July 20 Peace Love Art Activism

July 20 Peace Love Art Activism

Native Americans

July 20, 1881: five years after General George A. Custer’s infamous defeat at the Battle of Little Bighorn, Hunkpapa Teton Sioux leader Sitting Bull surrendered to the U.S. Army, which promised amnesty for him and his followers. Sitting Bull had been a major leader in the 1876 Sioux uprising that resulted in the death of Custer and 264 of his men at Little Bighorn. Pursued by the U.S. Army after the Indian victory, he escaped to Canada with his followers. Sitting Bull was assigned to the Standing Rock reservation in South Dakota in 1883. Seven years later he was dead, killed by Indian police when he resisted their attempt to arrest him for his supposed participation in the Ghost Dance uprising. (NA, see November 3, 1883; Sitting Bull, see December 15, 1890)

July 20 Peace Love Art Activism
US Labor History

July 20, 1899: New York City newsboys, many so poor that they were sleeping in the streets, begin a 2-week strike. Several rallies drew more than 5,000 newsboys, complete with charismatic speeches by strike leader Kid Blink, who was blind in one eye. The boys had to pay publishers up front for the newspapers; they were successful in forcing the publishers to buy back unsold papers. [2017 NY Daily News story] (see Sept 30)

July 20 Peace Love Art Activism



July 20, 1914: Marcus Garvey and Amy Ashwood founded the  Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League. The U.N.I.A. was originally conceived as a benevolent or fraternal reform association dedicated to racial uplift and the establishment of educational and industrial opportunities for blacks. (Nat’l Humanities Center article) (BH, see February 8, 1915; see Garvey for expanded story)

Jack Johnson

July 20, 1920: self-exiled boxer Jack Johnson returned to the U.S. He surrendered to federal agents at the Mexican border and was sent to the United States Penitentiary, Leavenworth to serve his sentence in September 1920.

He was released on July 9, 1921. (BH, see Aug 1 > 31; JJ, see May 24, 2018)

Albany Movement

July 20, 1962: Robert Elliott, a Federal judge had issued an injunction against mass marches using the legal reasoning that demonstrations require the presence of policemen; policemen who are present during demonstrations could not handle other complaints of other citizens in the community; therefore, the demonstrations were denying other citizens — white citizens — equal protection of the law. Thus White citizens were denied equal protection.

Defying that injunction, 160 protesters were arrested. (see Albany Movement for expanded story)


July 20, 1985: P. W. Botha declared a state of emergency in 36 magisterial districts of South Africa amid growing civil unrest in black townships. (see June 12, 1986)

Trayvon Martin Shooting

July 20, 2013:   one week after a Florida jury found George Zimmerman not guilty in the death of unarmed teen Trayvon Martin, rallies were scheduled in 100 cities to press for civil rights charges against the former neighborhood watch leader. (BH, see Sept 13; TMS, see August 28)

July 20 Peace Love Art Activism

Religion and Public Education


July 20, 1925: with the proceedings taking place outdoors due to the heat, the defense — in a highly unusual move — calls Bryan to testify as a biblical expert. Clarence Darrow asks Bryan a series of questions about whether the Bible should be interpreted literally. As the questioning continued, Bryan accuses Darrow of making a “slur at the Bible,” while Darrow mocks Bryan for “fool ideas that no intelligent Christian on earth believes.” (see Trial for expanded story)

July 20 Peace Love Art Activism

Cold War

Military Draft

July 20, 1948: following World War II, the US moved quickly to demobilize the vast military it had constructed and  by 1948, less than 550,000 men remained in the U.S. Army. This rapid decline in the size of America’s military concerned U.S. government officials, who believed that a confrontation with the Soviet Union was imminent.

On this date President Harry S. Truman instituted a military draft with a proclamation calling for nearly 10 million men to register for military service within the next two months. (Rally Point article)


July 20, 1948: the top leaders of the Communist Party were arrested under the Smith Act. After a stormy trial, in which the prosecutor relied primarily on Marxist writings and offered no evidence of any planned effort to overthrow the U.S. government, 11 party leaders were convicted. (shmoop article) (Red Scare, see Aug 3; Free Speech, see November 1, 1948; Supreme Court decision re Smith Act, see June 4, 1951)


July 20, 2015: in a symbolic ceremony marking the end of 54 years of hostility, Cuba raised its flag over a limestone mansion in Washington, DC and officially reopened its U.S. Embassy. Hundreds of people, including U.S. lawmakers, diplomats and others joined visiting Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez, who led a delegation of about 30 officials from Havana, including Cuba’s chief negotiator on the normalization of diplomatic ties, Josefina Vidal. The U.S. would wait to raise an American flag and unveil a new sign at its Havana embassy until Secretary of State John Kerry traveled there to do the honors later that summer. (Reuters article) (CW & Cuba, see Aug 14)

July 20 Peace Love Art Activism

July 20 Music et al

Surf City

July 20 – August 2, 1963,  “Surf City” by Jan & Dean #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. Co-written with Brian Wilson.

Something New

July 20 Peace Love Art Activism

July 20, 1964, The Beatles: released Something New, a US only release. (see July 25)

  • Label: Capitol (US)
  • Recorded: 2 9 January, 25–27 February,
    1 March and 1–4 June 1964
Hugh Masekela

July 20 – August 2, 1968: “Grazing in the Grass” by Hugh Masekela #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Road to Bethel

July 20 Peace Love Art Activism

July 20, 1969, The Road to Bethel and the Woodstock Festival: someone nails sign “Stop Max’s Hippy Music Festival” to tree at driveway entrance. Angers Yasgur and convinces him his decision to allow concert on his property was the right decision. (see Chronology for expanded story )

July 20 Peace Love Art Activism


July 20 Peace Love Art Activism

July 20, 1968, ADA: the first International Special Olympics Summer Games, organized by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, were held at Soldier Field in Chicago. [Special Olympics site article] (see June 19, 1970)

July 20 Peace Love Art Activism

Space Race

July 20, 1969: Americans Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin become the first men to walk on the moon. They then rendezvous with Michael Collins in the command module for the return to Earth. [NASA article] (see July 24)

July 20 Peace Love Art Activism

War Powers Act

July 20, 1973: the Senate approved the War Powers Act by a vote of 75 – 20. [links to NYT stories re WPA] (see Oct 4)

July 20 Peace Love Art Activism

Irish Troubles

July 20, 1982:  the Provisional IRA detonated 2 bombs in central London, killing 8 soldiers, wounding 47 people. (see  Troubles for expanded story) 

July 20 Peace Love Art Activism

Michael Dukakis

July 20 Peace Love Art Activism

July 20, 1988: the Democratic National Convention in Atlanta nominated Michael Dukakis for President and Lloyd Bentsen for Vice President. [APP article]

July 20 Peace Love Art Activism
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July 19 Peace Love Art Activism

July 19 Peace Love Art Activism


Seneca Falls Convention

July 19 – 20, 1848: Seneca Falls Convention About 300 people, including 40 men, met at America’s first women’s rights convention in Seneca Falls, New York. There they adopt a Declaration of Sentiments, modeled closely after the Declaration of Independence, asserting the “self-evident” truth that “all men and women were created equal.” The delegates also adopt eleven resolutions, including one declaring it “the duty of women of this country to secure to themselves their sacred right to the elective franchise.” (NPR article) (see January 23, 1849)

Voting Rights

July 19, 1917: Dudley Field Malone, collector of the Port of New York and personal friend of Woodrow Wilson, offers resignation five days after witnessing arrests of suffrage pickets, whom he offers to represent in court. Wilson declines Malone’s resignation; Malone later leaves administration over its handling of suffrage protests. (see Aug 14)


July 19–21, 1944: at its convention, the Democratic Party endorsed the Equal Rights Amendment. (see August 22, 1945)

Geraldine Ferraro

July 19 Peace Love Art Activism

July 19, 1984: Geraldine Ferraro accepted the nomination of running mate to Democratic presidential candidate Walter Mondale. She was the first woman to be nominated for Vice President by either the Democratic or Republican Party. (2011 NYT obit) (see Dec 20)

July 19 Peace Love Art Activism

Free Speech

Movie censorship

July 19, 1911: Pennsylvania became the first state in the US to approve laws allowing censorship of movies. (see February 23, 1915)

Colin Kaepernick

July 19, 2018: hours after The Associated Press reported that Miami Dolphins players who protest on the field during the anthem could be suspended for up to four games under a team policy issued, the NFL and the players union issued a joint statement saying the two sides were talking things out.

The NFL and NFLPA, through recent discussions, have been working on a resolution to the anthem issue. In order to allow this constructive dialogue to continue, we have come to a standstill agreement on the NFLPA’s grievance and on the NFL’s anthem policy. No new rules relating to the anthem will be issued or enforced for the next several weeks while these confidential discussions are ongoing,”  (FS & CK, see Aug 30; Labor, see Aug 25)

July 19 Peace Love Art Activism

Black History

Washington DC revolt

July 19, 1919: racial violence erupted in Washington, D.C. when mobs of U.S. soldiers and sailors, home from the war in Europe, attacked African-Americans in response to rumors that an Africa-American had attempted to rape the white wife of a sailor. The police were reportedly “nowhere to be seen” as a mob of about 400 whites invaded the African-American neighborhood in southwest Washington. (Black Past article) (see July 27)

Wichita sit-in

July 19, 1958: a local NAACP chapter on this day sponsored a sit-in in Wichita, Kansas, challenging racially segregated public accommodations. The sit-in was successful, and local lunch counters were desegregated on August 11, 1958.

The Wichita sit-in was significant because the conventional history of the Civil Rights Movement presents the sit-in movement challenging segregated lunch counters and other public accommodations as beginning in Greensboro, North Carolina, on February 1, 1960. In fact, there were a number of earlier sit-ins. See, for example, the early sit-in on April 17, 1943; January 20, 1955; and August 19, 1958. The significance of the February 1960 sit-in is that it launched a national sit-in movement that swept the South and transformed the Civil Rights Movement. (NPR article) (see Aug 19)

Minneapolis revolt

July 19, 1967: a race riot broke out in the North Side of Minneapolis on Plymouth Street during the Minneapolis Aquatennial Parade and business were vandalized and fires break out in the area, although the disturbance is quelled within hours. However, the next day a shooting sets off another incident in the same area that leads to 18 fires, 36 arrests, 3 shootings, 2 dozen people injured, and damages totaling 4.2 million. There will be two more such incidents in the following two weeks. (MNopedia article) (BH & RR, see July 24)

Muhammad Ali

July 19, 1996: Muhammad Ali lights the flame at the Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia. [Rolling Stone article] (BH, see Oct 10; Ali, see January 8, 2001)

Emmett Till

July 18, 2013: Willie Reed, who had changed his name to Willie Louis after the murder trial of Emmett Till and had moved to Chicago, died. Louis, one of the last living witnesses for the prosecution in the Till case, died in Oak Lawn, Ill., a Chicago suburb. He was 76. (BH, see July 19; see ET for expanded story)

Trayvon Martin

July 19, 2013:  President Barack Obama grappled with the Trayvon Martin case in the most personal of terms telling Americans that the slain youth “could have been me 35 years ago” and urging them to do some soul searching about their attitudes on race. He said it may be time to take a hard look at “stand your ground” self-defense laws, questioning whether they contribute “to the kind of peace and security and order that we’d like to see.” (BH & TMS, see July 20; SYG, see Aug 8)

Samuel DuBose

July 19, 2015: in Cincinnati, Ohio, Ray Tensing, a University of Cincinnati police officer, shot and killed Samuel DuBose, an unarmed man, during a traffic stop for a missing front license plate. Tensing fired after DuBose started his car. Tensing stated that DuBose had begun to drive off and that he was being dragged because his arm was caught in the car. Prosecutors alleged that footage from Tensing’s bodycam showed that he was not dragged and a grand jury indicted him on charges of murder and voluntary manslaughter. [Tensing settlement] (B & S, see Sept 8; DuBose, see January 18, 2016)

July 19 Peace Love Art Activism

July 19 Music et al

Alan Freed

July 19, 1958: Alan Freed Enterprises, Inc filed for bankruptcy. (see Aug 29)

Festival finances

July 19, 1969: John Roberts and Michael Lang discuss finances. Roberts concerned about additional costs. (see Chronology for expanded story)

July 19 Peace Love Art Activism

World Trade Center

July 19. 1971:  the South Tower of the World Trade Center topped out. (Port Authority timeline on Towers) (see April 4, 1973)

July 19 Peace Love Art Activism


July 19, 1993: President Clinton announced his ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy regarding gays in the American military. (see Dec 14)

July 19 Peace Love Art Activism

Irish Troubles

July 19, 1997:  the Provisional IRA re-instated the ceasefire. (see Troubles for expanded story)

July 19 Peace Love Art Activism

Fair Housing

July 19, 2013: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development issued a proposed regulation that for the first time clearly defined the steps local and state governments that receive HUD funding must take to examine housing segregation based on race and show they are in line with the Fair Housing Act. (see Dec 3)

July 19 Peace Love Art Activism

Environmental Issues

July 19, 2018: the Interior Department proposed the most sweeping set of changes in decades to the Endangered Species Act, the law that brought the bald eagle and the Yellowstone grizzly bear back from the edge of extinction but which Republicans say is cumbersome and restricts economic development.

The proposed revisions had far-reaching implications, potentially making it easier for roads, pipelines and other construction projects to gain approvals than under current rules. One change, for instance, would eliminate longstanding language that prohibits considering economic factors when deciding whether or not a species should be protected.

The agency also intended to make it more difficult to shield species like the Atlantic sturgeon that are considered “threatened,” which is the category one level beneath the most serious one, “endangered.” (see Aug 2)

July 19 Peace Love Art Activism

Immigration History

Family separation policy

July 19, 2018: US. District Court Judge Marsha Pechman granted Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s request to fast-track the multistate lawsuit filed last month against the Trump Administration’s family separation policy. In an unusually comprehensive 10 page order, Judge Pechman noted the unique background of this case and the particular risk of harm posed to the families involved.

Separated still

July 19, 2018: Federal officials said that 364 children had been reunited with their parents to comply with a federal judge’s order that the Trump administration bring together undocumented immigrant families separated under its “zero tolerance” policy. A majority of the nearly 2,600 immigrant children – who were detained at the U.S.-Mexico border with their parents for trying to illegally enter the country – still remained apart from their parents in facilities around the country.  (see July 24)

July 19 Peace Love Art Activism
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July 18 Music et al

July 18 Music et al

Miles Davis

July 18 Music et al

July 18, 1960: Miles Davis released “Sketches of Spain” album.

Thom Jurek at AllMusic statedAlong with Kind of Blue, In a Silent Way, and Round About Midnight, Sketches of Spain is one of Miles Davis’ most enduring and innovative achievements. Recorded between November 1959 and March 1960 — after Coltrane and Cannonball Adderley had left the band — Davis teamed with Canadian arranger Gil Evans for the third time. Davis brought Evans the album’s signature piece, “Concierto de Aranjuez,” after hearing a classical version of it at bassist Joe Mondragon’s house. Evanswas as taken with it as Davis was, and set about to create an entire album of material around it. The result is a masterpiece of modern art. “

July 18 Music et al

Brenda Lee

July 18 – Aug 7, 1960: “I’m Sorry” by 15-year-old Brenda Lee #1 Billboard Hot 100. According to the Billboard Book of Number One Hits by Fred Bronson, Lee recorded the song early in 1960 but her label, Decca Records, held it from release for several months out of concern that a 15-year-old girl was not mature enough to sing about unrequited love. (2018 Stereo Gum article)  (see Sept 19 – Sept 25)

July 18 Music et al

Four Seasons

July 18 – 31, 1964: “Rag Doll” by the Four Seasons #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, their last #1 until March 1976 with “December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night).” Frankie Valli will have a #1 hit in August 1978 with Grease – his last #1.

July 18 Music et al

The Road to Bethel

July 18, 1969: Michael Lang and Ticia Bernuth explored Bethel area for another festival location. They “discover” the site.

In the afternoon Lang, Mel Lawrence, Elliot Tieber, and Morris Abraham met with Yasgur. The property he initially offered (across from his home?) was far too flat. He offered another site which turns out to be the same spot Lang had seen that morning. (see Chronology for expanded story)

July 18 Music et al
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