August 28 Peace Love Activism

August 28 Peace Love Activism

Feminism & Voting Rights

August 28, 1917: woman suffragists picket President Woodrow Wilson in front of the White House. They demanded that he support an amendment to the Constitution that would guarantee women the right to vote.

Wilson had a history of lukewarm support for women's suffrage, although he paid lip service to suffragists' demands during political campaigns and greeted previously peaceful suffrage demonstrators at the White House with decorum. He was also a former teacher at a women's college and the father of two daughters who considered themselves "suffragettes." During the 1912 presidential campaign against Theodore Roosevelt, Wilson and his opponent agreed on many reform measures such as child-labor laws and pro-union legislation. They differed, however, on the subject of women's suffrage, as Roosevelt was in favor of giving women the vote.

According to the Library of Congress' American Memory archives, Wilson rode out of the White House gates that  morning with his wife at his side and tipped his hat toward the protesters as usual. By this time, though, the suffragists had become increasingly disruptive and brandished anti-World War I slogans on their placards in addition to pleas for the vote and later that day the protesters and outraged bystanders who supported the war clashed. Many of the women were arrested and thrown in jail. (see October)

BLACK HISTORY

Emmett Till terrorized and murdered
August 28, 1955: at approximately 2:30 in the morning Roy Bryant, Carolyn's husband, and his half brother J.W. Milam kidnapped Emmett Till from Moses Wright's home. They then brutally beat, dragged him to the bank of the Tallahatchie River, shot him in the head, tied him with barbed wire to a large metal fan and shoved his mutilated body into the water. Moses Wright reported Till's disappearance to the local authorities. (see Emmett Till)
Albany Movement
August 28, 1962: Albany, GA police arrested and jailed seventy religious leaders from the North and Midwest during an anti-segregation protest at the City Hall. (see Aug 31)
August 28, 1963
  • Martin Luther King, Jr delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech. Referring to the March as the “Farce on Washington, Malcolm X afterwards stated: If you’re going to get yourself a .45 and start singing “We Shall Overcome,” I’m with you. (BH, see Aug 30, ; MX, see Oct 11; MLK, see Oct 10)

  • After his charge was reduced to manslaughter and assault, based on the likelihood that it was Hattie Carroll’s stress reaction to William Zantzinger’s verbal and physical abuse that led to her intracranial bleeding, rather than blunt-force trauma from the blow that left no lasting mark, Zantzinger was convicted of both charges and sentenced to six months in jail and a fine of $500. The judges deferred the start of the jail sentence until September 15, to give Zantzinger time to harvest his tobacco crop. He showed no remorse about Hattie Carroll — “I didn’t do anything to her” — and he scoffed at his six-month sentence: “I’ll just miss a lot of snow.” (Zantzinger, see April 24, 1991)
Philadelphia riot

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August 28 – 30, 1964: tensions between African American residents and police lead to 341 injuries and 774 arrests. (see Sept 1)

August 28 Music et al

Wooden Heart
August 28 – September 3, 1961: based on a German folk song and made popular in the US by Elvis in the film G.I. Blues , “Wooden Heart” by Joe Dowell #1 Billboard Hot 100.

Something for Everybody
August 28 – September 17, 1961, Elvis Presley’s Something for Everybody is Billboard #1 album. (see Dec 18)

The Beatles
1964 summer tour
August 28, 1964: Life magazine article reported that the Beatles’ 33-day tour of 23 American cities was a sell out at every location and was expected to gross millions. Beatles pandemonium at the time was such that some hotels along the tour route refused to house the Beatles, and Los Angeles’ Lockheed Airport forbade any Beatles plane from landing there for fear of screaming fans running on to the tarmac.
Bob Dylan and the Beatles meet
August 28, 1964: The Beatles played a concert at New York's Forest Hills Tennis Stadium. After the concert, the group was taken back to their suite at the city's Hotel Delmonico. Journalist Al Aronowitz had came down from Woodstock, NY with his friend Bob Dylan, and brought him up to The Beatles hotel suite. John Lennon asked Dylan what he'd like to drink, and Dylan said "cheap wine."

The Beatles offered Dylan their drug of choice which was speed. Dylan suggested marijuana, which the band had never tried. Hearing that they had never smoked pot, Dylan was quite surprised and said that he always thought the band sang "I get high" in their song "I Wanna Hold Your Hand." John corrected him, telling him that the phrase was "I can't hide."

Dylan lit up a joint and Lennon made Ringo smoke it first. Eventually each member of the band got his own. Paul was interested with the thoughts it produced and asked Mal Evans to follow him around with a notepad and take down everything he said. (Beatles, see Dec 4; Dylan see January 20, 1965)
Electric Dylan booed
August 28, 1965: (from The College of Rock and Roll Facebook page): Dylan kicked off his tour at NYC’s Forest Hills Tennis Stadium. This show is legendary, and for anyone who doubts that 1965 audiences heaped great scorn on Bob Dylan and his electric crew, all they need to do is listen to a a tape of the concert to hear the audience's point of view. There was so much hostility directed toward the stage that it's frightening. Coming as it does after the shocking Newport appearance with members of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, the audience for the Forest Hills show pretty much knew what to expect, and the majority showed extreme displeasure during the electric half.

The first set, which was acoustic, was very well received. The crowd was quiet and respectful for the 45 minute opening set, which followed a typical top-40 disk jockey introduction more appropriate for a Dave Clark Five concert than a Bob Dylan concert. This show featured the debut of "Desolation Row", from the Highway 61 album which was yet to be released (only a few days away, in fact). It's a great performance and it went over very well with the crowd, who laughed appreciatively at the lyrics. It must have been amazing to sit there and hear a brand new masterpiece like "Desolation Row".

After the well received acoustic half came to an end with "Mr. Tambourine Man", the band set up for the second half. No doubt the crowd was gearing up for the hostility that was to follow. The crowd is so loud and belligerent at times that it becomes extremely hard to hear the music, but what can be heard is awesome. Levon lays down a muscular beat that drives the music forward and Robbie plays tough blues licks as only he can. Al Kooper pretty much plays the way only Al Kooper can. (see Aug 30)
Beatles failed escape
August 28, 1966: nearing the end of their final tour of America, The Beatles performed one show at Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, California, before a crowd of 45,000. The Beatles' attempt to escape from the stadium in an armored truck was thwarted when the main gate was found to be locked and The Beatles have to spend two hours in the back of the truck before they can leave the stadium. (see Aug 29)
Dear Prudence
August 28, 1968: started recording a new John Lennon song ‘Dear Prudence’. They built the song instrument by instrument, utilizing the 8-track equipment at Trident. John and George played guitars, while Paul plays drums to compensate for Ringo, who had quit The Beatles on August 22. (see Sept 3)
August 28 Peace Love Activism

AIDS

Arcadia, FL

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August 28, 1987: a fire of suspicious origin destroyed the home of a couple whose three sons were hemophiliacs known to have been exposed to the virus that caused acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). The fire capped a week of bomb and death threats against Clifford and Louise Ray, and their daughter and three sons, and a boycott of local schools. The boycott had been prompted by the Aug. 24 return to school of the three boys after a year's absence. (see Aug 28)
LGBTQ & Immigration History
August 28, 1987: the Reagan administration adopted a formal policy barring visas to people with the HIV infection. The policy was one of several similar policies that reflected both an indifference to the HIV/AIDS crisis and hostility to homosexuality.The policy was finally rescinded by the administration of President Barack Obama on January 5, 2010 when the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) removed HIV from the list of diseases that barred people from obtaining visas to enter the U.S. (AIDS, see Aug 29; LGBTQ, see see June 22, 1988; IH, see October 30, 2009)
LGBTQ, Walmart
August 28, 2013: the nation’s largest private employer,announced that it will soon offer a full suite of benefits to its employees’ domestic partners, including those of the same sex. The change would take effect in all 50 states, independent of each state’s definition of what marriage, domestic partnership or civil union entails. The retail giant sent postcards to its staffers outlining changes to their health insurance policies for 2014, including news that “full-time associates can cover any spouse or domestic partner,” regardless of gender.(see August 29)
Rowan County (Kentucky)
August 28, 2015: Rowan County (Kentucky) Clerk Kim Davis asked the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene on her behalf. Justice Elena Kagan will likely rule on Davis' request. Kagan joined the majority opinion in June that effectively legalized gay marriage across the country. (see Aug 31)

Meanwhile, Rowan County Attorney Cecil Watkins said he's referred a charge of "Official Misconduct" against Davis to the Kentucky Attorney General's Office. (see Aug 31)

SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE

August 28, 2003: the Supreme Court of Alabama removed a monument of the Biblical Ten Commandments from its courthouse rotunda. The monument had been installed on the orders of Chief Justice Roy Moore, triggering a federal lawsuit. In Glassroth v. Moore, the federal District Court for the Middle District of Alabama ordered Moore to remove the monument. This decision was upheld on appeal to the Eleventh Circuit. When Moore refused, he was removed from his post by the Supreme Court of Alabama. (see November 21, 2011)

Hurricane Katrina

August 28, 2005: Katrina reached Category 4 intensity with 145 mph winds. By 7:00 AM CDT  it was a Category 5 storm, with maximum sustained winds of 175 mph , gusts up to 215 mph. In a press conference at roughly 10:00 AM CDT, Mayor Ray Nagin declared that "a mandatory evacuation order is hereby called for all of the parish of Orleans." (see Aug 29)

Women’s Health

August 28, 2014: U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel threw out new Texas abortion restrictions that would have effectively closed more than a dozen clinics statewide in a victory for opponents of tough new anti-abortion laws sweeping across the U.S.

Yeakel sided with clinics that sued over one of the most disputed measures of a sweeping anti-abortion bill signed by Republican Gov. Rick Perry in 2013. The ruling stops new clinic requirements that would have left seven abortion facilities in Texas come Monday, when the law was set to take effect. (BC, see Sept 1; Texas, see June 27, 2016)

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Emmett Louis Till

Emmett Louis Till

Emmylou Harris…”My Name Is Emmett Till”
In the mid-20th century, most Americans worried about atomic weapons.

Today the fear of terrorism has replaced our fear of an atomic apocalypse...mostly.

We consider terrorists  foreigners.  Of course there have been example of domestic terrorism and throughout American histroy a whole class of Americans were under the constant fear of domestic terrorists, vigilante injustice, lynching.

Emmett Louis Till Emmett Louis Till

The story of Emmett Till is one of the better known examples of the thousands of black Americans who were mistreated, tortured, and killed by domestic terrorists.

There are many articles and books about Emmett Till and the horrors that surround his final moments. This piece is simply a chronological listing of his final days and the decades of injustice that followed.

Reverend George Lee

Emmett Louis Till

On May 7, 1955 the Reverend George Lee, a grocery owner and NAACP field worker in Belzoni, Mississippi, was shot and killed at point blank range while driving in his car after trying to vote. At his funeral, Lee’s widow ordered his casket be opened to show the effects of shotgun pellets to the face—a rebuttal to the official version that Lee died in a car accident. Shortly before his death Lee had preached, “Pray not for your mom and pop—they’ve gone to heaven. Pray you can make it through this hell.”  (see May 31)

Moses Wright

Emmett Louis Till

In early August 1955 Emmett Till's great uncle Moses Wright had 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. She gave permission.

Emmett Till

Emmett Louis Till

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. 

August 20, 1955: Mamie Till drove her son to the 63rd Street station in Chicago. They kissed goodbye and Till boarded a southbound train headed for Mississippi. 

August 21, 1965: Till arrived in Money, Mississippi to stay at the home of his great uncle Moses Wright. 

Bryant’s Grocery

Emmett Louis Till

August 24, 1955: Emmett Till and a group of teenagers entered Bryant's Grocery and Meat Market in Money, Mississippi to buy refreshments after a long day picking cotton in the hot afternoon sun. Till purchased bubble gum, and some of the kids with him would later report that he either whistled at, flirted with, or touched the hand of the store's white female clerk—and wife of the owner—Carolyn Bryant. 
Emmitt Till murdered
August 28, 1955: at approximately 2:30 AM Roy Bryant, Carolyn's husband, and his half brother J.W. Milam kidnapped Emmett Till from Moses Wright's home. They then brutally beat, dragged him to the bank of the Tallahatchie River, shot him in the head, tied him with barbed wire to a large metal fan, and shoved his mutilated body into the water. 

Moses Wright reported Till's disappearance to the local authorities. 

August 29, 1955:  authorities arrested J. W. Milam and Roy Bryant on kidnapping charges. They are jailed in Greenwood, Mississippi and held without bond. (see Aug 31)

August 31, 1955: Emmett Till's decomposed corpse was pulled from Mississippi's Tallahatchie River. Moses Wright identifies the body from a ring with the initials L.T.

September 1, 1955: Mississippi Governor Hugh White ordered  local officials to "fully prosecute" Milam and Bryant.

Emmett Till’s return to Chicago

Emmett Louis Till

September 2, 1955: in Chicago, Mamie Till arrived at the Illinois Central Terminal to receive Emmett's casket. Family and media surround her. She collapsed when she saw the casket. 

September 3, 1955: as mentioned above, in May the widow of Reverend George Lee had decided to have an open casket for her  husband. 

Mamie Till decided to do the same. "Let the people see what they did to my boy!"

Thousands waited in line to see Emmett's brutally beaten body.

Emmett Louis Till

September 6, 1955: Emmett Till was buried at Burr Oak Cemetery. 
Indictment for murder and trial
September 7, 1955: A Tallahatchie County grand jury indicted Roy Bryant and J. W. Milam for the murder and kidnapping of Emmett Till. Conviction on either charge could carry the death penalty. They both plead innocent and remain in jail until the start of the trial.

September 19, 1955: the murder trial (only) began in Sumner, Mississippi, the county seat of Tallahatchie County. Jury selection began. Law banned any blacks and all women from serving. The 12-man jury consisted of nine farmers, two carpenters and one insurance agent.

Mamie Till departed from Chicago's Midway Airport to attend the trial. (see Sept 20)

September 20, 1955: Judge Curtis Swango recessed the court to allow more witnesses to be found. It was the first time in Mississippi history that local law enforcement, local NAACP leaders, and black and white reporters had teamed up. They try to locate sharecroppers who saw Milam's truck and overheard Emmett being beaten.

September 21, 1955: Moses Wright accused the two white men in open court, an unthinkable thing to do in that place at that time. While on the witness stand, he stood up and pointed his finger at Milam and Bryant, and accused them of coming to his house and kidnapping Emmett.

September 22, 1955: the defense began presenting its witnesses. Carolyn Bryant testified outside the presence of the jury. Sheriff Strider testified that he thought the body pulled out of the river had been there "from ten to fifteen days," far too long to be that of Till. An embalmer testified that the body was "bloated beyond recognition."
Emmett Louis Till

September 23, 1955: after a 67-minute deliberation, the jury acquitted Milam and Bryant. One juror told a reporter that they wouldn't have taken so long if they hadn't stopped to drink pop. Roy Bryant and J. W. Milam stood before photographers, lighted up cigars, and kissed their wives in celebration.
Kidnapping charges dropped
Moses Wright and Willie Reed, another poor black Mississippian who testified, left Mississippi. Once there, Reed collapsed and suffered a nervous breakdown. (Reed, see July 18, 2013 below)

September 30, 1955: Milam and Bryant were released on bond. for the pending kidnapping charges.

November 9, 1955: returning to Mississippi one last time, Moses Wright and Willie Reed testified before a LeFlore County grand jury in Greenwood, Mississippi. The grand jury refused to indict Milam or Bryant for kidnapping. The two men go free.
The Shocking Story of Approved Killing in Mississippi”

Emmett Louis Till

January 24, 1956: an article by William Bradford Huie in Look magazine appears. It is titled, "The Shocking Story of Approved Killing in Mississippi." Protected by double-jeopardy,  Milam and Bryant admit to the murder. 

They detailed how they beat Till with a gun, shot him and threw his body in the Tallahatchie River with a heavy cotton-gin fan attached with barbed wire to his neck to weigh him down. The two killers were paid a reported $4,000 for their participation in the article.

January 22, 1957: Huie wrote another article for Look magazine, "What's Happened to the Emmett Till Killers?" Huie wrote that "Milam does not regret the killing, though it has brought him nothing but trouble." Blacks have stopped frequenting stores owned by the Milam and Bryant families and put them out of business. Bryant takes up welding for income, and the community ostracized both men .

E. Frederic Morrow

Emmett Louis Till

E. Frederic Morrow moved to the White House on July 10, 1955. He  was an aide to President Dwight D. Eisenhower and as such he became the first African-American to serve in that capacity. His autobiography vividly describes his difficulties in trying to persuade the administration to take a strong stand on civil rights. Morrow, for example, tried unsuccessfully to get President Eisenhower to issue a statement regarding Emmett Till's murder.  

Morrow did, however, finally convince Eisenhower to meet with civil rights leaders in the White House, a meeting that occurred on June 23, 1958. 

Deaths

December 31, 1980: J. W. Milam died in Mississippi of cancer.

September 1, 1994: Roy Bryant Sr., 63, died at the Baptist Hospital in Jackson, Mississippi of cancer.

January 6, 2003: Mamie Till Mobley died of heart failure, at age 81. Her death came just two weeks before The Murder of Emmett Till was to premiere nationally on PBS.
Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act of 2007
October 7, 2008: introduced in 2007, President Bush signed the Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act of 2007.  It tasked the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and the FBI with reviewing, investigating and assessing for prosecutive merit more than 100 unsolved civil rights era homicides.

Lil Wayne

February 13, 2013: Airickca Gordon-Taylor, director of the Mamie Till Mobley Memorial Foundation (founded in 2009), requested that Lil Wayne remove Emmett Till’s name from his verse on Future’s “Karate Chop.” Gordon-Taylor calls Wayne’s use of Till’s name “disappointing, dishonorable, and outright disrespectful to our family.”

Guesting on “Karate Chop,” a single by Atlanta rapper Future, Lil Wayne contributed the third verse of the remix, which began:
Pop a lot of pain pills

‘Bout to put rims on my skateboard wheels

Beat that p—y up like Emmett Till
February 18, 2013: Epic Records Chairman Antonio "L.A." Reid apologized to the Till family and said that his label was working to remove from circulation a remix of the track "Karate Chop."

Willie Reed dies

July 18, 2013: Willie Reed, who had changed his name to Willie Louis after the murder trial of Emmett Till and had moved to Chicago, died. Louis, one of the last living witnesses for the prosecution in the Till case, died in Oak Lawn, Ill., a Chicago suburb. He was 76.
Emmett Till Civil Rights Crimes Reauthorization Act of 2016
December 16, 2016: President Obama signed the Emmett Till Civil Rights Crimes Reauthorization Act of 2016. The Act allowed the Department of Justice and the FBI to reopen unsolved civil rights crimes.committed before 1980. The legislation is an expansion of a previous bill of a similar name signed into law in 2008.

Carolyn Bryant Donham admits lying

22,433 days days later

January 27, 2017: in a Vanity Fair magazine article, Duke University professor Timothy B. Tyson reported that Carolyn Bryant Donham (the woman who accused Till of inappropriate behavior) told him that the story she and others told about Emmett Till were false. Tyson wrote that Donham said of her long-ago allegations—that Emmett grabbed her and was menacing and sexually crude toward her--“that part is not true.” Tyson also wrote a book, The Blood of Emmett Till, about the murder.

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