Category Archives: Today in history

October 31 Peace Love Activism

October 31 Peace Love Activism

October 31 Peace Love Activism

Labor history

Working Man’s Advocate
October 31, 1829: George Henry Evans published the first issue of the Working Man’s Advocate, “edited by a Mechanic” for the “useful and industrious classes” in New York City. He focused on the inequities between the “portion of society living in luxury and idleness” and those “groaning under the oppressions and miseries imposed on them.” (see March 13, 1830)
Coal Creek War
October 31, 1891: during the spring of 1891, free miners working for the Tennessee Coal Mining Company went on strike in Briceville, Tennessee, after the company demanded that all miners sign an iron-clad contract with draconian terms. In response to the strike, the company evicted the miners from their homes, built a stockade, and leased dozens of state prisoners to replace the free workers. Using convict labor, the mine reopened on July 5, 1891.

Two weeks later, on July 14, three hundred armed miners stormed the stockade and marched the convicts out of the valley, shutting down the mine once more. In response, Governor John P. Buchanan marched the state militia into the valley and, on July 16, met the miners just north of Briceville to plead for peace. The miners refused to accept the mining company’s treatment, and instead demanded that the governor enforce the state’s laws against iron-clad contracts.

When the miners seized control of the Briceville mine again, on July 20, Governor Buchanan requested a 60-day truce so that he could present the miners’ claims to the Tennessee legislature. The legislature subsequently rejected the miners’ demands, and tensions flared once more.

On October 31, 1891, the miners stormed the Briceville mine and burned the stockades to the ground, freeing more than 500 leased convicts and placing them on trains headed out of the Coal Creek Valley. Free miners in other towns soon followed suit; the conflict spread across the Cumberland Plateau and lasted several months until the militia launched a crackdown in the summer of 1892, leading to the arrests of hundreds of miners. Known as the “Coal Creek War,” this clash ultimately brought about the miners’ goal: the Tennessee legislature abolished convict leasing to private companies on January 1, 1894.

While the free miners no longer had to compete with convict labor, the Coal Creek War did not end the practice of forcing state convicts – mostly “able bodied young colored men” – to labor in mines. Instead, convicts were now shipped to Brushy Mountain and forced to mine coal for the state of Tennessee. By 1904, the state claimed $200,000 per year in profits from convict labor.  (see January 7, 1892)
October 31 Music et al
Quarry Men
October 31, 1959: Quarry Men auditioned for Carrol Levis Show in Liverpool. During this audition period, the band would change its name from "Quarry Men" to "Johnny and the Moondogs" by November 15. On that day, they lose out for the Carrol Levis finals. (see Nov 15)
Five years later…
October 31, 1963:  The Beatles were trying to walk through Heathrow Airport, London, where they'd just returned from a successful tour of Sweden. Also at Heathrow that particular day, after a talent-scouting tour of Europe, was the American television impresario Ed Sullivan. The pandemonium that Sullivan witnessed as he attempted to catch his flight to New York would play a pivotal role in making the British Invasion possible. Sullivan had his staff make inquiries about the Beatles following his return to the United States, and Brian Epstein arranged to travel to New York to open negotiations.
Nice ‘n’ Easy
October 31 – November 6, 1960: Frank Sinatra’s Nice ‘n’ Easy Billboard #1 album.
“Baby Love”
October 31  - November 27, 1964: “Baby Love” by the Supremes #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
People
October 31 – December 4, 1964: Barbara Streisand’s People is the Billboard #1 album.
LSD
October 31, 1966:  San Francisco, California (Acid Test Graduation at Winterland) (see Nov 30)

Cold War  & Nuclear News

October 31, 1961, : Soviet Union above-ground nuclear test. 5 megaton. (NYT article) (see Dec 1)

Americans with disabilities

Community Mental Health Act
October 31, 1963: The Community Mental Health Act of 1963 (CMHA) (also known as the Community Mental Health Centers Construction Act, Mental Retardation Facilities and Construction Act, Public Law 88-164, or the Mental Retardation and Community Mental Health Centers Construction Act of 1963) was an act to provide federal funding for community mental health centers. This legislation was passed as part of John F. Kennedy's New Frontier. It led to considerable deinstitutionalization. In 1984 it was renamed the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act. (see Nov 2)
TTY
In 1964 in California, deaf orthodontist Dr. James C. Marsters of Pasadena sent a teletype machine to deaf scientist Robert Weitbrecht, asking him to find a way to attach the TTY to the telephone system. Weitbrecht modified an acoustic coupler and gave birth to "Baudot," a code that is still used in TTY communication. (ADA, see July 2, 1964; TM, see April 30)

BLACK HISTORY

see George Whitmore, Jr for full story
October 31, 1964: police disclosed that they were questioning another unidentified suspect in the Wylie-Hoffert case. The suspect was identified as a white 19-year-old narcotics addict who had a record of burglary and sexual assault. (Evidently the suspect was Richard Robles, although Robles is not 19 but in his early 20s. 
Jacksonville, FL race revolt
October 31, 1969: a race revolt in Jacksonville, FL. The trouble started when a white truck driver accused a 20-year-old black man of stealing from his truck. The white man shot the black man, triggering two hours of violence and looting.  Windows were smashed and TV sets, furniture and appliances were stolen, with losses estimated at $125,000. Three vehicles were burned. Two people were injured by gunfire and a policeman was struck by a brick.  The police arrested 11 people - 10 of them were charged not with vandalism or looting but with using profanity and failing to obey police officers. A teenager was charged with looting, but rather than calming matters, that arrest led to the gathering of an angry crowd that didn't disperse until four squad cars arrived. (BH, see February 21, 1970; RR, see May 11, 1970) (NYT article)
October 31 Peace Love Activism

Vietnam & LBJ

October 31 Peace Love ActivismOctober 31, 1968: President Lyndon B. Johnson ordered a halt to all U.S. bombing of North Vietnam, saying he hoped for fruitful peace negotiations. (NYT article) (see Nov 1)

FREE SPEECH & Pledge of Allegiance

October 31, 1969: two 12-year-old girls in Brooklyn went to court on this day to assert their right to remain seated in class while other students recited the Pledge of Allegiance. One of the students, Mary, said she refused to recite the pledge because she doesn’t believe that “the actions of this country at this time warrant my respect.” (The Vietnam War was still raging at this time.) The seventh graders had been suspended four weeks earlier in what the school board’s attorney described as a simple matter of school discipline and not one of First Amendment law. Allowing the girls to remain seated, he claimed, would be “disruptive.”

The girls were represented by lawyers for the New York Civil Liberties Union, who cited the famous Supreme Court case of West Virginia v. Barnette, decided on June 14, 1943, in which the Court upheld the right of Jehovah’s Witness’s children not to salute the American flag as required by their school.(FS, see March 18, 1970; Pledge, see June 27, 2002)

Native Americans

October 31, 1972: The Trail of Broken Treaties was a twenty-point manifesto adopted by Native American activists at a meeting in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on this day. The twenty points/demands included a Commission to Review Treaty Commitments & Violations, and that All Indians to be Governed by Treaty Relations. (link to manifesto) (see Nov 2)

Feminism

Pregnancy Discrimination Act
October 31 Peace Love ActivismOctober 31, 1978: The Pregnancy Discrimination Act amended Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, making it unlawful for an employer to discriminate on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. (see Dec 4)
Women’s Health
October 31, 2013:  a federal appeals court ruled that the part of a Texas anti-abortion law that was struck down by a district court would be allowed to take effect while legal challenges proceed. The provisions will cause at least one-third of the state's licensed health centers that currently provide abortion to stop offering the service immediately. (BC, see Nov 4; Texas, see June 27, 2016)

Stop and Frisk Policy

Fourth Amendment
October 31, 2013: the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that Judge Scheindlin “ran afoul” of the judiciary’s code of conduct by showing an “appearance of partiality surrounding this litigation.” The panel criticized how she had steered the lawsuit to her courtroom when it was filed in early 2008. The ruling effectively puts off a battery of changes that Judge Scheindlin, of Federal District Court in Manhattan, had ordered for the Police Department. Those changes include postponing the operations of the monitor who was given the task to oversee reforms to the department’s stop-and-frisk practices, which Judge Scheindlin found violated the Fourth and 14th Amendments of the Constitution. (see November 6)

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October 30 Peace Love Activism

October 30 Peace Love Activism

Anarchism in the US and Emma Goldman

 October 30, 1906: police arrest Goldman in Manhattan while attending an anarchist meeting called to protest police suppression of free speech at a previous meeting. She was charged with unlawful assembly for the purpose of overthrowing the government under the new criminal laws against anarchy. (NYT article) (see Jan 6, 1907)

October 30, 1947,  McCarthyism

HUAC
  • Ring Lardner, Jr., an Oscar-winning screenwriter, refused to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) about his political beliefs and associations. As a result, he was convicted of contempt of Congress and sentenced to prison. Lardner was one of the “Hollywood Ten,” who refused to cooperate with HUAC, went to prison, and were then blacklisted by the film industry. He famously told the committee that he could answer one of their questions, but “I would hate myself in the morning.” Variety magazine commented about the end of the HUAC Hollywood hearings: “Commie Carnival Closes: An Egg is Laid.” Lardner later earned his second Academy Award as the screenwriter of the enormously successful film M*A*S*H (1970), which then became the basis for the hugely successful and Emmy-winning television series of the same name.The Hearing.
  • The famous German playwright Bertolt Brecht testified before HUAC on this day as one of the hostile witnesses in the HUAC investigation of alleged Communist influence in Hollywood. The day after his testimony, Brecht left the U.S. for East Germany and never returned. Brecht is best known among Americans as the co-author of the musical, Threepenny Opera, with composer Kurt Weill, which features the now-famous song, Mack the Knife. One of the ironies of Threepenny Opera is the Brecht was a committed Marxist and yet earned considerable income from the original state production in Germany and then considerably more from the royalties from Mack the Knife. (see Nov 24)
The Photo League
October 30, 1951: The Photo League was a non-profit organization created in 1936 to promote photography as an art form. It conducted photography classes, held exhibitions, and sponsored some photography projects. A number of its members held left-wing political views and sought to use photography to promote social justice. Because of its members’ political views, the League was included in the Attorney General’s List of Subversive Organizations (ordered by President Harry Truman on March 21, 1947, and published on December 4, 1947). Membership and support quickly fell off, and the League formally disbanded on this day, a victim of the Cold War anti-Communist hysteria. (see Dec 13)

Nuclear  Weapons

NSC 162/2
October 30, 1953: President Eisenhower formally approved National Security Council Paper No. 162/2 (NSC 162/2). The top secret document made clear that America's nuclear arsenal must be maintained and expanded to meet the communist threat. It also made clear the connection between military spending and a sound American economy. (see Dec 8)
58 megaton test

October 30 Peace Love Activism

October 30, 1961: the Soviet Union performed an above-ground nuclear test of 58 megatons—4000 times stronger than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. (see Oct 31)

Black History

Armed forces desegregated
October 30, 1954: the Department of Defense announced the armed forces had been fully desegregated — seven years after President Truman had instructed the Secretary of Defense to “take steps to have the remaining instances of discrimination in the armed services eliminated as rapidly as possible.” (see January 7, 1955)

MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR

October 30 Peace Love Activism

October 30, 1967: Martin Luther King Jr. and seven other clergymen were jailed for four days in Birmingham, Ala. They served sentences on contempt-of-court charges stemming from Easter 1963 demonstrations they had led against discrimination. Public Safety Commissioner Eugene “Bull” Connor had twice denied them a parade permit. Two years later, the law was declared unconstitutional. (BH, see Nov 7; MLK, see April 3, 1968)
“Rumble in the Jungle”

ali forman rumble

October 30, 1974:  Muhammad Ali fought the reigning champion George Foreman in an outdoor arena in Kinshasa, Zaire, The fight is known as the “Rumble in the Jungle.”  Using his novel “rope-a-dope” strategy, Ali defeated Foreman and after seven years, reclaimed the title of Heavyweight Champion of the World. (NYT article) (see October 1, 1975)
FBI cover-up
October 30, 1982: a newly released report said the FBI  covered up the violent activities of their informant, Gary Thomas Rowe Jr., but his lawyer said the Government knew it was not getting ''a Sunday school teacher'' when it asked Mr. Rowe to infiltrate the Ku Klux Klan. Mr. Rowe, who was a Klan informant from 1959 to 1965, was charged with murder in the 1965 killing of Viola Liuzzo, a civil rights worker. A Federal appeals court barred him from being brought to trial because of an earlier agreement giving him immunity. The 1979 report was released publicly for the first time because the Justice Department lost a Freedom of Information suit filed by Playboy magazine. In the report department investigators said agents protected Mr. Rowe because the informant ''was simply too valuable to abandon.'' (see April 2, 1983)
SOUTH AFRICA/APARTHEID
October 30, 1996: saying many of Eugene de Kock's actions had been cruel, calculated and without any sympathy for the victims Judge Willem van der Merwe sentenced the former head of a South African police assassination squad to two life sentences and more than 200 years in jail. (SA/A, see Dec 10; EdK, see January 30, 2015)
Church Burning
October 30, 2015:  David Lopez Jackson was arrested and charged in connection with a pair of recent church fires in and around St. Louis. Authorities charged Jackson with two counts of second-degree arson. His bail was set at $75,000. Chief Sam Dotson of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department said the investigation was ongoing, and that Jackson was a suspect in the other five fires that were set earlier this month.

 

October 30 Music et al

The Beatles before their US appearance

October 30 Peace Love Activism

October 30, 1961: two days after Beatles fan Raymond Jones (apparently) asked for The Beatles' German single "My Bonnie" (recorded with Tony Sheridan) at Brian Epstein's NEMS record store, two girls asked for the same record. Brian Epstein begins to search foreign record company import lists to find the single. Since Epstein had already sold at least 12 dozen copies of Liverpool's "Mersey Beat" magazine (and had written a column for it), it is highly unlikely that he doesn't already know who The Beatles are. Still, Epstein's difficulty in locating the record is probably due to his not knowing that the record was released, not by The Beatles, but by Tony Sheridan and 'The Beat Brothers' ('Beatles' resembles a vulgar slang word in German, so The Beatles' name was changed for this historic single). (see Nov 9)

October 30 Peace Love Activism

Vietnam

March to support war
October 30, 1965: 25,000 march in Washington in support of U.S. involvement in Vietnam. (see Nov 2)
DRAFT CARD BURNING
October 30, 1968: Republican Vice Presidential candidate, Spiro T. Agnew, was confronted at a disorderly Republican rally by the spectacle of youthful antiwar demonstrators burning a draft card. (Vietnam, see Oct 31; DCB, see May 29, 1969)

Jack Kevorkian

October 30, 1995: a group of doctors and other medical experts in Michigan announced its support of Jack Kevorkian , saying they will draw up a set of guiding principles for the "merciful, dignified, medically-assisted termination of life." (see February 1, 1996)

Immigration History & AIDS

October 30 Peace Love ActivismOctober 30, 2009: The Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act of 2009 signed by President Barack Obama, who announced plans to remove a ban on travel and immigration to the U.S. by individuals with HIV. Obama called the 22-year ban a decision "rooted in fear rather than fact." (LGBTQ, see Nov 3; AIDS, see January 5, 2010; IH, see Dec 10)

DEATH PENALTY

October 30 Peace Love ActivismOctober 30, 2013: a Gallop poll measured that sixty percent of Americans say they favor the death penalty for convicted murderers, the lowest level of support Gallup has measured since November 1972, when 57% were in favor. Death penalty support peaked at 80% in 1994, but it has gradually declined since then. (see Nov 18)

October 30 Peace Love Activism, October 30 Peace Love Activism, October 30 Peace Love Activism, October 30 Peace Love Activism, October 30 Peace Love Activism, 

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October 29 Music et al

October 29 Music et al

It's another one of those days that bursts with music history of all types. Mostly happy.

“Jingle Bell Rock”

October 29, 1957: Bobby Helms recorded "Jingle Bell Rock" at the Bradley Film and Recording Studio in Nashville, Tennessee. How many times have you heard this one?

“Smoke Gets in Your Eyes”

October 29, 1958: The Platters released "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes." Greatest version ever?

Bob Dylan

October 29, 1961: Bob Dylan performed on Folksong Festival radio show. Be careful. Many of his comments are simply being fun at the expense of host Oscar Brand.

The Beatles

October 29, 1962: The Beatles performed "Love Me Do" and "A Taste Of Honey" for the television program People and Places on Grenada TV. Here's a 46 second soundbite from the show:
 
October 29 Music et al

Beach Boys

October 29 Music

After the Beach Boys released their first single, Surfin', on December 8, 1961, they released their first album, Surfin' on October 29, 1962.

The Hollies

October 29, 1963: The Hollies went into the recording studio for the first time to begin recording their debut album.

The Rolling Stones

October 29, 1963: The Rolling Stones, the Everly Brothers, Little Richard, and Bo Diddley were in concert with two shows at the Gaumont Theatre in Southampton, England.

“Reach Out I’ll Be There”

October 29, 1966: The Four Tops had the top R&B song with "Reach Out I'll Be There."

“96 Tears”

October 29 – November 4, 1966: “96 Tears” by ? and the Mysterians #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Allison Steele

October 29 Peace Love Activism

October 29, 1967: WNEW-FM DJ Allison Steele (a rare female DJ) announced that Rosko would be a WNEW-FM DJ. (Allison's announcement) (see April 5, 1983)

Duane Allman

October 29 Music

October 29, 1971: Duane Allman died. (NYT article)

Mind Games

October 29 MusicOctober 29, 1973: UK release of John Lennon’s Mind Games album, his fourth. He recorded it  at Record Plant Studios, NYC in summer 1973. The album was Lennon's first self-produced recording without help from Phil Spector. It reached number 13 in the UK and number 9 in the US, where it went gold. 

Many more than 96 tears came to my eyes while watching the video. You,too, may need a tissue.

Joan Baez

October 29, 1975: Joan Baez became a member of Bob Dylan's Rolling Thunder Revue.

Pink Floyd

1983: Pink Floyd set a new rock era record as Dark Side of the Moon placed on the album chart for the 491st week.  That broke the mark set by Johnny Mathis for Johnny's Greatest Hits.  The Floyd didn't let up, however, until they got to 780 weeks.

Madonna

October 29, 1983: Madonna's first single debuted on the chart--"Holiday".

Bryan Adams

October 29, 1984:  Bryan Adams released his landmark album Reckless.

Wells Kelly

October 29, 1984:  Wells Kelly, drummer for Orleans and Meat Loaf, died at the age of 45.

Ron Wood

October 29, 1987: Rolling Stone's guitarist, Ron Wood, opened an art exhibition in London called Decades, which featured portraits of friends and rock stars from the past 20 years.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

October 29, 1990: The Byrds, LaVern Baker, John Lee Hooker, The Impressions, Wilson Pickett, Jimmy Reed and Ike & Tina Turner were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

October 29 Music et al, October 29 Music et al, October 29 Music et al, October 29 Music et al, 

 

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