Women’s American History … Culture In memory of Claudette Colvin

Black History Unsung Heroes: Claudette Colvin

Women’s History Month

Image result for claudette colvin

Black History Unsung Heroes: Claudette Colvin

click on link above to read her amazing story

As a teenager, she made history, but it took decades for her to become recognized for her courage and achievements.

source: biography.com

first posted 2015

Women’s History Month!

on this day … 3/5 The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the ban on segregation in public school 1956

World1623 – The first alcohol temperance law in the colonies was enacted in Virginia.

1624 – In the American colony of Virginia, the upper class was exempted from whipping by legislation.

1750 – “King Richard III” was performed in New York City. It was the first Shakespearean play to be presented in America.

1766 – The first Spanish governor of Louisiana, Antonio de Ulloa, arrived in New Orleans.

1770 – “The Boston Massacre” took place when British troops fired on a crowd in Boston killing five people. Two British troops were later convicted of manslaughter.

1793 – Austrian troops defeated the French and recaptured Liege.

1836 – Samuel Colt’s Patent Arms Manufacturing of Paterson, New Jersey, was chartered by the New Jersey legislature.

1842 – A Mexican force of over 500 men under Rafael Vasquez invaded Texas for the first time since the revolution. They briefly occupied San Antonio, but soon headed back to the Rio Grande.

1845 – The U.S. Congress appropriated $30,000 to ship camels to the western U.S.

1864 – For the first time, Oxford met Cambridge in track and field competition in England.

1867 – An abortive Fenian uprising against English rule took place in Ireland.

1868 – The U.S. Senate was organized into a court of impeachment to decide charges against President Andrew Johnson.

1872 – George Westinghouse patented the air brake.

1900 – Two U.S. battleships left for Nicaragua to halt revolutionary disturbances.

1901 – Germany and Britain began negotiations with hopes of creating an alliance.

1902 – In France, the National Congress of Miners decided to call for a general strike for an 8-hour day.

1907 – In St. Petersburg, Russia, the new Duma opened. 40,000 demonstrators were dispersed by troops.

1910 – In Philadelphia, PA, 60,000 people left their jobs to show support for striking transit workers.

1910 – The Moroccan envoy signed the 1909 agreement with France.

1912 – The Italians became the first to use dirigibles for military purposes. They used them for reconnaissance flights behind Turkish lines west of Tripoli.

1918 – The Soviets moved the capital of Russia from Petrograd to Moscow.

1922 – “Annie Oakley” (Phoebe Ann Moses) broke all existing records for women’s trap shooting. She hit 98 out of 100 targets.

1923 – Old-age pension laws were enacted in the states of Montana and Nevada.

1924 – Frank Caruana of Buffalo, NY, became the first bowler to roll two perfect games in a row.

1933 – U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered a four-day bank holiday in order to stop large amounts of money from being withdrawn from banks.

1933 – The Nazi Party won 44 percent of the vote in German parliamentary elections.

1934 – In Amarillo, TX, the first Mother’s-In-Law Day was celebrated.

1943 – Germany called fifteen- and sixteen-year-olds for military service due to war losses.

1946 – Winston Churchill delivered his “Iron Curtain Speech”.

1946 – The U.S. sent protests to the U.S.S.R. on incursions into Manchuria and Iran.

1953 – Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin died. He had been in power for 29 years.

1956 – The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the ban on segregation in public schools.

1969 – Gustav Heinemann was elected West German President.

1970 – A nuclear non-proliferation treaty went into effect after 43 nations ratified it.

1976 – The British pound fell below the equivalent of $2 for the first time in history.

1977 – U.S. President Jimmy Carter appeared on CBS News with Walter Cronkite for the first “Dial-a-President” radio talk show.

1984 – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that cities had the right to display the Nativity scene as part of their Christmas display.

1984 – The U.S. accused Iraq of using poison gas.

1985 – Mike Bossy (New York Islanders) became the first National Hockey League player to score 50 goals in eight consecutive seasons.

1993 – Cuban President Fidel Castro said that Hillary Clinton was “a beautiful woman.”

1993 – Sprinter Ben Johnson was banned from racing for life by the Amateur Athletic Association after testing positive for banned performance-enhancing substances for a second time.

1997 – North Korea and South Korea met for first time in 25 years for peace talks.

1997 – Chuck Niles received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

1998 – NASA announced that an orbiting craft had found enough water on the moon to support a human colony and rocket fueling station.

1998 – It was announced that Air Force Lt. Col. Eileen Collins would lead crew of Columbia on a mission to launch a large X-ray telescope. She was the first woman to command a space shuttle mission.


In the Library … “Injustices” by Ian Millhiser


Injustices: The Supreme Court’s History of Comforting The Comfortable And Afflicting The Afflicted

InjusticesThey won’t be selling Injustices at the Supreme Court gift shop. Ian Millhiser’s scathing, exuberant indictment of the many misdeeds of the nation’s highest court is a necessary, and highly entertaining, corrective to the mythology that has always surrounded the work of the Justices.”

~Jeffrey Toobin,
Author of The Oath and The Nine

by: ThinkProgress Justice Editor, Ian MillhiserOrder now: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Indie Bound

Dear ThinkProgress Reader:

For the last five years, I’ve covered the Supreme Court for ThinkProgress. I’ve chronicled the justices’ decision to open the floodgates to corporate election spending, and I’ve reported on the rash of voter suppression laws that followed after the Court gutted the Voting Rights Act. I’ve shared your bewilderment when the Court held that a woman’s choice whether to use birth control could be given to her boss, and I’ve shared your terror at the prospect that the justices could rip health care away from millions of Americans.

Yet, as I explain in Injustices: The Supreme Court’s History of Comforting the Comfortable and Afflicting the Afflicted, these cases are hardly anomalies in the Supreme Court’s history. To the contrary, the justices of the Supreme Court shaped a nation where children toiled in coal mines, where Americans could be forced into camps because of their race, and where a woman could be sterilized against her will by state officials. The Court was the midwife of Jim Crow, the right hand of union busters, and the dead hand of the Confederacy.

Injustices tells the history of the Supreme Court through the eyes of the people that it has hurt the most — the young people stripped of their childhoods, the freedmen forced into peonage, the men and women who will die needlessly if the Supreme Court guts Obamacare. In my coverage of the Court over at ThinkProgress, I’ve strived to provide clarity on what the law provides and how the justices should decide their cases in accordance with that law, but I’ve also strived to reach beyond arcane legal arguments to show how the Court’s decisions shape the lives of millions of Americans. I bring that same ethic to over 150 years of Supreme Court history in Injustices. I urge you to check it out.

Ian Millhiser

Get It Here:
Amazon BarnesNoble IndieBound

* * *

“More than just an indictment of the Supreme Court, Injustices offers a stirring defense of the role government plays in bettering people’s lives-and a heartbreaking window into the lives that are ruined when the justices place their own agenda above the law.”

~Ted Strickland,
Former Ohio Governor and US Representative
Former President, Center for American Progress Action Fund

“A powerful critique of the Supreme Court, which shows that it has largely failed through American history to enforce the Constitution and to protect our rights. With great clarity and poignant human stories throughout, Ian Millhiser has written a book that all who are interested in American government and our legal system – which should be all of us – must read.”

~Erwin Chemerinsky,
Founding Dean & Distinguished Professor, UC Irving Law School

“Ian Millhiser’s Injustices is a powerful reminder that for most of its history, the Supreme Court has erred on the side of protecting the privilege and powers of America’s elites-and that it has so often done so by reading the Constitution upside-down. Millhiser has crafted an indictment of the Court’s treatment of workers, minorities, women, voters, and powerless groups, with a deeply researched grounding in history and the law. His dispiriting conclusion is a powerful reminder of how much the Court matters, and how much more it could be.”

~Dahlia Lithwick,
Senior Editor, Slate

1868 – The U.S. Senate was organized into a court of impeachment to decide charges against President Andrew Johnson

During the years immediately following the Civil War, President Andrew Johnson clashed repeatedly with the Republican-controlled Congress over the reconstruction of the defeated South. Johnson vetoed legislation that Congress passed to protect the rights of those who had been freed from slavery. This clash culminated in the House of Representatives voting, on February 24, 1868, to impeach the president. On March 5, the trial began in the Senate, where Republicans held more seats than the two-thirds majority required to remove Johnson from office. When the trial concluded on May 16, however, the president had won an acquittal, not because a majority of senators supported his policies but because a sufficient minority wished to protect the office of the president and preserve the constitutional balance of powers.

Born into poverty in North Carolina in 1808, as a young boy Andrew Johnson became apprentice to a tailor. He had no formal schooling, but through the sheer force of will became a self-educated man. While still in his teens, Johnson moved with his family to Tennessee, settled in Greeneville, and married a shoemaker’s daughter named Eliza McCardle. Aiding Johnson in his self-education, Eliza helped to improve his social status and political opportunities.

Andrew Johnson may have lacked a formal education, but he possessed an innate talent for debate and oratory. His political career began when he was elected alderman of Greeneville in 1829, and five years later he became the small town’s mayor. In 1835 he joined the Tennessee state legislature, only to lose reelection two years later. He returned to state politics in 1839, moved to the state senate in 1841, and was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1843. Johnson’s humble beginnings and populist style endeared him to the working-class poor but put him at odds with the wealthy landowners who controlled state politics. In 1853 his opponents gerrymandered him out of office. He retaliated by being elected governor—twice. By 1857 Johnson had gained enough support in the state legislature to be elected to the U.S. Senate.

Johnson proved to be an independent thinker. This was most evident following the 1860 election of Abraham Lincoln as president of the United States, when Southern states began to secede. While the secession convention met in Charleston, South Carolina, Johnson addressed the Senate and proclaimed his allegiance to the Union. Tennessee seceded, but Johnson remained in Washington. In March of 1862, President Lincoln rewarded Johnson’s loyalty with appointment as military governor of Tennessee. When Lincoln sought a second presidential term in 1864 and needed the support of “Union Democrats,” he chose Johnson as his running mate. Johnson became vice president on March 4, 1865. Forty-two days later, he was president of the United States.

The initial response to a Johnson presidency was optimistic. Even the so-called Radical Republicans, who would pursue impeachment proceedings three years later, supported the new president. “By the Gods,” proclaimed Senator Ben Wade of Ohio, “there will be no trouble now in running this government.” Such good relations quickly soured, however, as Johnson’s views on Reconstruction surfaced. Within weeks, Johnson opposed political rights for freedmen and called for a lenient reconstruction policy, including pardoning former Confederate leaders. The president looked for every opportunity to block action by the Radical Republicans. He had no interest in compromise. When Johnson vetoed the Freedmen’s Bureau bill in February of 1866, he broke the final ties with his Republican opponents in Congress. They responded with the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the Constitution, promising political rights to African Americans. In March of 1867 they also passed, over Johnson’s presidential veto, the Tenure of Office Act which was designed to limit the president’s ability to shape his cabinet by requiring that not only appointments but also dismissals be approved by the Senate.

By mid-1867, Johnson’s enemies in Congress were repeatedly promoting impeachment. The precipitant event that resulted in a third and successful impeachment action was the firing of Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton, a Lincoln appointee and ally of the Radical Republicans in Congress. Stanton had strongly opposed Johnson’s Reconstruction policies and the president hoped to replace him with Ulysses S. Grant, whom Johnson believed to be more in line with his own political thinking. In August of 1867, while Congress was in recess, Johnson suspended Stanton and appointed Grant as secretary of war ad interim. When the Senate opposed Johnson’s actions and reinstated Stanton in the fall, Grant resigned, fearing punitive action and possible consequences for his own presidential ambitions. Furious with his congressional opponents, Johnson fired Stanton and informed Congress of this action, then named Major General Lorenzo Thomas, a long-time foe of Stanton, as interim secretary. Stanton promptly had Thomas arrested for illegally seizing his office.

This musical chair debacle amounted to a presidential challenge to the constitutionality of the Tenure of Office Act. In response, having again reinstated Stanton to office, Radical Republicans in the House of Representatives, backed by key allies in the Senate, pursued impeachment.

for the complete article …

1956 – The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the ban on segregation in public schools.

but the story…. from state to state was much different

In March 1956, 101 of 128 Southern congressmen signed “The Southern Manifesto,” denouncing the decision. Many Southern communities followed their lead, resisting integration with protest and violence.

When the school board of Mansfield, Texas, a farming town of 1500 people, admitted 12 Black students to all-white Mansfield High School, white residents took to the streets in protest. On August 30, 1956, the first day of school, mobs of white pro-segregationists patrolled the streets with guns and other weapons to prevent Black children from registering.

The mob hung an African American effigy at the top of the school’s flag pole and set it on fire. Attached to each pant leg was a sign. One read, “This Negro tried to enter a white school. This would be a terrible way to die,” and the other read, “Stay away, niggers.” A second effigy was hung on the front of the school building. Soon afterward, the Mansfield School Board voted to “exhaust all legal remedies to delay segregation.” In December 1956, the United States Supreme Court ordered the Mansfield school district to integrate immediately, but Mansfield public schools did not officially desegregate until 1965.

Violent opposition and resistance to desegregation was common throughout the country. In August 1967, more than 13 years after the Brown decision, a report by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights observed that “violence against Negroes continues to be a deterrent to school desegregation.”