huge rally in New York City’s Madison Square called
on the U.S. government to reconsider its refusal to offer
sanctuary to Jewish refugees of Nazi Germany.
Nuclear Free and Independent
Pacific Day, or Bikini Day, marks the anniversary of the
explosion of the largest-ever U.S. nuclear weapon which
contaminated major parts of the Marshall Islands
The land and people of the south Pacific have
been exposed to numerous nuclear bomb tests and their radioactive
In addition to the 67 atmospheric U.S. tests at Bikini and
Eniwetok Atolls, France tested 193 weapons in French Polynesia,
46 in theatmosphere.
The U.K. exploded 34 devices on Malden and Christmas
The day is also intended
to call attention to the potential danger of the increasing
trans-oceanic shipment of hazardous nuclear materials, and
the need of nuclear and shipping nations to consider the
rights and health of the indigenous peoples of the region.
proposed South Pacific Nuclear-Free Zone Treaty
People and Nuclear Weapons
The University of Alabama permanently expelled Autherine Lucy, the first African-American person ever admitted to the University (following a federal court’s ordering her admission).
She was met with rioting by thousands of students (none of whom were disciplined) and others. She charged in court that University officials had been complicit in allowing the disorder, as a means of avoiding compliance with the court order. The trustees expelled her for making such “ baseless, outrageous and unfounded charges of misconduct on the part of the university officials.”
Burning desegregation litgerature
at the University of Alabama. Students, adults and even groups
from outside of Alabama shouted racial epithets, threw eggs,
sticks and rocks, and generally attempted to block her way.
Autherine Lucy Foster receives her
master's degree from University of Alabama in 1992.
Autherine Lucy Foster ultimately received her master’s degree from the University of Alabama in library science in 1991, the same year her daughter, Grazia, earned her undergraduate degree. The University now grants an endowed scholarship annually in Lucy Foster’s name.
John F. Kennedy issued Executive Order 10924 establishing
the Peace Corps as a new agency within the Department of
State. The same day, he sent a message to Congress asking
for permanent funding for the agency, which would send
trained American men and women to foreign nations to assist
in development efforts. The Peace Corps captured the imagination
of the U.S. public, and during the week following its creation,
thousands of letters poured into Washington from young
Americans hoping to volunteer.
is the Peace Corps today?
Nixon White House aides H.R. Haldeman and John D. Ehrlichman,
and former Attorney General John Mitchell, were indicted
on obstruction of justice charges related to the Watergate
Republican Army member Bobby Sands began a hunger strike
at the Maze Prison in Northern Ireland; he died 65
days later. He had dedicated his life to freeing Northern
from British rule.
“Hunger,” a film about Bobby Sands by director Steve McQueen (“Shame”) with Michael Fassbender
Watch the trailer
The U.S. Congress sought to end international slave trade by passing an act to make it unlawful “to import or bring into the United States or the territories thereof from any foreign kingdom, place, or country, any negro, mulatto, or person of colour, with intent to hold, sell, or dispose of such negro, mulatto, or person of colour, as a slave, or to be held to service or labour."
Domestic traffic in slaves, however, was still legal and unregulated. Article I, Sec. 9 of the Constitution had set 1808 as the end to the individual states’ control of immigration..
The first shipload of African captives to North America had arrived at Jamestown, Virginia, in August 1619, and the first American slave ship, named Desire, sailed from Marblehead, Massachusetts, in 1637. In total, nearly 15 million Africans were transported as slaves to the Americas. The African continent, meanwhile, lost approximately 50 million human beings to slavery and related deaths. Despite the federal prohibition and because the slave trade was so profitable, an additional 250,000 slaves would be “imported” illegally by the time the Civil War began in 1861.
slave trade timeline
months before Rosa Parks made headlines, teenager Claudette
arrested in Montgomery, Alabama, for refusing to give up
her bus seat to a white person. She was active in the Youth
Council of the local NAACP (National Association for the
Advancement of Colored People).
Though the Montgomery Bus
Boycott was begun after Ms. Parks’s arrest, Clovin’s
legal case became part of the basis for a federal court challenge
to Alabama’s segregation laws. Colvin became one of
four plaintiffs in Browder v. Gayle, in which the Supreme
Court ultimately struck down the law under which she was
arrested for merely sitting down in a bus seat.
Colvin later in life
More on Browder v. Gayle
British, French and Tunisian planes began airlifting to Cairo some 85,000 mostly Egyptians who had been guest workers in Libya. Made refugees by the civil war being raged against the four-decade-long dictatorship of Muammar Qadaffi, they had fled to Djerba on the Libya-Tunisia border. Tunisia, just recently convulsed by the first stirrings of the so-called Arab Spring, was unable to deal with the potential humanitarian crisis at their border.
Iraqi security forces close a bridge leading to the heavily guarded Green Zone in Baghdad. Photo: Khalid Mohammed/AP
the midst of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln signed
a conscription act that created
the first draft lottery of American citizens.
The act called
for registration of all males between the ages of 20 and
35, and unmarried men up to 45, including aliens with the
intention of becoming citizens, by April 1. Exemptions from
the draft could be bought for $300 or by finding a substitute
draftee. Many objected to this provision describing the war
as a "rich man's war, but poor man's fight." Black
Americans were also not eligible for the draft because they
weren’t considered citizens.
for New York military "volunteers" during
the Civil War
day before Woodrow Wilson’s inauguration as president,
8000 from the National American Woman Suffrage Association
(NAWSA), representing every
state, marched in Washington, D.C. to call for a constitutional
amendment granting women the right to vote.
Organized by Alice Paul
and Lucy Burns, who had been inspired by the parades, pickets
and speeches of the British suffragists, the march drew hundreds
of thousands of spectators. Though some of the marchers were
attacked by onlookers, the march focused attention on the
[see March 4, 1917 below]
More about Alice Paul
village council in the Inupiat Eskimo town of Point Hope,
Alaska, formally protested, in a letter to President
Kennedy, the proposed chain explosion of three atomic
bombs in the nearby above-ground "Project Chariot" tests.
The project entailed using atomic explosions to create
a harbor near Point Hope, above the Arctic Circle in
northwest Alaska. The excavation never happened due to
public opposition and inspired native peoples in Alaska
to assert their rights and legitimate land claims.
Teller "Father of the hydrogen bomb" arrives
to promote plans for Project Chariot.
the first-ever worldwide theatrical act of dissent,
there were at least 1029 stagings of Lysistrata,
the 2400-year-old anti-war comedy by Greek playwright
Aristophanes. Conceived and organized in just two months
by Kathryn Blume and Sharron Bower, the performances
all occurred on the same day to express opposition
to the U.S. invasion of Iraq.
in 59 countries (including Iraq), the bawdy play tells
of Athenian and Spartan women who unite to deny their
lovers sex in order to stop the 22-year-long Peloponnesian
War between the two city-states. Desperate for intimacy,
the men finally agree to lay down their swords and see
their way to achieving peace through diplomacy.
elected Republican Jeannette Rankin as the first woman
to sit in the U.S. House of Representatives three years
before American women nationwide could legally vote.
A persistent advocate for women’s rights, particularly
suffrage, Rankin voted in Congress against American entry
into both world wars, and late in life led marches against
the Vietnam war.
Rep. Jeannette Rankin with her
colleagues in the 61st Congress.
about Jeanette Rankin
Visit the Jeanette Rankin Peace Center
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
was sworn in as president in the midst of the Great Depression.
From his inaugural address:
is preeminently the time to speak the truth, the whole
truth, frankly and boldly. Nor need we shrink from honestly
facing conditions in our country today. This great Nation
will endure, as it has endured, will revive and will prosper.
So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to
fear is fear itself -- nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes
needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. In every dark hour of our national
life, a leadership of frankness and of vigor has met with that understanding
and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory.”
Franklin Delano Roosevelt delivering his first inaugural
and video of the speech
to action by President Lyndon Johnson’s sustained bombing
of North Vietnam beginning two months before, Vietnam Day was
declared by the Universities Committee, led by Wayne State
University Professor Otto Feinstein. At about 100 college campuses
nationwide, faculty, students and others gathered for lectures
and meetings about the war. This occurred just three weeks
before the first “teach-in” at the University of
Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) was founded.
its founding document: “Misuse of scientific
and technical knowledge presents a major threat to the
existence of mankind. Through its actions in Vietnam
our government has shaken our confidence in its ability
to make wise and humane decisions. There is also disquieting
evidence of an intention to enlarge further our immense
. . continued
demonstrated against the enlargement of the uranium enrichment
plants in Almelo, Holland. Enrichment is the processing of
uranium with gas cetrifuges to the level required for use
as fuel in nuclear reactors.
A new Egyptian prime minister called on thousands of cheering protesters in Cairo's Tahrir Square to rebuild their country. Essam Sharaf, appointed by the military, told the crowd:
"I salute the martyrs. Glory and respect to the families of the victims and a special salute to everyone who took part and gave for this white revolution. I am here to draw my legitimacy from you. You are the ones to whom legitimacy belongs."
Egypt's new prime minister, Essam Sharaf, is greeted by supporters at Tahrir Square in Cairo. Photo: Amr Nabil/AP
He ws appointed to replace deposed President Hosni Mubarak who had forced out of office by the widespread unrest that had spread from Tunisia, Egypt’s neighbor to the west. Sharaf was cheered and carried to and from the podium on the shoulders of protesters, escorted by military police.
In cities across Iraq demonstrators gathered for the second consecutive Friday to demand jobs, effective government services and an end to corruption. Inspired by movements elsewhere in the Arab world, 500 convereged in Liberation Square in the capital Baghdad, 1000 in Basra. Those in Baghdad were surrounded by at least as many security forces and overcame official resistance to the gathering including a citywide ban on vehicles. One protester had walked from Sadr City and had to pass through eight checkpoints.
The Nuclear Non-Proliferation
Treaty went into effect after ratification
by 43 nations.
The agreement sought to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, to promote cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, and to further the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament, as well as general and complete disarmament.
It has since been joined by 189 countries, and is enforced through the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Part of the United Nations, IAEA is the principal intergovernmental organization working on safe, secure and peaceful nuclear technology. It has been involved in the repercussions of the Fukushima earthquake/tsunami disaster as well as the proliferation issues regarding Iran and North Korea.
on the Non-Proliferation Treaty
having voluntarily agreed to give up its nuclear weapons
following the collapse
of the Soviet Union, began their transfer to Russia. Ukraine,
which had the world’s third largest weapons stockpile,
130 SS-19 missiles, 46 SS-24 missiles and dozens of strategic
bombers, rid itself of all 1300 warheads within about two
preparing to turn the keys to destroy the last missile
silo in the Ukraine. October 30, 2001
U.S. Supreme Court handed down the Dred Scott decision (Dred
Scott v. Sandford) which declared that an escaped slave,
Scott, could not sue for his freedom in federal court because
he was not a citizen. Those of African descent could never
be considered citizens but “as a subordinate and inferior
class of beings,” according to the Court.
Justice Roger Taney stated in his opinion that the “unhappy
Black Race. . . had no rights which the white man was
bound to respect; and that the negro might justly and
lawfully be reduced to slavery for his benefit. He was
bought and sold and treated as an ordinary article of
merchandise and traffic, whenever profit could be made
Justice Roger Taney
Scott's fight for freedom
B. Anthony and more than 100 delegates from the National
Woman Suffrage Association
met with President Chester Alan Arthur concerning women's right
to vote. Anthony asked him, "Ought not women have full
equality and political rights?" He responded, "We
should probably differ on the details of that question."
Chester Alan Arthur
became the first black African country to become independent
from colonial rule.
Dr. Kwame Nkrumah became independent Ghana's first leader.
Dr. Kwame Nkrumah
Ali was ordered by the Selective Service to be inducted
into military service. He refused, citing his religious
beliefs that precluded him from killing others.
ain't got no quarrel with those Vietcong."
Black athletes gather to hear Muhammad Ali (formerly
Cassius Clay) give his reasons for rejecting the draft,
United States, June 4, 1967.
University for Peace near San Jose, Costa Rica, was founded.
UPeace, the U.N.-mandated graduate school of peace and
conflict studies had been chartered by the General Assembly
for research and the dissemination of knowledge specifically
aimed at training and education for peace.
the University for Peace
monument on campus sculpted by Cuban artist Thelvia Marín
the world's largest peace monument.
Ford Hunger March began on Detroit’s east side and
proceeded 10 miles seeking relief during the Great Depression.
Facing hunger and evictions, workers had formed neighborhood
Unemployed Councils. Along the route, the marchers were given
good wishes from Detroit Mayor Frank Murphy as well as two
motorcycle escorts, and thousands joined the marchers along
the Detroit city limit, the marchers were met by Dearborn
police and doused by fire hoses.
the cold weather, they continued to the Employment Office of
the Ford River Rouge plant,
from which there had been massive
Five workers were killed and nineteen wounded by police
and company “security” armed with pistols, rifles
and a machine gun.
to Dave Moore, one of the marchers, “That
blood was black blood and white blood. One of the photos
published in the Detroit Times, but never seen since,
shows a black woman, Mattie Woodson, wiping the blood off the
Joe DiBlasio, a white man who lay there dying . . .
It’s been 75 years, but when you drive down Miller
Road today, your car tires will be moistened with the blood
that those five shed.” Grave markers with the words “His
Life for the Union” pay tribute to the fallen hunger
marchers in Woodmere Cemetery on Detroit’s west side.
More on Moore
525 civil rights advocates
began a 54-mile march on a Sunday morning from Selma, Alabama,
to the capital of Montgomery, to promote voting rights for
blacks. Just after crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge on the
outskirts of Selma, the marchers were attacked in what became
known as Bloody Sunday.
an order by Governor George Wallace, the group was broken
up by state troopers and volunteer officers of the Dallas
County sheriff who used tear gas, nightsticks, bullwhips
and rubber tubing wrapped in barbed wire. John Lewis,
then head of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee
and a leader of the march (and now a member of Congress
from Georgia), suffered a fractured skull.
television interrupted a Nazi war crimes documentary, “Judgment
at Nuremberg,” to show footage of the violence in
Selma, confusing some viewers about who was beating whom.
Injured in Selma
1965 - Edmund Pettus Bridge, video excerpt from a PBS documentary
with Rep. John Lewis and others who were there
Court ruled in Atlanta, Georgia, that a peace group must
have the same access to students at high school career
days as military recruiters.
anti-recruitment movement today:
MY CHILD ALONE!
March 8, 1908
of workers in the New York needle trades (primarily women)
demonstrated and began a strike for higher wages, a shorter
workday and an end to child labor.
This event became the basis for International
Women's Day celebrated all over the world since March
2014 theme for International
Day: INSPIRING CHANGE
View images from IWD celebrations
More on the United Nations goals for women and the history of the day
Searchable list of events for IWD
planned around the world
3,500 U. S. Marines became the first American combat
troops in Vietnam, landing near the coastal city of Da
Nang. The ships USS Henrico, Union, and Vancouver, carrying
the 9th Marine Expeditionary Brigade under Brigadier General
Frederick J. Karch, took up stations 4,000 yards off
Red Beach Two, north of Da Nang.
in Tel Aviv, Israel, organized by Peace Now, rallied against
the war in Lebanon.
in Black demonstrated in the center of Belgrade, Serbia,
on International Women's Day, expressing solidarity with
Kosovar women: "The Albanian women from Kosovo are our
The women were both spit at and kicked, but
didn't give up, and stood there to the end of the usual hour.
Though Kosovo is overwhelmingly (90%) ethnically Albanian,
it is considered the national and religious birthplace of Serbians.
Both Kosovo and Serbia had been part of the former Yugoslavia,
which had granted partial autonomy to Kosovo in 1974. Serbian
President Slobodan Milosevic (later tried for war crimes) in
1989 withdrew that autonomy and revoked the official status
of the Albanian language in Kosovo.
U.S. Supreme Court, with only one dissent, freed the slaves
who had seized the Spanish slave ship Amistad, ruling that
they had been illegally forced into slavery, and thus were
free under American law.
had mutinied and taken control of the ship off the shore
of Cuba (then a colony of Spain) and demanded to be taken
back to Africa but wound up in U.S. waters off the coast
of Long Island, New York.
More on the Amistad mutiny
Daley became the first African-American commissioned nurse
in the U.S. Navy. Though more than 500 black nurses served
in the Army during World War II, the Navy had only dropped
its color ban a few weeks before.
Five Sioux Indians, led by Richard McKenzie, claimed the island of Alcatraz in San Francisco Bay as Indian land. The island had recently been abandoned, and the action was based on an 1868 treaty which entitled Indians to take possession of surplus federal land. The native Americans advocated turning it into a cultural center and Indian university, but their occupation lasted only four hours.
Two days after Bloody Sunday [see March 7, 1965] Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. led 1500 outraged people gathered from around the country back to the Edmund Pettus Bridge on the outskirts of Selma, Alabama.
They were attempting for a second time to march to the state capital of Montgomery in support of voting rights for black Americans. Confronted once again by state troopers blocking passage to the bridge, King knelt in prayer, then led his followers back, avoiding further violence.
Later that evening three white ministers were attacked by local whites as they left a soul food restaurant in Selma. Reverend James Reeb was struck on the head with a club and died two days later.
Lineup." Alabama Sheriff's deputies block
of marchers in Selma, Alabama.
James Earl Ray was sentenced
to prison for 99 years by a court in Memphis, Tennessee,
after admitting he murdered American civil rights leader
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. King, who preached and practiced
nonviolence, was shot dead by a sniper in Memphis as he
stood on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel.
now houses the National Civil Rights Museum.
Witnesses pointing toward the source of
the shot that killed King.
Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel
conscientious objector (CO) Mehmet Tarhan was released unexpectedly
from a military prison after being held for having refused
service in the army. A court
decided that he had already been held longer (23 months)
than any possible sentence for
Mehmet Tarhan's supporters
was ordered, however, to present himself again for military
service and thus be subject to re-arrest for the same
War Resisters' International(WRI) led an international support campaign for
him along with other CO activists in Turkey.
on Mehmet Tarhan and other Turkish COs
Chavez ended a 23-day fast for U.S. farm workers in a Delano,
California, public park with 4000 supporters at his side,
including Senator Robert Kennedy (D-New York). Cesar Chavez
led the effort to organize farm workers into a union for
better pay, working and living conditions.
story of Cesar Chavez
days of protest and direct action ensued demanding an end
to nuclear testing at the Nevada Test Site. The site, larger
than the state of Rhode Island, is an outdoor laboratory
and national experimental center for testing nuclear weapons.
The actions resulted in over 2,200 arrests, the largest
number of arrests in U.S. history for a political protest
outside Washington, D.C.
More than 85,000 Wisconsin citizens rallied outside the Capitol in Madison to welcome the return to the state of fourteen Democratic state senators. Known as the Wisconsin 14, they had left the state to deny the senate a quorum, thus delaying passage of legislation which took away public employees right to collectively bargain and restricting other rights of union members.
State Senate Minority Leader Mark Miller remarked about the gathering, “This is what democracy looks like!”
The Wisconsin 14
of Thebeste (near Carthage in North Africa) was beheaded
by Romans after refusing military service because he said
his Christian beliefs did not permit him to become a soldier.
led by the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) won the
Lawrence, Massachusetts, "Bread & Roses" textile
strike after 32,000 workers (mostly young female immigrants
who spoke 25 different languages, half between the ages
of 14 and 18) stayed out for nine weeks. They were striking
for a wage increase, double time for overtime and safer
working conditions: the equipment was dangerous and the
air quality caused lung disease in about one-third of the
workers before the age of twenty-five.
and Roses” became the strikers slogan and inspired
a poem by by the same name.
organizer Elizabeth Gurley Flynn addresses a strike rally
Bread & Roses
strike from an IWW perspective
Gandhi's Salt March began from Ahmadabad, India, with 76 followers to protest the salt tax. Great Britain's Salt Acts prohibited Indians from collecting or selling salt, a staple of the Indian diet.
Citizens were forced to buy it from the British, who, in addition to exercising a monopoly over the manufacture and sale of salt, also exerted a heavy salt tax. Defying the Salt Acts, Gandhi reasoned, would be a simple way for many Indians to break an unjust law nonviolently (civil disobedience), increasing the pressure for independence from the British Empire.
Gandhi leading the Salt March
By the time Gandhi had covered the 241 miles to the coastal city of Dandi on the Arabian Sea, the number of marchers had grown into the thousands.
on the Salt March
demonstrated against construction of a nuclear power
plant in Lemoniz, Spain, part of the Basque region. No
fewer than a dozen plants were planned in a relatively
small, densely populated area, Lemoniz being only 12
km (5 miles) from Bilbao, a city of a million.
was concerned about the possibility of accidents.
term “rat,” referring to a worker who betrays
the interests of fellow workers, first appeared in print.
The New York Daily Sentinel reported on replacement workers
who had agreed to work for two-thirds of the going rate. “
. . . [many printers are out of work, others are being paid
about 2/3 the regular pay; they should join in cooperative
associations, ‘as we have done’]
[While] the master printers [fill] their offices with boys
and two-thirds men, alias ‘rats,’ it will be difficult
to find a remedy.”
first contingent of 14,030 Navajo reached Fort Sumner,
New Mexico. Men, women and children had been forced to
march almost 400 miles from northeastern Arizona and
northwestern New Mexico to Bosque Redondo, a desolate
tract on the Pecos River in eastern New Mexico. Traveling
in harsh winter conditions for almost two months, about
200 Navajo died of cold and starvation along the way. More
died after they arrived at the barren reservation. The
forced march, led by Kit Carson, an Indian agent and
military leader in both the Mexican and Civil Wars, became
known by the Navajos as the "Long Walk."
grueling 400-mile march to imprisonment in a sterile
Resources on The
Pax Christi, an international Catholic peace organization, was founded in France. From their website: “Pax Christi is a ground up organization – it began with a few committed people who spoke out, prayed and worked for reconciliation at the end of the second world war, and is now active in more than 60 countries and five continents, with more than 60,000 members worldwide.”
Clouds of nerve gas drifted outside
the Army's Dugway Proving Grounds in Utah, poisoning 6,400
sheep in nearby Skull Valley.
more about Dugway - the home of Amerian WMD
near Dugway: Warning Hazardous Area: This area may contain
Chemical, Biological and Radiological contaminated material
and explosives . . .
Physicist and peace activist Albert Einstein was born in Ulm, Germany. The Nobel Prize winner opposed militarism and became a champion of nuclear disarmament. Though he supported the development of the atomic bomb out of fear that Germany would develop it first, he warned in a 1944 letter to the Manhattan Project’s Niels Bohr: “When the war is over, then there will be in all countries a pursuit of secret war preparations with technological means which will lead inevitably to preventative wars and to destruction even more terrible than the present destruction of life.”
National Civil Liberties Council was founded in England,
principally to monitor the policing of protests. Renamed
Liberty in 1989, it has campaigned to protect and
promote rights and freedoms for over 75 years.
About Liberty's history
During a second
attempt by Native American activists to claim Fort Lawton (about
50 miles south of Seattle, Washington), 78 were arrested for
entering the site.
United Indians for All Tribes was demanding
the city give the unused facility to Native Americans for use
as a cultural center. One week earlier about the same number
had been arrested for occupying what had been declared federal
surplus property. The Daybreak Star Cultural Center is now
operating on the site.
demonstrating at Fort Lawton
Sixteen disability-rights activists from ADAPT (American Disabled for Accessible Public Transit)were arrested at the U.S. Capitol demanding passage of what would become the Americans With Disabilities Act.
Michael Winters recalls being there in 1990:
More on the status
of the disabled:
Socialists scored an upset win in Spain's general election
three days following
the Madrid train bombings. The conservative government had
joined the U.S.-led coalition that invaded Iraq the previous
year though Spanish public opinion was overwhelmingly opposed
to it. José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero and his
party, Partido Socialista Obrero Español (PSOE), had
opposed the Iraq War and Spain’s involvement.
The coordinated bombings, which left 191 dead and 1600 injured,
were the worst terrorist attack in Europe aside from the downing
of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland.
article on the bombings and the political situation in
first proposed amendment to the constitution guaranteeing
women’s suffrage was
introduced in the U.S. Congress.
1300 Norwegian teachers were arrested by the German Nazi-installed
government run by Vidkun Quisling after 12,000 of 14,000
nationwide had refused to join the new teachers’ association
and resisted nazification of the curriculum. Half were
held in a concentration camp outside the capital of Oslo.
The rest were shipped to the Arctic for forced labor alongside
Russian prisoners of war.
loss of the arrested teachers forced a school shutdown
for several weeks. Each day the imprisoned teachers were
to their job of unloading supply ships, citizens stood respectfully
by as they passed. When the teachers returned home later in
the year, they were treated as heroes.
Following Germany’s defeat, Quisling was tried for treason,
convicted and sentenced to death. Quisling is now considered
a synonym for traitor.
Quisling – ‘The Hitler of Norway’
from South Carolina State and Claflin College organized to
integrate the lunch counter
at Kresge 5&10 in Orangeburg, South Carolina. Though their
efforts were disciplined and peaceful, 400 were attacked by
police then herded behind fences in the largest mass arrest
of the civil rights movement.
More than a 1000 students marched peacefully
intergrate lunch counters in Orangeburg, South Carolina.
Convicted of "Breach of
the Peace," the U.S. Supreme Court later overturned those
convictions because those arrested were petitioning for redress
of grievances within the protection of the 1st Amendment.
on the Orangeburg action
than a week after the Bloody Sunday police attacks on peaceful
marchers at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, President
Lyndon Johnson addressed the American people before a televised
Joint Session of Congress. He said, “There is no issue
of States rights or national rights. There is only the struggle
for human rights . . . We have already waited a hundred years
and more, and the time for waiting is gone . . . .”
Watch video or read the
text of his speech
United Nations Commission on the Truth for El Salvador
concluded that most of the murder and human rights abuses
during its civil war had been committed by the U.S.-backed
Salvadoran government through its various military, security
and allied paramilitary organizations.
Truth Commission: El Salvador U.S. Institute of Peace
entire Jewish community of York, England, perished while
observing Shabbat ha-Gadol, the last sabbath before Passover
Gathered together inside Clifford’s Tower, the keep
of York's medieval castle, for protection from the violent
mob outside, many of the Jews took their own lives; others
died in the flames they had lit, and those who finally surrendered
were massacred and murdered.
occurred just after the beginning of the Third Crusade. “Before
attempting to revenge ourselves upon the Moslem unbelievers,
let us first revenge ourselves upon the ‘killers of
Christ’ living in our midst!”
The first newspaper owned and edited
by and for African-Americans, Freedom's Journal, was published
in New York City.
It appeared the same year slavery was abolished
in New York state.
of the early founders
War Resisters International was founded with sections set
up in Great Britain, the Netherlands, Germany and Austria.
By 1939 there were 54 WRI Sections in 24 countries, including
No More War demonstration in Berlin 1922
symbol: a broken gun.
right to refuse to kill."
troops in South Vietnam killed an estimated 350 unarmed
men, women and children in My Lai, a cluster of hamlets
in the coastal lowlands of Quang Ngai Province. Lt. William
L. Calley, Jr. commanded the men of Charlie Company, First
Battalion, Americal Division, and was the only one tried
out of 80 involved in what is called the My Lai Massacre.
The Army, including a young Major Colin Powell, at first
tried to cover it up and the media resisted reporting it.
girls sheltering behind their mother during My Lai
My Lai prosecutor William Eckhardt described how Thompson responded
to what he found when he put his helicopter down:"[Thompson]
put his guns on Americans, said he would shoot them if they
shot another Vietnamese, had his people wade in the ditch in
gore to their knees, to their hips, took out children, took
them to the hospital...flew back [to headquarters], standing
in front of people, tears rolling down his cheeks, pounding
on the table saying, 'Notice, notice, notice'...then had the
courage to testify time after time after time."
of Calley’s soldiers refused to participate, but
only 24-year-old helicopter pilot Hugh Thompson and his
crew stopped it by putting themselves between the villagers
and the troops pursuing them.
William L. Calley
Officer Hugh Thompson
on My Lai
librarian Zoia Horn refused to testify against the Harrisburg
Seven who were on trial for an alleged conspiracy to kidnap
then-National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger. Five of
the seven were current or former Catholic priests or nuns.
had been implicated by an ex-convict informer placed
in the Bucknell University library by the FBI.
from self-incrimination, Zoia objected to the idea that libraries
could become places of infiltration and spying. Charged with
contempt of court, she was sent to jail for 20 days until a
mistrial was declared.
Judith Krug, longtime director of the American Library Association’s
Office of Intellectual Freedom, said that Horn was “the
first librarian who spent time in jail for a value of our profession.”
librarian Zoia Horn
At the trial she asked
to read a statement of explanation, but was led away in handcuffs
before she had begun her third sentence: “Your Honor, it is because I respect the function of this court
to protect the rights of the individual, that I must refuse
to testify. I cannot in my conscience lend myself to this black
charade. I love and respect this country too much to see a
farce made of the tenets upon which it stands. To me it stands
on freedom of thought—but government spying in homes,
in libraries and universities inhibits and destroys this freedom.
It stands on freedom of association—yet in this case
gatherings of friends, picnics and parties have been given
sinister implications, and made suspect. It stands on freedom
of speech—yet general discussions have been interpreted
by the government as advocacies of conspiracies.”
Zoia Horn in the California Library Hall of Fame
Iraqi forces acting under orders from President Saddam Hussein attacked the Kurdish village of Halabja with a variety of poison gasses including mustard gas and the nerve agents sarin, tabun, and VX. About 5,000 non-combatant men, but mostly women and children, died from the chemical weapons.
This was part of Saddam’s al-Anfal campaign, a slow genocide of the Kurds in Iraq. About 2000 villages were emptied and leveled as well as a dozen larger towns and cities, tens of thousands were killed.
father Omar Osman and his infant son,
victims of Saddam
Hussein’s poison gas attack on Halabja, Kurdistan
Human Rights Watch full report on
the al-Anfal Campaign
with Peter Galbraith who alerted the U.S. to the Anfal campaign
Corrie, an American college student in Gaza to protest Israeli
military and security operations, was killed when run over
by a bulldozer while trying to stop Israeli troops from demolishing
a Palestinian home.
23-year-old from Olympia, Washington, was a member of International
Solidarity Movement and was the first nonviolent western
protester to die in the occupied territories.
In Memoriam Rachel Corrie
5000 coordinated candlelight vigils and demonstrations
took place, in more than 125 countries, in an eleventh-hour
protest against the U.S. invasion of Iraq.
and the National Farm Workers Association left Delano for
Sacramento, the capital of California, a 340-mile march which
would take three weeks. They were calling public attention
to the plight of farm workers and for their struggle for
the right to organize a union.
London’s Trafalgar Square, at the largest anti-Vietnam
War protest in Britain to date, 25,000 people marched.
They were demonstrating against American action in Vietnam
and British support for the United States policy.
Some then attempted to storm the U.S. Embassy, resulting
in 200 arrests and fifty taken to hospital, nearly half police
Vanessa Redgrave was allowed to enter the
embassy to deliver a protest
Read more and watch
footage of the demo
oil supertanker Amoco Cadiz ran aground and, in the worst
oil spill ever,
lost its entire cargo of 1,619,048 barrels (223,000 tons).
A slick 18 miles wide and 80 miles long polluted approximately
200 miles of France’s Brittany coastline.
Amoco Cadiz disaster was the first marine environmental
catastrophe to be covered by the world's media in real
of the victims
A brief history
George W. Bush warned U.N. weapons inspectors to leave
the Iraq within 48 hours. They were in country searching
for weapons of mass destruction (WMD), conducting 900 inspections
at 500 locations in four months.
Bush had given Saddam
Hussein the same amount of time to step down from power
or suffer the consequences of the planned invasion.
Hans Blix, the chief weapons inspector, and Mohamed El
Baradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, and
the inspectors had found no WMDs, or any evidence of a renewed
Iraqi nuclear weapons program. Despite increasing cooperation
from Iraqi authorities relenting to international pressure,
the inspectors were unable to complete their work due to the
American threat of war.
weapons inspectors in Iraq before they were forced to leave
by President George W. Bush
Blix’s report to the UN Security Council just ten days
Trial" for writing seditious articles opposing British
colonial rule began in Ahmedabad, India. The accused, Mohandas
Karamchand Gandhi, aged 53, described himself as a farmer
and weaver by profession, and spoke in his own defense,
"I hold it to be a virtue to be disaffected
towards a government which, in its totality, has done more
harm to India than any other system . . . .
" . . . I do not ask for mercy. I am to invite and cheerfully
submit to the highest penalty that can be inflicted upon me
for what in law is a deliberate crime and what appears to me
to be the highest duty of the citizen."
on the trial
became a sovereign nation after 130 years of French colonial
rule. The struggle for independence inspired "The
Battle of Algiers," a movie by Gillo Pontecorvo. The
film was shown extensively in the Pentagon to help understand
the Iraqi insurgency.
army confront demonstrators for Algerian independence
about the movie
The movie and
first strike against the U.S. government and the first
mass work stoppage in the 195-year history of the Postal
Service began with a walkout of letter carriers in Brooklyn
and Manhattan who were demanding better wages.
210,000 (in 30 cities) of the nation's 750,000 postal employees
participated in the wildcat strike. With mail service virtually
paralyzed in New York, Detroit, and Philadelphia, Pres.
Nixon declared a state of national emergency and assigned
military units to New York City post offices. The stand-off
ended one week later.
Congress voted a six percent raise for the workers retroactive
a video about the strike
Joe McDonald was convicted of obscenity and fined $500 for
leading a crowd in his infamous Fish Cheer
F !") at a concert in Massachusetts.
It was the band’s
introduction to "I Feel Like I'm Fixin' to Die Rag,” a
Vietnam protest song.
Seeger’s version of the controversial song: - hear the lost recording
In a referendum,
the last whites-only election held in South Africa, voters
overwhelmingly gave the government authority to negotiate
a new constitution with the African National Congress and
other black political groups, and an end to the system of
racial separation know as apartheid.
white South African voted for change
As a means to thwart a growing reform movement in the kingdom of Bahrain, the government destroyed the structure in the middle of the Pearl Roundabout, the focal point of demonstrations over the previous six weeks. Groups of Shiite Muslims, treated as second-class citizens by the ruling Sunni government led by the ruling al-Khalifa family, had gathered there repeatedly.
Pearl before demo
Pearl after demo
The first International Women’s Day was held in Germany, Austria, Denmark, and some other European countries. This date was chosen by German women because, on that date in 1848 the Prussian king, faced with an armed uprising, had promised many reforms, including an unfulfilled one of votes for women. A million leaflets calling for action on the right to vote were distributed throughout Germany.
blacklisting of Pete Seeger (and other members of The Weavers)
folk music television show "Hootenanny" prompted
a boycott by 50 folk artists (The Kingston Trio, Bob Dylan,
Joan Baez and Peter, Paul & Mary, among others).
Seeger had become a cultural hero through his outspoken and
joyful commitment to the anti-war and civil rights movements,
and helped popularize the anthemic "We Shall Overcome."
Seeger bio from Encyclopedia of the American Left
singing and talking about the music with Hugh Hefner on
TV in the early ‘60s
50,000 marched in Amsterdam to protest U.S. deployment of the neutron bomb in Europe. The neutron bomb was a tactical (artillery shell) enhanced-radiation weapon. It killed people with a neutron flux that penetrated armor but was effective only over a limited area, leaving little fallout or residual radiation. It did minimal damage, however, to physical structures.
More about the Neutron Bomb
and coalition forces launched missiles and bombs at targets
in Iraq including a “decapitation attack” aimed
at Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and other top members of
the country’s leadership.
There were nearly 300,000 American,
British and other troops at the border.
President George W. Bush warned Americans that the conflict "could
be longer and more difficult than some predict." He assured
the nation that “this will not be a campaign of half-measures,
and we will accept no outcome except victory.”
Iraq under attack
about the cost of this war Timeline
In response to widespread peaceful demonstrations for political change in Syria, the government sealed off the city of Deraa. Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad claimed his country would not be affected by the movement for more democracy across the Arab world that had already toppled governments in Tunisia and Egypt. His regime was composed almost entirely of ethnic Allawites in a country more than 80% Sunni.
Mourners at the funerals for five shot dead by security forces in Deraa chanted, “God, Syria and freedom only.” Demonstrations had been held in at least five cities, including the capital of Damascus.
Switzerland was declared
neutral by the great powers of Europe at the Vienna Congress
following the defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte. The confederation
of 22 cantons (member states) had its current borders established
with its neighbors France, Germany, Austria and Italy.
Beecher Stowe's influential novel about slavery, Uncle
Tom's Cabin, or Life Among the Lowly, was first published
in book form by J.P. Jewett of Boston. The text had previously
been serialized in the anti-slavery newspaper, the National
10,000 copies were sold in the first week, 300,000 within the
first year. The many different editions published in Europe
sold an aggregate of one million copies in the first year.
It was the second best-selling book of the 19th century after
Uncle Tom's Cabin was soon
published in dozens of language.
novel’s influence on American culture
In Australia 150,000 (1% of population) demonstrated
in anti-nuclear rallies.
Australia's anti-nuclear movement: a short history
anti-uranium protest.April 7, 1979.
Despite the efforts of thousands
of anti-nuclear demonstrators, a train hauling 60 tons of nuclear
waste arrived in the north German town of Ahaus from Walheim
in the south. Twice the train was stopped by protestors chained
to the tracks; 300 were arrested with police using water cannon
in response to rocks and sticks being thrown at them.
The size of the security deployment, outnumbering the protestors
ten to one, necessitated the postponing of ten days of football
(soccer) matches. A similar shipment the previous year provoked
several days of rioting.
on X-Days in Ahaus
2010 5:32 PM GMT
The first day of spring (the vernal
equinox) is the day for celebrating NoRuz [no-rooz], the Persian
on NoRuz and other Persian celebrations
The nuclear reactor crisis created in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami on the northeast coast of Japan began to spread health risks to the surrounding area. Elevated levels of radiation were found in spinach and milk in the nearby prefectures (counties). As a result of pumping seawater to keep the reactors cool after loss of electricity and damage wiped out all the cooling systems, radiation was found in the ocean waters.
Palm Sunday (the Sunday before Easter), the Nationalist Party
of Puerto Rico was to march in Ponce (city on the southern
coast of the island) in support of Puerto Rican independence.
They were also protesting the imprisonment of Albizu Campos,
leader of the Party and the lawyer for the sugarcane workers
who had led a general strike.
The colonial military governor, Blanton Winship (a Georgian
who had been Judge Advocate General of the U.S. Army), revoked
the parade permit at the last minute. Nationalists insisted
on marching regardless and, surrounded by the well armed police,
were fired upon as they began. Whoever fired the first shot,
18 Nationalists and 2 policemen died. 200 others, Nationalists
and bystanders, were injured, 150 arrested. This incident is
known as Masacre de Ponce, or “The Ponce Massacre.”
of those who died in the Ponce Massacre
history of Puerto Rico
Ponce massacre remembered
African police opened fire on unarmed demonstrators in
the black township of Sharpeville near Johannesburg. The
demonstrators were protesting the establishment of apartheid
pass laws which restricted movement of non-whites.
In Sharpeville itself, 69 were killed and 176 wounded when
police fired on the crowd, 63 of them shot in the back. In
the aftermath of the Sharpeville massacre, protests broke out
in Cape Town and elsewhere, and there were further casualties.
Overall, 13,000 were jailed.
The organizer, Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe, head of the Pan-Africanist
Congress, had written to the police commissioner, notifying
him of the plans, and had said at a press conference, “I
have appealed to the African people to make sure that this
campaign is conducted in a spirit of absolute nonviolence,
and I am quite certain they will heed my call.”
Sharpeville Massacre and its significance in South African
Plowshares Two damaged a U.S. F-111 bomber in Upper Heyford,
England. This was the first plowshares action in Britain.
of this and other Plowshares actions of the time
The report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa was released. The commission was led by the Reverend Desmond Tutu, a bishop in the Anglican Church, the first black General Secretary of the South African Council of Churches, and Nobel Peace Prize winner for his efforts to bring peace and justice to all South Africans.
The Commission was charged with investigating and providing “as complete a picture as possible of the nature, causes and extent of gross violations of human rights” under the racial separatist apartheid regime from 1960 until the inauguration of Nelson Mandela in 1994, South Africa’s first black president.
Desmond Mpilo Tutu
But the Commission sought to go beyond truth-finding to promote national unity and reconciliation, to facilitate the granting of amnesty to those who made full factual disclosure, to restore the human and civil dignity of victims by providing them an opportunity to tell their own stories, and to make recommendations to the president on measures to prevent future human rights violations.
Rev. Tutu concluded in his foreword to the report, “Quite improbably, we as South Africans have become a beacon of hope to others locked in deadly conflict that peace, that a just resolution, is possible. If it could happen in South Africa, then it can certainly happen anywhere else. Such is the exquisite divine sense of humour.”
complete report of the Commission
More than 300 people participated in an annual Good Friday peace action at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, organized by Tri-Valley Communities Against a Radioactive Environment (CARES). The lab is a key participant in the design of all weapons in the U.S. nuclear arsenal. The Alameda County Sheriff arrested 91 of the protesters. CARES Executive Director Marylia Kelley said, “The emphasis is on nonviolence and rejecting violence.”
organization behind the action
An estimated 14 million Egyptians voted in an essentially problem-free election. 77% voted to endorse a process that would bring elections for parliament within six months and a presidential election later.
Nazi German concentration camp at Dachau was opened, the
of many such camps built for the incarceration and extermination
of those considered unfit: Jews, Polish Catholics, Communists,
the Roma (frequently referred to as Gypsies), the “work-shy,” homosexuals,
the “hereditary asocial,” and those with mental
and/or physical handicaps.
Over 200,000 prisoners were registered
at Dachau, nearly all of whom died there.
gate to Dachau "Work will make you free"
The early days of Dachau
Civil rights leader Reverend
Martin Luther King, Jr., was convicted of organizing an allegedly
illegal boycott by black passengers of buses in Montgomery,
Alabama. He was fined $500 but when his lawyers indicated
his intent to appeal, the sentence was changed to 386 days
of the Montgomery Bus Boycott
3,200 civil rights demonstrators, led by the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., and under protection of a federalized National Guard, began a third attempt at a week-long march from Selma, Alabama, to the state capitol at Montgomery in support of voting rights for black Americans.
Marchers on their way to
A week before, the march had been violently stopped before leaving Selma. People from all over the country arrived to support the effort for enfranchisement of African Americans in the South whose right to vote had been systematically denied.
activities on the Selma-to-Montgomery March including
the regular reports of
Joseph Califano, Special Assistant to Sec. of Defense Robert McNamara, who accompanied
Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (ERA) was passed
by both houses of Congress with two-thirds majorities.
The amendment, to give women full equality under law, was
ratified by the legislatures of only 35 states, short of
the required three-quarters of the 50 states, and thus
never became law.
of the Equal Rights Amendment
marched in Washington, DC against re-introduction of
Levertov's lines from her poem,
Speech for Antidraft Rally, D.C., March 22, 1980”
our different dream,
and more than dream, our acts
of constructive refusal generate
struggle. And love. We must dare to win
not wars, but a future
in which to live."
trial of 101 Wobblies (members of the Industrial Workers
of the World or IWW) began in Chicago, for opposition
to World War I. In September 1917, 165 IWW members were
arrested for conspiring to hinder the draft, encourage
desertion, and intimidate others in connection with labor
disputes. The trial lasted five months, the longest criminal
trial in American history to date.
The jury found them all guilty. The judge sentenced IWW leader "Big
Bill" Haywood and 14 others to 20 years in prison; 33
were given 10 years, the rest shorter sentences. They were
fined a total of $2,500,000 and the IWW was shattered as
a result. Haywood jumped bail and fled to the Soviet Union,
where he remained until his death 10 years later.
The U.S. government began moving all those of Japanese ancestry, including some native-born U.S. citizens (known as nisei), from their west coast homes to indefinite imprisonment in detention centers, beginning with Manzanar in California which eventually held more than 10,000 Americans.
Located on 60,000 acres west of Los Angeles, it is now a national historic site; only 3 of the original 800 buildings remain.
of photos and other materials about Manzanar
Army Major Lawrence Robert Bailey was the first recorded American to be held as a prisoner of war in Southeast Asia. One of eight crew members of a C-47 surveillance aircraft shot down over Laos, Bailey was held by the Pathet Lao for 17 months, losing one-third of his body weight (down to 53 kg, or 117 lbs) during that time. The other occupants of the plane are presumed to have died in the crash; Bailey always wore a parachute.
One thousand boats, known informally as the Auckland Harbour Peace Squadron,
demonstrated against arrival of the nuclear submarine, U.S.S. Queenfish
in New Zealand.
USS Queenfish nuclear submarine student die-in
outside the U.S. Consulate.
Leddra was executed by the Charter government of Massachusetts
for being a Quaker.
He was the fourth and last of his religion to be hanged with
the approval of Governor John Endicott. Though the court did not
find him “evil,” he had sympathized with the Quakers
who were executed before him; he had refused to remove his
hat, and he used the words "thee" and "thou," which,
to Quakers, implied the equality of all people.
Check out the way the link works for this. Much better than
the terrible transcription I read the other day.
letter describing Leddra’s and other Quakers’ persecution (starts
Canadian women over 21 (except native, or First Nations,
women) won the right to vote in federal elections, but not
to run for office for yet another year. Suffrage was not
granted to women in Quebec provincial elections until 1940.
In a sit-down
against nuclear weapons at Parliament Square in London, England,
1,172 were arrested.
first Teach-In on the Vietnam War was held at the University
of Michigan a month after President Lyndon Johnson ordered
bombing of North Vietnam. The U-M teach-in was among the
first of a new form of campus protest that was to spread
nationwide, a means of mobilizing students to examine policies
of their government that they previously had taken for
more about the 1st Teach-In
Very few Americans had ever heard of the country in southeast Asia, and
the event was intended to educate the participants in the history
of Vietnam and foreign aggression there.
Young protester in Chicago march
photo Jo Freeman
The Coalition of Labor Union Women
(CLUW) was founded, electing as their first president Olga
Madar, a vice president of the United Auto Workers. The convention
adopted four goals: organize the unorganized; promote affirmative
action; increase women's participation in their unions; and
increase women's participation in political and legislative
archbishop of San Salvador, Óscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdámez
was assassinated while consecrating the Eucharist during
Monseñor Romero had become a well-known critic
of violence and injustice and, as such, was perceived in
the right-wing civilian and military circles of El Salvador
as an enemy, and criticized by the Roman Catholic church.
Romero had exhorted the police and soldiers to disobey orders
to kill innocent people, refusing to be silenced. Worshippers
had interrupted, with ovations, his homilies condemning the
terrorism of the state.
more about Monsignor Romero
most environmentally damaging oil spill to date began when
the supertanker Exxon Valdez,
owned and operated by the Exxon Corporation, ran aground on
Bligh Reef in southern Alaska’s Prince William Sound.
An estimated 11 million gallons of oil (257,000 barrels or
38,800 metric tons) eventually leaked into the water.
contain the massive spill were unsuccessful, and wind and
currents spread the oil nearly 500 miles from its source,
eventually polluting more than 1300 miles of coastline. Hundreds
of thousands of birds and thousands of sea mammals were lost
in the disaster.
dead murrelet, one of the hardest-hit sea birds in the
The Exxon Valdez Oil Spill read more
abolished international trade in slaves. Emancipation of slaves
in the country, however, did not occur until 1834, and persisted
as unpaid apprenticeship for the technically emancipated for
years after that.
story of abolition in England
printers went on strike for a 9-hour workday and a 54-hour
first major strike in Canada. When the editor of the Globe
newspaper had thirteen of them arrested, 10,000 turned out
to support them. Later that year unions were made legal in
In the midst of a depression that had begun the previous year, a millionaire businessman from Massillon, Ohio, Jacob Coxey, organized a march of an “industrial army” from Ohio to Washington, D.C. Congress had done little in response to the economic crisis and Coxey advocated a range of solutions, many considered radical at the time, such as building roads and other public works (known as infrastructure today).
Coxey's Army passing through Mayland on their way to Washington.
Coxey is seated behind the horses looking at the camera.
“Coxey's Army” gathered on the Capitol lawn but they were driven off and Coxey was arrested for trespassing when he tried to deliver his address to the crowd in violation of their first amendment rights “peacably to assemble, and to petition the Government for redress of grievances.”
More on Coxey and the Depression of 1893
A poem by Jared Carter on folks
seeing Coxey’s Army pass through town
Triangle Shirt Waist Company, occupying the top floors
of a ten-story building on New York’s lower east
side, was consumed by fire.
147 people, mostly immigrant
and young girls working in sweatshop conditions, lost their
Approximately 50 died as they leapt from windows to
the street; the others were burned or trampled to death,
desperately trying to escape via stairway exits illegally
locked to prevent “ the interruption of work.”Company
owners were charged with seven counts of manslaughter—but
were found not guilty.
incident was a turning point in labor law, especially concerning
health and safety. For three
days prior, the company, along with other warehouse owners,
had grouped together to fight the Fire Commissioner's order
that fire sprinklers be installed.
in the wake of the Triangle Shirtwaist fire
< button from the struggle
collection of materials on the tragedy from Cornell University’s
of International Peace was founded in Melbourne, Australia,
by Eleanor May Moore and Dr. Charles Strong.
about Eleanor May Moore
numbers having swelled to 25,000, the Selma-to-Montgomery
marchers arrived at the Alabama state capitol.
by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC)
and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC),
the march was to bring attention to the denial of voting
rights to black Americans in the state and elsewhere in
the south. Twice the people had been turned back, denied
the right to leave Selma peacefully.
Luther King Jr. and wife Coretta
lead march into Montgomery,
King spoke to the crowd: “Yes, we are on the move
and no wave of racism can stop us. (Yes, sir) We are on
the move now. The burning of our churches will not deter
us. (Yes, sir) The bombing of our homes will not dissuade
us. (Yes, sir) We are on the move now. (Yes, sir) The beating
and killing of our clergymen and young people will not
divert us. We are on the move now.”
The Federal Voting Rights Act was passed within two months.
the full text of Rev. King’s speech
Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail
Gregg Liuzzo, a housewife and mother from Detroit, driving
marchers back to Selma from Montgomery, was shot and killed
by Ku Klux Klansmen from a passing car. She had driven down
to Alabama to join the march after seeing on television the
Bloody Sunday attacks at Selma’s Edmund Pettus Bridge
earlier in the month. It was later learned that riding with
the Klansmen was an FBI informant, Gary Rowe.
More about Viola Liuzzo
Civil rights martyr Viola Liuzzo
Martin Luther King, Jr. led an anti-war march for the first
time in Chicago, opposing the Vietnam War by saying:
“ Our arrogance can be our doom. It can bring the curtains down on our
national drama . . . Ultimately, a great nation is a compassionate nation The
bombs in Vietnam explode at home—they destroy the dream and possibility
for a decent America . . . .”
Reverend King addresses
rally at the end of the Chicago march
photo: Jo Freeman
newly wed John Lennon and Yoko Ono-Lennon began their seven-day "bed-in for peace" against
the Vietnam War in the presidential suite of the the Amsterdam
Hilton in The Netherlands. Their doors were open to the media
from 10am to 10pm. They invited all to think about and talk
about creating peace.
and I are quite willing to be the world's clowns, if
by so doing it will do some good".
Wedding and “Ballad of John and Yoko”
bed-in photo album
30,000 participated in the Children's March for Survival in Washington, D.C., sponsored by the National Welfare Rights Organization. They were supporting the Family Assistance Program, then pending in Congress (but never passed), which guaranteed a minimum income level for all families.
new community, Segundo Montes, was started by campesinos
in El Salvador who had lived for nine years as exiles in
Honduras following the El Mozote Massacre, when 1000 civilians
were killed by the U.S.-trained Salvadoran military. The
town was named after a priest who had helped them in the
Colomoncagua refugee camp on the border, and who was murdered
along with four other Jesuit priests by the Salvadoran military.
Cherokee Indians came to the end of the “Trail of Tears,” a
forced march from their ancestral home in the Smoky Mountains
to the Oklahoma Territory. General Winfield Scott, under orders
from President Andrew Jackson, arrested then drove the tribe’s
members through the winter, leaving 4000 dead along the route.
According to John Burnett, an interpreter with the U.S. Army, “.
. . covetousness on the part of the white race was the cause
of all that the Cherokees had to suffer . . . .” The
train of 645 wagons stretched for five km (three miles),
leaving behind as many as twenty graves in one day, principally
victims of exposure.
This American Life’s Sarah Vowell as she follows
the Trail of
Story of the Trail of Tears, a letter to his children written
late in life,
recalling his experiences as a young private involved in
the Cherokee removal (document
50,000 marched peacefully in the Fifth Avenue Vietnam Peace
Parade in New York City.
They were part of the second International
Days of Protest with marches in several cities in North America.
Avenue anti-Vietnam War demonstration
photo: Robert Parent
efforts opposing the war in Vietnam
a ceremony at the White House, Egyptian President Anwar el-Sadat
and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin signed a peace
agreement they had worked out with the assistance of President
Jimmy Carter at Camp David, the U.S. president’s rural
The agreement ended three decades of hostilities
between Egypt and Israel, establishing diplomatic and commercial
ties. The two countries have remained at peace for 40 years.
Less than two years earlier, in
an unprecedented move for an Arab leader, Sadat had traveled
to Jerusalem to seek a permanent peace settlement with Egypt's
Video of the signing courtesy of
The Oklahoma Supreme
Court (Post v. State of Oklahoma) upheld a ruling that an Oklahoma
anti-sodomy law could not be constitutionally
applied to private, consensual activity.
Over one million students in Spain
went on strike in opposition to their government's support
of the U.S./U.K. invasion of Iraq.
The demonstration in Barcelona
freed negroes after the American Civil War staged ride-ins
on Charleston, South Carolina, streetcars. The railway company
integrated later the same year. Similar efforts were made
in Richmond, Virginia, and Mobile, Alabama.
Buddhists marched silently for peace in Hue, South
first Chicano Youth Liberation Conference was held by the
Crusade for Justice.
The poet known as Alurista presented his poem, "Plan
Espiritual De Aztlán," on the concept of Aztlán,
a unifying spiritual and geographic homeland of the Chicanos.
He took the concept that the land belongs to those who work
it from Mexican Revolutionary Emiliano Zapata. Aztlán
is a name for the home of the Aztecs.
more about Alurista
search of Aztlan
The New York state legislature enacted a law mandating the gradual end of slavery. Children of slaves would not be emancipated until they had served their parent’s “holder” and reached their mid-twenties. It was not until 1827 that a subsequent law declared, “every person born within this state, whether white or colored, is free.”
2,000 in the city and province of Quebec, Canada, demonstrated at the culmination of the conscription crisis during the “Great War” (World War I).
High casualty rates in Europe forced the Ottawa, Ontario, national government to institute a draft. The Canadiens resisted military service in support of Great Britain’s foreign policy. The protests continued for five days over the Easter weekend.
[see April 1, 1918]
Parade in Victoria Square, Montreal, Quebec, May 24,
gathering in this photo looks calm. Riots nearly a
year later resulted in the death of four demonstrators
in Quebec City.
Three hundred were arrested during a sit-down protest at U.S. Air Force headquarters in Ruislip, England. The protest was organized by the Committee of 100, a group using nonviolent direct action to campaign for British unilateral nuclear disarmament.
Conceived by the president of the Committee for Nuclear Disarmament, Bertrand Russell (he resigned this post soon after), and a young American academic named Ralph Schoenman, they proposed mass civil disobedience in resisting nuclear weapons, challenging the authorities to “fill the jails” with the intention of causing prison overload and large-scale disorder.
in Ruislip arrested men and women demonstrators indiscriminately.
photo: John 'Hoppy' Hopkins.
They were committed to nonviolence, and on arrest would go limp so as to create maximum disruption without conflict.
King, Jr., led a march in support of striking sanitation workers
in Memphis, Tennessee.Shortly after its start, violence broke
out followed by looting; one 16-year-old black boy was killed,
60 people were injured, and over 150 arrested.
the rioters with mace, batons and teargas. National Guard troops
are called in and sealed off black neighborhoods; martial law
was declared by nightfall.
Despite the violence, King insisted on returning to the city
and the sanitation workers’ side the following week.
Dr. King at a press conference after violence
during a march in support of striking sanitation workers.
alternative views of what happened that day in Memphis,
and what followed
the worst nuclear accident in U.S. history, a cooling system
on the Unit Two reactor failed at Three Mile Island (TMI)
in Middletown, Pennsylvania.
This led to a partial meltdown
that uncovered the reactor's core. Radioactive steam leaked
into the atmosphere, prompting fears for the safety of the
plant's 500 workers and the surrounding community.
Nearby Dickinson College’s
TMI virtual museum
story in the New York Times
After being delayed by massive anti-nuclear protests en route, 60 tons of nuclear waste arrived by train at Dannenberg, Germany. Though the government has agreed to phase out German reliance on nuclear power, some plants will continue to operate until 2021.
The waste fuel rods sent to France for reprocessing had to return to Germany for permanent long-term storage. Transported through Germany by train, and then by truck to their permanent site in Gorleben, movement of the 28 glass casks was considered an unacceptable safety risk to residents. Protesters blocked the tracks, sometimes chaining themselves in place, to stop the shipment. 20,000 police were required to allow the train’s passage.
Protester Jürgen Sattari said he considered the operation a success.
"We want to stop the convoy," he said. "Of course we know we can't halt it indefinitely, but we can drive up the political price."
on the broad-based struggle against nuclear waste in Germany
March 29, 1925
leaders in Charleston, West Virginia, protested the showing
of D. W. Griffith's movie, Birth of a Nation, scheduled
to open at the Rialto Theatre on April 1. They said it
violated a 1919 state law prohibiting any entertainment
which demeaned another race. Mayor W.W. Wertz and the West
Virginia Supreme Court supported their argument and prevented
the showing of the film; efforts to ban the film met with
mixed results around the country.
Klux Klan "justice" as portrayed in Birth of
made this movie (after a book called The Clansmen) exceptional
in cinema history
effort to ban the film in Boston
U.S. Army Lieutenant William Calley was found guilty at a court martial
for his part in the My Lai massacre which claimed the lives of hundreds
of South Vietnamese civilians. Convicted for the premeditated murder
of at least 22 Vietnamese civilians, he was sentenced to three years
under house arrest.
Resources and links about My Lai
The last American combat troops left South Vietnam, ending direct U.S. military involvement in the Vietnam War. Military advisors to the South Vietnamese Army remained, as did Marines protecting U.S. installations, and thousands of Defense Department civilians.
Of the more than 3 million Americans who served in the war, almost 58,000 had died, and more than 1,000 were missing in action. Some 150,000 Americans had been seriously wounded. The loss of Vietnamese killed and wounded was in the millions and damage to the countryside persists to this day.
The 615th MP Company was inactivated in Vietnam on the last day of American
military combat presence.
Timeline on the war
An overview of the American
military experience in Vietnam
Learn about the persisting problem of Agent Orange
of Vietnam Veterans For Peace arrived in Wicuili at the end
of a march from Jinotega, Nicaragua. The veterans were actively
monitoring the U.S. attempts to destabilize the country by
providing aid to the insurgent contras.
than weapons may have been involved in the Contra supply
Veterans for Peace
a growing movement toward direct political action among desperate
western farmers, "Sockless" Jerry Simpson called
on the Kansas Farmers' Alliance to work for a takeover of
the state government.
Simpson was one of the most well-known
and influential leaders among Populist-minded western and
midwestern farmers of the late 19th century.
Angered over low crop prices, high-interest bank loans and
unaffordable shipping rates, farmers began to unite in self-help
groups like the Grange and the Farmers' Alliances. Initially,
these groups primarily provided mutual assistance to members
while agitating for the regulation of railroads and grain elevators.
Increasingly, though, they became centers of support for more
sweeping political change by uniting to help form the nationwide
third-party movement known as the Populists.
were closed and thousands demonstrated in protest against
Rowlatt Acts in New Delhi, Amritsar, and other Indian cities.
The hastily passed law permanently extended wartime civil
liberties restrictions such as trial without jury and internment
Wallace, former vice-president (under Franklin D. Roosevelt)
and then Progressive Party presidential candidate, lashed
out at the Cold War policies of President Harry S. Truman.
Wallace and his supporters were among the few Americans
who actively voiced criticisms of America's Cold War mindset
during the late 1940s and 1950s.
more on his warnings about American fascists
demonstrated against construction of a commercial nuclear
reprocessing plant in Wackersdorf, Germany. The project
was ultimately abandoned.
King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella
ordered the expulsion from Spain before August of all Jews
who refused to convert to Christianity under penalty of death.
Adams wrote to her husband, John (later to be the second
U.S. president): I long to hear that you have declared an independancy—and
by the way in the new Code of Laws which I suppose
it will be necessary for you to make I desire you would
Remember the Ladies, and be more generous and favourable
to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited
power into the hands of the Husbands. Remember all
Men would be tyrants if they could. If perticuliar
care and attention is not paid to the Laidies we are
determined to foment a Rebelion, and will not hold
ourselves bound by any Laws in which we have no voice,
or Representation. That your Sex are Naturally Tyrannical
is a Truth so thoroughly established as to admit of
no dispute, but such of you as wish to be happy willingly
give up the harsh title of Master for the more tender
and endearing one of Friend. Why then, not put it out
of the power of the vicious and the Lawless to use
us with cruelty and indignity with impunity. Men of
Sense in all Ages abhor those customs which treat us
only as the vassals of your Sex. Regard us then as
Beings placed by providence under your protection and
in immitation of the Supreem Being make use of that
power only for our happiness.
President Lyndon Johnson
announced he would not seek re-election, ordered a partial
bombing halt in Vietnam, and appointed W. Averell Harriman
to seek peace negotiations with North Vietnam.
The Oakland, California, Induction Center revealed that over the prior six months, half those drafted for the Vietnam War had failed to appear, and 11% of those who reported then refused induction into the U.S. Army. Later that Spring 2500 University of California-Berkeley students at once turned in their draft cards to the Oakland Center.
Protesters – singing, blowing
horns and carrying banners – launched the latest leg
of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament's 56-mile Easter march
from London to Aldermaston, Berkshire, England.
The banner used in the 1960s Aldermaston marches.
Throughout Australia, 300,000 demonstrated
in peace and anti-nuclear rallies.
Before dawn on Easter, five Plowshares activists boarded
the USS Gettys-burg, an Aegis-equipped Cruiser docked at the
Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine. They proceeded to hammer and
pour blood on covers of vertical launching systems for cruise
"We witness against the American enslavement to war at
the Bath Iron Works, geographically near the President’s
home." They also left an in-dictment charging President
George H.W. Bush, Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney, the National
Security Council and the Joint Chiefs of Staff with war crimes
and violations of God’s law and international law, including
the kill-ing of thousands of Iraqis.
Remembering Aegis Plowshares
East Timorese were arrested in Warton, England, at the
British Aerospace factory where Hawk
fighter jets were built for the Indonesian military, who used
them in the ongoing occupation and genocide of their homeland.
Air America, intended as a liberal voice in network
talk radio, made its debut on five stations.