November 21, 1922: Rebecca L. Felton of Georgia was sworn in as the first woman to serve in the U.S. Senate.
US Labor History
November 21, 1927: six miners striking for better working conditions under the IWW banner are killed and many wounded in the Columbine Massacre at Lafayette, Colo. Out of this struggle Colorado coal miners gained lasting union contracts.
César E. Chávez, Dolores Huerta, and the UFW
November 21, 2000: The United Farm Workers union ended its 16-year-old boycott of California table grapes. The union's co-founder, César Chávez, who died in 1993, had called for the boycott in 1984 to focus on the spraying of dangerous pesticides. ''Some goals of that boycott have already been met,'' the union's president, Arturo Rodriguez, said in a letter. ''César Chávez's crusade to eliminate use of five of the most toxic chemicals plaguing farm workers and their families has been largely successful.'' The union also held two boycotts against California table grapes in the 1960's and 1970's.
November 21, 1938: The Library Bill of Rights originated on this day with the Des Moines, Iowa, Public Library. The statement was a response to the anti-Semitic actions by Nazi Germany, which included excluding Jews and books written by Jews from libraries.
Japanese Internment Camps
November 21, 1945: Manzanar, one of the Relocation Centers (usually referred to as concentration camps) in the evacuation and internment of the Japanese-American during World War II, was officially closed on this day. See February 19, 1942 for President Roosevelt’s Executive Order authorizing the program. Many historians regard the evacuation and internment of the Japanese-Americans as the greatest civil liberties tragedy in American history. The government’s program was officially ended on December 17, 1944, but Manzanar did not close until this day, almost a year later. The site was designated a National Historic Site, on March 3, 1992, and is now managed by the National Park Service.
“Stay” by Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs
November 21 – 27, 1960: “Stay” by Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs #1 Billboard Hot 100. Williams wrote the song in 1953 when he was 15 after unsuccessfully trying to convince his girlfriend to ignore her 10 o’clock curfew. The original recording of "Stay" remains the shortest single ever to reach the top of the American record charts, being only 1 minute and 37 seconds long.
November 21, 1964: the FBI mailed an anonymous letter to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King containing recordings of King engaging in what the FBI regarded as extramarital sexual activity. The letter was part of the FBI’s attempt to “neutralize” King as a civil rights leader, a strategy it adopted as an official plan on December 23, 1963. The recordings on the tape were derived from secret and illegal surveillance of King by the FBI using listening devices placed in hotel rooms and other locations where the FBI knew King would be. The FBI had installed the first bug on January 5, 1964. While Attorney General Robert Kennedy approved wiretaps on King on October 10, 1963, he did not approve the use of the far more intrusive “bugs.” The letter and the tape recording sent to King has been sealed by a judge, and it is not publicly available.
November 21, 1965: not the first “acid test” but a similar event held six days before the Santa Cruz Acid Test, was the Lysergic A Go Go, staged by Hugh Romney (later Wavy Gravy) and Del Close. Not as participatory as the Pranksters' Tests, attendees "brought their own head," recalled Romney. "We did not supply any psychotropics," Gravy says. "What we provided was a palette." Though they distributed "solar meat cream" capsules at the door, according to a Los Angeles Free Press report, they were merely filled with "Safeway hamburger." The light show was provided by Romney's roommate, Del Close. The Lysergic A Go Go was a genuinely chaotic happening, crammed with some 500 heads.
November 21, 1967: Gen. William Westmoreland, commander of U.S. Military Assistance Command Vietnam, told U.S. news reporters: "I am absolutely certain that whereas in 1965 the enemy was winning, today he is certainly losing." [Having been reassured by the general, most Americans were stunned when the communists launched a massive offensive during the Vietnamese Tet New Year holiday in two months.] November 21, 1970: a combined Air Force and Army team of 40 Americans--led by Army Colonel "Bull" Simons--conducted a raid on the Son Tay prison camp, 23 miles west of Hanoi, in an attempt to free between 70 and 100 American suspected of being held there. The raid was conducted almost flawlessly, but no prisoners of war were found in the camp. They had been moved earlier to other locations. November 21, 1972: Chicago 8: all of the convictions were reversed by the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit on the basis that the judge was biased in his refusal to permit defense attorneys to screen prospective jurors for cultural and racial bias.
The Beatles after live performances
November 21, 1968: Yoko Ono suffered a miscarriage of the baby she was expecting with John Lennon. It had been due to be born in February. Lennon stayed at her side at Queen Charlotte's Hospital, London, sleeping overnight next to her. When that bed was needed for a patient he slept on the floor. Just before the miscarriage, the fetal heartbeat was recorded. It was included in Lennon and Ono's 1969 album Life With The Lions, followed by two minutes' silence. The child was named John Ono Lennon II, and was buried in a secret location. It was later claimed that Ono's miscarriage was caused by the stress of their October drugs bust and subsequent arrest.
November, 21, 2013: 96-year-old Edmond Harjo and other American Indian "code talkers" were formally awarded the Congressional Gold Medal to using their native language to outwit the enemy and protect U.S. battlefield communications during World Wars I and II.
November 21, 1973: President Richard Nixon's attorney, J. Fred Buzhardt, revealed the existence of an 18 1/2-minute gap in one of the White House tape recordings related to Watergate.
November 21, 1974: the National Conference of Catholic Bishops spoke out against capital punishment in a reversal of the traditional Roman Catholic Church position supporting the death penalty as a legitimate means of self-protection for the state.
November 21, 1986,: National Security Council member Oliver North and his secretary, Fawn Hall, started shredding documents that implicated them in selling weapons to Iran and channeling the proceeds to help fund the Contra rebels in Nicaragua.
The Cold War
November 21, 2002: NATO invited seven former communist countries to join the alliance: Slovenia, Slovakia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania and Bulgaria.
Sexual Abuse of Children
November 21, 2003: Ohio state Judge Richard Niehaus of Common Pleas Court found the Archdiocese of Cincinnati guilty of failing to report sexually abusive priests in the 1970's and 80's and imposed the maximum penalty possible, a fine of $10,000.
November 21, 2007: officials announced the recall of more than a half-million pieces of Chinese-made children's jewelry contaminated with lead.
November 21, 2013: the Pentagon had ordered national guard facilities nationwide to extend equal treatment to married couples in the U.S. military – including same-sex married couples – and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel gave them a December 1 deadline to comply. Rather than comply, Gov. Mary Fallin of Oklahoma’s announced that Oklahoma will stop processing all military spouse benefit applications at state-owned National Guard facilities rather than begin accepting the applications from same-sex spouses. Instead, military spouse applications, including those of same-sex couples, will only be accepted at four federally owned National Guard bases: the Air National Guard bases in Tulsa and Oklahoma City, the Regional Training Institute in Oklahoma City and Camp Gruber.