Tag Archives: Terrorism

Lynette Squeaky Fromme Sentenced

Lynette Squeaky Fromme Sentenced

Lynette Squeaky Fromme Sentenced

Life Sentence

On November 26, 1975, a jury found Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme guilty of attempting to assassinate President Gerald Ford on the previous September 5. The judge sentenced her to life in prison.

Fromme was a follower of then jailed (now dead) Charles Manson, cult leader of the infamous Manson Family whose members had murdered Sharon Tate (8 months pregnant) and her friends: Folgers coffee heiress Abigail Folger, Wojciech Frykowski, and Hollywood hairstylist Jay Sebring at Roman Polanski’s home in Los Angeles, California on August 9, 1969 as well as killing Leno and Rosemary LaBiana, wealthy Los Angeles residents, the following day.

Lynette Squeaky Fromme Sentenced

Early life

Lynette Alice Fromme was born  in Santa Monica, California on October 22, 1948. In 1967, often an outsider whose didn’t fit into the traditional academic settings her parents wanted her to succeed in, she met Charles Manson in Venice, California. She joined his “family” and traveled with them.

Lynette Squeaky Fromme Sentenced

Squeaky

Back in California, the family lived as caretakers on the Spahn Ranch. The 80-year-old George Spahn nicknamed Fromme “Squeaky” because of the sound she made when he would touch her.

Fromme was not charged with involvement in the August 1969 murders. During the trial, Fromme and other family members “camped” outside the Los Angeles County courtroom where the Manson family trial occurred.

After a jury convicted Manson, authorities moved him from prison to prison, Fromme moved from town to town to be near him.

Lynette Squeaky Fromme Sentenced

Assassination attempt

Lynette Squeaky Fromme Sentenced

In 1972, Fromme moved to Sacramento, CA and it was there on September 5, 1975 that she aimed a loaded pistol an President Gerald Ford in Sacramento. Fromme was concerned about the cutting of redwood trees in California and felt that her actions would bring attention to that concern. The gun didn’t go off, and Secret Service agents wrestled Fromme to the ground.

Lynette Squeaky Fromme Sentenced

Escape

On December 23, 1987, Fromme escaped from the Federal Prison Camp, Ain Alderson, West Virginia. She hoped to meet the still-imprisoned Manson whom she heard was ill. Authorities captured her two days later and sent her to the Federal Medical Center, Carswell in Fort Worth, Texas.

Lynette Squeaky Fromme Sentenced

Parole

Lynette Squeaky Fromme Sentenced

She was released on August 14, 2009 at the age of 60, after serving 34 years.

Under parole, Fromme moved to Marcy, NY to live with her boyfriend. Oneida County District Attorney Scott McNamara confirmed that, but officials would not release her exact address.

With the death of Manson, the surviving members of his cult briefly became newsworthy again.

Lynette Squeaky Fromme Sentenced

Reflexion

In August 2018, the Peasenhall Press published Reflexion. 

From the Manson Blog site: In nearly 500 pages Fromme vividly chronicles her life with Charles Manson from the time she met him in May of 1967 to the final arrest of the so-called “Manson Family” in Death Valley in October of 1969. From Venice Beach, to the redwoods around Mendocino, to San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury, to Topanga Canyon and the Spiral Staircase and Condemned Houses, to Dennis Wilson’s Sunset Drive mansion, to Spahn’s Movie Ranch in Chatsworth, and finally to the Myers and Barker Ranches in Goler Wash in the Mojave Desert — everything is here in Fromme’s reflexion on her extensive travels and experiences with Manson and the like people around them who were “preparing to survive either a revolution, or the static institutions that were systematically trading all of our vital necessities for money.”

Lynette Squeaky Fromme Sentenced
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November 25 Peace Love Activism

November 25 Peace Love Activism

BLACK HISTORY

TERRORISM
November 25, 1915: a cross was burned on Stone Mountain, Georgia, on this day, marking the revival of the Ku Klux Klan in the early 20th century. The Klan had been a powerful racist force during the Reconstruction Era in the South following the Civil War. It gradually faded away, but was revived as part of the racist mood of the country in the first decades of the century. (see November 7, 1922)
Anti-Lynching Congress
November 25, 1930: a delegation from the Anti-Lynching Congress, which was meeting in Washington, D.C., delivered a protest to President Herbert Hoover, demanding that he take action to end the lynching of African-Americans. The group was led by Maurice W. Spencer, president of the National Equal Rights League and Race Congress. President Hoover did not respond.

Herbert Hoover was basically sympathetic to the needs of African-Americans in American society, but was not willing to expend any political capital on civil rights. He was very upset, for example, when Southern bigots protested when First Lady Lou Henry Hoover invited the wife of African-American Congressman Oscar DePriest to the White House for tea (along with all the other Congressional wives), on June 12, 1929. He responded by inviting Robert Moton, President of Tuskegee University, to the White House in a symbolic gesture.  (BH see Nov 22; T, see August 27, 1949)
Interstate Commerce Commission
November 25, 1955: the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC), the federal agency that regulated railroads and other transporters of goods, banned racial segregation on interstate buses, train lines, and in waiting rooms. The ICC ruled that “the disadvantages to a traveler who is assigned accommodations or facilities so designated as to imply his inferiority solely because of his race must be regarded under present conditions as unreasonable.” The ban was consistent with a 1946 United States Supreme Court decision, Morgan v. Commonwealth of Virginia (see June 3, 1946), which held that a state law requiring segregation on interstate buses traveling through the state was unconstitutional.

However, neither the Supreme Court decision nor the ICC ban covered intrastate travel, and 13 states still required segregation on buses and railways that traveled exclusively within state borders. Some of these states ignored the new ban on segregated interstate travel and continued to enforce unconstitutional laws. According to a report issued by the Public Affairs Research Committee in December 1957, police in Flomaton, Alabama, had been called to arrest African Americans traveling in the white section of an interstate railroad line. The report additionally found that employees of rail and bus lines in Alabama “have flagrantly segregated colored travelers or called police to arrest those who would not easily be intimidated where their rights were involved.”

It was not until November 1961, six years after the ICC ban, that it was given force by order of the ICC and Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, largely spurred by the Freedom Rides. (NYT article)(see Dec 1)
Randolph Evans
November 25, 1976, Thanksgiving Day: NYC police officer Robert Torsney fired a bullet into the head of Randolph Evans, 15, outside a housing project in Brooklyn. Officer Torsney would later claim he had been afflicted with a rare form of epilepsy that had never been noticed before the killing and was never seen after it. The ''epilepsy'' defense worked. A jury acquitted Torsney of any criminal wrongdoing. (NYT article) (see Dec 17)
Black & Shot: Sean Bell
November 25, 2006: a team of plainclothes and undercover NYPD officers shot a total of 50 times at three men killing one of the men, Sean Bell, on the morning before his wedding, and severely wounding two of his friends.  (NYT article) (B & S and Sean Bell, see March 16, 2007)
Black Lives Matter
November 25, 2015: Minneapolis police released the names of four men arrested in connection with a shooting during a Black Lives Matter protest outside a police station that injured five protesters. The authorities identified the suspects in the shooting as Allen Lawrence Scarsella, 23; Nathan Gustavsson, 21; Daniel Macey, 26; and Joseph Backman, 27. All were white. (see Dec 2)

FREE SPEECH

November 25, 1930: an agent of the New England Watch and Ward Society purchased a copy of Lady Chatterly's Lover at the Dunster House Book shop in Cambridge, Massachusetts. James Delancy, the manager, and Joseph Sullivan, his clerk, were both convicted of selling obscene literature, a crime for which Mr. Delancy was fined $800. and assigned four months in the house of corrections while Mr. Sullivan was sentenced to two weeks in prison and a $200. fine. (see April 6, 1931)

US Labor History

St Paul teacher strike
November 25, 1946: teachers strike in St. Paul, Minn., the first organized walkout by teachers in the country. The month-long “strike for better schools” involving some 1,100 teachers—and principals—led to a number of reforms in the way schools were administered and operated. (see Dec 3)
“Harvest of Shame”
November 25, 1960: CBS broadcast the documentary, “Harvest of Shame,” on US migrant farm workers the day after Thanksgiving. Journalist Edward R. Murrow narrates, opening with these words over footage of workers: "This is not taking place in the Congo. It has nothing to do with Johnannesburg or Cape Town. It is not Nyasaland or Nigeria. This is Florida. These are citizens of the United States, 1960. This is a shape-up for migrant workers. The hawkers are chanting the going piece rate at the various fields. This is the way the humans who harvest the food for the best-fed people in the world get hired. One farmer looked at this and said, 'We used to own our slaves. Now we just rent them.' " The hour-long telecast, shocking to many viewers, immediately leads to a greater public and political awareness of the workers' lives. (see October 3, 1961) 

Religion and Public Education

November 25, 1947: the American Unitarian Association announced that it had received permission from the US Supreme Court to enter the McCollum v Champaign case. Its brief stated that the religious group “has an interest in the the proceedings by reason of the nature of the questions involved, the absolute separation of church and state being one of the cardinal principles of Unitarianism.” (see Dec 4, 1947)

Red Scare

Hollywood Ten
November 25, 1947: movie studio executives agreed to blacklist the Hollywood 10, who were jailed for contempt of Congress for failing to cooperate with the House Un-American Activities Committee. (Hollywood Ten: see June 13, 1949; Red Scare, see Dec 4)
Blacklisted Michael Wilson
November 25, 1956: the film Friendly Persuasion, starring Gary Cooper and later nominated for the Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Supporting Actor, was released on this day — but without any screenwriter credit. The actual screenwriter was Michael Wilson, who had been blacklisted for refusing to cooperate with the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) in September 1951. Hollywood motion picture companies refused to hire or credit people who did not cooperate with HUAC. The official blacklist began on December 3, 1947.

Wilson’s screenwriting credit was restored in later versions of the film. Wilson also co-wrote the script for the award-winning Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), but was not listed on the credits. Wilson was posthumously awarded an Academy Award in 1995 for his work on the Bridge on the River Kwai.

Wilson took his revenge for having been blacklisted when he wrote the script for Planet of the Apes (1968), which includes a scene that is a wicked parody of the House Un-American Activities Committee. In the scene, Charlton Heston has to stand naked and testify before what is, in effect, an Un-Ape Activities Committee.(see February 18, 1957)
The Cold War
November 25, 2016: Cuban state television announed the death of Fidel Castro. He was 90. (see January 12, 2017)

November 25 Music et al

The Beatles
November 25, 1963: release of Beatlemania! With The Beatles album in Canada. (see Nov 29)
Incense and Peppermints
November 25 – December 1, 1967: “Incense and Peppermints” by the Strawberry Alarm Clock #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Last Waltz

November 25, 1976, Thanksgiving Day, at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco, The Band gave their farewell concert. They called it "The Last Waltz." More than a dozen speicial guests joined The Band, including Paul Butterfield, Eric Clapton, Neil Diamond, Bob Dylan, Emmylou Harris, Ronnie Hawkins, Dr. John, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, Ringo Starr, Muddy Waters, Ronnie Wood, Bobby Charles, Neil Young, and the Staple Singers. The musical director for the concert was The Band's original record producer, John Simon.

The event was filmed by director Martin Scorsese and made into a documentary of the same name, released in 1978. The film features concert performances, scenes shot on a studio soundstage and interviews by Scorsese with members of The Band. A triple-LP soundtrack recording, produced by Simon and Rob Fraboni, was issued on April 7, 1978.

The Last Waltz is hailed as one of the greatest concert films ever made.
Band Aid
November 25, 1984: Band Aid recorded the charity single "Do They Know It's Christmas?" to raise money to combat the famine in Ethiopia. It is released December 3. (see January 28, 1985)

INDEPENDENCE DAY

November 25, 1975, Suriname independent of Netherlands.

Nuclear/Chemical News

November 25, 1969, President Nixon ordered all US germ warfare stockpiles destroyed. (see March 5, 1970)

AIDS

November 25 Peace Love Activism

November 25, 1985: the Indiana Department of Education ruled that Ryan White must be admitted despite parent and government opposition. (see Dec 17)
November 25 Peace Love Activism

 Iran–Contra Affair

November 25, 1986: the Iran-Contra affair erupted as President Reagan and Attorney General Edwin Meese revealed that profits from secret arms sales to Iran had been diverted to Nicaraguan rebels. (see Nov 26)

Jack Kevorkian

November 25, 1998: Michigan charged Kevorkian with first-degree murder, violating the assisted suicide law and delivering a controlled substance without a license in the death of Thomas Youk. Prosecutors later drop the suicide charge. Kevorkian insists on defending himself during the trial and threatens to starve himself if he is sent to jail. (see March 26, 1999)

Terrorism

John Phillip Walker Lindh

November 25 Peace Love Activism

November 25, 2001: John Phillip Walker Lindh, a US citizen, was captured as an enemy combatant during the invasion of Afghanistan. (Terrorism, see Dec 11; Walker, see July 15, 2002)
Department of Homeland Security
November 25, 2002: President Bush signed legislation creating the Department of Homeland Security. (see Dec 11)
Mohammed Hamdi al-Ahdal

November 25 Peace Love Activism

November 25, 2003: Yemen arrested Mohammed Hamdi al-Ahdal, a top al-Qaida member suspected of masterminding the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole and the 2002 bombing of a French oil tanker off Yemen's coast. (see April 5, 2004)

LGBTQ

Arkansas’ gay marriage ban
November 25, 2014, : U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker struck down Arkansas' gay marriage ban, which paved the way for county clerks to resume issuing licenses. Baker ruled in favor of two same-sex couples who had challenged a 2004 constitutional amendment and earlier state law defining marriage as between a man and a woman, arguing that the ban violated the U.S. Constitution and discriminated based on sexual orientation.
Mississippi’s ban on gay marriage
November 25, 2014: U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves ruled against Mississippi’s constitutional amendment banning same-sex couples from marrying.  Attorney Roberta Kaplan represented two plaintiff couples on behalf of Campaign for Southern Equality, arguing that Mississippi’s marriage ban violates the U.S. Constitution. (see Dec 18)

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Hero Oliver W Sipple Outed

Hero Oliver W Sipple Outed

San Francisco, September 22, 1975

Sara Jane Moore

Hero Oliver W Sipple Outed
mugshot of Sara Jane Moore
Hero Oliver W Sipple Outed

Two Michigan guys and a mom

Two Michigan guys, strangers to each other, got out of two different beds on September 22, 1975. Neither imagined that someone was about to intertwine their lives forever. That someone was Sara Jane Moore. She got up that morning intending to assassinate President Gerald Ford. Moore put on baggy tan pants and a neatly pressed blue raincoat. A 45-year-old mother of four packing a chrome revolver.

Hero Oliver W Sipple Outed

Oliver W Sipple

President Fort had addressed a conference at the St. Francis Hotel in downtown San Francisco. Outside was Oliver W Sipple, a 33-year-old ex-marine, twice-wounded in Vietnam. He  happened to be downtown that day and thought, “Why not stick around and see the President.” As the President left the hotel, Sipple was standing near Moore when he noticed her outstretched arm holding a revolver. Sipple yelled “The bitch has got a gun” and lunged at her. The bullet missed Ford and hit a cab driver who, fortunately, was only wounded.

With so much media around, a picture caught the moment: Sipple on the far left, Moore circled in red.

Oliver W Sipple

Hero Oliver W Sipple Outed

Hero

President Ford sent a letter to Sipple. It said in part,

“I want you to know how much I appreciated your selfless actions last Monday…. The events were a shock to us all, but you acted quickly and without fear for your own safety.

“By doing so you helped to avert danger to me and to others in the crowd. You have my heartfelt appreciation.”

Hero Oliver W Sipple Outed

Outed

Navy veteran Harvey Milk was openly gay and active in San Francisco politics, He saw Sipple’s bravery as an opportunity to demonstrate that a gay person could also be a hero. Milk contacted San Francisco journalist Herb Caen. A few day’s later, Caen wrote about Milk, Sipple, and Sipple being gay. The new component to Sipple’s life went national.

Being a gay ex-Marine who displayed bravery both in uniform and again as a civilian sadly changed the story’s arc. For many, it somehow tempered their view of that courage, even in San Francisco, a place more (but not completely) tolerant of gays.

On September 29, William Safire wrote in the New York Times, “Mr. Sipple is guilty of committing heroism in public, and is trying to hold on to the last shreds of the privacy that was stripped from him as a consequence of his selfless act. He is probably under family pressure to go one way, and under peer‐group pressure to go the other, with publicity stakes fairly high. He will think twice before he does any good deed again.”

Until his brave act, Sipple’s parents did not know of is sexual orientation. Finding out, his parents disowned him and later when Sipple’s mother died, Mr Sipple told his son he was not welcome to attend the funeral.

Keep in mind that on September 19th, just three days before the assassination attempt, a three‐member panel of Air Force officers took 4 hours 27 minutes  to conclude that T.Sgt. Leonard P. Matlovich, gay, was unfit for military service.

Hero Oliver W Sipple Outed

Aftermath

Sipple sued the Chronicle for invasion of privacy. The Superior Court in San Francisco dismissed the suit. Sipple continued his legal battle. In May 1984 the California Supreme Court refused to reinstate his invasion-of-privacy suit. His lawyer said that Sipple would have been better off ”if he had let that woman shoot.”

Hero Oliver W Sipple Outed

Death

Oliver W. Sipple death is listed as February 2, 1989. That is the day authorities discovered his body. He had likely been dead for a few days. He was 47.

Papers reported that he had received treatment for schizophrenia, alcoholism and several other health problems. He weighed nearly 300 pounds when he died. His apartment was in the Tenderloin area of San Francisco, a mainly low rent district. Sipple’s days then consisted of getting up and going to a bar to drink.

On the wall of his apartment hung the framed letter from Ford.

President Ford, the man who pardoned the un-convicted President who’d broken laws as President, had never invited the man who saved his live to the White House. Some conjectured that that failure was due to Sipple’s sexual orientation. The President said his letter had been enough.

Hero Oliver W Sipple Outed

Hero Oliver W Sipple Outed

Moore

Hero Oliver W Sipple Outed

Sara Jane Moore pleaded guilty. At her sentencing to life in prison she stated “Am I sorry I tried? Yes and no. Yes, because it accomplished little except to throw away the rest of my life. And, no, I’m not sorry I tried, because at the time it seemed a correct expression of my anger.”

Moore escaped from prison in 1979 for a few hours. She later said, “If I knew that I was going to be captured…I would have stopped at the local bar just to get a drink and a burger.”

On December 31, 2007, Moore, 77, was released from prison on parole after serving 32 years of her life sentence. When the media asked about her crime Moore stated, “I am very glad I did not succeed. I know now that I was wrong to try.

In May 2009, NBC’s Matt Lauer interviewed her on the “Today Show.” (NYT article)

Hero Oliver W Sipple Outed
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