Archive for the 'Music' Category
April 4, 1967
Martin Luther King, Jr., speaks out against the war
The Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, says in a speech that there is a common link forming between the civil rights and peace movements. King proposed that the United States stop all bombing of North and South Vietnam; declare a unilateral truce in the hope that it would lead to peace talks; set a date for withdrawal of all troops from Vietnam; and give the National Liberation Front a role in negotiations.
King had been a solid supporter of President Lyndon B. Johnson and his “Great Society,” but he became increasingly concerned about U.S. involvement in Vietnam and, as his concerns became more public, his relationship with the Johnson administration deteriorated. King came to view U.S. intervention in Southeast Asia as little more than imperialism disguised as “fighting the communists”. Additionally, he believed that the Vietnam War diverted money and attention from domestic programs created to aid the black poor. King maintained his antiwar stance and supported peace movements until he was assassinated on April 4, 1968.
“Martin Luther King, Jr., speaks out against the war.” 2009. The History Channel website. 4 Apr 2009, 05:31 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=tdihArticleCategory&id=1767.
April 4, 1865
President Lincoln in Richmond
President Abraham Lincoln visits the Confederate capital a day after Union forces capture it.
Lincoln had been in the area for nearly two weeks. He left Washington at the invitation of general-in-chief Ulysses S. Grant to visit Grant’s headquarters at City Point, near the lines at Petersburg south of Richmond. The trip was exhilarating for the exhausted president. Worn out by four years of war and stifled by the pressures of Washington, Lincoln enjoyed himself immensely. He conferred with Grant and General William T. Sherman, who took a break from his campaign in North Carolina. He visited soldiers, and even picked up an axe to chop logs in front of the troops.
He stayed at City Point, sensing that the final push was near. Grant’s forces overran the Petersburg line on April 2, and the Confederate government fled the capital later that day. Union forces occupied Richmond on April 3, and Lincoln sailed up the James River to see the spoils of war. His ship could not pass some obstructions that had been placed in the river by the Confederates so 12 soldiers rowed him to shore. He landed without fanfare but was soon recognized by some black workmen who ran to him and bowed. The modest Lincoln told them to “…kneel to God only, and thank him for the liberty you will hereafter enjoy.”
Lincoln, accompanied by a small group of soldiers and a growing entourage of freed slaves, walked to the Confederate White House and sat in President Jefferson Davis’s chair. He walked to the Virginia statehouse and saw the chambers of the Confederate Congress. Lincoln even visited Libby Prison, where thousands of Union officers were held during the war. Lincoln remained a few more days in hopes that Robert E. Lee’s army would surrender, but on April 8 he headed back to Washington. Six days later, Lincoln was shot as he watched a play at Ford’s Theater.
“President Lincoln in Richmond.” 2009. The History Channel website. 4 Apr 2009, 05:30 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=tdihArticleCategory&id=2158.
April 3, 1865
The Rebel capital of Richmond falls to the Union, the most significant sign that the Confederacy is nearing its final days.
For ten months, General Ulysses S. Grant had tried unsuccessfully to infiltrate the city. After Lee made a desperate attack against Fort Stedman along the Union line on March 25, Grant prepared for a major offensive. He struck at Five Forks on April 1, crushing the end of Lee’s line southwest of Petersburg. On April 2, the Yankees struck all along the Petersburg line, and the Confederates collapsed.
On the evening of April 2, the Confederate government fled the city with the army right behind. Now, on the morning of April 3, blue-coated troops entered the capital. Richmond was the holy grail of the Union war effort, the object of four years of campaigning. Tens of thousands of Yankee lives were lost trying to get it, and nearly as many Confederate lives lost trying to defend it.
Now, the Yankees came to take possession of their prize. One resident, Mary Fontaine, wrote, “I saw them unfurl a tiny flag, and I sank on my knees, and the bitter, bitter tears came in a torrent.” As the Federals rode in, another wrote that the city’s black residents were “completely crazed, they danced and shouted, men hugged each other, and women kissed.” Among the first forces into the capital were black troopers from the 5th Massachusetts Cavalry, and the next day President Abraham Lincoln visited the city. For the residents of Richmond, these were symbols of a world turned upside down. It was, one reporter noted, “…too awful to remember, if it were possible to be erased, but that cannot be.”
“Richmond captured.” 2009. The History Channel website. 3 Apr 2009, 07:32 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=2157.