April 16 Peace Love Art Activism

April 16 Peace Love Art Activism

April 16 Peace Love Art Activism


“Celebration of the Abolition of Slavery in the District of Columbia by the Colored People, in Washington, April 19, 1866.” sketched by F. Dielman; Harper’s Weekly, May 12, 1866. The African American Odyssey: A Quest for Full Citizenship.

April 16, 1862: President Lincoln signed an act abolishing slavery in the District of Columbia. (see May 1)

Boston Red Sox “Tryouts”

April 16, 1945: the Boston Red Sox reluctantly held a Major League tryout for Black ballplayers in the Negro Baseball League that many regarded as some of the best players in the world, but refused to sign any of them due to “an unwritten rule at that time against hiring Black players.”

Future Hall-of-Famer Jackie Robinson, along with Marvin Williams and Sam Jethroe, traveled thousands of miles to attend the tryouts. During the workout, which was attended only by Red Sox team management, players were taunted and endured shouts from the stands including “get those niggers off the field.”  Red Sox managers abandoned all three Black ballplayers and sent them home without contracts or even the courtesy of a response from the team managers.

The Boston Red Sox remained segregated until 1959—14 years after Jackie Robinson’s original tryout and two seasons after Mr. Robinson retired. The team rostered its first Black player, Pumpsie Green, only after the NAACP charged them with racial discrimination and the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination forced them to integrate. They were the last team in MLB to accept Black players. [EJI article] (next BH, see June 12)

 The Greensboro Four

April 16 – 17, 1960: Easter weekend, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) organized a meeting of sit-in students from all over the nation at Shaw University in Raleigh, N.C. Leader Ella Baker encouraged students to form the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC, pronounced “snick”) to organize the effort.

SNCC helped coordinate sit-ins and other direct action. From their ranks came many of today’s leaders, including Congressman John Lewis and longtime NAACP leader Julian Bond. At the conference, Guy Carawan sang a new version of “We Shall Overcome,” which became the national anthem of the civil rights movement. Workers joined hands and gently swayed in time, singing “black and white together,” repeating, “Deep in my heart, I do believe, we shall overcome some day.” (see Greensboro for expanded story)


April 16 Peace Love Art Activism

April 16, 1963: King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” responding to eight white clergymen from Alabama who had chastised him breaking the law released. King reminded them that everything that Adolf Hitler did in Germany was “legal” and everything the freedom fighters did in Hungary was “illegal.” The letter was released on this date.

While confined here in the Birmingham city jail, I came across your recent statement calling my present activities “unwise and untimely.” Martin Luther King writes “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” arguing that individuals have the moral duty to disobey unjust laws. “Never before have I written so long a letter. I’m afraid it is much too long to take your precious time. I can assure you that it would have been much shorter if I had been writing from a comfortable desk, but what else can one do when he is alone in a narrow jail cell, other than write long letters, think long thoughts and pray long prayers?”  [link to PDF of  Letter]  (BH, see Apr 23; MLK, see June 11)

George Whitmore, Jr

April 16, 1979: The NY Times reported that Whitmore’s $10 million claim against New York City for improper arrest and imprisonment and his request for a jury trial were dismissed for technical reasons the previous week by Justice William Bellard in State Supreme Court. (see Whitmore for expanded story)

Rodney King attack

April 16, 1993: federal jury convicted Sgt. Stacey Koon and Laurence Michael Powell on one charge of violating King’s civil rights. Officers Timothy Wind, and Theodore Briseno were found not guilty. No disturbances follow the verdict. (BH, see May 28; King, see Aug 4)

April 16 Peace Love Art Activism

US Labor History

Int’l Ladies’ Garment Workers Union

April 16 Peace Love Art Activism

April 16, 1916:  in a dispute over hiring practices,  employers locked out 25,000 New York City garment workers. The Int’l Ladies’ Garment Workers Union called a general strike and after 14 weeks, 60,000 strikers won union recognition and the contractual right to strike (see June 3)

April 16 Peace Love Art Activism


Albert Hoffman

April 16 Peace Love Art Activism

April 16, 1943: In Basel, Switzerland, Albert Hoffman, a Swiss chemist working at the Sandoz pharmaceutical research laboratory, accidentally consumed LSD-25, a synthetic drug he had created in 1938 as part of his research into the medicinal value of lysergic acid compounds. After taking the drug, formally known as lysergic acid diethylamide, Dr. Hoffman was disturbed by unusual sensations and hallucinations. In his notes, he related the experience: “Last Friday, April 16, 1943, I was forced to interrupt my work in the laboratory in the middle of the afternoon and proceed home, being affected by a remarkable restlessness, combined with a slight dizziness. At home I lay down and sank into a not unpleasant, intoxicated-like condition characterized by an extremely stimulated imagination. In a dreamlike state, with eyes closed (I found the daylight to be unpleasantly glaring), I perceived an uninterrupted stream of fantastic pictures, extraordinary shapes with intense, kaleidoscopic play of colors. After some two hours this condition faded away.” (see Hoffman for expanded story)

April 16 Peace Love Art Activism

Cold War

Bernard Baruch

April 16, 1947: multimillionaire and financier Bernard Baruch, in a speech given during the unveiling of his portrait in the South Carolina House of Representatives, coins the term “Cold War to describe relations between the United States and the Soviet Union. He said it was only through “unity” between labor and management that the United States could hope to play its role as the major force by which “the world can renew itself physically or spiritually.” He called for longer workweeks, no-strike pledges from unions, and no-layoff pledges from management. It was imperative that American business and industry pull itself together, Baruch warned. “Let us not be deceived-we are today in the midst of a cold war.” And thus the term was coined and the media adopted. (see May 22)

April 16 Peace Love Art Activism

Environmental Issues

Texas City explosion

April 16, 1947: 2,300 tons of ammonium nitrate on board a ship docked in the port of Texas City detonate, setting off a chain reaction of explosions and fires on other ships and nearby oil storage facilities. The explosion killed at least 581 people and injured thousands in the deadliest industrial disaster in U.S. history. As a result, changes in chemical manufacturing and new regulations for the bagging, handling, and shipping of chemicals were enacted. (see March 24, 1955)


April 16, 2020:  the NY Times reported that  the Trump administration had weakened regulations on the release of mercury and other toxic metals from oil and coal-fired power plants, another step toward rolling back health protections in the middle of a pandemic.

The final Environmental Protection Agency rule did not eliminate restrictions on the release of mercury, a heavy metal linked to brain damage. Instead, it created a new method of calculating the costs and benefits of curbing mercury pollution that environmental lawyers said would fundamentally undermine the legal underpinnings of controls on mercury and many other pollutants.

By reducing the positive health effects of regulations on paper, while raising their negative economic costs, the new method could be used to justify loosening restrictions on any pollutant that the fossil fuel industry has deemed too costly to control. (next EI, see July 6)

April 16 Peace Love Art Activism

Nuclear/Chemical News

Tybee bomb

April 16 Peace Love Activism

April 16, 1958: the military announced that the search efforts for the Tybee bomb (see February 5, 1958) had been unsuccessful. Based upon a hydrologic survey, the bomb was thought by the Department of Energy to lie buried under 5 to 15 feet of silt at the bottom of Wassaw Sound. The Tybee Bomb remaining buried would be a positive thing because if the bomb’s alloy casing were exposed to seawater by the shifting strata in which it is presumed to be buried, rapid corrosion could occur. That would allow the highly enriched uranium to leach out of the device and enter the aquifer that surrounds the continental shelf in this area. (see Aug 24)

April 16 Peace Love Art Activism

April 16 Music et al


April 16, 1961: about 500 persons attended a rally at in the Baptist Church near Washington Square to protest the the ban against Sunday singing and performing in Washington Square. (see NYC bans for expanded story)

Bob Dylan

April 16, 1962: Dylan debuted his song “Blowin’ in the Wind” at Gerde’s Folk City in New York. (see Apr 25)

Rolling Stones

April 16, 1964. the Rolling Stones released their début album, The Rolling Stones (England’s Newest Hitmakers).

Herb Albert

April 16 – May 20, 1966: Herb Albert’s Going Places returns as to the Billboard #1 album.

April 16 Peace Love Art Activism

Space Race

Apollo 16

April 16 Peace Love Activism

April 16 – 27, 1972: Apollo 16 voyage. It will land on the moon and travel almost 17 miles with the lunar rover. Commander, John W Young; Charles M Duke, Jr, Lunar Module Pilot; and Thomas K Mattingly II, Command Module Pilot. (see Dec 7 – 19)

April 16 Peace Love Art Activism


Resumed bombing Hanoi

April 16, 1972: in an effort to help blunt the ongoing North Vietnamese Nguyen Hue Offensive, the US resumed bombing Hanoi and Haiphong after a four-year lull. In the first use of B-52s against both Hanoi and Haiphong, and the first attacks against both cities since November 1968, 18 B-52s and about 100 U.S. Navy and Air Force fighter-bombers struck supply dumps near Haiphong’s harbor. Sixty fighter-bombers hit petroleum storage facilities near Hanoi, with another wave of planes striking later in the afternoon. White House spokesmen announced that the US would bomb military targets anywhere in Vietnam in order to help the South Vietnamese defend against the communist onslaught. (see Apr 22)

My Lai Massacre

April 16, 1974: Lieutenant Calley’s sentence was further reduced from 20 years to 10 years. Calley will return to the stockade from house arrest, but will be released on parole that November. In total, Calley serves four months in a stockade. (see My Lai for expanded story; next Vietnam, see Sept 16)

April 16 Peace Love Art Activism


April 16, 1998: Ken Starr withdrew from consideration for the deanship at Pepperdine University Law School. Starr said an end to the Whitewater investigation “was not yet in sight.” Bernard Lewinsky lashed out at Kenneth Starr, calling the treatment of his daughter “unconscionable.” He also asked for help in paying the former intern’s legal bills. (see Clinton for expanded story)

April 16 Peace Love Art Activism

Dissolution of the USSR

April 16, 2003: 10 countries signed  the 2003 Treaty of Accession admitting them to the European Union (EU). After Malta and Cyprus, eight of the ten new EU nations (Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania) were former communist countries. The signing of the treaty in Athens marked the first time that former members of the Soviet Bloc joined the EU. (U of Pittsburgh article) (see USSR for expanded chronology)

April 16 Peace Love Art Activism

Iraq War II


April 16, 2007:  “As of Sunday, April 15, 2007, at least 3,300 members of the U.S. military have died since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count.” [AP, 4/16/07] (NBC News article) (see Apr 25)

April 16 Peace Love Art Activism


Baze v. Rees

April 16, 2008: in Baze v. Rees the United States Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of a particular method of lethal injection used for capital punishment. Ralph Baze and Thomas Bowling (sentenced to death in Kentucky) had argued that executing them by lethal injection would violate the Eighth Amendment prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment. The governing legal standard required that lethal injection must not inflict “unnecessary pain”, and Baze and Bowling argued that the lethal chemicals Kentucky used carried an unnecessary risk of inflicting pain during the execution.

The case had nationwide implications because the specific “cocktail” used for lethal injections in Kentucky was the same that virtually all states used for lethal injection. (Oyez article) (see September 30, 2009)

April 16 Peace Love Art Activism

Immigration History

April 16, 2019: the Department of Justice issued an order that could keep thousands of asylum-seekers detained while they wait for their cases to be heard in immigration court — a wait that often lasted months or years.

The ruling by Attorney General William Barr was the latest step by the Trump administration designed to discourage asylum-seekers from coming to the U.S. hoping for refuge.

In a written decision that overturned a 2005 policy, Barr directed immigration judges not to release migrants on bail once their cases have been approved for expedited removal proceedings — a status granted only after an applicant successfully establishes “a credible fear of persecution or torture” in the home country. (see Apr 18)

April 16 Peace Love Art Activism

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