October 25 Peace Love Activism

October 25 Peace Love Activism


Slave Revolts
October 25 – November 2, 1859: trial of John Brown. Following is John Brown's last speech after his trial by by the Commonwealth of Virginia in Charles Town, Virginia (now part of West Virginia). Brown stated:           
I have, may it please the court, a few words to say. In the first place, I deny everything but what I have all along admitted -- the design on my part to free the slaves. I intended certainly to have made a clean thing of that matter, as I did last winter when I went into Missouri and there took slaves without the snapping of a gun on either side, moved them through the country, and finally left them in Canada. I designed to have done the same thing again on a larger scale. That was all I intended. I never did intend murder, or treason, or the destruction of property, or to excite or incite slaves to rebellion, or to make insurrection.

I have another objection; and that is, it is unjust that I should suffer such a penalty. Had I interfered in the manner which I admit, and which I admit has been fairly proved (for I admire the truthfulness and candor of the greater portion of the witnesses who have testified in this case)--had I so interfered in behalf of the rich, the powerful, the intelligent, the so-called great, or in behalf of any of their friends--either father, mother, brother, sister, wife, or children, or any of that class--and suffered and sacrificed what I have in this interference, it would have been all right; and every man in this court would have deemed it an act worthy of reward rather than punishment.

This court acknowledges, as I suppose, the validity of the law of God. I see a book kissed here which I suppose to be the Bible, or at least the New Testament. That teaches me that all things whatsoever I would that men should do to me, I should do even so to them. It teaches me, further, to "remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them." I endeavored to act up to that instruction. I say I am yet too young to understand that God is any respecter of persons. I believe that to have interfered as I have done--as I have always freely admitted I have done--in behalf of His despised poor was not wrong, but right. Now, if it is deemed necessary that I should forfeit my life for the furtherance of the ends of justice, and mingle my blood further with the blood of my children and with the blood of millions in this slave country whose rights are disregarded by wicked, cruel, and unjust enactments--I submit; so let it be done!

Let me say one word further.

I feel entirely satisfied with the treatment I have received on my trial. Considering all the circumstances it has been more generous than I expected. But I feel no consciousness of guilt. I have stated that from the first what was my intention and what was not. I never had any design against the life of any person, nor any disposition to commit treason, or excite slaves to rebel, or make any general insurrection. I never encouraged any man to do so, but always discouraged any idea of that kind.

Let me say also a word in regard to the statements made by some of those connected with me. I her it has been stated by some of them that I have induced them to join me. But the contrary is true. I do not say this to injure them, but as regretting their weakness. There is not one of them but joined me of his own accord, and the greater part of them at their own expense. A number of them I never saw, and never had a word of conversation with till the day they came to me; and that was for the purpose I have stated.

Now I have done. 

(see Dec 2)
School desegregation
October 25, 1958: more than 10,000 marched in Washington, DC for integrated schools. Martin Luther King was scheduled to speak, but he had been stabbed shortly before the march (see Sept 20) and his speech his wife Correta Scott King delivered it. (SD, see April 18, 1959)

In 1959 Charles Mingus released Fables of Faubus aimed at Arkansas governor Orval Fabus. Uncomfortable with the lyrics, Columbia records turned the song into an instrumental (see Jan 12)
October 25, 1960: King sent to Reidsville (GA) State Prison for parole violation stemming from his May 4, 1960 arrest for driving without a license. ((BH & MLK, see Oct 26)

US Labor History

Doctor Matthew Shields

October 25 Peace Love Activism

October 25, 1889: twenty-five anthracite coal miners from the Jermyn Coal Colliery in northeastern Pennsylvania attend what is believed to be the first formal training on first aid. Believing that many lives could be saved with quick, efficient medical care until a physician arrived, local doctor Matthew Shields set up a series of courses for the miners who, upon completion, were prepared and able to render first aid to their co-workers. (see Oct 29)

Technological Milestone

October 25, 1951: manufacturing of color television was put on hold at the request of Defense Mobilizer Charles E. Wilson and the National Production Authority due to scarcity of metals and the conflict in Korea.

By the end of 1951, 23.5% of US homes will have a TV set. (see Nov 10)


October 25, 1955: Austria independent again. (see January 1, 1956)

see Cuban Missile Crisis for full story

October 25 Peace Love Activism

October 25, 1962
  •  the Chinese People’s Daily announced that “650,000,000 Chinese men and women were standing by the Cuban people”.
  • at the United Nations, ambassador Adlai Stevenson confronted Soviet Ambassador Valerian Zorin in an emergency meeting challenging him to admit the existence of the missiles.
  • Soviets responded to the blockade by turning back 14 ships presumably carrying offensive weapons. (NYT article)


October 25 Peace Love Activism

Rolling Stones

October 25, 1964: the Rolling Stones perform on The Ed Sullivan Show for the first time.

Space Race

October 25, 1968: The Soviets launch the unmanned Soyuz 2. A day later Soyuz 3, piloted by Georgii Beregovoi, launches and completes a rendezvous with Soyuz 2 in orbit. (see Nov 10)


October 25, 1972:  The first female FBI agents are hired. (NYT article) (see Jan 22, 1973)


October 25, 1976: at its regular meeting, the Board of Commissioners of the Skokie Park District direct Daniel D. Brown, Director of Parks and Recreation, to respond to Mr. Collin of the Nationalist Socialist Party that Skokie has no "Birch Park". In addition, the Board passes an ordinance relating to "Parades and Public Assemblies" which required that prospective marchers to 1) obtain a permit at least thirty days in advance of the parade date and 2) post an insurance bond equal to $350,000.00. (see April 28, 1977)


Lewis v. Harris
October 25, 2006: The New Jersey Supreme Court issued a unanimous ruling in Lewis v. Harris that same-sex couples were entitled to all state-level spousal rights and responsibilities. The court defered to the legislature on the question of how to extend these rights and responsibilities, suggesting the state either permit couples to marry or create a separate legal status for same-sex couples, such as civil union.  (NJ, see, Dec 14; LGBTQ, see Nov 7, 2006)
Attorney General Eric Holder

October 25 Peace Love Activism

October 25, 2014:  Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the federal government would recognizing gay marriage in Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, North Carolina, West Virginia and Wyoming and extended federal benefits to those couples. Gay marriage had recently became legal. (Time magazine article) (see Oct 27)

Occupy Wall Street

October 25, 2011: Oakland, CA. Police use force to disband a group of Occupy protesters and Iraq War veteran, Scott Olsen, was severely wounded. (see Nov 15; Olsen, see March 15, 2012) 


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Wolodia Wolfgang Grajonca Bill Graham

Wolodia Wolfgang Grajonca Bill Graham

January 8, 1931 – October 25, 1991

Wolodia Wolfgang Grajonca Bill Graham

 Bill Graham was born Wolodia “Wolfgang” Grajonca in Berlin, Germany. During World War II, with his father dead, the Nazi pogrom underway, and his mother gassed to death on a train to the Auschwitz concentration camp, Grajonca fortunately became part of a group of children that the International Red Cross enabled  to ultimately escape to the United States where he was placed in an upstate New York army barracks. Later, a Bronx family brought him to live with them.

Though not a citizen, he was drafted into the army and served meritoriously in the Korean War. Graham’s first experiences with entertainment came when he worked in various  New York Catskill resorts, such as Grossinger’s (Liberty), the Concord Hotel (Kiamesha Lake) and the  President Hotel (Swan Lake).

Wolodia “Wolfgang” Grajonca Bill Graham


Wolodia Wolfgang Grajonca Bill Graham

In the mid-1960’s, Graham was drawn to concert promotion while business manager for the San Francisco Mime Troupe, a radical theater group. [November 1, 1965: Graham presented his first show, a benefit for the San Francisco Mime Troupe.]  Graham eventually found success promoting and presenting such bands as the Jefferson Airplane, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, and famously the Grateful Dead at the Fillmore Auditorium (between 1966 and 1968) and later at the Fillmore West (beginning July, 1968).

Bill Graham opened the Fillmore East on March 8, 1968 with  blues guitarist Albert King, folk singer-songwriter Tim Buckley, and Big Brother and the Holding Company.  The hall’s characteristic schedule was a two-show, triple-bill concert several nights a week. Graham would regularly alternate acts between his east and west coast venues. Until early 1971, bands were booked on both Friday and Saturday nights to play two shows per night at 8 pm and 11 pm, which might end at 3 AM or later.

Wolodia “Wolfgang” Grajonca Bill Graham

Wolodia Wolfgang Grajonca Bill Graham

Complimenting FM radio stations (like WNEW-FM in NYC) then recent forays into progressive rock formats whose DJs exposed rock music lovers to so-called underground bands with their extended improvisational jams, the Fillmore East fed the growing appetite for live music venues and presented those bands as well as introducing upcoming groups such as Santana and Sly and the Family Stone.  

Bill Graham made the Fillmore a safe haven where kids could experience the music they wanted without getting busted.  As he wrote in a letter published in the Village Voice just before the Fillmore’s closing:  it was my sole intention to do nothing more, or less, than present the finest contemporary artists in this country, on the best stages and in the most pleasant halls.

The list of performers who played at the Fillmore East is a “Who’s Who” of rock and roll greats. A very partial list includes: the Grateful Dead (39 shows over 28 dates); Jimi Hendrix’s Band of Gypsies; John Lennon and Yoko Ono who performed with Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention; the Allman Brothers (whose double-album Live at the Fillmore East is ranked 49th among Rolling Stone magazine’s “500 Greatest Albums of All Time”); Jefferson Airplane; Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young; Joe Cocker; Miles Davis; Derek and the Dominoes; The Chambers Brothers; Mountain; Ten Years After; and  Johnny Winter.

Wolodia Wolfgang Grajonca Bill Graham
Wolodia Wolfgang Grajonca Bill Graham
Joshua Light Show

An integral component of each performance, the Joshua Light Show provided a psychedelic art lighting backdrop behind bands. From the summer of 1970, Joe’s Lights, made up of former members of the Joshua Light Show, became the house light show, trading duties with The Pig Light Show until the venue’s closing.

By 1971 Graham had become disenchanted with the direction of the music promotion scene and closed both Fillmores. According to Graham: The time and energy that is required for me to maintain a level of proficiency in my own work has grown so great that I have simply deprived myself of a private life. At this point I feel that I can no longer refuse myself the time, the leisure, and the privacy to which any man is rightfully entitled.  (click for full text of Graham’s letter → full text)

The Fillmore East closed on June 27, 1971; 1206 nights after it opened. (NYT article)

Wolodia Wolfgang Grajonca Bill Graham

Final marquee

Wolodia Wolfgang Grajonca Bill Graham

Bill Graham died in a helicopter crash on  October 25, 1991. (NYT article)

Wolodia Wolfgang Grajonca Bill Graham
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