September 17, 1931, Technological Milestone: the first long-playing record, a 33 1/3 rpm recording, was demonstrated at the Savoy Plaza Hotel in New York by RCA-Victor. The venture was doomed to fail however due to the high price of the record players, which started around $95.
September 17, 1957, BLACK HISTORY & the Cold War: jazz musician Louis Armstrong angrily announced that he would not participate in a U.S. government-sponsored tour of the Soviet Union. Armstrong was furious over developments in Little Rock, Arkansas, where mobs of white citizens and armed National Guardsmen had recently blocked the entrance of nine African-American students into the all-white Central High School.
September 17, 1962, BLACK HISTORY: High Hopes Baptist Church near Dawson, Georgia was burned to the ground. It is the 4th “Negro Church” to be set ablaze. Three white men later admitted burning the church. They were sentenced to seven-year prison terms.. The homes of five Black families had also been burned.
September 17, 1965, News Music: Time magazine launched its coverage of antiwar songs in the article, “Rock ‘n’ Roll: Message Time,” which quoted from the nineteen-year-old P. F. Sloan’s best-selling song “Eve of Destruction.” Barry McGuire, the former lead singer for the New Christy Minstrels, recorded the song, and in late August, his record had begun to appear in the pop charts. Within a few weeks, it had reached Number 1, and then began to fade. Protest had seemingly become fashionable. Sloan would later recall, “The media frenzy over the song tore me up and seemed to tear the country apart,”. Josh Dunson, a member of the Broadside group, interpreted the broader impact: ‘Eve of Destruction’ is the first protest song dealing in specifics to reach the non-college-educated sector of the population. It is awkward and full of holes, but the earnestness with which it was bought by hundreds of thousands and blocked by dozens of stations might indicate a large segment of the young population other than college students is dissatisfied with our war policy abroad and double standard at home.
September 17, 1967, Cultural Milestones: The Doors appear on The Ed Sullivan Show and perform “Light My Fire”. Sullivan had requested that the line “Girl we couldn’t get much higher” be changed for the show. Jim Morrison agreed, but ended up performing it the way it was written and The Doors are banned from the show.
September 17, 1967, The Who appeared on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. They played 2 songs, “I Can See For Miles” and “My Generation”. At the end of “My Generation”, Pete Townshend started smashing his amp and Keith Moon had his drum set rigged to explode which did cut Moon’s leg & singed Pete Townshend’s hair, along with doing damage to Townshend’s hearing.
September 17, 1971, BLACK HISTORY, Attica Prison Riot & Weather Underground: the Weathermen launched a retaliatory attack on the New York Department of Corrections, exploding a bomb near Correctional Services Commissioner Russell G. Oswald’s office. The communiqué accompanying the attack called the prison system ‘how a society run by white racists maintains its control,’ with white supremacy being the ‘main question white people have to face'” and saying that the Attica riots are blamed on Gov. Nelson Rockefeller.
September 17, 2003, Iraq War II: President Bush conceded there was no evidence linking Iraqi President Saddam Hussein to the September 11, 2001 attacks.
Occupy Wall Street begins: approximately one thousand protesters march on Wall Street in response to high unemployment, record executive bonuses, and extensive bailouts of the financial system. It is a Saturday and as usual, Wall Street is basically closed, but by the afternoon Zuccotti Park became the central location and camp for the protesters. The “people’s mic” became an effective way to communicate to the large groups, i.e. a speaker talks, those closest to the speaker repeat loudly what is said, those in back of the front repeat again, and so forth.
September 17, 2012: Occupy Wall Street from the NY Times: More than 100 arrests were reported on Monday, the first anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement, as protesters converged near the New York Stock Exchange and tried to block access to the exchange.