May 9 Peace Love Activism
May 9, 1867: Sojourner Truth delivered a speech to the First Annual Meeting o the American Equal Rights Association, championing for the rights of all people. (Feminism, see January 8, 1868; BH, see May 11, 1868)
May 9, 1961: Joseph Perkins became the first Freedom Rider to be arrested after sitting at a whites only shoe-shine stand in Charlotte, NC. Later that same day, Freedom Rider John Lewis [Representative for Georgia's 5th congressional district, serving since 1987] was assaulted in the Greyhound bus terminal of Rock Hill, SC after attempting to enter the white waiting room with fellow Freedom Rider Al Bigelow. (see May 13)
May 9, 1963,: after Americans saw authorities turn fire hoses and police dogs on protesters in Birmingham, a negotiated truce took place on this day. Activists agreed to stop mass demonstrations in return for Birmingham authorities ending oppressive segregation laws and practices. Martin Luther King Jr. and Fred Shuttlesworth announced the settlement the next day. By this time, more than police had arrested more than 3,000 , many of them children. (see May 10)
Autherine Lucy Foster
May 9, 1992: Autherine Lucy Foster and her daughter Grazia graduated together from the University of Alabama, Autherine with a master’s degree in elementary education, Grazia with a bachelor’s degree in corporate finance. (Black History, see Mar 9, 1993; U of A, see October 10, 1996)
Johnnie Mae Chappell
May 9, 2006: the criminal investigation into the 1964 murder of Johnnie Mae Chappell. a woman slain in a drive-by shooting in northwest Jacksonville, ended.
William Cervone, who's 8th Circuit served the Gainesville area, was given one year to investigate and prosecute the case, but reported his findings after a five-month revision of the Investigation
Cervone released a statement saying after "reviewing the investigation into the murder of Johnnie Mae Chappell in Duval County in 1964 ... my conclusions ... are that no additional investigation is warranted and that no prosecution is legally possible."
Cervone went on to state that the statute of limitations has run out on anything but first degree murder, and that there was not enough evidence to prosecute the three co-defendants on that charge simply because they were in the car when JW Rich shot and killed Chappell.
In addition, Cervone said Florida law prevented them from being recharged due to speedy trial constraints.
State Attorney Harry Shorstein issued a statement: "This was a tragic chapter in the history of our city and I understand the Chappell family's desire to find justice. I regret that a few have used the Chappell family's great suffering for personal, professional, or political gain." Shorstein also commended Cervone for a comprehensive, thorough and professional investigation. (BH, see May 21)
May 9, 1914: President Wilson approved asking Americans to give a public expression of reverence to mothers through the celebration of Mother's Day. (F, see January 12, 1915; CM, see September 6, 1916)
US Labor History
May 9, 1934: the West Coast Longshoremen's Strike began when Int’l. Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) union workers demanded a 6 hr working day, more men on each gang, lighter loads and an independent union. They shut down seaports in Washington, Oregon and California for 3 months. (see May 18)
May 9 Music et al
May 9, 1958: a Suffolk County, NY grand jury indicted Alan Freed on charges of inciting the unlawful destruction of property during a riot touched off at a performance of his rock 'n' roll show the previous Saturday night. (see May 16)
May 9 – 15, 1960: Billy Vaughn and His Orchestra’s album Theme from a Summer Place is Billboard’s #1 album.
May 9 – 15, 1964, ending The Beatles' streak of three number-one hits in a row over 14 consecutive weeks, “Hello Dolly” by Louis Armstrong #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Unfinished Music No. 2: Life with the Lions
May 9, 1969, The Beatles after live performances: John Lennon and Yoko Ono released Unfinished Music No. 2: Life with the Lions, the second of their three experimental albums of avant-garde music on Zapple, a sub label of Apple. It was a successor to 1968's Unfinished Music No.1: Two Virgins, and was followed by the Wedding Album. LIfe With the Lions peaked in the US at number 174. The album, whose title is a play on words of the BBC Radio show Life with The Lyons, was recorded at Queen Charlotte's Hospital in London and live at Cambridge University, in November 1968 and March 1969. (see May 24 – June 27)
May 9, 1968: FBI Director J.Edgar Hoover on this day ordered the Bureau’s program to attack New Left political organizations. The New Left included a variety of anti-Vietnam War groups, some radical African-American organizations, and other politically radical groups that emerged in the 1960s. The “new” left defined itself in contrast to the “old” left, which was seen as dominated by socialistic and communist ideologies. (The definition of who was “new left” and a danger to the U.S. was, for the FBI, solely its own decision.) (see May 10)
May 9, 1969: William Beecher, military correspondent for the New York Times, published a front page dispatch from Washington, "Raids in Cambodia by U.S. Unprotested," which accurately described the first of the secret B-52 bombing raids in Cambodia. Within hours, Henry Kissinger, presidential assistant for national security affairs, contacted J. Edgar Hoover, FBI director, asking him to find the governmental sources of Beecher's article. During the next two years, Alexander Haig, a key Kissinger assistant, transmitted the names of National Security Council staff members and reporters who were to have their telephones wiretapped by the FBI. (see May 10)
May 9, 1970: between 75,000 and 100,000 young people, mostly from college campuses, demonstrated peacefully in Washington, D.C., at the rear of a barricaded White House. They demanded the withdrawal of U.S. military forces from Vietnam and other Southeast Asian nations. Afterwards, a few hundred militants spread through surrounding streets, causing limited damage. Police attacked the most threatening crowds with tear gas. (Vietnam, see May 10; Cambodian Invasion, see May 10)
May 9 Peace Love Activism
May 9, 1974: The House of Representatives Judiciary Committee opened formal and public impeachment hearings against Nixon. (see July 24)
May 9, 1997: Maine Gov. Angus King stated that he would sign a gay rights bill passed by the Maine Legislature. (see February 10, 1998)
May 9, 2012: President Obama announced that his view had “evolved” and now endorsed same sex marriage saying that it should be legal. He was the first sitting US President to do so. (see May 31)
Arkansas ban invalidated
May 9, 2014: Pulaski County, Arkansas Circuit Judge Chris Piazza invalidated the state's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage, saying it violated the equal-protection clause of the U.S. Constitution.
"Although marriage is not expressly identified as a fundamental right in the Constitution, the United States Supreme Court has repeatedly recognized it as such," Piazza ruled in striking down the 2004 amendment to the state's constitution as well as a statute passed in 1997.
"This is an unconstitutional attempt to narrow the definition of equality," he wrote. "The exclusion of a minority for no rational reason is a dangerous precedent."
Voters overwhelmingly supported changing the constitution to define marriage as being only between a man and a woman. (see May 19)
May 9, 2003: Judge Michael D'Amico found James Charles Kopp (see October 23, 1998) guilty and sentenced him to the maximum penalty, 25 years to life imprisonment (see May 31)
May 9, 2016: Circuit Judge Milton Hirsch ruled that Florida’s death penalty was unconstitutional because jurors were not required to agree unanimously on execution — a ruling that would add to the ongoing legal debate over Florida’s capital punishment system.
Hirsch issued the ruling in the case of Karon Gaiter, who was awaiting trial for first-degree murder.
Hirsch wrote that Florida’s recently enacted “super majority” system – 10 of 12 juror votes were needed to impose execution as punishment for murder – went against the long-time sanctity of unanimous verdicts in the U.S. justice system. (see May 13)
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