Category Archives: History

October 24 Peace Love Activism

October 24 Peace Love Activism

Technological Milestone

October 24, 1861:  the first transcontinental telegraph message was sent from California to President Abraham Lincoln. (see July 27, 1866)

US Labor History

October 24, 1940: the 40-hour work week went into effect in the United States.  (NYT article)

In 1941: union membership of employed workers exceeded 20% (20.3%) for the first time in US history. (see Feb 3)

In 1954: Union membership reached 28.3%  of employed workers. The highest in history. (see Sept 2)

In 1975: Union membership declined to 19.5% of employed workers. The first time it fell below 20% since 1942. (see Feb 19)

United Nations

October 24, 1945, the UN Charter, signed on June 26, 1945, formally entered into force.

Vietnam

South Vietnam Leadership
October 24, 1954: President Eisenhower wrote to South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem and promised direct assistance to his government. Eisenhower made it clear to Diem that U.S. aid to his government during Vietnam's "hour of trial" was contingent upon his assurances of the "standards of performance [he] would be able to maintain in the event such aid were supplied. Eisenhower called for land reform and a reduction of government corruption. 

Diem agreed to the "needed reforms" stipulated as a precondition for receiving aid, but he never actually followed through on his promises. Ultimately his refusal to make any substantial changes to meet the needs of the people led to extreme civil unrest and eventually a coup by dissident South Vietnamese generals in which Diem and his brother were murdered. (NYT article) (Vietnam, see February 23, 1955; SVL, see April 27, 1955) 
Johnson in Manila
October 24, 1966:  in Manila, President Johnson met with other Allied leaders and they pledged to withdraw troops from Vietnam within six months if North Vietnam "withdraws its forces to the North and ceases infiltration of South Vietnam." A communiqué signed by the seven participants (Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, South Vietnam, the Philippines, Thailand, and the United States) included a four-point "Declaration of Peace" that stressed the need for a "peaceful settlement of the war in Vietnam and for future peace and progress" in the rest of Asia and the Pacific. After the conference, Johnson flew to South Vietnam for a surprise two-and-a-half-hour visit with U.S. troops at Cam Ranh Bay. ( Johnson statements) (see Nov 7)
WAR POWERS ACT
October 24, 1973: President Nixon vetoed the War Powers Act. (see Nov 7)

FREE SPEECH

October 24, 1955: based on a Broadway play, The Moon is Blue was a light comedy film that not only used the word “virgin” but also made fun of a young woman for remaining a virgin. The film was released without a seal of approval by the Hollywood Production Code Administration, thus marking an early challenge to the production code system of censorship. It was unclear whether it was because of the word “virgin” or because it made fun of virginity. On this day, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Holmby v. Vaughn, overturned a decision by the Kansas Supreme Court and ended a ban on the film in the state.

The Kansas State Board of Review had originally banned the film, citing “too frank bedroom dialogue” and “many sexy words.” The Supreme Court ruled that the Kansas interpretation of the term obscene was unconstitutionally vague.The Court based is per curium decision on its decision in Burstyn v. Wilson, May 26, 1952), which held for the first time that movies were a form of expression protected by the First Amendment. (see January 12, 1956)

October 24 Music et al

“I Want to Be Wanted”
October 24 – November 13, 1960: “I Want to Be Wanted” by Benda Lee #1 Billboard Hot 100. She was 15-years-old. (Whatever happened to Brenda Lee?)
 
LSD
October 24, 1968: possession of LSD banned federally in the U.S. after the passage of the Staggers-Dodd Bill (Public Law 90-639) which amended the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. (see January 31, 1970)
October 24 Peace Love Activism

The Cold War

Cuban Missile Crisis

October 24 Peace Love Activism

October 24, 1962: the Soviet news agency Telegrafnoe Agentstvo Sovetskogo Soyuza (TASS) broadcasted a telegram from Khrushchev to President Kennedy, in which Khrushchev warned that the United States' "pirate action" would lead to war. President John F. Kennedy spoke before reporters during a televised speech to the nation about the strategic blockade of Cuba, and his warning to the Soviet Union about missile sanctions. (see Cuban Missile Crisis)

INDEPENDENCE DAY

ctober 24 Peace Love Activism

October 24, 1964:  Zambia independent from United Kingdom. (see February 18, 1965)

see Calvin Graham for full story

October 24, 1977: a People magazine article reported that Graham, 47, was unable to work, had spent some $5,000 on dental repairs, and suffered from diabetes, and heart trouble. As a result of a fall from a pier while serving in the Marines he walked only with a cane. He and his wife existed on $600 a month—part of which came from limited Marine disability payments. (see April 20, 1978)

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October 23 Peace Love Activism

October 23 Peace Love Activism

Feminism

Deborah Sampson
October 23, 1783: Deborah Sampson honorably discharged from the Army after a year and a half of service. (see Deborah Sampson)
Voting Rights

October 23

October 23, 1915:  twenty-five thousand women marched in Manhattan, demanding the right to vote in all 48 states. (see  Dec 4) (NYT article)
Clarence Thomas
October 23, 1991: despite the sexual misconduct allegations of Anita Hill on October 11, Clarence Thomas sworn in as the 106th U.S. Supreme Court Justice. (see January 28, 1992)

Cold War

Ronald Reagan
October 23, 1947:  Ronald Reagan, then president of the Screen Actors Guild, appeared before the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) as a “friendly” witness on this day. He testified to his opposition to Communism, and his testimony on this occasion was fairly mild anti-Communist rhetoric. (see Oct 27)

BLACK HISTORY

October 23, 1947: the NAACP filed formal charges with the United Nations, accusing the U.S. of racial discrimination. "An Appeal to the World," edited by W.E.B. DuBois, was a study of the denial of the right to vote that included details of other discrimination. (see Oct 29) (NYT article)

Vietnam & South Vietnam Leadership

October 23, 1955: Ngo Dinh Diem held an election. He reportedly received 98.2% of the votes, a difficult winning percentage to believe which was further supported by the fact that the total number of votes for exceeded the number of registered voters by over 380,000. (see Oct 26)

Nuclear/Chemical News

Statute of the International Atomic Energy Agency
October 23, 1956: The Statute of the International Atomic Energy Agency was approved by the Conference on the Statute of the International Atomic Energy Agency, which was held at the Headquarters of the United Nations. (see In April 1957)
12.5 megaton
October 23, 1961: Soviet Union above-ground nuclear test. 12.5 megaton. (see Oct 30) (NYT article)
Kenneth Gelpey

October 23

October 23, 1961: Kenneth Gelpey wearing protective clothing as he emerged from a fallout shelter in Medford, Massachusetts with a Geiger counter in hand to "test for radiation". Gelpey and his family spent the weekend in the shelter to test their equipment. (see Oct 30)
October 23 Peace Love Activism
Cuban Missile Crisis
October 23, 1962: evidence presented by the U.S. Department of Defense, of Soviet missiles in Cuba. This low level photo of the medium range ballistic missile site under construction at Cuba's San Cristobal area. A line of oxidizer trailers is at center. Added since October 14, the site was earlier photographed, were fuel trailers, a missile shelter tent, and equipment. The missile erector now lies under canvas cover. Evident also is extensive vehicle trackage and the construction of cable lines to control areas. (see Cuban Missile Crisis for full story)
October 23 Music et al
Dion

October 23

October 23 – November 5, 1961: “Runaround Sue” by Dion & the Belmonts #1 Billboard Hot 100. 

Cool video:

Bob Dylan
October 23, 1963: Dylan recorded 'The Times They Are A-Changin' at Columbia Recording Studios in New York City. Dylan wrote the song as a deliberate attempt to create an anthem of change for the time, influenced by Irish and Scottish ballads. (see Nov 2 – Dec 6)
see Jimi Hendrix Experience for full story
October 23, 1966: The Jimi Hendrix Experience recorded their first single 'Hey Joe', at De Lane Lea studios in London. The earliest known commercial recording of the song is the late-1965 single by the Los Angeles garage band the The Leaves; the band then re-recorded the track and released it in 1966 as a follow-up single which became a hit. (see Dec 26)

Watergate Scandal

October 23, 1973: Nixon agreed to turn White House tape recordings requested by the Watergate special prosecutor over to Judge John J. Sirica (see Nov 17) (NYT article)
October 23 Peace Love Activism

TERRORISM

October 23 Peace Love Activism

October 23, 1983: Shiite suicide bombers explode truck near U.S. military barracks at Beirut airport, killing 241 marines. Minutes later a second bomb killed 58 French paratroopers in their barracks in West Beirut. (see Dec 12) (NYT article)

BBC report on Ethiopia

October 23, 1984, BBC News TV reported that a famine was plaguing Ethiopia and thousands of people had already died of starvation and as many as 10,000,000 more lives are at risk. (see Nov 25)

Jack Kevorkian

October 23, 1991: Kevokian attended the deaths of Marjorie Wantz, a 58-year-old Sodus, Michigan, woman with pelvic pain, and Sherry Miller, a 43-year-old Roseville, Michigan, woman with multiple sclerosis. The deaths occur at a rented state park cabin near Lake Orion, Michigan. Wantz dies from the suicide machine's lethal drugs, Miller from carbon monoxide poisoning inhaled through a face mask. (see Nov 20)

Women’s Health

Dr. Barnett Slepian assassinated
October 23 Peace Love Activism
October 23, 1998, Women’s Health: James Charles Kopp leaned against a tree behind the suburban home of Dr. Barnett Slepian, who performed abortions as part of his practice, and followed Slepian through the scope of a high-powered rifle.

Slepian, the married father of four young sons, entered the kitchen after returning home from a memorial service for his father, put a bowl of soup in a microwave oven and walked to a desk in the corner of the kitchen where he routinely put his keys, wallet and pager.

  With that, Mr. Kopp, a longtime opponent of abortion whose beliefs earned him the nickname Atomic Dog among like-minded people, squeezed the trigger and fired.

The single shot broke the kitchen window and struck Dr. Slepian under his left shoulder blade, tore through his chest and exited from his right shoulder, then ricocheted past his wife and two of their sons, finally lodging in the fireplace of the living room, where a third son was watching television.

About an hour later, the 52-year-old doctor was declared dead. (see March 29, 2001) (NYT article) 
Indiana/Medicaid funds
October 23, 2012: The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago upheld the core portion of a lower court order that said Indiana cannot enforce a state law barring abortion providers from collecting Medicaid funds for any medical services, i.e., Indiana can't cut off funding for Planned Parenthood just because the organization provides abortions, a federal appeals. (NYT article) (see October 23)
Rape defended
October 23, 2012: the issue of pregnancies resulting from rape rattled another campaign for the Senate when Indiana’s Republican Senate nominee, Richard Mourdock, said a life conceived by rape “is something that God intended to happen” and must be protected. (NYT article) (see December 4)

Technological Milestone

October 23 Peace Love ActivismOctober 23, 2001:  Apple Computer Inc. introduced the iPod portable digital music player. (see April 25, 2003).

LGBTQ

October 23, 2012: New York’s highest court declined to hear a challenge to the state’s gay-marriage law, ending the only significant legal threat to same-sex weddings in the state. The Court of Appeals rejected a motion by a conservative group, New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, which had accused the State Senate of violating the state’s Open Meetings Law in its deliberations before it voted last year to allow gay men and lesbians to marry. The court did not provide an explanation of its decision.(see November 28) (NYT article)

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Timothy Francis Leary

Timothy Francis Leary

October 22, 1930 — May 31, 1996leary.1
When hearing the name Timothy Leary a person's next thought will likely be LSD. Though his life began far from researching the possible use of LSD and other psychedelic substances in treating mental illnesses, his (and then Richard Alpert) Harvard Psilocybin Project forever connected him to those three letters.
Pre project
Leary was born in Springfield, Massachusetts and was a happily rebellious student at all levels. 

In high school he wrote controversial articles for the school newspaper.

The College of the Holy Cross dismissed him for repeated rule infractions.

From Holy Cross, he went to, of all places, the West Point Military Academy where, not surprisingly, he continued to ignore rules. Within a few months, the Academy's Honor Committee asked him to leave, but he chose to remain. The Academy silenced him, that is, no one spoke to him, shunned him, ignored him.

Leary remained until the Academy revised its decision and Leary left.
Meets Psychology and the Army
His next academic stop was the University of Alabama  in 1941 where he first began his studies in psychology.  Broken rules again led to expulsion.

The Army drafted him in 1943 and while in the service, he continued his education as his various postings, all of which were state-side.

While in the Army, he married Marianne Busch and they married in 1945.
Doctorate
After leaving the Army with an honorable discharge, Leary continued his education at various institution at various levels. He eventually received his doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of California, Berkeley in 1950.

The rest of the 60s was an uneasy time for Leary. His wife committed suicide in 1955 and he began to raise his son and daughter alone while teaching at various institutions. He had academic success in terms of his reputation.

He became part of the Harvard faculty in 1959. In 1960, he and Richard Alpert (now Ram Dass) began to explore the effects of psychotropic substances on the human mind via their Harvard Psilocybin Project.  At the time, neither LSD nor psilocybin were illegal.

Because of the research's methods (for example, Leary and Alpert were sometimes under the influence while doing their research), "Leary and Alpert’s colleagues challenged the scientific merit of their research, as well as the seemingly cavalier attitude with which it was carried out (e.g. poorly controlled conditions, non-random selection of subjects).  Editorials printed in the Harvard Crimson accused Alpert and Leary of not merely researching psychotropic drugs but actively promoting their recreational use. (Harvard site)

By the spring of 1963, Harvard dismissed both Leary and Alpert.
Millbrook, NY 1963 – 1967

Timothy Francis Leary

The wealthy heirs Peggy, Billy, and Tommy Hitchcock found Leary's work interesting and offered him a mansion in Millbrook, NY. There Leary and Alpert continued their unorthodox research under the aegis of the Castalia Foundation.

It was at this same period that California's Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters had also began their exploration of the psychedelic state. While strict researchers criticized Leary and Alpert's methods as unscientific, the Pranksters had no scientific aims to begin with. Theirs was a recreational use that had mind expansion as a wonderful side effect.

The the two coasts met at the half-way point of the Pranksters famous bus ride across the US in 1964. Because of the two groups difference in approach, the meeting was brief and not nearly the historic uniting one might have expected.

They agreed amicably agreeing to disagree.
Leary spreads his gospel
In the mid-60s, Leary began touring colleges during which he spoke of starting one's own religion. (pamphlet), but it was at the January 14, 1967 Human Be-In that Leary spoke his famous phrase--Turn on, tune in, drop out."

Legal encounters
Leary regularly had drug-related run ins with authorities.
  • December 20, 1965, police arrested Leary for possession of marijuana and on March 11, 1966,  the court sentenced him to d to 30 years in prison, fined him $30,000, and ordered him to undergo psychiatric treatment. He appealed the case on the basis that the Marihuana Tax Act was unconstitutional.  On May 19, 1969, The US Supreme Court concurred with Leary in Leary v. United States, declared the Marihuana Tax Act unconstitutional, thus overturning his 1965 conviction
  • December 26, 1968, Leary was arrested again in Laguna Beach, California, this time for the possession of two marijuana “roaches.” On January 21, 1970, the Courts gave Leary  a 10-year sentence for this 1968 offense, with a further 10 added later while in custody for a prior arrest in 1965, for a total of 20 years to be served consecutively. He escaped in September 1970 from the low-security prison in which he was held. The anarchist group the Weathermen helped his get out of the country and Leary fled to Algeria. He later went to Switzerland where in 1972, at the behest of US Attorney General John Mitchell, the Swiss government imprisoned Leary for a month, but refused to extradite him.
  • In 1972, the US government succeeded in arresting Leary while he was on a US airline in Afghanistan. Upon his return to the US, California authorities put him in solitary confinement in Folsom Prison.  Leary continued his writings while in prison. California Governor Jerry Brown released Leary on April 21, 1976.
End story

Timothy Francis Leary

Timothy Francis Leary

After prison, Leary lessened his proselytizing of if not his personal use of psychoactive drugs.  In the 80s he said that computers would be the LSD of the 90s and said to "turn on, boot up, and jack in." 

That phrase remains in obscurity.

His life took on a semi-religious, albeit unorthodox, tone. yet in 1992 he said that he'd always considered himself a pagan.

Leary died on may 31, 1996 from prostate cancer.

Timothy Francis Leary, Timothy Francis Leary, Timothy Francis Leary, Timothy Francis Leary, 

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