October Peace Love Activism
In October 1837: the Army transferred Dr Emerson to Jefferson Barracks in St. Louis. Because the trip down the Mississippi at that time of year was dangerous, Emerson left Dred and Harriet Scott at Fort Snelling, Wisconsin Territory where he rented them to other people. This fact could have significantly buttressed their subsequent claims to freedom. By leaving the Scotts at Fort Snelling and hiring them out at a profit, Emerson was in fact bringing the system of slavery itself into the Wisconsin Territory, a free territory. If a master worked a slave or hired a slave out, then the institution of slavery itself would have been in a free territory and the slave might legitimately claim their freedom.
While at the military post, Emerson might have claimed an exemption, but once he left and hired out the Scotts it was an unequivocal violation of the Missouri Compromise, the Northwest Ordinance, and the Wisconsin Enabling Act. (BH & Dred Scott, see Nov 1837)
In October 1838: The Army transferred Dr Emerson back to Ft Snelling (Wisconsin). During the trip on a Mississippi River steamboat that was north of the state of Missouri—that is, in territory made free by the Missouri Compromise—Harriet Scott gave birth to her first child, who she named Eliza after Mrs. Emerson. Thus, Eliza Scott was born on a boat in the Mississippi River, surrounded on one side by the free state of Illinois and on the other side by the free territory of Wisconsin. Under both state and federal law Eliza was born “free.” (Dred Scott, see May 1840; Black History, see July 2, 1839)
In October 1938: the Alabama Pardon Board denied the pardon applications of Clarence Norris, Charlie Weems, and Roy Wright. (SB, see in November)
In October 1946: the work the parole board had found seemed no better than prison to Andy Wright and he fled north. Allan Knight Chalmers, the chairman of the Scottsboro Defense Committee persuaded him to return south, in part so that Patterson and Powell's parole hearings might have more favorable results. When Wright returned, he was imprisoned despite promises of leniency. (see “In July 1948”)
In October 1954: Cassius Clay’s bicycle was stolen outside Columbia Auditorium during the Louisville Home Show. Clay found Joe Martin, a Louisville policeman, and told him he wanted to “whup” whoever stole his bike. By chance, Martin also trained young boxers at a Louisville gym. “Well, you better learn how to fight before you start challenging people that you’re gonna whup,” Martin told Ali. Martin began to train Clay, who soon madehis amateur ring debut—a three-minute, three-round split decision over another novice named Ronnie O’Keefe. The future world heavyweight champion earns $4 for the fight. (BH, see Oct 30; Ali, see "In August" 1960)
In October 1967: Nina Simone released “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free.” (see Oct 7)
In October 1917: Lucy Burns, inspired by several Socialist Party suffrage prisoners, leads campaign in prison demanding suffragists be treated as political prisoners; threatens hunger strike if demand not met. Petition secretly circulated among inmates, smuggled out, and presented to commissioners of District of Columbia. Every woman signing petition put in solitary confinement. (see Oct 22)
In October 1926: Goldman sailed for Canada to lecture; its proximity rekindled her hope for readmission to the U.S. (request to visit)
In 1930, journalist H. L. Mencken petitioned the U.S. Department of State to revoke Goldman's deportation and grant her a visitor's visa. He also requested that the Department of Justice return her personal papers seized in the 1917 raid on the Mother Earth office, to no avail. (see March 26 – April 4, 1933)
In October 1954: the U.S. Post Office Department declared the One magazine ‘obscene’. ONE sued. (see September 21, 1955)
October Music et al
Fear of Rock
In October 1954: WDIA [Memphis, TN] and several other large popular-music radio stations banned several songs fro their sexually suggestive lyrics. The station ran announcements saying, “WDIA, your goodwill station, in the interest of good citizenship, for the protection of morals and our American way of life, does not consider this record [they named record], fit for broadcast on WDIA. We are sure all you listeners will agree with us.” (“Rock Is Dead” book link) (see February 24, 1955)
In October 1957 the Associated Press reprinted an excerpt from a magazine called “Western World” published in Paris. In it Frank Sinatra denounced rock music and musicians. The AP article said in part:
“The famed crooner, writing in the magazine Western World … praised the influence of American jazz and popular music as a way of winning friends and influencing people throughout the world.
“My only deep sorrow,” he said, “is the unrelenting insistence of recording and motion picture companies upon purveying the most brutal, ugly, degenerate, vicious form of expression it has been my displeasure to hear—naturally I refer to the bulk of rock ‘n’ roll.
Mutual Broadcasting System
In 1958 the Mutual Broadcasting System (radio) dropped all rock from its network music programs, calling it “distorted, monotonous, noisy music.” To coincide with the ban, the network changed the title of its 21 hours of music programming from “Top 50” to “Pop 50.” Songs removed from play included “Splish Splash” by Bobby Darin and Elvis Presley’s “Hard Headed Woman.” (see Jan 12)
In October 1962: Southern soul has its first major hit with the instrumental "Green Onions" by Booker T. & the MG's.
In October, 1965: The Paul Butterfield Blues Band album released. (Paul Butterfield age 23)
In October 1965: recorded a single with Curtis Knight, "How Would You Feel" backed with "Welcome Home" (see In December 1965)
In October: Ken Kesey sneaked back into the US. (see Oct 2)
Sly and the Family Stone
In October 1967: Sly and the Family Stone released first album, “A Whole New Thing.” (Sly Stone, 24)
United Farm Workers
In October 1965: Grape boycott begins. (see March 17, 1966)
Senator George McGovern
In October 1966: Senator George McGovern introduced a resolution highlighting increased desire of Indian people to participate in decisions concerning their people and property. (see April 11, 1968)
In October 1999: nearly 2000 American Indians, Canadian First Nation peoples and Alaskan Natives returned to Alcatraz, some for the first time since 1969, to mark the 30th anniversary of the occupation during a day of spiritual, cultural and musical celebration. (see January 16, 2000)
In October 1966: Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara announced “Project 100,000” a so-called Great Society program that would allow the US to draft men whose physical and/or mental skills fell below standards normally required for entrance. Those brought into the armed service via this program would receive remedial training. While they were officially referred to as “New Standards,” regular soldiers referred to the new entrants as the “Moron Corps.” 40% were Black (compared to the normal 9%) 47% were from the South (compared to the normal 28%). According to a 2006 report by Kelly M Greenhill “In the program's first three years, nearly half of the Army's and well over 50 percent of the Marines' New Standards Men were assigned to combat specialties. The results were not surprising: a Project 100,000 recruit who entered the Marine Corps in 1968 was two and a half times more likely to die in combat than his higher-aptitude compatriots. After all, they tended to be the ones in the line of fire.” ( see Oct 13)
October Peace Love Activism
In October 1974: the first convention for People First was held in Portland, Oregon. People First is a national organization of people with developmental disabilities learning to speak for themselves and supporting each other in doing so.
Education for Handicapped Children Act of 1975
In 1975: The Education for Handicapped Children Act of 1975—now called the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) signed into law. It guaranteed a free, appropriate, public education for all children with disabilities in the least restrictive environment. (see June 26)
In October 1977: The Urban Development Action Grant (UDAG) program was passed. Urban Development Action Grants (UDAG) give distressed communities funds for residential or nonresidential use. (see March 31, 1980)
In October 1996: the AIDS Memorial Quilt displayed in its entirety for the last time. It covered the entire National Mall in Washington, DC. (see Nov 5)
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