Tag Archives: Emmett Till

September 21 Peace Love Activism

September 21 Peace Love Activism

US Labor History

September 21, 1921: a collector from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (now the Internal Revenue Service) assessed $6,312.79 in excise taxes against Drexel, a furniture manufacturing company in North Carolina, for employing a child under fourteen during the 1919 tax year. Drexel paid the tax under protest and sued for a refund. (Nov 3)

BLACK HISTORY

Emmett Till

September 21 Peace Love Activism

September 21, 1955: Moses Wright, Emmett Till's great uncle, does the unthinkable--he accused two white men in open court. While on the witness stand, he stands up and points his finger at Milam and Bryant, and accuses them of coming to his house and kidnapping Emmett. (see Sept 23)
James Byrd
September 21, 2011: Lawrence  Brewer, murderer of James Byrd, Jr, executed. Shawn Berry was sentenced to life in prison. John King remained on death row. (News media report)
Troy Davis
September 21, 2011: the State of Georgia executed Troy Davis despite evidence of his innocence. Davis, a black man, was sentenced to death in the 1989 fatal shooting of white off-duty police officer Mark MacPhail in Savannah, Georgia. Supporters of Davis, including the NAACP, Amnesty International, former President Jimmy Carter, and Pope Benedict XVI, had been encouraged by a 2009 United States Supreme Court ruling permitting him to present evidence of his innocence in court, but when the federal trial judge denied relief, the Court refused to review the case and an execution date was set.

Georgia's Board of Pardons and Paroles, not the governor, has exclusive authority to grant clemency. Two days before Davis’s scheduled execution, the board held a full clemency hearing, where it heard from Davis's attorneys and supporters, prosecutors, and the victim's family. By that time, seven of the prosecution's nine key witnesses against Davis had either recanted or backed off their trial testimony and others had come forward to give sworn statements that the State's main witness had himself confessed to the shooting.

The evidence undercutting Davis’s guilt was so compelling that three jurors who sentenced him to death at his 1991 trial urged the board to stop the execution. In addition, more than 600,000 people worldwide signed petitions urging the board to commute Davis's sentence, citing concerns that executing a man amid so much uncertainty about his guilt would deeply undermine the public's confidence in the justice system. The board denied clemency on September 20, 2011. In his final words, Davis professed his innocence, expressed condolences to Officer MacPhail’s family, and expressed appreciation to his family and supporters. He was executed by lethal injection on September 21, 2011, and pronounced dead at 11:08 p.m. (CNN report) (BH, see Oct 16; DP, see April 25, 2012)

LGBTQ

Daughters of Bilitis

September 21 Peace Love Activism

September 21, 1955: In San Francisco, the Daughters of Bilitis became the first lesbian rights organization in the US. The organization hosted social functions, providing alternatives to lesbian bars and clubs, which were frequently raided by police.

The name Bilitis is the name given to a lesbian contemporary of Sappho by the French poet Pierre Louÿs in his collection, The Songs of Bilitis (1894). (LGBTQ, see August 30, 1956; Bilitis, see September 7, 1957)
Defense of Marriage Act
September 21, 1996: President Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act into law. The law defines marriage as a legal union between one man and one woman and that no state is required to recognize a same-sex marriage from out of state. It established a Federal definition of: (1) ‘marriage' as only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife; and (2) ‘spouse' as only a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or wife.”  (see Feb 21, 1997)
Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell
September 21, 2010: The US Senate struck down a bill that would end Don't Ask, Don't Tell with a vote of 56–43, almost completely along party lines. (see Oct 13)
Kentucky
September 21, 2015: gay couples in Kentucky said altered marriage licenses issued by Kim Davis were invalid and a federal judge should order her office to reissue them or put the office in receivership and have someone else do it. When Davis returned to work, she altered the license forms to say they were issued under the authority of the federal court instead of her office. On this date, lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union asked the judge to force the clerk’s office to reissue the licenses. (see Sept 24)

September 21 Music et al

Blue Velvet
September 21 – October 11, 1963, “Blue Velvet” by Bobby Vinton #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. Written in 1950, it had been recorded already by Tony Bennett (1951) and The Clovers (1955).

“Harper Valley, PTA”
September 21 – 27, 1968: “Harper Valley, PTA” by Jeannie C Riley #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

INDEPENDENCE DAYS

Malta

September 21 Peace Love Activism

September 21, 1964: Malta independent from United Kingdom. (see Oct 24)
Belize

September 21 Peace Love Activism

September 21, 1981: Belize independent of the United Kingdom. (see Nov 1)
Armenia

September 21 Peace Love Activism

September 21, 1991: Armenia declared independence from the Soviet Union. (Dissolution, see Oct 27; ID, see Oct 8)
September 21 Peace Love Activism

United Farm Workers

September 21, 1983: Rene Lopez, a 21 year old, farm worker, was fatally wounded after voting in an election at the Sikkema Dairy Ranch. The UFW charged that Lopez was shot by the brother-in-law of owner, Ralph Sikkema and an accomplice, Donato Estrada.  David Stirling, the General Counsel to the Agricultural Labor Relations Board, dismissed charges on the basis of lack of evidence. (see October 8, 2012)

Hurricane Katrina

September 21, 2005: the official death toll was raised to 1,036, with 63 additional deaths recognized in Louisiana. This marked the first time since 1928 that a natural disaster in the U.S. had been officially acknowledged to have killed at least 1,000 people. State-by-state death tolls: Louisiana 799, Mississippi 218, Florida 14, Alabama 2, Georgia 2, Tennessee 1. (see January 3, 2007)

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September 19 Peace Love Activism

September 19 Peace Love Activism

Anarchism in the US

September 19 Peace Love Activism

September 19, 1892: Andrew Berkman is sentenced to twenty-two years in prison for the attempt on steel magnate Henry Clay Frick's life on July 23, 1892. (see June 1893)

 

BLACK HISTORY

September 19, 1955:  the kidnapping (only) trial of J W Milam and Roy Bryant opened in Sumner, Mississippi, the county seat of Tallahatchie County. Jury selection begins and, with blacks and white women banned from serving, an all-white, 12-man jury made up of nine farmers, two carpenters and one insurance agent was selected.

Emmett’s mother, Mamie Till Bradley, departed from Chicago's Midway Airport to attend the trial. (see Emmett Till)

Nuclear/Chemical News

Operation Plumbbob
September 19, 1957: the US detonated a 1.7 kiloton nuclear weapon in an underground tunnel at the Nevada Test Site (NTS), a 1,375 square mile research center located 65 miles north of Las Vegas. The test, known as Rainier, was the first fully contained underground detonation and produced no radioactive fallout. A modified W-25 warhead weighing 218 pounds and measuring 25.7 inches in diameter and 17.4 inches in length was used for the test. Rainier was part of a series of 29 nuclear weapons and nuclear weapons safety tests known as Operation Plumbbob that were conducted at the NTS between May 28, 1957, and October 7, 1957. (related NYT article) (see Sept 29) 
Cuban Missile Crisis
September 19, 1962:  the United States Intelligence Board (USIB) approved a report on the Soviet arms buildup in Cuba. Its assessment, stated that some intelligence indicates the ongoing deployment of nuclear missiles to Cuba. The Soviet Union above ground nuclear test. 1.5 - 10 megaton. (CW/NN, see Sept 25; Cuban Missile Crisis, see Oct 7)

The Cold War

see No Disneyland for Krushchev for more

September 19 Peace Love Activism

September 19, 1959: Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev had arrived in the US on September 15 for a summit meeting with President Eisenhower. The Soviet leader indicated a desire to see Hollywood. September 19 began pleasantly enough, with a tour of the Twentieth Century Fox Studios. Khrushchev was taken to the sound stage for the movie "Can-Can" and was immediately surrounded by the cast of the film, including Shirley MacLaine and Juliet Prowse. The cast members performed a number from the film. Frank Sinatra was brought in to serve as an unofficial master of ceremonies later lunched with an obviously delighted Khrushchev.

Later Twentieth Century Fox President Spyros P. Skouras introduced Khrushchev at Los Angeles Town Hall. Skouras, an ardent anticommunist, irritated Khrushchev by referring to the premier's famous statement that Russia would "bury" capitalism. Skouras declared that Los Angeles was not particularly interested in "burying" anyone, but would meet the challenge if posed. Khrushchev's famous temper quickly flared. He charged that Skouras's remarks were part of a campaign to heckle him during his trip to America.

Khrushchev's anger increased when he learned that he would not be allowed to visit Disneyland. Government authorities feared that the crowds would pose a safety hazard for the premier. 

Khrushchev, still fuming about the debate with Skouras, exploded. "And I say, I would very much like to go and see Disneyland. But then, we cannot guarantee your security, they say. Then what must I do? Commit suicide? What is it? Is there an epidemic of cholera there or something? Or have gangsters taken hold of the place that can destroy me?" (see Sept 25)

Teenage Culture

September 19 – 25, 1960: “The Twist” by 18-year-old Chubby Checker #1 Billboard Hot 100 (see January 1962). The song was written by Hank Ballard and originally the B-side of Hank Ballard & the Midnighters’ “Teardrops on Your Letter” in 1959. 
 Checker was born Ernest Evans. His boss nicknamed him Chubby. He made a private recording, “The Class,” on which he imitated many singers of the time including Fats Domino. The record was given to Dick Clark whose wife, after Ernest Evans said his nickname was Chubby, asked, “As in Checker?” referring to Fats Domino. The name stuck. (see “in March 1963”)  
September 19 Peace Love Activism

Vietnam

September 19, 1969: President Nixon announced the cancellation of the draft calls for November and December. He reduced the draft call by 50,000 (32,000 in November and 18,000 in December). This move accompanied his twin program of turning the war over to the South Vietnamese concurrent with U.S. troop withdrawals and was calculated to quell antiwar protests by students returning to college campuses after the summer. (see Sept 23)

US Labor History

September 19, 1973: a judge sentenced Aubran W Martin, one of the three gunmen convicted  in the 1969 Yablonski family murders, to die in the electric chair. (Yablonski, see April 8, 1974; Labor, see Nov 12)

INDEPENDENCE DAY

September 19 Peace Love Activism

September 19, 1983: Saint Kitts and Nevis independent of the United Kingdom. (see January 1, 1984)

Sexual Abuse of Children

September 19, 2002: the Boston Archdiocese reached a $10m settlement with victims of John Geoghan, retracting a previous settlement of $30m which the Church said would have bankrupted the archdiocese. (NYT article) (see Oct 7)

Hurricane Katrina

September 19 Peace Love Activism

September 19, 2005: Louisiana’s official death toll stood at 973. (see Sept 21)

LGBTQ

Don’t ask, don’t tell

September 19 Peace Love Activism

September 19, 2011: the US military’s “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy officially ended.  (see Sept 20, 2011)

September 19, 2012: the one-year anniversary of the end of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy passed with little notice because the policy had been so quickly implemented with so little disruption. Gay, lesbian and bisexual service members were thought to make up at least 2 percent of the military’s 2.2 million forces on active duty, in the reserves, and the National Guard. (see October 18, 2012)

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