April 13 Peace Love Activism
April 13, 1873 [Easter]: in Colfax, Louisiana, hundreds of white men clashed with freedmen at the Grant Parish courthouse. While only three white men died, it is estimated that nearly 150 black people died in the ensuing struggle – many murdered in cold blood after surrendering. The massacre was precipitated by the hotly contested 1872 Louisiana gubernatorial election. When a federal judge declared William Kellogg the winner, he began making appointments to fill local parish offices. Meanwhile, Kellogg’s white supremacist opponent John McEnery and his supporters declared McEnery the winner of the election. In the ensuing unrest, black supporters of Kellogg surrounded the Grant Parish courthouse and other municipal buildings in Colfax to protect them from being overtaken by McEnery supporters. On Easter Sunday, more than 300 armed white men, including members of white supremacist groups, attacked the courthouse building to forcefully remove Kellogg's black supporters. When the white posse aimed a cannon to fire on the courthouse, some of the sixty black defenders fled; others surrendered then, and more surrendered after the courthouse was set on fire. Many of the men were nevertheless killed as the mob began shooting unarmed members of the militia as they fled. After the massacre, the federal government indicted over 100 members of the white mob under the Enforcement Act of 1870, a law enacted during Reconstruction to protect newly freed black voters from the terrorist threats of the Ku Klux Klan and other disgruntled white southerners. Only three members of the mob were convicted, and they appealed. In one of the final blows to the Reconstruction era protections, those men were freed when the United States Supreme Court declared that they had been convicted unconstitutionally. (BH, see Apr 14; Colfax, see March 27, 1876)
Murders of Civil Rights Workers Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner
April 13, 2007: the Mississippi Supreme Court upheld the manslaughter convictions of Edgar Ray Killen in the killing of three civil rights workers in 1964. Mr. Killen, 82, was convicted in June 2005 in the deaths of the workers, James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner. He was sentenced to three consecutive 20-year prison terms. In his appeal, Mr. Killen had argued that in the 1960s he would not have been convicted by a jury of his peers of any crime under the evidence presented in 2005. (BH, see Apr 21; Murders, see February 25, 2010)
April 13, 2012: Prosecutors brought murder and hate-crime charges against Jake England and Alvin Watts. The two suspects were also charged with shooting with intent to kill Deon Tucker, who was wounded in the shoulder, and David Hall, who was wounded in the stomach. (see December 16, 2013)
US Labor History
April 13, 1930: 17-year-old Jimmy Hoffa led his co-workers at a Kroger warehouse in Clinton, Indiana, in a successful job action. By refusing to unload a shipment of perishable strawberries, they forced the company to give in to their demands. Among other things: the “strawberry boys” had to report to work at 4:30 a.m., stay on the job for 12 hours, and were paid 32¢ an hour—only if growers arrived with berries to unload. Plus, they were required to spend three-fourths of any earnings buying goods from Kroger. (see “in 1931”)
April 13, 1972: the first strike in the history of major league baseball ended. Players had walked off the field 13 days earlier. (see May 2)
Valentine v. Chrestensen
April 13, 1942: Valentine v. Chrestensen. The US Supreme Court ruled that commercial speech is not protected under the First Amendment (FS, see Sept 30; Commercial Speech, see May 24, 1976)
April 13, 1964: a group of the protesters sought a judgment declaring that the Anti-Picketing Law was an invalid regulation of expression because of overbreadth and vagueness and an injunction against its enforcement in the prosecutions against them or otherwise, contending that the prosecutions were solely to discourage their freedom of expression. (FS, see Apr 22; Anti-Picketing law, see April 22, 1968)
April 13, 1953
- Ian Flemming’s first novel, Casino Royale was published and introduced the James Bond character, a British secret agent who fights the Communist threat to the West. In this first novel, Bond was on a mission to neutralize a lethal, high-rolling Russian operative called simply ‘Le Chiffre’ – by ruining him at the baccarat table and forcing his Soviet spymasters to ‘retire’ him. Flemming will publish a total of 14 James Bond novels.
- Project MKULTRA, launched on this day, was the code name for a secret Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) program that experimented with mind control. The project used hypnosis, sensory deprivation, and the drug LSD. Particularly controversial, some subjects were not informed of the experiments performed on them. Secret experiments were performed at 80 different institutions, including 44 colleges and universities. (CW, see June 14; MKULTRA, see September 30, 1978)
Edward R Murrow
April 13, 1954: Edward R Murrow responded to McCarthy’s critique the following week. (see April 22)
April 13, 1960: the US launched the first U.S. navigational satellite, the Transit-1B on a Thor-Ablestar rocket. The Ablestar carried out the first engine restart in space to refine the orbit.. The payload, weighing 265 pounds, included 2 ultrastable oscillators, 2 telemetry transmitters and receivers, batteries and solar cells. The Transit system was designed to meet Navy's need for accurately locating ballistic missile submarines and other ships. It achieved initial operational capability in 1964 and full capability in Oct 1968. Its navigational broadcasts were switched off deliberately on 31 Dec 1996. The Joint Chiefs of Staff had decided to rely on GPS alone for navigation and positioning, retired after more than 32 years of continuous, successful service to the U.S. Navy. (TM see May 2 – 8; Space, see Aug 12)
April 13 Music et al
April 13, 1963– recorded on different college campuses, ABC-TV starts broadcasting Hootenanny, a show with various folk artists. The first show had been recorded at Brown University. (see September 16, 1964)
Beatles BBC TV debut
April 13, 1963: although they already made 11 appearances on regional and independent television programmes in Britain, the Beatles' debut on the BBC gave them a nationwide audience for the first time. They appeared on the The 625 Show, which featured "up and coming young talent." They performed From Me To You, Thank You Girl, and Please Please Me. The last song closed the show, and for it the group was joined by the other guests on stage.
April 13, 1964: Jack Lemmon hosts. For the second time in Academy Awards history, fifteen years after the first British film won the Best Picture award (Laurence Olivier's Hamlet (1948)), another British-made film won the top award. The honored film was Tom Jones. The film garnered ten Oscar nominations, more than any other film in the competition.
Beatles first Grammy awards
April 13, 1965: The Beatles won their first two Grammy awards. They won Best New Artist and Best Performance by a Vocal Group for "A Hard Days Night.". They did not win Record of the Year. They were beat out by Stan Getz and Joao Gilberto who won for "The Girl From Ipanema". Stan and Joao also won Album of the Year for "Getz/Gilberto". It was the first time a jazz record had won the award. It was The Beatles first nomination. (see May 22 – 28)
April 13 – May 17, 1968: “Honey” by Bobby Goldsboro #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
April 14, 1968: Love-in at Malibu Canyon, CA
The Road to Bethel
April 13, 1969: Mel Lawrence, Tom Rounds, Tom Driscoll, Bill Hanley, Stanley Goldstein, and Michael Lang visit the Wallkill site. Mel Lawrence becomes the festival’s Chief-of-Operations. (see mid-April)
April 13 Peace Love Activism
Southern Christian Leadership Conference
April 13, 1966: the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) adopted a resolution urging that the US "desist from aiding the military junta against the Buddhists, Catholics, and students, whose efforts to democratize their government are more in consonance with our traditions than the policy of the military oligarchy." This resolution, which had little real impact on administration policies, indicated the growing dissatisfaction among many segments of the American population with President Lyndon B. Johnson's handling of the war in Vietnam. (see April 17)
April 13, 1982: U.S. Representative Henry Waxman convened the first congressional hearings on HIV/AIDS. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that tens of thousands of people may be affected by the disease. (see Sept 24)
April 13, 1999: a Michigan judge sentenced Kevorkian to 10-25 years in prison for conviction of second-degree murder and delivery of a controlled substance in the death of Thomas Youk, (see September 29, 2005)
Iraq War II
April 13, 2015: (from the NYT) one former Blackwater security contractor received a life sentence and three others received 30-year sentences for killing unarmed Iraqi civilians in Baghdad’s Nisour Square in 2007. The shooting left 17 people dead and was a gruesome nadir in the war in Iraq. It transformed Blackwater Worldwide from America’s wealthiest and most politically powerful security contractor into a symbol of unchecked and privatized military power. Nicholas A. Slatten, a former Army sniper from Tennessee, was convicted of murder for firing the first fatal shots. Three others — Dustin L. Heard, also of Tennessee; Evan S. Liberty of New Hampshire; and Paul A. Slough of Texas — were convicted of manslaughter, attempted manslaughter and the use of a machine gun in a violent crime. The last charge carried a mandatory 30-year prison sentence under a law passed during the crack cocaine epidemic. Mr. Slatten was sentenced to life in prison, and Mr. Heard, Mr. Liberty and Mr. Slough to 30 years. The men are all in their 30s.
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