Category Archives: Today in history

December 28 Peace Love Activism

December 28 Peace Love Activism

US Labor History

December 28 Peace Love ActivismDecember 28, 1869: Uriah Stephens formed the Knights of Labor in Philadelphia. Initially a secret society, the Knights were able to organize workers around the country under the radar of management. They became an important force in the early days of labor organizing. (see January 13, 1874)

BLACK HISTORY

TERRORISM
December 28, 1871: in Columbia, S.C., Sherod Childers, Evans Murphy, Hezekiah Porter, and William Montgomery received their sentencing for the Ku Klux Klan conspiracy in South Carolina. (BH, see May 22; Terrorism, see November 25, 1915)
Café Society

December 28 Peace Love Activism

December 28, 1938: Café Society, a racially integrated nightclub opened in New York City on this evening. Primarily a jazz venue, Café Society had an avowed political purpose — including operating on an integrated basis. It is hard for many people to believe it, but nightclubs in New York City though the late 1930s were not racially integrated. Even the celebrated Cotton Club, where Duke Ellington established his national reputation, did not admit African-American customers. (The exception to this rule were some African-American clubs in Harlem, where whites seeking out jazz music were admitted.) Café Society, which advertised itself as “the right place for the wrong people,” poked fun at clubs that catered to the rich (referred to as “café society”). It had a shabbily dressed “doorman” who refused to open the doors of limousines.

Star performers at Café Society included Billie Holiday, Josh White and other jazz greats. It was widely believed that the initial funding for Café Society was secretly provided by the Communist Party. A second club, Café Society Uptown, opened in 1940. Both clubs closed during the Cold War in part because of attacks on founder/owner/manager Barney Josephson.

One of the star performers at Cafe Society was Hazel Scott, and African-American jazz pianist. Scott was the first African-American entertainer to have her own television network show, on the small and long-defunct Dumont Network. She was also active in left-wing political events and was called to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) in July 1950. Her television show was cancelled a week later on July 29, 1950. (see April 9, 1939)
Snipers shot at desegregated busses
December 28, 1956: after Browder v Gayle ordered bus desegregation, the black community returned to the Montgomery buses but faced the threat of violence from some whites who resented the boycott and its results. In a terrifying development, snipers began to target the buses soon after integrated riding commenced. On the evening of December 28, 1956, shots were fired into a desegregated bus traveling through an African American neighborhood. Rosa Jordan, a 22-year-old black woman who was eight months pregnant, was shot in both legs while sitting in the rear of the bus. She was transported to Oak Street General Hospital, but doctors were hesitant to remove a bullet lodged in her leg, fearing it could cause Jordan to give birth prematurely. She was told she would have to remain in the hospital for the duration of her pregnancy. After the bus driver and passengers were questioned at police headquarters, the bus resumed service. Less than an hour later, in approximately the same neighborhood, the bus was again targeted by snipers but no one was hit. These shootings followed two earlier sniper attacks on Montgomery buses that occurred the week before but targeted buses carrying no passengers and resulted in no injuries. On the night of Jordan’s shooting, Montgomery Police Commissioner Clyde Sellers ordered all buses to end service for the night. The following day, three city commissioners met with a bus company official and decided to suspend all night bus service after 5:00 p.m. until after the New Year’s holiday. The curfew policy did not end until January 22, 1957. 
In 1957: although the blues and folk music had traditionally been associated with protest music, jazz had its contributors. The usually low-key Louis Armstrong cancelled a State Department-sponsored tour of the USSR in `957. “The way they are treating my people in the South, the government can go to hell. The people over there ask me what’s wrong with my country. What am I supposed to say?” (see January 10, 1957)
Project for an Alabama Political Freedom Movement
December 28, 1964: Martin Luther King, Jr presented the Southern Christian Leadership Conference  the "Project for an Alabama Political Freedom Movement," a plan conceived by James Bevel that called for mass action and voter registration attempts in Selma and Dallas County. (see January 2, 1965)
 December 28 Peace Love Activism
Technological Milestones

December 28 Peace Love Activism

December 28, 1895: the world's first commercial movie screening took place at the Grand Cafe in Paris. The film was made by Louis and Auguste Lumiere, two French brothers who developed a camera-projector called the Cinematographe. The Lumiere brothers unveiled their invention to the public in March 1895 with a brief film showing workers leaving the Lumiere factory. On December 28, the entrepreneurial siblings screened a series of short scenes from everyday French life and charged admission for the first time.(see December 2, 1901)

Elizabeth Jordan Carr
December 28 Peace Love ActivismDecember 28, 1981: the first American test-tube baby, Elizabeth Jordan Carr, is born in Norfolk, Virginia. In 2010 Carr gave birth to a baby boy. (TM, see December 2, 1982; WH, June 11, 1986)

Pledge of Allegiance

December 28, 1945: Congress officially recognized the Pledge of Allegiance and encouraged its recitation in schools. (see February 12, 1948) 

December 28 Music et al

December 28, 1959 – January 3, 1960: “Why” by Frankie Avalon [age 20] #1 Billboard Hot 100. “Why” is the last #1 of the 1950s. It was Avalon’s second and last #1 hit.

Brian Epstein
December 28 Peace Love ActivismDecember 28, 1963: The New Yorker magazine published a Brian Epstein interview; regarded as first serious article in U.S. about the Beatles and their manager. (see Dec 29)

Miami Pop Festival
December 28 – 30, 1968: The second Miami Pop Festival of 1968
Procol Harum

The Turtles

The Grass Roots

Three Dog Night

Jose Feliciano

The Blues Image

The Box Tops

Paul Butterfield Blues Band

Hugh Masekela

Pacific Gas and Electric

Fleetwood Mac

Richie Havens

The Sweet Inspirations

Joni Mitchell

Joe Tex

Jr. Walker & The Allstars

The McCoys

Sweetwater

The James Cotton Blues Band

Canned Heat

The Charles Lloyd Quartet

Booker T. & the M.G.’s

Ian & Sylvia

Country Joe and The Fish

Buffy St. Marie

Steppenwolf

The Amboy Dukes

Iron Butterfly

Chuck Berry

Flatt and Scruggs

Grateful Dead

Marvin Gaye

Miami Rock Festival
December 28, 1969: the last festival of 1969. (see Miami for full story)
White album #1
December 28 Peace Love ActivismDecember 28, 1968 – February 7, 1969: The Beatles, commonly known as the White Album, was the Billboard #1 album. (see January 13, 1969) 

Vietnam

December 28, 1964: advanced units of Viet Cong who had filtered unnoticed to the area around the stratigic hamlet of Binh Gia attacked and overwhelmed the village militia. (see Dec 29)

Environmental Issues

December 28 Peace Love Activism

December 28, 1973: President Nixon signed the Endangered Species Act into law. (NYT article)(see December 15, 1976)  

FREE SPEECH

December 28, 1974: George Maynard who had hidden the "Live Free or Die" motto on his New Hampshire license plate, was again charged with violating  the license plate statute. (see Free Speech v License Plates for full story)

CLINTON IMPEACHMENT

December 28, 1997: Monica Lewinsky made her final visit to the White House, according to White House logs, and was signed in by Clinton secretary, Betty Currie. Lewinsky reportedly met privately with Clinton and he allegedly encouraged her to be "evasive" in her answers in the Jones' lawsuit. (see Clinton Impeachment for full story)

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December 27 Music et al

December 27 Music et al

Songs of Leonard Cohen


December 27, 1967 – Leonard Cohen released Songs of Leonard Cohen.


From Mark Deming’s review at the AllMusic.com site:  At a time when a growing number of pop songwriters were embracing a more explicitly poetic approach in their lyrics, the 1967 debut album from Leonard Cohen introduced a songwriter who, rather than being inspired by “serious” literature, took up music after establishing himself as a published author and poet. The ten songs on Songs of Leonard Cohen were certainly beautifully constructed, artful in a way few (if any) other lyricists would approach for some time, but what’s most striking about these songs isn’t Cohen’s technique, superb as it is, so much as his portraits of a world dominated by love and lust, rage and need, compassion and betrayal. 




see John Wesley Harding for more

December 27, 1967, Bob Dylan released  John Wesley Harding album. He had recorded it between October 17 and November 29.


December 27

The cover photograph shows Dylan with brothers Luxman and Purna Das. Dylan’s manager, Albert Grossman, had brought the Asian musicians to Woodstock. Standing behind Dylan (over his left shoulder) is Charlie Joy, a local stonemason and carpenter.


True to the atmosphere of the time’s conspiracy theorists (e.g. Paul is dead), images of the Beatles were purportedly hidden on the front cover in the knots of the tree. (next Dylan see January 20, 1968)


Cultural Milestone

December 22 Music et al

December 22, 1967: Chicago businessman Michael Butler was planning to run for the U.S. Senate on an anti-war platform. He watched the Public Theatre’s production of Hair several times and joined forces with Joe Papp to reproduce the show at another New York venue after the close of its run at the Public.


Papp and Butler first moved the show to The Cheetah,  a discothèque at 53rd Street and Broadway. It ran for 45 performances. (CM, see January 22, 1968; Hair, see April 29, 1968)


December 27 Music et al

see Miami Rock Festival for moreDecember 27 Music et al


December 27 – 29, 1969, Miami Rock Festival, among the bands playing were: BB King, The Band, Santana, Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Johnny Winter, Grateful Dead, Canned Heat, Sweetwater, Vanilla Fudge, Hugh Masakela, Amboy Dukes, The Turtles, Biff Rose, Tony Joe White, and Celebration.


see Mid Winter Pop Festival for more


December 27 Music et al


December 27 – 29, 1969: Blythe, California. The show never happened, but was supposed to have: Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane, Young Rascals, Vanilla Fudge, Brooklyn Bridge, Neil Diamond, and Johnny Winters. 


“Someday We’ll Be Together”

December 27, 1969 – January 2, 1970 – “Someday We’ll Be Together” by Diana Ross and the Supremes #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

December 27 Music et al
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December 27 Peace Love Activism

December 27 Peace Love Activism

US Labor History


December 27, 1913: during the bitter Copper Country Strike of 1913-1914 in Michigan, Charles Moyer, president of the Miners Union, was shot in the back and dragged through the streets of Chicago by men in the employ of the mine owners. That evening, detectives escorted him, still bleeding, to a local train and “deported him” (e.g., ran him out of town). State and Congressional investigations were unable to prove the identity of his assailants, and the crime went unsolved.(see January 5, 1914)


Vietnam

General Albert C. Wedemeyer

December 27, 1944:  U.S. General Albert C. Wedemeyer in Chungking reported that Ambassador Patrick J. Hurley was displeased with aid given to intelligence operatives in Vietnam. Hurley “had increasing evidence that the British, French, and Dutch are working…for the attainment of imperialistic policies and he felt we should do nothing to assist them in their endeavors which run counter to U.S. policy.” Hurley was reflecting President Roosevelt’s January 24 position. (see Dec 31)


Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh

December 27, 1965:  Ho Chi Minh addressed the Communist Party Central Committee in Hanoi. Ho said that “politics” was the weak point of the American and South Vietnamese enemy and the domestic situation of the United States will not permit the U.S. to utilize its military and economic power in South Vietnam. The Committee decided that the communist forces in South Vietnam should seek a “decisive victory within a relatively short period of time” but must prepare to defend itself if the U.S. expands its war effort. (see January 7, 1966)


Vatican response to Spellman

December 27, 1966: Vatican sources expressed displeasure with Cardial Spellman’s statements in Vietnam. One source said, “The Cardinal did not speak for the Pope or the Church.” The Pope had previously called for negotiations and an end to the war in Vietnam.


On December 23 Spellman had said the Vietnamese conflict was “a war for civilization—certainly it is not a war of our seeking. It is a war thrust upon us—we cannot yield to tyranny.” Anything “less than victory is inconceivable.” 


US forces in Vietnam

By the end of 1966, American forces in Vietnam reach 385,000 men, plus an additional 60,000 sailors stationed offshore. More than 6,000 Americans have been killed in this year, and 30,000 have been wounded. In comparison, an estimated 61,000 Vietcong have been killed. However, their troops now numbered over 280,000.

Music protests  US in Vietnam

In  1967: protest songs of this year included: 

  • “Saigon Bride” by Joan Baez
  • “Waist Deep in the Big Muddy” by Pete Seeger.
  • “Backlash Blues” by Nina Simone
  • “Patriotic” song: “Dear Uncle Sam” by Loretta Lynn

(next Vietnam, see January  8, 1967)


BLACK HISTORY

Tallahassee busing

December 27, 1956: Federal Judge Dozier Devane granted temporary injunction restraining Tallahassee city officials from interfering with integration of city buses and said “every segregation act of every state or city is as dead as a doornail.” (see Dec 28)


Tamir Rice

December 27 Peace Love Activism


December 27, 2015: a grand jury declined to charge a Cleveland patrolman who fatally shot a 12-year-old boy holding a pellet gun, capping more than a year of investigation into a case that added to national outrage over white officers killing African-Americans.


In announcing the decision, Timothy J. McGinty, the Cuyahoga County prosecutor, said he had recommended that the grand jurors not bring charges in the killing of the boy, Tamir Rice, who was playing with the gun outside a recreation center in November 2014. (B & S, see July 5, 2016; Rice, see April 25, 2016)


December 27 Music et al

Roots of Rock

December 27, 1957: from the NYT: “Twenty thousand shrieking, pushing, stamping teen-agers besieged the Paramount Theatre all day yesterday. The attraction was Alan Freed, a disk jockey and master of ceremonies who was presenting a stage show of rock ‘n’ roll musicians.” (see March 24, 1958)


December 27, 1967 – Leonard Cohen released Songs of Leonard Cohen.



see John Wesley Harding for more


December 27, 1967, Bob Dylan released  John Wesley Harding album. He had recorded it between October 17 and November 29. (see January 20, 1968)



The cover photograph showed Dylan with the brothers Luxman and Purna Das. Dylan’s manager, Albert Grossman, had brought the Asian musicians to Woodstock. Standing behind Dylan (over his left shoulder) is Charlie Joy, a local stonemason and carpenter.


True to the atmosphere of the time’s conspiracy theorists (e.g. Paul is dead), images of the Beatles were purportedly hidden on the front cover in the knots of the tree.


see Miami Rock Festival for more

December 27 – 29, 1969: Miami Rock Festival, among the bands playing were: BB King, The Band, Santana, Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Johnny Winter, Grateful Dead, Canned Heat, Sweetwater, Vanilla Fudge, Hugh Masakela, Amboy Dukes, The Turtles, Biff Rose, Tony Joe White, and Celebration.


see Mid Winter Pop Festival for a little more

December 27 Peace Love Activism


December 27 – 29, 1969, Mid Winter Pop Festival, Blythe, California. The show never happened, but was supposed to have: Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane, Young Rascals, Vanilla Fudge, Brooklyn Bridge, Neil Diamond, and Johnny Winters. (see 


Someday We’ll Be Together

December 27, 1969 – January 2, 1970 – “Someday We’ll Be Together” by Diana Ross and the Supremes #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

December 27 Peace Love Activism

TERRORISM

December 27 Peace Love Activism

December 27, 2001: U.S. officials announced that Taliban and al-Qaida prisoners would be held at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. (see January 11, 2002)

 

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