Tag Archives: February Peace Love Art Activism

February 6 Peace Love Art Activism

February 6 Peace Love Art Activism

BLACK HISTORY

Dred Scott

February 6, 1838:  Dr Emerson married Eliza Irene Sanford. Emerson sent for the Scotts. (see Dred Scott for expanded story)

Robert Tanner Jackson

February 6, 1867: Robert Tanner Jackson, whose parents had been enslaved in the U.S., graduated from Harvard School of Dental Medicine, becoming the first African American to receive a degree in dentistry. (see May 1)

Autherine Lucy

February 6 Peace Love Art Activism

February 6, 1956:  a hostile mob assembled to prevent Autherine Lucy from attending classes. She was struck by eggs while being escorted across the campus and windows of the car in which she rode were smashed. Highway patrol officers slipped her away at the height of the demonstration when more than 3,000 students and others were on the campus..

That same day, the Augusta Chronicle ran an editorial, saying that the tragedy was not that Lucy was being denied her rights, but rather that the courts were usurping states’ rights by interfering with the University of Alabama’s admittance policy. The editorial concluded: It is nothing less than tragic that the Supreme Court has furnished both the dynamite and the match by usurping the power of the various states to operate their schools, and other public facilities, in a manner best fitted to the needs and the welfare of all of their people. For this the court must bear the onus for ushering in an unhappy and tragic era in our history whereas before its decision, all was going well. (BH, see Feb 10; U of A, see Feb 29)

The Greensboro Four

February 6, 1960: more than 1,400 North Carolina A & T students met in Harrison Auditorium that morning After voting to continue the protest, many headed to the F.W. Woolworth store. They filled every seat as the store opened. A large number of counter protesters showed up as well. By noon, more than 1,000 people packed the store.

At 1 p.m., a caller warned a bomb was set to explode at 1:30 p.m. The crowd moved to the Kress store, which immediately closed. Arrests were made outside both stores.  Its manager cleared  and closed the F.W. Woolworth store.

That evening at North Carolina A & T 1,600 students voted to suspend demonstrations for two weeks. Dean William Gamble proclaimed this would give the stores time “to set policies regarding food service for Negro students.” (see G4 for expanded chronology)

Muhammad Ali

February 6 Peace Love Art Activism

February 6, 1967: Ali defeated Ernie Terrell in a 15 round decision. Terrell had refused to refer to Ali by his Muslim name and throughout the fight Ali taunted Terrell shouting, “What’s my name Uncle Tom…What’s my name?

Many accused Ali of deliberately punishing Terrell and not knocking him out.(2014 Independent article) (BH, see Feb 27; Ali, see April 5)

School Desegregation

February 6, 1986: in Riddick v. School Board of the City of Norfolk, Virginia  a federal court found for the first time that once a school district meets the Green decision factors (1968), it can be released from its desegregation plan and returned to local control.  (June 1986 NYT follow up article) (BH, see “in February 1987”; SD, see January 8, 1989)

DOMESTIC TERRORISM

February 6, 2015: U.S. District Court Judge L. Scott Coogler sentenced Pamela Morris, former secretary of a chapter of the Ku Klux Klan in Ozark, Alabama, to 10 months in prison and three years of supervised release for committing perjury during a grand jury’s investigation into a racially motivated cross-burning.  (see Apr 8)

February 6 Peace Love Art Activism

The Red Scare

February 6 Peace Love Art Activism

February 6, 1952: Harvey Matusow, a former Communist Party member and in 1952 an FBI informant, named named Pete Seeger, Ronnie Gilbert, and Fred Hellerman, all members of the  The Weavers, as Communists. The Weavers were in the middle of a concert tour and by mutual agreement with the manager, cancelled their scheduled week-long engagement with the Yankee Inn in Akron, Ohio.

February 6 Peace Love Activism

Being named as Communists destroyed the Weavers commercial career. They had been one of the most popular groups in America since 1950, with several number one hits, including Leadbelly’s “Goodnight Irene.”

The Weavers soon disbanded, but Pete Seeger developed a very successful career performing on college campuses, which were freer of anti-Communist pressures. He was mainly responsible for teaching that  generation Woody Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land.”

February 6 Peace Love Activism
Guy Carawan

With Guy Carawan and others, Seeger also revised “We Will Overcome,” [an old African-American gospel song that had become a labor union organizing song] into “We Shall Overcome.” Carawan taught it to the leaders of the sit-in movement in 1960 and it immediately became the anthem of the civil rights movement.

Matusow had a bizarre career. After being a Communist Party member and FBI informant, he recanted and denied his earlier accusations about who was a Communist. The Justice Department convicted him of perjury and he was sentenced to prison. Upon leaving prison, he became a member of the 1960s counterculture and led a rock group. (see Mar 3)

February 6 Peace Love Art Activism

Nuclear/Chemical News

February 6, 1958: a recovery effort began for what became known as the Tybee Bomb. The Air Force 2700th Explosive Ordnance Disposal Squadron and 100 Navy personnel equipped with hand held sonar and galvanic drag and cable sweeps mounted a search. (NN, see Feb 17; Tybee, see Apr 16)

February 6 Peace Love Art Activism

see February 6 Music et al for more

The Beatles

February 6 Peace Love Activism

February 6, 1958: George Harrison joined The Quarrymen. The group, consisted of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Len Garry, Eric Griffiths and John Lowe.. George Harrison (recalling those early days): “I was very impressed by John, probably more than Paul, or I showed it more. I suppose I was impressed by all the Art College crowd. John was very sarcastic, always trying to put you down, but I either took no notice or gave him the same back, and it worked.” (see July 15)

All Those Years Ago

February 6 Peace Love Art Activism

Exactly 33 years later,  and 60 days after John Lennon’s murder on February 6, 1981, George Harrison completed the recording of All Those Years Ago, Harrison’s musical tribute to Lennon. Ringo Starr had worked with Harrison on the song in November 1981 intending to use it on his own album, but decided not to. After Lennon’s assassination,  Harrison changed the lyrics and invited Paul McCartney to join on the vocals. 

It was the first time that the three former band mates had appeared on the same recording since “I Me Mine” in 1970. (see Feb 19)

“You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’”

February 6 Peace Love Art Activism

February 6 – 19, 1965: “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’” by the Righteous Brothers #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. In 1999, BMI listed the song as the one most often played on American radio and television in the 20th century, with some 8 million plays. (see Righteous for more)

The Road to the Woodstock

February 6, 1969: Michael Lang and Artie Kornfeld met John Roberts and Joel Rosenman for the first time. Lang and Kornfeld propose a music studio retreat in Woodstock, NY that would be an ideal place for musicians to make music in a relaxed atmosphere in an area where many other young musicians live. (see RW for a much expanded chronology)

February 6 Peace Love Art Activism

Vietnam

LBJ meets with Nguyen Cao Ky

February 6, 1966: accompanied by his leading political and military advisers, U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson met with South Vietnamese Premier Nguyen Cao Ky in Honolulu. The talks concluded with issuance of a joint declaration in which the United States promised to help South Vietnam “prevent aggression,” develop its economy, and establish “the principles of self-determination of peoples and government by the consent of the governed.” Johnson declared: “We are determined to win not only military victory but victory over hunger, disease, and despair.”

He announced renewed emphasis on “The Other War”–the effort to provide the South Vietnamese rural population with local security, and economic and social programs to win over their active support.

In his final statement on the discussions, Johnson warned the South Vietnamese that he would be monitoring their efforts to build democracy, improve education and health care, resettle refugees, and reconstruct South Vietnam’s economy. (see Feb 10)

February 6 Peace Love Art Activism

Crime and Punishment

February 6, 1974: in the face of protests by prison reformers, the U.S. Bureau of Prisons announced  that it was cancelling its controversial Behavior Modification program at the federal prison in Springfield, Missouri.

The program involved attempting to change prisoners’ behavior by locking them in cells for extended hours and denying them all privileges, and then restoring privileges gradually if they behaved themselves. The decision to end the program came just days before a federal judge was expected to rule in a suit challenging the program, which was filed by the National Prison Project of the ACLU. (see January 22, 1976)

February 6 Peace Love Art Activism

AIDS

Ryan White

February 6, 1986: Indiana DOE again ruled that White could attend school, after inspection by Howard County health officers. (see White for expanded story)

Arthur Ashe

February 6 Peace Love Art Activism

February 6. 1993: Arthur Ashe, 49, died of AIDS. Ashe was believed to have contracted the virus from a blood transfusion during heart surgery 10 years earlier. (see Dec 23)

February 6 Peace Love Art Activism

CLINTON IMPEACHMENT

Clinton won’t resign

February 6, 1998: at a news conference, President Bill Clinton said he would never consider resigning because of the accusations against him. “I would never walk away from the people of this country and the trust they’ve placed in me.” 

Monica Lewinsky

February 6, 1999: Americans got a chance to see and hear Monica Lewinsky as House prosecutors and White House lawyers play video excerpts of her testimony in their final summations. (see Clinton for expanded story)

February 6 Peace Love Art Activism

LGBTQ

Alan Turing

February 6 Peace Love Art Activism

February 6, 2012: Lord McNally declined to pardon Alan Turing. McNalley’s statement read:

The question of granting a posthumous pardon to Mr Turing was considered by the previous Government in 2009.

As a result of the previous campaign, the then Prime Minister Gordon Brown issued an unequivocal posthumous apology to Mr Turing on behalf of the Government, describing his treatment as “horrifying” and “utterly unfair”. Mr Brown said the country owed him a huge debt. This apology was also shown at the end of the Channel 4 documentary celebrating Mr Turing’s life and achievements which was broadcast on 21 November 2011.

A posthumous pardon was not considered appropriate as Alan Turing was properly convicted of what at the time was a criminal offence. He would have known that his offence was against the law and that he would be prosecuted.

It is tragic that Alan Turing was convicted of an offence which now seems both cruel and absurd-particularly poignant given his outstanding contribution to the war effort. However, the law at the time required a prosecution and, as such, long-standing policy has been to accept that such convictions took place and, rather than trying to alter the historical context and to put right what cannot be put right, ensure instead that we never again return to those times.  (LGBTQ, see Feb 7; Turing, see December 23, 2013)

Boy Scouts of America

February 6, 2013: the Boy Scouts of America said that it would postpone until May their decision regarding homosexual members as talk of gays in the ranks has roiled a storied organization that carries deep emotional connection and nostalgia for millions of Americans. (NYT article) (LGBTQ, see Feb 11; BSA, see April 19)

February 6 Peace Love Art Activism

Marijuana

February 6, 2014:  the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that local officials in Michigan may not ban the use of medical marijuana within their boundaries — a unanimous landmark ruling expected to overturn local ordinances in Livonia, Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, and Lyon Township. (see Feb 7)

February 6 Peace Love Art Activism

Trump’s Wall

February 6, 2017: some Republican lawmakers were expressing skepticism that the border wall was worth the price tag and asked that Trump offer off-sets for the cost.

Texas Senator, John Cornyn said: “I have concerns about spending un-offset money, which adds to the debt, period. I don’t think we’re just going to be able to solve border security with a physical barrier because people can come under, around it and through it.” (IH, see Feb 7; TW, see Feb 9)

February 6 Peace Love Art Activism

Voting Rights

February 6, 2018: the Supreme Court partly granted a request from North Carolina Republicans to block a voting map drawn by a federal court there. That court had interceded after finding that a map drawn by state lawmakers for the General Assembly had relied too heavily on race and had violated state laws.

The Supreme Court’s order, which was brief and gave no reasons, partly blocked that decision while the justices consider whether to hear an appeal in the case. (see Mar 19)

February 6 Peace Love Art Activism

Environmental Issues

Toxic chemicals

February 6, 2018: the NY Times reported that more than 2,500 sites that handle toxic chemicals are located in flood-prone areas in every American state and that about 1,400 are located in areas at highest risk of flooding. The article also pointed that that as flood danger grows — the consequence of a warming climate — the risk increased. (see Feb 23 )

Record warmth

February 6, 2019: NASA scientists announced that the Earth’s average surface temperature in 2018 was the fourth highest in nearly 140 years of record-keeping and a continuation of an unmistakable warming trend.

The data meant that the five warmest years in recorded history had been the last five, and that 18 of the 19 warmest years ever recorded have occurred since 2001. The quickly rising temperatures over the past two decades cap a much longer warming trend documented by researchers and correspond with the scientific consensus that climate change is caused by human activity.

“We’re no longer talking about a situation where global warming is something in the future,” said Gavin A. Schmidt, director of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies, the NASA group that conducted the analysis. “It’s here. It’s now.” (see Mar 15)

February 6 Peace Love Art Activism
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February 5 Peace Love Art Activism

February 5 Peace Love Art Activism

Immigration History

Immigration Act of 1917

February 5 Peace Love Activism

February 5, 1917: Congress passed the Immigration Act of 1917, also known as the Asiatic Barred Zone Act, over President Woodrow Wilson’s veto. Intended to prevent “undesirables” from immigrating to the United States, the act primarily targeted individuals migrating from Asia. The Act barred people from “any country not owned by the U.S. adjacent to the continent of Asia”  from immigrating to the United States. The bill also utilized an English literacy test and an increased tax of eight dollars per person for immigrants aged sixteen years and older.

The new bill was not meant to impact immigrants from Northern and Western Europe but targeted Asian, Mexican, and Mediterranean immigrants in an attempt to curb their migration. One author of the bill, Alabama Congressman John Burnett, estimated it would exclude approximately forty percent of Mediterranean immigrants, ninety percent of those from Mexico, and all Indian and non-Caucasian immigrants.

The bill also restricted the immigration of people with mental and physical handicaps, the poor, and people with criminal records or suspected of being involved in prostitution. Proponents claimed the bill would keep burdensome immigrants from entering the country and thus “promote the moral and material prosperity” of new immigrants permitted to enter.

The bill remained law for thirty-five years, until the Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1952 eliminated racial restrictions in immigration and naturalization statutes. (Smithsonian article) (see Mar 2)

Trump ban denied

February 5, 2017: a federal appeals court rejected a request by the Justice Department to immediately restore President Trump’s targeted travel ban, deepening a legal showdown over his authority to tighten the nation’s borders in the name of protecting Americans from terrorism.

In the legal back and forth over the travel ban, the United States District Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco said a reply from the Trump administration was due the next day. (see Feb 6)

Trump’s Wall

February 5, 2019: Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico ordered the withdrawal of the majority of the state’s National Guard troops from the U.S. border with Mexico, in a move that challenges President Trump’s description of a security crisis.

Grisham announced the partial withdrawal shortly before Trump’s State of the Union address. Her Republican predecessor deployed National Guard troops to the border in April 2018 at Trump’s suggestion, and 118 remained there before Tuesday’s reversal.

“New Mexico will not take part in the president’s charade of border fear-mongering by misusing our diligent National Guard troops,” Lujan Grisham said in a statement.

At the same time, the governor said a small contingent — around a dozen guardsmen — will remain in the southwestern corner of the state to assist with humanitarian needs in a remote corridor for cross-border immigration. She also mobilized state police to assist local law enforcement. (IH & TW, see Feb 11)

February 5 Peace Love Art Activism

SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE

February 5, 1953: President Dwight Eisenhower spoke at the first National Prayer Breakfast, held in Washington, D.C. The breakfast became an annual event and every president since has spoken at it.

The Fellowship Foundation, a conservative Christian group organized the breakfast, but it is “hosted” by members of the Congress, making it potentially a government-sponsored religious activity in violation of the Establishment Clause (it depends on whether it is officially sponsored by some members or Congress as a body).      The secretive Fellowship is also referred to as “The Family.” The Prayer Breakfast was part of a national effort to promote religion, which included adding the words “under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance (see Pledge for expanded chronology)

For its first fifteen years, the breakfast was sex-segregated, with separate events in different rooms for men and women. President Richard Nixon was the first to preside over a gender-integrated breakfast. (next Separation, see June 28, 1957)

February 5 Peace Love Art Activism

February 5 Music et al

Roots of Rock

February 5 Peace Love Art Activism

February 5, 1957: Bill Haley and the Comets disembarked from the Queen Elizabeth at Southampton to launch the first European tour ever by a major American rock-and-roll act. When Haley and his band reached London’s Waterloo Station later that same day, mayhem ensued. Thousands of fans formed a crush at the station to greet the group in a raucous display the press dubbed “the Second Battle of Waterloo.”

For the generation of war babies just becoming teenagers in Great Britain, Haley’s tour offered the first chance to see a real, live rock-and-roll show. Those shows made a particularly strong impression on certain members of that generation who would go on to change the course of music history. (see Feb 22)

Acid Test

February 5 Peace Love Art Activism

February 5, 1966: Acid Test in Los Angeles at the Sepulveda Unitarian Universalist Society Church, called “The Onion” because of its architecture.  

Minister Paul Swayer had met Pranksters’ leader Ken Kesey at the annual California Unitarian Church conference at Asilomar State Beach. According to Sawyer’s memoir, Prankster Ken Babbs called to ask if they could put on an Acid Test, and Sawyer said they could as long as they didn’t give out acid to the audience. (see Feb 11)

Petula Clark

February 5 – 18, 1966: “My Love” by Petula Clark #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Cultural Milestone

February 5 Peace Love Art Activism

February 5, 1967: the first episode of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour airs on CBS. The show pushed the boundaries of what was typically acceptable on television at that time. (see July)

February 5 Peace Love Art Activism

Nuclear/Chemical Weapons News

February 5 Peace Love Art Activism

February 5, 1958: a 7,600-pound Mark 15 hydrogen bomb was lost in the waters off Tybee Island near Savannah, GA, by the US Air Force. The Air Force had been running practice exercises at about 2 AM that morning when the B-47 bomber carrying the bomb collided in midair with an F-86 fighter plane. The F-86 pilot ejected before the collision but the B-47 remained airborne. Struggling, the pilot requested permission to jettison the bomb to reduce weight and prevent the bomb from exploding during an emergency landing.

Permission was granted and the bomb was jettisoned at 7,200 feet while the bomber was traveling about 200 knots. When the bomb struck the sea, no explosion was seen. The B-47 safely landed at the nearby Hunter Air Force Base.

The bomb was never found although it was thought to have been found in 2004 (ABC News article). (see Feb 6)

February 5 Peace Love Art Activism

BLACK HISTORY

Byron De La Beckwith

February 5, 1964: Byron De La Beckwith took the witness stand in his defense and said he did not kill Medgar W. Evers. (see Feb 7)

Exactly 30 years later on February 5, 1994 (after his third trial) after six hours of deliberation a jury of eight blacks and four whites unanimously convicted Byron de la Beckwith of murder and immediately sentenced to life in prison.  (BH, see Apr 18; ME, see December 22, 1997)

Howard Beach
February 5 Peace Love Art Activism
Michael Griffith

On December 20, 1986 white teens in Howard Beach had chased Michael Griffith, an African-American youth, onto a freeway where he was hit by a motorist. Griffith died from his injuries setting off a wave of protests and racial tensions in New York.

On February 5, 1988 Scott Kern received a sentence of six to eighteen years imprisonment for the death of Griffith. (see Feb 11)

Stop and Frisk Policy

February 5, 2007: angered by stop-and-frisk statistics, Rev. Al Sharpton says he’ll initiate a suit against the NYPD. (see July 28)

Trayvon Martin Shooting

February 5, 2013: Judge Debra Nelson denied a motion by George Zimmerman’s lawyer Mark O’Mara to delay the trial date of June 10. O’Mara argued that the prosecution has been slow to turn over evidence and that he did not have enough time to prepare his case. Zimmerman remained free on $1 million bond — with GPS monitoring– while awaiting trial. (Stand, see  May 24; Trayvon, see April 5)

Laquan McDonald

February 5, 2019:  it was reported that fellow inmates assaulted Jason Van Dyke soon after his being transferred to a prison in Danbury, Connecticut earlier this month. Jennifer Blagg, his attorney, said that Van Dyke suffered facial injuries.

Van Dyke was moved the Federal Correctional Institution in Otisville, about 75 miles northwest of New York City in March.  (B & S, see Mar 2; LM, see Mar 19)

February 5 Peace Love Art Activism

Vietnam

February 5 Peace Love Art Activism

February 5, 1973: services were held at Arlington National Cemetery for U.S. Army Col. William B. Nolde, the last official American combat casualty before the Vietnam cease-fire took effect. (LA Times article) (see Feb 11)

February 5 Peace Love Art Activism

Sara Jane Moore

February 5, 1979, Sara Jane Moore, (convicted of trying to assassinate President Ford in 1975) escaped from a minimum-security Federal prison but was recaptured about four hours later.  (see December 31, 2007)

February 5 Peace Love Art Activism

Jack Kevorkian

February 5, 1991: a Michigan court barred Kevorkian from assisting in suicides. (see Kevorkian for expanded story)

February 5 Peace Love Art Activism

US Labor History

February 5 Peace Love Art Activism

February 5, 1993: President Bill Clinton signed the Family and Medical Leave Act. The law required most employers of 50 or more workers to grant up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for a family or medical emergency. (see Apr 28)

February 5 Peace Love Art Activism

CLINTON IMPEACHMENT

February 5, 1998: Ken Starr said his inquiry was “moving very quickly and we’ve made very significant progress.”  (see Clinton for expanded story)

February 5 Peace Love Art Activism

IRAQ War II

February 5, 2003: Secretary of State Colin Powell addressed the UN Security Council on Iraq and weapons of mass destruction. (see Feb 10)

February 5 Peace Love Art Activism

Consumer Protection

February 5, 2014: CVS/Caremark, the country’s largest drugstore chain, announced that it planned to stop selling cigarettes and other tobacco products by October. (see June 16, 2015)

February 5 Peace Love Art Activism

Sexual Abuse of Children

United Nations report

February 5 Peace Love Art Activism

February 5, 2014: the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child denounced the Holy See for adopting policies which allowed priests to sexually abuse thousands of children. In a report, it criticized Vatican attitudes towards homosexuality, contraception and abortion.

The Committee said that “the Holy See has not acknowledged the extent of the crimes committed, has not taken the necessary measures to address cases of child sexual abuse and to protect children, and has adopted policies and practices which have led to the continuation of the abuse by and the impunity of the perpetrators.

The committee also said the “practice of offenders’ mobility”, referring to the transfer of child abusers from parish to parish within countries, and sometimes abroad, placed “children in many countries at high risk of sexual abuse, as dozens of child sexual offenders are reported to be still in contact with children“.

The Vatican responded by saying it would examine the report – but also accused its authors of interference.  (LGBTQ, see Feb 9; BC, see Feb 21; Abuse, see Feb 18)

Larry Nassar

February 5, 2018: adding to long prison terms Larry Nassar already faced for additional sex crimes, Judge Janice Cunningham sentenced the former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University team doctor to another 40 to 125 years in prison for sexually abusing young athletes under the guise of medical treatment.

“I am not convinced that you truly understand that what you did was wrong and the devastating impact that you have had on the victims, their families and friends,” Cunningham told Nassar in court before handing down the punishment. “Clearly you are in denial. You don’t get it. And I do not believe that there is a likelihood that you could be reformed.” (SAC & Nassar, see May 16)

February 5 Peace Love Art Activism

Voting Rights

February 5, 2018: the US Supreme Court refused to stay the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s order requiring lawmakers to redraw the state’s congressional map, which the state court had found to be marred by partisan gerrymandering. (VR, see Feb 6; PA, see Mar 19)

February 5 Peace Love Art Activism
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February 4 Peace Love Art Activism

February 4 Peace Love Art Activism

BLACK HISTORY

First state-run prison

February 4, 1846: the Alabama state legislature voted to construct the first state-run prison on January 26, 1839. In 1841, Alabama built the Wetumpka State Penitentiary. The prison received its first inmate in 1842: a white man sentenced to 20 years for harboring a runaway slave. In the antebellum penitentiary, 99 percent of inmates were white, as free black people were not legally permitted to live in the state, and enslaved black people were instead subject to unregulated “plantation justice” at the hands of slave owners and overseers.

The penitentiary was supposed to be self-sufficient, but soon proved costly as the prison industries of manufacturing wagons, buggies, saddles, harnesses, shoes, and rope failed to generate enough funds to maintain the facility. On February 4, 1846, the state legislature chose to lease the penitentiary to J.G. Graham, a private businessman, for a six-year term. Graham appointed himself warden and took control of the entire prison and its inmates, claiming all profits made from inmate labor and eliminating every other employment position except physician and inspector. Alabama continued to lease the prison to private businessmen until 1862, when warden/leaser Dr. Ambrose Burrows was murdered by an inmate.

This initial leasing of the prison and its inmates marked the beginning of the convict leasing system in Alabama, and that system was soon renewed. In 1866, after the end of the Civil War, the government again authorized inmates to be leased to work outside of the prison, and 374 prisoners were leased to the firm Smith & McMillen to work rebuilding the Alabama & Chattanooga Railroad. In this post-Emancipation society, black people were no longer enslaved, and the convict population that was formerly almost all white was now 90 percent black. The system of convict leasing became one that forced primarily black prisoners – some convicted of minor or trumped up charges – to work in hard, dangerous, conditions for no pay. This practice continued until World War II. (see February)

Greensoro NC sit-in

February 4, 1960: The Greensoro NC sit in continued. On February 4, 1960 more than 300 students participated in the protests. Students from N.C. A&T, Bennett College and Dudley High School occupied every seat at the lunch counter. Three white supporters (Genie Seaman, Marilyn Lott and Ann Dearsley) from the Woman’s College of the University of North Carolina (now UNCG), joined the protest. As tensions grew, police kept the crowd in check. Waiting students then marched to the basement lunch counter at S.H. Kress & Co., the second store targeted by the Student Executive Committee, and the Greensboro sit-ins spread.

That evening, student leaders, college administrators and representatives from F.W. Woolworth and Kress stores held talks. The stores refused to integrate as long as other downtown facilities remained segregated. Students insisted the F.W. Woolworth and Kress retail stores would remain targets, and the meeting ended without resolution. (see GB4 for expanded chronology)

Malcolm X

February 4, 1965: 17 days before he was assassinated, Malcolm X spoke at the Brown Chapel in Selma. King  was still in jail and the SNCC had invited Malcolm X to speak to the young civil rights activists. Malcolm compared the “house Negro” and the “field Negro” and talked about the importance of not becoming complacent in “massa’s house” or comfortable with the status of being an oppressed people.

Coretta Scott King later reported that X said to her: “Mrs. King, I want you to tell your husband that I had planned to visit him in jail here in Selma, but I won’t be able to do it now. I have to go back to New York because I have to attend a conference in Europe, an African student conference, and I want you to say to him that I didn’t come to Selma to make his job more difficult, but I thought that if the white people understood what the alternative was that they would be more inclined to listen to your husband. And so that’s why I came.” (BH, see Feb 11; MLK, see Mar 9; MX, see Feb 14)

George Whitmore, Jr

February 4, 1965: NY Governor Nelson Rockefeller refused  the NAACP’s demand for an investigation. The Governor stated that he had “no jurisdiction over the courts and therefore it would be inappropriate to seek to intervene in matters pending before them.”

Whitmore’s attorney, Stanley J Reiben, filed an affidavit opposing a blue-ribbon jury. Reiben said that such a jury would be a “lily-white all-male” jury, which would enhance “the conviction ration of the District attorney.” (see Whitmore for expanded story)

Amadou Diallo

February 4 Peace Love Art Activism

February 4, 1999: four New York City Police Department plain-clothed officers (Sean Carroll, Richard Murphy, Edward McMellon and Kenneth Boss) shoot and kill 23-year-old Guinean immigrant Amadou Diallo. The four officers fired a total of 41 shots hitting Diallo nineteen times. (see Mar 9)

Laquan McDonald

February 4, 2019: federal Judge Robert Dow Jr allowed Janet Mondragon, Daphne Sebastian and Richard Viramontes (the three Chicago police officers associated with of the 2014 killing of Laquan McDonald) as well as Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 7 to continue their lawsuit alleging a violation of due process rights. (B & S and LM, see  Feb 4)

February 4 Peace Love Art Activism

US Labor History

Interstate Commerce Act

February 4, 1887: Interstate Commerce Act created the Interstate Commerce Commission to regulate Railroads, the first industry to be subject to Federal regulation. (see Feb 7)

Ironworkers unionize

February 4, 1896: iron workers from six cities met in Pittsburgh to form the Int’l Association of Bridge and Structural Iron Workers of America. Their pay in Pittsburgh at the time: $2.75 for a 9-hour day. (see May 5)

February 4 Peace Love Art Activism

Yalta Conference

February 4, 1945: Yalta Conference. (Ukraine, SSR). Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and Josef Stalin meet in the Soviet resort town of Yalta to make plans for the postwar era. In a problematic compromise, Roosevelt accedes to Churchill’s and Stalin’s plans for spheres of influence in Europe even while convincing the British and Soviet leaders to sign on to a statement affirming the principles of democracy. (see Apr 23)

February 4 Peace Love Art Activism

INDEPENDENCE DAY

February 4 Peace Love Activism

February 4, 1948: Sri Lanka independent from from the United Kingdom.  (see April 15, 1948)

February 4 Peace Love Art Activism

FREE SPEECH

February 4, 1951: thirty-nine religious leaders, including Protestant ministers and Jewish Rabbis, urged the New York State Board of Regents not to revoke the license of the controversial Italian film, The Miracle . The article in The New York Times did not mention the well-known fact that leaders of the Catholic Church were leading the fight to ban the film.

The controversy eventually ended in the U.S. Supreme Court when, in the landmark decision Burstyn v. Wilson, decided on May 26, 1952  and which involved The Miracle, the Court ruled that movies were a form of expression protected by the First Amendment. (see June 4)

February 4 Peace Love Art Activism

Cultural Milestones

Drinking and driving

February 4 Peace Love Activism

February 4, 1964: Robert F. Borkenstein et al. published  “The Role of the Drinking Driver in Traffic Accidents,” also known as the Grand Rapids Study, for Indiana University’s Department of Police Administration. It stated that the probability of accident involvement increased rapidly at alcohol levels over .08 percent and became extremely high at levels over .15 percent. … Drivers with an alcohol level of .06 percent have an estimated probability of causing an accident double that of a sober driver. Drivers with .10 percent B.A.L. are from six to seven times as likely to cause an accident as one with .00 percent alcohol level. When the .15 percent alcohol level is reached, the probability of causing an accident is estimated at more than 25 times the probability for that of a sober driver. (see Mar 30)

Mark Zuckerberg

February 4 Peace Love Activism

February 4, 2004: Mark Zuckerberg launched the social networking website Facebook. (see Aug 19)

February 4 Peace Love Art Activism

February 4 Music et al

Rock Venues

February 4, 5, and 6, 1966: Chet  Helms founded Family Dog Productions to begin promoting concerts at The Fillmore Auditorium, alternating weekends with promoter, Bill Graham. (see Fillmore Auditorium for more) (see Feb 19)

Beat Generation

February 4 Peace Love Art Activism

February 4, 1968: on February 3, 1968, Neal Cassady had attended a wedding party in San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico. After the party, he went walking along a railroad track to reach the next town, but passed out in the cold and rainy night wearing nothing but a T-shirt and jeans. In the morning, he was found in a coma by the tracks, reportedly by Anton Black, who carried Cassady over his shoulders to the local post office building.

Cassady was then transported to the closest hospital where he died a few hours later on February 4, four days short of his 42nd birthday.

Both a major figure of the Beat Generation and the psychedelic era of the 1960s. Drove Ken Kesey’s famous bus, Furthur, cross-country to 1964 NY World’s Fair. (2012 New Yorker article) (LSD, see Oct 24; BG, see October 21, 1969)

John Lennon

February 4, 1972: after reading FBI surveillance reports, US Senator Strom Thurmond told Attorney General John Mitchell that Lennon should be deported because he consorted with known radicals such as Jerry Rubin and Abbie Hoffman. (see Feb 9)

February 4 Peace Love Art Activism

Symbionese Liberation Army

February 4 Peace Love Art Activism

February 4, 1974: Three members of the S.L.A. forced their way into Patti Hearst’s apartment, beat her fiancé Steven Weed and abducted her. Hearst was the newspaper heiress and  a 19-year-old Berkeley student. (see SLA for expanded story)

February 4 Peace Love Art Activism

LGBTQ

Oliver W. Sipple

February 4 Peace Love Art Activism

February 4, 1989: Oliver W. Sipple, the former marine who thwarted an assassination attempt on President Gerald R. Ford, died in his apartment in San Francisco.  (NYT obit)

He was 47 years old. He unsuccessfully sued the press for exposing him as a homosexual. Later,  the California Supreme Court dismissed Sipple’s suit.

A spokesman for the coroner’s office in San Francisco said that Mr. Sipple had been dead several days when a friend found his body. The spokesman said that an autopsy had not yet been performed but that Mr. Sipple had apparently died of ”natural causes.” In an account yesterday about his death, The San Francisco Examiner said he had received treatment in recent years for schizophrenia, alcoholism and several other health problems. (see OWS for expanded chronology; next LGTBQ, see Oct 1)

Massachusetts & same-sex marriage

February 4, 2004: The Massachusetts high court ruled that only full, equal marriage rights for gay couples, not civil unions, would be constitutional. “The history of our nation has demonstrated that separate is seldom, if ever, equal,” an advisory opinion from the four justices who ruled in favor of gay marriage stated. A bill creating only civil unions, not full marriage rights, would be “unconstitutional, inferior, and discriminatory status for same-sex couples.” (see Feb 12)

Military/Transgender

February 4, 2019:  Major General Matthew Beevers, the assistant adjutant general for the California National Guard told the California State Assembly’s Veterans Affairs Committee that they will not comply with Donald Trump’s transgender military ban.

“As long as you fight, we don’t care what gender you identify as.” (see Feb 16)

February 4 Peace Love Art Activism

CLINTON IMPEACHMENT

Ken Starr

February 4, 1998: word came that Independent Counsel Ken Starr has rejected the latest written statement by Monica Lewinsky’s lawyers seeking immunity from prosecution for her. Their on-again, off-again immunity discussions are off. 

Monica Lewinsky

February 4, 1999: on a 70-30 vote, the Senate decided not to call Monica Lewinsky to testify in person at the trial, but clears the way for House prosecutors to present excerpts of videotaped depositions. (see Clinton for expanded story)

February 4 Peace Love Art Activism

STAND YOUR GROUND

February 4 Peace Love Art Activism
Paul Miller

On March 14, 2012 Paul Miller had shot and killed his neighbor Dana Mulhall.  

On February 4, 2013, Miller claimed a “Stand Your Ground” defense.

On May 24, 2013 a Flagler County (Florida) jury convicted Paul Miller, 66 of murder in the shooting death Mulhall (Flagler Live cot com article). The jury had been told that Miller went inside his house to retrieve his loaded hand gun off the top of a curio, concealed it by putting it in his back waistband before going outside and shooting Mulhall five times.

“Miller’s actions prove he intended to kill Mr. Mulhall. He was combative in his language, gesture and actions,” said Assistant State Attorney Jaquelyn Roys. “If indeed the defendant feared his neighbor, as he claimed, he had an opportunity to call the police when he went inside the house. Instead, Miller chose to confront his neighbor with gunfire.”  Miller had claimed self-defense, saying he lived in fear of his neighbor. The jury deliberated 90 minutes before finding Miller guilty. (next Stand Your Ground, see Feb 5; Miller, see May 24)

February 4 Peace Love Art Activism

Foxconn

February 4, 2013: Foxconn widened the scope of union elections in China. The move followed a series of recommendations from an international panel hired by Apple to audit conditions for the 1.2 million workers in Foxconn’s mainland factories. Foxconn said it will deepen employees’ involvement in union elections so the unions can more effectively represent their interests. It said it hopes this will impact labor standards throughout China. Foxconn previously came under heavy scrutiny for labor policies that allegedly led a dozen workers to commit suicide. It has also faced increasing protests and strikes as Chinese workers become increasingly aware of labor rights. (see July 15, 2013)

February 4 Peace Love Art Activism

 Marijuana

February 4 Peace Love Art Activism

February 4, 2015:  U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy stated that cannabis use could be beneficial for certain medical conditions and symptoms, the first time in the nation’s history that a sitting Surgeon General acknowledged cannabis as a legitimate medicine.

We have some preliminary data showing that for certain medical conditions and symptoms that marijuana can be helpful,” Surgeon General Vivek Murthy told CBS News.

Murthy went on to say that he believed the data should be the driving force in lawmakers determining future policies for cannabis; “I think we have to use that data to drive policy-making, and I’m very interested to see where that data takes us,” he said.  (see Feb 24)

February 4 Peace Love Art Activism

Immigration History

February 4, 2017: Justice Department appealed Judge Robart’s ruling saying that the president had the constitutional authority to order the ban and that the court ruling “second-guesses the president’s national security judgment.”

In a Twitter post,  Trump wrote, “The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!” (NYT article) (see Feb 5)

February 4 Peace Love Art Activism

Pledge of Allegiance

February 4, 2019: authorities arrested an 11-year-old boy following a confrontation at school over his refusal to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance, which he reportedly called racist against black people.

He was charged with disrupting a school function and resisting arrest after allegedly threatening his substitute teacher at Lawton Chiles Middle Academy in Lakeland following an argument,

“The student became disruptive and the teacher contacted school administrators for assistance,” Kyle Kennedy, a spokesman for Polk County Public Schools, told the news outlet. “The school’s resource deputy also became involved.”

Kennedy added that students are not required to stand for the pledge, which he said the teacher was apparently not aware of. She will no longer be employed at any of Polk County’s schools, he said.

According to local station Bay News 9, which obtained a copy of the report, the sixth-grader called the American flag racist and the national anthem offensive to black people.

The teacher asked him: “Why if it was so bad here he did not go to another place to live.”

He replied: “They brought me here.”

She then suggested that he “can always go back.”

The boy’s mother, Dhakira Talbot, spoke out against the teacher’s behavior and insisted that the charges against him be dropped.

“She was wrong. She was way out of place,” she told Bay News 9. “If she felt like there was an issue with my son not standing for the flag, she should’ve resolved that in a way different manner than she did.” (see Mar 6)

February 4 Peace Love Art Activism
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