Tag Archives: ADA

Government Disabled Eugenics Euthanasia

Government Disabled Eugenics Euthanasia

Franklin Roosevelt was the first US President who was disabled. One of his administrations most famous programs (if not the most famous) was Social Security. Typically thought of as financial assistance for the elderly, it also helps children of the disabled, orphans, and the disabled themselves.

The 20th century slowly saw the expansion of government assistance for the disabled in the United States (in stark contrast to what happened in Nazi Germany.

Here are several examples:

Government Disabled Eugenics Euthanasia

Social Security

August 14, 1935: President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act, establishing a program of permanent assistance to adults with disabilities.

Government Disabled Eugenics Euthanasia

Nazi euthanasia

In 1939 at the onset of World War II Adolph Hitler ordered widespread “mercy killing” of the sick and disabled. Code-named Aktion T4, the Nazi euthanasia program is instituted to eliminate “life unworthy of life.” Between 75,000 to 250,000 people with intellectual or physical disabilities are systematically killed from 1939 to 1941.

Government Disabled Eugenics Euthanasia

Rosemary Kennedy

Government Disabled Eugenics Euthanasia

In  1941, John F. Kennedy’s twenty-three year old sister Rosemary underwent a prefrontal lobotomy as a “cure” for lifelong mild retardation and aggressive behavior that surfaced in late adolescence. The operation fails, resulting in total incapacity. To avoid scandal, Rosemary was moved permanently to the St. Coletta School for Exceptional Children in Wisconsin. [2009 Guardian article]

Government Disabled Eugenics Euthanasia


Barrier-free movement

In the 1950s, disabled veterans and people with disabilities begin the barrier-free movement. The combined efforts of the Veterans Administration, The President’s Committee on Employment of the Handicapped, and the National Easter Seals Society, among others, results in the development of national standards for “barrier-free” buildings.

Association for Retarded Citizens

Government Disabled Eugenics Euthanasia

In 1950,  parents of youth diagnosed with mental retardation found the Association for Retarded Citizens (ARC). The association works to change the public’s ideas about mental retardation. Its members educate parents and others, demonstrating that individuals with mental retardation have the ability to succeed in life. (ARC, see December 31, 1998)

Government Disabled Eugenics Euthanasia

Dr. Howard A. Rusk

Government Disabled Eugenics Euthanasia

In  1948  Dr. Howard A. Rusk founded the Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine in New York City, where he developed techniques to improve the health of injured veterans from World War II. His theory focused on treating the emotional, psychological and social aspects of individuals with disabilities and later became the basis for modern rehabilitation medicine. [NYT obituary]

Government Disabled Eugenics Euthanasia

Clemens Benda

In 1953 Clemens Benda, clinical director at the Fernald School in Waltham, Massachusetts, an institution for boys with mental retardation, invites 100 teenage students to participate in a “science club” in which they will be privy to special outings and extra snacks. In a letter requesting parental consent, Benda mentions an experiment in which “blood samples are taken after a special breakfast meal containing a certain amount of calcium,” but makes no mention of the inclusion of radioactive substances that are fed to the boys in their oatmeal. 1994 article

Government Disabled Eugenics Euthanasia

American Standards Association

In 1961 the American Standards Association, later known as the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), publishes the first accessibility standard titled, Making Buildings Accessible to and Usable by the Physically Handicapped. Forty-nine states adapted accessibility legislation by 1973.

Government Disabled Eugenics Euthanasia

Ed Roberts

Government Disabled Eugenics Euthanasia

In 1962 Ed Roberts, a student with polio,  enrolled at the University of California, Berkele, but later his admission was rejected. He fought to get the decision overturned. He became the father of the Independent Living Movement and helped establish the first Center for Independent Living (CIL). He earned B.A. (1964) and M.A. (1966) degrees from UC Berkeley in Political Science. Roberts died on March 14, 1995, at the age of 56. [NYT obituary]

Government Disabled Eugenics Euthanasia
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November 8 Peace Love Activism

November 8 Peace Love Activism

November 8 Presidential Elections

Before 1845, states determined Election Day, but since then Election Day has officially been the first Tuesday after the first Monday. Thus November 8 is the latest that election day can be.  

By why Tuesday? In the 19th century most people still lived on farms and had to travel to vote. Traveling on Sunday was "forbidden" for many Christians and Wednesday was typically market day. Tuesday it was. 

We have had six November 8 presidential elections since then:
1864 Abraham Lincoln defeated George B. McClellan
1892 Grover Cleveland defeated Benjamin Harrison
1904 Theodore Roosevelt defeated Alton B. Parker
1932 Franklin D Roosevelt defeated Herbert Hoover
1960 John F Kennedy defeated Richard M Nixon
1988 George H W Bush defeated Michael Dukakis

Technological Milestone

November 8, 1895: physicist Wilhelm Conrad Rontgen became the first person to observe X-rays, a significant scientific advancement that would ultimately benefit a variety of fields, most of all medicine, by making the invisible visible. Rontgen's discovery occurred accidentally in his Wurzburg, Germany, lab, where he was testing whether cathode rays could pass through glass when he noticed a glow coming from a nearby chemically coated screen. He dubbed the rays that caused this glow X-rays because of their unknown nature. (see Dec 28)

Black History

Domestic terrorism
November 8 Peace Love Activism
Report of Willmington race riot from The New York Herald
November 8, 1898: in two days of racial violence, a mob of whites, led by some of Wilmington NC’s most respected and influential citizens, destroyed the state's only daily African American newspaper. Coroner reports confirmed nine blacks were killed; some estimate hundreds died. Scores of others were driven from their homes.

Originally described as a race riot, it is now observed as a coup d'etat with insurgents having overthrown the legitimately elected local government, the only such event in US history.

Two days after the election of a Fusionist white Mayor and biracial city council, Democratic Party white supremacists illegally seized power from the elected government. More than 1500 white men participated in an attack on the black newspaper, burning down the building. They ran officials and community leaders out of the city, and killed many blacks in widespread attacks, but especially destroyed the Brooklyn neighborhood. They took photographs of each other during the events. The Wilmington Light Infantry and federal Naval Reserves, told to quell the riot, used rapid-fire weapons and killed several black men in the Brooklyn neighborhood. Both black and white residents later appealed for help after the riot to President William McKinley, who did not respond. More than 2,000 blacks left the city permanently, turning it from a black-majority to a white-majority city. (BH, see June 4, 1899; RR, see August 14, 1908)
Edward W. Brooke
November 8, 1965: Edward W. Brooke (R-Massachusetts) became the first African American elected to Senate. (see Nov 30)
Harold Washington
November 8, 1983: Harold Washington elected first African American mayor of Chicago. (see  Dec 9)


Franklin D. Roosevelt
November 8, 1932: Franklin D. Roosevelt elected president. After he helped found the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis (now known as the March of Dimes). His leadership in this organization is one reason he is commemorated on the dime.
League for the Physically Handicapped
In 1935, to protest the fact that their requests for employment with the Works Progress Administration (WPA) have been stamped 'PH' (physically handicapped), 300 members of the League for the Physically Handicapped stage a nine-day sit in at the Home Relief Bureau of New York City. Eventually, they help secure several thousand jobs nationwide. The League of the Physically Handicapped is accepted as the first organization of people with disabilities by people with disabilities. (see August 14, 1935)
Mental Health, Americans with Disabilities
November 8, 2013: the Obama administration required insurers to cover care for mental health and addiction just like physical illnesses when it issued regulations defining parity in benefits and treatment. (NYT article) (see December 19, 2014)


November 8, 1964: the US Government recognized the new South Vietnam government. (Vietnam, see Nov 15; South Vietnam leadership, see June 14, 1965)

November 8 Music et al

Cynthia Lennon
November 8, 1968: Cynthia Lennon granted divorce from John. (see Nov 11)
Laura Nyro

November 8 Peace Love Activism


November 8 – 28, 1969: “Wedding Bell Blues” by The Fifth Dimension #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. "Laura Nyro wrote and recorded the  song in 1966. The harmonica in the beginning of hers sounds like somebody's cell phone went off during the recording. Guess not, eh?

Cultural Milestone

November 8 Peace Love Activism

November 8, 1972: the premium cable TV network HBO (Home Box Office) made its debut. The first program and film broadcast on the channel, the 1971 movie Sometimes a Great Notion. It  was transmitted that evening to 325 Service Electric subscribers in Wilkes-Barre (a plaque commemorating this event is located at Public Square in downtown Wilkes-Barre). Home Box Office broadcast its first sports event immediately after the film: an NHL game between the New York Rangers and the Vancouver Canucks from Madison Square Garden. (see February 9, 1973)


Harvey Milk

November 8 Peace Love Activism

November 8, 1977, LGBT: Harvey Milk won a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and was responsible for introducing a gay rights ordinance protecting gays and lesbians from being fired from their jobs. Milk also led a successful campaign against Proposition 6, an initiative forbidding homosexual teachers. (see November 8, 1977
Proposition 2
November 8, 2005: Proposition 2 passed in Texas, constitutionally excluding same-sex couples from marriage(Election results article from NYT) (see January 20, 2006)
November 8 Peace Love Activism
Representatives Tammy Baldwin and Barney Frank at a news conference
November 8, 2007, LGBT: the House of Representatives approved a bill ensuring equal rights in the workplace for gay men, lesbians, and bisexuals. (NYT article)(see February 1, 2008)

Native Americans

November 8, 1978: The Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (ICWA) enacted. It governed jurisdiction over the removal of Native American children from their families.

The ICWA was enacted because of the high removal rate of Indian children from their traditional homes and essentially from Indian culture as a whole. Before enactment, as many as 25 to 35 percent of all Indian children were being removed from their Indian homes and placed in non-Indian homes, with presumably the absence of Indian culture. In some cases, the Bureau of Indian Affairs paid the states to remove Indian children and to place them with non-Indian families and religious groups.

As Louis La Rose (Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska) testified: "I think the cruelest trick that the white man has ever done to Indian children is to take them into adoption court, erase all of their records and send them off to some nebulous family ... residing in a white community and he goes back to the reservation and he has absolutely no idea who his relatives are, and they effectively make him a non-person and I think ... they destroy him." (click for more information >>> ICWA) (Native Americans, see July 2, 1979; Supreme Court decision re the ICWA, see June 25, 2013)
November 8 Peace Love Activism

Irish Troubles

November 8, 1987:  a bomb planted by the Irish Republican Army exploded as crowds gathered in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, for a ceremony honoring Britain's war dead, killing 11 people. (see March 16, 1988)

Assisted suicide, Oregon

November 8 Peace Love Activism

November 8, 1994: Oregon became the first state to legalize assisted suicide when voters passed a Death with Dignity Act, but legal appeals kept the law from taking effect until 1997. (NYT article) (see Nov 26)

Iraq War II

November 8, 2006:  Donald Rumsfeld announced he would resign as Secretary of Defense. (see Nov 9)

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