Tag Archives: Terrorism

November 25

November 25

BLACK HISTORY & TERRORISM

November 25, 1915, : a cross was burned on Stone Mountain, Georgia, on this day, marking the revival of the Ku Klux Klan in the early 20th century. The Klan had been a powerful racist force during the Reconstruction Era in the South following the Civil War. It gradually faded away, but was revived as part of the racist mood of the country in the first decades of the century.

November 25, 1930: a delegation from the Anti-Lynching Congress, which was meeting in Washington, D.C., delivered a protest to President Herbert Hoover, demanding that he take action to end the lynching of African-Americans. The group was led by Maurice W. Spencer, president of the National Equal Rights League and Race Congress. President Hoover did not respond.

                Herbert Hoover was basically sympathetic to the needs of African-Americans in American society, but was not willing to expend any political capital on civil rights. He was very upset, for example, when Southern bigots protested when First Lady Lou Henry Hoover invited the wife of African-American Congressman Oscar DePriest to the White House for tea (along with all the other Congressional wives), on June 12, 1929. He responded by inviting Robert Moton, President of Tuskegee University, to the White House in a symbolic gesture.

BLACK HISTORY

November 25, 1955: the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC), the federal agency that regulated railroads and other transporters of goods, banned racial segregation on interstate buses, train lines, and in waiting rooms. The ICC ruled that “the disadvantages to a traveler who is assigned accommodations or facilities so designated as to imply his inferiority solely because of his race must be regarded under present conditions as unreasonable.” The ban was consistent with a 1946 United States Supreme Court decision, Morgan v. Commonwealth of Virginia (see June 3, 1946), which held that a state law requiring segregation on interstate buses traveling through the state was unconstitutional.

                However, neither the Supreme Court decision nor the ICC ban covered intrastate travel, and 13 states still required segregation on buses and railways that traveled exclusively within state borders. Some of these states ignored the new ban on segregated interstate travel and continued to enforce unconstitutional laws. According to a report issued by the Public Affairs Research Committee in December 1957, police in Flomaton, Alabama, had been called to arrest African Americans traveling in the white section of an interstate railroad line. The report additionally found that employees of rail and bus lines in Alabama “have flagrantly segregated colored travelers or called police to arrest those who would not easily be intimidated where their rights were involved.”

                It was not until November 1961, six years after the ICC ban, that it was given force by order of the ICC and Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, largely spurred by the Freedom Rides.

November 25, 1976, Thanksgiving Day: NYC  police officer Robert Torsney fired a bullet into the head of Randolph Evans, 15, outside a housing project in Brooklyn. Officer Torsney would later claim he had been afflicted with a rare form of epilepsy that had never been noticed before the killing and was never seen after it. The ''epilepsy'' defense worked. A jury acquittted  Torsney of any criminal wrongdoing.

November 25, 2006: a team of plainclothes and undercover NYPD officers shot a total of 50 times at  three men killing one of the men, Sean Bell, on the morning before his wedding, and severely wounding two of his friends.

November 25, 2015: Minneapolis police released the names of four men arrested in connection with a shooting during a Black Lives Matter protest outside a police station that injured five protesters. The authorities identified the suspects in the shooting as Allen Lawrence Scarsella, 23; Nathan Gustavsson, 21; Daniel Macey, 26; and Joseph Backman, 27. All were white.

FREE SPEECH

November 25, 1930, : an agent of the New England Watch and Ward Society purchased a copy of Lady Chatterly's Lover at the Dunster House Book shop in Cambridge, Massachusetts. James Delancy, the manager, and Joseph Sullivan, his clerk, were both convicted of selling obscene literature, a crime for which Mr. Delancy was fined $800. and assigned four months in the house of corrections while Mr. Sullivan was sentenced to two weeks in prison and a $200. fine.

US Labor History

November 25, 1946: teachers strike in St. Paul, Minn., the first organized walkout by teachers in the country. The month-long “strike for better schools” involving some 1,100 teachers—and principals—led to a number of reforms in the way schools were administered and operated.

Red Scare

November 25, 1947:  movie studio executives agreed to blacklist the Hollywood 10, who were jailed for contempt of Congress for failing to cooperate with the House Un-American Activities Committee.

November 25, 1956: the film Friendly Persuasion, starring Gary Cooper and later nominated for the Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Supporting Actor, was released on this day — but without any screenwriter credit. The actual screenwriter was Michael Wilson, who had been blacklisted for refusing to cooperate with the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) in September 1951. Hollywood motion picture companies refused to hire or credit people who did not cooperate with HUAC. The official blacklist began on December 3, 1947.

                Wilson’s screenwriting credit was restored in later versions of the film. Wilson also co-wrote the script for the award-winning Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), but was not listed on the credits. Wilson was posthumously awarded an Academy Award in 1995 for his work on the Bridge on the River Kwai.

                Wilson took his revenge for having been blacklisted when he wrote the script for Planet of the Apes (1968), which includes a scene that is a wicked parody of the House Un-American Activities Committee. In the scene, Charlton Heston has to stand naked and testify before what is, in effect, an Un-Ape Activities Committee.

Billboard #1

November 25 – December 1, 1967: “Incense and Peppermints” by the Strawberry Alarm Clock #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

November 25, 1969, President Nixon ordered all US germ warfare stockpiles destroyed.

INDEPENDENCE DAY

November 25, 1975, Suriname independent of Netherlands.

November 25, 1984: Band Aid recorded the charity single "Do They Know It's Christmas?" to raise money to combat the famine in Ethiopia. It is released December 3.

AIDS

November 25

November 25, 1985: Ryan White: Indiana Department of Education ruled that White must be admitted despite parent and government opposition.

 Iran–Contra Affair

November 25, 1986: the Iran-Contra affair erupted as President Reagan and Attorney General Edwin Meese revealed that profits from secret arms sales to Iran had been diverted to Nicaraguan rebels.

Jack Kevorkian

November 25, 1998, : Michigan charged Kevorkian with first-degree murder, violating the assisted suicide law and delivering a controlled substance without a license in the death of Thomas Youk. Prosecutors later drop the suicide charge. Kevorkian insists on defending himself during the trial and threatens to starve himself if he is sent to jail.

Terrorism

November 25, 2001: John Phillip Walker Lindh, a US citizen, was captured as an enemy combatant during the invasion of Afghanistan.

November 25, 2002: President Bush signed legislation creating the Department of Homeland Security.

November 25, 2003: Yemen arrested Mohammed Hamdi al-Ahdal, a top al-Qaida member suspected of masterminding the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole and the 2002 bombing of a French oil tanker off Yemen's coast.

LGBTQ

November 25, 2014, : U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker struck down Arkansas' gay marriage ban, which paved the way for county clerks to resume issuing licenses. Baker ruled in favor of two same-sex couples who had challenged a 2004 constitutional amendment and earlier state law defining marriage as between a man and a woman, arguing that the ban violated the U.S. Constitution and discriminated based on sexual orientation.

November 25, 2014: U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves ruled against Mississippi’s constitutional amendment banning same-sex couples from marrying.  Attorney Roberta Kaplan represented two plaintiff couples on behalf of Campaign for Southern Equality, arguing that Mississippi’s marriage ban violates the U.S. Constitution. 

Virgil Ware Johnny Robinson

Virgil Ware Johnny Robinson

Vergil Ware

Virgil Ware Johnny Robinson

December 6, 1949 – September 15, 1963

Johnny Robinson

Virgil Ware Johnny Robinson

1947 – September 15, 1963

September 15, 1963

16th Street Baptist Church bombing

     The story of the terrorist attack on the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham,  Alabama is a well-known one.  

     Bobby Frank Cherry, Thomas Blanton, Herman Frank Cash, and Robert Chambliss, members of United Klans of America, a Ku Klux Klan group, planted a box of dynamite with a time delay under the steps of the churh near the basement. At about 10:20 that morning, twenty-six children were walking into the basement assembly room to prepare for the sermon entitled “The Love That Forgives,” when the bomb exploded.

     The explosion killed four girls, Addie Mae Collins (14), Denise McNair (11), Carole Robertson (14), and Cynthia Wesley (14) and injured the other 22, one of whom was Addie Mae Collins' younger sister, Sarah. 

     The explosion blew a hole in the church's rear wall, destroyed the back steps and all but one stained-glass window, which showed Christ leading a group of little children.

     It was 14 years before officials charged anyone. In 1977 Chambliss was tried and convicted of the first degree murder of McNair. 

     Not until 2001 was Thomas Blanton convicted and not until 2002  Bobby Cherry. Both were convicted of four counts of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment.

     Herman Cash died in 1994 and  was never charged.

Virgil Ware Johnny Robinson

Virgil Ware

     The evening of that same day Virgil Ware and his his 16-year-old brother, James Jr.,  were out on a bike. Virgil on the handlebars, James peddling. 

     Two white 16-year-olds, Michael Lee Farley and Larry Joe Sims were also out. They were riding a motorbike. Seeing the two boys, Farley encouraged Sims to shoot at and scare the brothers. Ware fell. The brothers did not stop. 

     The shots had hit Virgil Ware in the chest and face. He died there.The next day, police  confronted Sims who confessed to shooting Ware, saying he had done so accidentally, as he had fired with his eyes closed. 

     Authorities charged Sims and Farley with first-degree murder.At trial, a jury convicted Sims of second-degree manslaughter; Farley pled guilty to the same charge. They were both sentenced to seven months in jail, but a judge then altered the penalty, giving them two years' probation instead.

Johnny Robinson

     In the hours after the bombing groups gathered to mourn the killings or celebrate them. 16-year-old Johnny Robinson was hanging around with a few other black teenagers near a gas station on 26th Street. White kids drove by, waving Confederate flags and throwing things out of the car windows. 

     Robinson and some of his friends threw rocks back. Police showed up.

     Witnesses told the FBI in 1963 that Johnny was with a group of boys who threw rocks at a car draped with a Confederate flag. The rocks missed their target and hit another vehicle instead. That's when a police car arrived.

     Robinson ran. Officer Jack Parker, sitting in the back of a police car with a shotgun, shot at the running Robinson, hit him in the back, and killed him. 

     Police said that their car's sudden stop caused Parker's gun to go off or that the car had hit a bump causing the discharge. Witnesses say they no warnings and two shots. 

     Parker was a member of the  Fraternal Order of Police lodge.  That fall he signed an ad in the newspaper arguing against integration of the police force. He died in 1977.

     In 1963, the grand jury that tried Parker, refused to indict him.  A federal grand jury decided the same thing in 1964.

Virgil Ware Johnny Robinson,  Virgil Ware Johnny Robinson,  Virgil Ware Johnny Robinson,  Virgil Ware Johnny Robinson,  Virgil Ware Johnny Robinson,  Virgil Ware Johnny Robinson,  Virgil Ware Johnny Robinson, 

 

November 13

November 13

Mrs White bans Communist Robin Hood

November 13
Obama as Robin Hood
November 13, 1953, The Red Scare, McCarthyism, and the Cold War: Mrs. Thomas J. White of the Indiana Textbook Commission, called for the removal of references to the book Robin Hood from textbooks used by the state's schools. Mrs. Young claimed that there was "a Communist directive in education now to stress the story of Robin Hood because he robbed the rich and gave it to the poor. That's the Communist line. It's just a smearing of law and order and anything that disrupts law and order is their meat." She went on to attack Quakers because they "don't believe in fighting wars." This philosophy, she argued, played into communist hands. (click for more >>> Mrs Thomas White's anti-Robin Hood campaign)

Birth Control, Margaret Sanger

November 13, 1921,  Birth Control: the first national birth control conference in the U.S. (see Nov 11) was scheduled to end with an event featuring several speakers, but it was abruptly ended when New York City police intervened and removed Margaret Sanger and one other speaker from the stage. Sanger was arrested on charges of disorderly conduct. The New York Time's article headline was: A mass meeting to discuss "Birth Control: Is It Moral?" was broken up by the police at the Town Hall last night. Hundreds of men and women, many socially prominent, derided the police and urged the speakers to defy the order not to speak. (click >>> Full NYT article)

November 13

Black History, Hansberry v. Lee and housing

November 13
Whites only housing
November 13, 1940, BLACK HISTORY: the US Supreme Court ruled in Hansberry v. Lee that whites cannot bar African Americans from white neighborhoods. (click for more information >>> University of North Carolina site)

Browder v. Gayle

November 13
le
November 13, 1956, BLACK HISTORY: the US Supreme Court declined the appeal of a US District Court ruling in Browder v. Gayle that had declared unconstitutional Alabama's state and local laws requiring segregation on buses, thereby ending the Montgomery Bus Boycott. The Court affirmed a ruling by a three-judge Federal court that held the challenged statutes "violate the due process and equal protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States."

Fourth Amendment, United States v. Jeffers

November 13, 1951, Fourth Amendment: United States v. Jeffers. Without a warrant, two police officers had entered a District of Columbia hotel room rented to the aunts of Anthony Jeffers when neither they nor Jeffers were present. The police searched the room and seized 19 bottles of cocaine and one bottle of codeine. Jeffers claimed ownership of the contraband and was charged and convicted of violating narcotics laws in a District Court despite his motion to suppress the evidence seized without a warrant as a violation of the Fourth Amendment. The Court of Appeals reversed the conviction and the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case.
In affirming the ruling of the Court of Appeals, Justice Clark held that the warrantless seizure did violate the Fourth Amendment and that the narcotics should have been excluded as evidence at Jeffers trial. Justice Clark wrote "The search and seizure were not incident to a valid arrest; and there were no exceptional circumstances to justify their being made without a warrant."
The Government had argued in this case that no property rights within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment existed in the seized narcotics because they were contraband as declared by Congress in 26 U.S.C. 3116. Justice Clark dismissed their argument, holding that, for purposes of the exclusionary rule, it was property and that Jeffers was entitled to motion to have it suppressed as evidence at trial but that, because it was contraband, he was not entitled to have it returned to him. (click >>> Unlawful evidence)

Vietnam, VP Spiro T. Agnew

November 13
Agnew criticizes media
November 13, 1968,  Vietnam: speaking in Des Moines, Iowa, Vice President Spiro T. Agnew accused network television news departments of bias and distortion, and urged viewers to lodge complaints.

March Against Death

November 13

 

November 13

November 13, 1969, Vietnam: in Washington, as a prelude to the second moratorium against the war scheduled for the following weekend, protesters staged a symbolic "March Against Death." The march began at 6 p.m. and drew over 45,000 participants, each with a placard bearing the name of a soldier who had died in Vietnam. The marchers began at Arlington National Cemetery and continued past the White House, where they called out the names of the dead. The march lasted for two days and nights. This demonstration and the moratorium that followed did not produce a change in official policy--although President Nixon was deeply angered by the protests, he publicly feigned indifference and they had no impact on his prosecution of the war. (click >>> NYT article)

Vietnam Veterans Memorial

November 13

November 13, 1982, Vietnam: the Vietnam Veterans Memorial is dedicated in Washington, D.C. (click >>> NYT article on memorial)

 

November 13

November 13, 1995, TERRORISM: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: a car bomb exploded at the U.S. military headquarters, killing 5 U.S. military servicemen. From the New York Times, More than 20 American investigators and hundreds of Saudi security officials searched the rubble of an American-run military training center in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia today, looking for clues to the bombing that killed six people, including five Americans. (click >>> full NYT article)