April 23 Peace Love Activism

April 23 Peace Love Activism

Women’s Health

Mary Ware Dennett

April 23 Peace Love Activism

April 23, 1929: feminist and women’s health and sex education activist Mary Ware Dennett was convicted of obscenity for sending her sex education pamphlet, The Sex Side of Life: An Explanation for Young People, through the mails. Dennett had written the pamphlet for her two adolescent sons fifteen years earlier. As more people found out about it, she was flooded with requests for copies, and she finally published it for general circulation. Her prosecution became a national cause célèbre, and a national defense committee composed of several prominent Americans was organized. (BC, see “in the 1930s”; Dennett, see March 3, 1930)
Take Our Daughters to Work Day
April 23, 1992: The first Take Our Daughters to Work Day takes place. The event was founded by the Ms. Foundation for Women to create an opportunity for girls to share and communicate their expectations for the future. It is held on the fourth Thursday of every April. The program eventually expands to Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day in 2003. (see  Feminism  June 29, 1992)

The Red Scare

Soviet Foreign Minister Molotov
April 23, 1945: Soviet Foreign Minister Molotov arrived at the White House for a meeting with the new president, Harry Truman, who immediately lashed out at Molotov, "in words of one syllable," as the president later recalled. As Molotov listened incredulously, Truman charged that the Soviets were breaking their agreements and that Stalin needed to keep his word. At the end of Truman's tirade, Molotov indignantly declared that he had never been talked to in such a manner. Truman, not to be outdone, replied that if Molotov had kept his promises, he would not need to be talked to like that. Molotov stormed out of the meeting. Truman was delighted with his own performance, telling one friend that he gave the Soviet official "the straight one-two to the jaw." The president was convinced that a tough stance was the only way to deal with the communists, a policy that came to dominate America's early Cold War policies toward the Soviets. (see July 24)


School Desegregation
April 23, 1951: students attending Moton High School, Prince Edward County, Virginia led a walk out to protest separate and unequal school facilities. NAACP attorneys represented the students as they spearheaded the challenge to the system of segregated schools in Virginia. This case, along with others, helped to propel the passing of the 1954 landmark desegregation law in the United States. (BH, see Apr 28; SS, see May 17, 1954)
William Lewis Moore

April 23 Peace Love Activism

April 23, 1963: William Lewis Moore, a postman from Baltimore, was shot and killed in Attalla, Ala., during a one-man march against segregation. Moore had planned to deliver a letter to the governor of Mississippi urging an end to intolerance.

The gun belonged to a Floyd Simpson, whom Moore had argued with earlier that day, but no charges were ever filed against him.

Moore is among 40 martyrs listed on the Civil Rights Memorial in Montgomery, Ala. (see Apr 29)

Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song

April 23 Peace Love Activism

April 23, 1971: Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song released. Melvin Van Peebles wrote, produced, scored, directed and starred in his movie. After beating a couple of white cops he witnessed brutalizing a local black revolutionary, sex show performer Sweetback (Van Peebles) has to go on the run. As he flees through decrepit South Central Los Angeles, Sweetback demonstrates his formidable potency through sex as well as violence, evading the police manhunt by any means necessary. As Sweetback runs off into the sunset, however, Van Peebles warns that the story, like the 1960s racial strife, isn't over. The movie’s huge financial success prompted imitation by Hollywood studios that produced black-oriented films such as Shaft and Super Fly. (see Aug 21)

April 23 Music et al

see The Nerk Twins
April 23 & 24, 1960: the first of only 2 performances ever by The Nerk Twins at the Fox and Hounds pub in Caversham, Berkshire, UK. The Nerk Twins were actually Paul McCartney and John Lennon. From Paul in Anthology: "That spring of 1960, John and I went down to a pub in Reading, The Fox And Hound, run by my cousin Betty Robbins and her husband. We worked behind the bar. It was a lovely experience that came from John and I just hitching off down there. At the end of the week we played in the pub as The Nerk Twins. We even made our own posters." (see May 5)
Judy Garland
April 23, 1961: Judy Garland recorded Live at Carnegie Hall. (see Sept 18)
Merry Pranksters
April 23, 1965:  police raided the Prankster camp. Ken Kesey charged with marijuana possession. (see May 8 – 10)


New York City Bans Folk Music
April 23, 1961: an off-off-Broadway musical with Park Commissioner New-bold Morris as the villain was staged between police barriers on a street near Washington Square Park. (see April 30)

Space Race

Vladimir Komarov

April 23 Peace Love Activism

April 23, 1967: Vladimir Komarov commanded Soyuz 1. On its descent, the parachute became entangled and Soyuz 1 slams into the ground at high speed, killing Komarov. It is the first death to occur during a space flight. (see January 9, 1968)


Columbia University

April 23 Peace Love Activism

April 23, 1968: 300 Columbia students barricaded the office of the college dean, charging the university with supporting the Vietnam War and violating Harlem residents’ civil rights. (see April 24)
My Lai Massacre
April 23, 1969: the Office of the Inspector General began a full inquiry into the My Lai incident (My Lai, see June 5; Vietnam see April 24)
Gerald Ford

April 23 Peace Love Activism

April 23, 1975:  at a speech at Tulane University, President Gerald Ford said the Vietnam War was finished as far as America was concerned. "Today, Americans can regain the sense of pride that existed before Vietnam. But it cannot be achieved by re-fighting a war." This was devastating news to the South Vietnamese, who were desperately pleading for U.S. support as the North Vietnamese surrounded Saigon for the final assault on the capital city. (see April 29)
April 23 Peace Love Activism

Consumer Protection

Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act

April 23 Peace Love Activism

April 23, 1970: President Nixon signed the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act which banned the advertising of cigarettes on television and radio. (see January 2, 1971)


Dr. Robert Gallo

April 23 Peace Love Activism

April 23, 1984: Margaret Heckler, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, announced that Dr. Robert Gallo and his colleagues at the National Cancer Institute had found the cause of AIDS, the retrovirus HTLV-III. (see July 13)

Environmental Issues

Martinez Manufacturing Complex
April 23, 1988: a spill of approximately 9,400 bbl of San Joaquin Valley (CA) crude oil occurred from the Shell Oil Company Martinez Manufacturing Complex. Part of the high viscosity oil eventually reached Carquinez Strait and Suisun Bay. Areas initially affected by the spill included a 103-acre freshwater marsh, the shorelines of Carquinez Strait and Suisun Bay, saltwater marshes associated with both the strait and the bay, three marinas, two local parks, and waterfront properties in Benicia. (see February 14, 1989)
Fracking earthquakes
April 23, 2015: for the first time, the U.S. Geological Survey unveiled a map of earthquakes thought to be triggered by human activity in the eastern and central United States. Oklahoma was by far the worst-hit state recently, according to the USGS study (see Apr 21 above). The state last year had more earthquakes magnitude 3 or higher than California, part of a huge increase recorded in recent years.

Seismic activity in Texas near the Dallas-Fort Worth area had also increased substantially. Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico and Ohio had all experienced more frequent quakes in the last year. All of the areas highlighted on the map “are located near deep fluid injection wells or other industrial activities capable of inducing earthquakes,” the study said. Mark Petersen, chief of the USGS' National Seismic Hazard Project, said the pattern of increased quakes was troubling. (see Apr 26)

César E. Chávez

April 23 Peace Love Activism

April 23, 1993: Chávez died peacefully in his sleep in San Luis, AZ. (see May 1993)

Sexual Abuse of Children

April 23, 2002:  Pope John Paul II called emergency meeting with US cardinals in Rome. (see May 2)

Cultural Milestone

April 23 Peace Love Activism

April 23, 2005: co-founder Jawed Karim uploaded the first video to YouTube.com.

Iraq War II

April 23, 2006:  a former top CIA official, Tyler Drumheller, revealed evidence that Bush was told before the war by a high-level Iraqi informant that Iraq did not possess WMD. (see May 18)

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