August 2 Peace Love Art Activism

August 2 Peace Love Art Activism

August 2 Peace Love Art Activism

Native Americans

August 2 Peace Love Art Activism

August 2, 1874: gold discovered in the Black Hills of western South Dakota during an expedition led by Colonel Custer. The land belonged to the Sioux but was invaded by prospectors. Sioux leaders Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull retaliated. (Gold Rush Nuggets dot com article) (see June 17, 1876)

August 2 Peace Love Art Activism

Marijuana

August 2, 1937: The 1937 Marijuana Tax Act signed. It is widely regarded as a major milestone in the U.S. policy of criminalizing drugs, which escalated into a “war on drugs” in the 1970s — resulting in many civil liberties violations. The law was prompted in part by a national panic over the dangers of marijuana, as can be seen in the now famous 1936 film Reefer Madness (Leafly dot com article) (see Oct 2)

August 2 Peace Love Art Activism

Nuclear News

August 2, 1939: Albert Einstein signed a letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt urging creation of an atomic weapons research program. (text via Atomic Archive) (see December 2, 1942)

August 2 Peace Love Art Activism

Cold War

August 2 Peace Love Art Activism

August 2, 1945: the Potsdam Conference ended with the Potsdam Agreement that organized the division and reconstruction of Europe after World War II. The US, France, Great Britain, and the Soviet Union decided to split Germany’s capital, Berlin, into four zones. The Allied powers also agree to start legal trials at Nuremberg of Nazi war criminals. (Office of he Historian article) (see Aug 6, 1945)

August 2 Peace Love Art Activism

August 2 Music et al

Bob Dylan

August 2, 1962: Robert Zimmerman changed his name to Bob Dylan. (see “September 1962”)

William S Burroughs

August 2 Peace Love Art Activism

August 2, 1997: William S. Burroughs died. (see December 22, 2014)

August 2 Peace Love Art Activism

Vietnam

August 2 Peace Love Art Activism

August 2, 1964: Gulf of Tonkin incident.  The first sea “battle” between USS Maddox and North Vietnamese Navy torpedo boats. (see Tonkin for expanded story)

August 2 Peace Love Art Activism

Black History

Jersey City revolt

August 2, 1964: the Jersey City Riots began when police attempted to arrest Dolores Shannon, a 26-year-old black woman, in the Booker T. Washington housing project for alleged disorderly conduct. Walter Mays, 34, a black man sitting on his nearby porch, objected that police were handling Ms. Shannon too harshly. Though police claimed Mr. Mays attacked them, witnesses insisted police physically attacked Mr. Mays and then arrested him. A crowd of black people who had gathered at the scene chanted “police brutality!” in protest, and responding patrolmen were pelted with rocks and garbage. In the three days of riots that followed, black community members angered by police mistreatment and economic depression stoned cars and looted from local stores.

                Experiencing the most extreme impacts of the city’s economic downturn, Jersey City’s African American community of 280,000 people was primarily comprised of low-income families living in racially segregated neighborhoods plagued by police brutality, limited recreational resources, and poor environmental maintenance from the city government. When the riots erupted, leaders from the local NAACP chapter and the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) stepped forward to mediate between the African American community and Jersey City authorities led by Mayor Thomas J. Whelan. (2017 Jersey Journal article) (see Aug 3)

Rainey Pool Murder

August 2, 1999: Joe Oliver Watson entered a guilty plea for manslaughter in the Pool case. (Northeastern University article) (BH & RP, see Nov 10 – 13, 1999)

August 2 Peace Love Art Activism

Irish Troubles

August 2, 1981, Irish Troubles:  the eighth hunger striker died. Kieran Doherty (25) died after 73 days on hunger strike. (see Troubles for expanded story)

August 2 Peace Love Art Activism

Iraq War I

August 2, 1990: Iraq invades Kuwait. (Nation article) (see Aug 6)

August 2 Peace Love Art Activism

Deepwater Horizon Spill

August 2, 2010: Flow Rate Technical Group reported that the well initially was dumping 62,000 barrels of oil per day initially after the spill and that it dwindled to 53,000 barrels when it was capped as the well was depleted. This means that 4.9 million barrels were went into the Gulf (see July 2, 2015)

August 2 Peace Love Art Activism

Death Penalty

August 2, 2016: the Delaware Supreme Court ruled the state’s death penalty law was unconstitutional. The court said Delaware’s current capital punishment statute violates the U.S. Constitution by giving judges, and not juries, the final say to impose a death sentence. (NY Times article) (see Nov 9)

August 2 Peace Love Art Activism

Immigration History

August 2, 2017: President Trump supported a proposal to slash legal immigration to the United States in half within a decade by sharply curtailing the ability of American citizens and legal residents to bring family members into the country.

                The plan would enact the most far-reaching changes to the system of legal immigration in decades and represented the president’s latest effort to stem the flow of newcomers to the United States. Since taking office, he had barred many visitors from select Muslim-majority countries, limited the influx of refugees, increased immigration arrests and pressed to build a wall along the southern border.

                In asking Congress to curb legal immigration, Mr. Trump intensified a debate about national identity, economic growth, worker fairness and American values that animated his campaign last year. Critics said the proposal would undercut the fundamental vision of the United States as a haven for the poor and huddled masses, while the president and his allies said the country had taken in too many low-skilled immigrants for too long to the detriment of American workers.  (2017 NYT article) (see Aug 25)

August 2 Peace Love Art Activism

August 1 Music et al

August 1 Music et al

Moondog Alan Freed

August 1, 1954: Moondog Jubilee Alan Freed, working as a disc jockey in New York, throws the “Moondog Jubilee of Stars Under the Stars” at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn, New York. The performing line-up included black artists Fats Domino and Muddy Waters. (Pop History Dig article) (see February 23, 1955)

August 1 Music et al

Bob Newhart

August 1 – September 25, 1960: comedian Bob Newhart’s The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart comedy album is Billboard #1.

August 1 Music et al

Hard Day’s Night

August 1 Music et al

August 1 – 14, 1964:  “A Hard Day’s Night” #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. (see Aug 11)

August 1 Music et al

Atlantic City Pop Festival

August 1 – 3, 1969: Atlantic City (NJ) Pop Festival took place at the Atlantic City Race Track. Approximately 100,000 people were there.  (see Atlantic City for expanded story)

August 1 Music et al

Concert for Bangladesh

August 1, 1971: George Harrison and Ravi Shankar organized and hosted The Concert for Bangladesh raising nearly a quarter of a million dollars for the hungry of the poor country. The concert ushered in a new type of proactive political activism (Live for Live Music article) (Beatles, see Sept 9; Bangladesh, see Dec 16; concert movie, see March 23, 1972)

August 1 Music et al

MTV

August 1, 1981: MTV (Music Television) made its debut at 12:01 a.m. The first music video shown on the rock-video cable channel was, appropriately, Video Killed the Radio Star, by the Buggles. MTV’s original five veejays were Martha Quinn, Nina Blackwood, Mark Goodman, J.J. Jackson and Alan Hunter. MTV changed the way that popular music was presented from the traditional way of simply listening to watching as well as listening. (MTV, see March 1983; CM, see July 29, 1987)

August 1 Music et al

KKK Kills Activist Viola Liuzzo

KKK Kills Activist Viola Liuzzo


Viola Fauver Gregg


KKK Kills Activist Viola Liuzzo


Viola Fauver Gregg was born on  April 11, 1925 in California, PA. Her family was poor and often moved to find work. 


 While living in Detroit, she witnessed the cruelty that its black citizens were subjected to and became sympathetic.  In 1964 she joined the National Association for the Advancement of Color People.

 By then she had married Anthony Liuzzo and they had three children.

 Watching the horrors of the March to Montgomery’s first attempt, Liuzzo decided to go to Selma and participate.

KKK Kills Activist Viola Liuzzo

Activist murdered

She joined parts of the march to Montgomery and on March 25, 1965 listened to Dr Martin Luther King,  Jr’s famous “How Long Will It Take” speech.
 
 

It would be the last speech she heard.


Using her car, Viola Liuzzo and  Leroy Moton, a 19-year-old black man who had  also marched and assisted with the March to Montgomery,  were helping to  shuttle people from Montgomery back to Selma.


KKK Kills Activist Viola Liuzzo


After dropping passengers in Selma, she and Moton headed back to Montgomery. On the way another car  pulled alongside and a passenger in that car shot directly at Liuzzo, hitting her twice in the head, and killing her instantly. Moton was uninjured.


KKK Kills Activist Viola Liuzzo

Arrests immediate


Within 24 hours President Lyndon Johnson appeared on national TV  to announce the arrest of Collie Wilkins (21), William Eaton (41) and Eugene Thomas (41) and  Gary Rowe (34). (text of announcement)


 

Johnson stated, “Mrs. Liuzzo went to Alabama to serve the struggle for justice. She was murdered by the enemies of justice, who for decades have used the rope and the gun and the tar and feathers to terrorize their neighbors.” 


March 27, 1965 : a group of about 200 protesters, black and white, led by the Rev. James Orange of the SCLC marched to the Dallas County courthouse in Selma. The Rev. James Bevel told them, “[Viola Liuzzo] gave her life that freedom might be saved throughout this land.” 


KKK Kills Activist Viola Liuzzo

Funeral services


March 29, 1965 : the NAACP sponsored a memorial service for Viola Liuzzo at the People’s Community Church in Detroit. Fifteen hundred people attended, among them, Rosa Parks.


March 30, 1965: funeral services were held for Viola Liuzzo. Her funeral was held at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic church in Detroit, with many prominent members of both the civil rights movement and government there to pay their respects. Included in this group were Martin Luther King, Jr.; NAACP executive director Roy Wilkins; Congress on Racial Equality national leader James Farmer; Michigan lieutenant governor William G. Milliken; Teamsters president Jimmy Hoffa; and United Auto Workers president Walter Reuther. At San Francisco’s Grace Episcopal Cathedral, Martin Luther King said of Liuzzo, “If physical death is the price some must pay to save us and our white brothers from eternal death of the spirit, then no sacrifice could be more redemptive.


On April 1, a cross was burned in front of four Detroit homes, including the Liuzzo residence. (History Engine article)


April 3, 1965 : the mother of Collie Leory Wilkins told President Johnson that he has made it impossible for her son to have a fair trial.


KKK Kills Activist Viola Liuzzo

Indictments and trials

KKK Kills Activist Viola Liuzzo
From Left to Right; Collie Leroy Wilkins Jr., Eugene Thomas, and William Orville Eaton.


April 6, 1965 : a grand jury indicted Collie Wilkins, William Eaton, Eugene Thomas, and Gary Rowe.


April 15, 1965 : all charges against Gary Rowe were dropped, and he was identified as a paid undercover FBI informant who would testify for the prosecution. [It will later be revealed that Rowe had participated in the beatings of Freedom Riders in Birmingham in 1961 and was suspected of involvement in the 1963 bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church.]


May 3, 1965 : the Wilkins trial began. 


May 6, 1965 : during his final defense argumentsWilkens’s lawyer, Matt Murphy, made blatantly racist comments, including calling Liuzzo a “white nigger,” in order to sway the jury. The tactic was successful enough to result in a mistrial the following day (10-2 in favor of conviction)


May 10, 1965 : Collie Wilkins, William Eaton, and Eugene Thomas participated in a Ku Klux Klan parade. Collie Wikkins, free on bond after the mistrial, carried a Confederate flag.  After the parade, the Imperial Wizard of the United Klans of America, Robert Shelton, asked the three men to stand. They received a standing ovation.


August 20, 1965 :  Matt Murphy, the defendants’ lawyer in the Viola Liuzzo murder, died in an automobile accident after he fell asleep while driving and crashed into a gas tank truck. Segregationist and former mayor of Birmingham, Art Hanes, agree\ds to represent three accused killers.


October 19, 1965 : State Attorney General, Richmond M Flowers, interrupted the second Liuzzo trial and asked the Alabama Supreme Court to purge some jurists, a number of whom stated during jury selection that they believed white civil rights workers to be inferior to other whites. The request was denied. 

October 20, 1965 : Roy Reed in the NY Times reported that, ”an all-white jury dominated by self-proclaimed white supremacists was chosen…for the retrial of Collie Leroy Wilkins, Jr, a Ku Klux Klansman charged with the murder of Viola Liuzzo.” 


October 22, 1965 : the jury took less than two hours to acquit Collie Wilkins in Liuzzo’s slaying.


KKK Kills Activist Viola Liuzzo

Federal trial


November 30, 1965 : Collie Wilkins (already acquitted in State Court), Eugene Thomas, and William Eaton faced trial on Federal charges that grew out of the killing of a Viola Liuzzo. They were charged with conspiracy under the 1871 Ku Klux Klan Act, a Reconstruction civil rights statute. The charges did not specifically refer to Liuzzo’s murder.


December 3, 1965 : an all-white jury found Collie Wilkins, Eugene Thomas, and William Eaton guilty. The three were sentenced to 10 years in prison.


January 15, 1966 : the Birmingham News newspaper published an ad offering Viola Liuzzo’s bullet-ridden car for sale. Asking $3,500, the ad read, “Do you need a crowd-getter? I have a 1963 Oldsmobile two-door in which Mrs. Viola Liuzzo was killed. Bullet holes and everything intact. Ideal to bring in crowds.”


April 27, 1967 : the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit upheld the conspiracy convictions of  Thomas and Wilkins, Jr. William O Eaton, the third person, had died.


May 17, 1982 : the US Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit ruled that Alabama could prosecute Gary Rowe, the FBI informer, in the 1965 slaying of Viola Luizzo. The ruling affirmed an order by a lower court.

KKK Kills Activist Viola Liuzzo
Gary Rowe

October 30, 1982 : a newly released report said the FBI  covered up the violent activities of their informant, Gary Thomas Rowe Jr., but his lawyer said the Government knew it was not getting ”a Sunday school teacher” when it asked Mr. Rowe to infiltrate the Ku Klux Klan. (NYT article)


Rowe, who was a Klan informant from 1959 to 1965, was charged with murder in the 1965 killing of Viola Liuzzo, a civil rights worker, but a federal appeals court barred him from being brought to trial because of an earlier agreement giving him immunity.


The 1979 report was released publicly for the first time because the Justice Department lost a Freedom of Information suit filed by Playboy magazine. In the report department investigators said agents protected Mr. Rowe because the informant ”was simply too valuable to abandon.’


KKK Kills Activist Viola Liuzzo


KKK Kills Activist Viola Liuzzo

Family must pay


April 2, 1983 : final arguments in the $2 million negligence suit against the FBI were made in Federal court by lawyers for the children of Viola Liuzzo, whose murder they attributed to a paid F.B.I. informer, Gary Rowe.


Viola Liuzzo’s children  not only lost their suit against the Federal Government  but were ordered to pay court costs of $79,800, in addition to legal fees that amounted to more than $60,000. They appealed the ruling which was reduced to a smaller amount.


The Liuzzo family’s court costs alone were estimated at $60,000, according to Jeffrey Long, one of their lawyers. Last week, Judge Joiner dismissed the family’s $2 million lawsuit against the Federal Government. The family maintained Gary Rowe, an informer for the FBI, either shot at Mrs. Liuzzo or could have prevented the shooting.

February 7, 1997 : from the NYT, “Last week, a Confederate battle flag was spray-painted on a monument in Hayneville, Ala., to Viola Liuzzo.”

KKK Kills Activist Viola Liuzzo

Legacy


April 10, 2015: Wayne State University posthumously awarded an honorary doctor of laws degree to Viola Liuzzo.  Liuzzo’s family traveled from around the country to attend the ceremony and accept the award on her behalf. 

KKK Kills Activist Viola Liuzzo

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