October 15 Peace Love Activism
October 15, 1872: Virginia Minor tried to register to vote for the upcoming election, but was refused by St. Louis' sixth district registrar, Reese Happersett. Happersett refused to register Minor because she was female, thus provoking a civil suit brought by Virginia and her lawyer husband, Francis Minor. Minor's action was part of a nation-wide pattern of civil disobedience, in which hundreds of women across the country attempted to vote. (see Nov 5)
Against Our Will
October 15, 1975: journalist and historian Susan Brownmiller published Against Our Will: Men, Women, and Rape. The book addressed social, political, and historical attitudes toward rape as well as the longstanding legal inequalities between men and women. Brownmiller is the first to use the term "date rape." (see Jan 1, 1976)
Roman Catholic Church
October 15, 1976: the Roman Catholic Church’s Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued a Declaration on the Question of the Admission of Women to the Ministerial Priesthood which concluded that for various doctrinal, theological, and historical reasons, the church "... does not consider herself authorized to admit women to priestly ordination." The most important reasons stated were first, the church's determination to remain faithful to its constant tradition, second, its fidelity to Christ's will, and third, the idea of male representation due to the "sacramental nature" of the priesthood. (see February 2, 1977)
October 15, 2012: the Pakistani schoolgirl who was shot by the Taliban last week for advocating girls’ education arrived in Britain for emergency specialist care. She was transported from Rawalpindi, Pakistan on an air ambulance sent from the United Arab Emirates to Britain, where she would undergo emergency specialist care. (see November 27)
Civil Rights Cases
October 15, 1883: in the Civil Rights Cases [a group of five similar cases consolidated into one issue] the Supreme Court held that Congress lacked the constitutional authority under the enforcement provisions of the Fourteenth Amendment to outlaw racial discrimination by private individuals and organizations, rather than state and local governments.
More particularly, the Court held that the Civil Rights Act of 1875, which provided that "all persons within the jurisdiction of the United States shall be entitled to the full and equal enjoyment of the accommodations, advantages, facilities, and privileges of inns, public conveyances on land or water, theaters, and other places of public amusement; subject only to the conditions and limitations established by law, and applicable alike to citizens of every race and color, regardless of any previous condition of servitude" was unconstitutional.
The 8-1 decision by Justice Joseph P. Bradley,the Court held that the language of the 14th Amendment, which prohibited denial of equal protection by a state, did not give Congress power to regulate these private acts, because it was the result of conduct by private individuals, not state law or action, that blacks were suffering. (see July 10, 1890) (NYT civil rights decision)
MARTIN LUTHER KING
October 15, 1963: the FBI circulated a report on alleged Communist influence in the civil rights movement that had as its major focus an attack on Dr. Martin Luther King. The report was so biased and racist that it alarmed members of President John Kennedy’s administration, who ordered that all copies be withdrawn two weeks later, on October 28. Assistant Attorney General Burke Marshall later told the Senate Church Committee (January 27, 1975) that the report was “a personal diatribe . . . a personal attack without evidentiary support . . . .” Assistant FBI Director Alan Belmont had described the report as “good reading,” conceding that it “may startle the Attorney General [Robert F. Kennedy].” (BH, see Oct 22; MLK, see Dec 23)
October 15, 1966: in the wake of the assassination of Malcolm X (Feb 21, 1965) and of Watts riots (Aug 11- 15, 1965) and at the height of the civil rights movement led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale wrote the first draft of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense (BPP) 10 - Point Program.
We Want Freedom. We Want Power To Determine
The Destiny Of Our Black Community.
We believe that Black people will not be free until we are able to determine our destiny.
(full statement) (BH, see Oct 29; Black Panthers, see Nov 30)
October 15, 1989: the government freed eight of the country’s most prominent political prisoners, including Walter Sisulu, 77, a mentor to Mr. Mandela and his close friend, in a gesture that was widely seen as a trial run for Mandela’s release. (see February 2, 1990)
Separate Amenities Act
October 15, 1990: South Africa's Separate Amenities Act, which had barred blacks from public facilities for decades, was scrapped. (see June 17, 1991)
1993 Nobel Peace Prize
October 15, 1993: Mandela and de Klerk shared the Nobel Peace Prize. The two men accept the award with the strained grace that characterized their relationship, and Mandela declined to repeat his much-quoted assessment of de Klerk as a man of integrity. (see Nov 18)
Murders of Civil Rights Workers Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner
October 15, 2013: the U.S. Supreme Court said it would consider arguments from a former Ku Klux Klansman Edgar Ray Killen who was convicted in the 1964 slayings of three civil rights workers. Killen said he was denied constitutional rights in his Mississippi trial.
He made the same arguments to a federal judge in Mississippi in 2012 and before the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans earlier this year. He lost in both courts. The Mississippi attorney general's office said that it had notified the Supreme Court that no response to Killen's petition would be filed. (BH & Murders, see Nov 4)
US Labor History
October 15, 1914: President Woodrow Wilson signed the Clayton Antitrust Act—often referred to as "Labor’s Magna Carta"—establishing that unions are not "conspiracies" under the law. It for the first time freed unions to strike, picket and boycott employers. In the years that followed, however, numerous state measures and negative court interpretations weakened the law. (see January 12, 1915) (NYT Clayton bill signed)
“Don’ts and Be Carefuls”
October 15, 1927: almost from the time motion pictures appeared there were strong social and political pressures to censure their treatment of sexuality. In the 1920s, Hollywood made several efforts to head off official censorship through voluntary self-censorship efforts. The list of “Don’ts and Be Carefuls,” issued on this day, was one part of that effort. The list prohibited “pointed profanity,” including the use of “God,” “Jesus,” “hell,” “damn,” and others; trafficking in drugs; miscegenation; “suggestive nudity;” scenes of actual child birth; and “willful offense to any nation, race, or creed.” The “be carefuls,” included use of the flag; use of firearms; “attitude toward public characters and institutions;” rape or attempted rape; “first night scenes” [presumably the] first night of marriage; surgical operations; “excessive or lustful kissing;” surgical operations; and others.
The “Don’ts and Be Carefuls” were voluntary and had little impact. Many of the early talkies (which were just beginning to develop in 1927) in the 1930–1933 years were pretty racy. Under pressure from a Catholic-led boycott of “objectionable” films, Hollywood, on June 13, 1934, adopted the infamous 1934 Production Code, which put a heavy hand of censorship on Hollywood until the late 1960s. (see November 25, 1930)
Nazis in America
October 15, 2005: a riot broke out in Toledo, Ohio provoked by the plans of a group of neo-Nazis to march through a predominantly black neighborhood. CBS News report (see Dec 20)
Japanese Internment Camps
October 15, 1943: at the Tule Lake Segregation Center internment camp in California – which held over 18,000 Japanese Americans during World War II – a truck carrying agricultural workers tips over, resulting in the death of an internee. Ten days later, the agricultural workers went on strike; the internment camp director fired all of the workers and brought in strikebreakers from other internment camps. After several outbreaks of violence, martial law was declared and 250 internees were arrested and incarcerated in a newly constructed prison within the prison. (see December 17, 1944)
October 15 Music et al
Beatles in recording studio
October 15, 1960: in a small Hamburg recording studio, the Akustik, The Beatles (minus Pete Best) and two members of Rory Storm's Hurricanes (Ringo Starr and Lou "Wally" Walters) recorded a version of George Gershwin's "Summertime", which is cut onto a 78-rpm disc. This was the first session that included John, Paul, George, and Ringo together. Two other songs were recorded, but Ringo played on those without John, Paul, or George. Nine discs were cut, but only one is known to have survived. (see Nov 1)
October 15 - 28, 1966: “Reach Out I’ll Be There” by the Four Tops #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
October 15, 1967 the first Sacramento Pop Festival took place which featured Spirit, Jefferson Airplane, Nutty Gritty Dirt Band, Strawberry Alarm Clock and Sunshine Company. (see May 18 – 19, 1967)
DRAFT CARD BURNING
October 15, 1965: after draft card burning was made illegal, David Miller, a Catholic pacifist, became the first person to publicly burn his draft card to protest the Vietnam War (although in truth it may well have been simply the first draft card-burning incident to be widely publicized). Anti-war demonstrations were held in 40 cities, with a combined attendance of 100,000 people. (Draft Card, see Oct 18)
October 15, 1965 : among that day’s protests, the Vietnam Day Committee organized a sit in at the San Francisco State College, which saw a performance by Country Joe and the Fish. The Merry Pranksters attended and Ken Kesey spoke. (Vietnam, see Oct 16; LSD see November 21)
October 15, 1969: Peace Day. 500,000 protesters nationwide. First Vietnam Moratorium. Pete Seeger sings “Give Peace a Chance,” a song he originally didn’t think much of but afterwards said, “The high point of the afternoon came...when a short phrase from a record by Beatle John Lennon was started up...” (see Oct 19)
October 15 Peace Love Activism
October 15, 1994: Iraq withdrew troops from its border with Kuwait. (see August 31, 1996)
October 15, 2014: Arkansas' highest court struck down a state law that required voters to show photo identification before casting a ballot, ruling the requirement unconstitutional.
The state Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling that determined the law unconstitutionally added a requirement for voting. The high court noted that the Arkansas Constitution lists specific requirements to vote: that a person be a citizen of both the U.S. and Arkansas, be at least 18 years old, and be lawfully registered. Anything beyond that amounts to a new requirement and is therefore unconstitutional, the court ruled. (see March 23, 2015)
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