History …the Month of February — a whole lot happened


 

February 1

1960 – In Greensboro, North Carolina, four African American students sat down and ordered coffee at a lunch counter inside a Woolworth’s store. They were refused service, but did not leave. Instead, they waited all day. The scene was repeated over the next few days, with protests spreading to other southern states, resulting in the eventual arrest of over 1,600 persons for participating in sit-ins.

 2003 – Sixteen minutes before it was scheduled to land, the Space Shuttle Columbia broke apart in flight over west Texas, killing all seven crew members. The accident may have resulted from damage caused during liftoff when a piece of insulating foam from the external fuel tank broke off, piercing a hole in the shuttle’s left wing that allowed hot gases to penetrate the wing upon re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere. This was the second space shuttle lost in flight. In January 1986, Challenger exploded during liftoff.

February 2

1848 – The war between the U.S. and Mexico ended with the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. In exchange for $15 million, the U.S. acquired the areas encompassing parts or all of present day California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, and Texas. The treaty was ratified on March 10, 1848.

1990 – In South Africa, the 30-year-old ban on the African National Congress was lifted by President F.W. de Klerk, who also promised to free Nelson Mandela and remove restrictions on political opposition groups.

1848 – The first shipload of Chinese emigrants arrived in San Francisco, CA.

1865 – A four-hour peace conference occurred between President Abraham Lincoln and Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens at Hampton Roads, Virginia. The meeting was unsuccessful as President Lincoln insisted there could be no armistice until the Confederates acknowledged Federal authority. The Confederates wanted an armistice first. Thus the Civil Warcontinued.

 1870 – The 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, guaranteeing the right of citizens to vote, regardless of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.

February 3

1783 – Spain recognized the independence of the United States.

 1913 – The 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, granting Congress the authority to collect income taxes.

1947 – Percival Prattisbecame the first black news correspondent admitted to the House and Senate press gallery in Washington, DC. He worked for “Our World” in New York City.

2009 – Eric Holder was sworn in as attorney general. He was the first African-American to hold the post.

1943 – An extraordinary act of heroism occurred in the icy waters off Greenland after the U.S. Army transport ship Dorchester was hit by a German torpedo and began to sink rapidly. When it became apparent there were not enough life jackets, four U.S. Army chaplains on board removed theirs, handed them to frightened young soldiers, and chose to go down with the ship while praying.

February 4

1861 – Apache Chief Cochise was arrested in Arizona by the U.S. Army for raiding a ranch. Cochise then escaped and declared war, beginning the period known as the Apache Wars, which lasted 25 years.

1985 Twenty countries in the United Nations signed a document entitled “Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.”

February 5 

 1917 – The new constitution of Mexico, allowing for sweeping social changes, was adopted.

February 6

 1788 – Massachusetts became the sixth state to ratify the new U.S. Constitution, by a vote of 187 to 168.

1933 – The 20th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was adopted. It set the date for the Presidential Inauguration as January 20th, instead of the old date of March 4th. It also sets January 3rd as the official opening date of Congress.

 1952 – King George VI of England died. Upon his death, his daughter Princess Elizabeth became Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Her actual coronation took place on June 2, 1953.

February 7

1795 – The 11th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, limiting the powers of the Federal Judiciary over the states by prohibiting Federal lawsuits against individual states

February 8

1587 – Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots, was beheaded at Fotheringhay, England, after 19 years as a prisoner of Queen Elizabeth I. She became entangled in the complex political events surrounding the Protestant Reformation in England and was charged with complicity in a plot to assassinate Elizabeth.

February 10,

1942 – The first Medal of Honor during World War II was awarded to 2nd Lt. Alexander Nininger (posthumously) for heroism during the Battle of Bataan.

1967 – The 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, clarifying the procedures for presidential succession in the event of the disability of a sitting president.

February 11

660BC – Celebrated in Japan as the founding date of the Japanese nation, which occurred with the accession to the throne of the first Emperor, Jimmu, in 660 BC.

 1929 – Italian dictator Benito Mussolini granted political independence to Vatican City and recognized the sovereignty of the Pope (Holy See) over the area, measuring about 110 acres.
1958 – Ruth Carol Taylor was the first black woman to become a stewardess by making her initial flight.

1990 – In South Africa, Nelson Mandela, at age 71, was released from prison after serving 27 years of a life sentence on charges of attempting to overthrow the apartheid government. In April 1994, he was elected president in the first all-race elections.

2011 – In Egypt, President Hosni Mubarak resigned amid a massive protest calling for his ouster. Thousands of young Egyptians and others had protested non-stop for 18 days in Cairo, Alexandria and elsewhere. Mubarak had ruled Egypt for nearly 30 years, functioning as a virtual dictator.

February 12

February 13

 1635 – Boston Latin School, the first tax-payer supported (public) school in America was established in Boston, Massachusetts.

 1945 – During World War II in Europe, British and American planes began massive bombing raids on Dresden, Germany. A four-day firestorm erupted that was visible for 200 miles and engulfed the historic old city, killing an estimated 135,000 German civilians.

February 14

14th – Celebrated as (Saint) Valentine’s Day around the world, now one of the most widely observed unofficial holidays in which romantic greeting cards and gifts are exchanged.

1849 – Photographer Mathew Brady took the first photograph of a U.S. President in office, James Polk.

 1929 – The St. Valentine’s Day massacre occurred in Chicago as seven members of the Bugs Moran gang were gunned down by five of Al Capone‘s mobsters posing as police.

February 15 

1898 – In Havana, the U.S. Battleship Maine was blown up while at anchor and quickly sank with 260 crew members lost. The incident inflamed public opinion in the U.S., resulting in a declaration of war against Spain on April 25, 1898, amid cries of “Remember the Maine!”

 1933 – An assassination attempt on newly elected U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt occurred in Miami, Florida. A spectator deflected the gunman’s aim. As a result, Chicago Mayor Anton Cermak was shot and killed instead. The gunman, an Italian immigrant, was captured and later sentenced to death.

1989 – Soviet Russia completed its military withdrawal from Afghanistan after nine years of unsuccessful involvement in the civil war between Muslim rebel groups and the Russian-backed Afghan government. Over 15,000 Russian soldiers had been killed in the fighting.

 

February 16

 

February 17

 1865 – During the American Civil War, Fort Sumter in South Carolina was returned to the Union after nearly a year and a half under Confederate control. The fort had been the scene of the first shots of the war.

 1909 – Apache Chief Geronimo (1829-1909) died while in captivity at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. He had led a small group of warriors on raids throughout Arizona and New Mexico. Caught once, he escaped. The U.S. Army then sent 5,000 men to recapture him.

February 18

1841 – The first continuous filibuster in the U.S. Senate began. It lasted until March 11th.

1952 – Greece and Turkey became members of NATO

2001 – FBI agent Robert Philip Hanssen was arrested and accused of spying for Russia for more than 15 years. He later pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

1998 – In Nevada, two white separatists were arrested and accused of plotting a bacterial attack on subways in New York City.

1970 – The Chicago Seven defendants were found innocent of conspiring to incite riots at the 1968 Democratic national convention.

1998 – In Russia, money shortages resulted in the shutting down of three plants that produced nuclear weapons.

1885 – Mark Twain’s “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” was published in the U.S. for the first time.

1930 – The planet Pluto was discovered by Clyde Tombaugh. The discovery was made as a result of photographs taken in January 1930.

February 19

Daisy Gatson Bates Day honors the life of Daisy Gatson Bates, a civil rights activist who played a key role in an integration crisis at Little Rock Central High School in 1957. Daisy Gatson Bates Day is a state holiday in Arkansas, the United States, on the third Monday of February, together with Washington’s Birthday.

1942 – Internment of Japanese Americans began after President Franklin Roosevelt issued an Executive Order requiring those living on the Pacific coast to report for relocation. Over 110,000 persons therefore shut down their businesses, sold off their property, quit school and moved inland to the relocation centers.

Washington’s Birthday, also known as Presidents’ Day, is a federal holiday held on the third Monday of February. The day honors presidents of the United States, including George Washington, the USA’s first president.

1807 – Former U.S. Vice President Aaron Burr was arrested in Alabama. He was later tried and acquitted on charges of treason

1942 – U.S. President Roosevelt signed an executive order giving the military the authority to relocate and intern Japanese-Americans.

1953 – The State of Georgia approved the first literature censorship board in the U.S. Newspapers were excluded from the new legislation.

2004 – Former Enron Corp. chief executive Jeffrey Skilling was charged with fraud, insider trading and other crimes in connection with the energy trader’s collapse. Skilling was later convicted and sentenced to more than 24 years in prison.

February 20

 1943 – German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel broke through American lines at Kasserine Pass in North Africa as inexperienced U.S. Troops lost their first major battle of World War II in Europe, with 1,000 Americans killed.

1962 – Astronaut John Glenn became the first American launched into orbit. Traveling aboard the “Friendship 7” spacecraft, Glenn reached an altitude of 162 miles (260 kilometers) and completed three orbits in a flight lasting just under five hours. Glenn was the third American in space, preceded by Alan Shepard and Virgil “Gus” Grissom who had each completed short sub-orbital flights. All of them had been preceded by Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin who was the first human in space, completing one orbit on April 12, 1961 – a feat that intensified the already ongoing Space Race between the Russians and Americans. Glenn’s successful flight showed the Americans had caught up and was followed in September 1962 by President John F. Kennedy’s open call to land an American on the moon before the decade’s end.

1952 – Emmett L. Ashford became the first black umpire in organized baseball. He was authorized to be a substitute in the Southwestern International League.

1962 – John Glenn made space history when he orbited the world three times in 4 hours, 55 minutes. He was the first American to orbit the Earth. He was aboard the Friendship 7 Mercury capsule. Glenn witnessed the Devil’s Cigarette Lighter while in flight.

1987 – A bomb exploded in a computer store in Salt Lake City, UT. The blast was blamed on the Unabomber.

February 21

1965 – Former Black Muslim leader Malcolm X (1925-1965) was shot and killed while delivering a speech in a ballroom in New York City.

 1972 – President Richard Nixon arrived in China for historic meetings with Chairman Mao Tse-tung and Premier Chou En-lai.

1994 – CIA agent Aldrich Ames was arrested on charges he spied for the Soviet Union from 1985 to 1991.

February 22

 1956 – In Montgomery, Alabama, 80 participants in the three-month-old bus boycott voluntarily gave themselves up for arrest after an ultimatum from white city leaders. Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks were among those arrested. Later in 1956, the U.S. Supreme Court mandated desegregation of the buses.

Birthday – George Washington (1732-1799) was born in Westmoreland County, Virginia. He served as commander of the Continental Army during the American Revolution and became the first U.S. President.

February 23

1942 – During World War II, the first attack on the U.S. mainland occurred as a Japanese submarine shelled an oil refinery near Santa Barbara, California, causing minor damage.

1991 – In Desert Storm, the Allied ground offensive began after a devastating month-long air campaign targeting Iraqi troops in both Iraq and Kuwait.

Birthday – African American educator and leader W.E.B. Du Bois (1868-1963) was born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts.

Birthday – Historian William L. Shirer (1904-1993) was born in Chicago, Illinois. As a news reporter stationed in Europe, he witnessed the rise of Adolf Hitler and reported on the surrender of France. Following the war he wrote the first major history of Nazi Germany, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich.

February 24

1582 – Pope Gregory XIII corrected mistakes on the Julian calendar by dropping 10 days and directing that the day after October 4, 1582 would be October 15th. The Gregorian, or New Style calendar, was then adopted by Catholic countries, followed gradually by Protestant and other nations.

1867 – The House of Representatives voted to impeach President Andrew Johnson. The vote followed bitter opposition by the Radical Republicans in Congress toward Johnson’s reconstruction policies in the South. However, the effort to remove him failed in the Senate by just one vote.

February 25 

Birthday – Millicent Fenwick (1910-1992) was born in New York City. She championed liberal causes, serving as a member of the U.N. General Assembly and as a U.S. Congresswoman.

February 26

1848 – The Communist Manifesto pamphlet was published by two young socialists, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. It advocated the abolition of all private property and a system in which workers own all means of production, land, factories and machinery.

 1994 – Political foes of Russian President Boris Yeltsin were freed by a general amnesty granted by the new Russian Parliament.

Birthday – American frontiersman “Buffalo Bill” Cody (1846-1917) was born in Scott County, Indiana. He claimed to have killed over 4,000 buffalo within 17 months. He became world famous through his Wild West show which traveled throughout the U.S. and Europe for 30 years.

February 27

 1950 – The 22nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, limiting the president to two terms or a maximum of ten years in office.

1991 – In Desert Storm, the 100-hour ground war ended as Allied troops entered Kuwait just four days after launching their offensive against Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi forces.

Birthday – American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882) was born in Portland, Maine. Best known for Paul Revere’s RideThe Song of Hiawatha, and The Wreck of the Hesperus.

February 28

 1844 – During a demonstration of naval fire power, one of the guns aboard the USS Princeton exploded, killing several top U.S. government officials on the steamer ship, and narrowly missed killing President John Tyler.

1986 – Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme (1927-1986) was assassinated in Stockholm while exiting a movie theater with his wife.

 1994 – NATO conducted its first combat action in its 45 year history as four Bosnian Serb jets were shot down by American fighters in a no-fly zone.

 

Coronavirus on Surfaces: What You Should Know


April 1, 2020 — Many emergency room workers remove their clothes as soon as they get home — some before they even enter. Does that mean you should worry about COVID-19 transmission from your own clothing, towels, and other textiles?

While researchers found that the virus can remain on some surfaces for up to 72 hours, the study didn’t include fabric. “So far, evidence suggests that it’s harder to catch the virus from a soft surface (such as fabric) than it is from frequently touched hard surfaces like elevator buttons or door handles,” wrote Lisa Maragakis, MD, senior director of infection prevention at the Johns Hopkins Health System.

for the complete article:  webmd.com/lung/news/20200401

It is an incredible eye-opening article

Sign up for the latest coronavirus news.

The Supreme Court


Article III of the Constitution establishes the federal judiciary. Article III, Section I states that “The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.” Although the Constitution establishes the Supreme Court, it permits Congress to decide how to organize it. Congress first exercised this power in the Judiciary Act of 1789. This Act created a Supreme Court with six justices. It also established the lower federal court system.

The Justices

Over the years, various Acts of Congress have altered the number of seats on the Supreme Court, from a low of five to a high of 10. Shortly after the Civil War, the number of seats on the Court was fixed at nine. Today, there is one Chief Justice and eight Associate Justices of the United States Supreme Court. Like all federal judges, justices are appointed by the President and are confirmed by the Senate. They, typically, hold office for life. The salaries of the justices cannot be decreased during their term of office. These restrictions are meant to protect the independence of the judiciary from the political branches of government.

The Court’s Jurisdiction

Article III, Section II of the Constitution establishes the jurisdiction (legal ability to hear a case) of the Supreme Court. The Court has original jurisdiction (a case is tried before the Court) over certain cases, e.g., suits between two or more states and/or cases involving ambassadors and other public ministers. The Court has appellate jurisdiction (the Court can hear the case on appeal) on almost any other case that involves a point of constitutional and/or federal law. Some examples include cases to which the United States is a party, cases involving Treaties, and cases involving ships on the high seas and navigable waterways (admiralty cases).

uscourts.gov For the complete article

Did you know September 15 to October 15 is National Hispanic Heritage Month –


National Hispanic Heritage Month 2017

The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in paying tribute to the generations of Hispanic Americans who have positively influenced and enriched our nation and society.

Telling All Americans’ Stories: American Latino Heritage

The breadth of Latino/a experience is a vital aspect of America’s rich and diverse past. The places explored here barely begin to hint at the varied ways their lives intersected with one another. Discover these remarkable stories preserved in our national parks and historic places
Read the stories »

Photo credit:Tumacácori and Visitors by Full Moon. ARC Photography, January 29, 2016. National Park Service.

1883 – The U.S. Supreme Court struck down part of the Civil Rights Act of 1875. It allowed for individuals and corporations to discriminate based on race ~Black History


Written By: Melvin I. Urofsky

image by Blace Female Artist

ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA

Civil Rights Cases, five legal cases that the U.S. Supreme Court consolidated (because of their similarity) into a single ruling on October 15, 1883, in which the court declared the Civil Rights Act of 1875 to be unconstitutional and thus spurred Jim Crow laws that codified the previously private, informal, and local practice of racial segregation in the United States. In an 8–1 decision, the landmark ruling struck down the critical provision in the Civil Rights Act prohibiting racial discrimination in public places (such as hotels, restaurants, theatres, and railroads), what would later be called “public accommodations.” The ruling barred Congress from remedying racial segregation and in effect legalized the notion of “separate but equal” (though the ruling did not use this language) that would predominate in American society until the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It was a devastating blow to the rights of African Americans. The five consolidated cases were United States v. Stanley, United States v. Ryan, United States v. Nichols, United States v. Singleton, and Robinson and wife v. Memphis & Charleston R.R. Co.

Background
The Civil War and the Thirteenth Amendment brought an end to slavery in the United States, but they did not give the former bondsmen either legal or political equality. In fact, the Southern states almost immediately passed a series of laws known as “Black Codes,” which, though not enslaving the freedmen, severely restricted their freedoms and put them at the mercy of whites. Opposition to freedom for African Americans often took extralegal forms as well, notably brutal attacks on former slaves by the Ku Klux Klan.

During the period known as Reconstruction, Congress tried to protect African Americans through a series of civil rights and enforcement statutes and through two more amendments to the U.S. Constitution. The Fourteenth Amendment defined a citizen of the United States as any person born in the country or who had immigrated and been naturalized. It also prohibited the states from denying to any citizen the due process of law or the equal protection of the laws or from abridging the privileges and immunities attached to citizenship. The Fifteenth Amendment declared that the right to vote could not be denied because of race.

During the time when Union troops occupied the former Confederate states, the army protected African Americans and enforced these rights, while resentment grew among white Southerners. By the 1870s the North had tired of the conflict with the South over race relations and civil rights. Racism, moreover, continued to afflict American society in general, including its justice system.

The Supreme Court ruling
In the last of the great Reconstruction statutes, the Civil Rights Act of 1875, the Republican majority in Congress tried to secure by law some semblance of racial equality that could be protected by the government and by courts. While no one expected that such legislation would change the prevailing racial attitudes held by both Northern and Southern whites, the law aimed to protect African Americans from deprivation of the minimal rights of citizenship

A critical provision of the Civil Rights Act prohibited racial discrimination in public places, what would later be called “public accommodations,” which rested on Section 5—the enforcement clause—of the Fourteenth Amendment. Five cases testing the application of this section rose in both the North and the South, and the Supreme Court combined them for a single hearing in March 1883. The government argued on behalf of the Civil Rights Act, declaring that the Thirteenth Amendment had not only abolished slavery but conferred all the rights of free citizens on the former slaves and that the Fourteenth Amendment had given Congress the power to protect those rights through appropriate legislation.

The Court disagreed, and, in the opinion for the 8–1 ruling, Justice Joseph P. Bradley denied both of the government’s contentions. In effect, the ruling robbed the amendments of much of their meaning. Bradley argued that, because not every example of discrimination against African Americans could be interpreted as a renewal of slavery, the Thirteenth Amendment could not be invoked as a ban on racial prejudice.

Although the Fourteenth Amendment had in fact been drafted specifically to ensure African Americans’ rights, Bradley denied that Congress had any affirmative powers under the amendment. Congress could legislate in a remedial manner to correct an unconstitutional law. It could intervene only if a state enacted a law that restricted the rights of African Americans. Bradley also held that if a state failed to take action but, by inaction, tolerated discrimination—such as exclusion from hotels, restaurants, and clubs—Congress could not legislate. By this decision, the court in one stroke nullified all congressional power to protect African Americans under the Fourteenth Amendment and left their fate to the states. It also invited the Southern states not only to tolerate but to encourage private discrimination. The ruling would remain in force until the Court disavowed it in upholding the 1964 Civil Rights Act, nearly a century after the Civil War ended.

Justice John Marshall Harlan entered the lone dissent in the Civil Rights Cases, pointing out that the court had eviscerated the Fourteenth Amendment of its meaning. He also noted the bias in the court’s judgment, since before the war the court had accorded Congress comparable powers in upholding the various Fugitive Slave Acts. Harlan utilized the idea of “affected with a public interest,” which the court had expressed in Munn v. Illinois (1876), and argued that facilities such as railroads, hotels, restaurants, and theatres performed a public function, a notion that had long been recognized in common law and that served as the basis for regulating those services. If such businesses discriminated, then they did so with the consent of the state; this constituted state action and could be reached under the Fourteenth Amendment, even using Bradley’s crabbed view of Section 5 power. Although Harlan wrote in dissent, his theory of state action would be the basis on which the court built up a civil rights jurisprudence after World War II.

The ruling in the Civil Rights Cases not only barred Congress from taking affirmative steps against racial discrimination but permitted states to legally allow private discrimination simply by looking the other way, which they did. In tandem with the landmark decision in Plessy v. Ferguson 13 years later, which sanctioned the doctrine of “separate but equal,” the Civil Rights Cases inaugurated the Jim Crow era.

Resource: britannica.com

Freedom of Information Act 


Image result for freedom of information act

Below is the full text of the Freedom of Information Act in a form showing all amendments to the statute made by the “FOIA Improvement Act of 2016.” All newly enacted provisions in boldface type replace the strikethrough text.

Full Text of the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016 (Public Law No. 114-185)

§ 552. Public information; agency rules, opinions, orders, records, and proceedings

(a) Each agency shall make available to the public information as follows:

  • (1) Each agency shall separately state and currently publish in the Federal Register for the guidance of the public—
    • (A) descriptions of its central and field organization and the established places at which, the employees (and in the case of a uniformed service, the members) from whom, and the methods whereby, the public may obtain information, make submittals or requests, or obtain decisions;
    • (B) statements of the general course and method by which its functions are channeled and determined, including the nature and requirements of all formal and informal procedures available;
    • (C) rules of procedure, descriptions of forms available or the places at which forms may be obtained, and instructions as to the scope and contents of all papers, reports, or examinations;
    • (D) substantive rules of general applicability adopted as authorized by law, and statements of general policy or interpretations of general applicability formulated and adopted by the agency; and
    • (E) each amendment, revision, or repeal of the foregoing.
  • Except to the extent that a person has actual and timely notice of the terms thereof, a person may not in any manner be required to resort to, or be adversely affected by, a matter required to be published in the Federal Register and not so published. For the purpose of this paragraph, matter reasonably available to the class of persons affected thereby is deemed published in the Federal Register when incorporated by reference therein with the approval of the Director of the Federal Register.
  • (2) Each agency, in accordance with published rules, shall make available for public inspection and copying for public inspection in an electronic format

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