Archive for May 18th, 2009

18
May
09

On This Day, May 18: Plessy v. Ferguson

May 18, 1896

Supreme Court rules in Plessy v. Ferguson

In a major victory for supporters of racial segregation, the U.S. Supreme Court rules seven to one that a Louisiana law providing for “equal but separate accommodations for the white and colored races” on its railroad cars is constitutional. The high court held that as long as equal accommodations were provided, segregation was not discrimination and thus did not deprive African Americans of equal protection under the law as guaranteed by the 14th Amendment.

The Plessy v. Ferguson ruling, which indicated that the federal government would officially tolerate the “separate but equal” doctrine, was eventually used to justify segregating all public facilities, including railroad cars, restaurants, hospitals, and schools. However, “colored” facilities were never equal to their white counterparts in actuality, and African Americans suffered through decades of debilitating discrimination in the South and elsewhere because of the ruling. In 1954, Plessy v. Ferguson was struck down by the Supreme Court in their unanimous ruling in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka.

“Supreme Court rules in <I>Plessy v. Ferguson</I>,” The History Channel website, 2009, http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=tdihArticleCategory&id=5012 [accessed May 18, 2009]

On This Day

1642 – Montreal, Canada, was founded.

1652 – In Rhode Island, a law was passed that made slavery illegal in North America. It was the first law of its kind.

1798 – The first Secretary of the U.S. Navy was appointed. He was Benjamin Stoddert.

1917 – The U.S. Congress passed the Selective Service act, which called up soldiers to fight in World War I.

1931 – Japanese pilot Seiji Yoshihara crashed his plane in the Pacific Ocean while trying to be the first to cross the ocean nonstop. He was picked up seven hours later by a passing ship.

1944 – Monte Cassino, Europe’s oldest Monastic house, was finally captured by the Allies in Italy.

1953 – The first woman to fly faster than the speed of sound, Jacqueline Cochran, piloted an F-86 Sabrejet over California at an average speed of 652.337 miles-per-hour.

1974 – India became the sixth nation to explode an atomic bomb.

1980 – Mt. Saint Helens erupted in Washington state. 57 people were killed and 3 billion in damage was done.

May 18, 1783

United Empire Loyalists reach Canada

On this day in 1783, the first United Empire Loyalists, known to American Patriots as Tories, arrive in Canada to take refuge under the British crown in Parrtown, Saint John, Nova Scotia (now New Brunswick), Canada. The town was located on the Bay of Fundy just north of the border with what is now the state of Maine.

Most of the refugees came from New York, which had been under royal control throughout most of the War for Independence. After the Treaty of Paris ended the War for Independence in February 1783, the British evacuated their New York Loyalists to remaining British territories, mainly in Canada. These families had been dispossessed of their land and belongings by the victorious Patriots because of their continued support of the British king and were able to regain some financial independence through lands granted to them by the British in western Quebec (now Ontario) and Nova Scotia. Their arrival in Canada permanently shifted the demographics of what had been French-speaking New France until 1763 into an English-speaking colony, and later nation, with the exception of a French-speaking and culturally French area in eastern Canada that is now Quebec.

In 1784, one year after their arrival, the new Loyalist population spurred the creation of New Brunswick in the previously unpopulated (by Europeans, at least) lands west of the Bay of Fundy in what had been Nova Scotia. In 1785, the Loyalists yet again made their mark on Canadian history when their combined settlements at Parrtown and Carleton of approximately 14,000 people became British North America’s first incorporated city under the name City of Saint John.

Loyalist refugees in western Quebec received 200 acres apiece. The division between the Anglophile and Francophile sections was ultimately recognized by creating the English-dominant province of Ontario, west of Quebec, in 1867.

“United Empire Loyalists reach Canada,” The History Channel website, 2009, http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=626 [accessed May 18, 2009]

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18
May
09

Colonizing the Moon




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