Tag Archives: Ken Kesey

October 31 Peace Love Activism

October 31 Peace Love Activism

October 31 Peace Love Activism

Labor history

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

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

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

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

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

Cold War  & Nuclear News

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

Americans with disabilities

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

BLACK HISTORY

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

Vietnam & LBJ

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

FREE SPEECH & Pledge of Allegiance

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

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

Native Americans

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

Feminism

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

Stop and Frisk Policy

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

October 31 Peace Love Activism, October 31 Peace Love Activism, October 31 Peace Love Activism, October 31 Peace Love Activism, October 31 Peace Love Activism, October 31 Peace Love Activism, 

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October 20 Peace Love Activism

October 20 Peace Love Activism

Feminism

Voting Rights
October 20, 1917: Alice Paul and three colleagues were arrested for picketing the White House on behalf of women’s suffrage. Calling themselves “Silent Sentinels,” the purposefully went to the White House gates when staff were leaving work. A large crowd gathered, with some people cheering and other jeering. (see Oct 22)

BLACK HISTORY

Dyer anti-lynching bill
October 20, 1921: the House Judiciary Committee favorable reported the Dyer anti-lynching bill, imposing heavy penalties on persons involved in mob action resulting in the taking of life. (see Oct 26)
”SCOTTSBORO BOYS”
October 20, 1933: The cases were removed from Judge Horton's jurisdiction and transferred to Judge William Callahan's court. (SB, see Scottsboro travesty)
“Durham Manifesto”
October 20, 1942: sixty leading Southern Blacks issued "Durham Manifesto" calling for fundamental changes in race relations after a Durham, North Carolina, meeting. (listen NC Museum of History) (see see Dec 4)
Tallahassee bus boycott
October 20, 1956: modeled after the Montgomery bus boycott, the Tallahassee bus boycott had begun after a May 17, 1956 incident in which two Florida A&M students were arrested for sitting in the white section of a city bus. Because the city’s buses were primarily patronized by African American residents, the boycott left the vehicles nearly empty. In July 1956, city officials were forced to suspend bus service due to lost revenue. The bus company resumed services in August following an initiative led by the Junior Chamber of Commerce to get more white residents to ride the buses but the boycott continued. The Tallahassee Inter-Civic Council (ICC) led the boycott and organized a carpool to serve as alternative transportation.

In October 1956, 21 carpool drivers, including nine people who comprised the ICC's executive committee, were arrested for not having “for hire” tags on their vehicles. On October 20, 1956, following a three-and-a-half-day trial, all 21 drivers were convicted. City Judge John Rudd sentenced them to pay a $500 fine or spend 60 days in jail, in addition to a suspended 60-day jail term and one year on probation.

Faced with this legal harassment, the ICC voted to end the carpool two days later. The boycott continued until December, however, ending only after federal courts ruled bus segregation unconstitutional. On January 7, 1957, the Tallahassee City Commission repealed the city’s bus segregation law. (see Nov 13)
Charles Mingus

October 20 Peace Love Activism

October 20, 1960: Charles Mingus records “Fables of Faubus” with lyrics for his Charles Mingus Presents Charles Mingus album for release on independent label after Columbia Records had refused to release it with lyrics.  The song was written as a direct protest against Arkansas governor Orval E. Faubus  who in 1957 had sent out the National Guard to prevent the integration of Little Rock Central High School by nine African American teenagers. (see Oct 25)

Lyrics:
Oh, Lord, don’t let ’em shoot us!

Oh, Lord, don’t let ’em stab us!

Oh, Lord, don’t let ’em tar and feather us!

Oh, Lord, no more swastikas!

Oh, Lord, no more Ku Klux Klan!

 Name me someone who’s ridiculous, Dannie.

Governor Faubus!

Why is he so sick and ridiculous?

He won’t permit integrated schools.

Then he’s a fool! Boo! Nazi Fascist supremists!

Boo! Ku Klux Klan (with your Jim Crow plan)

 Name me a handful that’s ridiculous, Dannie Richmond.

Faubus, Rockefeller, Eisenhower

Why are they so sick and ridiculous?

 Two, four, six, eight:

They brainwash and teach you hate.

H-E-L-L-O, Hello.

March to Montgomery
October 20, 1965: Roy Reed in the NY Times reported that, ”an all-white jury dominated by self-proclaimed white supremacists was chosen...for the retrial of Collie Leroy Wilkins, Jr, a Ku Klux Klansman charged with the murder of Viola Liuzzo.” (NYT article) (see Oct 22)
Murders of Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner
October 20, 1967: an all-white jury convicted seven conspirators, including the deputy sheriff, and acquitted eight others. It was the first time a white jury convicted a white official of civil rights killings. For three men, including Edgar Rice Killen, the trial ended in a hung jury, with the jurors deadlocked 11–1 in favor of conviction. The lone holdout said that she could not convict a preacher. The prosecution decided not to retry Killen and he was released. None of the men found guilty would serve more than six years in prison. (BH, see Oct 28; Murders, see Dec 29)
BLACK & SHOT
October 20, 2014: Officer Jason Van Dyke followed in his car 17-year-old McDonald before shooting him 16 times in the middle of Pulaski Road on the Southwest Side. It will be more than a year before the video of the incident is released. (B & S, see Nov 20; Van Dyke, see November 19, 2015)
The Red Scare
October 20, 1947: the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) on this day opened its famous hearings into alleged Communist influence in Hollywood. The hearings began with a series of “friendly” witnesses who argued that there was Communist influence. The “friendly” witnesses included President of Screen Actors Guild and future U.S. President Ronald Reagan, who testified on October 23, 1947. Ayn Rand testified regarding the pro-communist slant of the film Song of Russia. (see Oct 23)

October 20 Music et al

“Monster Mash”

October 20 Peace Love Activism

October 20 – November 2, 1962: “Monster Mash” by Bobby "Boris" Pickett and the Crypt-Kickers #1 Billboard Hot 100.

Peter, Paul, and Mary
October 20 – November 30, 1962: Peter, Paul, and Mary’s Peter, Paul, and Mary is Billboard’s #1 album.

Ken Kesey

October 20 Peace Love Activism

October 20, 1966: Ken Kesey arrested. (NYT article) (see Oct 31)

October 20 Peace Love Activism

October 20, 1969: John Lennon and Yoko Ono released their third album, Wedding Album. According to Lennon, It was like our sharing our wedding with whoever wanted to share it with us. We didn't expect a hit record out of it. It was more of a... that's why we called it Wedding Album. You know, people make a wedding album, show it to the relatives when they come round. Well, our relatives are the... what you call fans, or people that follow us outside. So that was our way of letting them join in on the wedding.”  Wedding Album commemorated their wedding in Gibraltar on 20 March 1969. Although it was the final installment in their trilogy of avant garde and experimental recordings, the couple continued to document their lives on tape until Lennon's death in 1980. (see Nov 1)

John & Yoko
October 20, 1973: John Lennon filed suit asking the court to force the Immigration and Naturalization Service to produce the records under which deportation decisions were made. (see Oct 29)(NYT article)
Mark David Chapman
October 20, 1980: Mark David Chapman quit his security job and signed out for the last time. Instead of the usual "Chappy" he wrote "John Lennon". Chapman would murder Lennon on December 8th of this year outside his New York City home. (see Nov 17)
October 20 Peace Love Activism

Vietnam

Benjamin Spock

October 20 Peace Love Activism

October 20, 1967: Dr Benjamin Spock turned in a briefcase full of what he said were draft cards to officials at the Justice Department building here and later accused one of them of being "derelict in his duty" for not having arrested him. He said he wanted to be arrested in order to precipitate a "moral, legal confrontation" with the Government over the draft. Justice Department officials said later that the briefcase had contained draft cards and other matter. (Vietnam, see Oct 21 -22; DCB, see January 5, 1968)

Watergate Scandal

October 20, 1973: “Saturday Night Massacre”. Solicitor General Robert Bork fired Watergate Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox at the direction of President Richard Nixon after Attorney General Elliot Richardson and Assistant Attorney General Ruckelshaus had refused and resigned. (see Oct 20)

Iran hostage crisis

October 20, 1979: the U.S. government allowed the deposed Shah of Iran to travel to New York for medical treatment. (see Nov 4)

US Labor History

October 20, 1980: Presidential candidate Ronald Reagan wrote to PATCO President Robert Poli with this promise: if the union endorsed Reagan, "I will take whatever steps are necessary to provide our air traffic controllers with the most modern equipment available and to adjust staff levels and work days so that they are commensurate with achieving a maximum degree of public safety." He got the endorsement. Nine months after the election (see August 5, 1981) he fired the air traffic controllers for engaging in an illegal walkout over staffing levels and working conditions. (see June 12, 1981)

AIDS

October 20, 2000: Robert D Ray (see August 28, 1987) died. (see July 7 > 12, 2002)

LGBTQ

October 20, 2010: Barack Obama's administration announced it would also appeal the judge's ruling on the constitutionally of Don't ask, don't Tell even though Obama announced earlier in the year that he wished to end the policy. (see Nov 1)

October 20 Peace Love Activism, October 20 Peace Love Activism, October 20 Peace Love Activism, October 20 Peace Love Activism, October 20 Peace Love Activism, October 20 Peace Love Activism, October 20 Peace Love Activism, October 20 Peace Love Activism, 

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1935 Kenneth Elton Ken Kesey 2001

1935 Kenneth Elton Ken Kesey 2001

The man who discovered the 60s

September 17, 1935 – November 10, 2001

1935 Kenneth Elton Ken Kesey 2001

1935 Kenneth Elton Ken Kesey 2001

The jock

As the counter-cultural view expanded during the 60s, one of the divides between the status quo and those who supported new views was between athletes (who typically sided with the status quo) and, for lack of a better word, nerds. By nerd, here, I mean anyone whose views and preferences put them outside the views and preferences of those around them.

Ken Kesey was a bright and athletic person. Those two characteristics are often and unfairly viewed as opposites of each other. He was a great wrestler in college who won several awards as a wrestler.  He’d even qualified for the Olympics, but an injury prevented his participation.

1935 Kenneth Elton Ken Kesey 2001

The nerd

At the University of Oregon, Kesey majored in speech and communication. He loved literature as well. His preference for Ray Bradbury’s science fiction expanded to include Ernest Hemingway and other modern fiction writers.

1935 Kenneth Elton Ken Kesey 2001

Non-grad grad student

After his graduation from Oregon, Kesey began a non-degree program in creative writing at Stanford University. He lived most of that time on Perry Lane, an enclave of cottages near the university and where many “outsiders” lived. Also living there was Ken Babbs and Larry McMurtry, two people who would play a huge part in Kesey’s future adventures.

Though some faculty members saw Kesey as an emerging talent, others thought him a threat. A typical reaction by the status quo to a non-traditional view.

Despite the intolerance, Kesey continued taking classes.

1935 Kenneth Elton Ken Kesey 2001

Project MKULTRA

Anyone who has taken graduate courses knows that finding a source of cash always hums in the background.

Ken Kesey began to volunteer in a drug testing program. It was the top-secret Project MKULTRA, a federal government program aimed at discovering and developing drugs to use in the Cold War. Psychoactive drugs such as LSK, mescaline, and psilocybin were part of the protocol.

Kesey’s use of these drugs, his job at the Menlo Park Veteran’s Hospital, and creative ability led to his final draft of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, the book that put Kesey’s name on the literary map.

1935 Kenneth Elton Ken Kesey 2001

Further or Furthur

As anyone who has the wonderful tool of Spellcheck knows, our ability to spell correctly runs up against the English language’s failure to pronounce words as spelled.   Roy Sebern learned that when he first spelled the bus’s name. The bus was a 1939 International Harvester school bus.

Kesey had written a second book, Sometimes a Great Notion, and he decided to combine business with pleasure and travel cross-country to New York for the publication party.

Kesey’s crew, known as the Merry Pranksters, fixed the bus with video and audio equipment. On the Road hero Neal Cassady was the driver. The story became part of Tom Wolfe’s famous Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. Not until  2011 were the disjointed audio and filmed pieces put together and released as the documentary Magic Trip. 

1935 Kenneth Elton Ken Kesey 2001

7940 La Honda Road

After the demolition of the Perry Lane cottages, Ken Kesey moved to La Honda. It was there that the so-called Acid Tests emanated.   With LSD as the cocktail, black lights, strobe lights, fluorescent paint, video cameras, tape recorders, and the music of the Grateful Dead combined to make a grand experiment.

1935 Kenneth Elton Ken Kesey 2001

Ken Kesey

1935 Kenneth Elton Ken Kesey 2001

Kesey gradually exited from the public eye.  An Acid Test graduation, a marijuana conviction, a faked suicide, and escape to Mexico, his return to the US and arrest (NYT article), a 5-month imprisonment, and a return to Oregon where he became a family man raising children and writing.

In 1992 doctors diagnosed Kesey with diabetes.  He continued to be an active writer and activist, but mainly from his Oregon home.

In 1998, he had a stroke and in October 2001 Kesey had surgery to remove a tumor. He died of complications on November 10, 2001,  at age 66. [NYT obit]

Ken Kesey

1935 Kenneth Elton Ken Kesey 2001
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