,” a pledge to resist the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision, which declared segregated schools unconstitutional (May 17, 1954). Notably, three Southern Senate Democrats did not sign the Manifesto: Sen. Estes Kefauver (D–Tennessee); Sen. Albert Gore, Sr. (D–Tennessee), father of future Vice President Al Gore, Jr.; and most important, Sen. Lyndon B. Johnson (D–Texas). Historians believe that Johnson’s refusal to sign was an indication of his ambitions to become president of the U.S. and his need to disavow segregation.  (BH, see March 13; SD, see February 20, 1958)

Albany Movement

March 12, 1963: in Albany, GA, five Black high school-age girls were turned away from two white theaters by the assistant manager of the chain. “We don’t want your business,” the manager told them. (see March 13)
Malcolm X
March 12, 1964: though remaining a Muslim, Malcolm X left the Nation of Islam. (BH, see Mar 20; Malcolm X, see Mar 29)
Mississippi Sovereignty Commission

March 12 Peace Love Activism

March 12, 1998: many of the long-sealed records of the Mississippi Sovereignty Commission, a state segregationist spy agency, were opened after a federal judge's order. The records showed that the commission infiltrated civil rights groups, smeared African Americans and, at times, cooperated with members of the Ku Klux Klan. (see May 28)


March 12 – April 15, 1966:  SSgt Barry Sadler’s  Ballads of the Green Beret  the Billboard #1 album. (see Mar 25)

Senator Eugene McCarthy

March 12 Peace Love Activism

March 12, 1968: Senator Eugene McCarthy (D-Minnesota), an outspoken critic of the Johnson administration’s policies in Vietnam, polled 42 percent of the vote in New Hampshire’s Democratic presidential primary. President Lyndon B. Johnson got 48 percent. A Harris poll later showed that anti-Johnson, rather than antiwar, sentiment provided the basis for McCarthy’s surprisingly strong performance. (see Mar 14)
First Australian Task Force
March 12, 1972,: the last remnants of the First Australian Task Force withdrew from Vietnam. The Australian government had first sent troops to Vietnam in 1964 with a small aviation detachment and an engineer civic action team. In May 1965, the Australians increased their commitment with the deployment of the 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (RAR). The formation of the First Australian Task Force in 1966 established an Australian base of operations near Ba Ria in Phuoc Tuy province. The task force included an additional infantry battalion, a medium tank squadron, and a helicopter squadron, as well as signal, engineer, and other support forces. By 1969, Australian forces in Vietnam totaled an estimated 6,600 personnel. (see Mar 30)

March 12 Music et al

Velvet Underground
March 12, 1967: the Velvet Underground and Nico release first album.

George Harrison and Pattie Boyd
March 12, 1969:  the London drug squad raided George Harrison and Pattie Boyd’s home. Boyd immediately called Harrison who returned to find his home turned upside down. He is reported to have told the officers "You needn't have turned the whole bloody place upside down. All you had to do was ask me and I would have shown you where I keep everything."

Without his assistance, the constables, including Sergeant Pilcher who had directed the drug-related arrest of John Lennon the previous year, had already found a considerable amount of hashish. Harrison and Boyd were arrested and as they were being escorted to the police station, a photographer began shooting pictures of the famous couple. Harrison chased after the photographer, with the cops trailing right behind him down the London street. Finally, the man dropped his camera and George stomped on it before the officers subdued him.

Harrison and Boyd were released on bail. A few weeks later, Harrison and Boyd were allowed to plead guilty. Despite the rather large amount of hash recovered from their home, the authorities were satisfied that it was all for their personal use. They were fined 250 pounds each, and even had a confiscated pipe returned to them.           Sergeant Pilcher, the man behind the raid, was convicted of planting drugs in other cases and went to jail in 1972. (see Mar 20)
Paul McCartney married Linda Eastman
March 12, 1969: Paul McCartney married Linda Eastman at Marylebone Register Office. Harrison and Boyd missed the wedding. (see Mar 20)


March 12 Peace Love Activism

March 12, 1968: Mauritius independent from United Kingdom (see Sept 6)


The Capitol Crawl

March 12 Peace Love Activism

March 12, 1990: The Capitol Crawl: hundreds of people with disabilities gathered at the foot of the Capitol building in Washington to protest the Americans with Disabilities Act bill's slow movement through Congress. Dozens left behind their wheelchairs, got down on their hands and knees, and began pulling themselves slowly up the 83 steps toward the building's west entrance, as if daring the politicians inside to continue ignoring all the barriers they faced. Among the climbers was Jennifer Keelan, an eight-year-old from Denver with cerebral palsy. "I'll take all night if I have to!" she yelled while dragging herself higher and higher. (see July 26)


Church of England

March 12 Peace Love Activism

March 12, 1994: the Church of England ordained its first female priests. (see Feminism  April 26, 1994)

Iraq War II

Muntader al-Zaidi

March 12 Peace Love Activism

March 12, 2009:  Muntader al-Zaidi, the Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at President George W. Bush during a news conference in December 2008 was sentenced to three years in jail. Al-Zaidi, had pleaded not guilty, saying at a hearing that he was overcome by passion because of the suffering of the people of Iraq after the American-led invasion six years ago that toppled Saddam Hussein.  (see April 7)

Westboro Baptist Church

March 12, 2014:  U.S. District Judge Fernando Gaitan Jr upheld a Missouri law requiring protesters to stay at least a 100 year away from funeral sites, beginning an hour before they start until an hour after the services end. The ruling capped a nearly eight-year legal fight over Missouri's funeral protest restrictions that were prompted after members of a Kansas church opposed to homosexuality protested at the funeral of a Missouri solider who had been killed in Iraq. (see Mar 19)
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Sweetwater Alex Del Zoppo

Sweetwater Alex Del Zoppo

Sweetwater Alex Del Zoppo

Today I continue with my next blog piece on the band Sweetwater. Thus far I have done Nancy NevinsElpidio CobianFred Herrera, and  August Burns. To explain again, the reason that I'm doing them over a few weeks is not because that is how their birthdays happened, but because I only know the birthday of one member, Alan Malarowitz. His is March 20 and I'll post that piece on that day.

Air Force Reserve Alex Del Zoppo

Alex Del Zoppo was one of the original members of Robert 'Bob' Barboza's west coast reincarnation of his east cast band called Jay Walker and the Pedestrians. Del Zoppo was the band's keyboardist.

It is easy to think that in the 1960s young people were simply divided into two groups: pro Vietnam War vs anti Vietnam War. It is also easy to think that anyone in a rock band was automatically anti Vietnam.

Those of us fortunate enough to get into a college and receive a deferment, which often meant a permanent deferment since by the time the student received his college diploma, he might be too old to be drafted.

Alex Del Zoppo was not in college and to avoid the draft joined the Air Force Reserves. When a person was in the Reserves, he received a 1-D - (Member of a Reserve component) classification.

A longer obligation--8 years, monthly weekend meetings, and a two-week summer training was part of that obligation.

Del Zoppo was able to balance his musician's life with his Air Force most of the time.

It was the Jay Walker and the Pedestrian's Alex Del Zoppo who suggested to a few other Pedestrians that they form a new group with the recently discovered Nancy Nevins. Barboza had no problem with that and Alex became Sweetwater Alex Del Zoppo.

Sweetwater Alex Del Zoppo

The band gradually got more and more gigs, opening for concerts, and in 1969 doing many festivals (see Sweetwater Nancy Nevins piece for that list).

Sweetwater Alex Del Zoppo

In September 1968 Reprise records released Sweetwater's eponymous debut album, 'Sweetwater'.  Dave Hassinger produced it and Del Zoppo and Herrera arranged it. They had recorded it at Hassinger's The Sound Factory recording studio located at 6357 Selma Avenue, West Hollywood.


Bruce Blatman was Sweetwater's manager. He suggested the band add another festival to their 1969 summer itinerary: "an intimate, no-pressure music and art fair in the countryside of upstate New York called Woodstock."  (see Horror stories).

Del Zoppo told Blatman that his 2-week summer training started Sunday that weekend. Blatman said they'd be the opening act on Saturday afternoon, Del Zoppo could get to JFK Airport in plenty of time to fly to California and his base on time for Sunday.

We know that didn't quite work out as planned. The word plan that Woodstock weekend had a very loose meaning.

Del Zoppo got in trouble but also eventually got out of the reserves without having to actively serve. 

Post Woodstock

Sweetwater Alex Del Zoppo

From his site (perhaps dated?)
Alex has also played and/or recorded with The Beach Boys, Eric Burdon, Gene Clark of the Byrds,  Donovan,  John Beland of the Flying Burrito Brothers, Chi Coltrane, Patrice (Candy) Zappa, Barry Goldberg,Johnny Tillotson and Severin Browne. 
From the Sweetwater site
Alex provides advice for aspiring musicians:
  1. 1. Sing (or play your instruments) as often as possible in as many situations and different types of music (as long as it’s enjoyable to you) as possible, until what you want to accomplish becomes intuitive. In other words, almost done without having to concentrate on it. That includes your voice too, so that it leaps right to where you want it to every time, with the perfect strength, inflection, pitch and attitude. Keep trying, it’ll all fall into place at some point.
  2. 2. Love what you’re doing. Believe in yourself and your music. Even if you are doing covers (other peoples tunes), make them YOUR OWN. That is, PERSONALIZE them! Be unique, you already ARE! Don’t be afraid to be YOU. (it’s always much more interesting seeing an act which is “Different” than some clone band, no matter HOW good they are).
  3. 3. Imagine yourself right where you’d like to be: a local gig or Carnegie Hall . . . but be PRACTICAL. Visualize yourself singing (or playing) with a band (or by yourself, if you’d like to be a solo) doing EXACTLY what you’d want to be doing. Lock that vision in your mind. It can be altered from time to time, according to your new tastes (and your listening-publics tastes), but generally, KEEP that vision HANDY. Pull it out from your memory banks every so often to keep yourself on track (especially when you’re getting discouraged about how LONG it seems to be taking to learn that chord or to sing that particular line, etc.)
  4. 4. Make some practical goals. You’ll need to Be LOGICAL when it comes to your future. Be HONEST with yourself when it comes to WHERE YOU ARE TODAY in your overall plan. Then try to envision the steps you’ll need to take along the way to reach your ultimate goal (the vision of yourself exactly where you want to be).
  5. 5. Picture yourself part of the way up a mountain and your ultimate goal is to reach the top. If you look at this goal as ONE BIG, SWEATY, BACK-BREAKING CLIMB . . . you’ll NEVER START! Try to see “plateaus” or shelves, ledges or steps along the way. Even the worlds best mountain climbers stop to rest now and then! Set smaller or incremental goals for yourself (within REASON, you won’t be playin’ in your parents’ living room and go straight to Madison Square Gardens by the weekend)! As you achieve each intermediate goal, you can stop to congratulate yourself on a job well done, then envision your ultimate goal and plan your next logical step.
    6. You’ll be surprised how easy it seems once you’ve made a few of those goals. Also how satisfying it feels to accomplish something constructive with your life. 
    7. Keep your ears open along the way for legitimate opportunities that can help you reach your mountaintop. And most importantly:........
  6. 8. Nancy says: “Never give up your dreams”. I have to go along with that. It worked for us, even with all of the crap we had to endure and all the years we had to wait… she believed in our band and told her story over & over until enough people listened. Thanks, Nancy! I’ll say it again, if you want to make something of your life and believe that you have real talent: Never give up your dreams! Go for it!
Reference (an excellent one!) > Bruno Ceriotti

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