January 20 Peace Love Activism
Hiram Rhodes Revels
January 20, 1870: Hiram Rhodes Revels was elected to the U.S. Senate. He would become the first African American to serve in the United States Congress. Revels was elected in Mississippi to fill the vacancy left after the state’s secession from the Union prior to the Civil War.
However, when Revels later arrived in Washington, Southern Democrats determined to block his seating to the U.S. Congress. The Democrats declared his election null and void for various reasons including the fact that he was ineligible for the Senate because he was not a citizen under Dred Scott until the passage of the 14th Amendment. (biography of Revels from US House site) (BH, see Feb 3; Revels, see Feb 25)
George H White
January 20, 1900: Black Congressman, George H White from North Carolina introduced the first bill in Congress to make lynching a federal crime to be prosecuted by federal courts; it died in committee, opposed by southern white Democrats. (see September 3, 1901)
Georgia attempts to withhold school funding
January 20, 1951: Georgia Governor Eugene Talmadge attempted to fight integration by asking the legislature to withhold funds from schools which admit black students. (see Apr 23)
James H Meredith
January 20, 1963: though he initially considered leaving because of continual harassment, James H Meredith announced that he would return to the U of Mississippi for the spring semester. (Black History, see Jan 24; Meredith, see July 9 )
Martin Luther King Jr. Day
January 20, 1986: the US observed the first federal holiday in honor of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. (see Feb 6)
BILL OF RIGHTS
January 20, 1920: American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) founded.
see January 20 Music et al for more
Meet the Beatles
January 20, 1965: Alan Freed died. Freed was the man who first played Rock and Roll on the radio and was one of the first to use the term “Rock’N’Roll” in the early 1950’s. Freed is commonly referred to as the “Father of Rock’N’Roll”. He helped bridge the gap of segregation among young teenage Americans, presenting music by African-American artists (rather than cover versions by white artists) on his radio program, and arranging live concerts attended by racially mixed audiences. Freed appeared in several motion pictures as himself. In the 1956 film Rock, Rock, Rock, Freed tells the audience that “rock and roll is a river of music that has absorbed many streams: rhythm and blues, jazz, rag time, cowboy songs, country songs, folk songs. All have contributed to the big beat.” (see January 8, 1966)
Byrds Mr Tambourine Man
January 20, 1965: The Byrds entered the studio to record “Mr Tambourine Man,” what would become the title track of their debut album and, incidentally, the only Bob Dylan song ever to reach #1 on the U.S. pop charts. Aiming consciously for a vocal style in between Bob Dylan and John Lennon, Roger McGuinn sang lead, with Gene Clark and David Crosby providing the complex harmony that would, along with McGuinn’s jangly electric 12-string Rickenbacker guitar, form the basis of the Byrds’ trademark sound. (see Mar 27)
Woody Guthrie Memorial Concert
January 20, 1968, Bob Dylan and the Band performed Woody Guthrie’s “I Ain’t Got No Home” at the Woody Guthrie Memorial Concert, Carnegie Hall. The concert was Dylan’s first public appearance since his motorcycle accident on August 20, 1966 (pictured with Dylan are drummer Levon Helm, Rick Danko, and Robbie Robertson). (see April 9, 1969)
Judy In Disguise
January 20 – Feb 2, 1968: “Judy In Disguise (With Glasses)” by John Fred & His Playboy Band #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
|Judy in disguise, well that’s what you are
Lemonade pies with a brand new car
Cantaloupe eyes come to me tonight
Judy in disguise, with glasses
The Beatles inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
January 20, 1988. Paul McCartney did not attend the ceremony, leaving surviving Beatles George Harrison and Ringo Starr, and Lennon’s widow, Yoko Ono, to be inducted by Mick Jagger. McCartney released a brief statement that read: ‘’After 20 years, the Beatles still have some business differences, which I had hoped would have been settled by now. Unfortunately, they haven’t been, so I would feel like a complete hypocrite waving and smiling with them at a fake reunion.’’ (see May 7, 1992)
January 20 Inaugurations Since 1960
January 20, 1961: John F Kennedy inaugurated.
January 20, 1965: Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in for his own full term as U.S. President.
January 20, 1969, Richard Nixon inaugurated. January 20, 1973: Nixon inaugurated for his second term.
January 20, 1977, Jimmy Carter inaugurated.
January 20, 1981: Ronald Reagan’s first; January 20, 1985: Reagan’s second.
January 20, 1989: George H. W. Bush inaugurated the 41st President.
January 20, 1993: Bill Clinton inaugurated. January 20, 1997, Bill Clinton is inaugurated for his second term. On the last day of his presidency, January 20, 2001, Clinton issued a presidential pardon to Patty Hearst;
January 20, 2001: George W. Bush inaugurated. January 20, 2005, George W. Bush is inaugurated for his second term.
January 20, 2009: Barack Obama inaugurated first time.
January 20, 2017: Donald Trump inaugurated.
January 20 Peace Love Activism
January 20, 1966: stewardess Judith Evenson’s challenge to the airlines’ “no marriage” policy was one of a number of cases between the mid-1960s and mid-1970s in which stewardesses challenged discriminatory policies in the industry. She eventually settled her case out of court, but subsequent challenges by other stewardesses ended this and other discriminatory policies. (F, see June 30; Labor, see June 8)
Symbionese Liberation Army
January 20, 2006: a Maryland judge struck down a state law banning same-sex marriage saying the measure violated a state constitutional amendment prohibiting sex discrimination. (see Oct 25, 2006)
January 20, 2011: iPhone maker Apple was criticized by Chinese green groups for lax corporate oversight of its suppliers in China, leading to poor environmental and work safety standards that poisoned dozens of factory workers. (see Feb 22)
SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE
Holt v Hobbs
January 20, 2015: the US Supreme Court ruled unanimously and invalidated an Arkansas state prison rule that barred inmates from growing beards measuring more than a quarter of an inch long. The rule had been challenged by inmate Gregory Holt, a Muslim man who had asked for permission to grow a half-inch-long beard as a compromise from the full beard he believed was required by his faith. In the ruling the Supreme Court said the policy violated Holt’s religious beliefs.
Justice Ruth Ginsberg wrote: “Unlike the exemption this Court approved in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., accommodating petitioner’s religious belief in this case would not detrimentally affect others who do not share petitioner’s belief. On that understanding, I join the Court’s opinion.” (Oyez article)
Church request denied
January 20, 2015: the Supreme Court decided not hear a petition by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Baton Rouge, LA regarding a civil lawsuit the diocese said threatened the confidentiality of the confession..
The petition had sought to block a child from testifying in a civil suit against the church and priest about what she said in confession. The high court’s decision meant the lawsuit could move forward.
The Louisiana Supreme Court’s ruling, rendered in May 2014, laid out arguments that priests should be subject to mandatory reporting laws regarding abuse of minors if the person who makes the confession waives confidentiality. Normally, priests are exempt as mandatory reporters in the setting of confessions. The decision by the state’s high court stated confidentially was intended to protect the person who made the confessions, not the person who receives them.
The original case involved a then-minor girl, who alleged she confessed during the sacrament of Reconciliation to Baton Rouge priest Father George Bayhi that a fellow church parishioner had molested her. The Mayeux family sued the priest and diocese for damages, claiming they were negligent in allowing the alleged abuse to continue and should have reported it to authorities. The suit also names the estate of the man Mayeux says molested her, who died in 2009, as a defendant.
The state Supreme Court’s ruling did not decide the case but ordered it returned to the district level for a hearing to let both sides present evidence about the nature of the confessions. The hearing would decide if the communications between Mayeux and Bayhi should be considered religious confessions and/or explore the content of what was allegedly said. (see June 30)
January 20, 2017: the new Trump administration immediately undid one of Barack Obama’s last-minute economic-policy actions: a mortgage-fee cut under a government program that was popular with first-time home buyers and low-income borrowers.
HUD cancelled a reduction in the Federal Housing Administration’s annual fee for most borrowers. The cut would have reduced the annual premium for someone borrowing $200,000 by $500 in the first year. (see May 1)
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