August 19 Peace Love Activism

August 19 Peace Love Activism


Virginia’s first slaves arrive
August 19, 1619: the first enslaved Africans arrived in the Virginia colony at Point Comfort on the James River. There, “20 and odd Negroes” from the White Lion, an English ship, were sold in exchange for food; the remaining Africans were transported to Jamestown and sold into slavery.

Historians have long believed that these first African slaves in the colonies came from the Caribbean but Spanish records suggest they were captured in the Portuguese colony of Angola, in West Central Africa. While aboard the ship São João Bautista bound for Mexico, they were stolen by two English ships, the White Lion and the Treasurer. Once in Virginia, the enslaved Africans were dispersed throughout the colony.. (see January 3, 1624)

Cultural Milestones

Smithsonian Institution

August 19 Peace Love Activism

August 19, 1846: Congress chartered the Smithsonian Institution, named after English scientist James Smithson, whose bequest of $500,000 made it possible. (see March 13, 1852)

August 19 Peace Love Activism

August 19, 2004: the Internet search engine Google went public. (see February 14 2005)

Native Americans

August 19 Peace Love Activism

August 19, 1854: sent to arrest an Indian who had killed a cow to feed his starving family, Lt. John Grattan encounterd a larger group than anticipated. After failed negotiations and nervous shooting by the American cavalry,  Grattan’s forces were surrounded and killed. The encounter became known as the “Grattan Massacre.” (see  September 3, 1855)


August 19, 1919:  Afghanistan independent from United Kingdom. (see Dec 11, 1931)


Emmett Till
In August 1955  Emmett Till's great uncle Moses Wright traveled from Mississippi to Chicago to visit family. At the end of his stay, Wright planned to take Till's cousin, Wheeler Parker, back to Mississippi with him to visit relatives. Emmett learned of these plans he begged his mother to let him go along. Initially, Mamie Till said no. She wanted to take a road trip to Omaha, Nebraska and attempted to lure Till to join her with the promise of open-road driving lessons. But Till desperately wanted to spend time with his cousins in Mississippi and she gave her permission. (BH, see Aug 13)

August 19, 1955:  Till’s mother gave Emmett his late father's signet ring, engraved with the initials L.T. Louis Till had died in 1945 while a private in Europe during World War II. (see Aug 20)
Oklahoma City sit-in
August 19, 1958: inspired by the success of Wichita, Kansas, sit-in on August 11, an NAACP youth chapter staged a sit-in at a segregated lunch counter in Oklahoma City. (see Sept 12)

The Cold War

August 19, 1960: the Soviet Union sentenced Francis Gary Powers to 10 years for espionage. NYT article (CW, see Oct 19; Powers, see February 10, 1962)

Nuclear/Chemical News

August 19, 1960: the first commercial atomic energy reactor, and the third in the U.S., achieved a self-sustaining nuclear reaction. It began producing power for distribution on 10 Nov 1960. This was the $57 million Yankee Atomic Electric Company's plant at Rowe, Mass., on the Deerfield River. The pressurized light-water reactor produced 125,000 kilowatts of electricity. The company was formed by twelve New England utility companies which signed a contract with the Westinghouse Corporation as the principal contractor. It was permanently shut down on 26 Feb 1992, due to reactor vessel embrittlement, after more than 31 years of service. (see Dec 14)

August 19 Music et al

see The Beatles play the Cow Palace for more
August 19, 1964: The Beatles had taken America by storm during their famous first visit, wowing the millions who watched them during their historic television appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show in February 1964. But after the first great rush of stateside Beatlemania, the Beatles promptly returned to Europe, leaving their American fans to make do with mere records. By late summer of that same year, however, having put on an unprecedented and still unmatched display of pop-chart dominance during their absence, the Beatles finally returned. On August 19, 1964, more than six months after taking the East Coast by storm, the Fab Four traveled to California to take the stage at the Cow Palace in San Francisco for opening night of their first-ever concert tour of North America.

Although in retrospect it would seem a laughable underestimation of their drawing power in America, Beatles' manager Brian Epstein chose venues like the 17,000-seat Cow Palace for the 1964 tour expressly because he feared that the Beatles might not sell out large sports stadiums like San Francisco's Candlestick Park, where they would play their final official concert in 1966. Suffice it to say that the Beatles had no difficultly filling the Cow Palace, which was packed with 17,130 screaming fans when the group bounded to the stage shortly after 9:00 p.m. on this day in 1964 and launched into "Twist And Shout."

The Beatles' set that night and throughout the tour that followed featured only 12 songs, most often in this order: "Twist and Shout", "You Can't Do That," "All My Loving," "She Loves You," "Things We Said Today," "Roll Over Beethoven," "Can't Buy Me Love, " "If I Fell," "I Want to Hold Your Hand," "Boys," "A Hard Day's Night," and "Long Tall Sally."
 At other stops on the tour, the Beatles' performances would last approximately 33 minutes, but the show that night in San Francisco lasted some five minutes longer—not because of any difference in the Beatles' performance, but because of police intervention to stem the growing pandemonium. Within the first few seconds of the first song that night, at least one radio journalist traveling with the Beatles had been trampled to the ground along with a young female fan who broke a leg in the melee.    And thanks to an offhand comment by George Harrison about the group's favorite candy in the days leading up to the show, the Beatles themselves were pelted with flying jelly beans throughout that night's set. Though John, Paul, George and Ringo were uninjured, they left the Cow Palace that night by ambulance after their limousine was swarmed by berserk fans. It was a scene that would become familiar to them as they continued on their first historic tour of America in the months ahead. (see August 28)
All You Need Is Love
August 19 – 25, 1967: “All You Need Is Love” #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. (see Aug 25)


 My Lai Massacre
August 19, 1969: authorities at Fort Benning decided to press charges against Lieutenant Calley. (My Lai, see Sept 5, Vietnam, see Sept 2)
August 19 Peace Love Activism

Gerald Ford nominated

August 19, 1976: U.S. President Gerald Ford edged out challenger Ronald Reagan to win the Republican Party presidential nomination in Kansas City. NYT article

Women’s Health

August 19, 1993: Rachel “Shelley” Shannon shot Dr. George Tiller in both arms, outside his Wichita, Kansas clinic. (WH, see March 5, 1994; Shannon, see April 26, 1994)

US Labor History

August 19, 1997: after a 16-day walkout, United Parcel Service agreed to a contract with the Teamsters, marking labor's first successful nationwide strike in two decades. One of the main issues leading to the strike is the company's practice of using part-time workers to avoid paying benefits. (see July 28, 1998)

Iraq War II

August 19, 2006:  1,249 days since the war began — the war in Iraq surpassed the length of WWII. (see Aug 21)

Fair Housing

August 19, 2015: in response to an unsparing audit by its watchdog, the Department of Housing and Urban Development flipped its stance and said would urge housing authorities nationwide to evict tenants who earn too much to qualify for government subsidies.

The initiative represented an about-face from the agency’s earlier response to the audit by HUD’s inspector general. That review found that more than 25,000 tenants make more than the maximum income allowed to qualify for public housing. The threshold varies depending on local economic circumstances, ranging, for example, from an income limit of $32,750 for a family of four in the District to $14,500 in Mississippi.

Although many of the “over income” tenants exceeded the limit by a small amount, the audit revealed that nearly half were over the threshold by $10,000 to $70,000. And some of the cases were eye-popping, such as a family of four in New York City with a $497,911 salary that is paying $1,574 in rent for a three-bedroom apartment in public housing.

The review, released on July 21, said that some public housing tenants who exceed HUD’s low-income threshold were committing “egregious” abuses and were squeezing out truly needy families.

 “This audit, like others, provides HUD an opportunity to re-evaluate policies and initiatives and make improvements where necessary,” agency spokesman Jereon M. Brown said in a statement. “As a result, HUD is taking additional steps to encourage housing authorities to establish policies that will reduce the number of over income families in public housing.” (see Nov 12)

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