1942 – The Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps (WAAC) was established by an act of the U.S. Congress.


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FDR signs WAAC Act, May 14, 1942. On this day in 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt approved legislation establishing the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps. The act, signed into law some five months after the United States entered World War II, created a voluntary enrollment program for up to 150,000 women to join the war effort in noncombat roles.

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history… may 14


1264 – King Henry III was captured by his brother in law Simon deMontfort at the Battle of Lewes in France.

1509 – In the Battle of Agnadello, French defeated Venitians in Northern Italy.

1607 – An expedition led by Captain Christopher Newport went ashore at Jamestown, Virginia. The group had arrived at the location the day before. This became the first permanent English colony in America.

1610 – French King Henri IV (Henri de Navarre) was assassinated by a fanatical monk, François Ravillac.

1643 – Louis XIV became King of France at age 4 upon the death of his father, Louis XIII.

1727 – Thomas Gainsborough was born. He was an English painter.

1787 – Delegates began gathering in Philadelphia for a convention to draw up the U.S. Constitution.

1796 – The first smallpox vaccination was given by Edward Jenner.

1804 – William Clark set off the famous expedition from Camp Dubois. A few days later, in St. Louis, Meriwether Lewis joined the group. The group was known as the “Corps of Discovery.”

1811 – Paraguay gained independence from Spain.

1853 – Gail Borden applied for a patent for condensed milk.

1862 – The chronograph was patented by Adolphe Nicole.

1874 – McGill University and Harvard met at Cambridge, MA, for the first college football game to charge admission.

1878 – The name Vaseline was registered by Robert A. Chesebrough.

1879 – Thomas Edison incorporated the Edison Telephone Company of Europe.

1897 – “The Stars and Stripes Forever” by John Phillip Sousa was performed for the first time. It was at a ceremony where a statue of George Washington was unveiled.

1897 – Guglielmo Marconi made the first communication by wireless telegraph.

1913 – The Rockefeller Foundation was created by John D. Rockefeller with a gift of $100,000,000.

1935 – The Philippines ratified an independence agreement.

1940 – The Netherlands surrendered to Nazi Germany.

1942 – The Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps (WAAC) was established by an act of the U.S. Congress.

1942 – “Lincoln Portrait” by Aaron Copland was performed for the first time by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

1942 – The British, while retreating from Burma, reached India.

1948 – Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion proclaimed the independent State of Israel as British rule in Palestine came to an end.

1955 – The Warsaw Pact, a Easter European mutual-defense treaty, was signed in Poland by eight communist bloc countries including the Soviet Union.

1961 – A bus carrying Freedom Riders was bombed and burned in Alabama.

1967 – Mickey Mantle hit his 500th homerun.

1969 – Jacqueline Susann’s second novel, “The Love Machine,” was published by Simon and Schuster.

1973 – Skylab One was launched into orbit around Earth as the first U.S. manned space station.

1975 – U.S. forces raided the Cambodian island of Koh Tang and recaptured the American merchant ship Mayaguez. All 40 crew members were released safely by Cambodia. About 40 U.S. servicemen were killed in the military operation.

1980 – U.S. President Carter inaugurated the Department of Health and Human Services.

1985 – Ray Kroc’s first McDonald’s restaurant became the first fast-food business museum. It is located in Des Plaines, Illinois.

1988 – In the Andean village of Cayara, Peru’s military was involved in a massacre of at least 26 peasants.

1992 – Former Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev addressed members of the U.S. Congress, appealing to them to pass a bill to aid the people of the former Soviet Union.

1996 – A tornado hit 80 villages in nothern Bangladesh. More than 440 people were killed.

1998 – The Associated Press marked its 150th anniversary.

1998 – The final episode of the TV series “Seinfeld” aired after nine years on NBC.

1999 – North Korea returned the remains of six U.S. soldiers that had been killed during the Korean War.

1999 – Jess Marlow received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

2005 – The art exhibit “Gumby and Friends: The First 50 Years” opened at the Lynn House Gallery in Antioch, CA.

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FREEDOM RIDERS : A Stanley Nelson Film : American Experience – In memory


  Get Inspired

 The World Premiere: In 2010 at Sundance Film Festival, US

 A Documentary Competition

Award-winning filmmaker Stanley Nelson (Wounded Knee, Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple, The Murder of Emmett Till) returns to the Sundance Film Festival with his latest documentary FREEDOM RIDERS, the powerful, harrowing and ultimately inspirational story of six months in 1961 that changed America forever. From May until November 1961, more than 400 black and white Americans risked their lives—and many endured savage beatings and imprisonment—for simply traveling together on buses and trains as they journeyed through the Deep South. Deliberately violating Jim Crow laws, the Freedom Riders’ belief in non-violent activism was sorely tested as mob violence and bitter racism greeted them along the way.

FREEDOM RIDERS features testimony from a fascinating cast of central characters: the Riders themselves, state and federal government officials, and journalists who witnessed the rides firsthand.

“I got up one morning in May and I said to my folks at home, I won’t be back today because I’m a Freedom Rider. It was like a wave or a wind that you didn’t know where it was coming from or where it was going, but you knew you were supposed to be there.” — Pauline Knight-Ofuso, Freedom Rider

Despite two earlier Supreme Court decisions that mandated the desegregation of interstate travel facilities, black Americans in 1961 continued to endure hostility and racism while traveling through the South. The newly inaugurated Kennedy administration, embroiled in the Cold War and worried about the nuclear threat, did little to address domestic Civil Rights.See the source image

“It became clear that the Civil Rights leaders had to do something desperate, something dramatic to get Kennedy’s attention. That was the idea behind the Freedom Rides—to dare the federal government to do what it was supposed to do, and see if their constitutional rights would be protected by the Kennedy administration,” explains Raymond Arsenault, author of Freedom Riders: 1961 and the Struggle for Racial Justice, on which the film is partially based.

Organized by the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), the self-proclaimed “Freedom Riders” came from all strata of American society—black and white, young and old, male and female, Northern and Southern. They embarked on the Rides knowing the danger but firmly committed to the ideals of non-violent protest, aware that their actions could provoke a savage response but willing to put their lives on the line for the cause of justice.

Each time the Freedom Rides met violence and the campaign seemed doomed, new ways were found to sustain and even expand the movement. After Klansmen in Alabama set fire to the original Freedom Ride bus, student activists from Nashville organized a ride of their own. “We were past fear. If we were going to die, we were gonna die, but we can’t stop,” recalls Rider Joan Trumpauer-Mulholland. “If one person falls, others take their place.”

Later, Mississippi officials locked up more than 300 Riders in the notorious Parchman State Penitentiary. Rather than weaken the Riders’ resolve, the move only strengthened their determination. None of the obstacles placed in their path would weaken their commitment.

The Riders’ journey was front-page news and the world was watching. After nearly five months of fighting, the federal government capitulated. On September 22, the Interstate Commerce Commission issued its order to end the segregation in bus and rail stations that had been in place for generations. “This was the first unambiguous victory in the long history of the Civil Rights Movement. It finally said, ‘We can do this.’ And it raised expectations across the board for greater victories in the future,” says Arsenault.

“The people that took a seat on these buses, that went to jail in Jackson, that went to Parchman, they were never the same. We had moments there to learn, to teach each other the way of nonviolence, the way of love, the way of peace. The Freedom Ride created an unbelievable sense: Yes, we will make it. Yes, we will survive. And that nothing, but nothing, was going to stop this movement,” recalls Congressman John Lewis, one of the original Riders.

Says Stanley Nelson, “The lesson of the Freedom Rides is that great change can come from a few small steps taken by courageous people. And that sometimes to do any great thing, it’s important that we step out alone.”

CREDITS
A Stanley Nelson Film
A Firelight Media Production for AMERICAN EXPERIENCE

Produced, Written and Directed by
Stanley Nelson

Produced by
Laurens Grant

Edited by
Lewis Erskine, Aljernon Tunsil

Archival Producer
Lewanne Jones

Associate Producer
Stacey HolmanDirector of Photography
Robert Shepard

Composer
Tom Phillips

Music Supervisor
Rena Kosersky

Based in part on the book Freedom Riders by
Raymond Arsenault

AMERICAN EXPERIENCE is a production of WGBH Boston.
Senior producer
Sharon Grimberg

Executive producer
Mark Samels