Tag Archives: Separation of Church and State

November 4

November 4

DEATH PENALTY
SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE
 November 4
November 4, 1646:  the Massachusetts General Court approved a law requiring all members of the colony to recognize the Bible as the Word of God, under penalty of death.

November 4, 1890, BLACK HISTORY: Benjamin Ryan Tillman was elected governor of South Carolina. An outspoken white supremacist, Tillman advocated for violence against African American voters and staunchly opposed educational access for black people.

                Tillman’s political career catapulted to success after his involvement in the 1876 Hamburg Massacre, where white men rioted and killed nine people in a predominantly African American town in South Carolina. In his gubernatorial campaign, Tillman promised to keep the state’s African American population in a position of permanent inferiority. In his inaugural address and throughout his administration, he emphasized white supremacy and the necessity to revoke African Americans’ rights. Concerning the education of African Americans, Tillman argued, “when you educate a Negro, you educate a candidate for the penitentiary or spoil a good field hand.”

                He served two terms as governor and played a critical role in the 1895 South Carolina Constitutional Convention. In order to vote under the revised constitution, a man had to own property, pay a poll tax, pass a literacy test, and meet certain educational standards. The 1895 constitution disenfranchised African American voters and served as a model for other southern states.

                Tillman was elected United States Senator for South Carolina in 1895, and he served in this capacity for twenty-four years. Throughout his tenure, he opposed African American equality, women’s suffrage, and any federal interference in state government. Tillman’s philosophy helped shape the era of oppression and abuse of African Americans throughout the South. A statue honoring Tillman still stands on the grounds of South Carolina’s State Capitol. 

November 4, 1922, BLACK HISTORY: the National Equal Rights League presented a petition signed by thousands of people from fifteen States calling for Congress to consider the Dyer Anti-Lynching bill. 

Bob Dylan, Carnegie Chapter Hall

November 4

November 4, 1961: Dylan played a concert at Carnegie Chapter Hall, a smaller room than the famous bigger room. There are varying reports on how many people attended the concert. The number ranges between 47 and 53, pretty much all friends and family.
The Beatles before their US appearance
Royal Variety Show
November 4
The Beatles greet the Queen Mother
November 4, 1963: The Beatles performed their legendary Royal Command Performance at the Prince of Wales Theatre, London, before the Queen Mother and Princess Margaret. Technically The Beatles were 7th on a 19-act bill, but there was no doubt that they were, in fact, the main attraction. The Beatles called upon their masterful showmanship to put on a stunning four-song performance. They began playing their first song, "From Me to You", before the curtain opened. John and Paul, at the end of the first song, moved their microphones nearer to the audience. After playing their second song, "She Loves You", The Beatles bowed to the audience. A nervous Paul cracked a joke about Sophie Tucker being The Beatles' favorite American group, then they performed "Till There Was You". At the end of that song, Paul and John moved their microphone stands back to their original position. After waiting for the applause to die down, John introduced "Twist and Shout", requesting that persons in the cheaper seats join in by clapping their hands, while everyone else should just "rattle your jewelry". At the end of "Twist and Shout", Ringo came down from his drum kit and joined the others; as the curtain closed behind them, they bowed to the audience, then they bowed to the royal box, and then they ran off the stage to thunderous applause.

                The show was taped for later broadcast on both television and radio. Their entire performance was broadcast on television, by ATV, on November 10. BBC radio broadcast all but "She Loves You", also on November 10. The Beatles were a sensation all across Britain, the Royal Command Performance being a huge triumph for them. The Beatles were the entertainment kings in the UK; soon they would be ready to tackle America and the rest of the world. Three of the performances ("She Loves You", "Till There Was You", and "Twist and Shout") are included on "The Beatles Anthology 1" (Disc 2, Tracks 1-3). ."

November 4, 1964, FREE SPEECH: comedian Lenny Bruce was arrested for obscenity in New York City. He was arrested many times in his career on charges of obscenity (October 4, 1961). His style of humor, radical for its time, savagely attacked American hypocrisy on sex, religion and race. Many believe that his arrests were provoked more by his attacks on the Catholic Church than for the dirty words in his routines. 
November 4, 1965, BLACK HISTORYTERRORISM: Federal Judge William Herlands sentenced Robert Collier to 5 years in prison; Walter Bowe received a three-year sentence; and Khaleel Sayyed received an 18-month sentence.

Iran hostage crisis, Terrorism

November 4
Iranian students climb over the wall of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran on November 4,
November 4, 1979, : Iran hostage crisis begins: 3,000 Iranian radicals, mostly students, invade the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and take 90 hostages (53 of whom are American). They demand that the United States send the former Shah of Iran back to stand trial. (click >>> NYT article re Students invade embassy)

November 4

November 4, 1980: Ronald Reagan defeated incumbent President Jimmy Carter, exactly 1 year after the beginning of the Iran hostage crisis. (click >>> "After the celebrations over Ronald Reagan's spectacular victory, come the hangovers.")

November 4, 1986, DEATH PENALTY, California Chief Justice Rose Bird and two other 'liberal' members of the state supreme court were ousted in a retention election. The election followed a bitter campaign that centered on the three justices' records in death penalty cases. 

USS Cole

November 4
November 4
Qaed Salim Sinan al-Hareth
November 4, 2002: Qaed Salim Sinan al-Harethi, a suspected al-Qaeda operative, who is believed to have planned the USS Cole attack, was killed by the CIA using an AGM-114 Hellfire missile launched from an MQ-1 Predator drone. (click >>> NYT article)
Black History, Barak H Obama
Marijuana
Gay marriage
November 4
Barak H Obama and family
November 4, 2008:  Barak Obama elected President. First Black American elected President of the US. (click for transcript of Obama's victory speech >>> Victory speech)

November 4

No on Prop 8 posterNovember 4, 2008: California voters approved a ban on same-sex marriage called Proposition 8. The attorney general of California, Jerry Brown, asked the state's Supreme Court to review the constitutionality of Proposition 8. The ban threw into question the validity of the more than 18,000 marriages already performed, but Attorney General Brown reiterated in a news release that he believed the same-sex marriages performed in California before November 4 should remain valid and the California Supreme Court, which upheld the ban in May 2009, agreed, allowing those couples married under the old law to remain that way; also, voters in Arizona, and Florida approved the passage of measures that ban same-sex marriage. Arkansas passed a measure intended to bar gay men and lesbians from adopting children. (click for article re day before California vote >>> Rush to marry)

"Sixty-three percent of Michigan voters approved Proposal 1 (the law took effect on December 4, 2008). It removed state-level criminal penalties on the use, possession and cultivation of marijuana by patients who possess written documentation from their physicians authorizing the medical use of marijuana."

November 4, 2013, Birth Control:  the US Supreme Court left intact a state court decision invalidating an Oklahoma law that effectively banned the so-called abortion pill RU-486. 
November 4, 2013, BLACK HISTORY & Murders of Three Civil Rights Workers: the U.S. Supreme Court rejected an appeal from Edgar Ray Killen, convicted of manslaughter in 2005 for the 1964 slayings of three civil rights workers in what became known as the "Mississippi Burning" case. The decision means the justices won't review lower-court rulings that found no violations of Killen's constitutional rights during his trial in Mississippi. 
November 4, 2014, Marijuana:   
  • Oregon voters approved Measure 91, a proposal which would legalize the possession of up to eight ounces of cannabis, a limit that was eight times higher than that of Washington and Colorado. The initiative would also allow everyone 21 and older to cultivate up to four plants, and purchase cannabis from state-licensed outlets, which would open by 2016.
  • In Alaska, Ballot Measure 2 was approved with 52% of the vote. This initiative legalized the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis, as well as the private cultivation of up to six plants. The proposal also allowed for cannabis retail outlets. (see February 24, 2015)
  • In Washington D.C voters approved Initiative 71. Once it takes effect – after a 30-day congressional review period – the proposal would legalize the possession of up to two ounces of cannabis for those 21 and older, in addition to allowing for the private cultivation of up to six plants. Although the initiative did not allow for cannabis retail outlets, the district’s Council was considering legislation to change that.
  • In California, voters approved Proposition 47, a proposal which removed felony charges for numerous nonviolent crimes such as drug possession and petty theft. The initiative, which would free up prison space and save the state hundreds of millions of dollars annually, was approved with 57% of the vote.
  • In Florida, Amendment 2 (legalization of medical cannabis ) was defeated, failing to garner the 60% required to be passed into law.
  • In Michigan, voters gave approval to cannabis decriminalization initiatives in the cities of Saginaw, Huntington Woods, Pleasant Ridge, Port Huron, Mount Pleasant and Berkley. These initiatives removed criminal penalties within the city for the possession, use and transfer of up to an ounce of cannabis. Similar initiatives were voted down in Clare, Frankford, Harrison, Lapeer and Onaway counties.
  • In Maine, voters in South Portland passed an initiative to legalize up to an ounce of cannabis, joining Portland which approved a similar initiative last year. A legalization initiative was rejected in Lewiston 
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October 27

October 27

October 27October 27, 1659, SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE: during the late 1650s, the government of colonial Massachusetts felt deeply threatened by the Quaker religion. Puritan leaders thought it could destabilize society by undermining their culture and religion. Laws were passed that outlawed Quakerism. Being a Quaker, meeting with or aiding a Quaker, or publishing Quaker material was punished by banishment from the territory, on pain of death.

The first Quakers to break the laws were Marmaduke Stevenson, William Robinson, Mary Dyar, and Nicholas Davis. On September 12, 1659, they were banished from Massachusetts, and if any of them returned, they would be put to death. Dyar and Davis left Massachusetts. Stevenson and Robinson ignored the ruling, and went to Salem, MA to spread their gospel. The pair were quickly apprehended and imprisoned in Boston. Dyar left Massachusetts but was compelled to return, and she was also locked up.

On October 27, 1659, Stevenson, Robinson, and Dyar were paraded by 200 armed men through the town of Boston to the place of execution at Boston Neck. They tenderly hugged each other, and each cheerfully climbed the gallows-ladder while praising the Lord. Stevenson and Robinson were executed, but Dyar received a reprieve. She demanded to be hanged like her brethren, but was not executed. Dyar was banished once again, and was eventually hanged in 1660 for returning to the colony.

October 27, 1904: New York City Mayor George McClellan took the controls on the inaugural run of the city's innovative new rapid transit system: the subway. While London boasts the world's oldest underground train network (opened in 1863) and Boston built the first subway in the United States in 1897, the New York City subway soon became the largest American system. More than 100 workers died during the construction of the first 13 miles of tunnels and track  (click → NYT subway)
October 27October 27, 1947, The Red Scare, McCarthyism, and the Cold War: screenwriter John Howard Lawson, a witness before the House Un-American Activities Committee, refused to answer, on constitutional grounds, whether he is or was a member of the Communist Party. He was ejected from the hearing and later charged with contempt of Congress. (click → NYT article)

October 27, 1951, BLACK HISTORY & US Labor History: The National Labor Council was formed in Cincinnati to unite Black workers in the struggle for full economic, political and social equality. The group was to function for five years before disbanding, having forced many AFL and CIO unions to adopt non-discrimination policies.

October 27, 1960, BLACK HISTORY & MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR: King was released from jail. Word about John Kennedy’s call circulated widely in the African-American community. Some political commentators believed the publicity gained Kennedy enough African-American votes to give him victory in the November presidential election, but others dispute this interpretation.
October 27October 27, 1962, The Cold War & Cuban Missile Crisis: Radio Moscow began broadcasting a message from Khrushchev. The message offered a new trade, that the missiles on Cuba would be removed in exchange for the removal of the Jupiter missiles from Italy and Turkey.  Cuba shot down a US U2 plane with surface to air missile killing the pilot, Rudolph Anderson. U.S. Army anti-aircraft rockets sat, mounted on launchers and pointed out over the Florida Straits in Key West, Florida.

October 27, 1962, The Beatles before their US appearance:  “Love Me Do/PS I Love You” #48 on UK Melody Maker hit parade.

October 27, 1967, Future Woodstock Performers: Ten Years After released its first album, Ten Years After. Alvin Lee, age 22. 

October 27, 1968, Vietnam: in London, 50,000 protested the Vietnam war.

October 27, 1970, LSD : The Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act  passed. Part II of this is the Controlled Substance Act (CSA) which defined a scheduling system for drugs. It placed most of the known hallucinogens (LSD, psilocybin, psilocin, mescaline, peyote, cannabis, & MDA) in Schedule I. It placed coca, cocaine, and injectable methamphetamine in Schedule II. Other amphetamines and stimulants, including non-injectable methamphetamine were placed in Schedule III. 

October 27, 1986, Crime and Punishment: President Ronald Reagan signed the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986. The law created a significant disparity in the sentences imposed in federal courts for crimes involving powdered cocaine versus the sentences imposed for crimes involving crack cocaine. The law imposed certain mandatory minimum sentences for crimes involving certain quantities of powdered cocaine, but those mandatory sentences could also be triggered by crimes involving only one percent of that quantity in cases of crack cocaine. For instance, a drug crime involving five grams of crack cocaine resulted in a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in federal prison, but crimes involving less than 500 grams of powdered cocaine would not trigger the five year minimum sentence.

                This one hundred-to-one sentencing disparity, which was not based on credible scientific evidence about differing biological impacts between cocaine in powder form versus crack form, has had a significant impact on the mass incarceration of African Americans. In the years following the enactment of the Anti-Drug Abuse Act, admissions of African Americans to federal prison spiked from approximately 50 admissions per 100,000 adults to nearly 250 admissions per 100,000 adults, while there was almost no change among whites. Disparities in sentence lengths also increased. In 1986, African Americans received drug sentences that were 11% longer than sentences received by whites, on average, but that disparity increased to 49% in the years following the law's enactment. This law, and similar laws, had a significant role in increasing the incarcerated population from approximately 500,000 in 1980 to nearly 2.3 million in 2013.

October 27,  1997, Jack Kevorkian: the Oregon Death with Dignity Act, which was approved by referendum on November 8, 1994, and which allows voluntary end of life, took effect on this day. The law allows individuals to voluntarily end their own lives by ingesting a life-ending drug that is prescribed by a licensed physician. The law has survived two challenges. Oregon voters rejected a repeal measure by a margin of 60 percent in 1997. And in 2006, the Supreme Court upheld the law, in Gonzales v. Oregon.

October 27, 2014, LGBTQ: the Judicial Council of the nation's second-largest Protestant denomination ruled that a Pennsylvania church jury was wrong to defrock Frank Schaefer last year after he would not promise never to perform another same-sex wedding.

                The council ruled on technical grounds and did not express support for gay marriage in general. Its decision was final. 

October 9 Peace Love Activism

October 9 Peace Love Activism

SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE

October 9 Peace Love Activism
Roger Williams
October 9, 1635:  religious dissident Roger Williams was banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony by the General Court of Massachusetts. Williams had spoken out against the right of civil authorities to punish religious dissension and to confiscate Indian land. (see March 22, 1638)

Feminism

World Woman’s Party
October 9, 1938: at National Women’s Party convention Detroit, the NWP established the World Woman’s Party, headquartered in Geneva; initiated fund-raising scheme to sell equal rights seals–similar to Easter seals; restructured NWP hierarchy. (see July 22. 1939)
Malala Yousafzai

October 9 Peace Love Activism

October 9, 2012: a Taliban gunman shot and seriously wounded Malala Yousafzai  a 14-year-old schoolgirl and activist in the Swat Valley in northwestern Pakistan, singling out a widely known champion of girls’ education and a potent symbol of resistance to militant ideology. (NYT article)(see Oct 15)

Technological Milestone

October 9, 1951: RCA demonstrated its "all-electronic" color system for the first time on October 9th, 1951. The test was also broadcast on WNBT, and because RCA's system was compatible with existing black and white television sets, viewers were able to watch the demonstration (in black and white, of course) (see Oct 25)

October 9 Music et al

Ray Charles

October 9 Peace Love Activism

October 9 – 22, 1961: “Hit the Road Jack” by Ray Charles #1 Billboard Hot 100.

 

Yesterday

October 9 Peace Love Activism

October 9 – November 5, 1965, The Beatles: “Yesterday” #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. (see Oct 26)

October 9 Peace Love Activism

Che Guevara

October 9 Peace Love ActivismOctober 9, 1967: after capturing Che Guevara the day before, Bolivian President René Barrientos ordered Guevara executed but made to look like Guevara had died in battle.

Native Americans

October 9, 1969: the American Indian Center in San Francisco burned down. It had been a meeting place that served 30,000 Indian people with social programs. The loss of the center focuses Indian attention on taking over Alcatraz for use as a new facility. (see Nov 9, 1969)

Japanese Internment Camps

 

October 9, 1990: On August 10, 1988, President Reagan had signed the Civil Liberties Act of 1988. It had provided for a Presidential apology and appropriates $1.25 billion for reparations of $20,000 to most Japanese internees, evacuees, and others of Japanese ancestry who lost liberty or property because of discriminatory wartime actions by the government. Civil Liberties Public Education Fund created to help teach the public about the internment period. On this date at a Washington, D.C. ceremony, the first payments were issued.  107-year-old Reverend Mamoru Eto was the first to receive his check. (see May 21, 1999)

Nobel Peace Prize

October 9 Peace Love Activism

October 9, 2009: President Obama unexpectedly wins the Nobel Peace Prize.

STAND YOUR GROUND LAW

October 9, 2012: Kalispell, Montana. County attorney Ed Corrigan decided not to prosecute Brice Harper for the killing of Dan Fredenberg, saying that Montana’s “castle doctrine” law, which maintains that a man’s home is his castle, protected Harper’s rights to vigorously defend himself there. Corrigan decided that Mr. Harper had the right to fetch his gun from his bedroom, confront Mr. Fredenberg in the garage and, fearing for his safety, shoot him. “Given his reasonable belief that he was about to be assaulted, Brice’s use of deadly force against Dan was justified.” [text of Corrigan’s entire statement](see Dec 26)

Voting Rights

 

October 9, 2014: the U.S. Supreme Court blocked Wisconsin from implementing a law requiring voters to present photo IDs, overturning a lower court decision that would have put the law in place for the November election.

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had declared the law constitutional. (see Oct 15)

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