April 29 Peace Love Activism

April 29 Peace Love Activism

Feminism

Deborah Samson

April 29 Peace Love Activism

April 29, 1827: Deborah Samson died at the age of 66. She is buried in Rock Ridge Cemetery in the town of Sharon, Massachusetts. (Feminism,see 1832; Sampson, see May 23, 1983)

BLACK HISTORY

Ashmun Institute

April 29 Peace Love Activism

April 29, 1854: by an act of the Pennsylvania legislature, Ashmun Institute, the first college founded solely for African-American students, was officially chartered. The Institute was named after Jehudi Ashmun, the U.S. agent who helped reorganize and preserve the struggling African-American colony in Africa that later grew into the independent nation of Liberia. The Ashmun Institute, chartered to give theological, classical, and scientific training to African Americans, opened on January 1, 1857, and John Pym Carter served as the college's first president. In 1866, the institution was renamed Lincoln University. (see "in May" 1854)
Ford T. Johnson, Jr
April 29, 1963: in April 1962, Ford T. Johnson, Jr. appeared in a Richmond, Virginia, city traffic court and was convicted of contempt because he refused to sit in the segregated courtroom's "Negro" section. Mr. Johnson was unaware of the segregated seating and first sat in a section reserved for whites. When ordered to move, Mr. Johnson refused the judge's order to re-seat himself in the black section and said he would prefer to stand. He was immediately convicted of contempt and fined ten dollars.

                When Mr. Johnson appealed, the Virginia Supreme Court ruled his conviction was "plainly right." He then appealed to the United States Supreme Court, which agreed to hear the case. The State of Virginia admitted that the Richmond traffic court maintained a segregated seating policy but argued the policy was irrelevant and Mr. Johnson's contempt conviction was justified because he disobeyed a judge's order.

                The Supreme Court disagreed. Reasoning that one could not be held in contempt for refusing to comply with unconstitutional segregation rules, the Court unanimously overturned Mr. Johnson's conviction on April 29, 1963, in Johnson v. Virginia. The majority opinion declared that "such a conviction cannot stand, for it is no longer open to question that a State may not constitutionally require segregation of its public facilities." The decision was lauded by civil rights activists nationwide. The Richmond Afro-American newspaper hailed it as a "ruling against this long injustice practiced in what are supposed to be chambers of impartial justice." (see May 2)
Rodney King

April 29 Peace Love Activism

April 29, 1992: the four white LAPD officers [Sgt. Stacey Koon and officers Laurence Michael Powell, Timothy Wind, and Theodore Briseno] were acquitted of beating King. Riots start at the intersection of Florence and Normandie in South Central Los Angeles. Reginald Denny, a white truck driver, was pulled from his truck and beaten. A news helicopter captured the beating on videotape. Gov. Pete Wilson declared a state of emergency and called in National Guard troops. (see April 30 – May 4)
Baltimore riots continue
April 29, 2015: (from the NYT) aided by wide support from residents, activists, pastors and local leaders, and by thousands of police and National Guard reinforcements, an overnight curfew appeared to quell the unrest that had gripped this city earlier in the week.

                The quiet, mostly deserted streets — even in the Penn-North area that was the locus of rioting and looting on Monday — stood in sharp contrast to the blazes that had raged the night before and had strained the city’s Fire Department as engines and crews raced from fire to fire.

                Backstopped by 2,000 National Guard members, as well as officers from the state police and other law enforcement departments from outside the city, the Baltimore police appeared to exercise strategic discretion over the course of the night and did not seem particularly eager to aggressively pursue curfew violators if they did not have to. (see May 1)

Native Americans

The Treaty of Fort Laramie
April 29, 1868: The Treaty of Fort Laramie (also called the Sioux Treaty of 1868) was an agreement between the United States and the Oglala, Miniconjou, and Brulé bands of Lakota people, Yanktonai Dakota and Arapaho Nation. Signed at Fort Laramie in the Wyoming Territory, it guaranteed the Lakota ownership of the Black Hills, and further land and hunting rights in South Dakota, Wyoming, and Montana. The Powder River Country was to be henceforth closed to all whites. The treaty ended Red Cloud's War. Link to text of treaty. (see June 1, 1868)

US Labor History

Bunker Hill explosion

April 29 Peace Love Activism

April 29, 1899: an estimated one thousand silver miners, angry over low wages, the firing of union members and the planting of spies in their ranks by mineowners, seized a train, loaded it with 3,000 pounds of dynamite, and blew up the mill at the Bunker Hill mine in Wardner, Idaho. (see July 20)
Silent Parade
April 29, 1914: Upton Sinclair and his wife organize a "Silent Parade" in front of Rockefeller's New York Standard Oil offices to protest the Ludlow massacre (see April 20, 1914). Sinclair is arrested along with four women. (see June 28, 1914)

April 29 Peace Love Activism

Technological Milestone

April 29 Peace Love Activism

April 29, 1913:  the zipper was patented by Gideon Sundback. (see January 14, 1914)

McCarthyism

Owen Lattimore
April 29, 1950: in response to Senator Joseph McCarthy's charge that Owen Lattimore was a top Soviet spy in the US, Secretary of State Dean Acheson and three former secretaries of state denied that Lattimore had any influence on U.S. foreign policy.

                Senator McCarthy was asked to appear before a subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to provide details about his accusation. During the course of the hearing, the senator charged that Owen Lattimore was a top spy for the Soviet Union and had been "the principal architect of our Far Eastern policy." The implication of McCarthy's testimony was clear: Lattimore, acting as a virtual Soviet agent, had helped design a policy that resulted in the loss of China to the communists in 1949. In fact, Lattimore, a well-known specialist in the field of Chinese history, had merely served as a consultant to the Department of State during and after World War II. Like many others, he had come to the conclusion that the Nationalist Chinese government of Chiang Kai-Shek was hopelessly inefficient and corrupt, and that continued U.S. support of such a government was useless. In the harsh Cold War atmosphere of America, though, the "loss" of China to the communists encouraged suspicion that spies and sympathizers were to blame.

                Secretary of State Dean Acheson and three former secretaries of state, Cordell Hull, James Byrnes, and George C. Marshall, asked whether the accusations were true, answered that Lattimore had absolutely no impact on U.S. foreign policy toward Asia. Indeed, each of them went to great lengths to make clear that they had never even met Lattimore. Byrnes and Marshall went further, declaring McCarthy's charges were particularly harmful to America's foreign relations. Lattimore was later cleared by a congressional investigation in 1950, but in 1951-1952 the attacks against the professor were renewed and he was charged with perjury in connection with his 1950 testimony. These charges were eventually dismissed, but not before Lattimore's academic career in the United States had been destroyed. (see May 29, 1950)

Nuclear/Chemical News

Nuclear power plant

April 29 Peace Love Activism

April 29, 1957: the first military nuclear power plant was dedicated in Fort Belvoir, Virginia. (see May 18)
Chemical weapon ban

April 29 Peace Love Activism

April 29, 1997 a worldwide treaty to ban chemical weapons went into effect.

April 29 Music et al

Andrew Loog Oldham

April 29 Peace Love Activism

April 29, 1963, 19-year-old Andrew Loog Oldham signed a contract with The Rolling Stones, becoming their manager. Oldham had seen the band in concert the previous day at the Crawdaddy Club in London.
Hair
April 29, 1968: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical opened at the Biltmore Theater on Broadway. The inspiration to include nudity came when the authors saw an anti-war demonstration in Central Park where two men stripped naked as an expression of defiance and freedom, and they decided to incorporate the idea into the show. The show featured the songs 'Aquarius / Let the Sunshine In', 'Good Morning Starshine' and the title song. The production ran for 1,729 performances, closing on July 1st, 1972. 
Mayor John Lindsay
April 29, 1972: NYC Mayor John Lindsay wrote a letter to the Immigration and Naturalization Service calling the deportation proceedings against John Lennon and Yoko Ono, "a grave injustice." (see May 1)
Albert Hofmann
April 29, 2008: Swiss inventor of LSD, and discoverer of the active principles of magic mushrooms and morning glory seeds, Albert Hofmann, passed away from heart failure. He was 102 years old. (see March 4, 2014)

Vietnam

Troop level

April 29 Peace Love Activism

April 29, 1966: U.S. troops in Vietnam total 250,000. (see May 15)
Cambodian Invasion
April 29, 1970: South Vietnamese troops attack into Cambodia, pushing toward Vietcong bases. Two days later, a U.S. force of 30,000 -- including three U.S. divisions -- mount a second attack. Operations in Cambodia last for 60 days, and uncover vast North Vietnamese jungle supply depots. They capture 28,500 weapons, as well as over 16 million rounds of small arms ammunition, and 14 million pounds of rice. Although most Vietcong manage to escape across the Mekong, there are over 10,000 casualties. (see April 30)
Casualty figures
April 29, 1971: U.S. casualty figures for April 18 to April 24 released. The 45 killed during that time brought total U.S. losses for the Vietnam War to 45,019 since 1961. These figures made Southeast Asia fourth in total losses sustained by the U.S. during a war, topped only by the number of losses incurred during the Civil War, World War I, and World War II. (see May 3)
Operation Frequent Wind

April 29 Peace Love Activism

April 29, 1975: Operation Frequent Wind, the largest helicopter evacuation on record, began removing the last Americans from Saigon.U.S. Marines and Air Force helicopters, flying from carriers off-shore, begin a massive airlift. In 18 hours, over 1,000 American civilians and almost 7,000 South Vietnamese refugees were flown out of Saigon. Charles McMahon and Darwin Lee Judge, two U.S. Marines, were killed in a rocket attack at Saigon's Tan Son Nhut airport. They were the last Americans to die in the Vietnam War. McMahon, 11 days short of his 22nd birthday, was a corporal from Woburn, Massachusetts. Darwin Judge was a 19-year-old lance corporal from Marshalltown, Iowa. (see April 30)

LGBTQ

Rep Virginia Foxx
April 29, 2009: the U.S. House of Representatives debated expansion of hate crimes legislation. During the debate, Representative Virginia Foxx of North Carolina called the "hate crime" labeling of Shepard's murder a "hoax". Shepard's mother was said to be in the House gallery when the congresswoman made this comment. (LGBTQ see May 6; Hate Crime Act, see Oct 28)
BSA
April 29, 2013: Houston-area Boy Scout officials voted to continue a policy effectively banning gays from becoming scouts or adult volunteers. Sam Houston Area Council members said they would continue the current national policy of the Irving-based Boy Scouts of America. Like the military's former "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy about gay troops, the Boy Scouts don't ask about the sexual orientation of a prospective member or adult volunteer but won't grant membership to openly gay people or those who engage in behavior that would "become a distraction' to their mission, the Sam Houston Council said in a statement. A recent survey of parents, volunteers and backers in the Sam Houston Council showed strong support for keeping the policy as it is, officials said. They said 75 percent of respondents to the survey were against changing the current national membership policy. The Sam Houston Council board also said they wouldn't support a proposed resolution to the national Boy Scouts membership policy that would lift the bar on gay scout members. (LGBTQ, see April 29; BSA, see May 23)
Jason Collins

April 29 Peace Love Activism

April 29, 2013: Jason Collins, the former Nets center who had spent 12 seasons in the NBA, said he was gay in a Sports Illustrated article, becoming the first active player in one of America's major team sports leagues to come out. (see May 23)

Women’s Health

Plan B One-Step

April 29 Peace Love Activism

April 29, 2013: the Food and Drug Administration said that it would make the most widely known morning-after pill available without a prescription to girls and women ages 15 and older, and also make the pill available on drugstore shelves, instead of keeping it locked up behind pharmacy counters. Until this decision the pill, Plan B One-Step, which is used after sexual intercourse to help prevent pregnancy, was available without a prescription only for ages 17 and older. (see July 8)

Environmental Issues

April 29, 2014: in a major environmental victory for the Obama administration, the Supreme Court upheld the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to regulate the smog-causing pollution from coal-fired power plants that wafts across state lines from 27 Midwestern and Appalachian states to the East Coast.

                The 6-to-2 ruling upheld a centerpiece of what has become a signature of President Obama’s environmental agenda: a series of new Clean Air Act regulations aimed at cutting pollution from coal-fired power plants. Republicans and the coal industry have criticized the effort as a “war on coal.” (see see May 1)

DEATH PENALTY

April 29, 2015: (from NYT) lawyers for three condemned Oklahoma prisoners who claimed that the three-drug combination that could be used to execute them risked causing unconstitutional pain and suffering ran into skepticism from conservative members of the Supreme Court on Wednesday.

                The prisoners argued that the sedative midazolam, which was involved in three prolonged and apparently painful executions last year, could not reliably produce a state of deep unconsciousness before other, severely painful drugs were injected. They asked that lower-court rulings permitting the use of the drug in executions be overturned.

                But several of the conservative justices questioned whether the evidence warranted a reversal and, more broadly, expressed exasperation with shortages of more proven drugs that they said had been caused by opponents of capital punishment.

                “Let’s be honest about what’s going on here,” Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. said. “Executions can be carried out painlessly.” (see May 20)

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Revolutionary War Hero Deborah Sampson

Revolutionary War Hero Deborah Sampson

Early life

Deborah Sampson was born on December 17, 1760 in Plympton, Massachusetts. Her father, Johnathan Sampson, Jr. was a direct descendant of the Mayflower pilgrim Miles Standish. Her mother,  Deborah Bradford, was a direct descendant of the Mayflower pilgrim, William Bradford,

Though having historic roots, the Sampson family suffered financially due to bad luck and poor skills on Johnathan Samson's part. He eventually abandoned his wife and seven children.

Indentured servant

Because of her difficult situation and in poor health, Mrs Sampson placed her children in the homes of various relatives and friends. Ten-year-old Deborah Sampson became an indentured servant until her release at the age of 18.  

For the next three years, she worked part-time as a schoolteacher and worked in homes spinning and weaving. Truning 21, above average in height  strong, and hearing of the Revolutionary War's heroics, Deborah was looking for adventure. She decided to dress like a man and join the Continental Army.  

After her first attempt, she thought others were suspicious and left, but tried again, this time successfully joining the Fourth Massachusetts Regiment on  May 20, 1782 under the alias Robert Shurtliff,  Her five feet seven inch height helped fool others.

Battle of Tarrytown

Revolutionary War Hero Deborah Sampson

Less that two months later, on July 3, 1782 at the Battle of Tarrytown, Sampson was wounded . Two musket balls hit her in the thigh and a sabre cut her forehead.

Fearful that others would discover her true identity, she begged her fellow soldiers to let her die and not take her to the hospital, but they refused to abandon her. Doctors treated her head wound, but she left the hospital before they could attend to the thigh.

She removed one of the balls herself with a penknife and sewing needle, but her leg never fully healed because the other musket ball was too deep for her to reach.

Almost a year later, on April 1, 1783, Sampson was transferred to Philadelphia as a personal orderly to General John Patterson.  This job entitled her to a better quality of life, better food, less danger, and improved shelter, but during that summer, Sampson came down with fever.

Dr Barnabas Binney

Dr Barnabas Binney cared for her. He saw the cloth she used to bind her breasts and so discovered her secret. He did not betray her; he took her to his house, where his wife and daughters housed and took care of her.

In September, after Sampson had fully recovered, Binney asked her to deliver a personal letter to General Patterson. Upon delivering it, Patterson informed her that the letter said she was a woman in disguise.

Discharge and marriage

On October 23, 1783 Deborah Sampson was honorably discharged from the Army. 

On April 7, 1785 she married Benjamin Gannet from Sharon, Massachusetts. Together they had three children, Earl, Mary, and Patience.

Request for pay

Revolutionary War Hero Deborah Sampson

In January 1792 Deborah Sampson petitioned the Massachusetts State Legislature for pay which the army had withheld from her because of her sex. Her petition passed through the State Senate, was approved, and signed by Governor John Hancock. The General Court of Massachusetts verified her service and wrote that she "exhibited an extraordinary instance of female heroism by discharging the duties of a faithful gallant soldier, and at the same time preserving the virtue and chastity of her gender, unsuspected and unblemished". The award was 34 pounds.

Pension request

Twelve years later, on February 20, 1804 Paul Revere wrote to Massachusetts US Representative William Eustis on behalf of Sampson. Revere requested that the US Congress grant her a military pension. This had never before been requested by or for a woman, but with her health failing and her family destitute, the money was greatly needed. Revere wrote, "I have been induced to enquire her situation, and character, since she quit the male habit, and soldiers uniform; for the more decent apparel of her own gender...humanity and justice obliges me to say, that every person with whom I have conversed about her, and it is not a few, speak of her as a woman with handsome talents, good morals, a dutiful wife, and an affectionate parent."

More than a year later, on March 11, 1805, the US Congress obliged Revere’s letter and placed her on the Massachusetts Invalid Pension Roll. This pension plan paid Deborah Sampson four dollars a month.

Continuing to experience financial difficulty, in 1809, Sampson sent another petition to Congress, asking that her pension as an invalid soldier, given to her in 1804, commence with the time of her 1793 discharge. Had her petition been approved, she would have been awarded $960, to be divided into $48 a year for twenty years. However, Congress denied the request.

Seven years later, Sampson’s petition came before Congress again. This time, they approved it awarding her $76.80 a year. With this amount, she was able to repay all her loans and take better care of the family farm.

Death

Revolutionary War Hero Deborah Sampson

On April 29, 1827 Deborah Sampson died at the age of 66. She is buried in Rock Ridge Cemetery in the town of Sharon, Massachusetts.

In 1831,  Sampson's husband petitioned Congress for pay as the spouse of a deceased soldier. Although the couple was not married at the time of her service, in 1837 the committee concluded that the history of the Revolution “furnished no other similar example of female heroism, fidelity and courage.” He was awarded the money, though he died before receiving it.
Revolutionary War Hero Deborah Sampson

Revolutionary War Hero Deborah Sampson

May 23, 1983: Governor Michael J. Dukakis signed a proclamation which declared that Deborah Sampson was the Official Heroine of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  Two news services stated this was the first time in US history that any state had proclaimed anyone as the official hero or heroine.

Using her unselfish example today, it was reported on March 21, 2017 in the Military Times that "advocates are lobbying for sweeping reforms in women veterans services in the wake of a nude photo sharing scandals that have raised questions about misogyny and morale in the military. 

“When people think of veterans, when they close their eyes, they don’t think about someone who looks like me,” said Allison Jaslow, chief of staff for Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. “Until we get over that hurdle, we’re not going to be able to get everything else that we need.”

The measure -- dubbed the Deborah Sampson Act, after the woman who disguised herself as a man to serve in the Continental Army -- mandates more peer-to-peer counseling for women veterans, expanded newborn care services at Department of Veterans Affairs facilities, better tracking of women’s health issues by the department and $20 million to retrofit VA medical centers with more privacy features. 

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