All posts by Woodstock Whisperer

Attended the Woodstock Music and Art Fair in 1969, became an educator for 35 years after graduation from college, and am retired now and often volunteer at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts which is on the site of that 1969 festival.

August 16 Peace Love Activism

August 16 Peace Love Activism

Calvin Graham

August 16, 1942: Graham enlisted at the Naval Recruiting Station in Houston, TX. The age certification, signed by Graham’s mother, showed a birth date of April 3, 1925, making Graham 17. After receiving recruit training, Graham was transferred for duty to the USS South Dakota. (see Calvin Graham for the whole sad story)


August 16, 1959: living in NYC Roy Wright had had a career in the US Army and the Merchant Marines. After his wife admitted to infidelities Wright shot and killed his wife and then committed suicide. (BH, see Sept 8; see Scottsboro Travesty for the whole story)

John Sinclair

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August 16, 1969: White Panther Party founder, John Sinclair, convicted for selling 2 joints to an undercover agent. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison. (see Aug 19)

August 16 Music et al

Pete Best
August 16, 1960: Pete Best became The Silver Beetles' drummer. The band's current line-up included John, Paul, George, Pete and Stuart Stutcliffe. The band traveled to Hamburg, Germany. (see August 17)
Richie Havens
August 16, 1967: Richie Havens (age 26) released third, but first best known album, Mixed Bag. (see “in September”)
August 16, 1969: day two of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair

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August 16, 1977, Elvis Presley died at age 42. From the August 17 NYT article: Elvis Presley, the first and greatest American rock‐and‐roll star, died yesterday at the age of 42. Mr. Presley, whose throaty baritone and blatant sexuality redefined popular music, was found unconscious in the bedroom of his home, called Graceland, in Memphis yesterday at 2:30 P.M.
August 16 Peace Love Activism

Iraq War II

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August 16, 2007:  coalition death toll in Iraq reached 4,000. [CNN, 8/16/07] (see Sept 16)

Lynette A. Fromme

August 16, 2009, Lynette A. Fromme, who had attempted to assassinate President Ford, was released from federal prison.

August 16 Peace Love Activism, August 16 Peace Love Activism, August 16 Peace Love Activism, August 16 Peace Love Activism, August 16 Peace Love Activism, AuActivism, 

August 15 Peace Love Activism

August 15 Peace Love Activism

Native Americans

…let them eat grass or their own dung
August 15, 1862: when two other bands of the Dakota, the southern Mdewakanton and the Wahpekute, turned to the Lower Sioux Agency for supplies, they were rejected. Indian Agent (and Minnesota State Senator) Thomas Galbraith managed the area and would not distribute food without payment.

At a meeting of the Dakota, the U.S. government, and local traders, the Dakota representatives asked the representative of the government traders, Andrew Jackson Myrick, to sell them food on credit. His response was said to be, "So far as I am concerned, if they are hungry let them eat grass or their own dung." (see August 18, 1862)
Gold on Sioux land
August 15, 1876: US law removed Indians from Black Hills after gold find. Sioux leaders Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull led their warriors to protect their lands from invasion by prospectors following the discovery of gold. This led to the Great Sioux Campaign staged from Fort Laramie. 

Gold was discovered in Deadwood in the Dakota territory by Quebec brothers Fred and Moses Manuel. The mine was incorporated in California on Nov 5, 1877, as the Homestake Mining Company. (see February 28, 1877)
Public Law 280
August 15, 1953: Public Law 280 established "a method whereby States might assume jurisdiction over reservation Indians.” (see August 10, 1961)


Springfield riot, day 2
August 15, 1908: at nightfall white rioters regrouped downtown. The new mob marched west to the state arsenal, hoping to get at several hundred blacks who had taken refuge there, but they were driven off by state troops who charged the crowd with bayonets fixed to their rifles. The crowd then marched to a predominantly white, middle-class neighborhood and seized and hung an elderly wealthy black resident. After this second killing, enough troops arrived in the capital to prevent further mass attacks. Nonetheless, what the press called "guerilla-style" hit-and-run attacks against black residents continued through August and into September.  (BH, see Dec 26: RR, see May 28, 1917)
Shady Grove Baptist Church
August 15, 1962: the Shady Grove Baptist Church, in Leesburg, GA 10 miles from Albany, GA, and served as the center for a voter registration campaign was bombed and destroyed by fire before dawn. Later that day the City Commission rebuffed a delegation’s demands for desegregation of Albany's public facilities. (see Aug 28)
August 15, 1989: F. W. de Klerk is sworn in as acting president of South Africa, replacing Mr. Botha. Saying the country is about to enter an era of change, Mr. de Klerk reaffirmed an earlier promise to phase out white rule. (see Oct 15)


Voting Rights
August 15, 1918: first group of Lafayette Park protesters (arrested Aug. 6) tried, convicted, and sentenced to10 to 15 days in old District workhouse. Denied demand for treatment as political prisoners, 24 women begin hunger strikes. (see Aug 20)
Women’s Health
August 15, 1930: Lambeth Conference (a decennial assembly of Anglican bishops), one of the Resolution 15 approved of limited contraception. It read: Where there is clearly felt moral obligation to limit or avoid parenthood, the method must be decided on Christian principles. The primary and obvious method is complete abstinence from intercourse (as far as may be necessary) in a life of discipline and self-control lived in the power of the Holy Spirit. Nevertheless in those cases where there is such a clearly felt moral obligation to limit or avoid parenthood, and where there is a morally sound reason for avoiding complete abstinence, the Conference agrees that other methods may be used, provided that this is done in the light of the same Christian principles. The Conference records its strong condemnation of the use of any methods of conception control from motives of selfishness, luxury, or mere convenience. (see December 31, 1930)

Fair Housing

August 15, 1936: Techwood Homes opened. It was the first public housing project in the United States. Located in Atlanta, Georgia, it replaced a shantytown known as Tanyard Bottom or Tech Flats. The apartments included bathtubs and electric ranges in each unit, 189 of which had garages. Central laundry facilities, a kindergarten and a library were also provided. (see September 1, 1937)

By 1996, homeownership totaled 66.3 million American households, the largest number ever. Except for a few historic buildings, Techwood Homes was demolished in 1996 before the 1996 Summer Olympics

In 1998, HUD opened Enforcement Center to take action against HUD-assisted multifamily property owners and other HUD fund recipients who violate laws and regulations. Congress approved Public Housing reforms to reduce segregation by race and income, encourage and reward work, bring more working families into public housing, and increase the availability of subsidized housing for very poor families.

By the year 2000, America's homeownership rate reaches a new record-high of 67.7 percent in the third quarter of 2000. A total of 71.6 million American families own their homes - more than at any time in American history. (see July 19, 2013)



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August 15, 1866: Liechtenstein independent from German rule
South Korea

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August 15, 1945:  South Korea independent from Japan. (see Aug 17)

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August 15, 1947:  India independent from the United Kingdom. (see January 4, 1948)
Republic of the Congo

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August 15, 1960: Republic of the Congo independent from France. (see August 17)

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August 15, 1971: Bahrain independent of the United Kingdom. (see Dec 2)

August 15 Music et al

Dean Martin
August 15 – 21, 1964: “Everybody Loves Somebody” by Dean Martin #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. (see Aug 19)
The Beatles @ Shea Stadium
August 15, 1965:  at 8 pm EST The Beatles took the stage at Shea Stadium in New York City, marking the very first time a rock band would headline a stadium concert and a major victory for promoter Sid Bernstein, who had arranged the gig after his gamble of booking the then-unknown group at Carnegie Hall had paid off. Tickets for the show, sold merely by word of mouth created by kids who asked Bernstein about the next Beatles show while he strolled in Central Park, sold out in just three weeks, beating the stadium's old seating record with 56,000 seats sold.

The security force numbered two thousand . The concert, filmed  by both BBC and NBC, also featured openers Brenda Holloway, The King Curtis Band, and The Young Rascals. (see Aug 24)
see Woodstock Music and Art Fair for more
Jefferson Airplane
August 15, 1966: Jefferson Airplane released their debut album, Jefferson Airplane Takes Off. The personnel differs from the later “classic” lineup and the music is more folk-rock than the harder psychedelic sound for which the band later became famous. Signe Toly Anderson was the female vocalist and Skip Spence played drums. Both left the group shortly after the album’s release and were replaced by Grace Slick and Spencer Dryden, respectively.( Jorma Kaukonen (age 25), Paul Kantner (age 25), Jack Casady (age 22), Marty Balin (age 24), Grace Slick (age 26), Spencer Dryden (age 28).
In 1967, the band Quill will form in Boston and perform mainly throughout the mid-east. (see in April)
 August 15: day one of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair, Bethel, NY.
August 15 Peace Love Activism


August 15, 1973: the U.S. bombing of Cambodia ended, officially halting 12 years of combat activity in Southeast Asia. (see January 1974)

Bob Dole

August 15, 1996: Bob Dole nominated for President and Jack Kemp for Vice President, at the Republican National Convention in San Diego.

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August 14 Peace Love Activism

August 14 Peace Love Activism


Race Riots
August 14, 1908: a race riot broke out in the Illinois capital of Springfield. Angry over reports that a black man had sexually assaulted a white woman, a white mob wanted to take a recently arrested suspect from the city jail and kill him. They also wanted Joe James, an out-of-town black who was accused of killing a white railroad engineer, Clergy Ballard, a month earlier.

                Late that afternoon, a crowd gathered in front of the jail in the city's downtown and demanded that the police hand over the two men to them. But the police had secretly taken the prisoners out the back door into a waiting automobile and out of town to safety. When the crowd discovered that the prisoners were gone, they rioted. First they attacked and destroyed a restaurant owned by a wealthy white citizen, Harry Loper, who had provided the automobile that the sheriff used to get the two men out of harm's way. The crowd completed its work by setting fire to the automobile, which was parked in front of the restaurant.

                The rioters next methodically destroyed a small black business district downtown, breaking windows and doors, stealing or destroying merchandise, and wrecking furniture and equipment. The mob's third and last effort that night was to destroy a nearby poor black neighborhood called the Badlands. Most blacks had fled the city, but as the mob swept through the area, they captured and lynched a black barber, Scott Burton, who had stayed behind to protect his home. (see Aug 15)
Dyer Anti-Lynching bill
August 14, 1922: a delegation of Black women met with President Harding to urge final Congressional action on the Dyer Anti-Lynching bill. He expressed doubt about the bill’s passage. (see Sept 24)

Feminism & Voting Rights

“Kaiser Wilson” banner

August 14 Peace Love Activism

August 14, 1917:  pickets carry new banner–famous “Kaiser Wilson” banner, comparing President Wilson to German emperor Kaiser Wilhelm II. Banner accuses Wilson of being autocrat over women lacking a voice in government. Angry mob attacks pickets, destroys banners, and fires gun at National Women’s Party headquarters. Police do little to intervene. (see August 17)
Lafayette Park demonstration
August 14, 1918: two more suffrage demonstrations held in Lafayette Park, Washington, D.C. Thirty women arrested and released; return that evening to protest and are rearrested. (see Aug 15)


Social Security
August 14, 1935: President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act, establishing a program of permanent assistance to adults with disabilities. 
Nazi euthanasia
In  1939 at the onset of World War II Adolph Hitler ordered widespread "mercy killing" of the sick and disabled. Code-named Aktion T4, the Nazi euthanasia program is instituted to eliminate "life unworthy of life." Between 75,000 to 250,000 people with intellectual or physical disabilities are systematically killed from 1939 to 1941.
Rosemary Kennedy
In  1941, John F. Kennedy's twenty-three year old sister Rosemary underwent a prefrontal lobotomy as a "cure" for lifelong mild retardation and aggressive behavior that surfaced in late adolescence. The operation fails, resulting in total incapacity. To avoid scandal, Rosemary was moved permanently to the St. Coletta School for Exceptional Children in Wisconsin.
Barrier-free movement
In the 1950s, disabled veterans and people with disabilities begin the barrier-free movement. The combined efforts of the Veterans Administration, The President's Committee on Employment of the Handicapped, and the National Easter Seals Society, among others, results in the development of national standards for "barrier-free" buildings.
Association for Retarded Citizens
In 1950,  parents of youth diagnosed with mental retardation found the Association for Retarded Citizens (ARC). The association works to change the public's ideas about mental retardation. Its members educate parents and others, demonstrating that individuals with mental retardation have the ability to succeed in life. (ARC, see December 31, 1998)
Dr. Howard A. Rusk
In  1948  Dr. Howard A. Rusk founded the Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine in New York City, where he developed techniques to improve the health of injured veterans from World War II. His theory focused on treating the emotional, psychological and social aspects of individuals with disabilities and later became the basis for modern rehabilitation medicine.
Clemens Benda
In 1953 Clemens Benda, clinical director at the Fernald School in Waltham, Massachusetts, an institution for boys with mental retardation, invites 100 teenage students to participate in a "science club" in which they will be privy to special outings and extra snacks. In a letter requesting parental consent, Benda mentions an experiment in which "blood samples are taken after a special breakfast meal containing a certain amount of calcium," but makes no mention of the inclusion of radioactive substances that are fed to the boys in their oatmeal. (Benda, see October 17, 1995)
American Standards Association
In 1961 the American Standards Association, later known as the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), publishes the first accessibility standard titled, Making Buildings Accessible to and Usable by the Physically Handicapped. Forty-nine states adapt accessibility legislation by 1973.
Ed Roberts
In 1962 Ed Roberts, a student with polio,  enrolled at the University of California, Berkele, but later his admission was rejected. He fought to get the decision overturned. He became the father of the Independent Living Movement and helped establish the first Center for Independent Living (CIL). He earned B.A. (1964) and M.A. (1966) degrees from UC Berkeley in Political Science. Roberts died on March 14, 1995, at the age of 56. (see  October 31, 1963)


August 14 Peace Love Activism

August 14, 1936: at 5:45 AM, Rainey Bethea became the last person to be publicly executed in the US. Bethea was hanged for raping and murdering a 70-year-old woman in Owensboro, Kentucky. The execution garnered significant media and public attention because it was the first hanging in the US to be conducted by a woman. At least 20,000 people witnessed Bethea's hanging, which reporters called the "carnival in Owensboro." Several scholars believe Bethea's execution was an important contributor to the eventual ban on public executions in America. (see June 16, 1944)


August 14, 1947: Pakistan independent from the United Kingdom. (see August 15)

August 14 Music et al

Pete Best fired

August 14 Peace Love Activism

August 14, 1962: The Beatles and their manager Brian Epstein decided to fire Pete Best. Best played his last gig the following night at The Cavern, Liverpool. Ringo Starr, who was nearing the end of a three-month engagement with Rory Storm and the Hurricanes at a Butlin's holiday camp,  received a telephone call from John Lennon, asking him to join The Beatles. Ringo gave Rory Storm three days notice A series of drummers would become part of Rory Storm’s band including Keef Hartley. (Beatles, see Aug 18)
Beatles last live Ed Sullivan appearance
August 14, 1965, The Beatles: appeared live on the Ed Sullivan Show for the last time. [I Feel Fine >  I’m Down > Act Naturally (see Aug 15; see Sept 12)
I Got You Babe
August 14 – September 3, 1965: “I Got You Babe” by Sonny and Cher #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
The [bumpy] Road to Bethel
Thursday 14 August 1969
  • NY State Police continue to randomly stop and frisk young drivers at Harriman interchange. 150 arrests made.
  • Bill Handley’s sound system erected. “According to one expert’s cumulative eye, the hi-fi equipment in the bowl represented the most expensive sound system ever assembled at one time in any given location.”
  • Bill Abruzzi, doctor hired to take care of medical issues at the festival, told festival to triple his supply order.
  • although warned not to, about 270 NYC police show up but insist on being paid in cash without receipts. They work using aliases and were paid more than the agreed amount.
  • Food For Love demanded all profits after repaying the initial $75,00 fee. Woodstock Ventures agreed.
  • film deal reached: 50% split. Warner Brothers and Woodstock Ventures after negative costs. On Friday, Michael Wadleigh signed on as director.
  • the Diamond Horseshoe, where nearly 200 Woodstock staff had been staying, caught fire. The fire was extinguished by hotel staff because the fire department couldn’t get through. (see Aug 15 – 18)
August 14 Peace Love Activism

United Farm Workers

August 14, 1973: UFW member, Nagi Daifullah, a 24-year old picket captain of Yemanese descent, died after being struck in the skull by a police flashlight. Alarabiya article (see Aug 17, 1973)

Presidential nominations

Jimmy Carter
August 14, 1980, Jimmy Carter renominated at the Democratic National Convention in New York City.
Al Gore
August 14 – 17, 2000, the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles nominated VP Al Gore for President and Sen Joe Lieberman for Vice President.


August 14, 2003: a Sebastopol, CA troop lost its Boy Scouts of America charter for refusing to drop an anti-discrimination statement that Scouting officials said conflicts with the organization's national policy banning homosexuals. Bev Buswell, led adviser to the 16-member Venture Crew 488, said her application for charter renewal was denied because it included a statement she wrote pledging the crew would not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, sexual orientation and other factors. (LGBTQ, see Nov 18; BSA, see March 30, 2005)

Stop and Frisk Policy

August 14, 2009: The New York Civil Liberties Union said the NYPD was on pace to break last year's record for stop and frisk encounters. In the first half of 2009, the NYPD made 311,000 stops. (see Sept, 2009)

Women’s Health

August 14, 2015: U.S. District Myron Thompson blocked an Alabama abortion regulation that would have permanently closed the state's busiest abortion clinic. Thompson said  that the rule was unnecessary to protect women.

Thompson had issued a temporary restraining order blocking the regulation the previous week, saying that the closure of the West Alabama Women's Center in Tuscaloosa would prevent women from obtaining abortions. He followed up the order with an 81-page opinion issued on this date.

The 2007 health regulation requires clinics to hire a physician with hospital-admitting privileges to handle patient complications. The clinic filed a lawsuit challenging it.

The clinic was one of five abortion providers in Alabama, but performed about 40 percent of the state's abortions in 2013, according to court records. It was also one of two clinics that provide abortions in the middle of the second trimester.

"For all Alabama women, the closure of the largest abortion provider in the state, one of two providers in the state that administers abortions after 16 weeks, has reduced the number of abortions that can be provided here. Finally, and as chillingly recounted above, closing the Center has increased the risk that women will take their abortion into their own hands," Thompson wrote. (see Aug 24)

The Cold War

August 14, 2015: Secretary of State John Kerry traveled to Cuba and raised the American flag above the U.S. Embassy for the first time in 54 years. "Thank you for joining us at this truly historic moment as we prepare to raise the flag ... symbolizing the restoration of diplomatic relations after 54 years," Kerry said at the ceremony, addressing the crowd in both English and Spanish. (CW, see February 16, 2016; Cuba, see February 16, 2016)

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