Category Archives: Peace Love and Activism

June 25 Peace Love Activism

June 25 Peace Love Activism

DEATH PENALTY

Thomas Bird

June 25 Peace Love Activism

June 25, 1790: the first federal execution. U.S. Marshall Henry Dearborn coordinated the hanging of Thomas Bird in Massachusetts. Bird was convicted of murdering his master, John Connor, captain of the slave ship Mary, off the coast of Africa. Dearborn spent five dollars and fifty cents for the construction of a gallows and a coffin. (see July 9, 1868)
Kennedy v. Louisiana
June 25, 2008:  a divided U.S. Supreme Court barred the death penalty for the crime of child rape, saying a Louisiana man's execution would violate the constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishment. The justices, voting 5-4 in Kennedy v. Louisiana spared Patrick Kennedy from becoming the first person since 1964 to be executed in the U.S. for a crime other than murder. Kennedy was convicted of raping his 8-year-old stepdaughter.

                “The death penalty is not a proportional punishment for the rape of a child,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the court. The ruling extended a line of Supreme Court cases that had restricted the circumstances in which the death penalty can be applied. It also underscores Kennedy's significance as the court's deciding vote on many social issues.

                The court divided along ideological lines. Justices Stephen Breyer, John Paul Stevens, David Souter and Ruth Bader Ginsburg joined the majority. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Samuel Alito,  Antonin Scalia, and Clarence Thomas dissented. (see March 18, 2009)

Crime and Punishment

June 25, 2012: in Miller v. Alabama, the US Supreme Court held that mandatory sentences of life without the possibility of parole were unconstitutional for juvenile offenders. The ruling extended beyond the Graham v. Florida (May 17, 2010) case, which had ruled juvenile life without parole sentences unconstitutional for crimes excluding murder. (see June 26, 2015)

Immigration History

Alien and Sedition Act of 1798
June 25, 1798: Congress passed the Alien and Sedition Act of 1798, which empowered the President to deport any alien he found dangerous to the peace and safety of the Nation. These laws included new powers made it harder for new immigrants to vote. Previously a new immigrant would have to reside in the United States for five years before becoming eligible to vote, but a new law raised this to 14 years. (see February 2, 1848)

Feminism

Olympia Brown

June 25 Peace Love Activism

June 25, 1863: Olympia Brown ordained by the St. Lawrence Universalist Association, becoming possibly the first woman minister in the US ordained with full denominational authority (see May 10, 1866)
Mann Act

June 25 Peace Love Activism

June 25, 1910: Congress passed the White Slavery Act, popularly known as the Mann Act, to fight interstate prostitution. The law made it a crime to transport across state lines “any woman or girl for the purpose of prostitution or debauchery, or for any other immoral purpose.” (The law was named for Rep. James Mann of Illinois.) It was a sign of the cultural and racial politics of the time that the law applied only to the transport of women and had the title, “White Slavery Act.” The law interfered with the right of unmarried people to cross state lines and to have sexual relations; because its terms were so vague and potentially expansive, for decades it was enforced in a highly arbitrary manner.

A number of prominent Americans fell victim to prosecution. They included the famed African-American boxer Jack Johnson (convicted in a racially motivated prosecution); the famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright (charges dropped in 1926); silent film star Charlie Chaplin (acquitted in 1944); and rock and roll star Chuck Berry (convicted in 1962 and sentenced to three years in prison for transporting a 24-year-old). (Feminism, see Dec 1910; BH, see Sept 29)

Native Americans

Battle of the Greasy Grass

June 25 Peace Love Activism

June 25, 1876: George A. Custer led an army detachment, encountered an encampment of Sioux and Cheyenne at the Little Bighorn River. The Native Americans annihilated Custer's detachment, but the US continued its battle against the Sioux in the Black Hills until the government confiscated the land in 1877. (see Aug 15, 1876)
Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl, a Minor Child Under the Age of Fourteen Years
June 25, 2013: the US Supreme Court decided that a Native American child did not have to be taken away from her adoptive parents and given to her biological father. The justices ruled 5-4 in a case about a federal law intended to keep Indian children from being taken from their homes and typically placed with non-Indian adoptive or foster parents. South Carolina courts had said that the 1978 Indian Child Welfare Act favored the biological father of the girl. The South Carolina couple who raised her for the first 27 months of her life had appealed that decision. (see July 15)

US Labor History

Anarchism in the US

June 25 Peace Love Activism

June 25, 1893: the Haymarket Martyrs Monument was dedicated at Forest Home Cemetery in Forest Park, Illinois, to honor those framed and executed for the bombing at Chicago’s Haymarket Square on May 4, 1886. More than 8,000 people attended the dedication ceremony. At the base of the monument are the last words of Haymarket martyr August Spies: “The day will come when our silence will be more powerful than the voices you are throttling today.” (Anarchism, see August; Labor, see Sept 2)
Fair Labor Standards Act 1938

 

June 25, 1938: Franklin D Roosevelt signed The Fair Labor Standards Act 1938. The FLSA established a national minimum wage, guaranteed 'time-and-a-half' for overtime in certain jobs, and prohibited most employment of minors in "oppressive child labor," a term that is defined in the statute. (see January 7, 1939)
Executive Order 8802

June 25 Peace Love Activism

June 25, 1941: President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 8802, which established a Fair Employment Practices Committee (FEPC) to ensure equal employment opportunity for African Americans in the defense industries. It was the first-ever federal rule prohibiting employment discrimination on the basis of race. (Labor, see Oct 24)
“Freedom’s Road”

June 25 Peace Love Activism

In 1942, Langston Hughes wrote the lyrics, Emerson Harper wrote the music, and Josh White sang “Freedom’s Road” in which they attempted to link the war abroad to the struggle for racial justice at home.
That’s why I’m marching, yes, I’m marching,

Marching down freedom’s road.

Ain’t nobody gonna stop me, nobody gonna keep me,

From marching down freedom’s road.

 

Hand me my gun, let the bugle blow loud,

I’m on my way with my head a-proud,

One objective I’ve got in view,

Is to keep a hold of freedom for me and you

That’s why I’m marching, yes, I’m marching,

Marching down freedom’s road.

Ain’t nobody gonna stop me, nobody gonna keep me,

From marching down freedom’s road.

 

Ought to be plain as the nose on your face,

There’s room in this plan for every race,

Some folk think that freedom just ain’t right,

Those are the very people I want to fight.

That’s why I’m marching, yes, I’m marching,

Marching down freedom’s road.

Ain’t nobody gonna stop me, nobody gonna keep me,

From marching down freedom’s road.

Now, Hitler may rant, Hirohito may rave,

I’m going after freedom if it leads me to my grave.

That’s why I’m marching, yes, I’m marching,

I’m marching down freedom’s road.

 

United we stand, divided we fall,

Let’s make this land safe for one and all.

I’ve got a message, and you know it’s right,

Black and white together unite and fight.

 

That’s why I’m marching, yes, I’m marching,

Marching down freedom’s road.

Ain’t no fascists gonna stop me, no Nazis gonna keep me,

From marching down freedom’s road.

Link to recitation of “Freedom Road”
Smith-Connally Act
June 25, 1943: enacted over President Roosevelt's veto, Congress passed the Smith-Connally Act  (also called the War Labor Disputes Act) allowing the government to take over critical industries hit by strikes. It also prevented unions from contributing to political campaigns. (see August 1, 1944)

Cold War

June 25 Peace Love Activism

June 25, 1950: Communist North Korean troops invaded South Korea, beginning the Korean War. (see June 26)

Technological Milestone

June 25, 1951: the first commercial color broadcast took place at 4:35 PM when CBS offered an hour-long program entitled "Premiere" to an ad-hoc network of five stations in New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington. Among those participating in the program were Arthur Godfrey, Ed Sullivan, Robert Alda, Faye Emerson, William S. Paley and Frank Stanton (the latter two board chairman and president of CBS, respectively)

Thousands were able to watch the first color broadcast in auditoriums, department stores and hotels in the five cities, but the general public was left in the dark -- literally. Because the CBS color system was incompatible with existing black and white television sets, for the hour the color special was on the air, viewers tuned to CBS in any of the five cities saw only a blank screen. (see Sept 4)

June 25 Music et al

Bill Evans
June 25, 1961, Bill Evans’s album Sunday at the Village Vanguard recorded.
 
“Paperback Writer”
June 25 – July 1, 1966, The Beatles “Paperback Writer” #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. (see July 29)
 
Our World broadcast
June 25, 1967:  Our World broadcast. It was the first live, international, satellite television production. Creative artists, including The Beatles, opera singer Maria Callas, and painter Pablo Picasso, representing nineteen different nations were invited to perform or appear in separate segments featuring their respective countries. The two-and-half-hour event had the largest television audience ever up to that date: an estimated 400 million people around the globe watched the broadcast Beatles perform  "All You Need Is Love.” The program was watched by 400 million in 26 countries. The BBC had commissioned the Beatles to write a song for the United Kingdom's contribution.

Broadcast live around the world from the Abbey Road Studios in London, it featured the band singing and playing along to a pre-recorded track, joined in the studio by guests Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithfull, Keith Richards, Keith Moon, Eric Clapton, George's wife Pattie, Paul's fiance Jane Asher and his brother Mike, Graham Nash and his wife, and others. (see July 1)

Religion and Public Education

SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE
Engel v. Vitale
June 25, 1962:  the US Supreme Court ruled that the Regents' Prayer, recited daily in New York public schools, violated the establishment clause of the First Amendment. Despite claims that the prayer was denominationally neutral and that students could choose to remain silent or leave the room, the Court argued that in composing an "official prayer" and coordinating a daily religious observance, the state had violated the First Amendment. (see June 27)
Boerne v. Flores
June 25, 1997: the US Supreme Court held that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), enacted on November 16, 1993, was unconstitutional as it applied to the states.

                The controversy originated with the Supreme Court decision in Employment Division v. Smith, decided on April 17, 1990, in which the Court upheld the denial of unemployment benefits to Alfred Smith because he used peyote. Smith claimed that he used peyote as part of a traditional Native American religious ritual. That decision outraged leaders from many different religions across the country, leading to the enactment of RFRA.

                The Boerne case involved a zoning dispute in the city of Boerne, Texas, near San Antonio, in which the city sought to prevent the expansion of a church because it was located in an historic district; the church responded that the city could not restrict its free exercise of religion under RFRA. The Supreme Court decided in favor of the city, holding that RFRA exceeded the powers allowed it under the Fourteenth Amendment.

Cultural Milestone

June 25 Peace Love Activism

June 25, 1962: Manual Enterprises v. Day: The United States Supreme Court ruled that photographs of nude men are not obscene, decriminalizing nude male pornographic magazines. (see July 9)

FREE SPEECH

The Red Scare
June 25, 1963: North Carolina law banned from speaking on state college and university campuses “known” Communists, “known” advocates of the violent overthrow of the state, and persons who took the Fifth Amendment regarding Communist Party membership.  On March 9, 1966, Frank Wilkinson, leader of the campaign to abolish the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC), and Herbert Aptheker, a historian and member of the Communist Party, mocked the ban by speaking to students from the other side of the low wall that circles the University of North Carolina campus. In February 1968, a three-judge District Court panel deliberated for 10 minutes and then declared the ban unconstitutional. (FS, see Sept 10; North Carolina and Red Scare, see March 9, 1966)
American flag upside down

June 25 Peace Love Activism

June 25, 1974: on May 10, 1970, to protest the Vietnam War, a college student (Spence) had hung an American flag upside down outside his apartment window. He had attached a peace symbol to the flag with removable tape. He was convicted under a Washington State law forbidding attaching anything to the U.S. flag. The Supreme Court on this day, in Spence v. Washington, reversed his conviction on the grounds that it infringed on his freedom of expression. (see Nov 27)
Frank Collin and Nazi sympathizers
June 25, 1978: Frank Collin and Nazi sympathizers were to march in front of Skokie's Village Hall. The march was called off when the City of Chicago relents and permits the group to march in Marquette Park on July 9.  (FS, see July 3; Frank Collin, see July 9)
Island Trees v. Pico
June 25, 1982: the case  involved a challenge to the removal of noted literary works from the library of the New York Island Trees School District because the Board of Education deemed them “anti-American, anti-Christian, anti-Sem[i]tic, and just plain filthy.” The censorship included such recognized classics as Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five; Richard Wright’s, Black Boy; and an anthology of Best Negro Short Stories edited by the famed African-America poet Langston Hughes, among others. The Supreme Court split 4–4 on this day, with one Justice holding that the Court did not need to decide the issue. The result left the lower court ruling favoring the school district’s position. (see Aug 12)

BLACK HISTORY

FREE SPEECH

June 25 Peace Love Activism

June 25, 1963: Mary Hamilton (October 13, 1935—November 11, 2002) was a field secretary for the Congress of Racial Equality in Alabama. Along with hundreds of others, she had been arrested during civil rights protests in Gadsden. At a hearing on June 25 challenging the legitimacy of those arrests, she refused to answer questions on the witness stand until she was addressed with the same courtesy accorded white witnesses. At that time, in the South and in many other parts of the nation, it was customary for judges and prosecutors to address white witnesses by last name and courtesy titles such as "Mr. Jones" or "Mrs. Smith", while addressing all nonwhite witnesses by the first name without honorific. When the county prosecutor addressed Hamilton by her first name only, she said she would not answer any questions unless she were addressed as "Miss Hamilton". When she persisted in her demand to be addressed in this manner, the judge held her in contempt of court and sentenced her to five days in jail and a $50 fine. (BH, see June 26; FS, see June 25)
Church burning
June 25, 1964: Williams Chapel in Ruleville, Mississippi, was firebombed in the middle of the night. The chapel, located a few miles from the home of then-candidate for Congress Mrs. Fannie Lou Hamer, was a site of voter registration activity. The fire caused slight damage, but volunteer firefighters quickly controlled and eliminated the blaze. Eight containers of gasoline were found later at the scene. (BH, see June 25; Burning, see June 21, 1995)
St. Augustine, Florida
June 25, 1964: in the summer of 1964, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and other Southern Christian Leadership Conference leaders began anti-segregation work in St. Augustine, Florida. They held weeks of civil rights demonstrations and marches, and many demonstrators, including Dr. King, were arrested. After weeks of activism and outbreaks of violence between segregationists and anti-segregationists, Florida Governor Farris Bryant, a segregationist, issued a ban on evening demonstrations held after 8:30 p.m.

On June 25, 300 anti-segregationist marchers who had spent the afternoon rallying at the site of St. Augustine's former slave market, Slave Market Square, were violently attacked by over 200 white segregationists. The segregationists easily evaded police and physically assaulted the marchers. As the marchers fled, they were chased and attacked across the city's downtown area. Close to fifty of the marchers were injured, and fifteen were treated at the city's hospital. Several hours before the attacks on the marchers, seventy-five white segregationists had attacked a group of 100 African Americans who attempted to wade into the ocean at a local "white beach," and twenty people were arrested. Such violent clashes between anti-segregationists and segregationists in St. Augustine continued throughout June 1964. (see June 29)
James H Meredith
June 25, 1966: Meredith returned to head his march through Mississippi. (see June 26)
Norwood v. Harrison
June 25, 1973: the US Supreme Court ruled that states cannot provide textbooks to racially segregated private schools to avoid integration mandates. (BH, see June 27; SD, see July 21, 1974)
School Desegregation
June 25, 1976: two African American students filed suit believing that they were denied admission to private schools based on their race. McCrary and Gonzales were denied admission to Bobbe's School; Gonzales was also denied admission to Fairfax-Brewster School. A class action lawsuit was filed on behalf of the students against the schools. A federal district court ruled for McCrary and Gonzales, finding that the school's admission policies were racially discriminatory. The United States Court of Appeals affirmed the decision.

                On this date the US Supreme Court held that federal law prohibited private schools from discriminating on the basis of race. (BH, see July 12; SD, see February 6, 1986)
Clement A. Lloyd
June 25, 1991: a Florida state appeals court overturned the manslaughter conviction of police officer William Lozano whose 1989 killing of a black motorcyclist Clement A. Lloyd set off three days of racial disturbances that scorched the city.

                Florida's Third District Court of Appeals also ordered a new trial, ruling that a lower court had erred by not considering a defense motion to move the trial out of racially charged Miami. (BH, see July 1; RR, see May 28, 1993)
Shelby County, Alabama v Holder, Attorney General, Et Al
June 25, 2013: the Supreme Court struck down a central portion of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) effectively ending the practice in which some states with a history of racial discrimination must receive clearance from the federal government before changing voting laws. The vote was five to four, with the five conservative-leaning judges in the majority and the four liberal-leaning justices in the minority. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote the decision. The majority held that Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, originally passed in 1965 and since updated by Congress was unconstitutional. The section includes a formula that determines which states must receive pre-approval. The court did not strike down Section 5, which allows the federal government to require pre-approval. But without Section 4, which determines which states would need to receive clearance, Section 5 is largely without significant — unless Congress chooses to pass a new bill for determining which states would be covered.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg noted in dissent that covered jurisdictions continued to propose voting law changes that were rejected under the VRA, “auguring that barriers to minority voting would quickly resurface were the preclearance remedy eliminated.” (BH, see July 12; VR, see October 1, 2014)
Voting Rights
June 25, 2013:  the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional key sections of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, eliminating what most experts regarded as the crucial enforcement mechanism of the law. At issue were Section 5 and Section 4b. Section 5 required certain states or local jurisdictions to obtain pre-clearance from the Justice Department about any change in voter registration requirements or voting district composition. Section 4b prescribed the formula to be used to determine which jurisdictions are covered by Section 5. The data in Section 4b is used to identify jurisdictions with histories of racial discrimination in voting. The Supreme Court held that the 4b formula was based on data that are 40 years old and therefore no longer relevant to current conditions.

                The Court ruled 5–4 that the result was a constitutionally impermissible burden on the affected jurisdictions, based on principles of federalism’s equal sovereignty of the states. The Court did not declare Section 5 unconstitutional but, without the Section 4b formula, no state would be subject to Section 5 (unless, that is, Congress enacted a new formula). (see October 1, 2014)
June 25 Peace Love Activism

INDEPENDENCE DAYS

Mozambique

June 25 Peace Love Activism

June 25, 1975: Mozambique independent of Portugal. (see July 5)
Croatia and Slovenia
June 25, 1991: Croatia and Slovenia declared their independence from Yugoslavia. (see Sept 8)

TERRORISM

June 25, 1996: Dhahran, Saudi Arabia: truck bomb exploded outside Khobar Towers military complex, killing 19 American servicemen and injuring hundreds of others. 13 Saudis and a Lebanese all alleged members of Islamic militant group Hezbollah, were indicted on charges relating to the attack in June 2001. (see Nov 29)

ADA

AIDS
June 25, 1998:  the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) covers those in earlier stages of HIV disease, not just those who have developed AIDS. (ADA, see Dec 31; AIDS, see Nov 12)

LGBTQ

June 25, 2014
The three-judge 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel in Denver ruled 2-1 that states cannot deprive people of the fundamental right to marry simply because they want to be wedded to someone of the same sex. The panel found that the Constitution protects same-sex relationships. The judges added they don’t want to brand as intolerant those who oppose gay marriage, but said there is no reasonable objection to the practice.

                “It is wholly illogical to believe that state recognition of love and commitment of same-sex couples will alter the most intimate and personal decisions of opposite-sex couples,” they wrote, addressing arguments that the ruling could undermine traditional marriage.

                The decision upheld a lower court ruling that struck down Utah’s gay marriage ban. However, the panel immediately put Wednesday’s ruling on hold so it could be appealed, either to the entire 10th Circuit or directly to the nation’s highest court. (see June 25)

U.S. District Judge Richard Young ruled that Indiana’s ban on gay marriage was unconstitutional, immediately allowing same-sex couples across the state to receive marriage licenses.

                Young did not issue a stay on his ruling. However, a spokesman for Attorney General Greg Zoeller, whose office represented the state, said they would “quickly ask for a stay of today’s ruling pending appeal.”

                Marion County Clerk Beth White said she was prepared to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples in her office at the City-County Building in Downtown Indianapolis. (see July 18)

Fourth Amendment

Riley v. California
June 25, 2014: the US Supreme Court unanimously held that the warrantless search and seizure of digital contents of a cell phone during an arrest was unconstitutional. (see Dec 11)

Affordable Care Act

June 25, 2015: in King v Burwell, the US Supreme Court voted 6 – 3 and upheld a key provision of the Affordable Care Act and agreed with the Obama administration that government subsidies that make health insurance affordable for millions of Americans should be available to all.

                The court affirmed an Internal Revenue Service ruling that subsidies should be available not only in states that have set up their own health insurance exchanges, but also in those where consumers rely on the federal government exchange.

                The decision for the second time defused a potential conflict between President Obama and the Supreme Court over his most notable domestic achievement. While there are more challenges to come, an adverse ruling in this case would have been close to a mortal blow to the act that continue to divide the nation and its political conversation. (see March 13, 2017)

Fair Housing

June 25, 2015: in a 5 - 4 decision, the US Supreme Court delivered an unexpected reprieve to civil rights groups, ruling that housing discrimination need not be intentional in order to be illegal.

                The justices said people objecting to lending, zoning, sales, and rental practices only need to show that they had a disparate impact on blacks or other minorities under a federal fair-housing law.

                The decision, written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, was an unlikely conclusion to a years-long effort by opponents of the civil rights-era law to reduce its effectiveness against housing policies and practices used by many builders, lenders and insurers. Twice before, the justices had agreed to hear a challenge to the law, only to see the cases withdrawn or settled before reaching court.

                "The Court acknowledges the Fair Housing Act's continuing role in moving the nation toward a more integrated society," Kennedy wrote. (see July 8)

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June 24 Peace Love Activism

June 24 Peace Love Activism

Native Americans

King Philip’s War
June 24, 1675: in colonial New England, King Philip's War began when a band of Wampanoag warriors raided the border settlement of Swansee, Massachusetts, and massacred the English colonists there.

In the early 1670s, 50 years of peace between the Plymouth colony and the local Wampanoag Indians began to deteriorate when the rapidly expanding settlement forced land sales on the tribe. Reacting to increasing Native American hostility, the English met with King Philip, chief of the Wampanoag, and demanded that his forces surrender their arms. The Wampanoag did so, but in 1675 a Christian Native American who had been acting as an informer to the English was murdered, and three Wampanoag were tried and executed for the crime.

King Philip responded by ordering the attack on Swansee, which set off a series of Wampanoag raids in which several settlements were destroyed and scores of colonists massacred. The colonists retaliated by destroying a number of Indian villages. The destruction of a Narragansett village by the English brought the Narragansett into the conflict on the side of King Philip, and within a few months several other tribes and all the New England colonies were involved. (see August 12, 1676)
Colorado Gov Evans invites citizens to murder Native Americans
June 24, 1864: Colorado Governor John Evans warned that all peaceful Indians in the region must report to the Sand Creek reservation or risk being attacked. Evans’ offer of sanctuary was at best halfhearted. His primary goal in 1864 was to eliminate all Native American activity in eastern Colorado Territory, an accomplishment he hoped would increase his popularity and eventually win him a U.S. Senate seat. Immediately after ordering the peaceful Indians to the reservation, Evans issued a second proclamation that invited white settlers to indiscriminately “kill and destroy all…hostile Indians.” At the same time, Evans began creating a temporary 100-day militia force to wage war on the Indians. He placed the new regiment under the command of Colonel John Chivington, another ambitious man who hoped to gain high political office by fighting Indians. (see Nov 29)
Leonard Peltier

June 24 Peace Love Activism

June 24, 1987: two Soviet ophthalmologists, Eduard Avetisov and Lev Katselson, examined Leonard Peltier and recommended treatment with drugs they said were available only in their country. Soviet bloc officials regarded him as a political prisoner. (see Aug 21, 1987)

Berlin Airlift

June 24 Peace Love Activism

June 24, 1948: the Soviets blockaded West Berlin, leaving the city—which was surrounded on all sides by Communist East Germany—without access to food and supplies. (see June 26)

FREE SPEECH

Roth v. United States
June 24, 1957: the US Supreme Court (in a 6-to-3 decision written by Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. ) held that obscenity was not "within the area of constitutionally protected speech or press." The Court noted that the First Amendment was not intended to protect every utterance or form of expression, such as materials that were "utterly without redeeming social importance." The Court held that the test to determine obscenity was "whether to the average person, applying contemporary community standards, the dominant theme of the material taken as a whole appeals to prurient interest." The Court held that such a definition of obscenity gave sufficient fair warning and satisfied the demands of Due Process. Brennan later reversed his position on this issue in Miller v. California (June 26, 1975) (LGBTQ, see Sept 7; FS, see Oct 3)
Village of Skokie
June 24, 1977: the Village of Skokie denied the Nazis the right to a permit to march in military style uniforms. (see Oct 21)

BLACK HISTORY

Voting Rights
June 24, 1964:  thirty Freedom Summer workers from Greenville, Miss. made the first effort to register black voters in Drew, Miss., and local whites resisted with open hostility. Whites circled the workers in cars and trucks, some equipped with gun racks, making violent threats. One white man stopped his car and said, "I've got something here for you," flaunting his gun. (BH, see June 25; VR, see August 6, 1965)
Poor People’s Campaign
June 24, 1968: Washington, D.C. police evicted remaining protesters from Resurrection City, formed by the Poor People's Campaign.  (Sept 8)
Springboks
June 24, 1995:  South Africa’s national rugby team, the Springboks, won the World Cup final. The team had been banned from international competition until 1992, and was long seen as a symbol of oppression by many black South Africans. Mr. Mandela’s call for blacks to support the team was hailed as a masterly move toward racial reconciliation. He congratulated the team while wearing a green Springboks jersey, in a stadium full of cheering white rugby fans. (SA/A, see Nov 1; Mandela, see June 16, 1999)
Church burning
June 24, 2015: arson fire occurred in the predawn hours at the Briar Creek Baptist Church in Charlotte, N.C. (BH, see June 29; CB, see June 30)

Consumer Protection

Cigarette package warning

June 24 Peace Love Activism

June 24, 1964: the Federal Trade Commission announced that starting in 1965, cigarette manufactures would be required to include warnings on their packaging about the harmful effects of smoking. (see November 5, 1965)
National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act
June 24, 1966: the US Senate voted 76-0 for the passage of what will become the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act. Signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson on September 9, the act created the nation's first mandatory federal safety standards for motor vehicles.

The origins of the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act can be traced directly of the efforts of consumer advocate Ralph Nader, who in 1965 published the bestselling "Unsafe at Any Speed," (see Sept 9)

June 24 Music et al

A Spaniard in the Works

June 24 Peace Love Activism

June 24, 1965: A Spaniard in the Works, John's 
second book, published. (see July 10)
 
see The Beach Boys Summer Spectacular for more

June 24 Peace Love Activism

June 24 & 25, 1966,  San Francisco FM radio station KFRC sponsored the “The Beach Boys Summer Spectacular” at the Cow Palace in San Francisco. Future Woodstock Music and Art Fair performers were: Jefferson Airplane and John Sebastian from the Lovin’ Spoonful. (see March 25, 1967)

Performers

  • The Beach Boys
  • Neil Diamond
  • The Byrds
  • Jefferson Airplane
  • Lovin’ Spoonful
 

  • The Leaves
  • The Sunrays
  • Percy Sledge
  • The Sir Douglas Quintet
  • Chad and Jeremy
  • The Outsiders
Headquarters
June 24 – 30, 1967: The Monkees Headquarters is the Billboard #1 album.
 
June 24 Peace Love Activism

DEATH PENALTY

Ring v. Arizona
June 24, 2002:  the Supreme Court ruled 7-2 that juries, rather than judges, must make the crucial factual decisions as to whether a convicted murderer should receive the death penalty. Ring v. Arizona overturned the law of Arizona and four other states - Colorado, Idaho, Montana, and Nebraska - where judges alone decided whether there were aggravating factors that warrant capital punishment. The decision also raised questions about the procedure in four other states - Alabama, Delaware, Florida, and Indiana - where the judge decided life imprisonment or death after hearing a jury's recommendation. The Ring opinion also said that any aggravating factors must be stated in the indictment, thus also requiring a change in federal death penalty laws. (see January 11, 2003)
New York State death penalty unconstitutional
June 24, 2004: New York State's highest court ruled that a central provision of the state's capital punishment law violated the State Constitution. Lawyers said the ruling would probably spare the lives of the four men on death row and effectively suspended the death penalty in New York. The 4-to-3 ruling from the State Court of Appeals in Albany went well beyond the particulars of a single case, giving opponents of the law an important victory. Besides the four death-row inmates, lawyers said, it could spare the lives of nine defendants fighting capital cases and more than 30 others whose murder cases are in early stage. The court's majority said, ‘Under the present statute, the death penalty may not be imposed” (see March 1, 2005)

LGBTQ

NYS same-sex marriage
June 24, 2011: New York State passed a law allowing same-sex marriage making New York the largest state that allowed gay and lesbian couples to marry. The vote came on the eve of the city's annual Gay Pride Parade and gave new momentum to the national gay-rights movement. The marriage bill was approved 33 to 29. Cheering supporters greeted Gov. Andrew Cuomo as he arrived on the Senate floor to sign the measure at 11:55pm, just moments after the vote. (see September 19, 2011)
Frank Schaefer
June 24, 2014: a United Methodist Church appeals panel overturned a decision to defrock Frank Schaefer. It permitted his return to the pulpit. Schaefer was the pastor who presided over his son's same-sex wedding ceremony and vowed to perform other gay marriages if asked

The nine-person appeals panel ordered the church to restore Schaefer's pastoral credentials, saying the jury that convicted him of breaking church law erred when fashioning his punishment.

The appeals panel upheld a 30-day suspension that Schaefer has already served and said he should get back pay dating to when the suspension ended in December.

The appeals panel concluded that the jury's punishment was illegal under church law, writing in its decision that "revoking his credentials cannot be squared with the well-established principle that our clergy can only be punished for what they have been convicted of doing in the past, not for what they may or may not do in the future." (LGBTQ, see June 25; Schaefer, see Oct 27)
Christopher Park

June 24 Peace Love Activism

June 24, 2016: President Obama announced that he was officially declaring a national monument at the Stonewall Inn, commemorating the historic rise of the modern LGBTQ movement that started there. In the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, police raided the gay bar, spurring the LGBTQ patrons to riot and begin organizing resistance efforts that turned into what is now known as Pride.

Technically the new national park was Christopher Park, the area directly across from the Stonewall Inn. Obama’s proclamation notes that the park has become “a popular destination for LGBTQ youth, many of whom had run away from or been kicked out of their homes,” as well as a place of organizing for other LGBTQ milestones:

Christopher Park and its environs have remained a key gathering place for the LGBTQ community. For example, on June 26, 2015, within moments of the issuance of the Supreme Court’s historic ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, LGBTQ people headed to Christopher Park to celebrate the Court’s recognition of a constitutional right to same-sex marriage. A few days later, Governor Cuomo continued that celebration by officiating at the marriage of two gay men directly outside the Stonewall Inn. Within minutes of the recent news of the murders of 49 people in a nightclub in Orlando, Florida — one of the most deadly shootings in American history — LGBTQ people and their supporters in New York headed again to Christopher Park to mourn, heal, and stand together in unity for the fundamental values of equality and dignity that define us as a country. (see Aug 18)

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June 23 Peace Love Activism

June 23 Peace Love Activism

BLACK HISTORY

see The rape of slave Celia
June 23, 1855: in the summer of 1850, Robert Newsom, a sixty-year-old white man, purchased Celia, a fourteen-year-old black girl, from a man in a neighboring county. Before Newsom had even returned to his farm, he raped the enslaved girl, and he continued to do so frequently over the next five years. Newsom regularly came to Celia’s cabin and forced himself on her, and she gave birth to a child in 1855. At some point during the course of this abuse, Celia entered into a relationship with a man named George who was also enslaved by Newsom. When Celia became pregnant again in late winter of 1855, George insisted that she put an end to Newsom's sexual abuse.

Celia begged Newsom to stop “forcing her while she was sick” and even appealed to his daughters for help. The assaults continued. On June 23, 1855, Newsom told Celia he was “coming to her cabin” that night. When Newsom arrived and began to lower his face over hers, Celia struck him in the head with a stick. Eventually, Celia realized that Newsom had died from the blow. Not knowing what to do, she disposed of the evidence by cremating the body in her fireplace. (see Oct 10)
June 23, 1919: Marcus Garvey assisted with the incorporation of the Black Star Line, the Universal Negro Improvement Association's vehicle for promoting worldwide commerce among black communities. In Garvey's vision, Black Star Line ships would transport manufactured goods, raw materials, and produce among black businesses in North America, the Caribbean, and Africa, and become the linchpin in a global black economy. (see July 12)
Dyer Anti-lynching bill
June 23, 1922: at its thirteenth annual conference in Newark, the NAACP pledged the Association membership to “punish” those who oppose the Dyer bill. “The Republican Party has always received the bulk of the negro vote; the Republican Party is in power; the Republican Party has promised by its platform and its President to pass the Dyer bill. Unless the pledge is kept we solemnly pledge ourselves to use every avenue of influence to punish the persons who defeat it. We will regard no man as our friend who opposes this bill.”  (see June 30)
Eisenhower meets Black leaders

June 23 Peace Love Activism

June 23, 1958: President Dwight Eisenhower had been urged to meet with civil rights leaders for some time, and finally agreed to do so on this day. Attending were A. Philip Randolph, Dr. Martin Luther King, Roy Wilkins of the NAACP, and Lester Granger of the National Urban League. The meeting was cordial, even though the civil rights leaders had been critical of the president’s lack of leadership on racial justice. Eisenhower, for example, had failed to give a strong endorsement to the historic Brown v. Board of Education decision declaring separate but equal schools unconstitutional (May 17, 1954). The great African-American baseball star Jackie Robinson, who was normally not politically active, publicly criticized Eisenhower on May 13, 1958 for his lack of leadership on civil rights. The group at the meeting on this day presented him with a list of demands, but Eisenhower did not act on any of them. (BH, see June 29; MLK, see Sept 20)
Byron De La Beckwith
June 23, 1963: the FBI announced the arrest in Greenwood, MS of Byron De La Beckwith in the slaying of Medgar Evers in Jackson, MS. (BH, see June 25; Evers, see June 26)
Murders of Civil Rights Workers Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner

June 23 Peace Love Activism

June 23, 1964: the Neshoba Democrat reported that: “The car driven by three integrationists who disappeared after being arrested last Sunday night here has been found by Federal Bureau of Investigation officers about 13 miles from Philadelphia, in the northeast corner of Neshoba County. The car, a 1963 or 1964 Ford station wagon, was located in heavy sweetgum growth on Highway 21, about 100 feet from the Bogue Chitto creek and about 100 feet off the highway. The station wagon had been burned." (BH, see June 24; Murders, see June 29)

Exactly 41 years later, on June 23, 2005, Edgar Ray Killen was sentenced to 60 years in prison for the killing of Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner. (see Aug 12)
Vernon Dahmer
June 23, 1966: a Federal grand jury returned indictments against 15 alleged Ku Klux Klansmen in connection with the firebomb slaying of a Hattiesburg, Miss., Vernon Dahmer. (BH, see next June 23; Dahmer, see Masrch 8, 1968)
Jim Bulloch
June 23, 1966: Black students in Grenada, Miss., tried to purchase tickets in the "white" section of the local movie theater — only to be denied service. When they sat down in front of the theater, police arrested 15 students, including Jim Bulloch, an SCLC organizer. (see June 25)
African National Congress
June 23, 1992: the African National Congress announced that it was withdrawing from talks on the political future of South Africa until the white-controlled Government took steps to restore the trust shattered by the Boipatong massacre. The 90-member executive committee of the congress led by Nelson Mandela said it was halting the peace process, which seemed just a month ago to have brought South Africa to the brink of majority rule, because of what it called a systematic Government campaign to subvert democracy through violence. (see April 10, 1993)
Grutter v. Bollinger
June 23, 2003: Colleges and universities have a legitimate interest in promoting diversity. Barbara Grutter alleged that her Equal Protection rights were violated when the University of Michigan Law School's attempt to gain a diverse student body resulted in the denial of her admission's application. The Supreme Court disagreed and held that institutions of higher education have a legitimate interest in promoting diversity.
Trayvon Martin Shooting
June 23, 2013:  the trial opened.  (see June 25)
Church Burning
June 23, 2015: an arsonist was blamed for a fire in the sanctuary s at God’s Power Church of Christ in Macon, Ga. (BH, see June 23; CB, June 24)
Confederate battle flag
June 23, 2015: South Carolina Gov Nikki R Haley called for the removal of the Confederate battle flag from in front of State House building in capital Columbia, marked reversal from her previous seeming indifference to issue; said the symbol must be viewed differently in light of church massacre in Charleston. (BH, see June 24; T, see January 10, 2017)
Affirmative Action
June 23, 2016: in a victory for diversity in higher education, a hamstrung Supreme Court narrowly upheld the affirmative action program at the University of Texas at Austin, effectively allowing the school to keep using race as one of many factors in its admissions process.

Justice Anthony Kennedy — joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor — ruled for a 4-3 majority that the university program did not violate the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection of the laws. (see Nov 2)

Native Americans

June 23 Peace Love Activism

June 23, 1865:  at Doaksville in the Choctaw Nation, General Stand Watie signed a cease-fire agreement with Union representatives for his command, the First Indian Brigade of the Army of the Trans-Mississippi. He was the last Confederate general in the field to surrender. (see April 29, 1868)

LGBTQ

Nazis
June 23, 1935: the Nazis began a legal campaign against homosexuals by adding to paragraph 175 another law, 175a, which created ten new criminal offenses including kisses between men, embraces, even homosexual fantasies. The Gestapo and the SS, under the leadership of Heinrich Himmler, became involved in a campaign to work gays to death in the camps. Himmler is quoted as follows: ‘Just as we today have gone back to the ancient Germanic view of the question of marriage mixing different races, so too in our judgment of homosexuality a symptom of degeneracy that could destroy our race we must return to the guiding Nordic principle: extermination.…” (see January 5, 1948)
Dale Jennings

June 23 Peace Love Activism

June 23, 1952: the trial of Dale Jennings began and lasted ten days. Jennings confessed to being a homosexual but denied any wrongdoing. While there were different accounts of what exactly occurred, by the end of the trial the jury voted 11–1 for acquittal on the basis of police intimidation, harassment, and entrapment of homosexuals, and the case was dismissed. (see January 1953)
Stonewall Inn a city landmark
June 23, 2015: a unanimous vote by the New York City's Landmarks Preservation Commission voted unanimously to make the Stonewall Inn a city landmark. The designation would afford the bar a new set of protections, and marked the first time the city had landmarked a location due to its involvement in the Gay Rights Movement. (see NYT article)

The Christopher Street tavern served as a focal point at the start of the fight for gay rights—it was the site of the 1969 Stonewall riots, after police raided the bar and launched an ongoing movement. Though the Stonewall was part of the Greenwich Village Historic District, activists and elected officials had been attempting to get the bar landmarked for decades in hopes of increasing its level of protection. "We don’t want to see an important historical site turn into a nail salon. With real estate as crazy as it is, I would consider these sites to be generally threatened from those type of pressures," said state Senator Brad Hoylman. (see June 26)

US Labor Act

Taft-Hartley Act

June 23 Peace Love Activism

June 23, 1947: Taft-Hartley Act (also known as the Labor-Management Relations Act): Congress overrode President Truman's veto of the Taft-Hartley bill,  legislation that rolled back many of the advantages labor gained in the 1935 Wagner Act. Truman would subsequently use it twelve times during his presidency.(CW, see July 26; Labor History see Dec 12)
Brown lung

June 23 Peace Love Activism

June 23, 1978: the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a cotton dust standard to protect 600,000 workers from byssinosis, also known as “brown lung.” (see Apr 25)

June 23 Music et al

Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music
June 23 – September 28, 1962: Ray Charles’s Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music is Billboard’s #1 album.

 
The [bumpy] Road to Bethel
June 23, 1969: Jim Grant, a friend of Wes Pomeroy and asked by Pomeroy to go along with Stanley Goldstein to the Hog Farm meeting, sent at letter to Woodstock Ventures regarding the Hog Farm: “the entire affair appeared to be completely without organization or management.” (see June 26)

Nuclear/Chemical News

June 23, 1965:  Sen. Robert F. Kennedy called on the Johnson administration to give top priority to the problem of halting the spread of nuclear weapons — a problem he termed more urgent than the war in Vietnam. He added that at an ‘‘appropriate time and manner’’ the United States must ‘‘vigorously pursue negotiations on this subject with China.’’ ‘‘China is there, China will have nuclear weapons. And without her participation it will be infinitely more difficult, perhaps impossible in the long run to prevent nuclear proliferation.’’ Sen. Kennedy urged that in the ‘‘journey towards peace’’ the partial nuclear test ban treaty of 1963 be extended to cover certain underground tests. (see January 17, 1966)

Feminism

Title IX

June 23 Peace Love Activism

June 23, 1972:  Congress enacted a series of Educational Amendments including Title IX, which states that "no person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance." While Title IX impacts multiple areas of federally subsidized education, its impact on athletics is the most controversial. Within 30 years, the number of girls participating in high school sports will double.  (see June 21, 1972)

Watergate Scandal

June 23, 1973: Nixon's advisor, H.R. Haldeman, told the president to put pressure on the head of the FBI to "stay the hell out of this [Watergate burglary investigation] business." In essence, Haldeman was telling Nixon to obstruct justice. (see June 26)
June 23 Peace Love Activism

FREE SPEECH

June 23, 1978: Frank Collin and Nazi sympathizers cancelled their planned demonstration in Skokie scheduled for June 25.  (see June 25)

Religion and Public Education

June 23, 1997:  in Agostini v. Felton, the US Supreme Court overturned an earlier decision that a New York City program designed to provide tutoring and remedial education services to low-income children could not deliver these service on a religious school campus. Holding that allowing public employees to provide tutoring on a religious school campus would not constitute a "symbolic union" of church and state, the Court holds that the federally-funded program could deliver its services on a religious school campus without violating the establishment clause. (see February 1998)

Environmental Issues

June 23, 2014: in Utility Air v. E.P.A.a divided Supreme Court blocked the Obama administration from requiring permits for greenhouse gas emissions from new or modified industrial facilities, but the ruling won't prohibit other means of regulating the pollutant that causes global warming.

The court's conservative wing ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency exceeded its authority by changing the emissions threshold for greenhouse gases in the Clean Air Act to regulate more stationary sources. That action can only be taken by Congress, Justice Antonin Scalia's opinion said.

The 5-4 ruling, which partially reverses a 2012 federal appeals court decision, represents a moral but somewhat hollow victory for industry and state government opponents of the federal regulations. They have complained that the rules could cost billions of dollars to implement and threaten thousands of jobs.

But the court said the EPA can regulate greenhouse gas emissions from industries already required to get permits for other air pollutants. Those generally are the largest power plants, refineries and other industrial facilities responsible for most such emissions. (see Sept 20)

Immigration History

June 23, 2016: the Supreme Court did not reach a majority for or against President Barack Obama’s plan to defer deportation for millions, effectively leaving his executive actions on hold and undocumented immigrants in limbo.

In a one-sentence ruling, the justices simply said, “The judgment is affirmed by an equally divided court.” But they didn’t indicate how they voted — a sign that the court was sharply at odds along ideological lines.

The split decision meant a lower court ruling that effectively blocked the program will stand, and no national precedent will be set as to whether the president acted within the law when he announced it in November 2014. (see Dec 22)

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