October 22, 1917, Feminism & Voting Rights: for picketing outside the White House for the women's right to vote, Alice Paul was sentenced to seven months in jail in the Occoquan Workhouse, located in Virginia. (click → NYT article) October 22, 1946, BLACK HISTORY: five white men accused in the beating death of Leon McAtee, a black man, were freed by the Holmes County, Mississippi, court. Though one of the five had confessed to his own involvement in the murder and implicated the other four men, none was convicted. Before the trial ended, Judge S.F. Davis acquitted Spencer Ellis and James Roberts, finding the evidence insufficient to prove their guilt. The all-white jury then deliberated for ten minutes before acquitting Jeff Dodd Sr., Jeff Dodd Jr., and Dixie Roberts. Leon McAtee was a tenant on Jeff Dodd Sr.’s farm who working a small plot of land for very little pay. When Mr. Dodd’s saddle went missing, he suspected Mr. McAtee of stealing it and had the black man arrested. On July 22, 1946, Mr. Dodd withdrew the charges and police released Mr. McAtee into Mr. Dodd’s custody. Mr. Dodd then called Dixie Roberts and together they took Mr. McAtee back to Mr. Dodd’s home, where Jeff Dodd Jr., James Roberts, and Spencer Ellis awaited them. Inside the home, all five men beat Mr. McAtee and whipped him with a three-quarter-inch rope. The men then drove the badly beaten man to his home and presented him to his wife, who later reported that her husband was dazed and muttering about a saddle. The men then drove away with Mr. McAtee in their truck, and Mrs. McAtee fled with her children. Her husband was found dead in a bayou two days later. Soon after, his two young stepsons confessed to stealing the saddle.
October 22, 1955, BLACK HISTORY: John Earl Reese was in a Mayflower, Texas, café when white men fired nine shots through the window, killing him and injuring his cousins. The men were attempting to terrorize African Americans into giving up plans for a new school. Local authorities were reluctant to investigate the shooting, with one sheriff insisting the culprit could be found in the nearby black community. The following year the Texas Rangers took over the case and two white men, Perry Dean Ross and Joseph Reagan Simpson, were arrested after one admitted they had fired nine bullets into the cafe from their speeding car. Both men acknowledged being angry about a new school being built in Mayflower, a mostly black community. The men were found guilty of "murder without malice" and received five-year prison sentences that were immediately suspended. Neither spent a day in jail because the judge suspended their five-year sentences. A historical marker in town now honors Reese. October 22, 1962, The Cold War & Nuclear News: Soviet Union detonated 8.2 megaton above ground nuclear bomb. October 22, 1962, The Cold War & Cuban Missile Crisis: President Kennedy announced the existence of Soviet missiles in Cuba and orders a naval blockade (see January 3, 1966). The Joint Chiefs of Staff unanimously agreed that a full-scale attack and invasion was the only solution.
October 22, 1963, BLACK HISTORY & School Desegregation: many Chicago organizations that were part of the Coordinating Council of Community Organizations (CCCO) staged a school boycott. 250,000 students did not attend school, and at least 20,000 marched on the streets of Chicago. The march was one of the largest and most overlooked civil rights actions of the 1960’s took place in Chicago.
October 22, 1965, BLACK HISTORY & March to Selma: a jury took less than two hours to acquit Collie Wilkins in the murder of Viola Liuzzo's murder while she was returning from the March to Selma and shot through her car window. (click → NYT article)
October 22, 1975, LGBT: Air Force Sergeant Leonard Matlovich, a decorated veteran of the Vietnam War, was given a "general" discharge by the air force after publicly declaring his homosexuality. Matlovich, who appeared in his air force uniform on the cover of Time magazine above the headline "I AM A HOMOSEXUAL," was challenging the ban against homosexuals in the U.S. military. (click → NYT pdf)
October 22, 1999, Japanese Internment Camps: groundbreaking on construction of a national memorial to both Japanese-American soldiers and those sent to internment camps takes place in Washington, D.C. with President Clinton in attendance. (click → NYT article) October 22, 2013, Nuclear and Chemical Weapons: Air Force officials said officers entrusted with the launch keys to long-range nuclear missiles were caught twice during 2013 leaving open a blast door that is intended to help prevent a terrorist or other intruder from entering their underground command post.
October 22, 2014, Iraq War II: (from the NYT) four former Blackwater Worldwide security guards were convicted and immediately jailed for their roles in a deadly 2007 shooting in Baghdad’s Nisour Square that marked a bloody nadir in America’s war in Iraq. A jury in Federal District Court found that the deaths of 17 Iraqis in the shooting, which began when a convoy of the guards suddenly began firing in a crowded intersection, was not a battlefield tragedy, but the result of a criminal act. The convictions on murder, manslaughter and weapons charges represented a legal and diplomatic victory for the United States government, which had urged Iraqis to put their faith in the American court system. That faith was tested repeatedly over seven years as the investigation had repeated setbacks, leaving Iraqis deeply suspicious that anyone would be held responsible for the deaths. (click → NYT article)