Tag Archives: Joan Baez

Singer Activist Joan Chandos Baez

Singer Activist Joan Chandos Baez

Many Happy Returns!

Joan Baez

Joan Chandos Báez was born in Staten Island, NY  on January 9, 1941. Although often associated with Bob Dylan, it should be that he is associated with her as Bob was Joan’s guest at the 1963 Newport Folk Festival. It was she featured on the November 23, 1962 cover of Time magazine.

Singer Activist Joan Chandos Baez

…but associated they are.

Singer Activist Joan Chandos Baez

To quickly explain Joan’s career would do a disservice to her.  Some associate Joan with the early 1960s civil rights movement. True. Some associate her with the 1964 Berkeley Free Speech movement. True. Some may even know of her participation in the 2011 Occupy Wall Street demonstrations. True again

In other words, Joan has had a lifetime of peace, love, and activism.

Singer Activist Joan Chandos Baez
Joan at Woodstock with Jeffrey Shurtleff

Singer Activist Joan Chandos Baez

During the Woodstock Music and Art Fair, she was pregnant and married to David Harris. Authorities had jailed Harris for refusing to be drafted. That night, Baez played her hour set with Richard Festinger and Jeffrey Shurtleff.

Their set was:

  • Oh Happy Day
  • The Last Thing On My Mind
  • I Shall Be Released
  • Story about how the Federal Marshalls came to take David Harris into custody  
  • No Expectations
  • Joe Hill
  • Sweet Sir Galahad
  • Hickory Wind
  • Drug Store Truck Driving Man
  • I Live One Day at a Time
  • Take Me Back to the Sweet Sunny South
  • Let Me Wrap You in My Warm and Tender Love
  • Swing Low, Sweet Chariot
  • We Shall Overcome

Here is her rendition of International Workers of the World hero Joe Hill from that misty night. The lyrics are based on a 1925 poem by Alfred Hayes that Earl Robinson had put to music in 1936. (link to more on Joe Hill).

Dear Joan Baez,


We don’t love you because of all the albums you have released. And you have! We don’t love you because of that voice. And it is amazing! We don’t love you because are in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. And you are.


We love you for all you have contributed. We love for all you continue to contribute. We love you because you have been a role model to anyone willing to listen and watch.


From all of us to you.


We Shall Overcome.

Singer Activist Joan Chandos Baez

For more about Joan and her music, visit >>> Hubpages


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Student Free Speech Movement

Student Free Speech Movement

A hallmark of the 1960s' cultural revolution was the the student free speech movement. In 1964, the tip of the baby boomer generation was starting college and some of them actually followed the curricula and critically examined information.

Student Free Speech Movement

The post war Red Scare and Cold War continued into the 1960s. Protestors were suspect. College campuses included. 

On September 14, 1964 UC Berkeley Dean of Students Katherine Towle, wrote a letter to the student political groups telling them that they could no longer use a designated plaza to solicit support for "off campus political and social action." The plaza had been the most accessible location for student-to-student interaction.

The United Front began protests and for two months negotiations between the college administration and United front sputtered along. By December the student free speech movement...
Student Free Speech Movement
Mario Savio, shown here at a victory rally in UC Berkeley’s Sproul Plaza on Dec. 9, 1964, was the face of the free speech movement.

 Student Free Speech Movement

Mario Savio at UC Berkeley
December 2, 1964: student free speech movement activist Mario Savio and other students occupied the University of Berkeley’s Sproul Hall to protest ban on campus activism. Joan Baez sang in support. (NYT article)

Student Free Speech Movement
Joan Baez at the Free Speech movement protest on Dec 2

Student Free Speech Movement

On December 3, police arrested nearly 800 students attempting to control the student free speech movement.

On December 7 classes were cancelled, but on December 8 the Academic Senate  voted overwhelmingly for no restrictions on the content of speech or advocacy. It appeared that the Student Free Speech Movement had won.

From jofreeman.com: When the faculty left the hall, students cried, cheered, and applauded. Symbolically, the FSM had won, but the struggle was not over; only the Regents could set policy. When they met on December 18, they voted to support the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, but insisted on law and order. The faculty felt the spirit of their resolution had been met, but the FSM did not. When the new campus administration wrote detailed regulations, content of advocacy was ignored in favor of stringent time, place and manner rules. Scuffling over the rules and how they were applied continued....
The student free speech movement would spread. On December 12, Savio warned in New York. (NYT article)
By March 9, 1965, a NYT headline read:
Clark Kerr Will Resign as U. of California Head
(Berkeley pres resigns)
But by March 14 Kerr rescinded his resignation and :
(click >>> Berkeley stricter)
On April 26, 1965 Savio quit the Free Speech Movement (cSavio quits), but student activism didn't.
Mario Savio died on November 6, 1996. (Mario Savio).


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November 19 Peace Love Activism

November 19 Peace Love Activism

US Labor History

Joe Hill executed
November 19 Peace Love Activism
Joe Hill quote
November 19, 1915: Joe Hill executed. After a questionable arrest and controversial trial, a Utah jury convicted Joe Hill of murder and a firing squad executed him [legend has it that he yelled “Fire!”.]  Joe Hill wrote his will in verse:
My will is easy to decide,

For there is nothing to divide,

My kin don’t need to fuss and moan-

“Moss does not cling to a rolling stone.”

My body? Ah, If I could choose,

I would to ashes it reduce,

And let the merry breezes blow

My dust to where some flowers grow.

Perhaps some fading flower then

Would come to life and bloom again.

This is my last and final will,

Good luck to all of you, Joe Hill.

His cremated remains were sent to the IWW headquarters in Chicago He had requested that friends spread his ashes in every state except Utah. He "didn’t want to be caught dead there."

From Wikipedia:

  • Hill was memorialized in a tribute poem written about him c. 1930 by Alfred Hayes titled “I Dreamed I Saw Joe Hill Last Night”, sometimes referred to simply as “Joe Hill”. Hayes’s lyrics were turned into a song in 1936 by Earl Robinson, who wrote in 1986, “‘Joe Hill’ was written in Camp Unity in the summer of 1936 in New York State, for a campfire program celebrating him and his songs…”Hayes gave a copy of his poem to fellow camp staffer Robinson, who wrote the tune in 40 minutes.
  • Paul Robeson and Pete Seeger often performed this song and are associated with it, along with Irish folk group The Dubliners, Joan Baez’s Woodstock performance of “Joe Hill” in 1969 (documented on the 1970 documentary and corresponding soundtrack album) is one of the best known recordings. She also recorded the song numerous times, including a live version on her 2005 album Bowery Songs. 
Here is Baez's Woodstock performance:

(Labor History, see Janurary 6, 1916; NM see  News Music)

The Cold War

The Rocky & Bullwinkle Show

November 19

November 19, 1959 The Rocky & Bullwinkle Show began. It comically reflected the cultural Cold War between the USSR and the USA. (see Dec 1)
Richard Helms
November 19, 1963: Kennedy had settled the Cuban crisis, in part, by pledging that the US would not invade Cuba; however that pledge was conditioned on the presumption that Castro would stop trying to encourage other revolutions like his own throughout Latin America. But Castro was furious that Khrushchev had not consulted him before making his bargain with Kennedy to end the crisis — and furious as well that U.S. covert action against him had not ceased. In September 1963, Castro appeared at a Brazilian Embassy reception in Havana and warned, “American leaders should know that if they are aiding terrorist plans to eliminate Cuban leaders, then they themselves will not be safe.” Late on Tuesday, November. 19, 1963 — the evening before President Kennedy’s final full day at the White House — the C.I.A.'s covert action chief, Richard Helms, brought J.F.K. what he termed “hard evidence” that Castro was still trying to foment revolution throughout Latin America.

Helms (who later served as C.I.A. director from 1966 to 1973) and an aide, Hershel Peake, told Kennedy about their agency’s discovery: a three-ton arms cache left by Cuban terrorists on a beach in Venezuela, along with blueprints for a plan to seize control of that country by stopping Venezuelan elections scheduled for 12 days hence.

Standing in the Cabinet Room near windows overlooking the darkened Rose Garden, Helms brandished what he called a “vicious-looking” rifle and told the president how its identifying Cuban seal had been sanded off. (see Cuban Missile Crisis)
Summit conference
November 19, 1985: for the first time in eight years, the leaders of the Soviet Union and the United States held a summit conference. Meeting in Geneva, President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev produced no agreements, however, the meeting boded well for the future, as the two men engaged in long, personal talks and seemed to develop a sincere and close relationship. (see February 28, 1987)


U of Alabama
November 19, 1963: police investigated a dynamite-bomb explosion in a street four blocks from the University of Alabama dormitory where Vivian Malone lived. (see Dec 22)
November 19, 2015: Officer Jason Van Dyke, who had been the target of several complaints, turned himself in, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office said in a press release. A judge has ordered that he be held without bail. McDonald’s family had settled a lawsuit with the city for $5 million in April. McDonald was holding a knife when he was shot. He was suspected of committing a robbery prior to the shooting, which came at the end of a foot chase.

Van Dyke was the first Chicago police officer to be charged with first-degree murder in an on-duty shooting. (B & S, see Nov 23; Van Dyke, see Dec 2)

November 19 Music et al

November 19, 1966: on a return trip from Nairobi, Kenya, Paul McCartney got the idea for the Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Heart Band album. From Many Years From Now by Barry Miles, Paul is quoted: We were fed up with being the Beatles. We really hated that fucking four little mop-top boys approach. We were not boys, we were men. It was all gone, all that boy shit, all that screaming, we didn't want any more, plus, we'd now got turned on to pot and thought of ourselves as artists rather than just performers. There was now more to it; not only had John and I been writing, George had been writing, we'd been in films, John had written books, so it was natural that we should become artists.

Then suddenly on the plane I got this idea. I thought, Let's not be ourselves. Let's develop alter egos so we're not having to project an image which we know. It would be much more free. What would really be interesting would be to actually take on the personas of this different band. We could say, 'How would somebody else sing this? He might approach it a bit more sarcastically, perhaps.' So I had this idea of giving the Beatles alter egos simply to get a different approach; then when John came up to the microphone or I did, it wouldn't be John or Paul singing, it would be the members of this band. It would be a freeing element. I thought we can run this philosophy through the whole album: with this alter-ego band, it won't be us making all that sound, it won't be the Beatles, it'll be this other band, so we'll be able to lose our identities in this. (see Nov 24)

Free As a Bird

You Keep Me Hanging On
November 19 – December 2, 1966: “You Keep Me Hanging On” by the Supremes #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
“Free as a Bird”
November 19, 1995: "Free as a Bird," the first new Beatles single in 25 years, premiered on the televised Beatles Anthology. The song, a 1977 demo by John Lennon completed in 1995 by the three surviving Beatles, reached #6 on the singles chart in early 1996. (see Dec 5)

Cultural Milestone

November 19

November 19, 1975 : Warner Brothers' One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest  opened. Directed by Milos Forman and based on Ken Kesey’s 1962 novel. Jack Nicholson starred. Actor Michael Dougles was a co-producer. The film went on to become the first film in four decades to win in all five of the major Academy Award categories: Best Actor (Nicholson), Best Actress (Louise Fletcher, who played Nurse Ratched), Best Director, Best Screenplay (Adapted) and Best Picture. (see May 31, 1996)

Symbionese Liberation Army

November 19, 1976:  Patty Hearst released on bail pending the appeal of her conviction. (see May 10, 1977)

Iran-Contra Affair

November 19, 1986,: at a press conference, President Ronald Reagan misstated facts in the Iran-Contra affair, which had just been exposed two weeks earlier on November 3, 1986. It was plainly evident that Reagan did not know or understand the details of the complicated affair, and certainly not the legal implications, which involved a number of violations of law. President Reagan and his CIA Director William Casey were fierce anti-communists, determined to fight what they saw as communist threats anywhere in the world. They were both committed to this effort, even if it meant violating the law and established policies, as the Iran-Contra affair revealed. (see Nov 21)


Richard Lee Bednarski
November 19, 1988,: in Dallas, Texas, Judge Jack Hampton sentenced Richard Lee Bednarski to thirty years imprisonment for murdering Tommy Lee Trimble and John Lloyd Griffin, two gay men.

On the night of the crime, Bednarski and several friends drove to a local gay neighborhood to “gay-bash” or harass gays. Trimble and Griffin approached the group and offered Bednarski a ride, which he accepted. In the car, Bednarski ordered Trimble and Griffin to disrobe. When they refused, Bednarski shoved a pistol into Trimble’s mouth and fired. As Griffin tried to escape, Bednarski shot him. Trimble died immediately and Griffin died five days later.

After the sentencing hearing, in which Judge Hampton rejected the prosecution’s recommendation that Bednarski be sentenced to life imprisonment, a reporter published an interview in which Judge Hampton said he was lenient because, “I put prostitutes and gays at about the same level . . . I’d be hard put to give somebody life for killing a prostitute.” Judge Hampton went on to blame Trimble and Griffin for their own deaths, reasoning that they would not have died “if they hadn’t been cruising the streets picking up teenage boys.” Judge Hampton continued, “I don’t care much for queers running around on weekend picking up teenage boys. I’ve got a teenage boy.”

Following publication of the interview, the Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct investigated and concluded that Judge Hampton was an impartial judge. After many complaints, the commission agreed to censure Hampton but refused to require his removal. Judge Hampton was re-elected by the residents of Dallas in 1990 and 1994, and retired in 1996. Bednarski was released from prison in 2007.(see February 4, 1989)
Montana’s gay marriage ban
November 19, 2014: U.S. District Court Judge Brian Morris judge struck down Montana’s gay marriage ban, one day after an appeals court rejected a request by South Carolina to postpone same-sex nuptials as more states allow gays and lesbians to wed.

"The court hereby declares that Montana’s laws that ban same-sex marriage ... violate plaintiffs’ rights to equal protection of the laws as guaranteed by the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution," wrote Morris, who ordered the state to proceed with same-sex marriage and to recognize those gay weddings performed out-of-state. (see Nov 20)

Technological Milestone

November 19 Peace Love Activism

November 19, 2007:   Amazon.com Inc. introduced the Kindle, an electronic book-reading device.  (see June 12, 2009)
November 19 Peace Love Activism

Religion and Public Education

November 19, 2013:  in a 4-3 decision issued, the Supreme Court of Ohio upheld the termination of John Freshwater. 

The case began in 2008, when a local family accused Freshwater, a Mount Vernon, Ohio, middle school science teacher, of engaging in inappropriate religious activity and sued Freshwater and the district. Based on the results of an independent investigation, the Mount Vernon City School Board voted to begin proceedings to terminate his employment. After thorough administrative hearings that proceeded over two years and involved more than eighty witnesses, the presiding referee issued his recommendation that the board terminate Freshwater's employment with the district, and the board voted to do so in January 2011.

In its decision, the court wrote:  After detailed review of the voluminous record in this case, we hold that the court of appeals did not err in affirming the termination. The trial court properly found that the record supports, by clear and convincing evidence, Freshwater's termination for insubordination in failing to comply with orders to remove religious materials from his classroom. Accordingly, based on our resolution of this threshold issue, we need not reach the constitutional issue of whether Freshwater impermissibly imposed his religious beliefs in his classroom. We affirm the judgment of the court of appeals because there was ample evidence of insubordination to justify the termination decision.(see March 3, 2014)

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