August 21 Peace Love Art Activism

August 21 Peace Love Art Activism


Slave Revolts

August 21 Peace Love Art Activism

August 21 – 22, 1831: inspired by the success of a Haitian revolution in 1790 that freed the island’s slaves and threw off French rule, Nat Turner’s rebellion was the most successful of all slave revolts. Turner, a slave preacher, inspired fellow slaves with his apocalyptic visions of white and black angels fighting in heaven. He gathered up his seven original followers and, without the organization or planning of Prosser and Vesey, launched his rebellion by entering his owner’s home and killing the entire family, save for a small infant. They moved from one farm to the next, killing all slave-owning whites they found. As they progressed through Southampton county, other slaves joined in the rebellion.

The next day, Turner and his eighty followers were intercepted by the state militia. In the confrontation that followed, Turner escaped and remained free for nearly two months. In those two months though, the militia and white vigilantes instituted a reign of terror over slaves in the region. Hundreds of blacks were killed. White Virginians panicked over fears of a larger slave revolt and soon instituted more restrictive laws regulating slave life. Turner and his followers were captured on October 30 Following his discovery, capture, and arrest, Turner was interviewed in his jail cell by Thomas Ruffin Gray, a wealthy South Hampton lawyer and slave owner. The resulting extended essay, “The Confessions of Nat Turner, The Leader of the Late Insurrection in South Hampton, VA.,” was used against Turner during his trial.  [Documenting the American South article] (see Nov 10)

Samuel Wilbert Tucker

August 21 Peace Love Art Activism

August 21, 1939: five African-American men recruited and trained by African-American attorney Samuel Wilbert Tucker conducted a sit-in at the then-segregated Alexandria, Va., library and were arrested after being refused library cards. [2014 Alexandria Times article]  (see February 29, 1940)

Emmett Till

August 21, 1955:  Till arrived in Money, Mississippi, to stay at the home of his great uncle Moses Wright. (see Till for the rest of the story)

Black Panthers

August 21, 1971: San Quentin Prison guards shot and killed George Jackson, Black Panther member and writer of Soledad Brother during an escape attempt. He had been imprisoned in 1961 for an armed robbery (robbing a gas station at gunpoint) and at age 18 was sentenced to serve one year to life in prison. He had remained in prison because of his behavior while there.  (BH, see Aug 30; BP, see March 28, 1972 )

Vernon Dahmer

August 21, 1998: a jury convicted Imperial Wizard Sam Bowers of ordering the Klan’s 1966 killing of Vernon Dahmer in Hattiesburg, Miss. Bowers was sentenced to life in prison, where he died in 2006.  [NYT obit] (BH, see Sept 13; Dahmer, see January 8, 2016)

August 21 Peace Love Art Activism



August 21, 1858: 2,500 French troops attack Tourane [now Da Nang] to protect French missionaries and other nationals already there. Fighting will continue until 1862. [Alpha History article] (see June 5, 1862)

South Vietnam Leadership

August 21, 1963: after promising outgoing US Ambassador Frederick Nolting that he (President Diem) would take no further repressive steps against the Buddhists and before the new American ambassador, Henry Cabot Lodge, arrived, President Diem and his brother Ngô Đình Nhu (Diem’s chief political adviser) ordered that phone lines of all the senor American officials in Saigon be cut and then sent out hundreds of their Special Forces into pagodas of Saigon, Hue, and other cities. More than fourteen hundred monks and nuns, students, and ordinary citizens were rounded up and taken away. Martial law was imposed, public meetings forbidden, and troops were authorized to shoot anyone found on the streets after nine o’clock. (V & SLV, see Aug 24)

Catholic Left

August 21, 1971:  antiwar protesters associated with the Catholic Left raid draft offices in Buffalo, New York, and Camden, New Jersey, to confiscate and destroy draft records. [NYT article]  (see Sept 9)

August 21 Peace Love Art Activism

Pledge of Allegiance

August 21, 1952: the Supreme Council of the Knights of Columbus at its annual meeting adopted a resolution urging that the change be made universal and copies of this resolution were sent to the President, the Vice President (as Presiding Officer of the Senate) and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. (see Pledge for expanded story)

August 21 Peace Love Art Activism

August 21 Music et al

see Juvenile Delinquency and Crime Commission for more

August 21, 1955: the Juvenile Delinquency and Crime Commission in Houston, Texas, claimed success on this day in its anti-rock and roll crusade. The effort involved pressuring radio stations not to play recordings with “lewd or suggestive” lyrics. All nine Houston radio stations were cooperating. Almost all of the artists on the Commission’s list were black. (next Fear of Rock, see Aug 26)

Out of Our Heads

August 21 – September 10, 1965: The Rolling Stones’ Out of Our Heads Billboard #1 album.

see Bullfrog II Festival for more

August 21 Peace Love Art Activism

August 21, 22, and 23: Bullfrog II Festival, held on the Pelletier Farm, St Helens, Oregon.

August 21 Peace Love Art Activism

Native Americans

Alcatraz Takeover

August 21, 1970: the group of Indians who had occupied Alcatraz Island for nine months “exposed” their weapons–one bow and two toy pistols–and then threw the toy pistols into the waters of the San Francisco Bay. (see Nov 21)

Leonard Peltier

August 21, 1987: the State Department said that Leonard Peltier, was a ”convicted criminal” and criticized the Soviet Union for considering his request for political asylum.  Supporters on the Leonard Peltier Defense Committee, have said his case is a human rights issue. Dacajeweiah, a Peltier supporter, told reporters that the committee had had no indication that the United States would free him to go to the Soviet Union if asylum was granted.  [ article] (Peltier, see December 31, 1991; Native Americans, see June 29, 1988)

August 21 Peace Love Art Activism

Dissolution of the USSR


August 21, 1991:  Latvia declares its independence from the Soviet Union. [Washington Post article] (see Aug 24)

August 21 Peace Love Art Activism

Iraq War II

August 21, 2006:  President George W Bush acknowledged Iraq had “nothing” to do with 9/11. [Think Progress article] (see Aug 29)

August 21 Peace Love Art Activism


August 21, 2009: leaders of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America voted to lift a ban that prohibited sexually active gays and lesbians from serving as ministers. [PBS article]  (see Sept 10)

August 21 Peace Love Art Activism


August 21, 2014: Thomas Windell Smith, 24, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to violate housing rights. Smith was sentenced to serve five years probation including eight months of home confinement after pleading guilty last year to burning a cross in a black neighborhood in Ozark. Smith admitted that he and Steven Joshua Dinkle burned the cross at the entrance of a black community on May 8, 2009 to intimidate the residents.

Dinkle reportedly used materials from his home to build the wooden 6-foot cross and wrapped it with cloth. He and Smith transported the cross to the black neighborhood, poured fuel on it and set it on fire in view of several houses.

Dinkle, the former Exalted Cyclops of the Ozark chapter of the International Keystone Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, received a two-year prison sentence for the offense.

Dinkle’s mother, Pamela Morris, was also charged with impeding the investigation. [AL dot com article] (Terrorism, see January 23, 2015; Morris, see February 6, 2015)

August 21 Peace Love Art Activism

Immigration History

Release of children

August 21, 2015: on July 24 federal judge Dolly M. Gee of Federal District Court for the Central District of California gave the Obama administration two months to change its detention practices to ensure the rapid release of children and their parents caught crossing the border illegally.

Her opinion last month found that the administration had violated the terms of a 1997 court-ordered settlement governing the treatment of unaccompanied children — minors who tried to enter illegally without a parent. The judge determined that the settlement, in a case known as Flores, covered all children in immigration detention, including those held with a parent.

After considering final arguments from both sides, federal judge Dolly M. Gee of Federal District Court for the Central District of California on this date issued an order to put her ruling into effect. She ordered the administration to release children “without unnecessary delay” to a parent or other relative in the United States and, in a significant new mandate, to release the parent as well unless that person posed a flight risk or a threat to national security. The settlement requires the release of children from secure detention within five days.

Judge Gee also prohibited the administration from holding children in secure facilities that are not licensed to care for minors. She ordered the Border Patrol to upgrade the “deplorable” conditions in its front-line stations to ensure a “safe and sanitary” environment for children. She said the new measures must be in place by Oct. 23. (see Sept 4)

Indefinite holding of children

August 21, 2019: the Trump administration unveiled a regulation that would allow it to detain indefinitely migrant families who cross the border illegally, replacing a decades-old court agreement that imposed a limit on how long the government could hold migrant children in custody and specified the level of care they must receive.

The White House has for more than a year pressed the Department of Homeland Security to replace the agreement, known as the Flores settlement, a shift that the administration sais is crucial to halt immigration across the southwestern border. (see Sept 2)

August 21 Peace Love Art Activism

Bullfrog 3 Festival 1969

Bullfrog 3 Festival 1969

August 22, 23, and 24
Pelletier Farm, St Helens, Oregon

1969 festival #34

Bullfrog 3 Festival 1969

Bullfrog 3 Festival 1969

The Bullfrog 2 Festival

It is not a typo that this blog piece is about “The Bullfrog 3 Festival” and the poster pictured above refers to “The Bullfrog 2 Festival.”

#3 was actually the impromptu festival that happened when, facing local opposition, the Bullfrog 2 Festival fell apart a few days before its scheduled August 21 start.

It is important to keep in mind the often angry and hatefully divisive opposition there was toward young people who wanted to get together and listen to what had come to be called “underground music.” The residents of Wallkill, NY had successfully evicted Woodstock Ventures from their original site, forcing the festival to unexpectely find another venue.

Luckily for 400,000 + people, Max Yasgur said “Yes.”

While festivals of this time did sometimes have some people who threw off their clothes, some who used illegal drugs, some who sold illegal drugs, and some whose view of the Establishment was simply anti-Establishment, most young people were simply working part-time for the summer, working full-time since high school, home on military leave, or about to be drafted.

Bullfrog 3 Festival 1969

No chaperones!

Scott Laird wrote of the days before: According to original articles published in The Sentinel-Mist Chronicle newspaper in the week prior, Bullfrog II was booked by Walsh and Moquin Productions at the Columbia County Fairgrounds in St. Helens and was scheduled to include national acts Taj Mahal and the Grateful Dead along with local performers “Portland Zoo,” “Sabatic Goat,” “The Weeds,” “New Colony,” and several others.  The plan called for twenty-four hour a day entertainment for two days.   Advertising for the concert also called for “petite mall lites, space balloons, rides and fireworks.” Tickets were $6 in advance, $7 at the gate.

The day before the scheduled start of the event, Circuit Judge Glen Heiber ruled that the facilities at the fairgrounds were not adequate for overnight camping and sanitation and adequate traffic control was not available. He had agreed with Columbia County District Attorney Lou L. Williams who contested the original contract and stated a fear of  “…narcotics, intercourse in the open, and parking on private property, as well as a severe traffic congestion problem.”

Williams had also contended that “…sanitation, parking, and the lack of sufficient law enforcement personnel to cope with a large influx of people, estimated to be about 6,000.

And no chaperoning arrangements!

Bullfrog 3 Festival 1969
Bullfrog 2 Festival

On Wednesday 20 August, the day of the cancellation and the day before the festival’s scheduled start, some young fans  gathered in front of the St Helens’s Courthouse. Local people gawked at the peaceful assembly.

On Thursday 21 August 21 the group grew and that afternoon, the Portland Zoo, a local band on the festival schedule, performed. All remained relaxed. Gawking continued. Business owners enjoyed the extra commerce the crowds brought. Fans cleaned up.

Bullfrog 3 Festival 1969

Mrs. Melvina Pelletier

Again from Scott Laird: Around 9:00 PM on [that] Thursday evening Mrs. Melvina Pelletier of St. Helens offered her property in the Happy Hollow area of Yankton for the festival. Details of the newly created Bullfrog III were  worked out on Friday. Original promoters Walsh and Moquin had already pulled out of the event, and Bob Wehe of Faucet International Promotions took over as promoter, agreeing to provide sanitation and security.

Bullfrog 3 Festival 1969

August 22 – 24, 1969

The truncated festival finally got underway on Friday night and continued until Sunday morning.

Cars crowded the roads, but many reported that local residents were among the jam trying to see these drugged kids with long hair, shoe-less, bra-less, or even (heaven forbid!) topless.

And chaperone-less, of course.

Fortunately for the festival, the Dead headlined and fortunately for us, the set is available on a soundboard recording (SBD) or a matrix if you prefer a little more audience in the mix. And this wasn’t their first concert since their August 16th Woodstock performance. They’d already played in Seattle on August 20 and would play in on August 24…but where? Was it the Vancouver Pop Festival or in San Francisco?

There isn’t much more available about the actual music at Mrs Pelletier’s place, but we should thank her. A west coast Max Yasgur.

Bullfrog 3 Festival 1969

Cheryl Viuhkola Pelletier

In 2020, a Cheryl Viuhkola Pelletier commented (see below) on this post. I asked her if she had any other memories. This was her response:

Since I ended up marrying Melvina’s son, Al Pelletier, I do have a first hand, eyewitness account of the festival.  I’m also writing about it and enjoy the research you provided.  So, far, your account sounds pretty accurate .  I do have some tid- bits from Al and myself as I attended with a good friend.  The traffic on Yankton Road was backed up for miles and miles ( very narrow two-lane twisty country road), and the cops were making it worse.  So, we left our cars parked where we were and started walking.  The police were trying to stop us from entering the farm, when I see this good-looking , dark-haired guy riding a white horse, shouting out to one and all, “Follow me.  I know a shortcut”.  Of course he did.  He could walk those acres in his sleep I was to learn later.   Those were the days…

Thank you, Cheryl.

Bullfrog 3 Festival 1969
Bullfrog 3 Festival 1969

Next 1969 festival: Vancouver Pop Festival