November

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November 1, 1872

Susan B. Anthony and her three sisters entered a voter registration office set up in a barbershop.  They were part of a group of fifty women Anthony had organized to register in her home town of Rochester.  Anthony walked directly to the election inspectors and, as one of the inspectors would later testify, "demanded that we register them as voters."
The election inspectors refused, but she persisted, quoting the Fourteenth Amendment's citizenship provision and the article from the New York Constitution pertaining to voting, which contained no sex qualification. She persisted: "If you refuse us our rights as citizens, I will bring charges against you in Criminal Court and I will sue each of you personally for large, exemplary damages!"
The inspectors sought the advice of the Supervisor of elections: "Young men," he said, "do you know the penalty of law if you refuse to register these names?" Registering the women, the registrars were advised, "would put the entire onus of the affair on them." The inspectors voted to allow Anthony and her three sisters to register.   
In all, fourteen Rochester women successfully registered that day. But the Rochester Union and Advertiser editorialized: "Citizenship no more carries the right to vote that it carries the power to fly to the moon . . . if these women in the Eighth Ward offer to vote, they should be challenged, and if they take the oaths and the Inspectors receive and deposit their ballots, they should all be prosecuted to the full extent of the law."


November 1, 1929

Australia abolished peace-time compulsory military training.


November 1, 1954

A war of independence to end French colonial rule over the north African nation of Algeria began when 60 bombs were set off on this day in Algiers, the capital. Over the next eight years 1.5 million Algerians would die, along with about 30,000 French. The French had dominated the country since 1830.

French troops clash with Algerian civilians
“The Battle of Algiers,” a movie about the Algerian struggle for independence
Read more


November 1, 1954
The U.S. produced the biggest ever man-made explosion in the Pacific archipelago of Bikini, part of the Marshall Islands. The hydrogen bomb, equivalent of 20 million tons of TNT was up to 1,000 times more powerful than the atomic bomb that destroyed Hiroshima.
It overwhelmed the measuring instruments, indicating that the bomb was much more powerful than scientists had anticipated. One of the atolls was totally vaporized, disappearing into a gigantic mushroom cloud that spread at least 100 miles wide, dropping back to the sea in the form of radioactive fallout.


November 1, 1961

50,000-100,000 women joined protests against the resumption of atmospheric nuclear tests by both the U.S. and the Soviet Union. The demonstrations, in at least 60 U.S. cities, led to the founding of Women Strike for Peace. Their slogan: “End the Arms Race – Not the Human Race.”

See Photos from Swarthmore library collection

 


<“Women's Strike for Peace" storming the Pentagon in a 1967 protest against the war in Vietnam.

Bella Abzug demonstrating with WSP>


November 1, 1970

Detroit’s Common Council voted for immediate withdrawal of U.S. armed forces from Vietnam.


November 1, 1983

A senior State Department official, Jonathan T. Howe, told Secretary of State George P. Shultz about intelligence reports that showed Iraqi troops resorting to "almost daily use of CW [chemical weapons]" against the Iranians.
Saddam Hussein had invaded Iran in 1980.
But the Reagan administration had already committed itself to a large-scale diplomatic and political overture to Baghdad, culminating in several visits by the president's recently appointed special envoy to the Middle East, Donald H. Rumsfeld.


November 1, 1990

As part of the adoption of the International Law of the Sea, forty-three nations agreed to ban dumping industrial wastes at sea by 1995. Neither the U.S. nor Canada (along with Albania, Burundi, Ethiopia, Uzbekistan and San Marino) have ever ratified the treaty which thus lacks the force of U.S. federal law.

More on the Law of the Sea



November 1, 2003

The Tel Aviv memorial for Israeli leader Yitzhak Rabin, slain eight years previously, was transformed into a peace rally with over 100,000 protesting the military policies of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

"Yitzhak was right, and his path just," said Shimon Peres, the former prime minister and architect of the Oslo peace accords with Mr Rabin. "His views today are clear and enduring. There will be no retreat; we will continue."

Read more


November 2, 1920

Socialist Party candidate Eugene V. Debs received nearly one million votes for President though he was serving a prison sentence at the time for his criticism of World War I and his encouraging resistance to the draft.

More on Debs



November 2, 1982

Voters in nine general elections passed statewide referenda supporting a freeze on testing of nuclear weapons. Only Arizona turned it down.
Dr. Randall Forsberg,
a key person behind the Freeze movement

Dr. Randall Forsberg


November 2, 1983

A bill designating a federal holiday honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (to be observed on the third Monday of January) was signed by President Ronald Reagan.
King was born in Atlanta in 1929, the son of a Baptist minister. He received a doctorate degree in theology and in 1955 organized the first major protest of the civil rights movement: the successful Montgomery Bus Boycott. Influenced by Mohandas Gandhi, he advocated nonviolent civil disobedience of the laws that enforced racial segregation.

 

The history of Martin Luther King Day  (pdf)



November 3, 1883

The U.S. Supreme Court, in its decision Ex Parte Crow Dog, declared Native Americans were ultimately subject to U.S. law, “not in the sense of citizens, but . . . as wards subject to a guardian . . . as a dependent community who were in a state of pupilage.”
However, the Court acknowledged the sovereignty of tribal authority in the particular case at hand. The Congress, however, essentially overturned the Court’s decision two years later.

Chief Crow Dog, 1898

More on Chief Crow Dog



November 3, 1917

Bolsheviks, the followers of Vladimir Lenin, took control of the capital, Moscow, and the Kremlin, the fortress-like grouping of government buildings and churches at the center of the capital city, as the Russian revolution succeeded.


November 3, 1969

President Nixon announced the "Vietnamization" program to shift fighting by U.S. troops to U.S.-trained Vietnamese troops. “We have adopted a plan which we have worked out in cooperation with the South Vietnamese for the complete withdrawal of all U.S. combat ground forces, and their replacement by South Vietnamese forces on an orderly scheduled timetable.”
The last U.S. troops didn’t return home until 1975.



November 3, 1972

Five hundred protesters from the "Trail of Broken Treaties," a Native American march, occupied the Bureau of Indian Affairs offices (part of the Department of Interior) in Washington, D.C., for six days. Their goal was to gain support from the general public for a policy of self-determination for American Indians.

Read more about the occupation: Read the Indian Manifesto:


November 3, 1979

Five members of the Workers Viewpoint Organization (later the Communist Workers Party) which had organized a "Death to the Klan" rally, were murdered and ten others injured when the rally was attacked by 40 Ku Klux Klan members and Nazis in Greensboro, North Carolina. The political organization had been joined in the march by a group of local African-American mill workers. At the time of the shootings, not one police officer was present.
Two all-white juries acquitted the murderers despite the fact that the whole incident was on videotape. But in 1985 a federal jury found two policemen, a police informant/Klan leader, and five Klansmen and Nazis liable for the wrongful death of one of the demonstrators.

Read more (Democracy Now)


November 3, 1985

The Rainbow Warrior bombed

Two French agents of the DGSE (Secret Service) dramatically changed their pleas on charges related to the bombing and sinking of the Greenpeace’s ship, Rainbow Warrior, and pled guilty. The ship was attacked in Auckland (New Zealand) harbor in anticipation of sailing to Moruroa Atoll to interfere with French nuclear weapons testing. It was the first act of terror ever committed in New Zealand.

Read more



November 4, 1811

A group of men in Bulwell, near Nottingham, England, armed with hammers, axes and pistols in the dark of night, broke into the workshop of a master weaver named Hollingsworth and smashed six weaving machines the men thought threatened their jobs. They and their supporters opposed the industrialization that had turned home-based sustainable textile work into factory work with significant loss of jobs through mechanization (and those at much lower wages), as well as the attendant air and water pollution. Luddites smashing loom.
They called themselves followers of the probably fictional General Ludd and continued their attacks for months, with over a thousand knitting machines destroyed. In response, thousands of troops were sent to stop the rebellion, and Parliament passed a law making destruction of weaving machines a hanging offense.
Luddites has since become a term used for those who oppose technology.
Two articles by Kirkpatrick Sale on Luddism


November 4, 1956

Two hundred thousand Russian troops with 1000 tanks stopped an anti-Stalinist uprising in Hungary and installed a new pro-Soviet government. Although civilians had set up barricades along all the major roads leading to Budapest, the Soviet air force bombed the capital and troops poured into the city in a massive dawn offensive.
Hungarian Army and National Guard troops participated in the resistance; only Communist Party functionaries and security police fought alongside the Warsaw Pact troops. The help promised from the U.S. to protect and aid the anti-Stalinists never came.
20,000 Hungarians ultimately died as a result (as well as 4000 troops), and ten times that many left the country permanently.

Hungarian 'freedom fighters' temporarily forced

back Soviet tanks and troops

Soviet tanks in Budapest.

Pictorial history of the Hungarian Uprising



November 4, 1984

The first free elections in Nicaraguan history were held. Nicaragua's ruling Sandinista Front claimed a decisive victory (70%), defeating six other parties, in the country's first elections since the revolution the Sandanistas had led five years previous. The high-turnout election (83%) was monitored by 400 independent election observers who said the election had been fair.

Read more


November 4, 1995

Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was fatally shot minutes after speaking at a peace rally held in Tel Aviv's Kings Square in Israel.

 

 


Yitzhak Rabin

Read more
The rally in Kings of Israel Square


November 4, 2008

The first African American ever nominated by a major political party as candidate for president went before the electorate. Senator Barack Obama of Illinois and his Democratic vice-presidential running mate, Senator Joseph Biden of Delaware, faced Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona and Alaska Governor Sarah Palin; independent candidates Ralph Nader and Matt Gonzalez; Green Party candidates former Representative Cynthia McKinney and Rosa Clemente; and former Repepresentatives Bob Barr and Wayne Allyn Root.



November 5, 1872

Susan B. Anthony and a few other women in Rochester, New York, voted in the presidential election, all of them for the first time.

She wrote later that day to her fellow suffragist Elizabeth Cady Stanton, “If only now—all the women would work to this end of enforcing the existing constitution—supremacy of national law over state law—what strides we might make . . . .”
Anthony's vote went to U. S. Grant and other Republicans, based on that party's promise to consider the legitimacy of women’s suffrage.

Susan B. Anthony Elizabeth Cady Stanton

The Trial of Susan B. Anthony for Illegal Voting



November 5, 1949

The Peace Pledge Union in Great Britain set up the Non-Violence Commission to study nonviolent resistance and how the ideas of Gandhi could be used to reach the Union’s goals of getting U.S. troops out of Britain and to end production of nuclear weapons there.


November 5, 1969

Bobby Seale, a founder of the Black Panther Party, was sentenced to four years in prison on sixteen counts of contempt of court during the federal Chicago Eight trial in Chicago; he was charged for his insistent claims to the right to choose his own lawyer, or to represent himself. After the Chicago Eight verdict, the contempt charges were withdrawn.

Bobby Seale


November 5, 1982

36 were arrested in a demonstration at Honeywell, Minnesota's largest defense contractor. The "Honeywell Project," a local campaign against the arms maker, dogged the company for over three decades, at times with success.It continues today, targeting Alliant Technologies, the arms-making branch of Honeywell that was spun off in the 1990s.

Protests at Alliant continue today.

Alliant is the manufacturer for the Pentagon of artillery shells made with depleted uranium (DU or U-238, a by-product of uranium enrichment) which have been used extensively in Iraq and Kosovo. The Defense Department denies any health effects from use of DU (though army manuals warn soldiers of its toxicity), and contests accusations of DU’s role in Gulf War Syndrome.

More about the Honeywell project from War Resisters' international


November 5, 1987

Govan Mbeki, an early leader of the African National Congress, was released from South Africa’s Robben Island prison after serving twenty-four years (for treason).
He served his sentence alongside Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu and many others who fought apartheid.

Govan Mbeki

His son, Thabo Mbeki, was elected in 1998 (and force to resign in 2008) to succeed Mandela, who was the first president elected following a new constitution which granted the right to vote to the entire non-white population, comprising 85% of the country’s population.

Read more about Govan Mbeki


November 6, 1913

Mohandas K. Gandhi led 2500 ethnic Indian miners, women and others from South Africa’s Natal province across its border with Transvaal in the Great March. This was a violation of the pass laws restricting the movement of all non-whites in the country.
Originally granted the rights of British subjects, Indians’ rights were steadily eroded beginning in the 1890s with the denial of the right to own property.
Shortly before the March, a court in Capetown had invalidated all Muslim and Hindu marriages. Gandhi and many others were arrested and jailed after refusing to pay a fine.

 

The Great March to Transvaal

 

 

Read about the early resistance in South Africa

Mohandas Gandhi, 1915



November 6, 1962

The 17th session of the U.N. General Assembly passed Resolution 1761 condemning apartheid in South Africa and called on all member states to terminate diplomatic, economic and military relations with the country. The policies of the country embodied in apartheid, the strict racially separatist regime, were declared a threat to international peace and security.

Apartheid was the racially separatist regime under which black and, to a somewhat lesser extent, so-called colored South Africans, were without political, civil or economic rights. All political power and wealth were held by the white population, approximately 15% of the country. "Apartheid" is the Afrikaans word for "apartness." (Afrikaans is the language of the Boers, or [white] Afrikaners.)


U.N pressure over the years on South Africa



November 6, 1965
2,500 people gathered in New York City’s Union Square to witness the burning of draft cards, a violation of recently passed federal law, as an expression of resistance to the Vietnam War.
Dorothy Day, founder of the Catholic Worker movement, and pacifist leader A.J. Muste spoke, identifying with the "crime" about to be committed.
Gordon Christianson, chairman of the Committee for Nonviolent Action and a World War II combat veteran, used his lighter to burn the cards.
A counter-demonstrator shot a fire extinguisher at those ready to burn their cards, but they still ignited. And the counter-demonstrators shouted, "Burn yourselves, not your draft cards!"
At trial, those who were arrested conceded the prosecution's case, submitting footage of the action shot by a supporter. They made a defense under the First Amendment to the Constitution, arguing that the burning of draft cards in such a context was an act of symbolic speech. The trial judge found them guilty and sentenced them to six months in federal prison.


November 6, 1986
Although an American plane with supplies for the Nicaraguan contra insurgents had been shot down the previous month, and a Lebanese newspaper reported that the U.S. government had arranged for the sale of weapons to Iran, President Ronald Ronald Reagan denied involvement (“. . . a story that came out of the Middle East, and that to us has no foundation . . . .”) in what came to be known as the Iran-Contra scandal. Both the ongoing aid to the contras and the weapons sales to Iran were violations of U.S. law.


November 7, 1837
Abolitionist, clergyman and editor Elijah P. Lovejoy, 34, was murdered by a pro-slavery mob in Alton, Illinois, as he defended his newly delivered printing press. 

 

Elijah P. Lovejoy

He had lost two other presses to mob attacks, but refused to surrender this one, which had been contributed by the Ohio Anti-Slavery Society. For this he was shot five times in the fatal attack. Lovejoy had moved 20 miles to Alton from St. Louis where, after denouncing the lynching and burning of a black man, a mob tore down his office.

 

Warehouse with Lovejoy's press set ablaze by mob

"We must stand by the Constitution and laws, or all is gone."

Elijah Lovejoy, The Observer

Read more



November 7, 1862
1700 members of the Dakota Sioux, mostly women, children and the eldersly, were force-marched 150 miles (240 km) to a concentration camp at Fort Snelling in Minnesota. The four-mile-long (6.5 km) procession was subject to physical abuse by white residents of towns along the way. Governor Alexander Ramsey had committed himself to ridding the state of all the Dakota, raising the bounty on an Indian scalp to $200.
One of the prisoners at Fort Snelling
Simultaneously, 300 Dakota men were tried summarily (as many as 40 cases in a single day) and marched to another camp in Mankato. They had surrendered to the U.S. Army at the end of the Dakota War, expecting to treated as prisoners of war.
More on this forced march


November 7, 1916
Jeannette Rankin, a Republican from Missoula, Montana, became the first woman elected to the U.S. Congress. American women in 19 states had no voting rights whatsoever until passage of the 19th amendment four years later. Female Montanans had full voting rights even before statehood (in 1889).
  Read more


November 7, 1919
Hundreds, presumed to be members of the Union of Russian Workers, were arrested in New York and other cities across the country on the second anniversary of the Russian Revolution. President Woodrow Wilson’s attorney general, A. Mitchell Palmer, and Intelligence Division chief, John Edgar Hoover, used the Sedition and Espionage Acts to thwart what they saw as a Communist plot to overthrow the government.
This was but one many assaults on radicals in what was known as the Palmer Raids. Thousands were arrested and thousands deported. It had been a year of significant labor unrest including steel, coal, and Boston police strikes, and a Seattle general strike. There was high unemployment in the wake of the demobilization after World War I. Around May Day there had been dozens of mail bombs, most of them intercepted, and a suicide bomber died outside Palmer’s Washington residence.
Attorney General Mitchell’s view Another view


November 7, 1973

New Jersey became the first state to allow girls to play Little League Baseball.


November 8, 1892

Thirty thousand black and white, factory and dock workers staged a general strike in New Orleans, demanding union recognition, closed shops (where all co-workers join the union), and hour and wage gains. They were joined by non-industrial laborers, such as musicians, clothing workers, clerks, utility workers, streetcar drivers, and printers.



November 8, 1935

United Mine Workers president John L. Lewis and other labor leaders formed the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO). They had split with the existing labor union umbrella organization, the American Federation of Labor (AFL), which was not interested in organizing unskilled workers, such as those in the steel, rubber, textile and auto industries.

CIO history

John L. Lewis



November 9-10, 1938

Nazis looted and burned synagogues and Jewish-owned stores and homes, and beat and murdered Jewish men, women, and children across Germany and Austria.

Known as Kristallnacht, it was a night of organized violence against Jews marking the beginning of the Holocaust with the killing of 91 and the deportation of 30,000 to concentration camps. The German word translates to "the Night of Broken Glass," so called because of the vast number of broken windows in Jewish shops, 5 million marks worth ($1,250,000).

Read more



November 9, 1965

At the first draft-card burning [see November 6, 1965], a heckler shouted that they should burn themselves, not their draft cards. Three days later Roger LaPorte, a student of religion and a Catholic Worker volunteer, poured gasoline on himself and struck a match to it in front of the United Nations headquarters in New York.
Police managed to douse the flames. On his way to the hospital he said, “I’m a Catholic Worker. I’m against war, all wars. I did this as a religious action.” He died 33 hours later.
Dorothy Day, founder of the Catholic Worker movement and a speaker on the 15th, wrote that she believed that LaPorte knew it was wrong to take his own life. But she explained his desire to end the Vietnam War; in the previous few days, six massive air strikes had made it the deadliest week since the war began.
Read more


November 9, 1984

U.S. peace activists sailed a shrimp boat into the Port of Corinto to confront U.S. warships threatening Nicaragua. The U.S. had mined the harbor in violation of international law, and had invaded Nicaragua through this port in 1896 and 1910.


November 9, 1989

For the first time since World War II, free travel between East and West Germany was allowed. The Berlin Wall, built to stop the exodus from the Communist-controlled East in 1961, was opened in response to nonviolent popular action.


     


November 9, 2002

Somewhere between 450,000 and a million Europeans in Florence, Italy, peacefully protested the threatened U.S. invasion of Iraq.

Florence, Italy 11.9.2002

The inaugural meeting of the European Social Forum had just concluded there.

It was a regional part of the framework established at the World Social Forum which had met in Porto Alegre, Brazil, first in 2001.


Read more

The Forum is a citizens’ movement exploring alternatives to globalization and the inhumane consequences of the changing world order. They focus on sustainable development, social and economic justice. Those who were part of the Forum come from a broad range of civil society, including: pacifists; environmentalists; those in nonprofit, volunteer and non-governmental organizations; representatives of religious and lay groups; those in the anti-globalization and anti-capitalist movements; and, for the first time in Florence (Firenze), significant involvement of the labor movement, notably the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), and trade unions or national confederations from nine European countries, including Russia.



November 10, 1924

The Society for Human Rights, the first gay rights organization in the U.S., was founded in Chicago by Henry Gerber, a German immigrant. He had been inspired by Germany’s Scientific Humanitarian Committee, formed to oppose the oppression of men and women considered "sexual intermediates."

Read more
Henry Gerber–founder of the Society for Human Rights


November 11, 1942

The U.S. Congress approved lowering the draft age to 18 and raising the upper limit to 37 less than a year after having declared war on Japan, Germany and Italy. In September 1940, Congress, by wide margins in both houses, had passed the Burke-Wadsworth Act, the first peacetime draft (though war raged in Europe and Asia, the U.S. was not yet directly involved) imposed in the history of the United States.

The good war and those who refused to fight it



November 11, 1972

The U.S. Army turned over its massive military base at Long Binh to the South Vietnamese army, symbolizing the end of direct U.S. military involvement in the Vietnam War. The last American forces, however, did not leave until 1974.

U.S. military leaving the Long Binh base


November 12, 1969


My Lai

Seymour Hersh, an independent investigative journalist, in a cable filed through Dispatch News Service and picked up by more than 30 newspapers, revealed the extent of the U.S. Army's charges against 1st Lieutenant William L. Calley at My Lai, a Vietnamese village.Hersh wrote: "The Army says he [Calley] deliberately murdered at least 109 Vietnamese civilians during a search-and-destroy mission in March 1968, in an alleged Viet Cong stronghold known as 'Pinkville.'"
The same Seymour Hersh first wrote about abuses of Iraqis held in Abu Ghraib prison by Americans in 2004.


Seymour Hersh

Hersh’s original dispatches about My Lai:

(graphic image)
An interview with Hersh on Iraq:


November 12, 1982

The Polish government freed the leader of the outlawed Solidarity union movement, Lech Walesa, after 11 months of internment. His release came only two days after riot police used tear gas, water cannon and phosphorous rockets to disperse large pro-Solidarity demonstrations in Warsaw and other cities.

Read more
Lech Walesa


November 12, 1989

Tens of thousands of Americans joined “Mobilize for Women’s Lives” in more than 150 cities and towns nationwide. They sought protection of women’s rights to reproductive choice, including abortion. Their focus was on state legislatures in their own states where laws were being introduced to put limits of a woman’s right to choose when she should bear children.
More than 2500 defenders of legalized abortion gathered at the First Parish Unitarian Church in Kennebunkport, Maine, just a few miles from President George H. W. Bush's summer home, to hold a candlelight vigil.
National Abortion Rights Action League / Pro Choice America


November 13, 1933

The first recorded "sit-down" strike in the U.S. was staged by workers at the Hormel Packing Company in Austin, Minnesota. When the Independent Union of All Workers (IUAW) went on strike, the company tried to bring in scab (strike-breaking) workers.
Hormel strikers

“ Four hundred men, many of them armed with clubs, sticks and rocks, crashed through the plant entrance, shattering the glass doors and sweeping the guards before them. The strikers quickly ran throughout the plant to chase out non-union workers. One . . . group crashed through the doors of a conference room where Jay Hormel and five company executives were meeting and declared "We're taking possession. So move out!" (Larry Engelmann, "We Were the Poor -- The Hormel Strike of 1933," Labor History, Fall, 1974.)
The tactic worked: within four days Hormel agreed to submit wage demands to binding arbitration. The success of this strike reinvigorated the labor movement, which had been in decline throughout the 1920s.



November 13, 1956

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled segregation unconstitutional in public transportation. The case, Browder v. Gayle, was brought by four women, Aurelia Browder, Susie McDonald, Claudette Colvin and Mary Louise Smith, who had refused to surrender their bus seats to whites in Montgomery (months before Rosa Parks had done so), and had been arrested for violating Alabama law which required segregation on public buses.

They challenged the law and the Court agreed, finding the law under which they were arrested in violation of the due process and equal protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Aurelia Browder

Colvin, a 15-year-old student at Booker T. Washington High School, boarded a bus in 1955 and refused to give up her seat to a white man. She was handcuffed, arrested and forcibly removed from the bus, as she screamed that her constitutional rights were being violated.

 


A roadside monument was dedicated in 2004 to the four plantiffs in the Browder v. Gayle case.

More on Browder v. Gayle



November 13, 1960

Over 1000 Quakers (members of the Society of Friends) surrounded the Pentagon for a silent vigil to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the first Quaker Peace Testimony issued to King Charles II in 1660.

From the original Peace Testimony: "We utterly deny all outward wars and strife and fightings with outward weapons, for any end or under any pretence whatsoever. And this is our testimony to the whole world...."

The complete text of the 1660 Declaration:



November 13, 1974

Karen Silkwood, a technician and union activist (Oil, Chemical, and Atomic Workers' Union) at the Kerr-McGee Cimarron plutonium fuels production plant near Crescent, Oklahoma, was killed in a one-car crash.

Read more about her story: More pictures of Karen Silkwood


November 13, 1982
Maya Ying Lin

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial was dedicated in Washington, D.C. Carved into black granite are the 58,260 names of those Americans who died in Vietnam. The designer, Maya Ying Lin of Athens, Ohio, a 21-year-old architecture student at Yale University, was the winner of the competition that drew 1,421 design entries: ". . . this memorial is for those who have died, and for us to remember them." Eventually, the Memorial included three elements, the Wall of names, the Three Servicemen Statue and Flagpole, and the Vietnam Women's Memorial.

The Wall of Names, the Three Servicemen Statue and Flagpole, and the Vietnam Women's Memorial
Read more about the memorial:
Stunning photo gallery of the Memorial including interactive panoramic images
Charlie Rose interview with Maya Lin and filmmaker Freida Lee Mock, who made the Academy-Award-winning documentary, “Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision”


November 14, 1910
Eugene Ely performed the first airplane takeoff from a ship. His Curtiss pusher flew from the deck of the U.S.S. Birmingham in Hampton Roads, Virginia.
By January he would execute the first (takeoff and) landing on a warship, the U.S.S. Pennsylvania. Captain Washington I. Chambers of the Navy Department had been interested in the military uses for the seven-year-old invention.
Naval flight training started shortly thereafter.
The whole story from the Naval Historical Center


November 14, 1954
"Ten Million Americans Mobilized for Justice" began a campaign to collect 10 million signatures on a petition urging the Senate not to censure Senator Joseph McCarthy (R-Wisconsin). The motion of censure against Senator McCarthy was for obstructing a Senate committee and for acting inexcusably and reprehensibly toward a U.S. soldier appearing before his own committee.
McCarthy had used his Senate Permanent Investigations Subcommittee to publicly denounce thousands as subversive, especially within the federal government, many without any justification. The political views of most were painted as treasonable and conspiratorial, rather than differing political views.
The petition effort fell about nine million signatures short.
Full story on McCarthy’s censure


November 14, 2000
Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris, simultaneously co-chair of George W. Bush’s Florida presidential campaign organization and the public official responsible for the conduct of the election itself, certified Governor Bush’s fragile 300-vote lead over Vice President Al Gore in the 2000 presidential election. Katherine Harris
Florida Judge Terry Lewis gave Harris the authority to accept or reject a follow-up manual recount from some counties where the count was open to question. Harris rejected the manual recounts.


November 15, 1917
About 20 women peacefully picketing for universal suffrage (right to vote), who had been arrested in front of the White House a few days earlier, were subjected to beatings and torture at Occoquan workhouse in Virginia.
The National Women’s Party and other organizations had been picketing the White House and President Woodrow
Wilson as he traveled around the country ever since the inauguration of his second term.
The incident became known as the “night of terror.”
Wilson had led the country into the European war (later called World War I), by characterizing the U.S. mission as “making the world safe for democracy.” The women demonstrating outside in Lafayette Square called attention to the need for complete democracy at home, where half of its citizens lacked complete voting rights.
Mary Winsor
Many women, including Lucy Burns and Alice Paul, had been arrested several times, usually for obstructing the sidewalk, and imprisoned before. When a judge learned of the abuse he freed the women. Public outrage over their treatment increased sympathy for the suffrage movement.
left: Lucy Burns in Occoquan Workhouse, Washington, DC right: Alice Paul, New Jersey, National Chairman, Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage; Member, Ex-Officio, National Executive Committee, Woman's Party, ca 1915
Amazing resources from the Library of Congress on women’s suffrage


November 15, 1940


75,000 men were called to Armed Forces duty under the first peacetime conscription.

Draft inductees leaving Wilmington, Delaware in November, 1941


November 15, 1943

Heinrich Himmler, Adolf Hitler’s head of the SS (Schutzstaffel or protective rank), Gestapo, the Waffen SS and the Death’s Head units that ran the concentration camps, made public an order that Gypsies (more properly the Roma) and those of mixed Roma blood were to be put on "the same level as Jews and placed in concentration camps."

Gypsy prisoners arriving at a Concentration Camp

Himmler was determined to prosecute Nazi racial policies, which dictated the elimination from Germany and German-controlled territories of all races deemed "inferior," as well as "asocial" types, such as hardcore criminals. Gypsies fell into both categories according to the thinking of Nazi ideologues and had been executed in droves both in Poland and the Soviet Union. The order of November 15 was merely a more comprehensive program, as it included the deportation to the Auschwitz death camp of Gypsies already in labor camps.

The Gypsies in Germany History and culture of the Gypsies


November 15, 1957

U.S. Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy (SANE) was founded. Thirty years later on November 20, SANE merged with the Nuclear Freeze organization (dedicated to freezing all nuclear weapons testing worldwide) at a joint convention in Cleveland to form SANE/FREEZE. Its successor is known as Peace Action, the largest U.S. peace organization.

Sane Nuclear Policy poster, 1960

Read more


November 15, 1969

Following a symbolic three-day "March Against Death," the second national "moratorium" against the Vietnam War opened with massive and peaceful demonstrations in San Francisco and Washington, D.C. Organized by the New Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam ("New Mobe"), an estimated 500,000 demonstrators participated as part of the largest such gathering to date.

It began with a march down Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House (while Pres. Nixon watched the Purdue-Ohio State football game on TV) to the Washington Monument, where a mass rally with speeches was held.

Pete Seeger, Arlo Guthrie, Peter, Paul and Mary, and four different touring casts of the musical "Hair" entertained the demonstrators. The rally concluded with nearly 40 hours of continuous reading of known U.S. deaths (to that date) in the Vietnam War.


November 15, 1986

A government tribunal in Nicaragua convicted American Eugene Hasenfus, a CIA operative, of delivering arms to Contra rebels and sentenced him to 30 years in prison. He had been arrested when his plane was shot down by Sandanista troops. He was pardoned a month after his conviction (his last name means "rabbit's foot" in German). Hasenfus under arrest



November 16, 1928 

An obscenity trial began for Radclyffe Hall's novel, "The Well of Loneliness." Great Britain banned it for its treatment of lesbianism, though it contained no explicit sexual references.


A U.S. court in 1929 ruled similarly, for its sympathetic portrait of homosexuality, and because it "pleads for tolerance on the part of society."

Radclyffe Hall

Read more



November 16, 1989 

Six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper and her daughter were brutally murdered by U.S.-trained and -supported death squads in El Salvador.

In 1995 the United Nations Commission on the Truth for El Salvador linked the slayings to 19 members of the armed forces who were graduates of the School of the Americas (SOA, now known as Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation), a facility run by the U.S. Army at Fort Benning, Georgia.
Over its 59 years, the SOA has trained over 60,000 Latin American soldiers in counterinsurgency techniques, sniper, commando and psychological warfare, military intelligence and interrogation tactics. The graduates have consistently used their skills to wage a war against their own people.

Among those targeted by SOA graduates are educators, union organizers, religious workers, student leaders, and others who work for the rights of the poor.
The Truth Commission’s report
Read more More on the School of the Americas


November 16, 1990

President George H. W. Bush issued Executive Order 12735 which found the spread of chemical and biological weapons (CBW) to constitute an "unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States." He declared a state of national emergency to deal with this threat. The order reiterated U.S. policy to lead and seek multilaterally coordinated efforts to control the spread of CW and BW and directed the secretaries of State and Commerce to adopt a variety of export controls.


November 16, 1994

After receiving assurances from the United States, Britain, and France, the Ukrainian Parliament approved Ukraine's agreement to follow the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty as a non-nuclear-weapons state.


November 17, 1973

President Nixon told an Associated Press managing editors meeting at Disney World in Orlando, Florida, that "people have got to know whether or not their president is a crook. Well, I'm not a crook."

 

Read more



November 17, 1980

Hundreds were arrested at the Women's Pentagon Action protest of patriarchy and its war-making.

Read more


November 17, 1989

Riot police in Prague, the capital of Czechoslovakia, arrested hundreds of people demanding the resignation of the leader of the Communist-led government. More than 15,000 people, mostly students, took part in the demonstration demanding democratic rights. [see November 18, 1989 below]


November 17, 2000

The Florida Supreme Court froze the tallying of the state's presidential election returns, forbidding Secretary of State Katherine Harris to certify results of the vote count in the presidential race between Republican George W. Bush and Democrat Al Gore.


November 18, 1910

Hundreds of suffragists marched on the House of Commons in London, England, with reinforcements arriving to replace the "fallen" and arrested. Protesting government inaction on the Conciliation Bill, which would have enfranchised about a million women, they were brutally forced back by London police, leading to a public outcry.

Read more



November 18, 1964

 

FBI director J. Edgar Hoover publicly characterized Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. as "the most notorious liar in the country." King replied that Hoover "has apparently faltered under the awesome burden, complexities, and responsibilities of his office."



November 18, 1970

President Richard Nixon asked Congress for supplemental appropriations for the Cambodian government of Premier Lon Nol. Nixon requested $155 million in new funds for Cambodia — $85 million of which would be for military assistance, mainly in the form of ammunition.


November 18, 1989

More than 50,000 people took to the streets of Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, demanding political reform. In the biggest demonstration in the country's post-war history, protesters held up banners and chanted:
"We want democracy now."

Read more



November 18, 1993

South Africa's ruling National Party, and leaders of 20 other parties representing both blacks and whites, approved a new national constitution that provided fundamental rights to blacks and other non-whites, ending the apartheid system. South Africa held its first democratic multi-racial election on April 26, 1994.

From the preamble: “WHEREAS there is a need to create a new order in which all South Africans will be entitled to a common South African citizenship in a sovereign and democratic constitutional state in which there is equality between men and women and people of all races so that all citizens shall be able to enjoy and exercise their fundamental rights and freedoms....”

South African citizens in line to vote.

Constitutional history of South Africa


November 18, 2001



In London, 100,000 marched against the U.S. and British attacks against Afghanistan.




November 19, 1915
Joe Hill, a labor organizer for the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) was assassinated by firing squad in the courtyard of the Utah State Penitentiary in Salt Lake City.
The IWW, or Wobblies as they were know were advocates of organizing all workers into One Big Union. It is reported that Joe had been framed for murder by copper bosses, the press and government forces.
Just prior to his execution, as Joe stood before the firing squad he propelled himself him from organizer to labor martyrdom with these words: "Don't waste any time in mourning. Organize!"

Joe Hill: The Man Who Didn't Die

The IWW today


November 19, 1969

In an effort to undercut growing opposition to a draft made necessary by the Vietnam War, Congress passed a law requiring random selection of draftees through a lottery.
The Selective Service System would call up young men based upon their birthday, first with 19-year-olds and those with expired college deferments.


November 19, 1977

In an unprecedented move for an Arab leader, Egyptian President Anwar el-Sadat traveled to Israel to seek a permanent peace settlaement with Egypt's neighbor after decades of conflict. This action was extremely unpopular in the Arab World and especially among Muslim fundamentalists. Egypt and Israel had fought four wars since 1948.
Sadat arrives in Israel

Sadat on November 9:
“ Israel would be astonished when they hear me say this. But I say it. I am ready to go even to their home ... to the Knesset and discuss peace with them if need be.”
Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin on November 11:
“ Let us say to one another, and let it be a silent oath by the peoples of Egypt and Israel: no more wars, no more bloodshed and no more threats.”

Together in Israel:
Sadat:
“ I wish to tell you today and I proclaim to the whole world: We accept to live with you in a lasting and just peace.”
Begin:
“ Everything must be negotiated and can be negotiated.
We Jews appreciate courage, and we will know how to appreciate our visitor's courage.”

Sadat’s speech to the Israeli Knesset (parliament):



November 20, 1816

The term "scab" was first used in print by the Albany (N.Y.) Typographical Society.
A scab is someone who crosses a union’s picket line and takes the job of a striking worker.


What is a Scab?

Read The Scab by Jack London



November 20, 1945

The International War Crimes Tribunal began in Nuremberg, Germany, and continued until October 1, 1946, establishing that military and political subordinates are responsible for their own actions even if ordered by their superiors.

Twenty-four high-ranking Nazis were on trial for atrocities committed during World War II, ranging from crimes against peace to crimes of war, to crimes against humanity. The Nuremberg Trials were conducted by judges from the United States, the Soviet Union, France, and Great Britain.

The Nuremberg defendants

Read more



November 20, 1959

The United Nations proclaimed "The Declaration of the Rights of the Child," because “the child, by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth.”

Read the text of the Declaration


November 20, 1962

President John F. Kennedy issued an executive order forbidding racial discrimination in public housing.



November 20, 1969

Fourteen Indians from 20 tribes seized Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay, offering to buy the island from the federal government for $24 worth of beads (the alleged price paid to the Canarsee Delaware Indians for Manhattan Island; it was actually 60 Dutch guilders).
Their numbers swelled to nearly eighty; the General Services Administration, which had responsibility for the site of the former federal prison, and Coast Guard gave them the opportunity to leave the island peacefully.

They were reclaiming it as Indian land by right of discovery, and demanding fairness and respect for native peoples. The occupation lasted for more than a year. Said Richard Oakes, a Mohawk from New York, "We hold The Rock."

Indian people and their supporters wait for the ferry.
Photo/Ilka Hartmann

    a new entrance to Alcatraz                           Photo/Michelle Vignes

Read more

LaNada Boyer (formerly Means) inside one of the Alcatraz guard barracks where occupiers lived from 1969-71. Much of the graffiti from 30 years ago remains throughout the island today.           Photo by Linda Sue Scott.



November 20, 1977
Egyptian President Anwar El-Sadat addressed the Israeli Knesset (parliament).

"I come to you today on solid ground to shape a new life and to establish peace. "But to be absolutely frank with you, I took this decision after long thought, knowing that it constitutes a great risk...."
Text of Sadat’s speech to the Israeli Knesset Listen to the speech


November 20, 1987
SANE (The Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy) and FREEZE (the campaign to freeze all testing of nuclear weapons) merged at their first combined convention in Cleveland, Ohio, becoming the largest U.S. peace organization.
Peace Action today


November 20, 1993
The U.S. Senate approved the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), creating the world’s largest trade area covering Canada, the U.S. and Mexico.


November 21, 1945

200,000 members of the United Auto Workers went on strike against General Motors, the first major strike following World War II. The UAW’s demand for a 30% wage increase was based on the increase in the cost of living during the war (28% according to the Department of Labor), the wartime freeze on wages, and the cut in the average workweek with the disappearance of overtime pay in manufacturing.

But the UAW also considered profits and prices a subject for negotiation, a position rejected by GM. The union did not merely say that labor was entitled to enough wages to live on. It also said that labor was entitled to share in the wealth produced by industry.

 

“... Unless we get a more realistic distribution of America’s wealth, we won’t get enough to keep this machine going.”

–Walter Reuther, UAW President



November 21, 1973
President Richard Nixon's attorney, J. Fred Buzhardt, revealed the existence of an 18 1/2-minute gap in one of the subpoenaed White House tape recordings of Watergate conversations made by President Richard Nixon in the days after the Watergate break-in.

The erasure was blamed on an accident by Nixon's private secretary, Rose Mary Woods, but scientific analysis determined the erasures to be deliberate. White House Chief of Staff Alexander Haig later attributed the gap to "sinister forces."


Rose Mary Woods, demonstrating how she might

have created theWatergate tape gap

Read more


November 21, 1974
Both Houses of Congress voted to override President Gerald Ford’s veto of updates to the Freedom of Information Act. Originally passed in 1966, it required federal agencies to release information upon request to citizens and journalists.
The amendments put an end to governmental resistance to compliance, including excessive fees, bureaucratic delays, and the need to sometimes resort to expensive litigation to force the government to share copies of documents.
Ford advisors Chief of Staff Donald Rumsfeld, his deputy Dick Cheney, and government lawyer Antonin Scalia advised him to veto it.
Chief of Staff Donald Rumsfeld, President Gerald Ford
and Deputy Chief of Staff Richard Cheney April 28, 1975
What was the dispute?


November 21, 1975
The Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities, led by Senator Frank Church (D-Idaho), issued a report charging U.S. government officials were behind assassination plots against two foreign leaders – Fidel Castro (Cuba) and Patrice Lumumba (Congo), and were heavily involved in at least three other plots: Rafael Trujillo (Dominican Republic), Ngo Dinh Diem (Vietnam), Rene Schneider (Chile).

Senator Frank Church, left, chairman of the Senate Select Intelligence Committee,
displays a poison dart gun as co-chairman Senator John Tower (R-TX) watches.

The committee, a precursor to the Senate Intelligence Committee, was established to look into misuse of and abuse by intelligence agencies, particularly the CIA and FBI, some of which had been revealed by the Watergate investigations.
 
 

Fidel Castro / Patrice Lumumba / Rafael Trujillo / Ngo Dinh Diem / Rene Schneider

Read more 



November 21, 1981

More than 350,000 demonstrated in Amsterdam against U.S. nuclear-armed cruise missiles on European soil.


November 21, 1985

A full-scale summit conference, the first of five between the President Ronald Reagan of the U.S. and General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev of the Soviet Union concluded. There was optimism over beginning a more productive and cooperative relationship between the two countries, each of which had thousands of nuclear warheads targeted at the other.The U.S. had proposed building a space-based anti-ballistic missile system, commonly known as “Star Wars,” which the Soviets had strongly opposed as an escalation of the nuclear arms race.
In an unofficial meeting the previous evening, President Reagan had noted that he and Gorbachev were meeting for the first time at this level and had little practice. Nevertheless, having read the history of previous summit meetings, he had concluded that those earlier leaders had not accomplished very much. Therefore, he suggested that he and Gorbachev say, "To hell with the past, we'll do it our way and get something done.” Gorbachev concurred.
Reagan and Gorbachev at their first summit


November 21, 1986

National Security Council member Oliver North and his secretary, Fawn Hall, began shredding documents that would have exposed their participation in a range of illegal activities regarding the sale of arms to Iran in an attempt to free hostages, and the diversion of the proceeds to an insurgent Nicaraguan group known as the contras.

Fawn Hall

Oliver North

Read more



November 21, 1995

China officially charged well-known human rights activist and political dissident Wei Jingsheng with trying to “overthrow the government.” Wei had not been seen for a year and a half after disappearing into police custody after meeting with a U.S. assistant secretary of state for human rights and humanitarian affairs.

"If the people allow the power holders, in the peoples' name, to violate and ignore the rights of some of the people then, at the same time, they are giving the power holders the power to violate the rights of all the people.”
“ Most people wait until others are standing to make their move, very few are willing to stand up first or to stand alone. That's why my friends call me a fool! But I don't have any regrets."
– Wei Jingsheng

Wei Jingsheng

He had been imprisoned previously for his involvement with the Democracy Wall movement, including years in solitary confinement. He had also spoken out on behalf of the Tibetans.



November 22, 1909

In New York City, the International Ladies Garment Workers Union went on strike against sweatshop conditions in what became known as the "Uprising of the 20,000" and the "Girl's Revolt." The strikers won the support of other workers and the women's suffrage movement for their persistence and unity in the face of police brutality and biased courts. A judge told arrested pickets: "You are on strike against God." This was the first mass strike by women in the U.S.

ILGWU timeline



November 22, 1963

President John F. Kennedy was shot dead in Dallas during a motorcade.
Vice President Lyndon Johnson was sworn in as president within hours.


November 22, 1968

 

What is believed to be the first interracial kiss on U.S. broadcast television occurred in an episode of Star Trek between William Shatner and Nichelle Nichols.



November 22, 1998

7,000 marched on the U.S. Army’s School of the Americas (SOA) at Fort Benning, outside Columbus, Georgia.

They were protesting the school’s training of Latin American soldiers and other security personnel who return to their countries and are involved in violence and oppression of their populations. 2,319 people were arrested for trespassing.
Protests at the School of the Americas, organized by SOA Watch, occur every November. The school is now known by the U.S. Army as the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation.

2002 protest at SOA

Visit School of the Americas watch.



November 23, 1170 BCE 


The first recorded strike took place in Egypt when necropolis workers who had not been paid for their work in more than two months sat down and refused to work until they were paid and able to eat.

 



November 23, 1887

Black Louisiana sugarcane workers, in cooperation with the racially integrated Knights of Labor, had gone on strike at the beginning of the month over their meager pay issued in script (not cash). The script was redeemable only at the company store where excessive prices were charged. When the first freeze of the season arrived and damaged the crop, the plantation owners were angered. The Louisiana Militia, aided by bands of "prominent citizens," shot and killed at least 35 unarmed black sugar workers striking to gain a dollar-per-day wage, and lynched two strike leaders in what became known as the Thibodaux Massacre.

More on the Thibodaux Massacre.



November 23, 1981

President Ronald Reagan signed off on a top secret document, National Security Decision Directive 17 (NSDD-17), which gave the Central Intelligence Agency a budget of $19 million to recruit and support a 500-man force of Nicaraguan insurgents to conduct covert actions against the leftist Sandinista elected government. This marked the beginning of official U.S. support for the so-called contras in their war against the Nicaraguans.

Read (most of) the memo More on the Reagan policy



November 24, 1859
British naturalist Charles Darwin published On the Origin of Species, which explained his theory of evolution.

The basis for the theory is natural selection, the process by which organisms change over time as a result of changes in heritable (genetically based) physical or behavioral traits. Such changes allow an organism to better adapt to its environment and help it survive and have more offspring.
Evolution is now universally accepted among scientists, and is the organizing principle upon which modern biological and related sciences are based.


Behind the Controversy: How Evolution Works Darwin and "On the Origin of Species"


November 24, 1869

Women and men from 21 states met in Cleveland to organize the American Women Suffrage Association, led by Lucy Stone, Henry Blackwell, Thomas Wentworth Higginson, and Julia Ward Howe. The group’s approach to enfranchisement for women was through acquiring the right to vote state-by-state.
Those in Cleveland had broken with Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton of the National Women Suffrage Association over the 15th amendment to the Constitution, which had granted the vote to black male Americans following the end of slavery, but had not enfranchised women, whether white or black. Anthony and Stanton protested the protection of black rights over universal suffrage.

Original document from AWSA in the National Archives



November 24, 1947

A group of writers, producers and directors that became known as the "Hollywood 10" were cited for contempt of Congress when they refused to cooperate at hearings about alleged Communist influence in the movie industry.

Following their appearance in front of the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) under Representative John Parnell Thomas (R-New Jersey), the House of Representatives voted 346-17 for the citations. All were convicted and sentenced to 6-12 months in prison. The charges were upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Hollywood 10

Invoking their 5th Amendment right not to be witnesses against themselves, and their 1st Amendment right to freely associate with whom they choose, the Hollywood 10 refused to answer the question, "Are you a member of the Communist Party or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party?"
Others cooperated: the mother of actor and dancer Ginger Rogers testified her daughter had been asked to say in a film, "Share and share alike, that's democracy," a line from a script written by the blacklisted Dalton Trumbo. Rogers said this was "definitely Communist propaganda."

Free The Hollywood 10 Demo
Read more    


November 24, 1970

14 American students met with Vietnamese in Hanoi to plan the "Peoples' Peace Treaty" between the peoples of the United States, South Vietnam and North Vietnam.

It begins, "Be it known that the American people and the Vietnamese people are not enemies. The war is carried out in the names of the people of the United States and South Vietnam, but without our consent. It destroys the land and people of Vietnam. It drains America of its resources, its youth, and its honor."
The treaty was ultimately endorsed by millions.

Read the treaty



November 24, 1983

On Thanksgiving Day seven Plowshares activists hammered and poured blood on B-52 bombers converted to carry cruise missiles at Griffiss Air Force Base near Syracuse, New York.


Bloody handprint on missile.

Watch Plowshares history video
Read more

Listen to them discuss their efforts



November 24, 1987

The United States and the Soviet Union agreed to scrap short- and medium-range missiles in the first superpower treaty to eliminate an entire class of nuclear weapons. The Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF treaty), signed by Reagan and Gorbachev, was the first to actually reduce the number of nuclear weapons held by the two sides.



November 24, 1993

Congress voted to formally apologize to Hawaii for the 1893 overthrow of the government of Queen Lydia Liliuokalani.

What the apology was for
and a Hawaiian Declaration of Independence
Queen Lydia Liliuokalani


November 25, 1913

Indians marching with Mohandas Gandhi for recognition of their religious and cultural legitimacy, and individual freedom, were attacked by police, leaving five dead (shot from the back according to the inquest) and nine wounded. He was marching with more than 2000 striking miners from Natal to Transvaal provinces in South Africa in violation of the law.
Gandhi in his publication, Indian Opinion, had advocated the end of a £3 tax on ex-indentured Indians. He had lamented the violence that had been inflicted on his peaceful marchers.


 
November 25, 1947

Film industry executives, meeting in New York, announced that the “Hollywood Ten” directors, producers, and writers who had refused to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) would be fired or suspended, and not hired in the future, thus “blacklisted.”

 

Who were the Hollywood Ten?

 
November 25, 1986

President Ronald Reagan and Attorney General Edwin Meese revealed that $30 million in profits from secret arms sales to Iran had been diverted to support the Nicaraguan contra insurgents in violation of U.S. law. What became known as the Iran-Contra Affair was revealed three weeks after a Lebanese magazine reported arms had been sold in violation of U.S. policy. Reagan & Meese

The arms trade with the revolutionary government of the Islamic Republic of Iran was carried out in hopes of freeing some of the Western hostages held by Iran’s allies in the middle east. Reagan had repeatedly pledged never to negotiate with terrorists.
However, notes of an earlier meeting kept by then-Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger said, "President decided to go with Israeli-Iranian offer to release our 5 hostages in return for sale of 4,000 TOWs [U.S. missiles] to Iran by Israel.  [Sec. of State] George Shultz + I opposed -- [CIA Director] Bill Casey, Ed Meese + VP [George H.W. Bush] favored -- as did Poindexter."
The Congress had specifically barred U.S. funds going to the contras (Boland amendment) who were terrorizing the Nicaraguan countryside.



John Poindexter

Reagan and Meese denied knowledge of the activity and named two subordinates — National Security Advisor Admiral John M. Poindexter and National Security Council staffer Colonel Oliver L. North — as responsible and being dismissed from their jobs as a result. ". . . [I] was not fully informed on the nature of one of the activities," said President Reagan, referring to the fact that money from weapons sales to Iran was diverted to the contras.
Who's who in Iran-Contra

Tom Tomorrow on Iran-Contra



November 25
, 1988

2,000 marched in New York city to protest the sale of animal fur for clothing. Over 50 other cities held similar demonstrations.



November 26, 1968

U.N. General Assembly passed a resolution against capital punishment following an official report which said, “Examination of the number of murders before and after the abolition of the death penalty does not support the theory that capital punishment has a unique deterrent effect.”
More on capital punishment and homicide


November 26, 1970

American Indian activists marked Thanksgiving with a National Day of Mourning for Native Americans by occupying Plymouth Rock on Cape Cod in Massachusetts, the alleged landing spot of the Pilgrims’ landing in Massachusetts colony. Led by Wamsutta Frank James, an Aquinnah Wampanoag elder and music teacher, over 200 Indians seized the Mayflower II and painted Plymouth Rock red.
Day of Mourning demo in downtown Plymouth
James had refused to speak at a state dinner the night before commemorating the 350th anniversary of the landing, and went on to organize United American Indians of New England
Wamsutta Frank James


November 26, 1983

President Ronald Reagan ordered military assistance to Iraq in the war Saddam Hussein had begun by invading Iran. To prevent an Iraqi military collapse, the Reagan administration supplied battlefield intelligence on Iranian troop buildups to the Iraqis, sometimes through third parties such as Saudi Arabia.
National Security Decision Directive 114, signed on that day, stated that the United States would do "whatever was necessary and legal" to prevent Iraq from losing the war with Iran. It called for heightened regional military cooperation to defend oil facilities, and measures to improve U.S. military capabilities in the Persian Gulf.
The assistance was granted despite frequent and consistent reports of Iraqi use of chemical weapons, a clear violation of the 1925 Geneva Protocol. Mustard gas had been used against Iranian troops and against “human wave” attacks by thousands of Basij (Popular Mobilization Army or People's Army) volunteers.
The full story on U.S.-Iraq relations at that time The Geneva Protocol


November 27, 1095

Pope Urban II called on all Christians to liberate Jerusalem from the Muslims and reclaim the Holy Land: "Deus vult (God wills it)!" What is currently called the Middle East was then in control of the Turks who frequently barred Christian pilgrims entrance to the city.
At the Council of Clermont in France, the pope promised absolution and remission of sins for all who died in the service of Christ. The mobilization of 60,000 to 100,000 Christians throughout Europe in this effort became known as the First Crusade.
The First Crusade in-depth


November 27, 1914

The No-Conscription Fellowship (NCF) was founded by two English pacifists, Clifford Allen and Fenner Brockway. They opposed the Military Service Act which introduced conscription, and then mounted a vigorous campaign against the punishment and imprisonment of conscientious objectors.
They were consistently opposed to the war in Europe.

Early Fellowship members
  Fellowship members at a recent protest
More on the No-Conscription Fellowship from the Swarthmore College Peace Collection


November 27, 1957

Jawaharlal Nehru, India's first Prime Minister, made an impassioned speech appealing to the United States and the Soviet Union (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) to end testing and begin nuclear disarmament. The two superpowers were the only nations with atomic weapons at the time.
Nehru had fought to free his country from British colonial authority through acts of nonviolent passive resistance with Ghandi, and they achieved independence. He stressed the urgency for the U.S. and U.S.S.R. to "save humanity from the ultimate disaster.”
Nehru’s Congress Party government nevertheless pursued an aggressive nuclear program, starting in 1948, publicly committed to peaceful purposes exclusively. Nehru acknowledged that the possession of fissionable materials and growing expertise could readily be directed toward production of such weapons. In the absence of universal nuclear disarmament, he feared acquisition of such weapons by potential adversaries. In particular for India, this meant Pakistan or China.
India's first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru
Nuclear India - a short history


November 27, 1965

In Washington D.C., 35,000 anti-war protesters circled the White House then marched on to the Washington Monument for a rally against the war in Vietnam.


November 27, 1967

Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. announced the Southern Christian Leadership Conference’s Poor People’s Campaign, a movement to broadly address economic inequalities with nonviolent direct action. "It must not be just black people," argued King, "it must be all poor people. We must include American Indians, Puerto Ricans, Mexicans, and even poor whites."


November 27, 1969

Over one hundred members of the U.S. 71st Evacuation Hospital and the 44th Medical Detachment at Pleiku, Vietnam, organized a Thanksgiving protest fast called the “John Turkey movement.” In Home before Morning, nurse Lynda Van Devanter recalled her change in attitude.
“Earlier in my tour, when I had heard about the war protesters, I had felt angry at them for not supporting us.  Now I wished I could march with them . . . Most others in Pleiku felt the same way . . . We even held our own Thanksgiving Day fast—the John Turkey movement — as a show of support for those who were trying to end the war through protests and moratoriums. We heard that the fast had spread to units all over Vietnam.”
nurse Lynda Van Devanter
The fast received considerable media coverage when Denise Murray, a nurse at Pleiku and daughter of a distinguished admiral, made antiwar statements to the press.



November 28, 1891

Early IBEW delegates The National Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) was founded when 10 men met at Stolley’s Dance Hall in St. Louis, Missouri. Their goal: the joining together of electricians in a common organization to make a better life for all.
Read more The original logo adopted at the First Convention.


November 28, 1905

The political party Sinn Fein (meaning “we ourselves” in Gaelic) was founded in Dublin by Irish nationalist Arthur Griffith. Its objective was to end British rule in Ireland and seek national self-determination as a sovereign state.

Sinn Fein’s story of its origins


November 28, 1991

The U.S. Congress passed the Comprehensive Threat Reduction Act (the Nunn-Lugar legislation), which provided up to $400 million to assist with the destruction of Soviet nuclear and chemical warheads. The legislation was initiated by Sen. Sam Nunn (D-Georgia) and Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Indiana).


November 29, 1864

A U.S. Army cavalry regiment under Colonel J. M. Chivington (a Methodist missionary and candidate for Congress), acting on orders from Colorado's Governor, John Evans, and ignoring a white surrender flag flying just below a U.S. flag, attacked sleeping Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians, killing nearly 500, in what became known as the Sand Creek Massacre. Captain Silas Soule, however, not only refused to follow Chivington's lead at Sand Creek, but ordered his troops not to participate in the attack.
The Indians, led by Black Kettle, had been ordered away from Fort Lyon four days before, with the promise that they would be safe. Virtually all of the victims, mostly women and children, were tortured and scalped; many women, including the pregnant, were mutilated. Nine of 900 cavalrymen were killed. A local newspaper called this "a brilliant feat of arms," and stated the soldiers had "covered themselves with glory."
At first, Chivington was widely praised for his "victory" at the Battle of Sand Creek, and he and his troops were honored with a parade in Denver. However, rumors of drunken soldiers butchering unarmed women and children began to circulate, and Congress ordered a formal investigation of the massacre. Chivington was eventually threatened with court martial by the U.S. Army, but as he had already left his military post, no criminal charges were ever filed against him

The Sand Creek Massacre Documentary Film Project

Eyewitness Congressional testimony of John S. Smith, a white Indian agent and interpreter:

Two different paintings of the Sand Creek Massacre


November 29, 1963

U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson establishes the Warren Commission to investigate the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
Earl Warren and LBJ

More about Earl Warren

More about The Warren Commission


November 29, 1967

U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara announces his resignation during the Vietnam War.

The Fog of War a movie about the Vietnam War and
Robert McNamara


November 30, 1215

Pope Innocent II, in a papal bull (or major sacred pronouncement of canon law), ordered that Jews, "whether men or women, must in all Christian countries distinguish themselves from the rest of the population in public places by a special kind of clothing." The rule was interpreted as requiring a badge on clothing as determined by each country. In England, for example, the tablets with the 10 commandments were used.
Read more


November 30, 1967

Senator Eugene McCarthy (D-Minnesota) announced that he would run on an anti-Vietnam war platform against Pres. Lyndon Johnson for the nomination of the Democratic Party. McCarthy, though a contender to be Johnson's running mate in 1964, had since become increasingly disenchanted with U.S. policy toward Vietnam, and opposed the war in his campaign.
McCarthy on the campaign trail “I am not for peace at any price, but for an honorable, rational and political solution to this war; a solution which I believe will enhance our world position, encourage the respect of our Allies and our potential adversaries, which will permit us to get the necessary attention to other commitments . . . and leave us with resources and moral energy to deal effectively with [the] pressing domestic problems of the United States itself.”
Read more, see photos


November 30, 1993

The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act became law. It provided for a waiting period before the purchase of a handgun, and for the establishment of a national instant criminal background check system to be used by firearms dealers before the transfer of any handgun.

The law was named for James Brady, President Ronald Reagan’s press secretary, who became a paraplegic after being shot in the assassination attempt on Reagan. Following his recovery, he and his wife, Sarah, became leading proponents of controlling the proliferation of handguns.
James Brady watches President Clinton sign the bill


November 30, 1999


Tens of thousands of activists, students, union members and environmentalists demonstrating for global justice shut down the World Trade Organization (WTO) summit in Seattle, Washington.
International media coverage ignored both the blockade and the police riot (and an enormous labor-sponsored rally and march), focusing instead on minor property damage committed by a few dozen self-described anarchists.
photo Elaine Brière

What is the World trade Organization?

What the protests were about

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