May 27 Peace Love Activism

May 27 Peace Love Activism

May 27 Peace Love Activism



May 27 Peace Love Activism

May 27, 1647: Achsah (sometimes rendered "Alice") Young of Windsor, Connecticut, became the first person executed in North America for witchcraft when she was hanged in Hartford, Conn. (see June 15, 1648)
Hall v Florida
May 27, 2014: the Supreme Court decided 5 – 4 that Florida's threshold requirement, as interpreted by the Florida Supreme Court, that defendants show an IQ test score of 70 or below before being permitted to submit additional intellectual disability evidence was unconstitutional because it created an unacceptable risk that persons with intellectual disabilities will be executed.

Twelve years after leaving it to the states to decide when an individual convicted of murder was too intellectually incapacitated to be executed, the divided Supreme Court withdrew some of that discretion.  The states cannot use a fixed IQ score as the measure of incapacity to be put to death.  “Intellectual incapacity,” the Court said, “is a condition, not a number.”

But even the new attempt at guidance may have left some uncertainty.  While states were told that they cannot make an IQ test score anywhere above 70 as permission for an individual’s execution, it did say that it was not ruling on whether a state could set the fixed score at 75 or above, and use that alone as the measure. (see July 16)
Nebraska death penalty
May 27, 2015: (from the NYT) Nebraska became the first conservative state in more than 40 years to abolish the death penalty, with lawmakers defying their Republican governor, Pete Ricketts, a staunch supporter of capital punishment who had lobbied vigorously against banning it. After more than two hours of emotional speeches at the Capitol, the Legislature, by a 30-to-19 vote that cut across party lines, overrode the governor’s veto of a bill repealing the state’s death penalty law. After the repeal measure passed, by just enough votes to overcome the veto, dozens of spectators in the balcony burst into celebration. (DP, see June 8; Nebraska, see November 9, 2016)


May 27, 1668: three colonists were expelled from Massachusetts for being Baptists. (see May 11, 1682)

Black History

see ”SCOTTSBORO BOYS” for more
May 27, 1932: the U.S. Supreme Court announced it would hear the Scottsboro cases. (see Oct 2)
Judge Tom P. Brady

May 27 Peace Love Activism

May 27, 1954: Judge Tom P. Brady of Brookhaven, Mississippi delivered a defiant speech called "Black Monday" in response to the U.S. Supreme Court's Brown v. Board of Education decision, inspiring many white leaders to join the white Citizens' Council. The racist diatribe was printed in books and distributed to white schoolchildren across Mississippi. Brady pointed to specific moments in history from ancient times, to the period of the Civil War, as proof of the natural order of subordination of African Americans to whites. He went on to discuss what he saw as the nation’s infringement on states’ rights, and campaigns against national laws that undermine the way that the people in Mississippi wish to treat African-American people. He argued that anti-civil rights activists needed to take action against civil rights laws and against an empowered African-American people. (see June 10)
Green v. County School Board of New Kent County
May 27, 1968: the US Supreme Court ordered states to dismantle segregated school systems "root and branch." The Court identified five factors — facilities, staff, faculty, extracurricular activities and transportation — to be used to gauge a school system's compliance with the mandate of Brown. In a private note to Justice Brennan, Justice Warren wrote: "When this opinion is handed down, the traffic light will have changed from Brown to Green. Amen!"  (BH, see May 27; SD, see Oct 29, 1969)
Louisville riot

May 27 Peace Love Activism

May 27, 1968: Louisville, Kentucky riot in response to the Martin Luther King, Jr assassination. (BH, see Sept 8; RR, see October 31, 1969 )
May 27, 2015: authorities said that Cleveland police Officer Michael Brelo allegedly engaged in a fight with his twin brother during a night of drinking. Michael Brelo and his brother, Mark, faced assault charges. The fight between the twins occurred at Michael Brelo's home after 4 a.m. on May 27, according to police in Bay Village, Ohio. (see May 29)

US Labor History

Auto-Lite strike day 4
May 27, 1934 (Sunday): almost all picketing and rioting within the now eight-block-wide zone surrounding the Auto-Lite plant ceased. (see May 28)

May 27 Music et al

“From Me to You”

May 27 Peace Love Activism

May 27, 1963: The Beatles released their second US single:  “From Me to You.” (March 15 was first release) It peaked at #116 on the national charts in August. In Los Angeles, it peaked at the same time at #32.  In 1980, John Lennon said, "We were writing it in a car, I think... and I think the first line was mine. I mean, I know it was mine. (humms melody) And then after that we just took it from there. We were just writing the next single. It was far bluesier than that when we wrote it. The notes, today.. you could rearrange it pretty funky." (see "in June")
see The Freewheelin Bob Dylan for more
May 27 Peace Love Activism
photo by Don Hunstein
May 27, 1963: released his second album, The Freewheelin Bob Dylan.

The album cover features Dylan with Suze Rotolo. It was taken in February 1963 by CBS staff photographer Don Hunstein at the corner of Jones Street and West 4th Street in the West Village, close to the apartment where they couple lived .

In a 2008 NYT article Rotolo said: "He wore a very thin jacket, because image was all. Our apartment was always cold, so I had a sweater on, plus I borrowed one of his big, bulky sweaters. On top of that I put on a coat. So I felt like an Italian sausage. Every time I look at that picture, I think I look fat."

In her memoir, A Freewheelin' Time, Rotolo analyzed the significance of the cover image: It is one of those cultural markers that influenced the look of album covers precisely because of its casual down-home spontaneity and sensibility. Most album covers were carefully staged and controlled, to terrific effect on the Blue Note jazz album covers ... and to not-so great-effect on the perfectly posed and clean-cut pop and folk albums. Whoever was responsible for choosing that particular photograph for The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan really had an eye for a new look.

Critic Janet Maslin summed up the iconic impact of the cover as "a photograph that inspired countless young men to hunch their shoulders, look distant, and let the girl do the clinging."

Dylan recorded the album from April 1962  to April, 1963 (see July 6)
Side one

  1. “Blowin’ in the Wind”
  2. “Girl from the North Country”
  3. “Masters of War”
  4. “Down the Highway”
  5. “Bob Dylan’s Blues”
  6. “A Hard Rain’s a’Gonna Fall
Side two

  1. “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right”
  2. “Bob Dylan’s Dream”
  3. “Oxford Town”
  4. “Talkin’ World War III Blues”
  5. “Corrina, Corrina” (Traditional)
  6. “Honey, Just Allow Me One More Chance” 
  7. “I Shall Be Free”
The Road to Bethel
May 27, 1969: press release: the production staff for the festival was completed. Wartoke Concern was the festival’s public relations firm. (see May 28)
May 27 Peace Love Activism


United States v. O’Brien
May 27, 1968: United States v. O'Brien (see March 31, 1966). In a 7 – 1 opinion, the Supreme Court upheld the 1965 law that made it a crime to burn or otherwise destroy or mutilate a draft card. Chief Justice Warren, writing the majority opinion, rejected the lower court’s contention that draft card burning was “symbolic speech” and that Congress was forbidden by the First Amendment’s free-speech guarantees to outlaw it. (Vietnam, see June 14; FS, see June 3; Draft Card Burning, see October 30)
Swedish Humanitarian Aid to NLF
May 27, 1971: In Sweden, Foreign Minister Torsten Nilsson revealed that Sweden had been providing assistance to the Viet Cong (aka, National Liberation Front), including some $550,000 worth of medical supplies. Similar Swedish aid was to go to Cambodian and Laotian civilians affected by the Indochinese fighting. The support was primarily humanitarian in nature and included no military aid. (see June 7)

Nuclear/Chemical News


May 27 Peace Love Activism

May 27, 1972: Soviet President Leonid Brezhnev and U.S. President Richard Nixon, meeting in Moscow, signed the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) agreements. At the time, these agreements were the most far-reaching attempts to control nuclear weapons. (see July 1; SALT, see December  13,  2001)

World Trade Center

George H. Willig fined

May 27 Peace Love Activism

May 27, 1977:  NYC Mayor Beame accepted $1.10 to settle the city's $250,000 suit against George H. Willig, Instead, Willig was fined $1.10, 1 cent per floor, for scaling the World Trade Center. (see February 26, 1993)

Oklahoma City Explosion

Michael Fortier
May 27, 1998: Michael Fortier, the government's star witness in the Oklahoma City bombing case, was sentenced to 12 years in prison after apologizing for not warning anyone about the deadly plot. (see January 2000)

Dissolution of Yugoslavia

Slobodan Milosevic

May 27 Peace Love Activism

May 27, 1999: in The Hague, Netherlands, a war crimes tribunal indicted Slobodan Milosevic and four others for atrocities in Kosovo. It was the first time that a sitting head of state had been charged with such a crime.  (see June 3)

Family Leave Medical Act

May 27, 2003: In Nevada Department of Human Resources v. Hibbs, the Supreme Court ruled that states can be sued in federal court for violations of the Family Leave Medical Act. (NYT article)

Environmental Issues

Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill
May 27, 2010: President Obama announced a six-month moratorium on new deepwater oil drilling permits in 500 feet of water or more. Based on the oil flow estimates by the Flow Rate Technical Group, the US government increased its estimate from 12,000 to 19,000 barrels (500,000 to 800,000 US gallons per day. (NYT article) (see June 1)
Plains All American Pipeline

May 27 Peace Love Activism

May 27, 2015: the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Coast Guard ordered Texas-based Plains All American Pipeline to continue its efforts to clean up the pipeline breach that dumped crude onto a pristine stretch of shoreline and into the Pacific Ocean.

The order required Plains All American Pipeline to submit a written plan by June 6 that will outline measures for analyzing the spill's effects on the environment.

The May 19 spill dumped as much as 2,400 barrels (101,000 gallons, or 382,000 liters) of crude onto a pristine stretch of the Santa Barbara coastline and into the Pacific, leaving slicks that stretched over 9 miles (14 km) along the coast.

"Our action today is to make sure the oil response work continues until the Santa Barbara County coastline is restored," Jared Blumenfeld, an EPA regional administrator, said in a statement. (see June 9)

Native Americans

May 27, 2014: a divided Supreme Court ruled that the Michigan could not block the opening of an off-reservation American Indian casino because the state's legal challenge is barred by tribal sovereign immunity.

In a 5-4 decision, the high court said the state could not shutter the Bay Mills Indian Community's casino about 90 miles south of its Upper Peninsula reservation.

The ruling was a win for Indian tribes, which had increasingly looked to casinos as a source of revenue and had relied on immunity to shield them from government interference. But it's a disappointment for Michigan and more than a dozen others states that say the decision will interfere with their ability to crack down on unauthorized tribal casinos.

Michigan argued that the Bay Mills tribe opened the casino in 2010 without permission from the U.S. government and in violation of a state compact. The tribe had purchased land for the casino with earnings from a settlement with the federal government over allegations that it had not been adequately compensated for land ceded in 1800s treaties. (see June 18)

Immigration History

May 27, 2015: the Justice Department said it would not ask the Supreme Court to review the judge's decision that put on hold President Obama's executive action on immigration. (see June 15)

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