Category Archives: Today in history

November 21

November 21


November 21

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.

November 21

The Beatles after live performances

November 21

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.

Native Americans

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.

Watergate Scandal

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.

Iran–Contra Affair

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.

Consumer Protection

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.

November 20

November 20


November 20, 1930: The Association of Southern Women for the Prevention of Lynching founded in Atlanta, Georgia by Jessie Daniel Ames, a white Texas-born woman active in suffrage and interracial reform movements. The ASWPL was comprised of middle and upper-class white women who objected to the lynching of African Americans.

Religion and Public Education

November 20, 1947,:   a new organization, Protestants and Other Americans United for Separation of Church and State (POAU), was formed on this day in Chicago to fight for the separation of church and state and to defend the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

                The creation of POAU was prompted by the Supreme Court’s Everson v. Board of Education decision, on February 10, 1947, which permitted public funds for the transportation of students to private and parochial schools. POAU continues today under the name Americans United.

November 20, 1948: U.S. Catholic Bishops condemned public school secularism and wanted the Supreme Court McCollum v. Board of Education decision reversed. On March 8, 1948, the US Supreme Court in an 8-1 decision decided that public schools could not provide space for religious education.

November 20

Women’s rights

November 20, 1961: in Hoyt v. Florida, decided on this day, the Supreme Court held that women could be excluded from serving on juries, in part because a “woman is still regarded as the center of home and family life.” Women could serve on juries, but they had to go to the courthouse and register as being interested and willing to serve. At the time this case first went to trial, only 20 out of about 46,000 women who were registered to vote in Hillsborough County, Florida, had also registered to be a juror. 

The Court reversed itself 14 years later, in Taylor v. Louisiana (January 21, 1975), which affirmed the right of women to serve on juries.

November 20, 2013, Malala Yousufzai received the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. Named after the Russian dissident and scientist Andrei Sakharov, who spoke against the tyranny of the Soviet Union, its previous recipients included Nelson Mandela in 1988 and followed by Kofi Annan and Aung San Suu Kyi. 

Fair housing

November 20, 1962:  President John F. Kennedy issued Executive Order 11063, banning federally funded housing organizations from discriminating against individuals on the basis of race. The order attempted to end the rampant racial prejudice influencing the loan decisions of government-backed organizations like the Federal Housing Administration. These organizations commonly engaged in practices like “red-lining,” a color-coded method of labeling the riskiness of a mortgage based on the racial demographics of a borrower’s neighborhood. Under this system, black neighborhoods typically received the worst ratings (red). As a result, home loans were channeled away from those communities and into mostly white, “less risky” neighborhoods. In the face of high levels of residential segregation, African Americans found themselves without ready access to federal home loans and largely unable to purchase homes regardless of their financial situation. Many African Americans were thus relegated to living in segregated, impoverished areas.

                Kennedy had promised to sign the order during the 1960 election campaign, saying he could do it with a “stroke of the pen,” but he then angered civil rights activists by refusing to sign it for over a year and a half.

                While President Kennedy’s executive order marked an important symbolic step in redressing the problem of discriminatory housing policies in the United States, it did not immediately have a dramatic impact. Because the order failed to provide a strong enforcement mechanism, impacted agencies were simply directed to take steps to police themselves. This allowed discriminatory lending practices to continue without the threat of federal intervention. It was not until the passage of the Fair Housing Act of April 11, 1968 that a mechanism for enforcing fair housing regulations was established.

November 20


November 20, 1965: approximately 10,000 demonstrators marched into Oakland protesting US involvement in the Vietnam war. In front twas Beatrice Whitnah, 84, of Berkeley being pushed in a wheelchair. She was a Gold Star mother who lost a son in World War II. 

November 20, 1967: San Jose State College (CA) students demonstrated against the Dow Chemical Company, the maker of napalm. Police were sent in, but the students refused to disperse and police arrested several protest leaders. The next day the students defied California governor Ronald Reagan's warning against further demonstrations and again staged an anti-Dow demonstration.

November 20, 1969: Seymour Hersh, an independent investigative journalist, filed a second My Lai story based on interviews with Michael Terry and Michael Bernhardt, who served under 1st Lt. William Calley during the action that was later dubbed the My Lai massacre.

Also on this day, the Cleveland Plain Dealer published explicit photos of the dead at My Lai.

November 20, 2009: former Army photographer Sgt Ron Haeberle admitted that he destroyed photographs that depicted soldiers in the act of killing civilians at My Lai. 

Jack Kevorkian

November 20, 1991,  the Michigan state Board of Medicine summarily revoked Kevorkian's license to practice medicine in Michigan.


November 20, 2013: Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed into law and made Illinois the 16th state to allow same-sex marriage. The governor slowly signed the bill with 100 pens that quickly became souvenirs. He did so at a desk shipped from Springfield that the administration said President Abraham Lincoln used to write his first inaugural address in 1861 — a speech on the cusp of the Civil War that called on Americans to heed "the better angels of our nature." Referring to Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, Quinn said, “"In the very beginning of the Gettysburg Address, President Abraham Lincoln of Illinois said that our nation was conceived in liberty. And he said it's dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal, and that's really what we're celebrating today," he said. "It's a triumph of democracy."

November 20, 2014: the U.S. Supreme Court denied a South Carolina request to block same-same weddings from proceeding. 


Mark Kapner

Mark Kapner

Mark Kapner
Kapner second from left on the set of  Zachariah, the First Electric Western.
A belly button song from Mark

Country Joe & the Fish, keyboards


The internet is an amazing thing to this Boomer, but then I'm still amazed at telephones. 

Back in the Analog Age, I liked researching a topic in a library, going through card catalogs, searching around and focusing microfiche, or listening to recordings wearing those stinky headphones.

The internet is far less laborious despite the attraction of a library's stacks and frustration with overworked library staff.

One would think that anyone could find anything on the internet about anyone.

If I knew more about searching that would be true. I've tried to understand what boolean means, but "denoting a system of algebraic notation used to represent logical propositions, especially in computing and electronics" is of no help.

Where have you gone…

Mark Kapner

Mark Kapner was the keyboardist with Country Joe and the Fish when the band played at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair that dismal August 17, 1969 evening. Not even the enhanced idealism of 400,000 people could stop the rain. According to John Fogerty, it was after Woodstock that "...I went home and wrote this song."

He and the band also starred in the 1971 movie "Zacharia, the First Electric Western." A young Don Johnson was one of the stars along with John Rubinstein, Pat Quinn, Doug Kershaw, The James Gang, The New York Rock Ensemble, White Lightnin', William Challee, and Elvin Jones.

Like to see the trailer? Worth the 2:51. You may even watch twice or even watch the whole thing available on YouTube as well.

Mark Kapner has a web page with limited information.  At it it states that Mark:
  • Attended Sanford H Calhoun High School (Merrick, New York)
  • Attended Brown University
  • played keyboards with Country Joe and the Fish
  • played with Neil Diamond’s band during 1970 and 1971
  • worked at the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health (Lenox, Massachusetts) from 1991 to 1995. He served as Music Director there. It is one of the country’s largest holistic program centers. He  composed soundtracks for yoga and meditation tapes, produced albums of inspirational music, including “Inner Quest” and “In Every Heart,” and performed frequently in genres ranging from Sanscrit chanting ensembles to bluegrass bands.
  • now lives in San Francisco

Facebook Mark Kapner

There is some additional information at his Facebook page. There it says that he was:
  • the former Organizer and Director at Swing Out New Hampshire. The Swing Out site says that Swing Out New Hampshire takes place at Camp Wicosuta, a traditional summer camp in the heart of the Lakes Region of New Hampshire. We offer four full days of classes and five nights of social dancing. Camp Wicosuta is surrounded by trees and hills, and has both a pristine mountain lake and an outdoor swimming pool. In addition to dancing, SONH offers many summer camp activities, such as a campfire sing-a-long, communal dining and housing, scenic walks, the SONH Cabaret, tennis, volleyball and basketball courts, as well as yoga classes and an on-site massage therapist. We learn, dance, eat, sing and play together, having a true summer camp experience! It’s more than just a vacation…our campers go home renewed and inspired. (founded in 1999)
  • Mark doesn’t post very often, but I did find this interesting piece:
Points to Ponder #1:

If you went to a hip wedding and the MC's energy was very square, would his music simply suck, or would its mindless vacuity warp the very fabric of the space of the reception hall and cause all the relatives to dance so fast that as their gyrations approached the speed of light their heads expanded, lessening the pressure on their brains and making them feel better?