August 21 Peace Love Activism

August 21 Peace Love Activism


Slave Revolts

August 21 Peace Love Activism

August 21 - 22, 1831: inspired by the success of a Haitian revolution in 1790 that freed the island's slaves and threw off French rule, Nat Turner's rebellion was the most successful of all slave revolts. Turner, a slave preacher, inspired fellow slaves with his apocalyptic visions of white and black angels fighting in heaven. He gathered up his seven original followers and, without the organization or planning of Prosser and Vesey, launched his rebellion by entering his owner's home and killing the entire family, save for a small infant. They moved from one farm to the next, killing all slave-owning whites they found. As they progressed through Southampton county, other slaves joined in the rebellion.

The next day, Turner and his eighty followers were intercepted by the state militia. In the confrontation that followed, Turner escaped and remained free for nearly two months. In those two months though, the militia and white vigilantes instituted a reign of terror over slaves in the region. Hundreds of blacks were killed. White Virginians panicked over fears of a larger slave revolt and soon instituted more restrictive laws regulating slave life. Turner and his followers were captured on October 30 Following his discovery, capture, and arrest, Turner was interviewed in his jail cell by Thomas Ruffin Gray, a wealthy South Hampton lawyer and slave owner. The resulting extended essay, "The Confessions of Nat Turner, The Leader of the Late Insurrection in South Hampton, VA.," was used against Turner during his trial.  (see Nov 10)
Samuel Wilbert Tucker

August 21 Peace Love Activism

August 21, 1939: five African-American men recruited and trained by African-American attorney Samuel Wilbert Tucker conducted a sit-in at the then-segregated Alexandria, Va., library and were arrested after being refused library cards. (see February 29, 1940)
Vernon Dahmer

August 21 Peace Love Activism

August 21, 1998: a jury convicted Imperial Wizard Sam Bowers of ordering the Klan's 1966 killing of Vernon Dahmer in Hattiesburg, Miss. Bowers was sentenced to life in prison, where he died in 2006. (BH, see Sept 13; Dahmer, see January 8, 2016)

Pledge of Allegiance

August 21, 1952: the Supreme Council of the Knights of Columbus at its annual meeting adopted a resolution urging that the change be made universal and copies of this resolution were sent to the President, the Vice President (as Presiding Officer of the Senate) and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. (see February 1, 1953)

August 21 Music et al

see Juvenile Delinquency and Crime Commission for more
August 21, 1955: the Juvenile Delinquency and Crime Commission in Houston, Texas, claimed success on this day in its anti-rock and roll crusade. The effort involved pressuring radio stations not to play recordings with “lewd or suggestive” lyrics. All nine Houston radio stations were cooperating. Almost all of the artists on the Commission's list were black. (see Aug 26)
Out of Our Heads
August 21 – September 10, 1965: The Rolling Stones’ Out of Our Heads Billboard #1 album
see Bullfrog II Festival for more

August 21 Peace Love Activism

August 21, 22, and 23: Bullfrog II Festival, held on the Pelletier Farm, St Helens, Oregon.
August 21 Peace Love Activism

Native Americans

Alcatraz Takeover
August 21, 1970: the group of Indians who had occupied Alcatraz Island for nine months "exposed" their weapons--one bow and two toy pistols--and then threw the toy pistols into the waters of the San Francisco Bay. (see Nov 21)
Leonard Peltier

August 21 Peace Love Activism

August 21, 1987: the State Department said that Leonard Peltier, was a ''convicted criminal'' and criticized the Soviet Union for considering his request for political asylum.  Supporters on the Leonard Peltier Defense Committee, have said his case is a human rights issue. Dacajeweiah, a Peltier supporter, told reporters that the committee had had no indication that the United States would free him to go to the Soviet Union if asylum was granted. (Peltier, see December 31, 1991; Native Americans, see Oct 17, 1988)


August 21, 1971:  antiwar protesters associated with the Catholic Left raid draft offices in Buffalo, New York, and Camden, New Jersey, to confiscate and destroy draft records. (see Sept 9)

Dissolution of the USSR

August 21, 1991:  Latvia declares its independence from the Soviet Union. (see Aug 24)

Iraq War II

August 21, 2006:  President George W Bush acknowledged Iraq had “nothing” to do with 9/11. (see Aug 29)


August 21, 2009: leaders of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America voted to lift a ban that prohibited sexually active gays and lesbians from serving as ministers. (see Sept 10)


August 21, 2014: Thomas Windell Smith, 24, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to violate housing rights. Smith was sentenced to serve five years probation including eight months of home confinement after pleading guilty last year to burning a cross in a black neighborhood in Ozark. Smith admitted that he and Steven Joshua Dinkle burned the cross at the entrance of a black community on May 8, 2009 to intimidate the residents.

Dinkle reportedly used materials from his home to build the wooden 6-foot cross and wrapped it with cloth. He and Smith transported the cross to the black neighborhood, poured fuel on it and set it on fire in view of several houses.

Dinkle, the former Exalted Cyclops of the Ozark chapter of the International Keystone Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, received a two-year prison sentence for the offense.

Dinkle's mother, Pamela Morris, was also charged with impeding the investigation. (Terrorism, see January 23, 2015; Morris, see February 6, 2015)

Immigration History

August 21, 2015: on July 24 federal judge Dolly M. Gee of Federal District Court for the Central District of California gave the Obama administration two months to change its detention practices to ensure the rapid release of children and their parents caught crossing the border illegally.

Her opinion last month found that the administration had violated the terms of a 1997 court-ordered settlement governing the treatment of unaccompanied children — minors who tried to enter illegally without a parent. The judge determined that the settlement, in a case known as Flores, covered all children in immigration detention, including those held with a parent.

After considering final arguments from both sides, federal judge Dolly M. Gee of Federal District Court for the Central District of California on this date issued an order to put her ruling into effect. She ordered the administration to release children “without unnecessary delay” to a parent or other relative in the United States and, in a significant new mandate, to release the parent as well unless that person posed a flight risk or a threat to national security. The settlement requires the release of children from secure detention within five days.

Judge Gee also prohibited the administration from holding children in secure facilities that are not licensed to care for minors. She ordered the Border Patrol to upgrade the “deplorable” conditions in its front-line stations to ensure a “safe and sanitary” environment for children. She said the new measures must be in place by Oct. 23. (see Sept 4)

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Bullfrog 3 Festival

Bullfrog 3 Festival

August 22, 23, and 24
Pelletier Farm, St Helens, Oregon

Bullfrog 3 Festival

The Bullfrog 2 Festival

It is not a typo that the heading for this blog piece is "The Bullfrog 3 Festival" and the poster pictured above refers to "The Bullfrog 2 Festival." #3 was actually the impromptu festival that quickly happened when, facing local opposition, the Bullfrog 2 Festival fell apart a few days before August 21.

It is important to keep in mind the often angry and hatefully divisive opposition there was toward young people who wanted to get together and listen to what had come to be called "underground music." The residents of Wallkill, NY had successfully evicted Woodstock Ventures from their original site, forcing the festival to quickly find another venue. Luckily for 400,000 + people, Max Yasgur said "Yes."

While festivals of this time did sometimes have some people who threw off their clothes, some who used illegal drugs, some who sold illegal drugs, and some whose view of the Establishment was simply anti-Establishment, most young people were simply working part-time for the summer, working full-time since high school, home on military leave, or about to be drafted.

No chaperones!

Scott Laird wrote of the days before: According to original articles published in The Sentinel-Mist Chronicle newspaper in the week prior, Bullfrog II was booked by Walsh and Moquin Productions at the Columbia County Fairgrounds in St. Helens and was scheduled to include national acts Taj Mahal and the Grateful Dead along with local performers “Portland Zoo,” “Sabatic Goat,” “The Weeds,” “New Colony,” and several others.  The plan called for twenty-four hour a day entertainment for two days.   Advertising for the concert also called for “petite mall lites, space balloons, rides and fireworks.” Tickets were $6 in advance, $7 at the gate.

The day before the scheduled start of the event, Circuit Judge Glen Heiber ruled that the facilities at the fairgrounds were not adequate for overnight camping and sanitation and adequate traffic control was not available. He had agreed with Columbia County District Attorney Lou L. Williams who contested the original contract and stated a fear of  “…narcotics, intercourse in the open, and parking on private property, as well as a severe traffic congestion problem.”  

Williams had also contended that “…sanitation, parking, and the lack of sufficient law enforcement personnel to cope with a large influx of people, estimated to be about 6,000.” 

And no chaperoning arrangements!
Bullfrog 2 Festival
On August 20, the day of the cancellation and the day before the festival's scheduled start, young fans gradually gathered in front of the St Helens's Courthouse. Local people gawked at the peaceful gathering.

On August 21, the day the Bullfrog 2 Festival was slated to begin, the peaceful gathering continued and that afternoon, the Portland Zoo, a local band on the festival schedule, performed. All remained peaceful. Gawking continued. Business owners enjoyed the extra commerce the crowds brought. Fans cleaned up.

Mrs. Melvina Pelletier

Again from Scott Laird: Around 9:00 PM on Thursday evening Mrs. Melvina Pelletier of St. Helens offered her property in the Happy Hollow area of Yankton for the festival. Details of the newly created Bullfrog III were  worked out on Friday. Original promoters Walsh and Moquin had already pulled out of the event, and Bob Wehe of Faucet International Promotions took over as promoter, agreeing to provide sanitation and security.
Bullfrog 3 Festival
August 22 – 24, 1969
The truncated festival finally got underway on Friday night and continued until Sunday morning.  Cars crowded the roads, but many reported that local residents were among the jam trying to see these drugged kids with long hair, shoe-less, bra-less, or even (heaven forbid!) topless.

Fortunately for the festival, the Dead headlined and fortunately for us, the set is available on a soundboard recording (SBD) or a matrix if you prefer a little more audience in the mix. And this wasn't their first concert since their August 16th Woodstock performance. They'd already played in Seattle on August 20 and would play in on August 24...but where? Was it the Vancouver Pop Festival or in San Francisco?

There isn't much more available about the actual music at Mrs Pelletier's place, but we should thank her. A west coast Max Yasgur.

Bullfrog 3 Festival, Bullfrog 3 Festival, Bullfrog 3 Festival, Bullfrog 3 Festival, Bullfrog 3 Festival, 

August 20 Peace Love Activism

August 20 Peace Love Activism

US Labor History

National Labor Union

August 20 Peace Love Activism

August 20, 1866:  the newly organized National Labor Union called on Congress to mandate an eight-hour workday. A coalition of skilled and unskilled workers, farmers, and reformers, the National Labor Union was created to pressure Congress to enact labor reforms. It dissolved in 1873 following a disappointing venture into third-party politics in the 1872 presidential election.

Although the National Labor Union failed to persuade Congress to shorten the workday, its efforts heightened public awareness of labor issues and increased public support for labor reform in the 1870s and 1880s.
Order of the Knights of St Crispin

August 20 Peace Love Activism

The Order of the Knights of St Crispin, a northeastern American labor union of shoe workers, was founded in 1867. It claimed 50,000 members by 1870.
Daughters of St. Crispin
In 1869 first national female union was organized, Daughters of St. Crispin. It held a convention in Lynn, Massachusetts and elected Carrie Wilson as president. (see Jan 5)


Emmett Till
August 20, 1955:  Mamie Till drove her son to the 63rd Street station in Chicago. They kissed goodbye, and Till boarded a southbound train headed for Mississippi. (see Aug 21)
Arthur D Shores
August 20, 1963: terrorists bombed the home of Arthur D Shores, a lawyer who had played a major role over the years in desegregation cases.(BH, see Aug 28; Shores, see Sept 4)
Viola Liuzzo murder
August 20, 1965:  Matt Murphy, the defendants’ lawyer in the Viola Liuzzo murder, was killed in an automobile accident when he fell asleep while driving and crashed into a gas tank truck. Segregationist and former mayor of Birmingham, Art Hanes, agrees to represent three accused killers. (BH, see Aug 20; Selma, see Oct 19)
Wattstax Concert

August 20 Peace Love Activism

August 20, 1972: Wattstax Concert held held at the Los Angeles Coliseum. Memphis's Stax Records organized the event to commemorate the seventh anniversary of the Watts riots. Wattstax was seen by some as "the Afro-American answer to Woodstock". 

To enable as many members of the black community in L.A. to attend as possible, tickets were sold for only $1.00 each. The Rev Jesse Jackson gave the invocation, which included his "I Am - Somebody" poem, which was recited in a call and response with the assembled stadium crowd. (see Oct 12)

James C. Anderson murder
August 20, 2011: 19-year-old Deryl Dedmo was formally charged with capital murder in the hit-and-run death of James C Anderson. (see Sept 14)

Anarchism in the US

August 20, 1886: seven of the Haymarket anarchists were found guilty and sentenced to death (August Spies, Michael Schwab, Samuel Fielden, Albert Parsons, Adolph Fischer, George Engel and Louis Lingg). Oscar Neebe was found guilty of murder and sentenced to fifteen years in prison. (see Nov 11)

FEMINISM & Voting Rights

Lafayette Park protesters
August 20, 1918:  Lafayette Park protesters (sentenced Aug.15) released before completing sentences. (see Aug 26)
Harry T. Burn
August 20, 1920: Tennessee became the thirty-sixth and last state needed to ratify the Nineteenth Amendment. The state's decision came down to 23-year-old Representative Harry T. Burn, a Republican from McMinn County, to cast the deciding vote. Although Burn opposed the amendment, his mother convinced him to approve it. (Mrs. Burn reportedly wrote to her son: "Don't forget to be a good boy and help Mrs. Catt put the 'rat' in ratification.") With Burn's vote, the 19th Amendment was ratified.

Anti-suffragists tried to overturn vote, but after six more days of legal maneuvering, the governor signed a certificate of ratification and mailed it to Washington, D.C., on Aug. 24.

Connecticut, Vermont, Florida, and North Carolina ratified the amendment after August 20, 1920.

Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Alabama, South Carolina (see August 22, 1973), Georgia, Louisiana, and Mississippi had rejected the amendment, but all later ratified it.  (see August 26, 1920)

August 20 Music et al

Technological Milestone

August 20 Peace Love Activism

August 20, 1967:  The New York Times reported about a noise reduction system for album and tape recording developed by technicians R. and D.W. Dolby. Elektra Record's subsidiary, Checkmate Records became the first label to use the new Dolby process in its recordings. (see Dec 3)
Abbey Road
August 20, 1969: The Beatles completed recording Abbey Road, their 11th and final studio album. They had recorded it that year between February 22 and August 20.  The US release was October 1, 1969. The completion of the track "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" on this date was the last time all four Beatles were together in the same studio.

Although the Beatles recorded Let It Be  mainly before Abbey Road (February 1968; January – February 1969; and January and March 1970, Let It Be would be the 12th and final studio album,  released on May 8, 1970 by the band's Apple Records label shortly after the group announced their break-up. (see Aug 22)

August 20 Peace Love Activism

Vietnam &  My Lai Massacre

William Calley
August 20, 1971: William Calley's sentence to reduced to 20 years. (My Lai, see Dec 18; Vietnam, see Aug 21)
William Calley speaks
August 20, 2009: for the first time William Calley spoke publicly about My Lai. In front of the Kiwanis Club of Columbus, OH, he said, "There is not a day that goes by that I do not feel remorse for what happened that day in My Lai. I feel remorse for the Vietnamese who were killed, for their families, for the American soldiers involved and their families. I am very sorry." (see Nov 20)

Irish Troubles

August 20 Peace Love Activism

August 20, 1981:  tenth hunger striker dies. Michael Devine (27) died after 60 days on hunger strike. (see Oct 3)


August 20, 1988: the Iran–Iraq War ended  with an estimated one million lives lost. (see July 15, 1990)

Dissolution of the USSR


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August 20, 1991:  Estonia declared its independence from the Soviet Union. (see Aug 21)

Westboro Baptist Church

August 20, 2013: U.S. District Judge Audrey Fleissig ruled that a measure passed in St. Charles County, Mo. that baned picketing within 300 feet and one hour before or after any burial service.did not restrict Westboro Baptist Church's first amendment rights, noting a similar measure that passed in Manchester County, Mo. in 2012. 

During that case, Eighth Circuit Judge Diana Murphy argued that the ordinance, which placed limitations on picketing, "survives First Amendment scrutiny because it serves a significant government interest, it is narrowly tailored, and it leaves ample alternative channels open for communication." (see Dec 19)

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What's so funny about peace, love, and activism?