Tag Archives: Martin Luther King Jr

Izola Curry Stabs Martin Luther King Jr

Izola Curry Stabs Martin Luther King Jr

September 20, 1958

Izola Curry Stabs Martin Luther King Jr

Martin Luther King, Jr

Boomers remember the day that James Earl Ray assassinated Martin Luther King, Jr 1968 had begun with the disillusioning Tet Offensive and June 5 brought Sirhan Sirhan's assassination of Robert Kennedy on the night RFK mostly wrapped up the Democratic nomination for president.

When Ray assassinated King, it didn't bring surprise or shock so much as worry and wonder. When would the violence end? 

1958 book signing

Martin Luther King, Jr was in New York City signing copies of his recently published book, Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story in Blumstein's department store. Izola Ware Curry was on line with others who were waiting for King to sign a copy of the book. 

Izola Ware Curry was a woman with mental illness. The illness prevented her from holding a job. She moved regularly in hopes of finding a permanent job and living in a permanent location.

Izola Curry Stabs Martin Luther King Jr

When she came up to King she asked him if he was Martin Luther King, Jr. When King replied yes, she said, "I've been looking for you for five years," then stabbed him in the chest with a steel letter opener.

NYPD officers Al Howard and Phil Romano responded. Very luckily for King, Howard told him, "Don’t sneeze, don’t even speak." At the Harlem Hospital, chief of thoracic and vascular surgery John W. V. Cordice, Jr., and trauma surgeon Emil Naclerio [who had been attending a wedding and arrived still in a tuxedo] were the first to treat King. They  inserted a rib spreader, making King’s aorta visible. 

Chief of Surgery Aubre de Lambert Maynard then entered and attempted to pull out the letter opener, but cut his glove on the blade; a surgical clamp was finally used to remove it.

While it may seem that a letter opener is not necessarily a very dangerous weapon, had Curry's thrust gone any deeper it would have hit King's aorta and likely killed him.

Aftermath

When King later spoke of the incident, he sometimes told about how many letter of encouragement he'd received. Even from President Eisenhower and Vice President Richard Nixon. But he typically spoke about a letter that a high school student from White Plains, NY sent: 
Dear Dr. King,

I am a ninth-grade student at the White Plains High School. While it should not matter, I would like to mention that I’m a white girl. I read in the paper of your misfortune, and of your suffering. And I read that if you had sneezed, you would have died. And I’m simply writing you to say that I’m so happy that you didn’t sneeze.

With gallows humor, King always closed the telling by saying, "And I'm glad I didn't sneeze, too." He  referred to the letter the day before Ray assassinated him.

Izola Curry

A grand jury indicted Isola Curry, but psychiatrists found her too ill to be responsible for her actions. She first went to Matteawan State Hospital for the Criminally Insane, near Poughkeepsie, N.Y. She remained there for some 14 years. She was later institutionalized for about a year at the Manhattan Psychiatric Center on Wards Island, in the East River. She lived in a series of residential-care homes before entering a nursing home in Queens, NY.

She died there on March 7, 2015 with no known relatives. (NYT obit)
PDF NYT article: MLK stabbed

Izola Curry Stabs Martin Luther King Jr, Izola Curry Stabs Martin Luther King Jr, Izola Curry Stabs Martin Luther King Jr, Izola Curry Stabs Martin Luther King Jr, Izola Curry Stabs Martin Luther King Jr, Izola Curry Stabs Martin Luther King Jr, 

Please follow and like us:

November 18 Peace Love Activism

November 18 Peace Love Activism

Feminism

Voting Rights
November 18, 1913: a mass suffrage meeting in Washington, DC, heard an address by the British suffragist leader Emmeline Pethick Lawrence. The meeting was also the occasion to welcome back to Washington leaders of the American Congressional Union, the principal lobby organization for a suffrage amendment to the Constitution. The Congressional Union leaders had just returned from a lobbying trip through western states in the U.S.  

The American Congressional Union was led by Alice Paul, who then led militant suffrage pickets of the White House in 1917, which played a major role on causing President Woodrow Wilson to end his opposition to women’s suffrage. (see Nov 21)
Alice Paul
November 18, 1917:  Alice Paul, leader of the militant protests in front of the White House in support of a constitutional amendment granting women the right to vote, was on this day transferred from the prison to the prison hospital. She and several other supporters had begun a hunger strike in the prison, and after 78 days was force-fed on November 8, 1917. Paul had been confined in the psychopathic ward of the prison, and was so weak from the hunger strike that she was transferred to the prison hospital on a stretcher.         

Paul managed to smuggle out of the prison a hand-written account of her ordeal. She explained that she had been denied letters, books, visitors, and decent food.

Paul had first organized pickets of the White House in early 1913. as Woodrow Wilson became president. The picketing escalated in 1917, and members of Paul’s group were on several occasions attacked by anti-feminists while the police stood by making no arrests. (see Nov 21)
Women’s Health
November 18, 1921: Margaret Sanger gave a speech on “The Morality of Birth Control,” at the Park Theater in New York City five days after the police had closed down an earlier meeting of the first birth control conference in the U.S where she was scheduled to speak.. The New York Times reported that the police intervention on that occasion was “brought about at the instance of Archbishop Patrick J. Hayes of the NY Roman Catholic Archdiocese.”

In 1923 Margaret Sanger successfully opened the first legal Women’s Health clinic in the U.S. with the stated intent of only using contraceptives for medical purposes, such as the prevention of life-threatening pregnancies. (see April 23, 1929)

INDEPENDENCE DAYS

Latvia
November 18, 1918:  Latvia independent from Russia. (see Dec 1)
Morocco
November 18, 1956:  Morocco independent from France and Spain. (see March 6, 1957)

Black History

Marcus Garvey
November 18, 1927: President Coolidge commuted Garvey’s sentence. Garvey wass released from the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary and taken to New Orleans for deportation. (see Garvey for full story; )
Sen. Coleman Blease
In 1928, Sen. Coleman Blease (D-SC), a Ku Klux Klan supporter who had previously served as South Carolina's governor, made a third attempt to amend the U.S. Constitution in order to ban interracial marriage in every state. Like its predecessors, it failed. (see June 12)
Martin Luther King, Jr, the FBI
November 18 Peace Love Activism
Albany Movement
November 18, 1962: Martin Luther King, Jr accused agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Albany, Ga., of siding with the segregationists. “One of the great problems we face with the FBI in the South is that the agents are white Southerners who have been influenced by the mores of the community. To maintain their status, they have to be friendly with the local police and people who are promoting segregation. Every time I saw an FBI man in Albany, they were with the local police force.” (BH, see Nov 20; AM, see March 7, 1963)
J. Edgar Hoover
November 18 Peace Love Activism
Martin Luther King, Jr and the FBI
November 18, 1964: FBI director J. Edgar Hoover characterized Martin Luther King Jr as "the most notorious liar in the country." King replied that Hoover "has apparently faltered under the awesome burden, complexities, and responsibilities of his office."

In 2014, on the 50th anniversary of Hoover's characterization the radio show, Democracy Now, had an extended piece on the relationship between Martin Luther King, Jr and the FBI. Martin Luther King, Jr and the FBI(BH, see Nov 18; MLK, see Nov 21)
Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing

November 18 Peace Love Activism

November 18, 1977: The NY Times reported: Fourteen years after a dynamite bomb exploded here at the 16th Street Baptist Church and killed four young black girls in one of the worst racial incidents in Southern history, a jury of three blacks and nine whites delivered a murder conviction of Robert  Chambliss. (Robert Chambliss guilty) (BH, see February 1, 1978; Sixteenth Street, see May 1, 2001)
SOUTH AFRICA/APARTHEID
November 18, 1993: black and white leaders endorsed a new constitution for South Africa that tried to balance majority rule with safeguards to reassure whites and other minorities. But the Zulu-based Inkatha Freedom Party and an array of white separatist groups threatened to boycott elections and hint at insurrection. (Apartheid, see January 3, 1994; Mandela, see April 27, 1994)
Trayvon Martin Shooting
November 18, 2013: police arrested George Zimmerman for allegedly pointing a shotgun at his girlfriend and pushing her out of her house as he packed to move out, the Seminole County Sheriff's Office said. Zimmerman barricaded himself in the house Samantha Scheibe rented in Apopka, which he had shared with her since around August, Chief Deputy Dennis Lemma said at a news conference. She gave deputies a key, and they pushed aside furniture he had piled against the door. (see February 24, 2015)
137 SHOTS
November 18, 2014: without any major filings or motions from either side, the city of Cleveland settled a wrongful death suit with the families of Timothy Russell and Marissa Williams (see November 29, 2012)  for $3 million. Police killed Russell and Williams at the end of a car chase that most likely started when a cop mistook the backfire of a car for a gunshot.

Of the 13 officers involved in the fatal shooting one was indicted for involuntary manslaughter. Five others were charged with dereliction of duty for allowing the chase to escalate. They had all pled not guilty. (see Nov 28)

Technological Milestones

November 18

November 18, 1928: the first successful sound-synchronized animated cartoon, Walt Disney's "Steamboat Willie" starring Mickey Mouse, premiered in New York. (see January 31, 1930) 

November 18

November 18, 1963: the advent of the push-button phone, officially introduced in two Pennsylvania communities, Carnegie and Greensburg. (see Nov 22) 

Vietnam

November 18, 1961: President Kennedy sent 18,000 military advisors to South Vietnam. (see Dec 11)

Cold War

November 18, 1963: at the Americana Hotel in Miami President John F. Kennedy told the Inter-American Press Association that only one issue separated the United States from Fidel Castro’s Cuba: Castro’s “conspirators” had handed Cuban sovereignty to “forces beyond the hemisphere” (meaning the Soviet Union), which were using Cuba “to subvert the other American republics.” Kennedy said, “As long as this is true, nothing is possible. Without it, everything is possible.”

That same day, Ambassador William Attwood, a Kennedy delegate to the United Nations, secretly called Castro’s aide and physician, Rene Vallejo, to discuss a possible secret meeting in Havana between Attwood and Castro that might improve the Cuban-American relationship. Attwood had been told by Castro’s U.N. ambassador, Carlos Lechuga, in September 1963, that the Cuban leader wished to establish back-channel communications with Washington.

Kennedy’s national security adviser, McGeorge Bundy, told Attwood that J.F.K. wanted to “know more about what is on Castro’s mind before committing ourselves to further talks on Cuba.” He said that as soon as Attwood and Lechuga could agree on an agenda, the president would tell him what to say to Castro (see Cuban Missile Crisis)

November 18 Music et al

November 18, 1963: NBC’s evening news program, The Huntley-Brinkley Report, aired a four-minute segment on the Beatles. (see Nov 22)

LGBTQ

Anita Bryant
November 18, 1977: a federal judge dismissed a $5 million lawsuit accusing Anita Bryant of conducting a hate campaign against homosexuals. The suit had been filed by the parents of Robert Hillsborough (Hillsborough, see June 21, 1977 ; LGBTQ, see November 27, 1978)
Goodridge v. Department of Public Health
November 18, 2003: the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled in Goodridge v Department of Public Health that the state constitution mandates the freedom to marry for same-sex couples. Three months later, the Court reaffirmed its decision, stating that only marriage - not separate and lesser mechanisms, such as civil union - sufficiently protects same-sex couples and their families. (see February 4, 2004)
Rev Frank Schaefer
November 18, 2013: a 13-member jury convicted the Rev Frank Schaefer, a United Methodist pastor, of breaking church law by officiating his son's same-sex wedding. Schaefer could be defrocked after a high-profile trial that has rekindled debate over the denomination's policy on gay marriage. The Methodist church put  Schaefer on trial in southeastern Pennsylvania, accusing him of breaking his pastoral vows by presiding over the 2007 ceremony in Massachusetts. The jury convicted Schaefer on two charges: that he officiated a gay wedding, and that he showed "disobedience to the order and discipline of the United Methodist Church." (LGBTQ, see Nov 18; Schaefer, see Dec 16)

Ronald Reagan & the Iran–Contra Affair

November 18, 1987: U.S. Senate and House panels released reports charging President Ronald Reagan with 'ultimate responsibility' for the affair. (see March 16, 1988)

SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE

November 18, 2002: in August 2001, Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore had a 5,280-pound block of granite with the Ten Commandments engraved on it in the rotunda of the Alabama Judicial Building.

A group of lawyers consisting of Stephen R. Glassroth, Melinda Maddox and Beverly Howard, who felt their clients might not receive fair treatment if they did not share Moore's religious opinion, and that the placement of the monument violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, filed civil suits in Federal Court against Justice Moore in his official capacity as Chief Justice to have the monument removed.

On this date, the District Court held the monument violated the Establishment Clause. The following day, the District Court directed Moore to remove the monument from the building. (see August 22, 2003)

 

Occupy Wall Street

November 18

November 18, 2011: a group of University of California Davis occupy protesters who were sitting passively on the ground with their arms interlocked was pepper sprayed by an campus security guard, an action the university chancellor  called "chilling to us all." (see January 3, 2012
November 18 Peace Love Activism

Stand Your Ground

November 18, 2013: Police arrested George Zimmerman for allegedly pointing a shotgun at his girlfriend and pushing her out of her house as he packed to move out, the Seminole County Sheriff's Office said. Zimmerman barricaded himself in the house Samantha Scheibe rented in Apopka, which he had shared with her since around August, Chief Deputy Dennis Lemma said at a news conference. She gave deputies a key, and they pushed aside furniture he had piled against the door. 

DEATH PENALTY

November 18, 2013: US Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor called for a new look at whether judges should be allowed to overrule juries to impose death sentences, saying that elected judges in Alabama “appear to have succumbed to electoral pressures” in making such decisions. Although three states allow judges to override jury recommendations that a killer receive life in prison — Florida and Delaware are the others — only judges in Alabama are using the power, Sotomayor wrote. (see February 11, 2014)

November 18 Peace Love Activism, November 18 Peace Love Activism, November 18 Peace Love Activism, November 18 Peace Love Activism, November 18 Peace Love Activism, November 18 Peace Love Activism, November 18 Peace Love Activism, November 18 Peace Love Activism, November 18 Peace Love Activism, November 18 Peace Love Activism, November 18 Peace Love Activism, November 18 Peace Love Activism, November 18 Peace Love Activism, 

Please follow and like us:

Monday 19 October

emma goldman 1890October 19, 1890, Anarchism in the US and Emma Goldman :  Goldman (age 21) spoke in Baltimore to members of the International Working People's Association in the afternoon. She later spoke in German to the Workers' Educational Society at Canmakers' Hall. Michael Cohn and William Harvey also speak. This is the first lecture by Goldman to be reported in the mainstream press.

lucy burnsOctober 1917, Feminism & Voting Rights: Lucy Burns, inspired by several Socialist Party suffrage prisoners, led a campaign in prison demanding suffragists be treated as political prisoners; she threatened a hunger strike if the demand was not met. The petition was secretly circulated among inmates, smuggled out, and presented to commissioners of District of Columbia. Every woman signing petition put in solitary confinement.

 

in October 1926, Anarchism in the US and Emma Goldman: after being deported to Russia in 1919 (and becoming disillusioned there) Goldman moved to Great Britain  and later marrying a British citizen, With British citizenship, Goldman sailed for Canada to lecture; its proximity to the US rekindled her hope for readmission to the U.S.

 

MLK arrestedOctober 19, 1960, BLACK HISTORY &  MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR: King was arrested along with students, eventually numbering 280, after conducting mass sit-ins at Rich’s Department Store and other Atlanta stores. The others were freed, but the judge sentenced King to four months in prison. Legal efforts secured his release after eight days. A boycott of the store followed, and by the fall of 1961, Rich’s began to desegregate.

 

wed am s & G

October 19, 1964: Simon & Garfunkel released Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M. Initially a flop, but after release of their second album, Sounds of Silence in 1966, it hit #30 on the Billboard charts.


agnew
October 19, 1969, Vietnam: Vice President Spiro T. Agnew referred to anti-Vietnam War protesters "an effete corps of impudent snobs."

 

October 19, 1973: after President Nixon requested Congress appropriate $2.2 billion in emergency aid for Israel,  Libya, Saudi Arabia and other Arab states proclaim an embargo on oil exports to the United States.

 

An Iranian command and control platform is set afire after being shelled by four US Navy destroyers. The shelling is a response to a recent Iranian missile attack on a reflagged Kuwaiti super tanker.

October 19, 1987, TERRORISM: two U.S. warships shelled an Iranian oil platform in the Persian Gulf in response to Iran's Silkworm missile attack on the U.S. flagged ship MV Sea Isle City. (click → NYT article)

 

October 19, 2009, Marijuana:  the Department of Justice issued a memo, known subsequently as the Ogden memo, to "provide clarification and guidance to federal prosecutors in States that have enacted laws authorizing the medical use of marijuana."  In an effort to make the most efficient use of limited resources, the DOJ announced that prosecutorial priorities should not target "individuals whose actions are in clear and unambiguous compliance with existing state laws providing for the medical use of marijuana." Specifically, individuals with cancer or other serious illnesses who use medical marijuana and the caregivers who provide the medical marijuana in accordance with state law should not be the focus of federal prosecution. The memo clarified that "prosecution of commercial enterprises that unlawfully market and sell marijuana for profit continues to be an enforcement priority." It is also explicitly stated that the memo "does not 'legalize' marijuana or provide a legal defense to a violation of federal law." (click → NYT article)

 

October 19, 2010, LGBT: US Federal Judge struck down the appeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell by the Department of Justice. The US Military begins accepting applications for gay service members. Don't ask, don't tell temporarily ends. (click → NYT article)
Please follow and like us: