October 22

October 22

October 22October 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 22October 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 22October 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 22October 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 22October 22 – November 4, 1966: The Supremes’ Supremes A’ Go-Go is the Billboard #1 album.
October 22October 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 22October 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 22October 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)

Leslie West

Leslie West

Leslie West

born October 22, 1945

Mountain, “Theme for an Imaginary Western”

Forest Hills High School

     What do the four original members of the Ramones (Johnny, Dee Dee, Tommy and Joey), Burt Bacharach,  Dick Stockton, Paul Simon, Art Garfunkel, Bob Keeshan, aka Captain Kangaroo, Jerry Springer and Peter Parker all have in common with Leslie West?

     Except Peter Parker, aka Spiderman, they all actually attended Forest Hills High School in Queens, NYC. 

Leslie Weinstein

     Leslie Weinstein became Leslie West after his parents divorced, but talent and luck, always a luck, made Leslie West a household name among rock fans in the late 60s.
     While Greenwich Village was pumping out musician after musician into the 1960's cultural revolution, West came out of nearby geographically but light years artistically distant Long Island, NY.

     Leslie West was in the Vagrants and the band had some minor success. Felix Pappalardi produced some of their recordings. Pappalardi produced and played on West's first album, called Mountain (1969). It was from that album's name that, in 1969, they formed Mountain. 

     Pappalardi had also produced Cream and some compared Mountain's sound to theirs.  Steve Knight (keyboards) and N.D. Smart (drums) were the other two original members. 

Woodstock Music and Art Fair

     The band appeared at Woodstock on Saturday night. Their well-received set was neither on the movie soundtrack nor the first movie, but the strength of their sound made West and the band favorites especially among the FM crowd.

     Following Woodstock, the band released it's first album,  Climbing! (February 1970). Nantucket Sleighride followed in January 1971, and Flowers of Evil in November 1971.

     In 1972 Pappalardi left the band to do more productions and West, Jack Bruce and Corky Laing (had replaced ND Smart on drums) formed West, Bruce, and Lang.

     Over the decades versions of Mountain have formed and re-formed, always with West at the center.  

Leslie West

     Substance abuse and diabetes have plagued West, but have not kept him away from music very long. He lost the bottom half of his right leg to diabetes in 2011. He told Billboard afterwards, ""I cried a couple fuckin' times. I look down -- 'Where is it?!' You still feel the nerves and stuff like that. I had to make a decision -- lose my leg or lose my life. What are you gonna do?  But I'll tell you, it's a good thing it wasn't one of my arms. Then I'd be really fucked." [insert gallows humor comment here]

     On August 15, 2009 he married Jenni Maurer on stage after Mountain's performance at the Woodstock 40th anniversary concert at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, located on the site of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Note Mr Levon Helm on the far left!

Leslie West




October 21

October 21

October 21William Lloyd Garrison was a prominent white abolitionist and newspaper editor in the 19th century. Born in 1805 in Newburyport, Massachusetts, to English immigrants, Garrison co-founded his first newspaper at age 22 and began to focus on the issue of slavery. In 1829, Garrison became the co-editor of the Baltimore-based Genius of Universal Emancipation, through which he and his colleagues criticized proponents of slavery.

                Unlike most American abolitionists at the time, Garrison demanded immediate emancipation of enslaved black people rather than gradual emancipation. In 1830, he founded The Liberator, which continued to publish criticisms of slavery. By that time, Garrison had become a vocal opponent of the American Colonization Society, which sought to reduce the number of free blacks by relocating them to Africa. In 1832, Garrison helped to organize the American Anti-Slavery Society and sought to keep the organization unaffiliated with any political party. He also advocated for women to be allowed equal participation in the organization, a radical stance nearly 90 years before women in America obtained the right to vote.

                On October 21, 1835, Garrison attended a meeting held by the Boston Female Anti-Slavery Society to hear remarks from George Thompson, a British abolitionist and personal friend. Thompson had been warned that a pro-slavery mob planned to tar-and-feather him and declined to attend the meeting. The mob seized Garrison instead, dragged him through the streets by a rope around his waist, and threatened to lynch him until he was rescued by police. Garrison spent the night in a city jail and left Boston the next morning. He remained a staunch opponent of slavery and lived to see the institution’s demise 30 years later.

October 21

October 21, 1921, BLACK HISTORY: President Warren G. Harding delivered a speech in Alabama in which he condemned lynchings.

October 21, 1955, BLACK HISTORY, Feminism & Montgomery Bus Boycott:  in Montgomery, AL, Mary Louise Smith (age 18) refused to give up her seat to a white passenger when ordered.
October 21October 21, 1963, The Beatles before their US appearance:100,000 tickets go on sale for The Beatles’ Christmas Show. Manager Brian Epstein, who himself had had theatrical aspirations, conceived a variety stage production featuring the group.

October 21 - 22, 1967, Vietnam: in Washington, D.C. nearly 100,000 people gathered to protest the Vietnam War. More than 50,000 of the protesters marched to the Pentagon to ask for an end to the conflict.


October 21 – November 24, 1967: “To Sir With Love” by Lulu #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

October 21, 2013, LGBTQ: Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey announced that he would drop his legal challenge to same-sex marriage, hours after gay couples started exchanging vows in midnight ceremonies across the state. His decision effectively removed the last hurdle to making same-sex marriage legal in New Jersey. At 12:01 a.m., New Jersey joined 13 other states and the District of Columbia in allowing gay couples to marry. (click → NYT article)

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