June 4 Peace Love Activism

June 4 Peace Love Activism

Environmental Issues

June 4, 1892: the Sierra Club was incorporated in San Francisco (see July 1, 1905)


Afro-American Council

June 4 Peace Love Activism

June 4, 1899: the Afro-American Council declared a national day of fasting to protest lynching and violence against African Americans. (see January 20, 1900)
Angela Davis

June 4 Peace Love Activism

June 4, 1972: a jury acquitted Black militant and academic Angela Davis, a former philosophy professor at the University of California, and self-proclaimed communist, on charges of conspiracy, murder, and kidnapping in San Jose, California. (see June 22)

US Labor History

June 4, 1912: First State Minimum Wage Law: Massachusetts adopted the first minimum wage law, setting a floor under the pay of women and minors. Other states will pass similar laws beginning the same year.  (see January 23, 1913)

Voting Rights

June 4, 1919: the US Senate passed the Nineteenth Amendment and sent it to the states for ratification. (see Feb 14, 1920)


Article 93
June 4, 1920: a House of Representatives Subcommittee of the Committee on Military Affairs approved Revisions to The Articles of War, which criminalized sodomy. Article 93 states: "Various Crimes.--Any person subject to military law who commits manslaughter, mayhem, arson, burglary, housebreaking, robbery, larceny, embezzlement, perjury, forgery, sodomy...shall be punished as a court-martial may direct." (see December 10, 1924)
June 4, 2014: the U.S. Supreme Court refused to halt new marriages between same-sex couples in Oregon. The National Organization for Marriage had sought a stay of a lower court’s decision allowing marriages to take place after the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals denied a similar request two weeks ago. (see June 24)

Judicial Milestone

Olmstead v. United States
June 4, 1928: was a decision by the US Supreme Court, in which the Court reviewed whether the use of wiretapped private telephone conversations, obtained by federal agents without judicial approval and subsequently used as evidence, constituted a violation of the defendant’s rights provided by the Fourth and Fifth Amendments. In a 5-4 decision, the Court held that neither the Fourth Amendment nor the Fifth Amendment rights of the defendant were violated. (JM, see May 23, 1938; Olmsted, see December 18, 1967)

Cultural Milestone

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June 4, 1937: Humpty Dumpty supermarket in Oklahoma City introduced the first shopping carts. With the help of a mechanic, Fred Young, store owner Sylvan Goldman designed the shopping cart based on a folding chair. They placed wheels where the bottoms of the chair legs would be and two metal baskets on top of each other where the seat would have been. They could store the carts could by folding them. (see Aug 10)


Dennis v. United States
June 4, 1951: on October 14, 1949, eleven Communist Party leaders were convicted of advocating the violent overthrow of the US government and for the violation of several points of the Smith Act [June 28, 1940]. The party members who had been petitioning for socialist reforms claimed that the act violated their First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and that they served no clear and present danger to the nation.

In a 6 – 2 decision, the US Supreme Court upheld the defendants' convictions for conspiring to overthrow the U.S. government by force through their participation in the Communist Party were not in violation of the First Amendment. Second Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed. (trial/Free Speech, see March 10, 1952)


Vietnam independence

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June 4, 1954: French and Vietnamese officials signed treaties in Paris according independence to Vietnam. (see July 21)
Anti-war advertisement

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June 4, 1966: a  three-page anti-war advertisement appears in the New York Times signed by 64,00 teachers and professors. (see June 29)
Eleanor Sobel
June 4, 1969: the Brookline, Massachusetts School Board suspended junior high school teacher, Eleanor Sobel, because she had written “Was this war worth your brother’s life? Maybe he should have burned his draft card” on an essay of 12-year-old Sheila McNabb whose brother, John, was killed in Vietnam in November, 1967. (Vietnam; see June 5; DCB, see January 2, 1970)

June 4 Music et al

Beatles sign
June 4, 1962: Brian Epstein and Beatles officially signed a record deal with Parlophone/E.M.I. (see June 6)
Beach Boys
June 4, 1962: Beach Boys released second single,  “Surfin’ Safari.” Peaked at number 14 on the Billboard Hot 100. (see October 29)

see Jimi Hendrix for more
June 4, 1967: the Jimi Hendrix Experience played their last show in England at London’s Saville Theatre before heading off to America. (Brian Epstein ran The Saville). Hendrix, had gotten a copy of Sgt. Pepper prior to the show. There are some who say he bought it and others who say Paul McCartney had given it to him. The Beatles decided to go to the concert. (Beatles, see June 12; Hendrix, see June 18)

June 4 Peace Love Activism


June 4, 1970: Tonga no longer a protectorate under the United Kingdom. (see Oct 10)

Cold War

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June 4, 1974: President Richard Nixon abolished the Attorney General’s List of Subversive Organizations, which was a major instrument in the attack on freedom of belief and association during the Cold War. President Harry Truman had ordered the list as part of his federal Loyalty Program on March 21, 1947, and first published on December 4, 1947. During the anti-Communist hysteria of the Cold War, individuals lost their jobs or were denied employment because they belonged to, or once belonged to, an organization on the list.

The list had a devastating influence, inspiring similar lists, including Red Channels, a privately sponsored list published on June 22, 1950, which also became the basis for blacklisting in the radio, television and motion picture industries. The Attorney General’s list also inspired the House Un-American Activities Committee’s “Guide to Subversive Organizations,” first published on May 14, 1951. (see July 12)


Wallace v. Jaffree
June 4, 1985: the US Supreme Court ruled that an Alabama law authorizing public school teachers to hold a minute of silence for "meditation or voluntary prayer" violated the establishment clause of the First Amendment. The Court held that the Alabama statute failed the Lemon Test [28 June 1971] by advancing a religious, rather than a secular, purpose. (see June 19, 1987)

Tiananmen Square Massacre

June 4, 1989: Chinese soldiers deployed to end demonstrations. The soldiers shot randomly at them. The official Chinese government figure is 241, but this is almost certainly a drastic under count. Between soldiers, protesters and civilians, it seems likely that anywhere from 800 to 4,000 people were killed. The Chinese Red Cross initially put the toll at 2,600, based on counts from local hospitals, but then quickly retracted that statement under intense government.

Jack Kevorkian

June 4, 1990: Kevorkian was present at the death of Janet Adkins, a 54-year-old Portland, Oregon, woman with Alzheimer's disease. Her death using the "suicide machine" occurs in Kevorkian's 1968 Volkswagen van in Groveland Oaks Park near Holly, Michigan. (see June 8)

Stop and Frisk Policy

June 4, 2012: NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo pushed for the decriminalization of the possession of small amounts of marijuana in public view. (see June 17)

Women’s Health

June 4, 2012: The National Center for Health Statistics reported that teen births were at their lowest level in almost 70 years. Birthrates for ages 15-19 in all racial and ethnic groups were lower than ever reported. The new numbers elaborated on federal data released in November (2011) that found the teen birthrate dropped 9% from 2009 to 2010, to a historic low of 34.3 births per 1,000 teens. That was down 44% from 61.8 in 1991. The all-time high was 96.3 during the Baby Boom year of 1957. (see Oct 23)

Sexual Abuse of Children

June 4, 2016: a year after approving the creation of a new tribunal to discipline bishops who covered up child sex abuse by priests, Pope Francis scrapped that plan on and issued new guidelines to oust those who have been “negligent” in handling such cases.

Under the new guidelines, issued in an apostolic letter, Roman Catholic bishops who have failed to properly handle sex abuse cases will be investigated by four Vatican offices. If the bishops are found to have betrayed their mission, they will be removed “to protect those who are the weakest among the persons entrusted to them.” (see October 6)

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