April 27 Peace Love Activism

April 27 Peace Love Activism


Voting Rights
April 27, 1903: Giles v. Harris, US Supreme Court upheld Alabama’s state constitution's requirements for voter registration and qualifications. Although the plaintiff accused the state of discriminating in practice against black citizens, the Court found that the requirements applied to all citizens and refused to review the results in practice, which it considered overseeing the state's process. (BH, see Apr 27; VR, see “in 1908”)
The Souls of Black Folk

April 27 Peace Love Activism

April 27, 1903: A. C. McClurg Co. published W.E.B. Du Bois' book, The Souls of Black Folk. In it, Du Bois rejected the gradualism advocated by Booker T. Washington and called for active resistance to racist policies. (see September 22, 1906)
Marcus Garvey

April 27 Peace Love Activism

April 27, 1919: Garvey announced his plan to start the Black Star Line. The Black Star Line was to be the U.N.I.A.'s vehicle for promoting worldwide commerce among black communities. In Garvey's vision, Black Star Line ships would transport manufactured goods, raw materials, and produce among black businesses in North America, the Caribbean, and Africa, and become the linchpin in a global black economy. (BH, see May 10-11; MG, see June 23)
Viola Liuzzo
April 27, 1967: the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit upheld the conspiracy convictions of Viola Liuzzo’s murderers Eugene Thomas and Collie Leroy Wilkins, Jr. William O Eaton, the third person, had already died. (BH, see Apr 28; MS, see May 17, 1982)
Nelson Mandela

April 27 Peace Love Activism

April 27, 1994: general voting opened in the first election in South African history that included black participation. Despite months of violence leading up to the vote, not a single person was reported killed in election-related violence. When the voting concluded on April 29, the A.N.C. had won more than 62 percent of the vote, earning 252 of the 400 seats in Parliament's National Assembly. Voters choes Mandela as president without opposition. (see May 6)
Integrated prom
April 27, 2013: for the first time in the history of Wilcox County, Georgia, black students and white students danced arm-in-arm at prom. Nearly 60 years after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that segregation in public schools was illegal, half of the students from rural Wilcox County High School ended their community's tradition of segregation after raising money for an integrated prom dance. (BH, see June 20; SD see Sept 13)
April 27, 2015: Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge John P. O'Donnell declined to acquit Cleveland police officer Michael Brelo and bring an end to his voluntary manslaughter trial before hearing any defense witnesses. O'Donnell, ruling on a defense request for the acquittal, ruled that the prosecution has presented enough evidence in the trial to warrant hearing the other side's case.

In his ruling, O'Donnell wrote, "taking the evidence in a light most favorable to the state, at least 34 of Brelo's 49 shots were reasonable to deal with a perceived threat. If he is eventually found guilty of voluntary manslaughter beyond a reasonable doubt in the face of his affirmative defense that all of his shots were legally justified it will mean only that he was not justified in taking one or more of those last 15 shots to confront the perceived threat." (see May 23)
Freddie Gray

April 27 Peace Love Activism

April 27, 2015: (from the NYT) with the words “black lives matter” projected in capital letters on the walls, thousands of mourners crowded into a church ...to bid an emotional goodbye to Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old who died from a spinal cord injury while in police custody, and to demand reforms in law enforcement and far beyond it.

Friends, neighbors, activists and government officials from the local level to the White House filled New Shiloh Baptist Church and filed past the open, white coffin bearing the body of Mr. Gray, whose death on April 19 fed claims of discriminatory and brutal policing, and set off a week of protests here. The church, with seating for 2,200, was filled to overflowing for the funeral, with many people standing inside and more standing outside, unable to crowd in. (Black, see Apr 28; Shot, see May 1)

US Labor History

April 27, 1911: James Oppenheim’s poem “Bread and Roses” published in IWW newspaper Industrial Solidarity. (see Oct 18)
As we come marching, marching, in the beauty of the day,

A million darkened kitchens, a thousand mill-lofts gray

Are touched with all the radiance that a sudden sun discloses,

For the people hear us singing, “Bread and Roses, Bread and Roses.”


As we come marching, marching, we battle, too, for men —

For they are women’s children, and we mother them again.

Our lives shall not be sweated from birth until life closes —

Hearts starve as well as bodies: Give us Bread, but give us Roses.

As we come marching, marching, unnumbered women dead

Go crying through our singing their ancient song of Bread;

Small art and love and beauty their drudging spirits knew —

Yes, it is bread we fight for — but we fight for Roses, too.


As we come marching, marching, we bring the Greater Days —

The rising of the women means the rising of the race —

No more the drudge and idler — ten that toil where one reposes —

But a sharing of life’s glories: Bread and Roses, Bread and Roses.

Willow Island, West Virginia

April 27 Peace Love Activism

April 27, 1978: a cooling tower for a power plant under construction in Willow Island, West Virginia collapsed, killing 51 construction workers in what is thought to be the largest construction accident in U.S. history. OSHA cited contractors for 20 violations, including failures to field test concrete. The cases were settled for $85,000—about $1,700 per worker killed. (see June 22)
Dolores Huerta

April 27 Peace Love Activism

April 27, 2012: President Obama awarded Dolores Huerta the Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. (see Oct 8, 2012)

Judicial Milestone

Goldman v. United States
April 27, 1942, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the conviction of Martin Goldman and a fellow lawyer for conspiracy to violate the Bankruptcy Act through a plan to defraud creditors, noting that the government's use of eavesdropping to gather evidence did not violate the Fourth Amendment. After receiving notice of the lawyers' intentions, federal agents had obtained evidence of the plan by surreptitiously listening to conversations through a wall in an adjacent room with a detectaphone device attached to the wall. (see June 1)


see Executive Order 10450 for more
April 27, 1953: President Dwight Eisenhower signed Executive Order 10450 banning homosexuals from working for the federal government or any of its private contractors. It read, in part: 

                WHEREAS the interests of the national security require that all persons privileged to be employed in the departments and agencies of the Government, shall be reliable, trustworthy, of good conduct and character, and of complete and unswerving loyalty to the United States...

                Sec. 8. (a) The investigations conducted pursuant to this order shall be designed to develop information as to whether the employment or retention in employment in the Federal service of the person being investigated is clearly consistent with the interests of the national security. Such information shall relate, but shall not be limited, to the following:

                (1) Depending on the relation of the Government employment to the national security:

                                (i) Any behavior, activities, or associations which tend to show that the individual is not reliable or trustworthy.

                                (ii) Any deliberate misrepresentations, falsifications, or omissions of material facts.

                                (iii) Any criminal, infamous, dishonest, immoral, or notoriously disgraceful conduct, habitual use of intoxicants to excess, drug addiction, sexual perversion.

                                (iv) Any illness, including any mental condition, of a nature which in the opinion of competent medical authority may cause significant defect in the judgment or reliability of the employee, with due regard to the transient or continuing effect of the illness and the medical findings in such case.

                                (v) Any facts which furnish reason to believe that the individual may be subjected to coercion, influence, or pressure which may cause him to act contrary to the best interests of the national security.

                (2) Commission of any act of sabotage, espionage, treason, or sedition, or attempts thereat or preparation therefore, or conspiring with, or aiding or abetting, another to commit or attempt to commit any act of sabotage, espionage, treason, or sedition.

Homosexuality was considered a sexual perversion and a reasonable security risk along with drug addiction, sabotage, treason, and sedition.  [Complete text of order] (see September 14, 1953)


April 27, 2013: in a major step regarding openness in the Boy Scouts of America, Mormon Church officials approved the scout organization's acceptance of gay scouts. The new ruling remained controversial because it continued to ban gay scout leaders. (BSA & LGBTQ, see April 29)


April 27 Peace Love Activism

April 27, 1960:  Togo independent from France. (see June 26)

April 27 Peace Love Activism

April 27, 1961: Sierra Leone independent from United Kingdom. (see Dec 9)

April 27 Music et al

I Will Follow Him
April 27 – May 17, 1963, Margaret Annemarie Battavio's very first single, "I Will Follow Him," reached #1 on the U.S. pop charts. With her 15th birthday only six weeks behind her, and three more years of high school ahead of her, the singer better known as Little Peggy March became the youngest female performer ever to top the Billboard Hot 100, but she'd never crack the top 10 again. (see May 2)

In His Own Write

April 27 Peace Love Activism

April 27, 1964: John Lennon's "In His Own Write", a collection of funny poems and drawings, was published in the U.S. (see May 2 – June 5)

Cultural & Technological Milestone

April 27 Peace Love Activism

April 27, 1965:  R. C. Duncan was granted a patent for 'Pampers' disposable diapers. (see May 1)


April 27, 1968
  • In New York, 200,000 students refused to attend classes as a protest.
  • Vice President Hubert Humphrey announced his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination. In an interview, he said he supported the current U.S. policy of sending troops “where required by our own national security.” (see May 9)

Jack Kevorkian

April 27, 1993: a California law judge suspended Kevokian’s medical license after a request from that state's medical board. (see Aug 4)
April 27 Peace Love Activism

Iraq War II

Abu Ghraib
April 27, 2004: CBS “60 Minutes II” showed the first photos of the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal were shown. (see May 16)

World Trade Center

April 27, 2006: construction began on the 1,776-foot building on the site of the bombed World Trade Center in New York City. (see Apr 4)

Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

April 27 Peace Love Activism

April 27, 2010: slick grows to 100 miles  across and 20 miles from Louisiana coast (see Apr 28)

Women’s Health

Affordable Care Act
April 27, 2015: the U.S. Supreme Court revived religious objections by Catholic groups in Michigan and Tennessee to the Obamacare requirement for contraception coverage, throwing out a lower court decision favoring President Barack Obama's administration.

The justices asked the Cincinnati-based 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider its decision that backed the Obama administration in light of the Supreme Court's June 2014 ruling that allowed certain privately owned corporations to seek exemptions from the provision.

Obama's healthcare law, known as Obamacare, requires employers to provide health insurance policies that cover preventive services for women including access to contraception and sterilization.

Various challengers, including family-owned companies and religious affiliated nonprofits that oppose abortion and sometimes the use of contraceptives, say the requirement infringes on their religious beliefs.

The high court threw out a June 2014 appeals court ruling that went in favor of the government. In March, the court took a similar approach in a case concerning the University of Notre Dame. (see May 19)

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