August 4 Peace Love Art Activism

August 4 Peace Love Art Activism

Native Americans

August 4, 1862: increasingly discontented over the loss of land, non-payment of annuities, past broken treaties, food shortages and famine following crop failure, representatives of the northern Sissetowan and Wahpeton Dakota bands met at the Upper Sioux Agency in the northwestern part of the reservation and successfully negotiated to obtain food. (see February 8, 1887)

August 4 Peace Love Art Activism

World War I

August 4 Peace Love Art Activism

August 4, 1914: at midnight, Britain declared war on Germany, marking the official beginning of World War I. (see Nov 29, 1914)

August 4 Peace Love Art Activism

The Cold War

August 4 Peace Love Activism

August 4, 1960: an FBI memo on this day ordered the Bureau’s illegal COINTELPRO program to disrupt organizations advocating independence for Puerto Rico. COINTELPRO, created on March 8, 1956, was a secret program that engaged in a variety of illegal activities against targeted organizations, including wiretaps, burglaries, theft, the forging of documents, and the dissemination of disruptive disinformation.

COINTELPRO was originally directed at the Communist Party and other Marxist groups, but was later expanded to target the Ku Klux Klan, on July 30, 1964, and “New Left” political groups on May 9, 1968. (see Aug 17)

August 4 Peace Love Art Activism

Black History

Dixon v. Alabama State Board of Education

August 4, 1961: US District court decided that although no rule existed requiring formal charges or a hearing, Alabama State College’s usual practice had been to grant a hearing to students prior to decisions of expulsion. The Court reasoned that any governmental acting to cause injury to an individual must adhere to Constitutional due process requirements. The minimum requirements of due process are to be determined by the circumstances and interests of the parties involved in the action. Actions of the government cannot be arbitrary.

On February 25, 2010, in a ceremony commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of the sit-in, Alabama State University (formerly Alabama State College) President William Harris reinstated the nine students, criticized Governor Patterson’s “arbitrary, illegal and intrusive” role in forcing the expulsions, and praised the student protest as “an important moment in civil rights history.” [Justia article] (BH, see Sept 29; SR, see April 6, 1963)

Race Revolt

August 4, 1964: Jersey City revolt ended after the third night of unrest when city officials dispatched 400 police officers to the streets. That same night, black clergy traveled through the city urging an end to the riots using NAACP bullhorns and sound equipment to announce that one of the community’s demands had been met: the city had agreed to re-open two closed local parks.

The Jersey City revolt, one of the first race riots to occur after the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, left 46 people injured, 71 homes and businesses damaged, and 52 people arrested. [Black Past article]  (RR, see Aug 5)

Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner

August 4 Peace Love Art Activism

August 4, 1964: (Neshoba Country, Miss.) the bodies of the three civil-rights workers—two white, one black [James E. Chaney, 21; Andrew Goodman, 21; and Michael Schwerner, 24] were found in an earthen dam, six weeks into a federal investigation backed by President Johnson. (BH, see Aug 28; see Murders for expanded story)

Medgar Evers assassination

August 4, 1992: Jackson, Mississippi. Judge, L. Breland Hilburn of Hinds County Circuit Court, refused Byron De La Beckwith’s request to let him go free because of deteriorating health and memory. (Evers, see August 24)

Rodney King twice

August 4, 1992: a federal grand jury returned indictments against Sgt. Stacey Koon and officers Laurence Michael Powell, Timothy Wind, and Theodore Briseno on the charge of violating the civil rights of Rodney King. (King, see Feb 25, 1993)

August 4, 1993: U.S. District Judge John Davies sentenced both Sgt. Stacey Koon and Laurence Michael Powell to 30 months in prison for violating King’s civil rights. Powell was found guilty of violating King’s constitutional right to be free from an arrest made with “unreasonable force.” Ranking officer Koon is convicted of permitting the civil rights violation to occur. (BH, see Feb 5, 1994; King, see April 19, 1994)

August 4 Peace Love Art Activism

Clarence Earl Gideon

August 4 Peace Love Art Activism

August 4, 1961:  being too poor to pay for counsel, Gideon was forced to defend himself at his trial after being denied a lawyer by his trial judge, Robert McCrary, Jr.. Gideon was tried and convicted of breaking and entering with intent to commit petty larceny (see Gideon for expanded story)

August 4 Peace Love Art Activism

Vietnam & Daniel Ellsberg/Pentagon Papers

August 4, 1964: the  “second” Gulf of Tonkin incident. It turned out that North Vietnamese “boats” were radar ghosts.”

Daniel Ellsberg started working for the Defense Department as assistant to John McNaughton (assistant secretary of defense and a close advisor to McNamara) The validity of Johnson’s claim…

…was later questioned, and it comes to be considered one of many presidential lies that led to U.S. escalation in Vietnam. (Vietnam, see Aug 5; see DE/PP for expanded story)

LBJ a bit upset

August 4, 1965: President Johnson called CBS president Frank Stanton and asked, “Frank, are you trying to fuck me?” (see Aug 5)

Henry H. Howe

August 4, 1967:  the U.S. Court of Military Appeals in Washington upheld the 1965 court-martial of Second Lieutenant Henry H. Howe, who had been sentenced to dismissal from the service and a year at hard labor for participating in an antiwar demonstration. (see Aug 7)

Secret talk

August 4, 1969:  American envoy Henry Kissinger held a secret talk with two North Vietnamese negotiators. The North Vietnamese remained immovable. Kissinger reminded them of Nixon’s July 15 warned about a breakthrough before November. (Vietnam, see Aug 30)

August 4 Peace Love Art Activism

The [bumpy] Road to Bethel

August 4, 1969: Don Ganoung presented the Bethel Medical Center with a check for $10,000; officers of the Peace Service Corps moved into their headquarters on Lake Street. (see Chronology for expanded story)

August 4 Peace Love Art Activism

Arthur Bremer

August 4, 1972, a jury of six men and six women took just over an hour and a half to reach their guilty verdict. Arthur Bremer was sentenced to 63 years in prison for shooting George Wallace and three other people on May 15, 1972. [2015 Washington Post article] (see Sept 28)

August 4 Peace Love Art Activism

Jack Kevorkian

August 4, 1993: Thomas Hyde, a 30-year-old Novi, Michigan, man with ALS, is found dead in Kevorkian’s van on Belle Isle, a Detroit park. (see JK for expanded story)

August 4 Peace Love Art Activism

Dissolution of Yugoslavia

August 4, 1994: Serb-dominated Yugoslavia withdrew its support for Bosnian Serbs, sealing the 300-mile border between Yugoslavia and Serb-held Bosnia. (see July 11 – 22, 1995)

August 4 Peace Love Art Activism


Proposition 8

August 4 Peace Love Art Activism

August 4, 2010: Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker ruled that Proposition 8, the 2008 referendum that banned same-sex marriage in California, violates the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause. “Proposition 8 singles out gays and lesbians and legitimates their unequal treatment,” Vaughn wrote in his opinion. “Proposition 8 perpetuates the stereotype that gays and lesbians are incapable of forming long-term loving relationships and that gays and lesbians are not good parents.”  [CNN article] (see Sept 21)

Florida gay marriage

August 4, 2014: Florida State Circuit Judge Dale Cohen in Broward County made history, ordering the state of Florida to recognize gay marriages performed in another state. Cohen’s ruling was the third in as many weeks by a Florida judge who ruled that the state’s ban on gay marriage was unconstitutional.

This one was unique, however, because it was the first requiring the state to recognize a gay marriage conducted elsewhere.

The other two – one July 17 by a judge in Monroe County and another July 25 by a Miami-Dade judge – only required local clerks of court to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. (see Sept 3)

August 4 Peace Love Art Activism

Women’s Health


August 4, 2014: in a 172-page decision United States District Judge Myron H. Thompson rejected as unconstitutional an Alabama law requiring doctors at abortion clinics to have admitting privileges at local hospitals.

The requirement, adopted by the legislature in 2013, would have forced three of Alabama’s five abortion clinics to close, severely restricting access to abortions while not providing significant medical benefits..

The ruling added to a swirl of contradictory court decisions on the requirement of admitting privileges, especially in the South where abortion opponents had promoted such laws in the name of patient safety. Advocates of abortion rights called the requirement a transparent effort to close clinics.

Major national medical associations had said that requiring admitting privileges were medically unnecessary because in the rare emergency, hospitals would accept patients and specialists would provide treatment. [NYT article] (see Aug 28)

FDA Approves Zurzuvae

August 4, 2023: federal health officials approved the first pill specifically intended to treat severe depression after childbirth, a condition that affects thousands of new mothers in the U.S. each year.

The Food and Drug Administration granted approval of the drug, Zurzuvae, for adults experiencing severe depression related to childbirth or pregnancy. The pill is taken once a day for 14 days.

“Having access to an oral medication will be a beneficial option for many of these women coping with extreme, and sometimes life-threatening, feelings,” said Dr. Tiffany Farchione, FDA’s director of psychiatric drugs, in a statement. [NPR article] (next WH, see Aug 8)

August 4 Peace Love Art Activism

Sexual Abuse of Children

August 4, 2015: the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee said that it would pay $21 million to more than 300 victims of clergy abuse in a settlement that would end a four-year bankruptcy proceeding.

The proposed deal, which would be part of a reorganization plan submitted to a bankruptcy court later this month, was to be reviewed by a judge overseeing the case at a Nov. 9 hearing. Archbishop Jerome Listecki called the settlement a “new Pentecost,” but an attorney for the victims, along with advocates for those abused by clergy, decried the settlement as a paltry amount. [Chicago Tribune article] (March 1, 2016)

August 4 Peace Love Art Activism


August 4, 2016: in November 2013, Shannon Morgan, a resident of Leesburg, N.J., applied for a license plate that read “8THIEST.” The DMV denied the application because the plate “may carry connotations offensive to good taste and decency,” according to court papers.

After she received that rejection, Ms. Morgan used the state’s online application form to apply for a plate that said “BAPTIST” and was quickly approved, said Richard B. Katskee, the legal director for Americans United for Separation of Church and State, an advocacy group in Washington that acted as her legal counsel. It sued the commission in April 2014.

Under the terms of the settlement agreement, Ms. Morgan will receive the license plate she requested in 2013 once she reapplied and sent in the usual application fee of $50. The commission also paid her $75,000 in legal fees. (see May 1, 2017)

August 4 Peace Love Art Activism

Iraq War II

August 4, 2017:  a federal appeals court threw out the lengthy sentences for three former Blackwater Worldwide security contractors and ordered a new trial for a fourth man involved in a deadly 2007 shooting in Baghdad.

The shooting injured or killed at least 31 civilians and made Blackwater a symbol of unchecked, freewheeling American power in Iraq.

Firing from heavily armored trucks, the contractors unleashed a torrent of machine gun fire and launched grenades into a crowded traffic circle. An F.B.I. agent one called it the “My Lai massacre of Iraq.”

Three men, Dustin L. Heard, Evan S. Liberty and Paul A. Slough, were convicted in 2014 of voluntary manslaughter and using a machine gun to carry out a violent crime. They were sentenced to 30 years in prison, a mandatory sentence on the machine-gun charge. [Washington Post article] (see October 22, 2014)

A fourth man, Nicholas A. Slatten, a sniper who the government said fired the first shots, was convicted of murder and received a life sentence.

Voting Rights

August 4, 2023: in an emphatic 2-to-1 opinion, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that Mississippi’s lifetime ban on voting for people convicted of a range of felonies was cruel and unusual punishment that violates the Eighth Amendment and “is at odds with society’s evolving standards of decency.”

The ruling upbraided Mississippi officials for what it called a pointless “denial of the democratic core of American citizenship.”

“Mississippi denies this precious right to a large class of its citizens, automatically, mechanically, and with no thought given to whether it is proportionate as punishment for an amorphous and partial list of crimes,” the judges wrote. [NYT article] (next VR, see Nov 17)

August 4 Peace Love Art Activism