Dan Watson

Archive for August 2010


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It appears that my post on 1964 was popular, so let’s dig into the Collier’s Yearbook again, and as Joan would say, “Gentlemen, shall we begin 1965?”

1/4/65 – Speaking before a joint session of the 89th Congress nine hours after the opening of its first session, President Johnson gave his State of the Union message, in which he outlined the building of the “Great Society.”  T. S. Eliot, 76, American-born British poet and critic who won the 1948 Nobel Prize in literature, died in London.

1/11/65 – Emerson Foote, head of the National Interagency on Smoking and Health, predicted that 125,000 Americans would die in 1965 from the effects of cigarette smoking, despite the drop in per capita rate of consumption.

1/15/65 – A federal grand jury indicted 18 persons in connection with the June 1964 slaying of three civil rights workers in Mississippi; all but one had previously been arrested–and then released–in the same case.

1/20/65 – Thousands of spectators gathered at the Capitol in near-freezing temperatures to watch Lyndon B. Johnson being sworn in for his first full term as president and to hear his Inaugural Address, with its theme of justice, liberty, and unity.

1/24/65 – Sir Winston Churchill, 90, Britain’s World War II prime minister, died following a stroke.

1/26/65 – Iran’s Premier Hassan Ali Mansour, 41, died as a result of two shots fired by an assassin on January 21.

2/3/65 – The arrest of over 1,000 Negro schoolchildren in Selma, Ala., and in the nearby town of Marion brought to over 2,600 the number of arrests in the Selma area since the start of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s nonviolent Negro voter registration drive in Dallas County.

2/6/65 – In Atlanta, Ga., segregationist Lester G. Maddox ended months of litigation by reluctantly agreeing to comply with a federal court order to admit Negroes to his cafeteria.

2/10/65 – In Selma, Ala., sheriff James G. Clark and a group of deputies carrying nightsticks and electric cattle prods led 165 youthful Negro demonstrators on a 2.3-mile forced march into the Dallas County countryside.

2/19/65 – A proposed constitutional amendment providing for procedures in the event of presidential disability was unanimously approved by the U.S. Senate.  Under the amendment, a vice-president who had succeeded to the presidency could nominate a new vice-president, subject to congressional confirmation.

2/21/65 – Malcolm X, 39-year-old leader of the militant Black Nationalist movement, was shot to death while addressing a rally of his followers in New York City.

3/5/65 – In Indianola, Miss., a major stronghold of segregation, a freedom school and library containing 2,000 volumes burned to the ground.

3/7/65 – More than 60 Negroes were injured when Alabama state troopers and a handful of volunteers from the Dallas County sheriff’s office, authorized by Governor George Wallace to prevent a protest march from Selma to Montgomery, broke up a Negro demonstration with nightsticks, whips, and tear gas.

3/9/65 – Following a federal court order banning a protest march from Selma to Montgomery, 1,500 Negro and white civil rights marchers, led by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., were peaceably halted by Alabama state troopers one mile outside of Selma.  Thousands of Negroes and whites in major cities across the U.S. demonstrated to show sympathy for the twice-attempted voter registration march.

3/10/65 – President Johnson submitted to Congress a $10 million plan to establish a National Foundation on the Arts and Humanities which would provide direct federal aid to creative artists for the first time since the New Deal of the 1930’s.

3/11/65 – The Rev. James J. Reeb, 38-year-old white minister from Boston who was one of three clergymen beaten by whites in Selma, Ala., after participating in a civil rights march on March 9, died in Birmingham.

3/13/65 – In a three-hour meeting with Alabama Governor George Wallace, President Johnson warned that police brutality in Selma “must not be repeated” and urged him to assure that the right to vote and to demonstrate peacefully would be maintained.

3/15/65 – In a televised appearance before a joint evening session of Congress, President Johnson urged speedy approval of a new voting rights bill designed to remove discriminatory barriers against citizen trying to register and vote in any federal, state, or local election.  Referring to anti-Negro discrimination as a national problem, the president pledged that “we shall overcome” this “crippling legacy of bigotry and injustice.”

3/17/65 – In Montgomery, Ala., a federal district judge authorized Negroes to hold a 50-mile civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, ordering Governor Wallace and other Alabama officials to refrain from “harassing or threatening” the protest marchers and to provide full police protection from hostile whites.

3/21/65 – The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., led 3,200 Negroes and whites on the first lap of a civil rights march from Selma to the Alabama state capital of Montgomery.

3/25/65 – The 54-mile march that began on March 21 in Selma, Ala., ended at the state capitol in Montgomery, where the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., exhorted a jubilant crowd of 25,000 Negroes and whites to continue the struggle for racial justice.  After the march, Mrs. Viola Gregg Liuzzo, a white civil rights worker from Detroit, was shot to death on the road between Montgomery and Selma.

3/26/65 – In Birmingham, Ala., the FBI arrested four members of the Ku Klux Klan in connection with the death of Mrs. Viola Liuzzo on March 25.

3/30/65 – At President Johnson’s suggestion, the House Committee on Un-American Activities voted to conduct a full investigation on the Ku Klux Klan.

3/31/65 – In Rome, pamphlets containing Holy Week prayers revised by Pope Paul VI to eliminate degrading references to Jews and atheists were put on sale in religious bookstores.

4/2/65 – The first appointment of Negroes to three statewide committees administering federal farm programs in Arkansas, Mississippi, and Maryland was announced by Secretary of Agriculture Orville L. Freeman.  The appointments followed the disclosure by the U.S. Civil Rights Commission of widespread discrimination against Negro farmers in the administration of such federal programs, especially in certain southern states.

4/5/65 – The U.S. Supreme Court held that the right of an accused person to be confronted with the witnesses against him, as stated in the Sixth Amendment, applied to state criminal proceedings.

4/7/65 – In a nationwide broadcast, President Johnson announced U.S. readiness to participate in unconditional diplomatic talks on ending the war in Vietnam;

4/15/65 – West Germany paid Israel $75 million in cash and goods, the last annual installment of a 14-year-old $860 million reparations agreement.

4/17/65 – In Washington, D.C., more than 15,000 persons, mostly students, picketed the White House in protest against the fighting in Vietnam.

4/21/65 – U.S. Vice-President Hubert Humphrey, along with other notables, officiated at the formal ceremony opening the second and final season of the New York World’s Fair.

4/27/65 – Edward R. Murrow, former chief of the United States Information Agency and world-famous radio-television broadcaster, died at the age of 57.

5/2/65 – Early Bird, the first commercial satellite over the Atlantic, became the first link in a worldwide live television system, relaying to North American and European viewers a program that included a simultaneous intercontinental performance of “Auld Lang Syne.”

5/4/65 – In the remains of an Indian settlement near Snaketown, Ariz., an expedition from the University of Arizona unearthed a remarkably modern irrigation system, built about 1,900 years ago.

5/7/65 – In Alabama the trial of Ku Klux Klansman Collie LeRoy Wilkins, Jr., for the murder of Mrs. Viola Liuzzo, a 39-year-old white civil rights worker from Detroit, was declared a mistrial when the jury was deadlocked 10-2 for a conviction on a charge of first-degree manslaughter.

5/8/65 – The 20th anniversary of V-E Day was celebrated in elaborate military ceremonies in France and in a transatlantic televised exchange between Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower in the U.S. and Field Marshal Viscount Montgomery in London via Early Bird satellite.

5/11/65 – By a vote of 49-45, the U.S. Senate defeated a proposal to include in the voting rights bill an amendment banning poll taxes in state elections.

5/13/65 – West Germany and Israel announced the establishment of full diplomatic relations between the two nations; as a result several Arab states broke off relations with West Germany.

5/20/65 – The Federal Communications Commission granted a Mississippi broadcasting company a one-year, probationary renewal of its license, ordering that it end racial discrimination in programming.

5/25/65 – In the first minute of the first round of the heavyweight championship fight in Lewiston, Me., 23-year-old Cassius Clay retained his title with a short right that knocked out challenger Sonny Liston.

5/29/65 – In a repudiation of the American Medical Association’s stand on government-aided medical care, the New York Academy of Medicine declared that health care should be “based on health need alone, not on a test of ability to pay.”

5/30/65 – Vivian Malone became the first Negro graduate of the 134-year-old University of Alabama.

6/1/65 – New York’s Governor Nelson Rockefeller signed a bill abolishing capital punishment for almost all crimes hitherto punishable by death in New York State.

6/10/65 – New York City’s thrice-elected mayor Robert Wagner announced that he would not run for a fourth term.

(Daaaamn 1965 was eventful.  I’m getting tired, so this will just be part one.  Part two can come later in the season.)


Written by Dan

August 20, 2010 at 6:08 am

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8/9 Links

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– I wonder why these types of stories don’t come with headlines like “Stupid person risks death”:

And starting on Aug. 11, the beginning of the Islamic month of Ramadan, Minnesota Vikings safety Husain Abdullah(notes) will be going through these practices without the benefit of water. Or food. Or any other kind of hydration.

During Ramadan, observing Muslims like Abdullah will fast for 30 days; eating or drinking nothing while the sun is out. Food and drink are permitted after dark and before sunrise, but during the day, there’s nada — not a tiny little sip of water, or the smallest release of Powerade’s mystic mountain blueberry. From the AP:

Even while sprinting in the heat and humidity during drills, sometimes in full pads, Abdullah is adamant about his faith. He will not allow himself so much as a cup of water until the sun sets and before it rises.

“I’m putting nothing before God, nothing before my religion,” Abdullah said. “This is something I choose to do, not something I have to do. So I’m always going to fast.”

– It’s just an interesting conversation, with Israel at the center, but I found this exchange very notable:

MJT: So why did you move from Boston into this maelstrom?
Benjamin Kerstein:
Sometimes I wonder about that myself. I can’t give you a logical answer.
That’s okay. I like it here, too, and I agree it’s not entirely logical.
Benjamin Kerstein:
For me, it’s deeply personal. This place suits me. The way of life here suits me. The mentality suits me. The vastness of America is something I find hard to deal with. I find it very alienating. There are a lot of things I don’t like about living in America, though I’m not anti-American.
Benjamin, I have known you for years. I know you are not anti-American.
Benjamin Kerstein:
Thank you. [Laughs.] I have a deep appreciation for America. My family comes from Latvia and would have been wiped out if it were not for America. Something like 85 or 90 percent of the Jews of Latvia were killed by the Nazis. The entire Jewish culture in Latvia was destroyed. My family never would have survived without the United States as a haven.
But I feel terribly alone in the United States. I’ve always felt that it’s a cold place where I didn’t belong.
It is warmer here.
Benjamin Kerstein:
The weather is warmer, and so are the people. People also have hotter tempers. People here can be crueler than in the United States; though Americans in the Northeast—where I lived—can, in their own quiet way, be extraordinarily cruel through their silence and indifference. People in Israel are never silent, cold, or indifferent.
Life here is more on the edge. I crave being right where things are happening, on the event horizon where violent and transcendent things are occurring. I think you feel that way, too.
MJT: I do.

Written by Dan

August 9, 2010 at 5:16 pm

Posted in Politics, Religion

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At the end of my discussion of Mad Men’s episode 401, I talked about how the show decided to skip from mid-December 1963 to Thanksgiving 1964.  Since I was curious, I decided to revisit 1964, and one way to do that was to check the Collier’s Yearbook for 1964 on my parents’ bookshelf.  The Collier’s Encyclopedia put out a new yearbook every year, as a sort of annual addition to the encyclopedia.  In the beginning of each there’s a timeline of events.  It’s interesting to see what events were singled out as historically important (only one year later), and the wording the editors chose to use.  So, quoted verbatim, here are some selections from the timeline in the 1964 yearbook:

1/11/64 – A federal study by Dr. Luther Terry, surgeon general of the Public Health Service, found that cigarette smoking was an important factor in lung cancer, chronic bronchitis, and emphysema and that it contributed so substantially to the American death rate that “appropriate remedial action” was necessary.

2/3/64 – A peaceful one-day boycott protesting racial imbalance in New York City schools brought an absenteeism of 34.8 percent above normal.

2/7/64 – The Senate passed a bill for an $11.6 billion tax cut, the largest in the nation’s history.

2/10/64 – With a roll-call vote of 290 to 130, the House of Representatives passed the most sweeping civil rights bill ever considered by Congress.

2/26/64 – President Johnson signed into law the tax reduction bill approved by Congress.

3/14/64 – In Dallas, Tex., Jack L. Ruby, 52-year-old nightclub owner, was sentenced to die in the electric chair for the “murder with malice” of Lee Harvey Oswald, the accused assassin of President Kennedy; Ruby’s lawyers said they would appeal the verdict.

4/22/64 – The New York World’s Fair was opened by President Johnson; a traffic stall-in on highways leading to the fair, threatened by civil rights groups, failed to materialize.

5/15/64 – Governor Nelson Rockefeller won the Republican presidential primary in Oregon.

6/2/64 – Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater won the bitterly contested California Republican presidential primary, defeating New York’s Governor Nelson Rockefeller.

6/10/64 – The U.S. Senate, by a vote of 71 to 29, invoked cloture on the civil rights debate after a 74-day filibuster.

6/15/64 – New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller withdrew as a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in favor of Pennsylvania Governor Scranton.

6/19/64 – On the 83rd day of debate, the U.S. Senate passed the civil rights bill by a roll-call vote of 73 to 27.

6/22/64 – James Chaney, Michael Schwerner, and Andrew Goodman, civil rights workers in a drive for increased Negro voting registration, were reported missing in Mississippi.

6/26/64 – Following the worst outbreak of racial violence thus far in St. Augustine, Fla., the city’s law enforcement officials told a federal judge in Jacksonville that they were unable to prevent white mobs from attacking civil rights demonstrators.

7/2/64 – The most far-reaching civil rights legislation since Reconstruction days, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, became U.S. law when it was signed by President Johnson in ceremonies at the White House.

7/15/64 – On the third day of the GOP convention, Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater was nominated the Republican presidential candidate on the first ballot.

7/18/64 – Following a protest march on a police station, racial rioting broke out in New York City’s Harlem; the violence grew out of the shooting of a 15-year-old Negro James Powell by a white police officer, Lt. Thomas Gilligan.

7/24/64 – President Johnson and Senator Goldwater, meeting at the White House, agreed that “racial tension should be avoided” during the presidential election campaign.  Riots broke out in the Negro section of Rochester, N.Y.

7/26/64 – As a “precautionary measure,” Governor Rockefeller dispatched 1,000 National Guardsmen to Rochester, N.Y., to quell racial rioting.

7/29/64 – Leaders of the major civil rights organizations, meeting in New York City, urged their members to observe a broad curtailment of demonstrations until after the election.

8/2/64 – The Defense Department announced that the U.S. destroyer Maddox, on a routine patrol mission in the Gulf of Tonkin, was fired upon by three unmarked North Vietnamese PT boats.  Racial rioting broke out in Jersey City, N.J., as Negroes began hurling bricks and gasoline bombs at policemen.

8/4/64 – Three bodies, found by the FBI in graves near Philadelphia, Miss., were identified as those of the three civil rights workers missing since June.

8/7/64 – The House of Representatives and Senate voted 416-0 and 88-2 to give prior congressional approval of “all necessary measures” that the president may take to “repeal any armed attack” against the U.S. forces and “to prevent further aggression” in Southeast Asia.

8/20/64 – President Johnson signed into law his $947.5 million antipoverty program.

8/26/64 – The Democratic National Convention chose Lyndon B. Johnson as presidential candidate and, upon President Johnson’s recommendation, Hubert H. Humphrey, the liberal Senate majority whip from Minnesota, as his vice-presidential running mate.

8/27/64 – In his acceptance speech, President Lyndon Johnson called the Democratic party “an all-American party for all Americans” and called for “a mandate to begin to build a great society.”

8/29/64 – Philadelphia’s mayor James Tate ordered a 125-block quarantine in the crowded Negro section of North Philadelphia, where racial rioting continued throughout the night.

9/3/64 – Robert F. Kennedy handed President Johnson his resignation as attorney general after winning New York’s Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate on September 1.

9/14/64 – A white boycott protesting the New York City Board of Education’s new integration program raised normal 10 percent absenteeism to 27 percent on the first day of classes in the city’s public schools.

9/27/64 – Reporting on their 10-month fact-finding mission, the President’s Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy, led by Chief Justice Earl Warren, declared that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in the shooting of the late president, ruled out any tie between him and Jack Ruby, his assassin, and reprimanded the Secret Service and the FBI for not taking the proper precautions for Kennedy’s visit to Dallas in November 1963.

10/14/64 – The Nobel Peace Prize for 1964 was awarded to American civil rights leader Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

11/3/64 – Lyndon B. Johnson, who became president of the U.S. upon the assassination of President Kennedy in November 1963, won his own four-year term as he and his vice-presidential running mate, Senator Hubert H. Humphrey, received 61.2 percent of the popular vote, defeating Republican opponents Senator Barry Goldwater and Representative William Miller.  Also elected: 17 Democratic governors, 8 Republican; 323 Democratic congressmen, 147 Republican.

12/4/64 – In Mississippi, the FBI arrested 21 men, including the Neshoba County sheriff and two other law-enforcement officers, in connection with the murder of three civil rights workers June 21; conspiracy charges were brought against 19, and 2 were charged with refusing to disclose information about the crime.

12/10/64 – At a hearing in Meridian, Miss., U.S. Commissioner Esther Carter dismissed charges against 19 of the 21 men arrested in connection with the murder of three civil rights workers in June, after ruling as incompetent an FBI agent’s testimony about the confession obtained from one of the defendants.

12/11/64 – As the Cuban minister of industry, Maj. Ernesto Che Guevara, spoke before the UN General Assembly, a bazooka was fired toward the building from across the East River; anti-Communist Cubans were demonstrating at the time in front of the UN.  The conspiracy charge against the 20th defendant in the murder of three civil rights workers in Mississippi was dismissed at the request of the U.S. government.

12/14/64 – The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously upheld the public accommodations section of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Written by Dan

August 5, 2010 at 7:17 pm

Posted in History

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