January 7 Peace Love Art Activism

January 7 Peace Love Art Activism

Technological Milestones

Jean-Pierre Blanchard & John Jeffries

January 7, 1785:  Frenchman Jean-Pierre Blanchard and American John Jeffries traveled in a gas balloon from Dover, England, to Calais, France becoming the first to cross the English Channel by air. The two men nearly crashed into the Channel along the way, however, as their balloon was weighed down by extraneous supplies such as anchors, a nonfunctional hand-operated propeller, and silk-covered oars with which they hoped they could row their way through the air. Just before reaching the French coast, the two balloonists were forced to throw nearly everything out of the balloon. Blanchard even threw his trousers over the side in a desperate, but apparently successful, attempt to lighten the ship. (see December 21, 1790)

Transatlantic telephone service

January 7, 1927: commercial transatlantic telephone service inaugurated between New York and London. (see Sept 7)

January 7 Peace Love Art Activism

US Labor History

Mine explosion

January 7, 1892: when an untrained worker accidentally set off  explosives the resulting explosion at Osage Coal and Mining Company’s Mine Number 11 near Krebs, Okla., killed 100 and injured 150 (see July 6)

Tear gas used again strikers and their families

On January 6, 1916 eight thousand workers went on at Youngstown Sheet & Tube. 

On January 7, 1916 wives and other family members of the Youngstown Sheet & Tube strikers join in the protest. Company guards use tear gas bombs and fired into the crowd; three strikers are killed, 25 wounded. (see Apr 15)

Tom Mooney

January 7, 1939: radical labor activist Tom Mooney, accused of a murder by bombing in San Francisco, was pardoned and freed after 22 years in San Quentin. During his time in prison, labor, socialist, communist, and other activists campaigned worldwide to free him. (NYT article) (see Feb 27)

Unions try to re-organize

January 7, 2009: the presidents of 12 of the nation’s largest unions met and called for reuniting the American labor movement, which split into two factions in 2005 when seven unions left the AFL-CIO and formed a rival federation. The meeting followed signals from President-elect Barack Obama that he would prefer dealing with a united movement, rather than a fractured one that often had two competing voices. Unions from both sides of the split participated in the meeting. The reunification effort failed, but by mid-2013 four of the unions had rejoined the AFL-CIO.  (see Jan 29)

January 7 Peace Love Art Activism

Nuclear and Chemical Weapons


January 7 Peace Love Art Activism

January 7, 1953: in his final State of the Union address before Congress, President Harry S. Truman announced that the United States had developed a hydrogen bomb. (see June 19)

NY Indian Point nuclear plant

January 7, 2017: it was announced that the Indian Point nuclear plant would shut down by April 2021 under an agreement New York State reached with Entergy, the utility company that owned the facility in Westchester County.

Under the terms of the agreement, one of the two nuclear reactors at Indian Point would permanently cease operations by April 2020, while the other must be closed by April 2021. The shutdown had long been a priority for Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, who — though supportive of upstate nuclear plants — had repeatedly called for shutting down Indian Point, which he says posed too great a risk to New York City, less than 30 miles to the south. (see Jan 28)

January 7 Peace Love Art Activism



January 7, 1955:  Marian Anderson became the first African American singer to perform at the Metropolitan Opera. (NYT article) (BH, see March 2; Feminism; see March 9, 1959)

 Tuskegee protest

January 7, 1966: 250 black students staged a march through downtown Tuskegee to protest the January 3 murder of Samuel “Sammy” Younge Jr. The march ended with a rally on the steps of the local jail where Younge’s accused killer, Martin Segrest, was being held. The shooting brought to a head growing tensions in Tuskegee between African Americans and pro-segregation whites. The day following the shooting, Tuskegee University students launched protests that would last for weeks. Segrest was indicted and tried on second degree murder charges later that year, but acquitted by an all-white jury on December 8, 1966.  (BH, see Jan 10; Younge, see Dec 8)

Maynard Jackson

January 7, 1974:  Maynard Jackson became the 1st African-American mayor of Atlanta. He served three terms, two consecutive terms from 1974 until 1982 and a third term from 1990 to 1994. [Black Then article] (next BH, see Jan 19)

Marco Proano

January 7, 2019: the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the conviction of a Chicago police officer Marco Proano who was serving a five-year prison sentence for shooting into a car full of teenagers in December 2013, wounding two.

The Court concluded in a 23-page opinion that the “brazenness” of Marco Proano’s actions that night was enough to support the conclusion that, “despite the car not threatening anyone’s safety, Proano fired 16 shots at it, including several after the car began idling.” [CST article] (next B & S, see Jan 11)

BLACK & SHOT/Tyre Nichols

January 7, 2023: Memphis police officers attacked Tyre Nichols, a 29-year-old black man, He died on January 10.

The officers, all members of the Memphis Police Department (MPD) SCORPION unit, pulled Nichols from his car before pepper spraying and tasering him. Nichols broke free and ran toward his mother’s house, which was less than a mile (1.6 km) away. Five black officers caught up with Nichols near the house, where they punched, kicked and pepper sprayed him, and struck him with a baton. Medics on the scene failed to administer care for 16 minutes after arriving. Nichols was admitted to the hospital in critical condition. [NYT article] (next B & S, see Jan 24; next Nichols, see Sept 12)

January 7 Peace Love Art Activism

Cold War

January 7, 1959: U.S. recognized Cuba’s new provisional government. Despite fears that Fidel Castro might have communist leanings, the U.S. government believed that it could work with the new regime and protect American interests in Cuba.(see Feb 16)

January 7 Peace Love Art Activism


January 7 Peace Love Art Activism

January 7, 1966: Time Magazine chose General William Westmoreland as 1965’s ‘Man of the Year.’ (see Jan 8)

January 7 Peace Love Art Activism

January 7 Music et al

Phil Ochs

January 7 Peace Love Art Activism

January 7, 1968,: the “Stop The Draft” benefit with Phil Ochs, The Loading Zone, Blue Cheer, Mad River, Mt Rushmore and The Committee at The Fillmore Auditorium, San Francisco. (Vietnam, see Jan 16; DCB, see May 27, 1968)

Max Yasgur sued

January 7, 1970: Max Yasgur’s neighbors  sued him for $35,000 for property damage caused by the August 1969 Woodstock Festival. (NYT article) (see March 26, 1970)

Dead in the Garden

January 7, 1979: the Grateful Dead played for the first time at NYD’s Madison Square Garden. It was the first of 52 shows they would play there between 1979 and 1994. (see Grateful Dead Play Madison Square Garden) (see July 10, 1986)

January 7 Peace Love Art Activism


January 7, 1974: a federal court on this day acquitted an Army soldier, Pfc. Walter McNair, charged with wearing a turban while on military duty, citing the Free Exercise clause of the First Amendment. McNair and another soldier had converted to the Sikh religion while serving in Germany. The two were also charged with wearing long hair and beards. The Army had convicted them, sentenced them to three months at hard labor, and given them general discharges. (NYT article) (see September 8, 1981)

January 7 Peace Love Art Activism


January 7, 1983: CDC reported cases of AIDS in female sexual partners of males with AIDS. (see Mar 4)

January 7 Peace Love Art Activism


Monica  Lewinsky

January 7, 1998: Monica  Lewinsky filed an affidavit in the Jones case in which she denied ever having a sexual relationship with President Clinton.

Impeachment begins

January 7, 1999: with ceremonial flourishes, the perjury and obstruction of justice trial of President Bill Clinton began in the Senate, with the swearing in of Chief Justice William Rehnquist to preside and the senators as jurors. (see Clinton for expanded chronology)

January 7 Peace Love Art Activism

Women’s Health

January 7, 2013: the U.S. Supreme Court refused to review a challenge to federal funding of human embryonic stem cell research brought by two researchers who said the U.S. National Institutes of Health rules on such studies violated federal law. (see Feb 11)

January 7 Peace Love Art Activism


January 7, 2013: after a court settlement reached between the federal government and the American Civil Liberties Union, gay and lesbian veterans discharged from the military under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” would get full separation pay. (see Jan 28)

January 7 Peace Love Art Activism

Environmental Issues

January 7 Peace Love Art Activism

January 7, 2015: a study, published in The Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, indicated that hydraulic fracturing built up subterranean pressures that repeatedly caused slippage in an existing fault as close as a half-mile beneath wells near Youngstown, Ohio. The study concluded that the earthquakes were not isolated events, but merely the largest of scores of quakes that rattled the area around the wells for more than a week. (see Jan 17)

January 7 Peace Love Art Activism

Crime and Punishment

January 7, 2020: after a 10-day period in which five inmates died, two inmates escaped, and videos and photos of fires and blood-smeared walls shot by inmates on smuggled cellphones had spread across social media, Representative Bennie G. Thompson, Democrat of Mississippi, and a roster of state civil rights groups asked the Justice Department to open a civil rights investigation into the state’s prison system.

In a 23-page letter, they described “extreme” staff vacancies despite the third-highest incarceration rate in the country. The letter also described a long record of violence, escapes, uprisings, inadequate health care and institutions where criminal gangs were tolerated. At one prison, the letter noted, gang members who dominate the kitchen withhold food to punish disfavored prisoners, and control who gets a mattress or blanket. [NYT article] (next C &P, see Apr 3)

January 7 Peace Love Art Activism