Category Archives: History

May 27 Peace Love Activism

May 27 Peace Love Activism

DEATH PENALTY

Feminism

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)

SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE

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 )
137 SHOTS
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

Vietnam

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

SALT

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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May 26 Peace Love Activism

May 26 Peace Love Activism

BLACK HISTORY

Dred Scott

May 26 Peace Love Activism

May 26, 1857: slaves Dred and Harriet Scott appeared in the St. Louis Circuit Court and were formally freed; Judge Alexander Hamilton approved the papers. Dred Scott took a job as a porter at Barnum's Hotel at Second and Walnut streets in St. Louis; he became a sort of celebrity there. The family lived off Carr Street in the city, where Harriet took in laundry, which Scott delivered when he was not working at the hotel. (see Sept 17, 1858)
May 26, 1956
Alabama shuts down NAACP
  • Alabama authorities tried to shut down the NAACP, obtaining an order from Circuit Judge Walter B. Jones that prohibited the organization from operating in the state. After the NAACP refused to turn over membership lists, Jones found the organization in contempt and fined it $100,000. He had suggested to Alabama Attorney General John Patterson that the state prosecute the NAACP for failing to register as an out-of-state corporation. The U.S. Supreme Court later threw out the fine and ruled in the NAACP’s favor (see June 1, 1964)
Tallahassee bus boycott begins
  • a bus boycott began in Tallahassee, Fla., after Florida A&M students Wilhelmina Jakes and Carrie Patterson refused to give up their seats to white passengers. The next night, a cross was burned outside the home of Jakes and Patterson. On Jan. 3, 1957, a federal judge ruled bus segregation laws unconstitutional. Four days later, Tallahassee’s city commission repealed its segregation clause. (see June 5)
Hate crime bill fails again
May 26, 2005: The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act reintroduced. It failed to advance in committee. (BH, see June 13; LGBTQ, see Sept 6;  Byrd and Shepard, see March 30, 2007)
137 SHOTS
May 26, 2015: dozens of people marched through the streets of downtown Cleveland demanding changes to the city's criminal justice system, With chants of "We want justice, we want it now," and "We can't wait," the marchers said they were tired of waiting for authorities to make changes on their own. They delivered letters to prosecutors and the mayor listing their demands. (see May 27)
Murders of Civil Rights Workers Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner
May 26, 2016: retired Circuit Judge Marcus D. Gordon died. Gordon had sentenced Edgar Ray Killen to life in prison in 2005 after a mixed-race jury convicted the reputed former Ku Klux Klan leader of manslaughter in the 1964 abduction and Murders of Civil Rights Workers Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner in Neshoba County. Gordon had retired on March 4, 2016, from the Eighth District Circuit Court. (BH, see June 3; Murders, see June 21)

Emma Goldman

May 26 Peace Love Activism

May 26, 1906: the New York Times published an article detailing that Emma Goldman and Alex Berkman were seen holding hands in a Chicago public park while Chicago police searched for them.

US Labor History

Actors’ Equity Assn

May 26 Peace Love Activism

May 26, 1913: 112 actors founded the Actors’ Equity Assn. at a meeting in New York City’s Pabst Grand Circle Hotel. Producer George M. Cohan responded: “I will drive an elevator for a living before I will do business with any actors’ union.” Later a sign will appear in Times Square reading: “Elevator operator wanted. George M. Cohan need not apply" (see June 11)
Auto-Lite plant strike, day 3
May 26, 1934 (Saturday): the violence began to die down somewhat. Troopers began arresting hundreds of people, most of whom paid a small bond and won release later the same day. Large crowds continued to gather in front of the Auto-Lite plant and hurl missiles at the troops, but the National Guard was able to maintain order during daylight hours without resorting to large-scale gas bombing. During the day, strike leader Ted Selander was arrested by the National Guard and held incommunicado. Despite pleas, Taft refused to use his influence to have Selander freed or his whereabouts revealed. With two of the AWP's three local leaders in jail, the AWP was unable to mobilize as many picketers as before. Although a crowd of 5,000 gathered in the early evening, the National Guard was able to disperse the mob after heavily gassing the six-block neighborhood. (see May 27)
Battle of the Overpass

May 26 Peace Love Activism

May 26, 1937: Ford Motor Co. security guards attacked union organizers and supporters attempting to distribute literature outside the plant in Dearborn, Mich., in an event that was to become known as the “Battle of the Overpass.” The guards tried to destroy any photos showing the attack, but some survived—and inspired the Pulitzer committee to establish a prize for photography. (see May 30)

INDEPENDENCE DAYS

May 26, 1918: Georgia independent. (see May 28)

May 26 Peace Love Activism

May 26, 1966: Guyana independent from United Kingdom. (see Sept 30)

Immigration History

Immigration Act of 1924

May 26 Peace Love Activism

May 26, 1924: Congress passed the eugenics-inspired Immigration Act of 1924, which completely prohibited immigration from Asia. Designed to limit all immigration to the US, the act was particularly restrictive for Eastern and Southern Europeans and Asians. Upon signing the act into law, President Calvin Coolidge remarked, “America must remain American.”

The Act of 1924 eliminated immigration from Japan, violating the so-called “Gentleman’s Agreement,” which previously protected Japanese immigration.

The law tightened the national origins quota system, meant to restrict the number of immigrants from a particular country to a percentage of the foreign-born citizens from that country already residing in the United States. The previous quota was based on population data from the 1910 census, but the 1924 Act based the quota on the 1890 census, which effectively lowered the quota numbers for non-white countries. The 1924 system also considered the national origins of the entire American population, including natural-born citizens, which increased the number of visas available to people from the British Isles and Western Europe. Finally, the 1924 Act excluded any person ineligible for citizenship, formalizing the bar on immigration from Asia based on existing laws that prohibited Asians from becoming naturalized citizens.

The act was supported by federally-funded eugenicists who argued that “social inadequates” were polluting the American gene pool and draining taxpayer resources. Its quotas remained in place until 1965. (see January 19, 1930)
President Obama’s order declined
May 26, 2015: the US Supreme Court declined to review a Texas judge's injunction that kept the President Obama’s sweeping immigration plan from taking effect.

U.S. District Court Judge Andrew Hanen had issued a preliminary injunction on Feb. 16 that halted Obama's executive action, which could spare from deportation as many as 5 million people who are in the U.S. illegally. More than two dozen states sought the injunction, arguing that Obama's executive action was unconstitutional. (see May 27)

Red Scare

Dies Committee

May 26 Peace Love Activism

May 26, 1938: The Dies Committee—later known as the House Un-American Activities Committee—is formed to investigate subversive activities within the United States. The committee, headed by Texas Democrat Martin Dies, initially targets Nazi sympathizers but eventually comes to focus almost entirely on the Communist threat. (see April 27, 1942)

see Calvin Graham for more

May 26, 1943: Graham requested 36 days’ pay he considered to be due him at the time of his release from the Navy. (see Feb 14, 1944)

FREE SPEECH

Burstyn v. Wilson

May 26 Peace Love Activism

May 26, 1952: the Supreme Court held that movies were a form of expression protected by the First Amendment. The Catholic Church had objected to the Italian film, The Miracle (Il Miracolo), when it opened at the Paris Theater in New York City in 1950. The Court’s decision overruled Mutual v. Ohio Industrial Commission, decided on February 23, 1915, which had held that movies are items of commerce and not forms of expression protected by the First Amendment. The Miracle was directed by the famed Italian director Roberto Rossellini and is actually one part of a two-part film, L’Amore (1948), which is the more widely used title. The story was written by Federico Fellini, who also has a bit part in the movie, and who went on to became a famous director himself (especially the film, 8 1/2).

In addition to providing First Amendment protection for movies, the Burstyn decision also struck a blow for freedom of expression about religion. The majority opinion specifically referred to the attempt to censor The Miracle because of its alleged “sacrilege,” but for all practical purposes that also covered “blasphemy.” (see March 7, 1953)

May 26 Music et al

Stranger on a Strange Shore
May 26 – June 1, 1962: “Stranger on a Strange Shore” by Acker Bilk #1 Billboard Hot 100. Bilk became the first Briton ever to have reached the top of the American charts in the rock and roll era. Bilk joined other easy-listening instrumentalists and orchestra leaders like Bert Kaempfert, Percy Faith and Henry Mancini who thrived on the U.S. side of the Atlantic while American rock and blues was increasingly popular on the UK side.

 
Montreal Bed-In
May 26 – June 2, 1969: Yoko Ono and John Lennon Montreal Bed-In. Denounced violence (see June 1)

Vietnam

Women Strike for Peace

May 26 Peace Love Activism

March 26, 1969:  a group called Women Strike for Peace demonstrated in Washington, D.C., in the first large antiwar demonstration since President Richard Nixon's inauguration in January. The antiwar movement had initially given Nixon a chance to make good on his campaign promises to end the war in Vietnam. However, it became increasingly clear that Nixon had no quick solution. As the fighting dragged on, antiwar sentiment against the president and his handling of the war mounted steadily during his term in office. (see in April)
May 26 Peace Love Activism

World Trade Center

George H. Willig

May 26 Peace Love Activism

May 26, 1977:  using equipment he designed and built himself and tested in secret at night, George H. Willig, a 27-year-old toymaker and mountain climber from Queens, scaled the South Tower of the World Trade Center to the delight of thousand of pedestrians who watched his three-and-a-half-hour effort. He was arrested by the Port Authority police and given three summonses and later was served with a $250,000 suit by New York City (see May 27)

Crime and Punishment

Bail Reform Act

May 26 Peace Love Activism

May 26, 1987: the 1984 federal Bail Reform Act embodied the principle of preventive detention by allowing judges to deny bail to defendants they believed to be “dangerous” to the community. The law significantly reversed the historic 1966 Bail Reform Act (signed into law on June 22, 1966), which created a presumption of release for all defendants. In United States v. Salerno, decided on this day, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the 1984 law. In the 1980s, states followed the federal lead and passed similar preventive detention laws that allowed judges to deny bail to “dangerous” offenders. (see August 6, 1988)

Feminism

FACE
May 26, 1994: President Clinton signed the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE) into law. FACE protects reproductive health service facilities, their staff and patients from violent threats, assault, vandalism, and blockade. (see Feminism June 30, 1994)

Oklahoma City Explosion

May 26, 2004: Terry Nichols convicted by an Oklahoma state court on murder charges stemming from the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. (see June 11)

LGBTQ

May 26, 2009: The California Supreme Court ruled that, notwithstanding Prop 8, marriages between same-sex couples that occurred in the four months between June and November remain valid. (California, see Aug 4, 2010; LGBTQ, see May 31)

Stop and Frisk Policy

May 26, 2011: The NYCLU filed a federal lawsuit against the NYPD and NYC for stop-and-frisk of passengers in livery cars. (see May 31)

May 26, 2015

DEATH PENALTY

Nevada
  • Nevada abolished life without parole sentences for children. The Nevada legislature unanimously passed AB 267 and Governor Brian Sandoval signed it. The legislation was supported by a bipartisan coalition that includes victims’ families, formerly incarcerated youth, and prosecutors. The new law retroactively bars the imposition of a life without parole sentence on any person who was under eighteen at the time of the crime. It provides for an opportunity for parole after serving fifteen or twenty years depending on the crime, and it required judges to consider the differences between juvenile and adult offenders when determining an appropriate sentence for a child. The Nevada law continued a nationwide trend. Vermont, Hawaii, West Virginia, Delaware, Wyoming, and Texas also recently eliminated death-in-prison sentences for children.
Casiano v. Commissioner of Correction

May 26 Peace Love Activism

  • the Connecticut Supreme Court, in Casiano v. Commissioner of Correction, said it would retroactively apply the protocols outlined in Riley and in the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark 2012 Miller v. Alabama  The result is that defendants sentenced years—or decades—ago can now return to court and claim that factors relating to their youth were not given appropriate mitigating weight when they were originally sentenced. In other words, they can assert that their sentences were imposed in violation of the Constitution, and that they should be entitled to a new sentencing proceeding to remedy this violation. (see May 27)

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May 25 Peace Love Activism

May 25 Peace Love Activism

Religion and Public Education

Jon Scopes

May 25 Peace Love Activism

May 25, 1925:  a grand jury indicted Jon Scopes for violating Tennessee's anti-evolution law. (see July 10)

US Labor History

Auto-Lite strike, day 3
May 25, 1934 (Friday): Auto-Lite officials agreed to keep the plant closed in an attempt to forestall further violence and Auto-Lite President Clement Miniger was arrested after local residents swore out complaints that he had created a public nuisance by allowing his security guards to bomb the neighborhood with tear gas. Strike leader Louis Budenz, too, was arrested—again on contempt of court charges.

Meanwhile, rioting continued throughout the area surrounding the Auto-Lite plant. Furious local citizens accosted National Guard troops, demanding that they stop gassing the city. Twice during the day, troops fired volleys into the air to drive rioters away from the plant. A trooper was shot in the thigh, and several picketers were severely injured by flying gas bombs and during bayonet charges. In the early evening, when the National Guard ran out of tear gas bombs, they began throwing bricks, stones and bottles back at the crowd to keep it away.

The AFL's Committee of 23 announced that 51 of the city's 103 unions had voted to support a general strike.

That evening, local union members voted down a proposal to submit all grievances to the Automobile Labor Board for mediation. The plan had been offered by Auto-Lite officials the day before and endorsed by Taft. But the plan would have deprived the union of its most potent weapon (the closed plant and thousands of picketing supporters) and forced the union to accept proportional representation. Union members refused to accept either outcome. Taft suggested submitting all grievances to the National Labor Board instead, but union members rejected that proposal as well. (see May 26)
Foxconn
May 25, 2010: nine employee deaths at Chinese electronics manufacturer, Foxconn, Apple's main supplier of iPhones, has cast a spotlight on some of the harsher aspects of blue-collar life on the Chinese factory floor. (see January 20, 2011)

BLACK HISTORY

Promotion riot

May 25 Peace Love Activism

May 25, 1943: a riot broke out at the Alabama Dry Dock Shipping Company (ADDSCO) after 12 African Americans were promoted to “highly powered” positions.

The Alabama Dry Dock and Shipping Company built and maintained U.S. Navy Ships during World War I and World War II. During World War II, the company was the largest employer in Mobile. In 1941, the company began hiring African-American men in unskilled positions. By 1943, Mobile shipyards employed 50,000 workers and African-American men and women held 7000 of those jobs. This increase in black employees did not please white workers.

In the spring of 1943, in response to President Roosevelt's Fair Employment Practices Committee issuing directives to elevate African Americans to skilled positions, as well as years of pressure from local black leaders and the NAACP, the Alabama Dry Dock and Shipbuilding Company reluctantly agreed to promote twelve black workers to the role of welder. Shortly after the new welders finished their first shift, an estimated 4000 white shipyard workers and community members attacked any black employee they could find with pipes, clubs, and other dangerous weapons. Two black men were thrown into the Mobile River while others jumped in to escape serious injury. The National Guard was called to restore order. Although no one was killed, more than fifty people were seriously injured, and several weeks passed before African-American workers could safely return to work.

Many white employees refused to return to work unless they received a guarantee that African Americans would no longer be hired. However, the federal government intervened and the company created four segregated shipways where African Americans could hold any position with the exception of foreman. African Americans working on the rest of the shipyard were regulated to the low-paying, unskilled tasks they had historically performed. (see May 31)
Griffin v. County School Board of Prince Edward County
May 25, 1964: the US Supreme Court held that the County School Board of Prince Edward County, Virginia's decision to close all local, public schools and provide vouchers to attend private schools was constitutionally impermissible as a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. (BH, see May 31; SD, see Sept 9)
Muhammad Ali

May 25 Peace Love Activism

May 25, 1965:  the second Ali-Liston fight.  Ali knocked out Liston midway through first round in a controversial knockout (see September 15)

Space Race

May 25, 1961: before a special joint session of Congress President Kennedy announced his goal to put a man on the Moon before the end of the decade.

May 25 Music et al

Bookends

May 25 Peace Love Activism

May 25 – June 14, 1968: Simon and Garfunkel’s Bookends the Billboard #1 album.(see June 29)
May 25 Peace Love Activism

Cultural Milestone

May 25 Peace Love Activism

May 25, 1977:  20th Century Fox released Star Wars, the first Star Wars movie. The movie was later re-titled Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope. (see March 6, 1981)

FREE SPEECH

Frank Collin

May 25 Peace Love Activism

May 25, 1978: the Village of Skokie issues a permit allowing Frank Collin and his band of Nazi sympathizers to demonstrate in front of Skokie's Village Hall on Sunday 25 June 1978. (see June 2)

Falklands War

May 25, 1982,: Argentine aircraft sank HMS Coventry (killing 19) and British Merchant Navy vessel Atlantic Conveyor (killing 12). (see May 28 – 29)

Hands Across America

May 25 Peace Love Activism

May 25, 1986, Hands Across America: At least 5,000,000 people form a human chain from New York City to Long Beach, California, to raise money to fight hunger and homelessness.

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