July 12 Peace Love Art Activism

July 12 Peace Love Art Activism


Cincinnati Riot
James Bierney

On July 5, a race riot had began in Cincinnati when African Americans observed an Independence Day celebration. Although this had long been the custom of the blacks, some whites considered it as a demonstration that the blacks wanted full integration. Noted abolitionist James Birney attended the event, which helped stir up passions.

On 12 July 1836, about forty men broke into the building housing Birney’s press, and destroyed it. The men were described as “respectable and wealthy gentlemen”. They shredded newspapers, broke the press in pieces, and dragged the damaged parts through the streets. Birney lost an estimated $1,500 in damage. He agreed to continue producing the paper only when his property was guaranteed to the value of $2,000 by the Ohio Anti-Slavery Society

Following the press smashing, placards appeared saying “The Citizens of Cincinnati … satisfied that the business of the place is receiving a vital stab from the wicked and misguided operations of the abolitionists, are resolved to arrest their course. The destruction of their Press on the night of the 12th instant, may be taken as a warning”. (next BH, see In October) 

John Henry James lynched

July 12, 1898: a Black man named John Henry James was lynched near Charlottesville, Virginia after being falsely accused of assaulting a white woman. Although at least 150 unmasked white men were involved in the lynching – and the police chief and county sheriff were present when Mr. James was lynched – no one was ever held accountable for his killing. Mr. James’s lynching was later celebrated by several hundred more white people who gathered to see his body as it was left hanging for hours. (nex BH, see “In September” ; next Lynching, see Aug 10 or see Lynching for expanded chronology)

Marcus Garvey

July 12, 1919: the Bureau of Investigation (the predecessor to the FBI) requested that its New York office forward all information on Garvey to headquarters in Washington, and instructed its Chicago division to monitor Garvey and other black radicals. (BH, see July 19; MG, see Garvey for expanded story)

Albany Movement

July 12, 1962: Martin Luther King, Jr’s and Ralph Abernathy’s fines were anonymously paid and the two men were reluctantly freed. Years later it was revealed that the fines were paid by Albany Mayor Asa Kelley as a ploy to divide the movement and diffuse media attention on King’s imprisonment. (see Albany for expanded story)

Dee/Moore Murders

July 12 Peace Love Art Activism

July 12, 1964: while looking for the bodies of  the three missing civil rights workers [Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman, and James Chaney] searchers discover the disarticulated lower torso of Charles Moore in the river south of Tallulah, Louisiana. Moore’s body was identified by the draft card he had in his possession at the time of his death.  (see Dee/Moore for expanded story; see Murders for expanded story)

George Whitmore, Jr

July 12, 1966: Justice Hyman Barshay set bail at $5,000 for George Whitmore, Jr. pending appeal of his conviction in the Elba Borrero case. (see Whitmore for expanded story)

Newark, NJ

July 12 > 18, 1967: Newark, NJ race riot. The six days of rioting, looting, and destruction left 26 dead and hundreds injured. (see July 14)

Barbara Jordan

July 12, 1976: at the Democratic National Convention, Barbara Jordan, the first woman elected to congress from the deep south, became the first woman and first African American to deliver the keynote address, making her “Who Then Will Speak for the Common Good?” speech in New York, New York.

“Now I began this speech by commenting to you on the uniqueness of a Barbara Jordan making a keynote address. Well I am going to close my speech by quoting a Republican President and I ask you that as you listen to these words of Abraham Lincoln, relate them to the concept of a national community in which every last one of us participates:  “As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master.” This — This — “This expresses my idea of Democracy. Whatever differs from this, to the extent of the difference, is no Democracy.” (text of entire speech(BH, see Sept 7; Feminism, see Oct 15)

Trayvon Martin Shooting

July 12, 2013:  the trial closed and went to the jury. (see July 13)

July 12 Peace Love Art Activism

Native Americans

Stand Watie

July 12, 1861: Albert Pike, the Confederacy’s special commissioner, completed treaties with the members of the Choctaw and Chickasaw tribes, giving the new Confederate States of America several allies in Indian Territory. By signing these treaties, the tribes severed their relationships with the federal government, much in the way the southern states did by seceding from the Union. They were accepted into the Confederates States of America, and they sent representatives to the Confederate Congress. The Confederate government promised to protect the Native American’s land holdings and to fulfill the obligations such as annuity payments made by the federal government.

One Cherokee, Stand Watie, rose to the rank of brigadier general.  [American Battlefield site article] (Waite, see, June 23, 1865; NA, see August 4, 1862)

July 12 Peace Love Art Activism

Cultural Milestone

July 12 Peace Love Art Activism

July 12, 1960: the Etch A Sketch toy went on sale, using electrostatic charge and aluminum powder. [toy’s site] (see April 19, 1961)


 July 12 Peace Love Art Activism

July 12 Music et al

Jimmie Nicol

July 12 Peace Love Art Activism

July 12, 1964: The Beatles landed in Adelaide, Australia, minus Ringo. Ringo had been in the hospital and a friend of theirs, Jimmie Nicol took his place playing drums.

Over 250,000 people were on the road the band took from the airport to their hotel. It was a 10 mile trip and it was the biggest “welcome” the Beatles ever received.

For Jimmie Nicol, it had to be the trip of a lifetime. But it didn’t last. When Ringo returned, The Beatles threw a party that lasted till 4 am. Jimmie was not invited. In the morning, Brian Epstein drove him to the airport and gave the drummer 500 pounds and a gold watch. He didn’t say goodbye to The Beatles as they were all sleeping when he left. (see July 20)

see 1969 Forest Hills Music Festival for more

Beginning on July 12 and running on Saturdays during July and August, the 1969 Forest Hills Music Festival (Queens, NYC) featured a variety of performers including Janis Joplin, Richie Havens, Blood, Sweat and Tears,  and Johnny Winter.

Zager and Evans

July 12 – August 22, 1969: “In the Year 2525” by Zager and Evans #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

July 12 Peace Love Art Activism

Cold War

July 12, 1974: the National Research Act, signed into law on this day, created the National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research. Revelations about the abuse of human research subjects, including the notorious Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment (exposed by The New York Times on July 26, 1972), led to a movement to provide formal procedures to ensure that people were not subject to research that might endanger them in some way without their informed consent. The Commission led to the Belmont Report (see September 30, 1978) which recommended steps necessary to ensure informed consent. These efforts led to the creation of Institutional Review Board (IRB) at universities and other research institutions to ensure the protection of human subjects. [Centers for Disease Control article] (see February 20, 1976)

July 12 Peace Love Art Activism


July 12, 1975: São Tomé and Principe independent of Portugal. (see Sept 16)

July 12 Peace Love Art Activism


July 12, 1979:  Disco Demolition Night took place at Comiskey Park in Chicago. A crate filled with disco records was blown up on the field. During the climax of the event, rowdy fans surged onto the field, and a near riot ensued. The event has been characterized as “a mass exercise in racism and homophobia, reminiscent of Nazi book-burnings.” [NPR article] (see October 14, 1979)

July 12 Peace Love Art Activism

UK riots

July 12, 1981: the “Bradford 12” — a group of Asian youths, members of the “United Black Youth League” —  arrested for manufacturing petrol bombs, allegedly to protect their community from a threatened attack. At the subsequent trial, they were acquitted by a jury, on the grounds of self defense. [Bradford 12 site article] (see July 29)


July 12, 2005: Roderick Jackson, a high school basketball coach, claimed he was fired for complaining that the girls’ basketball team he coached was denied equal treatment by the school. Jackson sued the Birmingham Board of Education in federal court, claiming his firing violated Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. In Jackson v. Birmingham Board of Education, the Supreme Court ruleD that Title IX, which prohibits discrimination based on sex, also inherently prohibits disciplining someone for complaining about sex-based discrimination. It further held that this is the case even when the person complaining is not among those being discriminated against. [Oyez article] (see June 18, 2005)

July 12 Peace Love Art Activism

Immigration History

Luis Ramirez

July 12, 2008: a group of high school football players beat Luis Ramirez in Shenandoah, Pa. He died shortly after from head injuries. (see Ramirez for expanded story)

Trump’s Wall

July 12, 2017: Trump added a new component to the wall: it had to be see-through. And, for the first time, he proposed a “steel wall with openings.”

“One of the things with the wall is you need transparency. You have to be able to see through it,” Trump told reporters on Air Force One. “So it could be a steel wall with openings, but you have to have openings because you have to see what’s on the other side of the wall.

“When they throw the large sacks of drugs over, and if you have people on the other side of the wall, you don’t see them – they hit you on the head with 60 pounds of stuff? It’s over.”  (IH, see July 14; TW, see January 11, 2018)

July 12 Peace Love Art Activism

Terry Jones

July 12, 2010: Florida pastor Terry Jones tweeted: “9/11/2010 Int Burn a Koran Day.” He then started an associated “International Burn a Koran Day” Facebook group. (see July 14)

July 12 Peace Love Art Activism

Voting Rights

Felon disenfranchisement laws prohibit otherwise eligible citizens from voting because they have been convicted of a felony. Forty-eight states and the District of Columbia disenfranchise people while they are in prison, on probation, or on parole, and eleven states continue to disenfranchise people even after they have completed their sentences.

On July 12, 2012, The Sentencing Project reported that felon disenfranchisement laws significantly restrict participation in the democratic process and, exacerbated by racial disparities in the criminal justice system, significantly reduce the voting power of communities of color. As of December 31, 2010, an estimated 5.85 million Americans were ineligible to vote because of state laws disenfranchising felons. Only about 25 percent of that population was incarcerated in jail or prison; the remaining 75 percent had returned home having successfully completed their sentences or were supervised in their communities by probation or parole. As a result of felon disenfranchisement laws, more than four million Americans live, work, and pay taxes while unable to vote.

Disenfranchisement laws disproportionately restrict communities of color from participating in the political process. One out of every thirteen African Americans of voting age is disenfranchised – more than four times the rate for non-African Americans. In Florida, Kentucky, and Virginia, more than 20 percent of the voting-age African American population is barred from voting. Nationwide, nearly one million African Americans remain disenfranchised despite having served their sentences and returned to their communities.

Despite these staggering numbers, felon disenfranchisement has remained almost immune to judicial challenge because courts have ruled that section two of the Fourteenth Amendment, which permits abridging the right to vote “for participation in rebellion or other crime,” explicitly authorizes barring people with felony convictions from voting. (see June 17, 2013)

July 12 Peace Love Art Activism

Cold War/Cuba

July 12, 2021 as the largest protest movement in decades swept Cuba, President Biden  called on the Cuban government to heed the demands of thousands of citizens who took to the streets on Sunday 11 July to protest power outages, food shortages and a worrying lack of medicine.

“We stand with the Cuban people and their clarion call for freedom,” Mr. Biden said in a statement. “The United States calls on the Cuban regime to hear their people and serve their needs at this vital moment rather than enriching themselves.”

His comments followed a day of astonishing demonstrations in Cuba. In a country known for quashing dissent, remarkable scenes emerged around the nation on Sunday, with thousands of Cubans taking to the streets in a surge of protests not seen in nearly 30 years.

Shouting phrases like “freedom” and “the people are dying of hunger,” protesters overturned a police car in Cardenas, 90 miles east of Havana. Another video showed people looting from a government-run store — acts of open defiance in a nation with a long and effective history of repressive crackdowns on expressions of opposition. [NYT article] (next CW, see )

July 12 Peace Love Art Activism