Tag Archives: December Peace Love Art Activism

December 31 Peace Love Art Activism

December 31 Peace Love Art Activism

Emma Goldman

December 31, 1908, President Theodore Roosevelt pardoned William Buwalda (see April 26, 1908) , In January of 1909, Emma Goldman announced that anarchists across the country had raised one thousand dollars for Buwalda to begin a new life after prison. (see Emma Goldman)

December 31 Peace Love Art Activism

Women’s Health

December 31 Peace Love Art Activism

December 31, 1930: Pope Pius XI promulgated the papal encyclical entitled Casti Connubii (“of chaste wedlock”). It prohibited Catholics from using any form of artificial birth control and reaffirmed the prohibition on abortion. The encyclical stated, in part: “ . . . any use whatsoever of matrimony exercised in such a way that the act is deliberately frustrated in its natural power to generate life is an offense against the law of God and of nature, and those who indulge in such are branded with the guilt of a grave sin.” (see April 6, 1931)

Birth control challenge

December 31, 2013: Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor granted a last-ditch plea from Catholic groups to block a birth control mandate in the new health care law for religious organizations, just hours before it was to have gone into effect. Sotomayor issued the stay at the request of an order of Catholic nuns in Colorado, the Little Sisters of the Poor Home for the Aged. They are part of a larger effort by Catholic-affiliated groups from around the nation to halt provisions of the Affordable Care Act that require companies — regardless of religious beliefs — to provide contraceptives to their employees. The groups want the mandate halted while the court considers a legal challenge, brought by the for-profit company Hobby Lobby, arguing that the requirement violates their religious liberties. [NYT report] (WH, see January 3, 2014; ACA, see June 30, 2014)

December 31 Peace Love Art Activism


Viet Minh

December 31, 1944:  the Viet Minh claimed to have 500,000 members. (see March 9, 1945)

Battle of Binh Gia

December 31, 1964: in an attempt to recover the four American bodies killed in the helicopter crash, 12 South Vietnamese soldiers were killed in an ambush. The bodies will be recovered, but only after 196 South Vietnamese Marines died in the resulting fire fights. [Wiki article] (see January 1 – February 7, 1965)

Bloodiest year in Vietnam

December 31 Peace Love Activism

December 31, 1968: the bloodiest year of the war came to an end. At year’s end, 536,040 American servicemen were stationed in Vietnam, an increase of over 50,000 from 1967.

Estimates from Headquarters U.S. Military Assistance Command Vietnam indicated that 181,150 Viet Cong and North Vietnamese were killed during the year. However, Allied losses were also up: 27,915 South Vietnamese, 14,584 Americans (a 56 percent increase over 1967), and 979 South Koreans, Australians, New Zealanders, and Thais were reported killed during 1968. Since January 1961, more than 31,000 U.S. servicemen had been killed in Vietnam and over 200,000 U.S. personnel had been wounded. (see 1968 Vietnam War for more) (next Vietnam, see January 16, 1969)

December 31 Peace Love Art Activism

December 31 Music et al

News Music

December 31 Peace Love Art Activism

December 31, 1945: Pete Seeger, Alan Lomax, and Lee Hays founded People’s Songs. They published the first quarterly edition in February 1946. In it, Seeger wrote: “The people are on the march and must have songs to sing. Now in 1946, the truth must reassert itself in many singing voices. There are thousands of unions, people’s organizations, singers and choruses who would gladly use more songs. There are many songwriters, amateur and professional, who are writing these songs. It is clear that there must be an organization to make and send songs of labor and the American people through the land. To do this job we formed People’s Songs, INC. We invite you to join us.” (see News Music for more about NM)


December 31 Peace Love Art Activism

December 31, 1966 – February 17, 1967: “I’m a Believer” by the Monkees #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The Beatles

December 31, 1970:  Paul McCartney sued the other three Beatles to dissolve the partnership and gain control of his interest. The suit touched off a bitter feud between McCartney and the others, especially his co-writer on many of the Beatles compositions, John Lennon. (see Beatles Officially Legally End) (next Beatles, see (see April 9, 1971)

December 31 Peace Love Art Activism

Immigration History

Bracero Program

December 31 Peace Love Activism

December 31, 1964: the Mexican Farm Labor Program, also known as the Bracero Program, ended. It  was the result of a series of agreements between Mexico and the United States in response to the demand for agricultural labor during World War II. The Mexican workers were called braceros because they worked with their arms and hands (bracero comes from the Spanish brazo, or arm). The bilateral agreement guaranteed prevailing wages, health care, adequate housing, and board. … Nationally, the Bracero Program continued until December 31, 1964, with nearly 4.5 million Mexicans making the journey during the program’s twenty-two year existence. Braceros entered the United States under six-month to twelve-month contracts and were assigned to regions throughout the country. Once the contract expired, each bracero was required to return to Mexico and sign another contract in order to return to the United States to work.  (Immigration, see October 3, 1965; Labor, see February 26, 1965)

Trump’s Wall

December 31, 2018: “An all concrete Wall was NEVER ABANDONED, as has been reported by the media,” President Trump tweeted ahead of New Year’s Eve. “Some areas will be all concrete but the experts at Border Patrol prefer a Wall that is see through (thereby making it possible to see what is happening on both sides). Makes sense to me!”

The president was evidently reacting to a Los Angeles Times interview in which Kelly said, “To be honest, it’s not a wall.”

“The president still says ‘wall’ – oftentimes frankly he’ll say ‘barrier’ or ‘fencing,’ now he’s tended toward steel slats. But we left a solid concrete wall early on in the administration, when we asked people what they needed and where they needed it,” Kelly told the Times. (IH & TW, see January 5, 2019)

December 31 Peace Love Art Activism

US Labor History

December 31, 1969: Joseph A. Yablonski, an unsuccessful candidate for the presidency of the United Mine Workers of America, was shot to death with his wife and daughter in their Clarksville, Pa., home by hitmen acting at the orders of UMWA president Tony Boyle. (see January 22, 1970)

December 31 Peace Love Art Activism


Emmett Till

December 31, 1980: J. W. Milam, the murderer of Emmett till, died in Mississippi of cancer. (next BH, see March 20, 1981 ; see ET for expanded chronology)

Medgar Evers assassination

December 31, 1990: in a move intended to speed his transfer from Tennessee to Mississippi, Byron de la Beckwith was arrested on a governor’s warrant charging him with first-degree murder and was jailed without bond. (NYT article) (next BH & Evers, see January 14, 1991)

December 31 Peace Love Art Activism


December 31, 1993: Brandon Teena, a 21-year-old female-born transgender, was slain along with two other people at a farmhouse near Humboldt, Neb. Convicted murderer John Lotter is on Nebraska’s death row; co-defendant Thomas Nissen is serving a life sentence. The case inspired the 1999 movie “Boys Don’t Cry.” (next LGTBQ see May 20, 1996)

Utah fights same -sex marriage

December 31, 2013: Utah took its fight against same-sex marriage to the U.S. Supreme Court, asking Justice Sonia Sotomayor to suspend a lower court ruling that allowed same-sex weddings to go ahead in the heavily Mormon state. [NYT report] (next LGTBQ see January 6, 2014)

December 31 Peace Love Art Activism


Fernald School

December 31, 1998: a group of former students from the Fernald School in Waltham, Mass. who ate radioactive oatmeal as unwitting participants in a food experiment in 1953 shared a $1.85 million settlement from Quaker Oats and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. [CBS News report]

December 31 Peace Love Art Activism

Sara Jane Moore

December 31, 2007, officials released Sara Jane Moore, a 1970s radical who tried to assassinate President Gerald R. Ford in 1975,  on parole from a federal prison in Northern California. (for more, see Lynette Squeaky Fromme) (see August 16, 2009)

December 31 Peace Love Art Activism

Sexual Abuse of Children

December 31, 2013: the Archdiocese of St. Louis was ordered to release the names of priests accused of sex abuse throughout the past 20 years. The priests’ names will not be made public, but will remain sealed and will only be seen by the plaintiff and her lawyer in an ongoing civil case against the Archdiocese. (see February 5, 2014)

December 31 Peace Love Art Activism

Fourth Amendment

December 31, 2013: Judge Mary S. Scriven of the United States District Court in Orlando struck down as unconstitutional a Florida law that required welfare applicants to undergo mandatory drug testing, setting the stage for a legal battle that could affect similar efforts nationwide.

Scriven held that the testing requirement, the signature legislation of Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican who campaigned on the issue, violated the protection against unreasonable searches.

The court finds there is no set of circumstances under which the warrantless, suspicionless drug testing at issue in this case could be constitutionally applied,” she wrote. The ruling made permanent an earlier, temporary ban by the judge.

Mr. Scott, who had argued that the drug testing was necessary to protect children and ensure that tax money was not going to illegal drugs, said that the state would appeal the ruling. (see June 25, 2014)

December 31 Peace Love Art Activism

Stop and Frisk Policy


December 31, 2013: NYC police stopped 191,851 people in 2013. A drop of 72%. (see January 30. 2014)


December 31, 2014: NYC police stopped 45,787 people in 2014, a drop of 93%. (685,784 people were stopped in 2011) (see  March 2, 2015)

December 31 Peace Love Art Activism


Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley

December 31, 2014: Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley commuted the death sentences of the last four inmates remaining on death row, effectively ending capital punishment in the state. Maryland lawmakers had voted two years ago to abolish the death sentence for future offenders beginning 2013. O’Malley said that leaving the last four prisoners to await the death penalty “does not serve the public good….In a representative government, state executions make every citizen a party to a legalized killing as punishment.” (see January 15, 2015)

Death Penalty Information Center

December 31, 2016: according to a year-end study from the Death Penalty Information Center, the number of executions reached its lowest point in a quarter-century because the inability of States to buy lethal drugs,. The study found that executions went from a high of 98 in 1998, to only 20 in 2016. 2016 was also the fewest death penalty sentences since 1972, when the US Supreme Court case of Furman v Georgia led to a four-year-long moratorium on capital punishment sentencing. There were approximately 30 death sentences in 2016, down 90% since 1996. (see February 22, 2017)

December 31 Peace Love Art Activism


December 31, 2018: scientists at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (Laurel, MD) celebrated the moment that NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft made its closest approach to a small, icy world nicknamed Ultima Thule.

Almost 10 hours later, the New Horizons team  received confirmation that the spacecraft had executed its planned observations flawlessly.  [NYT article] (see February 13, 2019)

December 31 Peace Love Art Activism

Nuclear/Chemical News

December 31, 2019: North Korea’s its official media reported  that leader, Kim Jong-un, ​said his country no longer felt bound by its self-imposed moratorium on testing nuclear weapons and long-range ballistic missiles, the strongest indication yet that the country could soon resume such tests. [NYT article] (next N/C N, see January 5, 2020)

December 31 Peace Love Art Activism


Impeded research

December 31, 2019: Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), said that marijuana’s status as a Schedule I drug inhibits studies into the plant and prevents scientists from researching the effects of cannabis that consumers were obtaining from state-legal dispensaries in a growing number of states.

Collins discussed the limitations imposed by the federal drug scheduling system during an appearance on C-SPAN’s Newsmakers saying that while he shares concerns about the potential health implications of smoking marijuana, research into the risks and benefits of cannabis is being impeded by current policy.

“Frankly, we know far too little about the benefits and risks of smoked marijuana,” Collins said. “There have been very few studies that have actually rigorously tested that.” [MM article]

Clearing records

December 31, 2019: one day before legal recreational marijuana sales launched in Illinois, Gov. J. B. Pritzker (D announced that his office was clearing the records of more than 11,000 people who had previously been convicted of simple cannabis possession.

Gov Pritzker said the move “sets us apart” from other states that have legalized marijuana for adult-use and that “Illinois is putting equity first, clearing thousands of convictions and giving individuals & their families a new lease on life.” [MM article] (next C, see, January 1, 2020; see CCC for expanded chronology)

December 31 Peace Love Art Activism

December 30 Peace Love Art Activism

December 30 Peace Love Art Activism


Hampton Johnson

December 30, 1864:  a black man named Hampton Johnson ran away from enslavement in Richmond, Virginia. It was in the midst of the Civil War, and nearly two years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation had rendered Johnson and many other enslaved black people free under the laws of the United States, Nevertheless, in January 1865 Hampton Johnson’s purported “owners” placed an ad in the Richmond Dispatch newspaper, offering a reward for his return.

The ad seeking Hampton Johnson’s return described him as “a Negro boy” of 25 years, 5’6″ tall, 130 lbs, able to read and write “remarkably well,” married but forced to live apart from his wife, and skilled as a mechanic. The advertiser, W.B. Cook, offered $1000 to anyone who captured him “within the enemy’s lines,” and $500 if captured within Virginia. This ad is evidence that black people like Hampton Johnson remained vulnerable to recapture and re-enslavement through the war’s end.

Johnson’s ultimate fate is unknown, but if his decision to flee slavery in December 1864 ended at freedom, he was one of approximately 100,000 enslaved men, women and children who successfully escaped enslavement in the United States before 1865. [EJI article] (next BH, see January 31, 1865)

A year without a lynching

December 30, 1952: for the first time in seventy years, a full year passed with no recorded incidents of lynching. Defined as open, non-judicial murders carried out by mobs, lynching befell people of many backgrounds in the United States but was a frequent tool of racial terror used against black Americans to enforce and maintain white supremacy.

Prior to 1881, reliable lynching statistics were not recorded. But the Chicago Tribune, the NAACP, and the Tuskegee Institute began keeping independent records of lynchings as early as 1882. As of 1952, these authorities reported that 4726 persons had been lynched in the United States over the prior seventy years and 3431 of them were African American. During some years in American history it was not unusual for all lynching victims to be African American.

Lynching in the United States was most common in the later decades of the nineteenth century and early decades of the twentieth century, during post-reconstruction efforts to re-establish a racial hierarchy that subordinated and oppressed black people. Before the lynching-free year of 1952, annual lynching statistics were exhibiting significant reductions. Between 1943 and 1951 there were twenty-one lynchings reported nationwide, compared to 597 between 1913 and 1922. After 1952, the number of lynching incidents recorded annually continued to be zero or very low and the tracking of lynchings officially ended in 1968.

Though the diminished frequency of lynching signaled by the 1952 report was encouraging, the Tuskegee Institute warned that year that “other patterns of violence” were emerging, replacing lynchings with legalized acts of racialized inhumanity like executions, as well as more anonymous acts of violence such as bombings, arson, and beatings. Similarly, a 1953 editorial in the Times Daily of Florence, Alabama, noted that, though the decline in lynching was good news, the proliferation of anti-civil rights bombings demonstrated the South’s continued need for “education in human relations.” (next BH, see below; next Lynching, see April 25, 1959; for expanded chronology of lynching, see also AL4)

Jo Ann Robinson

In 1953: Jo Ann Robinson (of Montgomery’s Women’s Political Council) and other local black leaders met with the three commissioners of Montgomery. Robinson’s group complained that the city did not hire any black bus drivers, said that segregation of seating was unjust, and that bus stops in black neighborhoods were farther apart than in white ones, although blacks were the majority of the riders. The commissioners refused to change anything. Robinson and other WPC members met with bus company officials on their own. The segregation issue was deflected, as bus company officials said that segregation was city and state law. The WPC achieved a small victory, as the bus company officials agreed to have the buses stop at every corner in black neighborhoods, as was the practice in white neighborhoods. (next BH, see June 8 ; next Feminism, see May 18, 1954; next MBB,  see March 2, 1955)

Montgomery Bus Boycott

December 30, 1955: Montgomery Mayor W. A. Gayle urges Montgomery citizens to patronize city buses or risk losing the bus company’s business  (see MBB for expanded chronology)

Attica Prison Riot

December 30, 1976: Governor Carey of New York pardoned seven inmates.(next BH, see June 10, 1977; Attica, see August 29, 2000)

December 30 Peace Love Art Activism

US Labor History

Governor assassinated

December 30 Peace Love Art Activism

December 30, 1905: an assassin’s bomb killed Idaho Gov. Frank Steunenberg, who had brutally suppressed the state’s miners. Legendary Western Federation of Miners and IWW leader William “Big Bill” Haywood and two other men were put on trial for the death but were ultimately declared innocent.(next LH, see May 15, 1906)

Sit-down strike

December 30, 1936: at 8 p.m. in one of the first sit-down strikes in the US, autoworkers occupied the General Motors Fisher Body Plant Number One in Flint, Michigan. The autoworkers struck to win recognition of the United Auto Workers (UAW) as the only bargaining agent for GM’s workers; they also wanted to make the company stop sending work to non-union plants and to establish a fair minimum wage scale, a grievance system and a set of procedures that would help protect assembly-line workers from injury. In all, the strike lasted 44 days.

Union membership

In 1937: 15.1% of employed workers belong to unions, the first time it had exceeded 10%.

CIO Splits from AFL

In 1937: The Congress of Industrial Organizations splits from the American Federation of Labor over disputes about methods of organizing large industries. The two groups will remain rivals until merging back together as the AFL-CIO in 1955. (next LH, see Jan 11)

December 30 Peace Love Art Activism

Cold War

USSR born

December 30, 1922 in post-revolutionary Russia, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) is established, comprising a confederation of Russia, Belorussia, Ukraine, and the Transcaucasian Federation (divided in 1936 into the Georgian, Azerbaijan, and Armenian republics). Also known as the Soviet Union, the new communist state was the successor to the Russian Empire and the first country in the world to be based on Marxist socialism.

The USSR eventually consisted of: Russia, Ukraine, Byleorussia, Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Lithuania, Latvia,  Estonia, Moldovia, Kazakhstan, Kirghizia, Uzbekistan, Turmenia, and Tajikistan. (see USSR for expanded chronology)

Romania Soviet satellite

December 30, 1947:  Soviet-backed Communists forced the abdication of Romania’s King Michael. Communists now control all of Eastern Europe.(next Red Scare, see January 9, 1948; Romania, see December 15, 1989)

December 30 Peace Love Art Activism

Technological Milestone

December 30, 1953: first color TV sets went on sale for about $1,175. [NYT article] (next TM, see January 1, 1954)

December 30 Peace Love Art Activism

December 30 Music et al

Beatles ad

December 30, 1963: a two-page ad from Capitol Records pitching the Beatles’ recordings runs in Billboard and Cash Box music industry magazines.  Bulk reprints of these ads had already been distributed to Capitol’s sales agents for use with radio stations and in enlarged, easel-scale size for use in music store displays across the country. (next Beatles, see January 3, 1964)

Hello, Goodbye

December 30, 1967 – January 19, 1968: “Hello Goodbye” #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. (next Beatles, see January 6, 1967)

George Harrison attacked at home

December 30, 1999: at approximately 3 am George Harrison was the victim of an intruder at his home in Oxfordshire, England, when a disturbed 33-year-old Liverpudlian, Michael Abram broke into George’s home and stabbed the former Beatle several times in the chest with a six-inch knife. Abrams thought he was on a ‘mission from God’.

Harrison’s wife, Olivia, attacked Abram with a poker and a bedroom lamp, then held him until the police arrived.

George ended up with a collapsed lung besides the stab wounds.

Abram was later found not guilty by reason of insanity and ordered to a psychiatric hospital. [Independent article] (next Beatles, see November 29, 2001)

December 30 Peace Love Art Activism


Binh Gia

December 30, 1964: South Vietnam’s Fourth Marine Battalion relieved and reinforced the South Vietnamese rangers at Binh Gia. An American helicoptor was shot down killing the four on board. (next Vietnam, see Dec 31)

Nixon orders bombing halt

December 30, 1972: the White House announced that President Nixon had ordered a halt to the bombing of North Vietnam above the 20th Parallel and that Henry A. Kissinger would resume negotiations for a Vietnam settlement with Le Duc Tho in Paris on Jan 8.

The announcement of the renewed efforts to seek a negotiated settlement, ending nearly two weeks of heavy bombing of Hanoi and Haiphong, also said that the technical talks of lower-level American and North Vietnamese experts would resume on January 2 in Paris.

Gerald L. Warren, a deputy White House press secretary, said in answer to a question at a White House briefing for newsmen that “as soon as it was clear that serious negotiations could be resumed at both the technical level and between the principals, the President ordered that all bombing be discontinued above the 20th Parallel.”  [NYT article](next Vietnam, see January 8, 1973)

December 30 Peace Love Art Activism


December 30, 1989: DEA Administrator Jack Lawn overruled the decision of administrative law judge Francis Young who had agreed with marijuana advocates that marijuana should be moved from Schedule I to Schedule II of the Controlled Substances Act.

This proposed rescheduling of marijuana would have allowed physicians to prescribe the smoking of marijuana as a legal treatment for some forms of illness. Administrator Lawn maintained that there was no medicinal benefit to smoking marijuana and that marijuana should remain a Schedule I controlled substance.(next Marijuana, see November 5, 1991)

December 30 Peace Love Art Activism


William R. Higgins

December 30 Peace Love Art Activism

December 30, 1991: the USMC interred the remains of William R. Higgins, USMC in Quantico National Cemetery. (see March 4, 1994)

Women’s Health

December 30, 1994: John Salvi III walked into two separate abortion clinics in Brookline, Massachusetts, and shot workers with a rifle, killing two receptionists and wounding five other employees. He was captured the next day after firing 23 shots at a Norfolk, Virginia, medical clinic. (Salvi found guilty) (next WH, see July 27, 1996; Salvi, see November 29, 1996; next Terrorism, February 7, 1995)

December 30 Peace Love Art Activism

Iraq War II

Saddam Hussain hung

December 30, 2006: Saddam Hussain hung. President George Bush said Saddam had received the kind of justice he denied his victims. Some key US allies expressed discomfort at the execution. And Russia, which opposed the March 20, 2003 invasion to oust the dictator, and the Vatican expressed regret at the hanging which some Muslim leaders said would exacerbate the violence in Iraq. [WP article] (next Death Penalty, see December 17, 2007)

Iraq death toll 2006

In 2006: the death toll for Americans killed in the Iraq war reached 3,000. (next IWII, see January 3, 2007)

Iraq death toll 2007

December 30, 2007:  it was announced that 899 American troops had died in Iraq in 2007, making 2007 the deadliest for the U.S. military since the 2003 invasion. (next IWII, see September 9, 2008)

December 30 Peace Love Art Activism


December 30, 2016: Des Moines County Attorney Amy Beavers requested first-degree murder warrants for the two suspects who allegedly shot and killed Kedarie Johnson, a 16-year-old high school junior on March 2, 2016.

Beavers said the charges were not yet officially filed and that the suspects’ names could not be released until the warrants were executed.  [DeMoines Register article] (next LGBTQ, see January 6, 2017; next Johnson, see March 14, 2017)

December 30 Peace Love Art Activism

2020 Census

December 30, 2020: CNN reported that the Census Bureau announced it would miss the December 31 deadline to produce the population count used to divide seats in Congress between the states.

The announcement was expected and the key question remained whether the Census Bureau and Commerce Department would present the tally to President Donald Trump prior to his departure from office on January 20. There were no penalties associated with missing the December 31 deadline.

The Census Bureau said in a statement that it plans “to deliver a complete and accurate state population count for apportionment in early 2021, as close to the statutory deadline as possible.” (next Census 2020, see January 12, 2021)

December 30 Peace Love Art Activism

December 29 Peace Love Art Activism

December 29 Peace Love Art Activism

Native Americans

Treaty of New Echota/Trail of Tears
The signature page of the Treaty of New Echota. Image from the National Archives.

December 29, 1835:  U.S. government officials and about 500 Cherokee Indians claiming to represent their 16,000-member tribe, met at New Echota, Georgia, and signed a treaty. The agreement led to the forced removal of Cherokees from their southeastern homelands to Indian Territory west of the Mississippi River.

The Treaty of New Echota gave the Cherokees $5 million and land in present-day Oklahoma in exchange for their 7 million acres of ancestral land. Though the majority of Cherokees opposed the treaty, and Principal Chief John Ross wrote a letter to Congress protesting it, the U.S. Senate ratified the document in March 1836.

Approximately 2,000–8,000 of the 16,543 relocated Cherokee perished along the way. (Treaty, see August 29, 2019)

American bison

February 24 Peace Love Activism

1850s – 1870s: systematic military campaigns to destroy subsistence base of Plains people. e.g. near extinction of American bison. [Once numbering in the hundreds of millions in North America and basis of life for the Plains Indians, the population of the American Bison decreased to less than 1000 by 1890.] (see July 23, 1851)

Wounded Knee Massacre

December 29 Peace Love Art Activism

December 29, 1890: The Wounded Knee Massacre occurred on the Lakota Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota It was the last battle of the American Indian war.

Troops went into the camp to disarm the Lakota. After an initial scuffle over a rifle, a shot was fired which resulted in the 7th Cavalry’s opening fire indiscriminately from all sides, killing men, women, and children, as well as some of their own fellow troopers. Those few Lakota warriors who still had weapons began shooting back at the attacking troopers, who quickly suppressed the Lakota fire. The surviving Lakota fled, but U.S. cavalrymen pursued and killed many who were unarmed.

By the time it was over, at least 150 men, women, and children of the Lakota Sioux had been killed and 51 wounded (4 men, 47 women and children, some of whom died later); some estimates placed the number of dead at 300. Twenty-five troopers also died, and 39 were wounded. At least twenty troopers were awarded the Medal of Honor.(see January 3, 1895)

December 29 Peace Love Art Activism


December 29, 1911: Mongolia independent from the Qing Dynasty (will lose independence to China in 1919 and White Russia in 1921) (Mongolia, see June 11, 1921; next Independence Day, see November 28, 1912)

December 29 Peace Love Art Activism

The Red Scare

December 29 Peace Love Activism

December 29, 1952: on July 5, 1952, as part of the Cold War anti-Communist mania, Congress passed the Gwinn amendment requiring that residents of federally supported public housing swear to a loyalty oath and not be a member of an organization on the Attorney General’s List of Subversive Organizations. James Kutcher, a World War II veteran who lost both legs in the 1943 Battle of San Pietro, Italy, was a member of the Socialist Workers Party, whose name was listed. Kutcher was living with his 73-year-old father, who was the official resident in a Newark Housing Authority apartment. It was reported on this day that the elder Kutcher faced the choice of evicting his son or moving out of public housing himself.

Kutcher turned to the American Civil Liberties Union, which successfully persuaded a court to issue a restraining order saving the Kutcher’s apartment and eleven other families who refused to swear that they were “loyal Americans.” (NYT article on the “legless veteran”)(see January 22, 1953)

December 29 Peace Love Art Activism

December 29 Music et al

Beatlemania percolates

December 29, 1963: New York city radio station WMCA joined others  broadcasting “I Want To Hold Your Hand.”  Back in London, the Sunday Times critic Richard Buckle praised the Beatles as the greatest composers since Beethoven.  (see America Meets Beatlemania)

see Beatles End for expanded story

December 29, 1974: John Lennon, son Julian, and May Pang were at Disney World. A lawyer bearing the revised contract (breaking up the Beatles) turned up, and Lennon asked Pang to take out her camera. As Pang describes the scene in “Instamatic Karma,” Lennon had a last-minute telephone conference with his own lawyer.

When John hung up the phone,” she wrote, “he looked wistfully out the window. I could almost see him replaying the entire Beatles experience.” Pang then photographed him signing just beneath the clearly legible signatures of Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Richard Starkey ( Starr’s real name), the shutter clicking between the “h” and “n” of his first name.

Given that Lennon had been particularly militant about leaving the Beatles in 1969, it might seem odd to learn that he did so wistfully. Not to Pang.(next Beatles, see January 1975)

December 29 Peace Love Art Activism


December 29, 1964: South Vietnamese ranger units sent to help at Binh Gia were defeated.  Another counterattack was also defeated. (VietnamGear.com article) (see Dec 30)

December 29 Peace Love Art Activism


Segregationist Federal Judge William Harold Cox

December 29, 1967: Federal Judge William Harold Cox, an ardent segregationist (Cox had criticized the Civil Rights Act of 1964, saying in court, ”I don’t know anybody down here who don’t oppose it.”) sentenced the men who had been involved in the murders of the three Freedom Summer volunteers: James E. Chaney, 21, Andrew Goodman, 21, and Michael Schwerner, 24.

He imposed sentences of ten years on two men, six years on two other men,  and the other three received four years.

Judge Cox said of his sentences, “They killed one nigger, one Jew, and a white man– I gave them all what I thought they deserved.”(next BH, see January 23, 1968; see next Murders for expanded chronology)

BLACK & SHOT/Tamir Rice

December 29, 2020: citing a lack of evidence, the US Justice Department announced that Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback would avoid federal criminal charges for their role in the killing of Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old Black boy who had been carrying a pellet gun when he was shot in 2014,

The announcement drew to a close a five-year federal investigation into the actions of then-Officer Loehmann and Garmbac, his partner.

Justice Department officials said that they could not establish that the officers involved in Tamir’s killing willfully violated his civil rights or that they knowingly made false statements with the intent of obstructing a federal investigation. [NYT article] (next B & S, see February 23, 2021)

December 29 Peace Love Art Activism

US Labor History

December 29 Peace Love Art Activism

December 29, 1970: after years of intensive lobbying by the labor movement, a comprehensive national safety law is enacted as President Nixon signed the Occupational Safety & Health Act of 1970, creating the Occupational Safety & Health Administration. (see June 8, 1971)

United Mine Workers of America

December 29 Peace Love Art Activism

December 29, 2014: the last union coal mine in Kentucky, a state where workers fought and died for the right to organize, closed. Patriot Coal  announced the closing of its Highland Mine, which employed about 400 hourly workers. According to the Associated Press union leaders and retirees argued that increasing environmental regulations, a chaotic coal market, and anti-union political operatives have all contributed to the union’s undoing in Kentucky.

For the first time in about a century, in the state that was home to the gun battles of “Bloody Harlan,” not a single working miner belongs to a union. That has left a bad taste in the mouths of retirees: men like Charles Dixon, who heard the sputter of machine gun fire and bullets piercing his trailer in Pike County during a long strike with the A.T. Massey Coal Company in 1984 and 1985.

“I had my house shot up during that strike,” said Dixon, the United Mine Workers local president at the time. “I was just laying in bed and next thing you know you hear a big AR-15 unloading on it. Coal miners had it tough buddy, they sure have.” (next LH, see February 20, 2015)

December 29 Peace Love Art Activism

Daniel Ellsberg/Pentagon Papers

December 29

December 29, 1971: Daniel Ellsberg and Anthony Russo were indicted on charges of theft of government documents and espionage for copying the Pentagon Papers and leaking them to the news media. The New York Times published the first story based on the Papers on June 13, 1971, creating a national sensation for its revelations about the history of American involvement in Vietnam. The Nixon administration obtained an injunction blocking further publication on June 15, 1971, but the Supreme Court declared the injunction unconstitutional in a historic freedom of the press case, United States v. New York Times, on June 30, 1971, which ruled the injunction an unconstitutional prior restraint of the press. Ellsberg and Russo were brought to trial; but in the middle of the trial, government misconduct against them was revealed and the charges were dismissed on May 11, 1973. The misconduct included the burglary of Ellsberg’s psychiatrist by the infamous “Plumbers” unit of President Nixon’s administration on September 9, 1971. (see Ellsberg for expanded chronology)

December 29 Peace Love Art Activism

Crime and Punishment

December 29, 2016: the Department of Justice announced that the U.S. prison population had fallen the most in almost four decades to 1.53 million inmates in 2015, resulting in the lowest rate of incarceration in a generation.

The department said in its year-end report on prison populations that changes in federal and state corrections policies that included drug treatment programs and the sentencing of fewer nonviolent drug offenders to federal prisons drove the drop. (see January 1, 2017)

December 29 Peace Love Art Activism


Native Americans/Cherokee Same-sex marriage

December 29, 2016: Cherokee National Attorney General Tom Hembree declared unconstitutional the tribal ban on marriage between “parties of the same gender.” The decision carries the force of law and legalizes same-sex marriage in the Oklahoma-based Cherokee Nation, the second largest tribe in the United States, with about 300,000 members. (LGBTQ, see January 6, 2017; NA, see February 1, 2017)

Transgender & the military

December 29, 2017: the Trump administration decided not to appeal the December 22 rulings that blocked his ban of transgender persons in the military allowing the U.S. military to formally allow transgender citizens to sign up for service on January 1, 2018. (see January 8, 2018)

December 29 Peace Love Art Activism


December 29, 2017:  six months after a half-dozen members resigned in protest of the Trump administration’s position on health policies, the Trump administration fired remaining members of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS.

The notice “thanked me for my past service and said that my appointment was terminated, effective immediately,” said Patrick Sullivan, an epidemiologist at Emory University who worked on HIV testing programs. He was appointed to a four-year term in May 2016.

The council, known by the acronym PACHA, had advised the White House on HIV/AIDS policies since its founding in 1995. Members, who were not paid, offered recommendations on the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, a five-year plan responding to the epidemic. (see March 4, 2019)

December 29 Peace Love Art Activism

Voting Rights

December 29, 2017: Pennsylvania Judge P. Kevin Brobson of Commonwealth Court in Harrisburg said that the state’s Congressional districts were drawn to give Republicans an advantage, but they did not violate the state Constitution, ruling in a high-profile gerrymandering case with the potential to have major consequences on the 2018 midterm elections.

Brobson noted that Republicans hold 13 out of 18 Congressional seats in Pennsylvania, a perennial swing state that has one of the most extensively gerrymandered maps in the country. Nonetheless, the judge said that Democrats who brought suit had failed to articulate a legal “standard” for creating nonpartisan maps. [NYT report] (VR & PA, see January 22, 2018)

December 29 Peace Love Art Activism

Sexual Abuse of Children

December 29, 2021:  the NY Times reported that Ghislaine Maxwell, the former companion to the disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, was convicted of conspiring with him for at least a decade to recruit, groom and sexually abuse underage girls.

A federal jury in Manhattan found Ms. Maxwell, 60, the daughter of a British media mogul, guilty of sex trafficking and four of the five other charges against her. She was acquitted of one count of enticing a minor to travel across state lines to engage in an illegal sexual act.

Maxwell’s trial was widely seen as the courtroom reckoning that Mr. Epstein never had. Mr. Epstein, who was arrested in July 2019 at the age of 66, killed himself in a Manhattan jail cell the following month, the medical examiner ruled, while awaiting his own trial on sex trafficking charges. Ms. Maxwell was arrested a year later. (next SaoC, see January 20, 2022)

December 29 Peace Love Art Activism