August 31 Peace Love Art Activism

August 31 Peace Love Art Activism

August 31 Peace Love Art Activism


Coushatta White League

August 31, 1874: the Coushatta White League conducted a mock trial of two of the black prisoners, Louis Johnson and Paul Williams, allegedly for shooting a white man. Captain Jack’s mob, returned from their bloody work upriver, seized Johnson and Williams and hanged them. [Facing History article] (see Sept 14)


August 31, 1889: after a white man was killed while interrupting a burglary, a group of armed white men searched the area around Montevallo, Alabama and apprehended two unidentified Black men as suspects. When the two men were brought to town, hundreds of angry white citizens gathered, demanding revenge.

Before the two men could be transferred to the Columbiana jail, local officers turned them over to the mob, claiming they feared a “bloody riot” if they did not allow the mob to abduct the two men. Under the threat of lynching, one of the men reportedly confessed to the crime. The other man, known only as “Big Six,” insisted upon his innocence.

The mob lynched the two–whose names were not recorded by contemporary news accounts.

They were two of at least nine African American victims of racial terror lynching killed in Shelby County between 1889 and 1923. (next BH & next Lynching, see Nov 8 or see Lynching for expanded chronology)

Houston Riot

August 31, 1918: President Wilson granted clemency to ten other soldiers involved in the Houston Riot (see August 23, 1917) by commuting their death sentences to life in prison. [POTUS Geeks article]  (next BH, see February – August 1919; next HR/RR, see Sept 29)

Emmett Till

August 31, 1955: Emmett Till’s decomposed corpse was pulled from Mississippi’s Tallahatchie River. Moses Wright identified the body from a ring with the initials L.T. (see Emmett Till)

Albany Movement

August 31, 1962: Judge J Robert Elliot denied lawyers a preliminary injunction to stop Albany, GA from practicing segregation. ML King asked President Kennedy to intervene in the racial troubles in Albany. (see AM for expanded story)

School desegregation

August 31, 1966: a decade after the United States Supreme Court’s 1954 ruling in Brown v. Board of Education declaring racial segregation in public schools unconstitutional, many school districts throughout the South still maintained segregated public schools. In 1964, the United States Congress passed the Civil Rights Act, which contained a provision that conditioned federal funding for school districts on integration.

In 1966, twelve years after Brown, the United States Office of Education issued regulations to segregated districts that provided guidance on school desegregation and required that segregated districts submit integration plans to the federal government. Noncompliant districts risked losing federal funds under the Civil Rights Act.

Alabama’s legislature responded by passing a bill proposed by Governor George Wallace, forbidding Alabama school districts from entering into desegregation agreements with the federal government. At legislative hearings, representatives of Alabama’s teachers’ unions spoke against the bill and warned that it would put twenty-four million dollars of federal funding for Alabama schools at risk. Nevertheless, the bill passed the Alabama Senate almost unanimously on August 31, 1966, with only seven members voting against it. Shortly after, the Alabama House of Representatives passed the bill, and Governor Wallace signed it into law on September 9, 1966.

In the wake of the law’s passage, several Alabama school districts revised or rejected previously-negotiated desegregation plans. (BH, see Sept 6; SD, see Sept 12)


August 31, 1977: Ian Smith, espousing racial segregation, won the Rhodesian general election with 80% of overwhelmingly white electorate’s vote.  [SAHO article] (see Sept 11)

BLACK & SHOT/Ralph Yarl

August 31, 2023: Clay County, Missouri Judge Louis Angles ruled that the Andrew Lester, who shot Ralph Yarl after he mistakenly went to the man’s house must stand trial.

Angles issued the ruling after hearing from several witnesses at a preliminary hearing, including Yarl. [AP article] (next B & S and Yari, see Sept 12)

August 31 Peace Love Art Activism

US Labor History

August 31 Peace Love Art Activism

August 31, 1919: John Reed formed the Communist Labor Party in Chicago. The Party’s motto: “Workers of the world, unite!” [People’s World article] (see Nov 11)

Solidarity Day

August 31, 1991: an estimated 325,000 unionists gathered in Washington, D.C., for a Solidarity Day march and rally for workplace fairness and healthcare reform. [IATSE article] (see Sept 2)

August 31 Peace Love Art Activism

Cultural Milestone

August 31 Peace Love Art Activism

August 31, 1920: patent issued to John Lloyd Wright for “Toy-Cabin Construction,” which are known as Lincoln Logs. (U.S. patent 1,351,086). (see June 13, 1923)

August 31 Peace Love Art Activism


August 31 Peace Love Art Activism

August 31, 1948:  local Los Angeles and Federal narcotics officers arrested 31-year-old film star Robert Mitchum,and Lila Leeds, 20- year-old actress, and two other persons in a raid at Miss Leeds’ Hollywood cottage in which a quantity of marijuana cigarettes were seized. [LA Times article] (see February 25, 1949 or see CCC for expanded cannabis history)

August 31 Peace Love Art Activism



August 31 Peace Love Art Activism

August 31, 1957: Malaysia independent from United Kingdom. [Times of India story] (see October 2, 1958)

Trinidad and Tobago

August 31 Peace Love Art Activism

August 31, 1962:  Trinidad and Tobago independent from United Kingdom. [Commonwealth article]

North Borneo

August 31 Peace Love Art Activism

August 31, 1963:  North Borneo independent from United Kingdom.  [British Empire story] (see ID for complete list of 1960s Independence days)

Dissolution of the USSR/Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan

August 31 Peace Love Art Activism

August 31 Peace Love Art Activism

August 31, 1991:  Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan declared independence from the Soviet Union. (Dissolution, see Sept 9; ID, see Sept 8)

August 31 Peace Love Art Activism

August 31 Music et al

Max Roach

August 31 –September 6, 1960: Max Roach recorded We Insist! Max Roach’s Freedom Now Suite album. The Penguin Guide to Jazz has awarded the album one of its rare crown accolades, in addition to featuring it as part of its Core Collection. (see Sept 5)

My Boyfriend’s Back

August 31 – September 20, 1963:  the Angels started a three week run at Billboard No.1 with ‘My Boyfriend’s Back’. The writers of the song Bob Feldman, Jerry Goldstein and Richard Gottehrer were a trio of Brooklyn songwriter/producers who went on to write the hits ‘Sorrow’ and have the 1965 US No.11 single as The Strangeloves with ‘I Want Candy’.

My Son, the Nut

August 31 – October 25, 1963, Allan Sherman’s My Son, the Nut is the Billboard #1 album.

Merry Pranksters

August 31, 1965: The Merry Pranksters attended the Beatle concert at the Cow Palace outside San Francisco. [SF Gate story] (Beatles, see Sept 4 – 24; LSD see Sept)

see New Orleans Pop Festival for more

August 31 – September 1, 1969: Performers: White Fox, Snowrabbit, Deacon John and the Electric Soul Train, Whizbang, Axis, Sweetwater, Lee Michaels, Oliver, Cat Mother and the All Night Newsboys, Spiral Staircase, It’s A Beautiful Day, Country Joe and the Fish, Byrds, Youngbloods, Canned Heat, Pot Liquor, Chicago (Transit Authority), Tyrannosaurus Rex, Santana, Iron Butterfly, Jefferson Airplane, Grateful Dead, and Janis Joplin. (see Sept 6)

Victor Jara

August 31 Peace Love Art Activism

August 31, 1971: while travelling in Chile, Jerry Rubin, Stew Albert, and Phil Ochs met Victor Jara, the activist folk singer whose songs helped elect Allende. (see Jara for expanded chronology)

John Lennon testified

August 31, 1974: in federal court, John Lennon testified the Nixon administration tried to have him deported because of his involvement with the anti-war demonstrations at the 1972 Republican convention in Miami. [Ultimate Classic Rock story] (see Sept 23)

August 31 Peace Love Art Activism



August 31, 1965: President Johnson signed a law making the burning of draft cards a federal offense subject to a five-year prison sentence and $1000 fine. In response to the law and in protest of the war in Vietnam, the student-run National Coordinating Committee to End the War in Vietnam will stage the first public burning of a draft card in the United States on October 15, 1965. The constitutionality of the federal law was upheld by the US Supreme Court in US v. O’Brien (May 27, 1968) (Draft Card Burning, see Oct 15; Vietnam, see Sept 25)

Senate Preparedness Investigating Committee

August 31, 1967:  Senate Preparedness Investigating Committee issues a call to step up bombing against the North, declaring that McNamara had “shackled” the air war against Hanoi, and calling for “closure, neutralization, or isolation of Haiphong.” President Johnson, attempting to placate Congressional “hawks” and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, expanded the approved list of targets in the north, authorizing strikes against bridges, barracks, and railyards in the Hanoi-Haipong area and additional targets in the previously restricted areas along the Chinese border.[Rallypoint dot com article] (see Sept 3)

August 31 Peace Love Art Activism
Ryan White

August 31, 1987: White enrolled at Hamilton Heights High School, Cicero, IN and was greeted by school principal Tony Cook, school system superintendent Bob G. Carnal, and a handful of students who had been educated about AIDS and were unafraid to shake White’s hand. [In high school White drove a red Mustang convertible, a gift from Michael Jackson.] (AIDS, see Oct 11; see Ryan White for expanded story)

August 31 Peace Love Art Activism

Irish Troubles

August 31, 1994:  the Provisional Irish Republican Army announced a “complete cessation of military operations.” (from February 1996 until July 1997, the Provisional IRA called off its 1994 ceasefire because of its dissatisfaction with the state of negotiations.) (see Troubles for expanded story)

August 31 Peace Love Art Activism


Iraqi forces

August 31, 1996: Iraqi forces launched an offensive into the northern No-Fly Zone and capture Arbil. (see Sept 3)

Iraq War II

August 31, 2010:  President Obama declared an end to the seven-year American combat mission in Iraq, saying that the United States had met its responsibility to that country and that it was now time to turn to pressing problems at home. [NYT article] (see December 18, 2011)

August 31 Peace Love Art Activism

Cultural Milestone

August 31, 2001: the last new episode of Mr Roger’s Neighborhood broadcast. PBS will regularly broadcast reruns until August 2007. Fred Rogers died on February 27, 2003.  [CNN article] (see April 28, 2003)

August 31 Peace Love Art Activism

Hurricane Katrina

August 31, 2005: New Orleans’s Mayor Ray Nagin announced that the planned sandbagging of the 17th Street Canal levee breach had failed. At the time, 85% of the city was underwater. President Bush returned early to Washington from vacationing at his ranch in Crawford, Texas. Though he did not stop in Louisiana, Air Force One flew low over the Gulf Coast so that he could view the devastation from Air Force One. (see Sept 1)

August 31 Peace Love Art Activism

Stop and Frisk Policy

August 31, 2011: Stop-and-frisk stats continued to show that the NYPD was conducting a record number of stops in 2011. From January to June there were 362,150 reported stop-and-frisks. (see Sept 6)

August 31 Peace Love Art Activism


Court orders Kim Davis

August 31, 2015: the Supreme Court refused to allow Rowan County (Kentucky) Clerk Kim Davis who objects to same-sex marriage on religious grounds to continue to deny marriage licenses to all couples, gay or straight. Ms. Davis’s lawyers filed an emergency application on Aug 28 with Justice Elena Kagan, the member of the Supreme Court who supervised cases arising from the judicial circuit that includes Kentucky. She referred the matter to the full court.

The Human Rights Campaign praised the Supreme Court’s decision. “Ms. Davis has the fundamental right to believe what she likes,” said JoDee Winterhof, the group’s senior vice president for policy and political affairs. “But as a public servant, she does not have the right to pick and choose which laws she will follow or which services she will provide.” (see Sept 1)

Student Rights/Gavin Grimm

August 30, 2021: the Gloucester County school board in Virginia agreed to pay $1.3 million in legal fees to resolve a discrimination lawsuit filed by Gavin Grimm, a former student, whose efforts to use the boys’ bathroom put him at the center of a national debate over rights for transgender people.

Grimm’s battle with the school board began in 2014, when he was a sophomore and his family informed his school that he was transgender. Administrators were supportive at first. But after an uproar from some parents and students, the school board adopted a policy requiring students to use the bathrooms and locker rooms for their “corresponding biological genders.”

Mr. Grimm sued the school board. The legal battle pushed him into the national spotlight as Republican-controlled state legislatures introduced a wave of “bathroom bills” requiring transgender people to use public restrooms in government and school buildings that correspond to the gender listed on their birth certificates.

“We are glad that this long litigation is finally over and that Gavin has been fully vindicated by the courts, but it should not have taken over six years of expensive litigation to get to this point,” Joshua Block, an American Civil Liberties Union lawyer who represented Mr. Grimm, said in a statement on Thursday. Mr. Block added that he hoped that the outcome would “give other school boards and lawmakers pause before they use discrimination to score political points.” [NYT article] (next SR, see ; next LGBTQ, see )

August 31 Peace Love Art Activism

Women’s Health

August 31, 2015: Judge Richard J. Leon of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that employers do not need to provide insurance coverage for contraception even if their objections were moral rather than religious.

The case concerned a group called March for Life, which was formed after the Supreme Court recognized a constitutional right to abortion in 1973 in Roe v. Wade. The group, Monday’s decision said, “is a nonprofit, nonreligious pro-life organization.”

It opposes methods of contraception that it says can amount to abortion, including hormonal products, intrauterine devices and emergency contraceptives. Many scientists disagree that those methods of contraception are equivalent to abortion. [NYT article] (see Nov 23)

August 31 Peace Love Art Activism

Affordable Care Act

August 31, 2017: the Trump administration severely cut spending on advertising and promotion for enrollment under the Affordable Care Act. Officials with the Department of Health and Human Services said that the advertising budget for the open enrollment period that starts in November would be cut to $10 million, compared with $100 million spent by the Obama administration in 2016, a drop of 90 percent. Additionally, grants to about 100 nonprofit groups, known as navigators, that help people enroll in health plans offered by the insurance marketplaces would be cut to a total of $36 million, from about $63 million. [NYT article] (see Sept 26)

August 31 Peace Love Art Activism

Immigration History

August 31, 2018:  Judge Andrew S. Hanen of the Federal District Court in Houston. Texas declined to halt an Obama-era program that protected young undocumented immigrants from deportation, handing a temporary victory to activists who were waging a legal fight against the Trump administration to save it.

Hanen said the program, known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) had been relied upon by hundreds of thousands of immigrants since it was established almost six years ago, and should not be abruptly ended.

The ruling meant that young immigrants who were brought illegally to the US as small children could continue to apply for the program, which shielded them from immediate deportation and provides a permit to work legally in the United States. (next IH, see Sept 13); next DACA, see July 28, 2020)

August 31 Peace Love Art Activism

War in Afghanistan

August 31, 2021: the United States completed its withdrawal from Afghanistan, ending America’s longest war and closing a chapter in military history likely to be remembered for colossal failures, unfulfilled promises and a frantic final exit that cost the lives of more than 180 Afghans and 13 U.S. service members, some barely older than the war.

Hours before President Joe Biden’s August 31 deadline for shutting down a final airlift, and thus ending the U.S. war, Air Force transport planes carried a remaining contingent of troops from Kabul airport late Monday. Thousands of troops had spent a harrowing two weeks protecting the airlift of tens of thousands of Afghans, Americans and others seeking to escape a country once again ruled by Taliban militants. [AP article]

August 31 Peace Love Art Activism

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