December 15 Peace Love Activism

December 15 Peace Love Activism

December 15 Peace Love Activism


December 15, 1791: Virginia became the last state to ratify the Bill of Rights, making the first ten amendments to the Constitution law and completing the revolutionary reforms begun by the Declaration of Independence. Anti-Federalist critics of the document, who were afraid that a too-strong federal government would become just another sort of the monarchical regime from which they had recently been freed, believed that the Constitution gave too much power to the federal government by outlining its rights but failing to delineate the rights of the individuals living under it.
  1. First Amendment – Freedom of speech, press, religion, peaceable assembly, and to petition the government
  2. Second Amendment – Right for the people to keep and bear arms, as well as to maintain a militia
  3. Third Amendment – Protection from quartering of troops
  4. Fourth Amendment – Protection from unreasonable search and seizure
  5. Fifth Amendment – Due process, double jeopardy, self-incrimination, private property
  6. Sixth Amendment – Trial by jury and other rights of the accused
  7. Seventh Amendment – Civil trial by jury
  8. Eighth Amendment – Prohibition of excessive bail, as well as cruel and unusual punishment
  9. Ninth Amendment – Protection of rights not specifically enumerated in the Bill of Rights.
  10. Tenth Amendment – Powers of states and people
Fourth Amendment

December 15 Peace Love Activism

December 15, 2014: in Heien v. North Carolina the U.S. Supreme Court sided with the police in a case arising from an officer’s “mistake of law.” At issue was a 2009 traffic stop for a single busted brake light that led to the discovery of illegal drugs inside the vehicle. According to state law at the time, however, motor vehicles were required only to have “a stop lamp,” meaning that the officer did not have a lawful reason for the initial traffic stop because it was not a crime to drive around with a single busted brake light. Did that stop therefore violate the 4th Amendment’s guarantee against unreasonable search and seizure? Writing today for the majority, Chief Justice John Roberts held that it did not. “Because the officer’s mistake about the brake-light law was reasonable,” Roberts declared, “the stop in this case was lawful under the Fourth Amendment.”  (see March 30, 2015)

Native Americans

December 15 Peace Love Activism

December 15, 1890: Sioux Indian Chief Sitting Bull and 11 other tribe members were killed in Grand River, S.D., during a clash with Indian police. (see Dec 29)

US Labor History

December 15 Peace Love Activism

December 15, 1894:  Judge Woods sentenced labor leader and socialist Eugene V. Debs to six months imprisonment for his leadership of the Pullman railroad strike.  (see Februrary 4, 1896)
US Labor History & Feminism

December 15 Peace Love Activism

December 15, 1921: the Kansas National Guard was called out to subdue from 2,000 to 6,000 protesting women who were going from mine to mine attacking non-striking miners in the Pittsburg coal fields. The women made headlines across the state and the nation: they were christened the "Amazon Army" by the New York Times. (F, see February 27, 1922; Labor, see Dec 19)

December 15 Peace Love Activism

December 15, 1967: the Age Discrimination in Employment Act supplemented the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which in Title VII prohibited employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin — but did not cover age. The age discrimination act was one of the many major legislative achievements of President Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society.

The law: “(b) It is therefore the purpose of this chapter to promote employment of older persons based on their ability rather than age; to prohibit arbitrary age discrimination in employment; to help employers and workers find ways of meeting problems arising from the impact of age on employment.”
Vietnam & US Labor History
December 15, 1967: meeting in its biennial convention, the AFL-CIO declared “unstinting support” for “measures the Administration might deem necessary to halt Communist aggression and secure a just and lasting peace” in Vietnam. (Vietnam, see January 3, 1968; Labor, see March 17, 1968)


December 15 Peace Love Activism

December 15, 1950: a Senate report titled "Employment of Homosexuals and Other Sex Perverts in Government" is distributed to members of Congress after the federal government had covertly investigated employees' sexual orientation at the beginning of the Cold War. The report states since homosexuality is a mental illness, homosexuals "constitute security risks" to the nation because "those who engage in overt acts of perversion lack the emotional stability of normal persons." Over the previous few years, more than 4,380 gay men and women had been discharged from the military and around 500 fired from their jobs with the government. The purging will become known as the "lavender scare."(see March 25, 1952)

December 15 Peace Love Activism

December 15, 1973: in a major breakthrough for lesbian and gay rights, the American Psychiatric Association removed the designation of homosexuality as a mental illness. The designation had been a major stigma on same-sex relations. The American Psychological Association, a different professional group, removed its designation of homosexuality as unhealthy in 1975. (NYT article) (see January 1974)
Washington, D.C.
December 15, 2009: the Washington, D.C. City Council voted to legalize same-sex marriage. (see Dec 18)


 Albany Movement

December 15 Peace Love Activism

December 15, 1961: going against some of his Southern Christian Leadership Conference advisers, King accepted an invitation to Albany, Georgia and spoke at a rally in support of activists that had be arrested the previous day. (see Dec 16)
1960s December 15 Music

December 15 Peace Love Activism

December 15 – March 8, 1963 – Vaughn Meader’s comedy album, The First Family Billboard #1 album.

December 15 Peace Love Activism

December 15, 1964, The Beatles: Beatles ’65 released. In two weeks it became the 9th biggest selling album of 1964. (see Dec 18)

December 15 Peace Love Activism

December 15, 1969: John Lennon gave his last live performance in England. It was a UNICEF benefit in London. (see Dec 16)
December 15 Peace Love Activism

Space Race

December 15 Peace Love Activism

December 15 – 16, 1965: Wally Schirra and Thomas Stafford fly Gemini 6 within a few feet of Borman and Lovell in Gemini 7, for the first true rendezvous in space. (NYT article) (see February 3, 1966)


December 15 Peace Love Activism

December 15, 1969: Nixon administration released “A Matter of Simple Justice,” a report on women’s rights. The 77-page report declared that the federal government “should be as seriously concerned about sex discrimination as with race discrimination.” To that end, it called on the Nixon administration to convene a national conference on women’s rights and for Congress to develop legislation to eliminate all existing forms of sex discrimination. (see February 1, 1970)
First Secret Service females

December 15

December 15, 1971: the Secret Service appointed its first five female special agents.
Phyllis Schlafly Blasts ERA
In 1972  Phyllis Schlafly published "What's Wrong with 'Equal Rights' for Women," launching the campaign opposing ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment. Arguing that the ERA would force women into the military, jeopardize benefits under Social Security, and weaken existing legal protections under divorce and marriage laws, Schlafly played a large part in bringing the movement toward ratification of the amendment to a halt. (text) (see Jan 1)


December 15 Peace Love Activism

December 15, 1969: Nixon announced that 50,000 additional U.S. troops would be pulled out of South Vietnam by April 15, 1970. (see Dec 16)


December 15 Peace Love Activism

December 15, 1976: the oil tanker MV Argo Merchant caused one of the worst marine oil spills in history when it runs aground near Nantucket, Massachusetts. (NYT article) (see, May 11, 1977)

The Cold War

People’s Republic of China

December 15 Peace Love Activism

December 15, 1978: President Jimmy Carter stated that as of January 1, 1979, the United States would formally recognize the communist People's Republic of China (PRC) and sever relations with Taiwan. (see June 18, 1979)
Dissolution of the USSR
December 15, 1989: a popular uprising began in Romania. (see Dec 17)


December 15, 1981: a suicide car bomb killed 61 people at the Iraqi embassy in Beirut, Lebanon; Iraq's ambassador to Lebanon was among the casualties. (see April 18, 1983)

Irish Troubles

December 15, 1993:  the Downing Street Declaration, issued jointly by UK and the Republic of Ireland, affirmed the UK would transfer Northern Ireland to the Republic of Ireland only if a majority of Northern Ireland's people approved. (see August 31, 1994)


December 15, 1998: in a blow to White House hopes, 11 moderate House Republicans announced they would vote to impeach the president. (see Dec 16)

Iraq War II

December 15, 2009:  millions of Iraqis turned out to choose a parliament in a mostly peaceful election. (see February 2, 2006)

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