December 31 Peace Love Art Activism

December 31 Peace Love Art Activism

Emma Goldman

December 31, 1908, President Theodore Roosevelt pardoned William Buwalda (see April 26, 1908) , In January of 1909, Emma Goldman announced that anarchists across the country had raised one thousand dollars for Buwalda to begin a new life after prison. (see Emma Goldman)

December 31 Peace Love Art Activism

Women’s Health

December 31 Peace Love Art Activism

December 31, 1930: Pope Pius XI promulgated the papal encyclical entitled Casti Connubii (“of chaste wedlock”). It prohibited Catholics from using any form of artificial birth control and reaffirmed the prohibition on abortion. The encyclical stated, in part: “ . . . any use whatsoever of matrimony exercised in such a way that the act is deliberately frustrated in its natural power to generate life is an offense against the law of God and of nature, and those who indulge in such are branded with the guilt of a grave sin.” (see April 6, 1931)

Birth control challenge

December 31, 2013: Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor granted a last-ditch plea from Catholic groups to block a birth control mandate in the new health care law for religious organizations, just hours before it was to have gone into effect. Sotomayor issued the stay at the request of an order of Catholic nuns in Colorado, the Little Sisters of the Poor Home for the Aged. They are part of a larger effort by Catholic-affiliated groups from around the nation to halt provisions of the Affordable Care Act that require companies — regardless of religious beliefs — to provide contraceptives to their employees. The groups want the mandate halted while the court considers a legal challenge, brought by the for-profit company Hobby Lobby, arguing that the requirement violates their religious liberties. [NYT report] (WH, see January 3, 2014; ACA, see June 30, 2014)

December 31 Peace Love Art Activism


Viet Minh

December 31, 1944:  the Viet Minh claimed to have 500,000 members. (see March 9, 1945)

Battle of Binh Gia

December 31, 1964: in an attempt to recover the four American bodies killed in the helicopter crash, 12 South Vietnamese soldiers were killed in an ambush. The bodies will be recovered, but only after 196 South Vietnamese Marines died in the resulting fire fights. [Wiki article] (see January 1 – February 7, 1965)

Bloodiest year in Vietnam

December 31 Peace Love Activism

December 31, 1968: the bloodiest year of the war came to an end. At year’s end, 536,040 American servicemen were stationed in Vietnam, an increase of over 50,000 from 1967.

Estimates from Headquarters U.S. Military Assistance Command Vietnam indicated that 181,150 Viet Cong and North Vietnamese were killed during the year. However, Allied losses were also up: 27,915 South Vietnamese, 14,584 Americans (a 56 percent increase over 1967), and 979 South Koreans, Australians, New Zealanders, and Thais were reported killed during 1968. Since January 1961, more than 31,000 U.S. servicemen had been killed in Vietnam and over 200,000 U.S. personnel had been wounded. (see 1968 Vietnam War for more) (next Vietnam, see January 16, 1969)

December 31 Peace Love Art Activism

December 31 Music et al

News Music

December 31 Peace Love Art Activism

December 31, 1945: Pete Seeger, Alan Lomax, and Lee Hays founded People’s Songs. They published the first quarterly edition in February 1946. In it, Seeger wrote: “The people are on the march and must have songs to sing. Now in 1946, the truth must reassert itself in many singing voices. There are thousands of unions, people’s organizations, singers and choruses who would gladly use more songs. There are many songwriters, amateur and professional, who are writing these songs. It is clear that there must be an organization to make and send songs of labor and the American people through the land. To do this job we formed People’s Songs, INC. We invite you to join us.” (see News Music for more about NM)


December 31 Peace Love Art Activism

December 31, 1966 – February 17, 1967: “I’m a Believer” by the Monkees #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The Beatles

December 31, 1970:  Paul McCartney sued the other three Beatles to dissolve the partnership and gain control of his interest. The suit touched off a bitter feud between McCartney and the others, especially his co-writer on many of the Beatles compositions, John Lennon. (see Beatles Officially Legally End) (next Beatles, see (see April 9, 1971)

December 31 Peace Love Art Activism

Immigration History

Bracero Program

December 31 Peace Love Activism

December 31, 1964: the Mexican Farm Labor Program, also known as the Bracero Program, ended. It  was the result of a series of agreements between Mexico and the United States in response to the demand for agricultural labor during World War II. The Mexican workers were called braceros because they worked with their arms and hands (bracero comes from the Spanish brazo, or arm). The bilateral agreement guaranteed prevailing wages, health care, adequate housing, and board. … Nationally, the Bracero Program continued until December 31, 1964, with nearly 4.5 million Mexicans making the journey during the program’s twenty-two year existence. Braceros entered the United States under six-month to twelve-month contracts and were assigned to regions throughout the country. Once the contract expired, each bracero was required to return to Mexico and sign another contract in order to return to the United States to work.  (Immigration, see October 3, 1965; Labor, see February 26, 1965)

Trump’s Wall

December 31, 2018: “An all concrete Wall was NEVER ABANDONED, as has been reported by the media,” President Trump tweeted ahead of New Year’s Eve. “Some areas will be all concrete but the experts at Border Patrol prefer a Wall that is see through (thereby making it possible to see what is happening on both sides). Makes sense to me!”

The president was evidently reacting to a Los Angeles Times interview in which Kelly said, “To be honest, it’s not a wall.”

“The president still says ‘wall’ – oftentimes frankly he’ll say ‘barrier’ or ‘fencing,’ now he’s tended toward steel slats. But we left a solid concrete wall early on in the administration, when we asked people what they needed and where they needed it,” Kelly told the Times. (IH & TW, see January 5, 2019)

December 31 Peace Love Art Activism

US Labor History

December 31, 1969: Joseph A. Yablonski, an unsuccessful candidate for the presidency of the United Mine Workers of America, was shot to death with his wife and daughter in their Clarksville, Pa., home by hitmen acting at the orders of UMWA president Tony Boyle. (see January 22, 1970)

December 31 Peace Love Art Activism


Emmett Till

December 31, 1980: J. W. Milam, the murderer of Emmett till, died in Mississippi of cancer. (next BH, see March 20, 1981 ; see ET for expanded chronology)

Medgar Evers assassination

December 31, 1990: in a move intended to speed his transfer from Tennessee to Mississippi, Byron de la Beckwith was arrested on a governor’s warrant charging him with first-degree murder and was jailed without bond. (NYT article) (next BH & Evers, see January 14, 1991)

December 31 Peace Love Art Activism


December 31, 1993: Brandon Teena, a 21-year-old female-born transgender, was slain along with two other people at a farmhouse near Humboldt, Neb. Convicted murderer John Lotter is on Nebraska’s death row; co-defendant Thomas Nissen is serving a life sentence. The case inspired the 1999 movie “Boys Don’t Cry.” (next LGTBQ see May 20, 1996)

Utah fights same -sex marriage

December 31, 2013: Utah took its fight against same-sex marriage to the U.S. Supreme Court, asking Justice Sonia Sotomayor to suspend a lower court ruling that allowed same-sex weddings to go ahead in the heavily Mormon state. [NYT report] (next LGTBQ see January 6, 2014)

December 31 Peace Love Art Activism


Fernald School

December 31, 1998: a group of former students from the Fernald School in Waltham, Mass. who ate radioactive oatmeal as unwitting participants in a food experiment in 1953 shared a $1.85 million settlement from Quaker Oats and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. [CBS News report]

December 31 Peace Love Art Activism

Sara Jane Moore

December 31, 2007, officials released Sara Jane Moore, a 1970s radical who tried to assassinate President Gerald R. Ford in 1975,  on parole from a federal prison in Northern California. (for more, see Lynette Squeaky Fromme) (see August 16, 2009)

December 31 Peace Love Art Activism

Sexual Abuse of Children

December 31, 2013: the Archdiocese of St. Louis was ordered to release the names of priests accused of sex abuse throughout the past 20 years. The priests’ names will not be made public, but will remain sealed and will only be seen by the plaintiff and her lawyer in an ongoing civil case against the Archdiocese. (see February 5, 2014)

December 31 Peace Love Art Activism

Fourth Amendment

December 31, 2013: Judge Mary S. Scriven of the United States District Court in Orlando struck down as unconstitutional a Florida law that required welfare applicants to undergo mandatory drug testing, setting the stage for a legal battle that could affect similar efforts nationwide.

Scriven held that the testing requirement, the signature legislation of Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican who campaigned on the issue, violated the protection against unreasonable searches.

The court finds there is no set of circumstances under which the warrantless, suspicionless drug testing at issue in this case could be constitutionally applied,” she wrote. The ruling made permanent an earlier, temporary ban by the judge.

Mr. Scott, who had argued that the drug testing was necessary to protect children and ensure that tax money was not going to illegal drugs, said that the state would appeal the ruling. (see June 25, 2014)

December 31 Peace Love Art Activism

Stop and Frisk Policy


December 31, 2013: NYC police stopped 191,851 people in 2013. A drop of 72%. (see January 30. 2014)


December 31, 2014: NYC police stopped 45,787 people in 2014, a drop of 93%. (685,784 people were stopped in 2011) (see  March 2, 2015)

December 31 Peace Love Art Activism


Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley

December 31, 2014: Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley commuted the death sentences of the last four inmates remaining on death row, effectively ending capital punishment in the state. Maryland lawmakers had voted two years ago to abolish the death sentence for future offenders beginning 2013. O’Malley said that leaving the last four prisoners to await the death penalty “does not serve the public good….In a representative government, state executions make every citizen a party to a legalized killing as punishment.” (see January 15, 2015)

Death Penalty Information Center

December 31, 2016: according to a year-end study from the Death Penalty Information Center, the number of executions reached its lowest point in a quarter-century because the inability of States to buy lethal drugs,. The study found that executions went from a high of 98 in 1998, to only 20 in 2016. 2016 was also the fewest death penalty sentences since 1972, when the US Supreme Court case of Furman v Georgia led to a four-year-long moratorium on capital punishment sentencing. There were approximately 30 death sentences in 2016, down 90% since 1996. (see February 22, 2017)

December 31 Peace Love Art Activism


December 31, 2018: scientists at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (Laurel, MD) celebrated the moment that NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft made its closest approach to a small, icy world nicknamed Ultima Thule.

Almost 10 hours later, the New Horizons team  received confirmation that the spacecraft had executed its planned observations flawlessly.  [NYT article] (see February 13, 2019)

December 31 Peace Love Art Activism

Nuclear/Chemical News

December 31, 2019: North Korea’s its official media reported  that leader, Kim Jong-un, ​said his country no longer felt bound by its self-imposed moratorium on testing nuclear weapons and long-range ballistic missiles, the strongest indication yet that the country could soon resume such tests. [NYT article] (next N/C N, see January 5, 2020)

December 31 Peace Love Art Activism


Impeded research

December 31, 2019: Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), said that marijuana’s status as a Schedule I drug inhibits studies into the plant and prevents scientists from researching the effects of cannabis that consumers were obtaining from state-legal dispensaries in a growing number of states.

Collins discussed the limitations imposed by the federal drug scheduling system during an appearance on C-SPAN’s Newsmakers saying that while he shares concerns about the potential health implications of smoking marijuana, research into the risks and benefits of cannabis is being impeded by current policy.

“Frankly, we know far too little about the benefits and risks of smoked marijuana,” Collins said. “There have been very few studies that have actually rigorously tested that.” [MM article]

Clearing records

December 31, 2019: one day before legal recreational marijuana sales launched in Illinois, Gov. J. B. Pritzker (D announced that his office was clearing the records of more than 11,000 people who had previously been convicted of simple cannabis possession.

Gov Pritzker said the move “sets us apart” from other states that have legalized marijuana for adult-use and that “Illinois is putting equity first, clearing thousands of convictions and giving individuals & their families a new lease on life.” [MM article] (next C, see, January 1, 2020; see CCC for expanded chronology)

December 31 Peace Love Art Activism

December 30 Peace Love Art Activism

December 30 Peace Love Art Activism


Hampton Johnson

December 30, 1864:  a black man named Hampton Johnson ran away from enslavement in Richmond, Virginia. It was in the midst of the Civil War, and nearly two years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation had rendered Johnson and many other enslaved black people free under the laws of the United States, Nevertheless, in January 1865 Hampton Johnson’s purported “owners” placed an ad in the Richmond Dispatch newspaper, offering a reward for his return.

The ad seeking Hampton Johnson’s return described him as “a Negro boy” of 25 years, 5’6″ tall, 130 lbs, able to read and write “remarkably well,” married but forced to live apart from his wife, and skilled as a mechanic. The advertiser, W.B. Cook, offered $1000 to anyone who captured him “within the enemy’s lines,” and $500 if captured within Virginia. This ad is evidence that black people like Hampton Johnson remained vulnerable to recapture and re-enslavement through the war’s end.

Johnson’s ultimate fate is unknown, but if his decision to flee slavery in December 1864 ended at freedom, he was one of approximately 100,000 enslaved men, women and children who successfully escaped enslavement in the United States before 1865. [EJI article] (next BH, see January 31, 1865)

A year without a lynching

December 30, 1952: for the first time in seventy years, a full year passed with no recorded incidents of lynching. Defined as open, non-judicial murders carried out by mobs, lynching befell people of many backgrounds in the United States but was a frequent tool of racial terror used against black Americans to enforce and maintain white supremacy.

Prior to 1881, reliable lynching statistics were not recorded. But the Chicago Tribune, the NAACP, and the Tuskegee Institute began keeping independent records of lynchings as early as 1882. As of 1952, these authorities reported that 4726 persons had been lynched in the United States over the prior seventy years and 3431 of them were African American. During some years in American history it was not unusual for all lynching victims to be African American.

Lynching in the United States was most common in the later decades of the nineteenth century and early decades of the twentieth century, during post-reconstruction efforts to re-establish a racial hierarchy that subordinated and oppressed black people. Before the lynching-free year of 1952, annual lynching statistics were exhibiting significant reductions. Between 1943 and 1951 there were twenty-one lynchings reported nationwide, compared to 597 between 1913 and 1922. After 1952, the number of lynching incidents recorded annually continued to be zero or very low and the tracking of lynchings officially ended in 1968.

Though the diminished frequency of lynching signaled by the 1952 report was encouraging, the Tuskegee Institute warned that year that “other patterns of violence” were emerging, replacing lynchings with legalized acts of racialized inhumanity like executions, as well as more anonymous acts of violence such as bombings, arson, and beatings. Similarly, a 1953 editorial in the Times Daily of Florence, Alabama, noted that, though the decline in lynching was good news, the proliferation of anti-civil rights bombings demonstrated the South’s continued need for “education in human relations.” (next BH, see below; next Lynching, see April 25, 1959; for expanded chronology of lynching, see also AL4)

Jo Ann Robinson

In 1953: Jo Ann Robinson (of Montgomery’s Women’s Political Council) and other local black leaders met with the three commissioners of Montgomery. Robinson’s group complained that the city did not hire any black bus drivers, said that segregation of seating was unjust, and that bus stops in black neighborhoods were farther apart than in white ones, although blacks were the majority of the riders. The commissioners refused to change anything. Robinson and other WPC members met with bus company officials on their own. The segregation issue was deflected, as bus company officials said that segregation was city and state law. The WPC achieved a small victory, as the bus company officials agreed to have the buses stop at every corner in black neighborhoods, as was the practice in white neighborhoods. (next BH, see June 8 ; next Feminism, see May 18, 1954; next MBB,  see March 2, 1955)

Montgomery Bus Boycott

December 30, 1955: Montgomery Mayor W. A. Gayle urges Montgomery citizens to patronize city buses or risk losing the bus company’s business  (see MBB for expanded chronology)

Attica Prison Riot

December 30, 1976: Governor Carey of New York pardoned seven inmates.(next BH, see June 10, 1977; Attica, see August 29, 2000)

December 30 Peace Love Art Activism

US Labor History

Governor assassinated

December 30 Peace Love Art Activism

December 30, 1905: an assassin’s bomb killed Idaho Gov. Frank Steunenberg, who had brutally suppressed the state’s miners. Legendary Western Federation of Miners and IWW leader William “Big Bill” Haywood and two other men were put on trial for the death but were ultimately declared innocent.(next LH, see May 15, 1906)

Sit-down strike

December 30, 1936: at 8 p.m. in one of the first sit-down strikes in the US, autoworkers occupied the General Motors Fisher Body Plant Number One in Flint, Michigan. The autoworkers struck to win recognition of the United Auto Workers (UAW) as the only bargaining agent for GM’s workers; they also wanted to make the company stop sending work to non-union plants and to establish a fair minimum wage scale, a grievance system and a set of procedures that would help protect assembly-line workers from injury. In all, the strike lasted 44 days.

Union membership

In 1937: 15.1% of employed workers belong to unions, the first time it had exceeded 10%.

CIO Splits from AFL

In 1937: The Congress of Industrial Organizations splits from the American Federation of Labor over disputes about methods of organizing large industries. The two groups will remain rivals until merging back together as the AFL-CIO in 1955. (next LH, see Jan 11)

December 30 Peace Love Art Activism

Cold War

USSR born

December 30, 1922 in post-revolutionary Russia, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) is established, comprising a confederation of Russia, Belorussia, Ukraine, and the Transcaucasian Federation (divided in 1936 into the Georgian, Azerbaijan, and Armenian republics). Also known as the Soviet Union, the new communist state was the successor to the Russian Empire and the first country in the world to be based on Marxist socialism.

The USSR eventually consisted of: Russia, Ukraine, Byleorussia, Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Lithuania, Latvia,  Estonia, Moldovia, Kazakhstan, Kirghizia, Uzbekistan, Turmenia, and Tajikistan. (see USSR for expanded chronology)

Romania Soviet satellite

December 30, 1947:  Soviet-backed Communists forced the abdication of Romania’s King Michael. Communists now control all of Eastern Europe.(next Red Scare, see January 9, 1948; Romania, see December 15, 1989)

December 30 Peace Love Art Activism

Technological Milestone

December 30, 1953: first color TV sets went on sale for about $1,175. [NYT article] (next TM, see January 1, 1954)

December 30 Peace Love Art Activism

December 30 Music et al

Beatles ad

December 30, 1963: a two-page ad from Capitol Records pitching the Beatles’ recordings runs in Billboard and Cash Box music industry magazines.  Bulk reprints of these ads had already been distributed to Capitol’s sales agents for use with radio stations and in enlarged, easel-scale size for use in music store displays across the country. (next Beatles, see January 3, 1964)

Hello, Goodbye

December 30, 1967 – January 19, 1968: “Hello Goodbye” #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. (next Beatles, see January 6, 1967)

George Harrison attacked at home

December 30, 1999: at approximately 3 am George Harrison was the victim of an intruder at his home in Oxfordshire, England, when a disturbed 33-year-old Liverpudlian, Michael Abram broke into George’s home and stabbed the former Beatle several times in the chest with a six-inch knife. Abrams thought he was on a ‘mission from God’.

Harrison’s wife, Olivia, attacked Abram with a poker and a bedroom lamp, then held him until the police arrived.

George ended up with a collapsed lung besides the stab wounds.

Abram was later found not guilty by reason of insanity and ordered to a psychiatric hospital. [Independent article] (next Beatles, see November 29, 2001)

December 30 Peace Love Art Activism


Binh Gia

December 30, 1964: South Vietnam’s Fourth Marine Battalion relieved and reinforced the South Vietnamese rangers at Binh Gia. An American helicoptor was shot down killing the four on board. (next Vietnam, see Dec 31)

Nixon orders bombing halt

December 30, 1972: the White House announced that President Nixon had ordered a halt to the bombing of North Vietnam above the 20th Parallel and that Henry A. Kissinger would resume negotiations for a Vietnam settlement with Le Duc Tho in Paris on Jan 8.

The announcement of the renewed efforts to seek a negotiated settlement, ending nearly two weeks of heavy bombing of Hanoi and Haiphong, also said that the technical talks of lower-level American and North Vietnamese experts would resume on January 2 in Paris.

Gerald L. Warren, a deputy White House press secretary, said in answer to a question at a White House briefing for newsmen that “as soon as it was clear that serious negotiations could be resumed at both the technical level and between the principals, the President ordered that all bombing be discontinued above the 20th Parallel.”  [NYT article](next Vietnam, see January 8, 1973)

December 30 Peace Love Art Activism


December 30, 1989: DEA Administrator Jack Lawn overruled the decision of administrative law judge Francis Young who had agreed with marijuana advocates that marijuana should be moved from Schedule I to Schedule II of the Controlled Substances Act.

This proposed rescheduling of marijuana would have allowed physicians to prescribe the smoking of marijuana as a legal treatment for some forms of illness. Administrator Lawn maintained that there was no medicinal benefit to smoking marijuana and that marijuana should remain a Schedule I controlled substance.(next Marijuana, see November 5, 1991)

December 30 Peace Love Art Activism


William R. Higgins

December 30 Peace Love Art Activism

December 30, 1991: the USMC interred the remains of William R. Higgins, USMC in Quantico National Cemetery. (see March 4, 1994)

Women’s Health

December 30, 1994: John Salvi III walked into two separate abortion clinics in Brookline, Massachusetts, and shot workers with a rifle, killing two receptionists and wounding five other employees. He was captured the next day after firing 23 shots at a Norfolk, Virginia, medical clinic. (Salvi found guilty) (next WH, see July 27, 1996; Salvi, see November 29, 1996; next Terrorism, February 7, 1995)

December 30 Peace Love Art Activism

Iraq War II

Saddam Hussain hung

December 30, 2006: Saddam Hussain hung. President George Bush said Saddam had received the kind of justice he denied his victims. Some key US allies expressed discomfort at the execution. And Russia, which opposed the March 20, 2003 invasion to oust the dictator, and the Vatican expressed regret at the hanging which some Muslim leaders said would exacerbate the violence in Iraq. [WP article] (next Death Penalty, see December 17, 2007)

Iraq death toll 2006

In 2006: the death toll for Americans killed in the Iraq war reached 3,000. (next IWII, see January 3, 2007)

Iraq death toll 2007

December 30, 2007:  it was announced that 899 American troops had died in Iraq in 2007, making 2007 the deadliest for the U.S. military since the 2003 invasion. (next IWII, see September 9, 2008)

December 30 Peace Love Art Activism


December 30, 2016: Des Moines County Attorney Amy Beavers requested first-degree murder warrants for the two suspects who allegedly shot and killed Kedarie Johnson, a 16-year-old high school junior on March 2, 2016.

Beavers said the charges were not yet officially filed and that the suspects’ names could not be released until the warrants were executed.  [DeMoines Register article] (next LGBTQ, see January 6, 2017; next Johnson, see March 14, 2017)

December 30 Peace Love Art Activism

2020 Census

December 30, 2020: CNN reported that the Census Bureau announced it would miss the December 31 deadline to produce the population count used to divide seats in Congress between the states.

The announcement was expected and the key question remained whether the Census Bureau and Commerce Department would present the tally to President Donald Trump prior to his departure from office on January 20. There were no penalties associated with missing the December 31 deadline.

The Census Bureau said in a statement that it plans “to deliver a complete and accurate state population count for apportionment in early 2021, as close to the statutory deadline as possible.” (next Census 2020, see January 12, 2021)

December 30 Peace Love Art Activism

Beatles Officially Legally End

Beatles Officially Legally End

December 29, 1974

Beatles at Woodstock?

During my shifts at the Museum at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts one of the most common questions is: Why weren’t the Beatles at Woodstock?

My first response is that the Beatles had stopped touring and performing live in August 1966. They had chosen to became a studio band.

My second response that throughout August 1969, the Beatles were finishing recording and  mixing Abbey RoadThey didn’t know it,  of course, but August 20, 1969 was the last time the four would be together in the studio.

There is a story that Michael Lang had invited them. John Lennon had reportedly said they would not play unless Yoko and his Plastic Ono Band could also play. That story has never been authenticated,  but lives on with other Beatle ephemera.

Beatles Officially Legally End


Lennon did perform with the Plastic Ono Band in September at the Toronto Rock and Roll Revival.

The Beatles released their “last” album,  Let It Be on May 8,1970, six months after Abbey Road’s release, but they had recorded Let It Be before Abbey Road, so…

Beatles Officially Legally End

Whimper not a bang

So, when did the Beatles break up. This section’s heading is the answer: they broke up gradually.

Ringo Walks Out

Beatles Officially Legally End

On August 22, 1968 Ringo had left the Beatles because he felt his playing had gotten sub-par and that he’d become an outsider to the other three.

He went on vacation to Sardinia, wrote “Octopus Garden,” and with the encouragement of John, Paul, and George, returned on September 3.

Beatles Officially Legally End

Solo Projects

They  had also begun working on solo projects before 1970 ended.  George Harrison was the first in November 1968 with his Wonderwall Music soundtrack. Harrison had frequently felt like the Beatles’ third wheel because most of his offered songs were dismissed in favor of the so-called Lennon/McCartney tunes.

Harrison Leaves

Of course, a solo album does not mean a break up, but frustration does. On January 10, 1969 Harrison walked out, unable to tolerate any longer the tensions within the group and the other’s talk about playing a live show.

John Lennon reportedly said that the group should call Eric Clapton, saying, “He’s just as good and not such a headache.”

Like Starr, Harrison returned (January 15), but had he made it clear that he would leave the group unless the idea of a live show before an audience was dropped. They did.

Beatles Officially Legally End

Lennon Leaves

In September 1969, John Lennon told the others he was leaving. The other three, resigned to the group’s collapse, said that they would keep the break-up out of the news.

McCartney Talks

Beatles Officially Legally End

On April 10, 1970, in The Daily Mirror, Paul McCartney made the Beatles’ secret breakup public by issuing a press release to announce that he had left the group, done in the form of a fake interview: “Q: Is your break with the Beatles temporary or permanent, due to personal differences or musical ones? PAUL: Personal differences, business differences, musical differences, but most of all because I have a better time with my family. Temporary or permanent? I don’t really know.”

Lennon was angry, especially since the breakup, already agreed upon by the group, was announced just one week prior to the British release of McCartney’s first solo album. When a reporter tracked down Lennon for his thoughts, he replied, “Paul hasn’t left. I sacked him.”

Beatles Officially Legally End

Paul files

On December 31, 1970, Paul  filed a lawsuit in London’s High Court to dissolve The Beatles’ partnership. He filed it against “John Ono Lennon of Ascot, Berkshire; George Harrison of Henley-on-Thames, Berkshire; Richard Starkey of Highgate, London; and Apple Corps of Savile Row, London.”

The writ gave three reasons for the suit:

  1. The Beatles had ceased to perform together as a group, so       the purpose of their partnership was no more
  2.   secondly, the other three Beatles had, despite McCartney’s opposition and in breach of their partnership agreement, appointed Allen Klein and his ABKCO as their exclusive business manager
  3. and that McCartney had never been given audited accounts during the four years of their partnership. (see Beatles Bible site)
Beatles Officially Legally End

 Four Years of Red Tape

Beatles Officially Legally End

On March 31, 1972, The Beatles Official Fan Club closed. The Beatles Monthly magazine had ceased three years previously.

Now it was December 19, 1974 and four had finally agreed that all was in place for the official and legal end to the Beatles.  The meeting took place in New York City and Paul and George flew in just for the meeting. Ringo did not attend. He had already signed off.

Lawyers for each were present.  Cameras were ready. John, living in NYC, was late.  Well, not late,  absent. They made a phone call. Lennon’s then girlfriend May Pang (he and Yoko had separated) answered. She said he said he wasn’t coming.  “The stars weren’t right.”

It was George Harrison’s turn to explode.  It was unusual for such anger from him, but under stress from a poorly reviewed tour was the straw that broke his back.

He apologized to all the following day.

In fact the three amicably met the next night at a club.

Beatles Officially Legally End

Beatles Officially Legally End

John Lennon and May Pang, took John’s son Julian to Walt Disney World for the week of Christmas, 1974. They stayed at the Polynesian Village Resort.

Lennon was apparently finally ready.

On December 29, 1974 while ironically or appropriately at DisneyWorld, Apple lawyers met Lennon to sign off.

John told May to take a picture, but delayed signing until he spoke to Harrison’s lawyer by phone. According to May, he looked out his window at the Polynesian Village Hotel several moments before signing.

Thus ended the Beatles

Beatles Officially Legally End, Beatles Officially Legally End, Beatles Officially Legally End,