November 24, 1865: shortly after the end of the Civil War in 1865, Southern states sought to control and confine their large populations of newly-freed black people by passing laws that authorized their arrest and incarceration. These laws, known as “black codes,” typically applied only to black people and criminalized acts that were not offenses at all when committed by whites. In November and December 1865, the Mississippi legislature approved numerous black codes. One passed on November 24, 1865, declared that “all freedmen, free negroes and mulattoes” found without proof of employment or business or found “unlawfully assembling themselves” would be deemed vagrants and, upon conviction, owe up to $50 in fines and serve up to ten days in jail. The same law threatened whites with vagrancy convictions if found assembling or associating with freedmen “on terms of equality" or found “living in adultery” with a black partner. If convicted, whites faced up to $200 in fines and up to six months in jail. As a result of black codes like these in Mississippi, and similar laws passed during the same period in states throughout the South, the post-Civil War era brought American black people more contact with the criminal court and prison systems than ever before. As the former Confederacy learned to wield the criminal justice system as a tool of racial control, countless black men, women, and children were convicted and sentenced under unjust laws that criminalized them for existing as free, black citizens.November 24, 1946: the issue of race discrimination in Washington theaters came to a head, it was reported on this day, when the Dramatists Guild signed a contract with local theaters demanding that there be no racial discrimination “on either side of the footlights.” The issue of race discrimination in the nation’s capital had been brewing since the great African-American singer Marian Anderson was denied use of Constitution Hall by the hall’s owners, the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). That controversy ended when the administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt granted permission to hold the concert at the Lincoln Memorial, on April 9, 1939. The concert is regarded as a historic event in the history of racial equality in the U.S.
US Labor History
November 24, 1875: the United Cigar Makers of New York affiliated with the Cigar Makers’ International Union (CMIU) to form CMIU Local 144. Samuel Gompers was elected first president of the local and served several terms before going on to serve as the international’s vice president. “[W]e are powerless in an isolated condition,” Gompers said, “while the capitalists are united; therefore it is the duty of every Cigar Maker to join the organization.”
Edwards v. California
November 24, 1941 in Edwards v. California the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional a California law barring indigents from entering the state. California passed the law during the Depression in an effort to keep poor migrants out of the state and thereby avoid the costs of public relief. The Court majority held that the law violated the Commerce Clause of the Constitution. Justices William O. Douglas, joined by Hugo Black, Frank Murphy and Robert Jackson, however, argued that the law violated the Privileges and Immunities clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Justice Douglas in dissent: “. . . I am of the opinion that the right of persons to move freely from State to State occupies a more protected position in our constitutional system than does the movement of cattle, fruit, steel and coal across state lines . . . The conclusion that the right of free movement is a right of national citizenship stands on firm historical ground.”
November 24, 1947: the House of Representatives issued citations for Contempt of Congress to the Hollywood Ten—John Howard Lawson, Alvah Bessie, Herbert Biberman, Lester Cole, Edward Dmytryk, Ring Lardner Jr., Albert Maltz, Samuel Ornitz, Adrian Scott, and Dalton Trumbo. They had refused to cooperate at hearings dealing with communism in the movie industry held by the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). The "Hollywood 10," as the men were known, were sentenced to one year in jail. The Supreme Court later upheld the contempt charges.
Lee Harvey Oswald
November 24, 1963, Jack Ruby murdered Lee Harvey Oswald at the Dallas jail where Oswald is being held.
November 24, 1966, after live performances: began recording Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club Band.November 24, 1973: Ringo Starr becomes the third former Beatle to earn a solo #1 hit when "Photograph" tops the Billboard Hot 100
My Lai Massacre
November 24, 1969: U.S. Army officials announced that 1st Lt. William Calley would be court-martialed for the premeditated murder of 109 Vietnamese civilians at My Lai. Army Secretary Stanley Resor and Army Chief of Staff William C. Westmoreland announced the appointment of Lt. Gen. William R. Peers to "explore the nature and scope" of the original investigation of the My Lai slayings in April 1968. The initial probe, conducted by the unit involved in the affair, concluded that no massacre occurred and that no further action was warranted.
November 24, 1976, : a Washington, DC Robert Randall, afflicted by glaucoma, employed the little-used Common Law Doctrine of Necessity to defend himself against criminal charges of marijuana cultivation (US v. Randall). On November 24, 1976, federal Judge James Washington ruled Randall's use of marijuana constituted a 'medical necessity...' Judge Washington dismissed criminal charges against Randall. Concurrent with this judicial determination, federal agencies responding to a May, 1976 petition filed by Randall, began providing this patient with licit, FDA-approved access to government supplies of medical marijuana. Randall was the first American to receive marijuana for the treatment of a medical disorder.
Nuclear & chemical weapons
November 24, 1987: the US and the Soviet Union agreed to scrap shorter- and medium-range missiles in the first superpower treaty to eliminate an entire class of nuclear weapons.November 24, 2013: the US and five other world powers announced a landmark accord that would temporarily freeze Iran’s nuclear program and lay the foundation for a more sweeping agreement. It was the first time in nearly a decade, American officials said, that an international agreement had been reached to halt much of Iran’s nuclear program and roll some elements of it back. In return for the initial agreement, the US agreed to provide $6 billion to $7 billion in sanctions relief. Of this, roughly $4.2 billion would be oil revenue that has been frozen in foreign banks.
Crime and Punishment
November 24, 2015: Governor Steve Beshear, Democrat of Kentucky, issued an executive order restoring voting rights for nonviolent ex-felons who had completed their sentences. The order gave 170,000 ex-offenders the opportunity to register to vote, according to the Brennan Center for Justice.
November 16, 1916,: to the huge relief of Post Office Department employees, the service sets a limit of 200 pounds a day to be shipped by any one customer. Builders were finding it cheaper to send supplies via post than via wagon freight. In one instance, 80,000 bricks for a new bank were shipped parcel post from Salt Lake City to Vernal, Utah, 170 miles away. The new directive also barred the shipment of humans: a child involved in a couple’s custody fight was shipped—for 17¢—from Stillwell to South Bend, Ind., in a crate labeled “live baby”
NFL Strike Ends
November 16, 1982, the National Football League Players Association ended a 57-day strike that shortened the season to nine games. The players wanted, but failed to win until many years later, a higher share of gross team revenues
Vietnam from Kennedy to Clinton
November 16, 1961, Vietnam: President Kennedy decided to increase military aid to South Vietnam without committing U.S. combat troops. (click >>> NYT Article)
President Clinton, Vietnam
November 16, 2000, Vietnam: Bill Clinton became the first sitting U.S. President to visit Vietnam. (click >>> Vietnam)
November 16, 1938: Albert Hofmann, a chemist working for Sandoz Pharmaceutical in Basel, Switzerland, was the first to synthesize LSD-25. He discovered LSD, a semi-synthetic derivative of ergot alkaloids, while looking for a blood stimulant.
November 16, 1945, The Red Scare and the Cold War: in a move that stirred up some controversy, the US shipped 88 German scientists to America to assist the nation in its production of rocket technology. Most of the men had served under the Nazi regime and critics questioned the morality of placing them in the service of America. Nevertheless, the U.S. government, desperate to acquire the scientific know-how that had produced the terrifying and destructive V-1 and V-2 rockets for Germany during WWII, and fearful that the Russians were also utilizing captured German scientists for the same end, welcomed the men with open arms.
November 16, 1990, Native Americans: The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act required federal agencies and institutions that receive federal funding to return Native American "cultural items" to lineal descendants and culturally affiliated Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations. Cultural items include human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects, and objects of cultural patrimony. A program of federal grants assists in the repatriation process and the Secretary of the Interior could assess civil penalties on museums that failed to comply.
October 24, 1940, US Labor History: the 40-hour work week went into effect in the United States. (click → NYT article)October 24, 1954, Vietnam: President Eisenhower wrote to South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem and promised direct assistance to his government. Eisenhower made it clear to Diem that U.S. aid to his government during Vietnam's "hour of trial" was contingent upon his assurances of the "standards of performance [he] would be able to maintain in the event such aid were supplied." Eisenhower called for land reform and a reduction of government corruption. Diem agreed to the "needed reforms" stipulated as a precondition for receiving aid, but he never actually followed through on his promises. Ultimately his refusal to make any substantial changes to meet the needs of the people led to extreme civil unrest and eventually a coup by dissident South Vietnamese generals in which Diem and his brother were murdered. (click → NYT article)October 24 – November 13, 1960: “I Want to Be Wanted” by Benda Lee #1 Billboard Hot 100. She was 15-years-old.
October 24, 1962, The Cold War & Cuban Missile Crisis: the Soviet news agency Telegrafnoe Agentstvo Sovetskogo Soyuza (TASS) broadcast a telegram from Khrushchev to President Kennedy, in which Khrushchev warned that the United States' "pirate action" would lead to war. President John F. Kennedy spoke before reporters during a televised speech to the nation about the strategic blockade of Cuba, and his warning to the Soviet Union about missile sanctions.October 24, 1966, Vietnam: in Manila, President Johnson met with other Allied leaders and they pledged to withdraw troops from Vietnam within six months if North Vietnam "withdraws its forces to the North and ceases infiltration of South Vietnam." A communiqué signed by the seven participants (Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, South Vietnam, the Philippines, Thailand, and the United States) included a four-point "Declaration of Peace" that stressed the need for a "peaceful settlement of the war in Vietnam and for future peace and progress" in the rest of Asia and the Pacific. After the conference, Johnson flew to South Vietnam for a surprise two-and-a-half-hour visit with U.S. troops at Cam Ranh Bay. (click → NYT johnson statements)October 24, 1968, LSD : possession of LSD banned federally in the U.S. after the passage of the Staggers-Dodd Bill (Public Law 90-639) which amended the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.