Posts Tagged ‘Andrew Jackson

01
Dec
08

On This Day, 12-1-2008: Rosa Parks

December 1, 1955

Rosa Parks ignites bus boycott

In Montgomery, Alabama, Rosa Parks is jailed for refusing to give up her seat on a public bus to a white man, a violation of the city’s racial segregation laws. The successful Montgomery Bus Boycott, organized by a young Baptist minister named Martin Luther King, Jr., followed Park’s historic act of civil disobedience.

“The mother of the civil rights movement,” as Rosa Parks is known, was born in Tuskeegee, Alabama, in 1913. She worked as a seamstress and in 1943 joined the Montgomery chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

According to a Montgomery city ordinance in 1955, African Americans were required to sit at the back of public buses and were also obligated to give up those seats to white riders if the front of the bus filled up. Parks was in the first row of the black section when the white driver demanded that she give up her seat to a white man. Parks’ refusal was spontaneous but was not merely brought on by her tired feet, as is the popular legend. In fact, local civil rights leaders had been planning a challenge to Montgomery’s racist bus laws for several months, and Parks had been privy to this discussion.

Learning of Parks’ arrest, the NAACP and other African American activists immediately called for a bus boycott to be held by black citizens on Monday, December 5. Word was spread by fliers, and activists formed the Montgomery Improvement Association to organize the protest. The first day of the bus boycott was a great success, and that night the 26-year-old Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., told a large crowd gathered at a church, “The great glory of American democracy is the right to protest for right.” King emerged as the leader of the bus boycott and received numerous death threats from opponents of integration. At one point, his home was bombed, but he and his family escaped bodily harm.

The boycott stretched on for more than a year, and participants carpooled or walked miles to work and school when no other means were possible. As African Americans previously constituted 70 percent of the Montgomery bus ridership, the municipal transit system suffered gravely during the boycott. On November 13, 1956, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Alabama state and Montgomery city bus segregation laws as being in violation of the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. On December 20, King issued the following statement: “The year old protest against city buses is officially called off, and the Negro citizens of Montgomery are urged to return to the buses tomorrow morning on a non-segregated basis.” The boycott ended the next day. Rosa Parks was among the first to ride the newly desegregated buses.

Martin Luther King, Jr., and his nonviolent civil rights movement had won its first great victory. There would be many more to come.

Rosa Parks died on October 24, 2005. Three days later the U.S. Senate passed a resolution to honor Parks by allowing her body to lie in honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda.

“Rosa Parks ignites bus boycot.” 2008. The History Channel website. 1 Dec 2008, 11:45 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=7098.

On This Day

1913 – Ford Motor Co. began using a new movable assembly line that ushered in the era of mass production.

1925 – The Locarno Pact finalized the treaties between World War I protagonists.

1934 – Sergei M. Kirov, a collaborator of Joseph Stalin, was assassinated at the Leningrad party headquarters.

1942 – In the U.S., nationwide gasoline rationing went into effect.

1943 – In Teheran, leaders of the United States, the USSR and the United Kingdom met to reaffirm the goal set on October 30, 1943. The previous meeting called for an early establishment of an international organization to maintain peace and security.

1959 – 12 countries, including the U.S. and USSR, signed a treaty that set aside Antarctica as a scientific preserve, which would be free from military activity.

1969 – The U.S. government held its first draft lottery since World War II.

1987 – NASA announced four companies had been given contracts to help build a space station. The companies were Boeing Aerospace, G. E.’s Astro-Space Division, McDonnell Douglas Aeronautics, and Rocketdyne Division of Rockwell International.

1989 – East Germany’s Parliament abolished the Communist Party’s constitutional guarantee of supremacy.

1990 – British and French workers digging the Channel Tunnel finally met under the English Channel.

1998 – Exxon announced that it was buying Mobil for $73.7 billion creating the largest company in the world to date.

December 1, 1824

Presidential election goes to the House

As no presidential candidate had received a majority of the total electoral votes in the election of 1824, Congress decides to turn over the presidential election to the House of Representatives, as dictated by the 12th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

In the November 1824 election, 131 electoral votes, just over half of the 261 total, were necessary to elect a candidate president. Although it had no bearing on the outcome of the election, popular votes were counted for the first time in this election. On December 1, 1824, the results were announced. Andrew Jackson of Tennessee won 99 electoral and 153,544 popular votes; John Quincy Adams–the son of John Adams, the second president of the United States–received 84 electoral and 108,740 popular votes; Secretary of State William H. Crawford, who had suffered a stroke before the election, received 41 electoral votes; and Representative Henry Clay of Virginia won 37 electoral votes.

As dictated by the Constitution, the election was then turned over to the House of Representatives. The 12th Amendment states that if no electoral majority is won, only the three candidates who receive the most popular votes will be considered in the House. Representative Henry Clay, who was disqualified from the House vote as a fourth-place candidate, agreed to use his influence to have John Quincy Adams elected. Clay and Adams were both members of a loose coalition in Congress that by 1828 became known as the National Republicans, while Jackson’s supporters were later organized into the Democratic Party.

Thanks to Clay’s backing, on February 9, 1825, the House elected Adams as president of the United States. When Adams then appointed Clay to the top cabinet post of secretary of state, Jackson and his supporters derided the appointment as the fulfillment of a corrupt agreement.

With little popular support, Adams’ time in the White House was largely ineffectual, and the so-called Corrupt Bargain haunted his administration. In 1828, he was defeated in his reelection bid by Andrew Jackson, who received more than twice as many electoral votes than Adams.

“Presidential election goes to the House.” 2008. The History Channel website. 1 Dec 2008, 11:47 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=5564.

On This Day in Wisconsin

1884 – Fire Destroys UW Building
On this date fire destroyed Science Hall on the UW-Madison campus. As a result, engineering students were forced to use the cramped space of the former dormitory, North Hall, for the next four semesters. [Source: College of Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison]

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28
Mar
08

On This Day, 3-28-08: Jesse Owens

Nuclear accident at Three Mile Island

At 4 a.m. on March 28, 1979, the worst accident in the history of the U.S. nuclear power industry begins when a pressure valve in the Unit-2 reactor at Three Mile Island fails to close. Cooling water, contaminated with radiation, drained from the open valve into adjoining buildings, and the core began to dangerously overheat.

The Three Mile Island nuclear power plant was built in 1974 on a sandbar on Pennsylvania’s Susquehanna River, just 10 miles downstream from the state capitol in Harrisburg. In 1978, a second state-of-the-art reactor began operating on Three Mile Island, which was lauded for generating affordable and reliable energy in a time of energy crises.

After the cooling water began to drain out of the broken pressure valve on the morning of March 28, 1979, emergency cooling pumps automatically went into operation. Left alone, these safety devices would have prevented the development of a larger crisis. However, human operators in the control room misread confusing and contradictory readings and shut off the emergency water system. The reactor was also shut down, but residual heat from the fission process was still being released. By early morning, the core had heated to over 4,000 degrees, just 1,000 degrees short of meltdown. In the meltdown scenario, the core melts, and deadly radiation drifts across the countryside, fatally sickening a potentially great number of people.

“Nuclear accident at Three Mile Island.” 2008. The History Channel website. 28 Mar 2008, 12:17 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=6850.

1774 – Britain passed the Coercive Act against Massachusetts.

1834 – The U.S. Senate voted to censure President Jackson for the removal of federal deposits from the Bank of the United States.

1854 – The Crimean War began with Britain and France declaring war on Russia.

1865 – Outdoor advertising legislation was enacted in New York. The law banned “painting on stones, rocks and trees.”

1898 – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a child born in the U.S. to Chinese immigrants was a U.S. citizen. This meant that they could not be deported under the Chinese Exclusion Act.

1917 – During World War I the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) was founded.

1933 – In Germany, the Nazis ordered a ban on all Jews in businesses, professions and schools.

1941 – The Italian fleet was defeated by the British at the Battle of Matapan.

1942 – British naval forces raided the Nazi occupied French port of St. Nazaire.

1945 – Germany launched the last of the V-2 rockets against England.

1986 – The U.S. Senate passed $100 million aid package for the Nicaraguan contras.

1990 – Jesse Owens received the Congressional Gold Medal from U.S. President George Bush.

Funeral held for the man behind the guillotine

The funeral of Guillotin, the inventor and namesake of the infamous execution device, takes place outside of Paris, France. Guillotin had what he felt were the purest motives for inventing the guillotine and was deeply distressed at how his reputation had become besmirched in the aftermath.

Guillotin had bestowed the deadly contraption on the French as a “philanthropic gesture” for the systematic criminal justice reform that was taking place in 1789. The machine was intended to show the intellectual and social progress of the Revolution; by killing aristocrats and journeymen the same way, equality in death was ensured.

The first use of the guillotine was on April 25 1792, when Nicolas Pelletier was put to death for armed robbery and assault in Place de Greve. The newspapers reported that guillotine was not an immediate sensation. The crowds seemed to miss the gallows at first. However, it quickly caught on with the public and many thought it brought dignity back to the executioner.

However, the prestige of the guillotine fell precipitously due to its frequent use in the French Terror following the Revolution. It became the focal point of the awful political executions and was so closely identified with the terrible abuses of the time that it was perceived as partially responsible for the excesses itself. Still, it was used sporadically in France into the 20th century.

“Funeral held for the man behind the guillotine.” 2008. The History Channel website. 28 Mar 2008, 12:24 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=952.

1939: Spanish Civil War ends

In Spain, the Republican defenders of Madrid raise the white flag over the city, and the bloody three-year Spanish Civil War comes to an end. The conflict began in 1936 when General Francisco Franco led a right-wing army revolt in Morocco, dividing Spain into two camps, the Republicans and the Nationalists. The Republicans, made up of Catalonian and Basque patriots and an uneasy alliance of leftist radicals, suffered steady losses against Franco’s Nationalists. Franco appealed to the fascist regimes of Germany and Italy for help, while the USSR aided the Republican side. In addition, thousands of idealistic radicals from France, America, and elsewhere formed the International Brigades to aid the Republican cause. In early 1939, Catalonia fell to Franco; soon after, Madrid fell too. Up to a million lives were lost in the conflict, the most devastating in Spanish history.

http://www.thehistorychannel.co.uk/site/this_day_in_history/

Although I wasn’t invited to shake hands with Hitler, I wasn’t invited to the White House to shake hands with the President either.
Jesse Owens

08
Mar
08

On This Day, 3-8-08: C.S.S. Virginia

C.S.S. Virginia terrorizes Union navy

The Confederate ironclad Virginia wrecks havoc on a Yankee squadron off Hampton Roads, Virginia.

The C.S.S. Virginia was originally the U.S.S. Merrimack, a forty-gun frigate launched in 1855. The Merrimack served in the Caribbean and was the flagship of the Pacific fleet in the late 1850s. In early 1860, the ship was decommissioned for extensive repairs at the Gosport Navy Yard in Norfolk, Virginia. It was still there when the war began in April 1861, and Union sailors sank the ship as the yard was evacuated. Six weeks later, a salvage company raised the ship and the Confederates began rebuilding it.

The project required $172,000 to build an ironclad upon the Merrimack‘s hull. A new gun deck was added and an iron canopy was draped over the entire vessel. The most challenging part of the construction came in finding the iron plating. Richmond’s Tredegar Iron Works finally produced it, but the plant had to alter its operations to roll more than 300 tons of scrap iron for the two-inch thick plating.

The Virginia was launched on February 17, 1862. On March 9, it steamed from Norfolk toward Union ships guarding the mouth of the James River at Hampton Roads. Rumors of the ironclad had circulated for several days among the Yankee sailors, and now they saw the creation first hand. They soon wished they hadn’t. The Virginia attacked the U.S.S. Cumberland, firing several shots into her before ramming the Federal ship and sinking it. The other Union ships fired back, but the shots were, in the words of one observer, “having no more effect than peas from a pop-gun.” Ninety-eight shots hit the Virginia, but none did significant damage. The Virginia then attacked the U.S.S. Congress, which exploded when fires caused by the Confederate barrage reached the powder magazine. The Virginia next ran the U.S.S. Minnesota aground before calling it a day.

It had been the worst day in U.S. naval history and it signaled the end of the wooden ship era. http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=2130

1782 – The Gnadenhutten massacre took place. About 90 Indians were killed by militiamen in Ohio in retaliation for raids carried out by other Indians.

1853 – The first bronze statue of Andrew Jackson is unveiled in Washington, DC.

1855 – A train passed over the first railway suspension bridge at Niagara Falls, NY.

1880 – U.S. President Rutherford B. Hays declared that the United States would have jurisdiction over any canal built across the isthmus of Panama.

1907 – The British House of Commons turned down a women’s suffrage bill.

1910 – The King of Spain authorized women to attend universities.

1930 – Mahatma Gandhi begins the campaign of civil disobedience against British rule in India .

1942 – During World War II, Japanese forces captured Rangoon, Burma.

1943 – Japanese forces attacked American troops on Hill 700 in Bougainville. The battle lasted five days.

1945 – Phyllis Mae Daley received a commission in the U.S. Navy Nurse Corps. She later became the first African-American nurse to serve duty in World War II.

1954 – France and Vietnam opened talks in Paris on a treaty to form the state of Indochina.

1965 – The U.S. landed about 3,500 Marines in South Vietnam. They were the first U.S. combat troops to land in Vietnam.

1982 – The U.S. accused the Soviets of killing 3,000 Afghans with poison gas.

1989 – In Lhasa, Tibet, martial law was declared after three days of protest against Chinese rule.

United States accuses Soviets of using poison gas

The United States government issues a public statement accusing the Soviet Union of using poison gas and chemical weapons in its war against rebel forces in Afghanistan. The accusation was part of the continuing U.S. criticism of the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan.  http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=2600

Universal suffrage is sound in principle. The radical element is right.
Rutherford B. Hayes

Cautious, careful people, always casting about to preserve their reputations… can never effect a reform.
Susan B. Anthony

Suffrage is the pivotal right.
Susan B. Anthony

Voting is the most precious right of every citizen, and we have a moral obligation to ensure the integrity of our voting process.
Hillary Clinton




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