Category Archives: Today in history

April 25 Peace Love Activism

April 25 Peace Love Activism

US Labor History

8-hour workday

April 25 Peace Love Activism

April 25, 1886: The New York Times declared the struggle for an 8-hour workday to be “un-American” and calls public demonstrations for the shorter hours “labor disturbances brought about by foreigners.”  (see May 3)
National Child Labor Committee

April 25 Peace Love Activism

April 25, 1904: the National Child Labor Committee is formed. The NCLC is a private, non-profit organization and incorporated by an Act of Congress in 1907 with the mission of promoting the rights, dignity, well-being and education of children and youth as they relate to work and working. Despite years of enlightened laws and public scrutiny, the work of NCLC's founding visionaries is still relevant and necessary today. (NCLC) (see June 8)
Feminism
April 25, 1978: in the City of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power v. Manhart, the US Supreme Court ruled that employers may not require female employees to make larger contributions to pension plans in order to obtain the same monthly benefits as men. (LH, see Apr 27, F, see June 9)

BLACK HISTORY

Voting Rights
April 25, 1898: in Williams v. Mississippi, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled there was no racial discrimination in Mississippi's 1890 Constitution, which required all voters to pay poll taxes and pass literacy tests. This ruling came despite public discussion by the framers of the state Constitution on how to maintain white supremacy and keep African Americans from voting. Many other Southern states followed Mississippi's lead. (see May 12)
Marcus Garvey
April 25, 1916: Garvey visited W.E.B. Du Bois, the editor of The Crisis, the magazine of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. (BH, see May 15; MG, see May – June, 1916)
Mack Charles Parker

April 25 Peace Love Activism

April 25, 1959: three days before his scheduled trial, Mack Charles Parker, a 23-year-old African American truck driver, was lynched by a hooded mob of white men in Poplarville, Mississippi. Parker had been accused of raping a pregnant white woman and was being held in a local jail. The mob took him from his cell, beat him, took him to a bridge, shot and killed him, then weighed his body down with chains and dumped him in the river. Many people knew the identity of the killers, but the community closed ranks and refused to talk. Echoing the Till case, the FBI would investigate and identify at least 10 men involved, but the U.S. Department of Justice would rule there were no federal grounds to make an arrest and press charges. Two grand juries -- one county and one federal -- adjourned without indictments. (see May 1)
Harlem Riot
April 25, 1968: the Appellate Division ruled that Lieutenant Thomas Gilligan, who fatally shot a 15-year-old James Powell preceding the Harlem riots in 1964, had the legal right to press his claim for more than $5-million in punitive damages against those who had called him a murderer. (BH, see May 3; RR, see May 27)
US Labor History
April 25, 1969: South Carolina Governor Robert Evander McNairhe declared a state of emergency in Charleston and ordered more than 100,000 state troopers and members of the National Guard to break a strike by predominantly African American Medical University Hospital workers seeking recognition for their union, Local 1199B of the Retail Drug and Hospital Employees. In the end, the employer promised to rehire the striking workers they had fired, abide by a newly established grievance process, and provide modest pay increases. (BH, see May 4; LH, see Dec 31)
FREE SPEECH
April 25, 1969:  Black students at West Senior High School in Rockford, Illinois had presented their grievances to school administrators. When the principal took no action on crucial complaints, a more public demonstration of protest was planned. On this date, approximately 200 people—students, their family members, and friends—gathered next to the school grounds of West Senior High School in Rockford, Illinois. Richar Grayned, brother and twin sisters attended the school, was part of the group. The demonstrators marched around on a sidewalk about 100 feet from the school building, which was set back from the street. Many carried signs which summarized the grievances: "Black cheerleaders to cheer too"; "Black history with black teachers"; "Equal rights, Negro counselors." Others, without placards, made the "power to the people" sign with their upraised and clenched fists.

                Grayned was convicted for his part in the demonstration. (BH, see May 10; FS, see May 15, Grayned, see March 31, 1970)
Sean Bell incident

April 25 Peace Love Activism

April 25, 2008: three detectives were found not guilty on all charges in the shooting death of Sean Bell, who died in a hail of 50 police bullets outside a club in Jamaica, Queens. The verdict prompted calls for calm from Mayor Bloomberg, angry promises of protests by those speaking for the Bell family, and expressions of relief by the detectives. (see May 7)

Women’s Health

Margaret Sanger
April 25, 1951: Margaret Sanger managed to secure a tiny grant for researcher Gregory Pincus from Planned Parenthood, and Pincus begins initial work on the use of hormones as a contraceptive at The Worcester Foundation. Pincus sets out to prove his hypothesis that injections of the hormone progesterone will inhibit ovulation and thus prevent pregnancy in his lab animals. (see "in January" 1952)

Technological Milestones

DNA

April 25 Peace Love Activism

April 25, 1953: Cambridge University scientists, James D Watson and Francis Crick, published an article in Nature Magazine explaining the structure of DNA and that DNA was the material that makes up genes which pass hereditary characteristics in all life from one parent to another. They concluded that it consisted of a double helix of two strands coiled around each other and could even be considered the "secret of life". (TM, see Dec 17; DNA, see April 25, 2003)
Hubble Space Telescope

April 25 Peace Love Activism

April 25, 1990:  the $2.5 billion Hubble Space Telescope was deployed in space from the Space Shuttle Discovery into an orbit 381 miles above Earth. It was the first major orbiting observatory, named in honour of American astronomer, Edwin Powell Hubble. (see December 3, 1992)
Human Genome Project

April 25 Peace Love Activism

April 25, 2003: The Human Genome Project to determine the sequence of chemical base pairs which make up DNA of the human genome consisting of 20,000-25,000 genes started in 1990 was published. The project started in the US with James D. Watson who was head of the National Center for Human Genome Research at the National Institutes of Health but over the next 10 years geneticists in China, France, Germany, Japan, and the United Kingdom all worked together on the project helping the project end two years earlier than planned. One of the most important aspects of this research was that it was available to anyone on the Internet and not owned or controlled by any one company or government. (see “in 2006”)

April 25 Music et al

Stu Cook
April 25, 1945: Stuart Alden Cook, bassist for Creedence Clearwater Revival born. 
Stuck on You
April 25 – May 22, 1960: “Stuck on You” by Elvis #1 Billboard Hot 100, his first since his Army discharge and his thirteenth overall. (see August 15, 1960)

Nuclear/Chemical News
April 25, 1962: on the same day that the United States resumed nuclear testing after a 3-year moratorium, Bob Dylan recorded ”Let Me Die in My Footsteps” a song was inspired by the construction of fallout shelters. (Nuclear/Chemical News, see May 6; Dylan, July 9, 1962)

April 25 Peace Love Activism

Vietnam

Gen. William Westmoreland
April 25, 1964: President Lyndon B. Johnson announced that Gen. William Westmoreland would replace Gen. Paul Harkins as head of U.S. Military Assistance Command Vietnam (MACV) as of June 20. (see May 2)

Easter Offensive

April 25 Peace Love Activism

April 25, 1972: North Vietnamese Army close to cutting South Vietnam in two. Hanoi's 320th Division drives 5,000 South Vietnamese troops into retreat and traps about 2,500 others in a border outpost northwest of Kontum in the Central Highlands. This campaign was part of the ongoing North Vietnamese Nguyen Hue Offensive, also known as the "Easter Offensive," which included an invasion by 120,000 North Vietnamese troops. (see April 26)

The Cold War

April 25 Peace Love Activism

April 25, 1983: the Soviet Union released a letter that Russian leader Yuri Andropov wrote to Samantha Smith, an American fifth-grader from Manchester, Maine, inviting her to visit his country. Andropov’s letter came in response to a note Smith had sent him in December 1982, asking if the Soviets were planning to start a nuclear war. At the time, the United States and Soviet Union were Cold War enemies.

                Andropov’s letter said that Russian people wanted to “live in peace, to trade and cooperate with all our neighbors on the globe, no matter how close or far away they are, and, certainly, with such a great country as the United States of America.” In response to Smith’s question about whether the Soviet Union wished to prevent nuclear war, Andropov declared, “Yes, Samantha, we in the Soviet Union are endeavoring and doing everything so that there will be no war between our two countries, so that there will be no war at all on earth.” Andropov also complimented Smith, comparing her to the spunky character Becky Thatcher from “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” by Mark Twain.

                Smith, born June 29, 1972, accepted Andropov’s invitation and flew to the Soviet Union with her parents for a visit. Afterward, she became an international celebrity and peace ambassador, making speeches, writing a book and even landing a role on an American television series. In February 1984, Yuri Andropov died from kidney failure and was succeeded by Konstantin Chernenko. The following year, in August 1985, Samantha Smith died tragically in a plane crash at age 13. (see August 11, 1984)

Iraq War II

April 25, 2007:  Laura Bush stated that “No one suffers more than the President and I do.”  (see June 7)

DEATH PENALTY

April 25, 2012:  Connecticut Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy signed into law a repeal of the death penalty, making it the fifth state in recent years to abandon capital punishment. Malloy stated it was 'a moment for sober reflection, not celebration.' With the law, which replaced the death penalty with life in prison without the possibility of parole, Connecticut joined 16 other states and the District of Columbia that do not allow capital punishment. The repeal in Connecticut applied only to future sentences, and the 11 men on its death row now still face execution. However some legal experts have said defense attorneys could use the repeal measure to win life sentences for those inmates. (see May 2, 2013)

LGBTQ

April 25, 2012:  Robert Spitzer, MD, apologized to the gay community in Apr. 2012 for a study published in Oct. 2003 that said some people were able to change their sexual orientation. In a letter to Ken Zucker, the editor of Archives of Sexual Behavior (which published the study), Spitzer wrote: "I offered several (unconvincing) reasons why it was reasonable to assume that the subject’s reports of change were credible and not self-deception or outright lying. But the simple fact is that there was no way to determine if the subject’s accounts of change were valid. I believe I owe the gay community an apology for my study making unproven claims of the efficacy of reparative therapy.") (see May 8)

Voting Rights

April 25, 2016: Judge Thomas D. Schroeder of Federal District Court in Winston-Salem upheld Republican-backed changes to election rules, including a voter identification provision, that civil rights groups said unfairly targeted African-Americans and other minorities.

                Schroeder’s ruling upheld the repeal of a provision that allowed people to register and vote on the same day. It also upheld a seven-day reduction in the early-voting period; the end of preregistration, which allowed some people to sign up before their 18th birthdays; and the repeal of a provision that allowed for the counting of ballots cast outside voters’ home precinct.

                It also left intact North Carolina’s voter identification requirement, which legislators softened last year to permit residents to cast ballots, even if they lack the required documentation, if they submit affidavits. (see Apr 26)

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April 24 Music et al

April 24 Music et al

Doug Clifford
April 24, 1945: Doug Clifford of Creedance Clearwater Revival born.
Bob Dylan
April 24, 1961: Harry Belafonte recorded “Midnight Special”. Bob Dylan played harmonica on the recording. It was Dylan’s first official recording and he received a $50 session fee. (see July 29)

 
Runaway

April 24 Music et al

April 24 – May 21, 1961: “Runaway” by Del Shannon #1 Billboard Hot 100. Shannon and keyboardist Max Crook wrote the song.

 
Game of Love
April 24 – 30, 1965: “Game of Love” by Wayne Fontana & the Mindbenders #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Penultimate John and Paul
April 24, 1976: Paul and Linda McCartney spent the evening with John Lennon at his New York Dakota apartment and watched Saturday Night Live. Producer of the show Lorne Michaels made an offer on air asking The Beatles to turn up and play three songs live. Lennon and McCartney thought about taking a cab to the studio, but decided they were too tired.  The next day was the last time John and Paul met. (see July 27)

 
April 24 Music et al
William “Billy” Zantzinger
April 24, 1991: William “Billy” Zantzinger--made infamous by Bob Dylan's song, "The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll,"  became front page news again. The Maryland Independent ran a story by reporter Kristi Hempel revealing that Zantzinger had been collecting rent for five years from several poor black families even though he no longer owned the houses where they lived. The county had foreclosed on the properties in 1986 because Zantzinger had failed to pay taxes on them. The houses, located in a place called Patuxent Woods, were battered wooden shacks, with no running water or toilets or even outhouses. The tenants had to dump their wastes in the woods, which polluted the water in their shallow hand-pumped wells. Not only had Zantzinger collected rent after losing the properties, he'd actually raised the rent, and he'd even taken some tenants to court for nonpayment. And won. (see June 5)

April 24 Peace Love Activism

April 24 Peace Love Activism

News Music

Claude de Lisle
April 24, 1792: Claude de Lisle (1760 –1836) wrote "La Marseillaise" which became the French National Anthem three years later. It begins with the rousing words: (see “in 1854”)
The day of glory has arrived!

Against us of tyranny

The bloody banner is raised, (repeat)

Do you hear, in the countryside,

The roar of those ferocious soldiers?

They’re coming right into our arms

To cut the throats of our sons and women!

To arms, citizens,

Form your battalions,

Let’s march, let’s march!

That an impure blood

Waters our furrows

Allons enfants de la Patrie

Le jour de gloire est arrivé !

Contre nous de la tyrannie,

L’étendard sanglant est levé, (bis)

Entendez-vous dans les campagnes

Mugir ces féroces soldats ?

Ils viennent jusque dans nos bras

Égorger nos fils et nos compagnes !

Aux armes, citoyens,

Formez vos bataillons,

Marchons, marchons !

Qu’un sang impur

Abreuve nos sillons!

Arise, children of the Fatherland,

INDEPENDENCE DAY

Ireland

April 24 Peace Love Activism

April 24, 1916: Ireland independent from the United Kingdom. (see December 6, 1917)

Nuclear/Chemical News

April 24 Peace Love Activism

April 24, 1945:  President Harry Truman learned the full details of the Manhattan Project, in which scientists were attempting to create the first atomic bomb. (see June 16)

BLACK HISTORY

Biloxi Beach Wade-In

April 24 Peace Love Activism

April 24, 1960: a mob attacked protesters with iron pipes and chains, including Dr. Gilbert Mason, after they walk onto "whites-only" Biloxi Beach. Police attacked and arrested protesters. By the time dawn broke, more than 20 African Americans had been injured. Before the violence ended that week, two young African-American men had been killed. (see May 4)

Bay of Pigs

Cuban Missile Crisis
April 24, 1961: President Kennedy accepted "sole responsibility" following Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba. (see Nov 30)

April 24 Music et al

Doug Clifford
April 24, 1945: Doug Clifford of Creedance Clearwater Revival born.
Bob Dylan
April 24, 1961: Harry Belafonte recorded “Midnight Special”. Bob Dylan played harmonica on the recording. It was Dylan’s first official recording and he received a $50 session fee. (see July 29)
Runaway
April 24 – May 21, 1961: “Runaway” by Del Shannon #1 Billboard Hot 100.
Game of Love
April 24 – 30, 1965: “Game of Love” by Wayne Fontana & the Mindbenders #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Paul and John, the last time
April 24, 1976: Paul and Linda McCartney spent the evening with John Lennon at his New York Dakota apartment and watched Saturday Night Live. Producer of the show Lorne Michaels made an offer on air asking The Beatles to turn up and play three songs live. Lennon and McCartney thought about taking a cab to the studio, but decided they were too tired. This was the last time Lennon and McCartney were together. (see July 27)
William “Billy” Zantzinger
April 24, 1991: William “Billy” Zantzinger--made infamous by Bob Dylan's song, "The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll,"  became front page news again. The Maryland Independent ran a story by reporter Kristi Hempel revealing that Zantzinger had been collecting rent for five years from several poor black families even though he no longer owned the houses where they lived. The county had foreclosed on the properties in 1986 because Zantzinger had failed to pay taxes on them. The houses, located in a place called Patuxent Woods, were battered wooden shacks, with no running water or toilets or even outhouses. The tenants had to dump their wastes in the woods, which polluted the water in their shallow hand-pumped wells. Not only had Zantzinger collected rent after losing the properties, he'd actually raised the rent, and he'd even taken some tenants to court for nonpayment. And won. (see June 5)


DEATH PENALTY

Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act
April 24, 1996: between 1985 and 1995 death penalty proponents had made successful efforts at both the state and federal level to streamline the capital appeals process and expedite executions. The most significant of these efforts was the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (AEDPA). Capital punishment proponents argued that death row inmates abused the writ of habeas corpus by filing multiple, repetitive petitions. Congress passed AEDPA to restrict the availability of federal habeas relief in several significant manners." The bill passed 293-133-7 in the House of Representatives and 91-8-1 in the Senate. It was signed into law on Apr. 24, 1996. (see February 3, 1997)
April 24 Peace Love Activism

Space Race

Echo 1 balloon

April 24 Peace Love Activism

April 24, 1962: the Massachusetts Institute of Technology achieved the first satellite relay of a television signal, using NASA's Echo 1 balloon satellite to bounce a video image of the letters "M.I.T." transmitted from Camp Parks, Calif., to Westford, Mass. (see July 10)

Vietnam

General Westmoreland

April 24 Peace Love Activism

April 24, 1967: General Westmoreland condemned anti-war demonstrators saying they give the North Vietnamese soldier "hope that he can win politically that which he cannot accomplish militarily." Privately, he had already warned President Johnson "the war could go on indefinitely." American attacks on North Vietnam's airfields began The attacks inflicted heavy damage on runways and installations. By the end of the year, all but one of the North's Mig bases has been hit. (see April 30)
My Lai Massacre
April 24, 1968: a second investigation regarding the My Lai Massacre concurs with that of Colonel Henderson. (My Lai, see March 1969; Vietnam see April 27)
Qui Nho

April 24 Peace Love Activism

April 24, 1971: North Vietnamese troops hit Allied installations throughout South Vietnam. In the most devastating attack, they blew up the ammunition depot at Qui Nho. (see April 26)

Symbionese Liberation Army

April 24, 1974: in a sixth audio tape, Patty offered evidence of her full participation in the bank robbery -- at no time did her comrades have a gun pointed at her. She refers to her family as the "pig Hearsts" and to Steven Weed, her fiancé, as "an ageist, sexist pig." (see May 17)

Iran hostage crisis

April 24 Peace Love Activism

April 24, 1980: an American military aborted rescue mission in Iran after mechanical problems ground the helicopters. Eight United States troops are killed in a mid-air collision during the failed operation. (see July 27)

Terri Schiavo

April 24, 2001, after three years of legal proceedings by Terri Schiavo’s husband, Michael, the Court permits the removal of her feeding tube. It was reinserted several days later. (see Feb 25, 2005)

Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

April 24, 2010: BP reports a leak 1,000 barrels (42,000 US gallons) a day (see Apr 27)

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