January 17 Peace Love Activism

January 17 Peace Love Activism

January 17 Peace Love Activism


Act 44

January 17, 1834: the Alabama State Legislature passed Act 44 as part of a series of increasingly restrictive laws governing the behavior of free and enslaved blacks within the state.

In the immediate aftermath of the infamous Nat Turner slave rebellion in Virginia (see August 21 – 22, 1831), Alabama passed a statute in 1833 that made it unlawful for free blacks to settle in Alabama. That statute provided that freed blacks found in Alabama would be given thirty days to vacate the state. After thirty days, the freed slave could be subject to a penalty of thirty-nine lashes and receive an additional twenty-day period to leave the state. After that period had expired, the free person could be sold back into slavery with proceeds of the sale going to the state and to those who participated in apprehending him.

Act 44 expanded on this legislation by specifying a series of procedures that had to be followed for a slave to be freed within the state. One of the requirements was that emancipation for an enslaved person could take effect only outside of Alabama’s borders. Further, if an emancipated slave returned to Alabama, he could be lawfully captured and sold back into slavery. In fact, Act 44 required sheriffs and other law enforcement officers to actively attempt to apprehend freed slaves who had entered Alabama for any reason. (see Oct 21, 1835)

Cassius Marcellus Clay

January 17 Peace Love Activism

January 17, 194: Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr. born in Louisville, Kentucky. About Clay’s childhood, Ali’s younger brother, Rudy said “All the time, he used to ask me to throw rocks at him. I thought he was crazy, but he’d dodge every one. No matter how many I threw, I could never hit him.” (see Muhammad Ali for more) (BH, see July 1, 1942; MA, see October, 1954)

George Jackson

January 17 Peace Love Activism

January 17, 1970: George Jackson was charged along with Fleeta Drumgo and John Clutchette for murdering Soledad prison guard John V. Mills. Mills was beaten and thrown from the third floor of Soledad’s Y wing. This was a capital offense and a successful conviction could put them in the gas chamber.

Mills  was apparently murdered  in retaliation for the shooting deaths of three black inmates by a Soledad officer Opie G Miller the year prior. Miller was not convicted of any crime, a grand jury ruling his actions to be justifiable homicide. (George Jackson bio from black past dot com)  (BH, see Jan 26; BP, see Feb 21)

James A. Hood died

January 17, 2013: James A. Hood died in Gadsden, Ala. He was 70. Hood integrated the University of Alabama on June 11, 1963 together with his fellow student Vivian Malone after Gov. George C. Wallace capitulated to the federal government in a signature moment of the civil rights movement known as the “stand in the schoolhouse door.”  (NYT obit) (see Jan 30)

US Labor History

Lucy Parsons

January 17 Peace Love Activism

January 17, 1915: organized and led by radical labor organizer, Lucy Parsons, more than 1,500 people march in Chicago, demanding relief from hunger and high levels of unemployment in the city. Parsons was described by the Chicago Police Department as “more dangerous than a thousand rioters.”  (Lucy Parson site bio) (see Jan 19)

Federal employees organize

January 17, 1962: an order by President Kennedy allowed federal employees to organize, join unions, and bargain collectively with the government. It did not give them the right to strike. The move begins an era of public employee unionization. (public employee unions, see January 22, 2010; LH, February 10, 1963)

Cultural Milestone

January 17 Peace Love Activism

January 17, 1920: the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution took effect and prohibition began.  Section 1 read:

After one year from the ratification of this article the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited. (see Aug 31)


January 17 Peace Love Activism

January 17, 1966: Ken Kesey tried for marijuana possession arrest in October 1965. He was found guilty and sentenced to six months on a work farm and three years probation. (see January 19)

Nuclear News

January 17 Peace Love Activism

January 17, 1966: a B-52 bomber collided with a KC-135 jet tanker over Spain’s Mediterranean coast, dropping three 70-kiloton hydrogen bombs near the town of Palomares and one in the sea. None explode. (see Oct 5)


Gary Gilmore

January 17, 1977: a Utah firing squad made Gary Gilmore the first person executed in the U.S. in almost 10 years. (see June 29, 1977)

Clarence Ray Allen

January 17, 2006:  California executed Clarence Ray Allen, its oldest death row inmate, minutes after his 76th birthday. The execution took place despite arguments that putting to death an elderly, blind and wheelchair-bound man was cruel and unusual punishment. Allen arranged a triple murder 25 years earlier.  (see Dec 30)

January 17 Peace Love Activism


Tow missiles/Iran-contra affair

January 17, 1986: 4000 more Tow missiles for Iran authorized by Reagan, supplied through Israel.

Scud missiles

January 17, 1991: Iraq fires eight Scud missiles into Israel. (Jan 22)

US dead

January 17, 2004:  500 U.S. soldiers dead in Iraq since the invasion. (see Feb 4)


January 17, 1998: William Ginsburg flew to Washington to represent Monica Lewinsky. President Clinton gave his deposition in the Jones lawsuit, in which he denied having a sexual relationship with Lewinsky. Newsweek magazine decided not to run a story by investigative reporter Michael Isikoff on the Lewinsky tapes and the alleged affair. (see Clinton for expanded story)

Womens Health

January 17, 2014: U.S. District Judge Catherine Eagles ruled that North Carolina law requiring women who want an abortion to have an ultrasound and then have a medical provider describe the image to them is a violation of constitutional free-speech rights. Eagles stated that states don’t have the power to force a health care provider to be the bearer of what she called an “ideological message in favor of carrying a pregnancy to term.” (see Feb 5)

Environmental Issues

January 17, 2015: oil pumped in the Bakken formation in North Dakota and Montana leaked from a pipeline into the Yellowstone River near Glendive, Montana. The 12-inch crude line was shut, according to Bill Salvin, an outside spokesman for True Companies, whose Bridger Pipeline LLC operated the Poplar pipe system. As much as 1,200 barrels of oil leaked from the pipeline, much of which went into the Yellowstone River, said Dave Parker, spokesman for Montana Governor Steve Bullock. (see Feb 16)

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