April 26 Peace Love Activism

April 26 Peace Love Activism

Emma Goldman

William Buwalda
April 26, 1908: Goldman lectured on patriotism at Walton's Pavilion in San Francisco. A United States soldier Pfc William Buwalda, attended the lecture in uniform and was witnessed shaking her hand. Within two weeks, he was court-martialed in violation of the 62nd Article of War, and found guilty by a military court, dishonorably discharged and sentenced to five years at hard labor on Alcatraz Island, San Francisco, California. (see May 22)

US Labor History

House Joint Resolution No. 184
April 26, 1924: the U.S. House of Representatives passed House Joint Resolution No. 184, a constitutional amendment to prohibit the labor of persons under 18 years of age. The Senate approved the measure a few weeks later, but it was never ratified by the states and is still technically pending. (see Apr 28)

Free Speech

April 26, 1938: Jehovah’s Witness members Newton Cantwell and his sons, Jesse and Russell, were arrested in New Haven, Connecticut, and charged on this day with breach of the peace. They were later convicted. The Cassius Street neighborhood was 90 percent Catholic, and people took offense at the anti-Catholic propaganda the Cantwells played on a portable record player. (FS, see Nov 21; Cantwells, see May 20, 1940)
Dombrowski v. Pfister
April 26, 1965: a case brought forth by Dr. James Dombrowski along with William Kunstler, founder of the Center for Constitutional Rights, against the governor of Louisiana, law enforcement officers, and the chairperson of the state's Legislative Joint Committee on Un-American Activities for prosecuting or threatening to prosecute his organization under several state subversion statutes.

A a three-judge Federal district court had dismissed the claim, stating that Dombrowski had failed to show evidence of irreparable damage and asserted the abstention doctrine, stating that State Courts had the right to refrain from ruling in Constitutional questions.

Represented by attorney and civil rights leader Arthur Kinoy, Dombrowski appealed the case directly to the Supreme Court under then-operational procedures. The Court overturned the earlier dismissal, making note of the "chilling effect" the ruling below would have had on First amendment rights. (see May 24)
Fuck the Draft
April 26, 1968: police arrested 19-year old Paul Robert Cohen for wearing a jacket bearing the words "Fuck the Draft" inside the Los Angeles Courthouse in the corridor outside the division 20 of the municipal court. He was convicted of violating section 415 of the California Penal Code, which prohibited "maliciously and willfully disturb[ing] the peace or quiet of any neighborhood or person [by] offensive conduct,“ and sentenced to 30 days in jail. (Vietnam, see Apr 27; FS, see May 27)

Technological Milestone

Salk polio vaccine

April 26 Peace Love Activism

April 26, 1954: the Salk polio vaccine field trials, involving 1.8 million children, begin at the Franklin Sherman Elementary School in McLean, Virginia. Children in the United States, Canada and Finland participated in the trials, which used for the first time the now-standard double-blind method, whereby neither the patient nor attending doctor knew if the inoculation was the vaccine or a placebo. (TM, see Oct 18;Polio, see April 12, 1955)


April 26 Peace Love Activism

April 26, 1971: the U.S. command in Saigon announces that the U.S. force level in Vietnam is 281,400 men, the lowest since July 1966. (see April 29)

April 26, 1972: President Nixon, despite an ongoing communist offensive, announced that another 20,000 U.S. troops would be withdrawn from Vietnam in May and June, reducing authorized troop strength to 49,000. Nixon emphasized that while U.S. ground troops were being withdrawn, sea and air support for the South Vietnamese would continue. In fact, the U.S. Navy doubled the number of its fighting ships off Vietnam. (see June 28)

April 26 Music et al

April 26 Peace Love Activism

April 26 - July 25, 1969: the original cast album Hair is the Billboard #1 album.

Student Rights

Matthew Fraser
April 26, 1983: Matthew Fraser, a Pierce County, Washington high school senior, gave a speech nominating classmate Jeff Kuhlman for Associated Student Body Vice President. The speech was filled with sexual innuendos, but not obscenity, prompting disciplinary action from the administration. School officials suspended Fraser from school for three days, prohibited him from speaking at his graduation ceremony, and struck his name from the ballot used to elect three graduation speakers. (SR, see"in May"; Fraser, see July 7, 1986)

Nuclear/Chemical News


April 26 Peace Love Activism


April 26,1986: an explosion occurred at one of  the four nuclear reactors at the Soviet Union’s Chernobyl power plant. The resulting fire burned for nine days and released at least 100 times more radiation than the atom bombs dropped on Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Radioactive deposits were found in nearly every country in the northern hemisphere. Two people died in the explosion and another 28 from acute radiation sickness in the immediate aftermath. Some experts predicted thousands of extra cancer deaths as a result of the disaster. A huge cover, known as the New Safe Confinement, was expected to be completed by 2015 remains unfinished. (see Aug 22)

April 26 Peace Love Activism

April 26 Peace Love Activism

Women’s Health

Rachelle “Shelley” Shannon
April 26, 1994: Rachelle "Shelley" Shannon, who admitted shooting and wounding George Tiller (see August 19, 1993) outside his clinic, was sentenced in Wichita, Kan., to nearly 11 years in prison. (see Dec 30)


April 26, 2000: Vermont becomes the first state in the U.S. to legalize civil unions and registered partnerships between same-sex couples. (see June 28, 2000)

Stop and Frisk Policy

April 26, 2011: the NYPD argued that Stop-and-Frisk helped find illegal weapons, but an investigation by WNYC shows it may be leading to more low-level marijuana possession arrests. (see May 26)

Environmental Issues

April 26, 2015: the City of Abilene (Texas) Water Department experienced a spill of domestic wastewater from the City’s wastewater collection system. The area of the spill was cultivated agricultural farm land. The estimated spill volume was about 1.5 million gallons. The spill occurred due to a failure of the sewer force-main pipeline.

The city advised persons using private drinking water supply wells located within one half mile of the spill site or within the potentially affected area to use only water that was been distilled or boiled at a rolling boil for at least one minute for all personal uses including drinking, cooking, bathing, and tooth brushing. Individuals with private water wells should have their well water tested and disinfected, if necessary, prior to discontinuing distillation or boiling. (see May 19)

Voting Rights

April 26, 2016: U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman struck down the Wisconsin's voter ID law, saying it violated the Voting Rights Act and the U.S. Constitution.

The law known as Act 23 had already been blocked by a state judge.

"There is no way to determine exactly how many people Act 23 will prevent or deter from voting without considering the individual circumstances of each of the 300,000 plus citizens who lack an ID," Adelman wrote in his 70-page ruling. "But no matter how imprecise my estimate may be, it is absolutely clear that Act 23 will prevent more legitimate votes from being cast than fraudulent votes." (see July 29)

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