Tag Archives: May Peace Love Art Activism

Brassy Barbara Dane

Brassy Barbara Dane

One must participate in the emerging struggle around them in order to make art that reflects it.

If you’re an artist, you’ve already got tools. If you don’t know what to write about, remember that truth and reality is what we’re after. You have to know reality to tell the truth about it. You got to get out and be a part of it.”

Born May 12, 1927

Brassy: shamelessly bold

Barbara Dane: Writers would call me a brassy blonde, I thought they meant that I was bleaching my hair, which I was, but they meant personality-wise, that it was brassy because I was opinionated in their way of looking at it.

In 2011, I volunteered to do a short presentation on 1960s protest music. Without realizing it, I had stepped into a deep warren and soon realized that what I knew about protest music was a page in an multi-volume encyclopedia.

Since then, I have continued to find new names and songs that fell into the category, but more than a decade I (again sophomorically) thought that there weren’t any new names to discover. Wrong.

Brassy Barbara Dane

Barbara Dane

Screen grab from the trailer for the Arhoolie Foundation documentary film “The Nine Lives of Barbara Dane”
Detroit

Barbara Dane grew up in Detroit.  Even as a teenager in the 1940s she was an activist singing at demonstrations for racial equality and economic justice. Her voice was strong and promoters began to offer her chances to turn professional. She turned them down to “sing at factory gates and in union halls.”  

Brassy Barbara Dane

Prague

Brassy Barbara Dane

In 1947, she flew to Europe to attend the “The Prague World Youth Festival.” It was  a gathering that brought together about 20,000 students, from several dozen countries. The idea was to allow leftist oriented young people to discuss (and play) music, folk song,  as well as sports and entertainment.

She said of it, “That ‘47 festival was my introduction to a whole world of music and musicians and a reason for singing…that I had never imagined was out there. [I]…met a great variety of singers and got the sense that what I was trying to do in my little old way in Detroit was connected to a worldwide impulse of putting your musical abilities at the service of a worldwide movement toward peace and understanding, and you know just the linking up the good guys in the world through their songs.”

San Francisco

Dane moved to San Francisco in 1949. She continued singing and found gigs on the radio and early TV.  She also found the blues.

Why the blues? “Because they speak from the heart to the heart. The blues were born out of the worst conditions one people can force upon another —out of slavery and exploitation—and were given to the world in the spirit of turning madness into sanity, pain into joy, bondage into freedom, and enmity into unity.  This is music for survivors, and this spirit is something to be learned from, shared and spread as far as it will go!  No matter what the words say, no matter who I’m singing to, this is always what I’m singing about.

Her first professional jazz job was with Turk Murphy at the old Tin Angel in l956.

Hoot-N-Anny Records

In the early 1950s,  Dane started a record label called Hoot-N-Anny Records. Just 78 rpms. In the mid Fifties, the label published “Hoot-N-Anny Tonight,” the first LP of a live folk music concert.

In 1958 she started to work for Folkways Records founder, Moses Asch. Asch did the actual recording and she was responsible for the rest of a record’s production.

Luis Armstrong

Dane continued to sing and Louis Armstrong had told Time magazine readers, “Do you get that chick? She’s a gasser!” Dane appeared with Armstrong’s band on January 7, 1959 on the Timex All-Star Show hosted by Jackie Gleason.

Here’s the performance. Dane’s is great, but of course the whole band is outstanding.

Brassy Barbara Dane

Ebony magazine

In a November 1959 issue of Ebony magazine, it said that Dane was “startlingly blonde, especially when that powerful dusky alto voice begins to moan of trouble, two-timing men and freedom … with stubborn determination, enthusiasm and a basic love for the underdog, [she is] making a name for herself … aided and abetted by some of the oldest names in jazz who helped give birth to the blues.”

I highly recommend following the link above to see (as well as read) the article. Some of the advertising  is startling.

Brassy Barbara Dane

Sugar Hill: Home of the Blues

Barbara Dane married a World War II veteran who had been a prisoner of war.  Living in San Francisco, they had three children together, but his war experience had left him dysfunctional.

Despite her difficulties, she decided to open a club.

From her site: In 1961 Barbara opened her own club, Sugar Hill: Home of the Blues, on San Francisco’s Broadway, with the idea of creating a respectful venue for the music  right on the tourist rialto where a wider audience could come in contact with it. There Dane performed regularly with her two most constant musical companions:  Kenny “Good News” Whitson on piano and cornet, and Wellman Braud, former Ellington bassist. Among her guest artists were Jimmy Rushing, Mose Allison, Mama Yancey, Tampa Red, Lonnie Johnson, Big Mama Thornton, Lightnin’ Hopkins, T-Bone Walker, Brownie McGhee and Sonny Terry, as well as the many jazz musicians who came regularly to sit in. 

Though her success as a blues singer continued to expand, she also continued her singing with activists.  The club , despite its popularity, did not succeed.

Meaningful music that might change the world for the better was what mattered.  “Why would I want to stand in front of a band with a low-cut dress singing stupid words when I could be singing for workers who are on strike?  It didn’t seem like a good bargain to me.”

Brassy Barbara Dane

1966 Cuba Encuentro

In  1966, the now-divorced Dane was living in New York City with the still-married Irwin Silber. He had three children from his marriage. Keep in mind that in October 1962 the US and USSR had  had its nearly catastrophic nuclear standoff  over missiles in Cuba, so when her friend, broadcaster, and filmmaker Estela Bravo invited Barbara to Cuba to perform at the height of the Cold War, it was a huge risk.

From the Smithsonian SideDoor podcast: Officially, it was the “Encuentro Internacional de la Canción Protesta.” In English, that becomes the “International Gathering of Protest Music.” The idea was to have a friendly get-together, where singers, poets and left wing revolutionaries of all kinds could share ideas about how to push forward political movements through music. Kind of a “Here’s what works in my country, how would you approach it?” There were a few other Americans, but also Australians, Brits, Italians, Angolans, Vietnamese, as well as performers from all over Latin America.”

Afterwards, Dane wrote: “When we came, at last, to the world-famous beach resort of Varadero… we made a head-long dash into the soft blue waves. Small laughing heroines of the NLF [Vietnam’s National Liberation Front] splashed water on the big serious Argentine, the Australian girl was dunked by a Uruguayan boy, and for the moment, Europeans and Americans, Asians and Africans with such serious work at hand were indistinguishable from any group of rowdy tourists—with the difference that we were all conscious of the tremendous struggles waged to secure our right as peoples of all races and from the lower economic classes…”

Brassy Barbara Dane

Fidel Castro himself even showed up at one point and played basketball with some of the youth.

Brassy Barbara Dane

Paredon Records

One of Dane’s takeaways from the Encuentro was the need for a record label that others with the same views as hers could have to release music.

She was not preoccupied with financial success or fame. Albert Grossman, Bob Dylan’s (and many other artists) manager told her to call him when she “got her priorities straight.”

In 1970 she  and Irwin Silber founded Paredon Records, committed to publishing liberation movement music . The label produced 45 albums, including three of her own, over a 12 year period.

Side note: Silber also founder and was the longtime editor of the folk-music magazine Sing Out! 

The first Paradon release was Cancion Protesta: Protest Song of Latin America.  and all of the songs had been recorded during the Encuentro

The first track–just 18 seconds —was Fidel Castro talking about the power of art to win people over to your cause.

Brassy Barbara Dane

Asian-Americans

Not simply an outlet for musicians outside the United States, in 1973, Paradon released A Grain of Sand: Music for the Struggle by Asians in America.

In 1981, Barbara turned the label over to a collective as she wanted to pursue her singing more. The collective could only keep Paradon afloat for a few more years and in 1985, after releasing 50 albums, showcasing protest and anti-colonial movements on six continents, Paredon was over.

The label was recently incorporated into Smithsonian-Folkways, a label of the Smithsonian Institution, and is available through their catalog.

From a NYT article: “Paredon didn’t put out music about politics. They put out music of politics,” said Josh MacPhee, the author of “An Encyclopedia of Political Record Labels” and a founder of the Brooklyn-based Interference Archive, which chronicles the cultural production of social movements. “These are not artists commenting on political issues. These were sounds that were produced by people in motion trying to transform their lives.”

From the same article: The catalog included musicians steeped in social movements at home, like Bernice Johnson Reagon — a founding member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee’s Freedom Singers, and later of the a cappella ensemble Sweet Honey in the Rock — whose solo album, “Give Your Hands to Struggle” from 1975, was filled with rhapsodic self-harmonizing. It also included the Covered Wagon Musicians, a group of subversive active-duty Air Force men who sang out from their Idaho base, “We say no to your war!”

Nowadays

In the summer of 2016 Barbara released a new recording Throw It Away… with a trio led by pianist Tammy Hall which was launched with two sold-out shows at Yoshi’s in Oakland. 

In 2017 se was awarded a Cubadisco to honor her early efforts disseminating the political music known as nueva trova on her label and in celebration of her 90th birthday, Barbara did concerts at SFJAZZ, UCLA’s Royce Hall, Berkeley’s Freight & Salvage and Joe’s Pub in NYC.

In February 2018 Smithsonian Folkways released a 2-CD retrospective with selections from their catalog along with never-released archival gems including her historic folkways LP “Barbara Dane and the Chambers Brothers”

The album cover shows Dane with the Chambers Brothers at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965

References:

May 31 Peace Love Art Activism

May 31 Peace Love Art Activism

Cultural Milestones

Dr. John Harvey Kellogg

May 31, 1884: Dr. John Harvey Kellogg applied for a patent for “flaked cereal.”  He was trying to improve the vegetarian diet of his hospital patients, by searching for a digestible bread-substitute by the process of boiling wheat. Kellogg accidentally left a pot of boiled wheat to stand and it become tempered. When it was put through a rolling process, each grain of wheat emerged as a large, thin flake. When the flakes were baked, they became crisp and light, creating an easy to prepare breakfast when milk was added. [Forbes article]  (CM see February 18, 1885; Kellogg, see February 19, 1906)

Seinfeld

May 31, 1990: the sitcom “Seinfeld” premiered on NBC (see December 22, 1992)

May 31 Peace Love Art Activism

BLACK HISTORY

Tulsa Massacre

May 31 and June 1, 1921: the Tulsa Massacre was a large-scale lynching. Whites attacked and burned to the ground the Tulsa, Oklahoma black community of the Greenwood District, also known as ‘the Black Wall Street’ and the wealthiest African-American community in the United States.

During the 16 hours of the assault, 100s were killed (and buried in unmarked mass graves) and white hospitals denied admittance to 100s of injured. More than 6,000 Greenwood residents were arrested and detained. An estimated 10,000 blacks were left homeless, and 35 city blocks composed of 1,256 residences and stores were destroyed by fire.  [Tulsa History article or NYT article] (next BH & Lynching, see Oct 11; next Tulsa,  see June 1)

Henry Argo Lynched

May 31, 1930: Henry Argo, a 19-year-old Black man, was lynched after a mob of over 1,000 white men and boys as young as 12 stormed the Grady County jail in Chickasha, Oklahoma. He was shot in the head and stabbed by members of the mob, despite the presence of the National Guard who were ordered to protect him.

Mr. Argo had been accused of assaulting a white woman.

The mob of white people was led by a white man named George Skinner, who had accused Mr. Argo of assaulting his wife. The mob assembled late the night before, on May 30, after Mr. Argo had been arrested and taken into custody. They attempted to use sledgehammers and battering rams to break into the jail and kill Mr. Argo. The National Guard was then deployed to protect Mr. Argo, but they failed. [EJI article] (next BH & Lynching, see July 15 or see AL3 for expanded chronology)

Detroit Packard Motor Car Co

May 31, 1943: some 25,000 white autoworkers walked off the job at a Detroit Packard Motor Car Co. plant, heavily involved in wartime production, when Packard promoted three black workers to work on a previously all-white assembly line. The black workers were relocated and the whites returned. [images] (BH see June 15; Labor, see June 25)

Brown II case

May 31, 1955: Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (the so-called Brown II case) In Brown II the US Supreme Court delegated the task of carrying out the desegregation to district courts with orders that desegregation occur with all deliberate speed.” School districts would use the “deliberate speed” phrase to delay or postpone indefinitely school desegregation. [Oyez article] (BH, see June 29; SD, see March 12, 1956)

James H Meredith

May 31, 1961: the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund filed suit in the U.S. District Court, alleging that the university had rejected Meredith only because of the color of his skin, as he had a highly successful record. (BH, see, June 2; Meredith, see July 28, 1962)

Michael Schwerner & Earl Chaney speak

May 31, 1964: Michael Henry Schwerner (24, New York) and James Earl Chaney (21, Meridian, Mississippi) speak at the Mt. Zion United Methodist Church in the Longdale community, just west of Philadelphia in Neshoba County. They and church members were making plans for the church to house a Freedom School. (BH, see June 1; Schwerner,  see June 21)

Mic silenced

May 31, 2021: during his Memorial Day speech at a service organized by the American Legion post in Hudson, Ohio , Barnard Kemter‘s mic was silenced. an unusual thing happened: His microphone was silenced.

Kemter, 77, a retired Army lieutenant colonel who served in the Persian Gulf war, had been crediting formerly enslaved Black Americans with being among the first to pay tribute to the nation’s fallen soldiers after the Civil War when his audio cut out.

He learned that he had been intentionally muted by the event’s organizers, who disapproved of his message.

One of the organizers of the event, James Garrison, resigned as a post officer, the commander of the American Legion Department of Ohio, Roger Friend, later said in a statement on Facebook. The statement added that the censoring that took place was “premeditated and planned” by Mr. Garrison and another organizer, Cindy Suchan-Rothgery.

The statement added that the Hudson American Legion post had been suspended, pending its permanent closure.  [NYT article] (next BH, see June 7)

May 31 Peace Love Art Activism

Vietnam

May 31, 1946: Ho Chi Minh left for Paris to iron out the reality of Vietnam as an autonomous state only to find that the French will not specify what is actually meant. During the four months that Minh was in France, his General Vo Nguyen Giap conducted a merciless purge killing landlords and moneylenders and members of rival parties. He imprisoned thousands of others. (see In November)

May 31 Peace Love Art Activism

 

see May 31 Music et al for much more

Jimi Hendrix enlists

May 31, 1961: Hendrix (19 years old) enlisted in the Army after  being caught for a second time riding in stolen cars and given a choice between spending two years in prison or joining the Army. After completing basic training, he was assigned to the 101st Airborne Division and stationed in Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

Hendrix discharged

May 31, 1962: paperwork was filled recommending a discharge for Hendrix.  (see Hendrix for expanded military chronology)

White album begins

May 31, 1968: began recording the so-called “White Album. Sessions will span 4+ months, ending on Oct 14. (see July 17)

Grateful Dead

May 31, 2017: Jerry Garcia’s famous Wolf guitar sold at auction for over $1.9 million. “Wolf” was Garcia’s go-to instrument for over two decades. The Grateful Dead singer-guitarist first wielded the instrument during a 1973 show for the Hell’s Angels in New York City.

Timothy Leary

May 31, 1996: Timothy Leary died. (see November 10, 2001)

May 31 Peace Love Art Activism

Native Americans

Alcatraz Takeover

May 31, 1970: the federal government shut off power and stopped fresh water supplies on its property. Hundreds of Indians flock to the island to protest the government’s plan to turn the island into a park. (see June 2)

May 31 Peace Love Art Activism

US Labor History

W. A. Boyle

May 31, 1985: Boyle, the powerful leader of the nation’s coal miners until he was convicted of embezzlement and of ordering the murder of union rival Joseph Yablonski and his family, died at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. He was 83 years old. [Native Village article] (see June 27)

May 31 Peace Love Art Activism

The Cold War

Nuclear/Chemical News

May 31, 1994: President Bill Clinton pledged continued cooperation with Russia in a New World Order, declaring that the U.S. would no longer point nuclear missiles at Russia, ending the antagonism and fear of mutually assured destruction that characterized the half-century-long Cold War between the two superpowers.. (NN, see January 25, 1995; CW, see Aug 18)

May 31 Peace Love Art Activism

Women’s Health

Eric Rudolph

May 31, 2003: police arrested Eric Rudolph, suspected in bombings at a Birmingham. Ala., abortion clinic and at the Atlanta Olympics, outside a grocery store in Murphy, N.C. (see April 8,  2005)

Scott Roeder

May 31, 2009: Scott Roeder assassinated women’s health care provider Dr George Tiller.  (Terrorism, see Dec 25; BC, see January 29, 2010)

May 31 Peace Love Art Activism

Watergate Scandal

Deep Throat

May 31 Peace Love Art Activism

May 31, 2005: W. Mark Felt’s family ended 30 years of speculation, identifying Felt, the former FBI assistant director, as “Deep Throat,” the secret source who helped unravel the Watergate scandal. The Felt family’s admission, made in an article in Vanity Fair magazine, took legendary reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, who had promised to keep their source’s identity a secret until his death, by surprise. Tapes show that Nixon himself had speculated that Felt was the secret informant as early as 1973. [Felt’s 2008 NYT obit](see Watergate for expanded story)

May 31 Peace Love Art Activism

Stop and Frisk Policy

May 31, 2011: NYPD data showed that in the first quarter of 2011, stop-and-frisk hit an all-time high. There were 183,326 stop-and-frisks between January and March 2011. (see Aug 31)

May 31 Peace Love Art Activism

Cannabis

May 31, 2012:  Connecticut became the 17th state to legalize medical marijuana. (see Nov 6 or see CC for expanded chronology)

May 31 Peace Love Art Activism

LGBTQ

May 31, 2012: a federal appeals court ruled unanimously that the Defense of Marriage Act [DOMA] passed by Congress in 1996, discriminated against married same-sex couples by denying them the same federal benefits afforded to heterosexual couples. [NYT article] (DOMA, see October 18; LGBTQ, see June 2)

May 31 Peace Love Art Activism

May 30 Peace Love Art Activism

May 30 Peace Love Art Activism

BLACK HISTORY

Denmark Vesey’s slave revolt

May 30, 1822: Denmark Vesey had won a lottery and purchased his emancipation in 1800. He was working as a carpenter in Charleston, South Carolina when he started  to plan a massive slave rebellion—one of the most elaborate plots in American history—involving thousands of slaves on surrounding plantations, organized into cells. They planned to start a major fire at night and then kill the slave owners and their families. A black house servant named George Wilson foiled the play when he informed his master of the pending revolt. Charleston authorities promptly arrested and interrogated dozens of suspected conspirators. Vesey was captured on June 22 and tortured but he refused to identify his comrades.

A total of 131 men were arrested; 67 were convicted and 35, including Denmark Vesey, were executed. The city destroyed Mr. Vesey’s church building. Mr. Vesey and his followers inspired abolitionists and black soldiers through the Civil War. [PBS article] (next BH, see October 18, 1824; next Slave Revolts, see Aug 21 – 22, 1831; next Vesey, see June 17, 2015)

Alabama sues NYT and Black leaders
Free Speech

May 30 Peace Love Art Activism

May 30, 1960: Alabama Governor John Patterson filed a $1,000,000 libel suit in state court against The New York Times and five Black leaders, including the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  He charged The Times and the five leaders (King, Rev J E Lowery, Rev F L Shuttlesworh, Rev Ralph Abernathy, and Rev S S Seay) with “false and defamatory matter” in the advertisement soliciting funds for the defense of King in his perjury trial. [2017 NYT aticle] (see Nov 3)

UofA/Vivian Malone Jones

 

May 30, 1965: Vivian Malone Jones became the first black to graduate from the University of Alabama in its 134 years of existence, earning a degree in business management with a B-plus average. The university had hired a driver for her, a student at Stillman College in Tuscaloosa named Mack Jones. They later married, and he became an obstetrician.

After graduating from Alabama, Malone worked for the US Justice Department in its civil rights division. [2005 NYT obit] (BH, see June 1)

UofA/Autherine Lucy Foster

In 1988: two professors invited Autherine Lucy Foster to speak at the University about the events that had occurred in 1956. After her speech, faculty members persuaded the Board of Trustees to overturn her expulsion. (BH, Jan 22)

In 1989, Foster again enrolled at the University of Alabama. Her daughter Grazia also was a student at the time. (BH, see Feb 10; U of A, see May 9, 1992; see Foster for expanded story)

137 SHOTS

May 30, 2014: a grand jury on indicted six police officers involved in a November 2012 car chase that ended in the deaths of two unarmed people, was decried by critics as a racially motivated execution and was part of a wide-ranging federal investigation.  (see 137 for expanded story)

Tamir Rice

May 30, 2017: Cleveland officials announced that they had fired Timothy Loehmann, Loehmann fatally shot 12-year-old Tamir Rice in 2014, setting off national protests. Officials also said that they were suspending officer Frank Garmback, driver of the patrol car that day, for 10 days.

The decision came after what Mayor Frank Jackson of Cleveland called an “exhaustive process” of investigation. (next B & S, see June 16, next Tamir Rice, see December 29, 2020)

May 30 Peace Love Art Activism

US Labor History

Day 6 Toledo Auto-Lite strike

May 30, 1934 (Wednesday): the Toledo Central Labor Council asked President Roosevelt to intervene to avert a general strike. The CLC placed the final decision to hold a general strike in the hands of the Committee of 23, with a decision to be rendered on June 2. By this time, 85 of the CLC’s member unions had pledged to support the general strike (with one union dissenting and another reconsidering its previous decision to support the general strike). The same day, leaders of FLU 18384 met with Governor White and presented their case. The media reported that both Labor Secretary Perkins and AFL president Green might come to Toledo to help end the strike. Despite no resolution to the strike, Toledo remained peaceful. Governor White had begun withdrawing National Guard troops a few days earlier, and by May 31 only 250 remained.(see Toledo for expanded chronology)

Memorial Day Massacre

May 30, 1937: in what became known as the Memorial Day Massacre, police opened fire on striking steelworkers at Republic Steel in South Chicago, killing ten and wounding more than 160. No policemen were prosecuted. A coroner’s jury declared the killings to be “justifiable homicide”. [Chicago Now article] (see June 10)

“Norma Rae”

May 30, 1973: Crystal Lee Jordan (aka “Norma Rae”) fired for trying to organize a union at the J.P. Stevens plant in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina. [2009 NYT obit] (see Sept 19)

César E. Chávez

May 30, 1995: the Los Angeles Times reported that F.B.I. agents followed the farm labor leader César Chávez for more than seven years, investigating reports he was a Communist or “subversive.” Investigators kept a secret watch on Chávez in the 1960’s and 1970’s under the Johnson and Nixon Administrations and compiled a 1,434-page file on him. (see May 29, 1996)

May 30 Peace Love Art Activism

see May 30 Music et al for more

The Kingston Trio

May 30 – July 31, 1960: The Kingston Trio’s Sold Out album returns to the Billboard #1 spot after a one week absence.

Love Me Do

May 30 – June 5, 1964, The Beatles: “Love Me Do” #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. (see July 27)

1969 Festival #6

May 30 – 31, 1969: First Annual Detroit Rock & Roll Revival

Living In the Material World

May 30, 1973: George Harrison released “Living In the Material World” album (in the US), his fourth solo release and second since the Beatles’ breakup. (see June 27)

May 30 Peace Love Art Activism

Cold War

May 30, 1962: Fidel Castro informed visiting Soviet officials that Cuba will accept the deployment of nuclear weapons. (CW, see June 27; see Cuban Missile Crisis for expanded story)

May 30 Peace Love Art Activism

Vietnam

May 30, 1988: in 1987 Ray Manzo, a Marine corporal, and Artie Muller, a Vietnam veteran, had begun planning a group motorcycle ride to the Vietnam Veretrans Memorial to raise awareness for veterans’ issues. About 2,500 riders participated in the first “Run to the Wall” on Memorial Day 1988. (see May Peace… 1989)

May 30 Peace Love Art Activism

Nuclear/Chemical News

Pakistan

May 30, 1998: the second nuclear test conducted by Pakistan. [CNN article] (see September 20, 1999)

Germany

May 30, 2011:  Germany announced plans to abandon nuclear power over the next 11 years, outlining an ambitious strategy in the wake of Japan’s Fukushima disaster to replace atomic power with renewable energy sources. [Guardian article] (next N/C N, see Sept 12); Fukushima,  see April 13, 2021)

May 30 Peace Love Art Activism

Tiananmen Square

May 30, 1989: student demonstrators unveiled a 33 ft high Goddess of Democracy statue in Tiananmen Square. (see June 4)

May 30 Peace Love Art Activism

Iraq War II

May 30, 2005: Vice President Dick Cheney predicted the Iraq war would end before the Bush administration left office, saying “I think they’re in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency,” on CNN’s “Larry King Live.” (see Oct 26)

May 30 Peace Love Art Activism

FREE SPEECH

May 30, 2006: Garcetti v. Ceballos was a case involving the First Amendment free speech protections for government employees. The plaintiff in the case was a district attorney who claimed that he had been passed up for a promotion for criticizing the legitimacy of a warrant. The US Supreme Court ruled, in a 5-4 decision, that because his statements were made pursuant to his position as a public employee, rather than as a private citizen, his speech had no First Amendment protection. [Oyez article] (see January 29, 2010)

May 30 Peace Love Art Activism

Stop and Frisk Policy

May 30, 2008: The NYPD was ordered to turn over stop-and-frisk data to the NYCLU. (see Sept 10)

May 30 Peace Love Art Activism

LGBTQ

May 30, 2014: the Colorado Civil Rights Commission determined that Masterpiece Cakeshop unlawfully discriminated against David Mullins and Charlie Craig by refusing to sell them a wedding cake.​

David Mullins and Charlie Craig visited Masterpiece Cakeshop in July 2012, with Craig’s mother, to order a cake for their upcoming wedding reception. Mullins and Craig planned to marry in Massachusetts and then celebrate with family and friends back home in Colorado. Masterpiece owner Jack Phillips informed them that because of his religious beliefs the store’s policy was to deny service to customers who wished to order baked goods to celebrate a same-sex couple’s wedding. (LGBTQ, see June 4; Masterpiece Cakeshop, see December 5, 2017)

May 30 Peace Love Art Activism

Cannabis

May 30, 2018:  Florida’s Leon County Circuit Court Judge Karen Gievers ruled that the state’s ban on smokable cannabis was unconstitutional. Florida’s Department of Health  appealed the ruling, which imposed an automatic stay.

Gievers wrote in her 22-page ruling that Floridians “have the right to use the form of medical marijuana for treatment of their debilitating medical conditions as recommended by their certified physicians, including the use of smokable marijuana in private places.” (next C, see June 19 or see CCC for expanded chronology)

May 30 Peace Love Art Activism

DEATH PENALTY

May 30, 2019: New Hampshire abolished capital punishment.

The state Senate voted to override Gov. Chris Sununu’s veto of the bill to repeal the death penalty. The vote followed the New Hampshire House’s vote last week to overturn the veto.

Capital punishment is “archaic, costly, discriminatory, and final,” said Sen. Melanie Levesque, a Democrat from Nashua. “This is time to end it.”  The Senate vote to overturn Sununu’s veto was bipartisan, with four Republicans joining 12 Democrats to support an end to capital punishment. (see June 21)

May 30 Peace Love Art Activism

Space

May 30, 2020: the United States opened a new era of human space travel as a private company for the first time launched astronauts into orbit, nearly a decade after the government retired the storied space shuttle program in the aftermath of national tragedy.

Two American astronauts lifted off at 3:22 p.m. from a familiar setting, the same Florida launchpad that once served Apollo missions and the space shuttles. But the rocket and capsule that lofted them out of the atmosphere were a new sight for many — built and operated not by NASA but SpaceX, the company founded by the billionaire Elon Musk to pursue his dream of sending colonists to Mars. [NYT article] (next Space, see Oct 20)

May 30 Peace Love Art Activism