June 19 Music et al

June 19 Music et al

Pat Boone

June 19 – 25, 1961, “Moody River” by Pat Boone #1 Billboard Hot 100. From Wikipedia:  It was written by and originally performed by country rockabilly singer Chase Webster (real name Gary Daniel Bruce, not to be confused with Gary Bruce of the Knack). Webster was a label-mate of Boone's at Dot Records.

This was the title track from one of Boone's better-selling albums. Boone sang this song as if he were in pain. It was covered some years later by Johnny Burnette in 1962, also Frank Sinatra and Johnny Rivers. In August 2009, John Fogerty covered the song in the album entitled The Blue Ridge Rangers Rides Again."

Four Tops

June 19 – 25, 1965: “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)” by the Four Tops #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. From Wikipedia: Written and produced by Motown's main production team Holland–Dozier–Holland, the song is one of the most well-known Motown tunes of the 1960s. The song reached number one on the R&B charts and was also the number-one song on the Billboard Hot 100 for two non-consecutive weeks, from June 12 to June 19 and from June 26 to July 3 in 1965. It replaced "Back in My Arms Again" by label-mates The Supremes, was first replaced by "Mr. Tambourine Man" by The Byrds, then regained the top spot before being replaced by "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" by The Rolling Stones. 

June 19 Music et al

see “(Sitting On) The Dock of the Bay” for more

June 19, 1967: during his stay in California on a houseboat in Sausalito, while listening to the Beatles' Sgt Pepper Lonely Hearts Club Band, Otis Redding was inspired to compose "Sitting On the Dock of the Bay."  From Performing Songwriter site: While on the West Coast for an engagement at the Fillmore in June 1967, Redding and his road manager “Speedo” Sims escaped for a few days of R&R on a rented houseboat near Sausalito.

In that idyllic setting, Redding relaxed, gently strumming his acoustic guitar and singing two lines over and over:

Sittin’ in the morning sun
I’ll be sittin’ when the evening comes

Sims recalled, “We must have been out there three or four days before I could get any concept as to where he was going with the song. I just didn’t understand it. And lyrically, it sounded weird. He was changing with the times. And I was looking at the times change.” (see June 25)

The [Bumpy] Road to Bethel: June 19, 1969

June 19 Music et al

  • Michael Lang, Artie Kornfeld, and Joel Rosenman meet with Abbie Hoffman. Hoffman demanded $50,000. They agree to $10,000. 
  • Stanley Goldstein was served with a summons ordering the festival’s principals to appear before the State Supreme court in Goshen, NY on July 7.
  • At the informal meeting the Wallkill town board lays out its three concerns: 1. traffic control,   2. sanitation, and 3. water supply. (see June 20 – 22)

June 19 Music et al, June 19 Music et al, June 19 Music et al, June 19 Music et al, June 19 Music et al, 

June 18 Peace Love Activism

June 18 Peace Love Activism

Native Americans

“Long Walk” home
June 18, 1868: the once-scattered bands of Navajo people who called themselves Diné, set off together on the return journey, the "Long Walk" home. This was one of the few instances where the U.S. government relocated a tribe to their traditional boundaries. The Navajos were granted 3.5 million acres of land inside their four sacred mountains. (see March 3, 1871)
Indian Reorganization Act
June 18, 1934: The Indian Reorganization Act, sometimes known as the Indian New Deal, secured certain rights to Native Americans (known in law as American Indians or Indians), including Alaska Natives. These rights include actions that contributed to the reversal of the Dawes Act's privatization of communal holdings of American Indian tribes and a return to local self-government on a tribal basis. The Act also restored to Indians the management of their assets (being mainly land) and included provisions intended to create a sound economic foundation for the inhabitants of Indian reservations. (see "in World War II")
Wounded Knee II trial
June 18, 1974:  after five months, the Government had still not gotten to the core if its case: that Dennis J Banks and Russell C Means led 30 Indians to seize and destroy Wounded Knee. (see Sept 17)
Pine Ridge Indian Reservation
June 18, 2012: Brendan Johnson, the US attorney for South Dakota said that prosecutors would re-examine the circumstances surrounding dozens of deaths that occurred on or near the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, many dating back to the 1970s when the reservation was embroiled in political violence. (see Native Americans, Oct 8, 2012)
Washington Redskins trademark

June 18 Peace Love Activism

June 18, 2014: the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office cancelled six Washington Redskins trademarks, ruling that the polarizing moniker was "disparaging to Native Americans." The decision did not require the team to change its name, but came at a time of increased pressure on the team to do so.

                "We decide, based on the evidence properly before us, that these registrations must be cancelled because they were disparaging to Native Americans at the respective times they were registered," the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board wrote in its opinion. (see Sept 24)


Murray v. Pearson
June 18, 1935: NAACP lawyers Thurgood Marshall and Charles Hamilton Houston successfully argued the landmark case in Maryland that opened admissions to the University of Maryland School of Law on the basis of equal protection under the Fourteenth Amendment. (BH, see February 14, 1936)
Executive Order 8802

June 18 Peace Love Activism

June 18, 1941: civil rights leader A. Philip Randolph called off a march after a dramatic confrontation with President Franklin Roosevelt in the White House during which Roosevelt agreed to issue Executive Order 8802, prohibiting racial discrimination in government defense factories. (see June 25)
Muhammad Ali

June 18 Peace Love Activism

June 18, 1963: in his first foreign professional bout, Cassius Clay defeated British heavyweight champion Henry Cooper before fifty-five thousand fans in London. Cooper suffers a cut above his left eye, making this one of the bloodiest fights in Clay's young career. Although knocked down in the fourth round,  the fight was stopped in the fifth round just as Clay had predicted to reporters before the fight,  (Black History, see June 19; Ali, see January 24, 1964)
Monson Motor Lodge

June 18 Peace Love Activism

June 18, 1964: shouting "I'm cleaning the pool!", James Brock -- owner of the Monson Motor Lodge in St. Augustine, Florida -- poured muriatic (hydrochloric) acid near several people taking part in an effort to integrate the hotel's pool. (The muriatic acid, a cleaning agent used on concrete, was not strong enough to cause any injuries to the demonstrators.) (see June 19)

Human Rights

June 18 Peace Love Activism

June 18, 1948: the United Nations Commission on Human Rights adopted the International Declaration of Human Rights.

June 18 Music et al

Yeh-Heh-Heh-Heh, Baby

June 18 Peace Love Activism

June 18, 1956: in a Time magazine article entitled, Yeh-Heh-Heh-Hes, Baby, the author describes Rock and Roll music as “...based on Negro blues, but in a self-conscious style which underlines the primitive qualities of the blues with malice, aforethought. Characteristics: an unrelenting, socking syncopation that sounds like a bull whip; a choleric saxophone honking mating-call sounds; an electric guitar turned up so loud that its sound shatters and splits; a vocal group that shudders and exercises violently to the beat while roughly chanting either a near-nonsense phrase or a moronic lyric in hillbilly idiom.” The article also mentioned several US cities that had tried to limit or eliminate rock and roll concerts. (see June 30)
The (bumpy) Road to Bethel
June 18, 1969: Samuel W Eager, a Middletown lawyer who had agreed to represent Woodstock Ventures (WV thinking a local lawyer would be better received than a NYC one), called Jack Scholsser (Wallkill Town Supervisor) and requested  an informal meeting between the members of the town board and the four Woodstock officers. It is set for June 19. (see June 19)
‘A Day In The Life’

June 18 Peace Love Activism

June 18, 2010, The Beatles post break-up: John Lennon's handwritten lyrics to The Beatles song 'A Day In The Life' sold for $1.2m at an auction at Sotheby's in New York. The double-sided sheet of paper with notes written in felt marker and blue ink also contained some corrections and other notes penned in red ink. (see Sept 7)
Same Love”
June 18, 2012: Ben Haggerty, better known by his stage name Macklemore, released “Same Love” in support of same sex marriage. (“Same Love,” see November 30; LGBTQ, see July 17)


Weather Underground

June 18 – 22, 1969:   Students for a Democratic Society SDS National Convention held in Chicago, Illinois. Publication of "Weatherman" founding statement. Members seized control of SDS National Office. (Vietnam, see June 27; WU, see Oct 5; FS, see Oct 31)
June 18 Peace Love Activism

see Pentagon Papers for more

June 18, 1971: The Washington Post published excerpts of the Pentagon Papers but is immediately enjoined from publishing additional excerpts. Eventually, 17 other papers will publish portions of the report. (DE/PP, see June 28)


President Jimmy Carter
June 18, 1977: in a long interview in which he planned to highlight his family-friendly policies, President Jimmy Carter suggested that same-sex relationships were “not normal.” The issue came up in response to a question about allowing same-sex couples to adopt children. The comment alienated Carter’s lesbian and gay supporters. (see June 21)

Nuclear/Chemical News

June 18 Peace Love Activism

June 18, 1979: the United States and Soviet Union signed the SALT II nuclear arms limitation treaty. The treaty was part of a series of nuclear arms reduction treaties signed between the U.S. and U.S.S.R. SALT II was preceded by SALT I and followed by the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) and START II. (NN, see Oct 1; CW, see January 2, 1980)


Dr. Sally Ride

June 18 Peace Love Activism

June 18, 1983: the space shuttle Challenger launched on its second mission. Aboard the shuttle was Dr. Sally Ride, who as a mission specialist became the first American woman to travel into space. During the six-day mission, Ride, an astrophysicist from Stanford University, operated the shuttle's robot arm, which she had helped design. (see Aug 29)
Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori

June 18 Peace Love Activism

June 18, 2006: Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori was elected the first female presiding bishop for the Episcopal Church, the U.S. arm of the global Anglican Communion. (see Nov 6)

Religion and Public Education

June 18, 1993: the US Supreme Court ruled in Zobrest v. Catalina Foothills School District that the district may provide a sign language interpreter for a deaf child attending a Catholic high school without violating the establishment clause of the First Amendment. (see June 23, 1997)


June 18, 1993: Iraq refused to allow UNSCOM weapons inspectors to install remote-controlled monitoring cameras at 2 missile engine test stands. (see June 29)

Sexual Abuse of Children

June 18, 2003:  following controversial remarks in which he said some church officials were being as secretive as members of the Mafia, former Oklahoma Gov. Charles Keating said he'll resign as head of the church's national panel on sex abuse. Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony, whom Keating accused of listening "too much to his lawyer and not enough to his heart" in dealing with the panel's investigation, called Keating's comments "the last straw." (see July 23)

Women’s Health

July 18, 2005: Eric Rudolph was sentenced to two consecutive life terms without parole for the January 29, 1998 murder of a police officer. (see January 31, 2006)


June 18, 2013: Circuit Judge J. David Walsh sentenced Paul Miller, who shot a neighbor to death during an argument over barking dogs, to life in prison. (SYG, see July 19; Paul Miller, see Aug 8)

Student Rights

June 18, 2015: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law a measure to decriminalize unexcused absences and require school districts to implement preventive measures, The law that had sent about 100,000 students a year to adult criminal court for missing school. The new law would effect Sept. 1.  (see Aug 17)

Environmental Issues

June 18 Peace Love Activism

June 18, 2015: Pope Francis called for a radical transformation of politics, economics and individual lifestyles to confront environmental degradation and climate change. His papal encyclical blended a biting critique of consumerism and irresponsible development with a plea for swift and unified global action.

                Francis’s 184-page encyclical described a relentless exploitation and destruction of the environment, for which he blamed apathy, the reckless pursuit of profits, excessive faith in technology and political shortsightedness. The most vulnerable victims are the world’s poorest people, he declared, who are being dislocated and disregarded. (see June 22)

June 18, 2015 US Supreme Court

Two FREE SPEECH decisions
In Walker v. Texas Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans, Inc., the Supreme Court ruled that Texas can prohibit vanity license plates containing an image of the Confederate battle flag. Texas excluded the group Sons of Confederate Veterans from its vanity plate program in 2011, saying “a significant portion of the public associates the Confederate flag with organizations advocating expressions of hate directed toward people or groups that is demeaning to those people or groups.”

The Sons of Confederate Veterans sued, contending the state violated the group’s free speech rights. The Supreme Court took the case to clarify ways to distinguish government speech from private speech. Texas argued that the license plate was government speech. The Sons of Confederate Veterans contended license plates are private speech by motorists, and the state has no business  meddling in the message. (see following)

The Supreme Court unanimously ruled that an Arizona town had violated the First Amendment by placing limits on the size of signs announcing church services.

 The case, Reed v. Town of Gilbert, No. 13-502, concerned an ordinance in Gilbert, Ariz., that has differing restrictions on political, ideological and  directional signs. It was challenged by a church and its pastor.

All of the justices agreed that the distinctions drawn by the ordinance were impermissible. But they divided 6 to 3 on the rationale, with the majority  saying that all content-based laws require the most exacting form of judicial review, strict scrutiny, one that is exceptionally hard to satisfy.

   “Content-based laws — those that target speech based on its communicative content — are presumptively unconstitutional and may be justified  only if the government proves that they are narrowly tailored to serve compelling state interests,” Justice Clarence Thomas wrote for the majority. (see   Aug 11

Judicial Milestone decision
In Ohio v. Clark, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously that Cleveland prosecutors acted constitutionally when they relied on what an abused child told his teachers to convict a man of felonious assault. The justices overturned a decision last year by the Ohio Supreme Court in which the state justices threw out the conviction of Darius Clark because he was not given the right to confront his accuser. Because the child was so young, he was not deemed competent to testify at the trial, forcing prosecutors to rely on what he told his preschool teachers about the abuse.

   Writing for the court, Justice Samuel Alito ruled that “we have never suggested” that the Constitution “bars the introduction of all out-of-court  statements that support the prosecution’s case.” Alito wrote when the child told the teachers about his injuries, it was not “for the primary purpose of assisting in Clark’s prosecution” and could be admitted as evidence at trial. Under the Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, a defendant has the  right to confront the witnesses testifying against him or her.

Death penalty decision
In Brumfield v. Cain the US Supreme Court rule 5 – 4 that there was sufficient evidence that a death-row inmate in Louisiana could show he was impaired by an intellectual disability that he was entitled to have his claims under Atkins v. Virginia (which bars the execution of inmates with a mental disability)

 Kevin Brumfield was convicted in 1995 of murdering off-duty Baton Rouge police officer Betty Smothers during an attempted bank robbery. He   remained on death row until the appeals court decided if the judge who held the hearing was correct to find that Brumfield was ineligible for the death penalty. (see June 29)


June 18, 2015: Delaware became the 20th state to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana. Gov. Jack Markell (D) signed House Bill 39 into law not long after the state Senate approved the bill 12-9. No state Republican senators voted in favor of the bill and no Republicans supported it when it passed the House.The measure, introduced by state Rep. Helene Keeley (D) in the House and sponsored by Judiciary Committee Chair Margaret Rose Henry (D) in the Senate, removed criminal penalties for an adult in possession of up to one ounce of marijuana for personal use. Marijuana possession would be a civil offense punishable by $100 fine. Sales remain banned. (see July 1)

June 18 Peace Love Activism, June 18 Peace Love Activism, June 18 Peace Love Activism, June 18 Peace Love Activism, June 18 Peace Love Activism, June 18 Peace Love Activism, June 18 Peace Love Activism, June 18 Peace Love Activism, June 18 Peace Love Activism, June 18 Peace Love Activism, June 18 Peace Love Activism, June 18 Peace Love Activism, June 18 Peace Love Activism, June 18 Peace Love Activism, June 18 Peace Love Activism, 

June 17 Peace Love Activism

June 17 Peace Love Activism

US Labor History

Arsenal explosion
June 17 Peace Love Activism
June 17, 1864:  an accidental explosion killed twenty-one young women and girls making cartridges at the Washington, D.C. arsenal during the Civil War. Most of the victims were Irish immigrants. A monument was erected in the Congressional Cemetery, where 17 of the workers were buried (see February 13, 1865)
“Mother” Jones”
June 17 Peace Love Activism
June 17, 1903: Mary Harris "Mother" Jones led a rally in Philadelphia to focus public attention on children mutilated in the state's textile mills. (see "in July")


Voting Rights
June 17- 18, 1873: Susan B Anthony’s trial before Supreme Court Associate Justice Ward Hunt. U.S. District Attorney Richard Crowley presented the government's case: "Miss Susan B. Anthony . . . upon the 5th day of November, 1872 . . . voted. . . . At that time she was a woman."

Hunt refused to allow Anthony to testify on her own behalf, allowed statements given by her at the time of her arrest to be allowed as "testimony," explicitly ordered the jury to return a guilty verdict, refused to poll the jury afterwards, and read an opinion he had written before the trial even started. The sentence was a $100 fine, but not imprisonment; true to her word in court ("I shall never pay a dollar of your unjust penalty"), she never paid the fine for the rest of her life. (see March 29, 1874)
Amelia Earhart
June 17 Peace Love Activism
June 17, 1928: Amelia Earhart embarked on the first trans-Atlantic flight by a woman. She flew from Newfoundland to Wales in about 21 hours. (see April 19, 1929)
Dred Scott
June 17 Peace Love Activism
June 17, 1876: Harriet Scott died at the home of her daughter Lizzie and son-in-law’s Wilson Madison. She was buried June 20, 1876, in Section C of Greenwood Cemetery in St. Louis County. (see July 8)
Fair Housing
June 17, 1968: Jones v. Alfred H. Mayer Co. The US Supreme Court held that Congress could regulate the sale of private property in order to prevent racial discrimination. (see August 1, 1968)
South Africa
June 17, 1991: South Africa repealed the Population Registration Act. Since its passage in 1950, the Act had required every South African to be racially classified at birth. These classifications, in turn, would determined the child's social and political rights for the rest of his or her life in South Africa. (see December 20, 1991)
Boipatong massacre
June 17 Peace Love Activism
June 17, 1992: a mob descended on the black township of Boipatong, killing more than 40 people with guns, knives and axes. The A.N.C. contended that Zulu men and white police officers were responsible for the violence. The two sides do not return to negotiations until September. (see June 23)
Rodney King
June 17, 2012: Rodney King, 47, was found dead in his swimming pool, according to police and his fiancée, Cynthia Kelly. (BH, see July 27)
June 17, 2014: the Department of Justice opened a wide-ranging civil rights investigation into the Cleveland case that could lead to years of court oversight and mandated controls on the use of force. (see June 19)
Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church massacre
June 17, 2015: Dylann Storm, Roof, 21, opened fire at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church (Charleston, SC) around 9 p.m. and began shooting, killing nine people before fleeing. He was captured several hours later.

Police chief, Greg Mullen, called the shooting a hate crime.

“This is a tragedy that no community should have to experience,” he said. “It is senseless and unfathomable that someone would go into a church where people were having a prayer meeting and take their lives.” Eight people died at the scene, Mullen said. Two people were taken to the Medical University of South Carolina, and one of them died on the way.

On May 30, 1822, one of the church’s co-founders, Denmark Vesey, had tried to foment a slave rebellion in Charleston, the church’s website says. The plot was foiled by the authorities and 35 people were executed, including Mr. Vesey. (BH, see June 22; Terrorism, see June 23; SR, see ; Dylann Roof, see January 10, 2017)

Native Americans

Battle of the Rosebud
June 17 Peace Love Activism
June 17, 1876: Sioux and Cheyenne Indians score a tactical victory over General George Crook’s forces at the Battle of the Rosebud, foreshadowing the disaster of the Battle of Little Big Horn eight days later.

General George Crook was in command of one of three columns of soldiers converging on the Big Horn country of southern Montana that June. A large band of Sioux and Cheyenne Indians under the direction of Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, and several other chiefs had congregated in the area in defiance of U.S. demands that the Indians confine themselves to reservations. The army viewed the Indians’ refusal as an opportunity to dispatch a massive three-pronged attack and win a decisive victory over the “hostile” Indians.

Crook’s column, marching north from Fort Fetterman in Wyoming Territory, was to join with two others: General Gibbon’s column coming east from Fort Ellis in Montana Territory, and General Terry’s force coming west from Fort Abraham Lincoln in Dakota Territory. Terry’s force included the soon-to-be-famous 7th Cavalry under the command of George Custer. The vast distances and lack of reliable communications made it difficult to coordinate, but the three armies planned to converge on the valley of the Big Horn River and stage an assault on an enemy whose location and size was only vaguely known.

The plan quickly ran into trouble. As Crook approached the Big Horn, his Indian scouts informed him they had found signs of a major Sioux force that must still be nearby. Crook was convinced that the Sioux were encamped in a large village somewhere along the Rosebud Creek just east of the Big Horn. Like most of his fellow officers, Crook believed that Indians were more likely to flee than stand and fight, and he was determined to find the village and attack before the Sioux could escape into the wilderness. Crook’s Indian allies—262 Crow and Shoshone warriors—were less certain. They suspected the Sioux force was under the command of Crazy Horse, thee brilliant war chief. Crazy Horse, they warned, was too shrewd to give Crook an opportunity to attack a stationary village.

Crook soon learned that his allies were right. Around 8 a.m, Crook halted his force of about 1,300 men in the bowl of a small valley along the Rosebud Creek in order to allow the rear of the column to catch up. Crook’s soldiers unsaddled and let their horses graze while they relaxed in the grass and enjoyed the cool morning air. The American soldiers were out in the open, divided, and unprepared. Suddenly, several Indian scouts rode into the camp at a full gallop. “Sioux! Sioux!” they shouted. “Many Sioux!” Within minutes, a mass of Sioux warriors began to converge on the army.

A force of at least 1,500 mounted Sioux warriors caught Crook’s soldiers by surprise. Crazy Horse had kept an additional 2,500 warriors in reserve to finish the attack. Fortunately for Crook, one segment of his army was not caught unprepared. His 262 Crow and Shoshone allies had taken up advanced positions about 500 yards from the main body of soldiers. With astonishing courage, the Indian warriors boldly countercharged the much larger invading force. They managed to blunt the initial attack long enough for Crook to regroup his men and send soldiers forward to support his Indian allies. The fighting continued until noon, when the Sioux-perhaps hoping to draw Crook’s army into an ambush—retreated from the field.

The combined force of 4,000 Sioux warriors had outnumbered Crook’s divided and unprepared army by more than three to one. Had it not been for the wisdom and courage of Crook’s Indian allies, Americans today might well remember the Battle of the Rosebud as they do the subsequent Battle of the Little Big Horn. As it was, Crook’s team was badly bloodied—28 men were killed and 56 were seriously wounded.

Crook had no choice but to withdraw and regroup. Crazy Horse had lost only 13 men and his warriors were emboldened by their successful attack on the American soldiers. Eight days later, they would join with their tribesmen in the Battle of the Little Big Horn, which would wipe out George Custer and his 7th Cavalry. (see June 25)

Bonus March

June 17, 1932: after the House had passed the bill on June 15, the Senate voted down Patman bill. Infuriated marchers refused to return home. In an increasingly tense situation, the federal government provided money for the protesters' trip home, but 2,000 refused the offer and continued to protest. (see July 28)

Cold War

June 17 Peace Love Activism

June 17, 1950:  Julius Rosenberg was arrested on suspicion of espionage and accused of heading a spy ring that passed top-secret information concerning the atomic bomb to the Soviet Union. His wife Ethel was arrested two months later. The Rosenbergs were implicated by David Greenglass, Ethel's younger brother and a former army sergeant and machinist at Los Alamos, the secret atomic bomb lab in New Mexico. Greenglass, who himself had confessed to providing nuclear secrets to the Soviets through an intermediary, testified against his sister and brother-in-law in court. He later served 10 years in prison. (Red Scare, see June 22; Rosenbergs, see March 6, 1951; NN, see November 30, 1950)

Immigration History

“Operation Wetback”
June 17 Peace Love Activism
June 17, 1954: “Operation Wetback” was a federal immigration enforcement effort directed at Mexicans who had entered the U.S. illegally. The offensive name of the program was symptomatic of the cultural and political climate of the times. An estimated 107,000 people were arrested between May and July 1954, and eventually an estimated 1,078,168 people were seized. The program was marked by abuse: people seized had no opportunity to recover their personal property, and many were left stranded in Mexico without food. (see Nov 12)
The Soledad accident
June 17, 1958: a truck converted into a transport bus for Mexican migrant farm workers caught fire, killing 14 and severely injuring 17. Fifty men were riding in the vehicle when two gasoline cans inside the bus caught fire, possibly from a cigarette. The bus had solid wooden sides and a metal top, and the only exits were two high rear gates that were chained shut from the outside.

The migrant farm workers, known generally by the Spanish term “braceros,” had come to the US through a federal program initiated in August 1942 to alleviate labor shortages caused by World War II. The program continued after the war, as growers did not want the flow of cheap labor to stop. Over the next two decades, hundreds of thousands of braceros came to work in American fields, often enduring arduous, unsafe conditions.

The Soledad accident was one of over 1200 farm transportation accidents involving braceros between 1953 and 1962 in California alone; 159 braceros were killed in those accidents and almost 3000 were seriously injured. The greatest death toll occurred on September 17, 1963, when a train plowed into another makeshift bus carrying braceros in Chualar, California: 32 men were killed and 25 injured. Despite these accidents, state officials rarely took action to enforce safety regulations, let alone punish transgressors.

The bracero program ended in 1964, in large part due to union pressure to eliminate foreign competition for farmworker jobs and thus raise wages and improve working conditions for domestic farm laborers. (Labor, see September 14, 1959; Immigration/bracero, see December 31, 1964)


“Red Monday”
June 17, 1957: known as “Red Monday,” this day marked a historic turning point for the Supreme Court. The Court issued four rulings, all of which struck down anti-Communist measures. The overall impact of the four decisions was enormous, and in the view of many people they marked the beginning of the end of the anti-Communist hysteria of the Cold War.
  • Yates v. United States overturned the conviction of “second tier” Communist Party leaders and severely weakened the Smith Act, under which the top leadership of the Communist Party had been convicted in 1949. The Supreme Court had upheld the constitutionality of the Smith Act in Dennis v. United States on June 4, 1951. Yates, however, greatly narrowed the interpretation of the Smith Act and drew a sharper distinction between advocacy, which is protected by the First Amendment, and action, which is not. (One adverse impact of the Yates decision, however, was that by limiting the use of the Smith Act against the Communist Party, it encouraged the FBI to make greater use of the secret and illegal COINTELPRO program)


  • Watkins v. United States overturned the conviction of a leftist labor leader for refusing the answer questions about his political beliefs and associations. The Court held that the power of Congress to investigate private matters was not unlimited, and the decision placed new limits on HUAC.


  • Sweezy v. New Hampshire held that an investigation by the New Hampshire Attorney General into the alleged subversive activities of Paul Sweezy denied him due process of law under the Fourteenth Amendment.


  • Service v. Dulles,the Court held that John S. Service, an American diplomat, had been fired by the Secretary of State on grounds of disloyalty, in violation of the State Department’s own procedures. (see June 24)

Religion and Public Education

Abington School District v. Schempp
June 17, 1963: the US Supreme Court ruled that a Pennsylvania law requiring the reading of Biblical scriptures in public schools was a violation of the establishment clause. The Court rejected the state’s argument that the daily exercise was designed to teach moral values, not religious doctrine. (see March 8, 1965)

June 17 Peace Love Activism

see Furthur Departs  for more
June 17, 1964, LSD : Ken  Kesey and 13 Merry Pranksters boarded "Furthur" at Kesey's ranch in La Honda, California, and set off eastward. Kesey wanted to see what would happen when hallucinogenic-inspired spontaneity confronted what he saw as the banality and conformity of American society. One author has suggested that the bus trip reversed the historic American westward movement of the centuries. (see August 1964)
Beatles world tour
June 17 Peace Love Activism
June 17, 1964: Melbourne, Australia. Opening acts: Johnny Devlin, Johnny Chester (both from Australia) and Sounds Incorporated (from UK). Beatle set: I Saw Her Standing There, You Can't Do That, All My Loving, She Loves You, Till There Was You, Roll Over Beethoven, Can't Buy Me Love, Twist And Shout and Long Tall Sally. During Long Tall Sally, a male audience member rushed onto the stage to shake John Lennon's hand. (see June 26)
Herb Albert
June 17 – 23, 1967: Herb Albert’s Sounds Like... is the Billboard #1 album.

June 17 Peace Love Activism


June 17 Peace Love Activism

June 17, 1971:  President Nixon said: "America's public enemy number one in the United States is drug abuse. In order to fight and defeat this enemy, it is necessary to wage a new, all-out offensive.

I have asked the Congress to provide the legislative authority and the funds to fuel this kind of an offensive. This will be a worldwide offensive dealing with the problems of sources of supply, as well as Americans who may be stationed abroad, wherever they are in the world...

I have brought Dr. Jerome H. Jaffe into the White House, directly reporting to me as Special Consultant to the President for Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs], so that we have not only the responsibility but the authority to see that we wage this offensive effectively and in a coordinated way." (see December 21) 

see Pentagon Papers for more    

June 17, 1971: Daniel and Patricia Ellsberg went underground after Daniel Ellsberg was identified by reporter Sidney Zion as the probable source for the Pentagon Papers. (DE/PP, see June 18)

Watergate Scandal

June 17, 1972: police arrested five burglars in the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate office and apartment complex in Washington, D.C. James McCord, Frank Sturgis, Bernard Barker, Virgilio Gonzalez, and Eugenio Martinez were apprehended in the early morning after a security guard at the Watergate noticed that several doors leading from the stairwell to various hallways had been taped to prevent them from locking. The intruders were wearing surgical gloves and carrying walkie-talkies, cameras, and almost $2,300 in sequential $100 bills. A subsequent search of their rooms at the Watergate turned up an additional $4,200, burglary tools, and electronic bugging equipment. (see June 19)

Falklands War

June 17, 1982: Argentine President Leopoldo Galtieri resigned as leader of the country's military junta.

Sexual Abuse of Children

June 17, 1985: The Rev. Gilbert Gauthe of the Lafayette, La., diocese pleaded guilty to molesting 11 boys and admitted victimizing dozens more. In a widening scandal, 19 other priests are accused of abuse, and the diocese negotiates costly out-of-court settlements with victims. I

In 1988  Barbara Blaine founded Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP). Blaine had been abused as an 8th grade child by a Toledo, Ohio priest who taught in the Catholic school she attended. Years later, after her pleas for help from Toledo’s bishop fell on deaf ears. Barbara realized that survivors of clergy abuse could help each other and, by mid 1988, she had built a network of about two dozen victims. 

In 1989 Hawaii's Joseph Ferrario became the first U.S. bishop accused of molestation. A court dismissed the charges because they were filed too late, but Ferrario, who denied the charges, retired early in 1993. (see February 27, 1990)


June 17, 2008:  hundreds of same-sex couples got married across California on the first full day that gay marriage became legal by order of the state's highest court. (see Oct 10, 2008)
Federal employees
June 17, 2009: President Obama signed a Presidential Memorandum allowing same-sex partners of federal employees to receive certain benefits. The memorandum does not cover full health coverage. (see Aug 17)
Southern Baptist Convention
June 17, 2015, LGBTQ: officials with the Southern Baptist Convention issued a statement saying they would reject any ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that affirmed same-sex marriage.

“We will not accept, nor adhere to, any legal redefinition of marriage issued by any political or judicial body including the United States Supreme Court,” said the joint statement by SBC President Rev. Ronnie Floyd as well as past presidents. (see June 22)

It added, “We will not recognize same-sex ‘marriages,’ our churches will not host same-sex ceremonies, and we will not perform such ceremonies.” (see June 22)

Stop and Frisk Policy

June 17, 2012: civil rights leaders organized a series of silent marches across the country to protest the police practice of “stops and frisks,” which they argued targeted young African-American men. The silent marches were modeled after the famous Silent March Against Lynching in New York City, on July 28, 1917, sponsored by the NAACP. (see Sept 28)

Voting Rights

Arizona v. Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, No. 12-71
June 17, 2013: the US Supreme court rejected an Arizona voting law that required proof of citizenship. Justice Antonin Scalia, wrote for the majority and said a federal law requiring states to “accept and use” a federal form displaced an Arizona law. (see June 25)

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