Posts Tagged ‘Greensboro North Carolina

01
Feb
09

On This Day, February 1: Guadalcanal

February 1, 1943

Japanese begin evacuation of Guadalcanal

On this day, Japanese forces on Guadalcanal Island, defeated by Marines, start to withdraw after the Japanese emperor finally gives them permission.

On July 6, 1942, the Japanese landed on Guadalcanal Island, part of the Solomon Islands chain, and began constructing an airfield. In response, the U.S. launched Operation Watchtower, in which American troops landed on five islands within the Solomon chain, including Guadalcanal. The landings on Florida, Tulagi, Gavutu, and Tananbogo met with much initial opposition from the Japanese defenders, despite the fact that the landings took the Japanese by surprise because bad weather had grounded their scouting aircraft. “I have never heard or read of this kind of fighting,” wrote one American major general on the scene. “These people refuse to surrender.”

The Americans who landed on Guadalcanal had an easier time of it, at least initially. More than 11,000 Marines landed, but 24 hours passed before the Japanese manning the garrison knew what had happened. The U.S. forces quickly met their main objective of taking the airfield, and the outnumbered Japanese troops temporarily retreated. Japanese reinforcements were landed, though, and fierce hand-to-hand jungle fighting ensued. The Americans were at a particular disadvantage because they were assaulted from both sea and air, but when the U.S. Navy supplied reinforcement troops, the Americans gained the advantage. By February 1943, the Japanese retreated on secret orders of their emperor. In fact, the Japanese retreat was so stealthy that the Americans did not even know it had taken place until they stumbled upon abandoned positions, empty boats, and discarded supplies.

In total, the Japanese lost more than 25,000 men compared with a loss of 1,600 by the Americans. Each side lost 24 warships.

“Japanese begin evacuation of Guadalcanal.” 2009. The History Channel website. 1 Feb 2009, 07:59 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=6682.

On This Day

1790 – The U.S. Supreme Court convened for the first time in New York City.

1793 – France declared war on Britain and Holland.

1861 – Texas voted to secede from the Union.

1900 – Eastman Kodak Co. introduced the $1 Brownie box camera.

1946 – Norwegian statesman Trygve Lie was chosen to be the first secretary-general of the United Nations.

1951 – The first telecast of an atomic explosion took place.

1957 – P.H. Young became the first black pilot on a scheduled passenger airline.

1960 – Four black college students began a sit-in protest at a lunch counter in Greensboro, NC. They had been refused service.

1968 – During the Vietnam War, South Vietnamese National Police Chief Brig. Gen. Nguyen Ngoc Loan executed a Viet Cong officer with a pistol shot to the head. The scene was captured in a news photograph.

2003 – NASA’s space shuttle Columbia exploded while re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere. All seven astronauts on board were killed.

February 1, 1968

Nixon announces his candidacy for president

Richard M. Nixon announces his candidacy for the presidency. Most observers had written off Nixon’s political career eight years earlier, when he had lost to John F. Kennedy in the 1960 election.

Two years after losing to Kennedy, Nixon ran for governor of California and lost in a bitter campaign against Edmund G. (“Pat”) Brown, but by 1968 he had sufficiently recovered his political standing in the Republican Party to announce his candidacy for president. Taking a stance between the more conservative elements of his party, led by Ronald Reagan, and the liberal northeastern wing, led by Governor Nelson Rockefeller, Nixon won the nomination on the first ballot at the Republican National Convention in Miami Beach.

Nixon chose Spiro T. Agnew, the governor of Maryland, as his running mate. Nixon’s Democratic opponent, Vice President Hubert Humphrey, was weakened by internal divisions within his own party and the growing dissatisfaction with the Johnson administration’s handling of the war in Vietnam. Alabama governor George C. Wallace, running on a third party ticket, further complicated the election. Although Nixon and Humphrey each garnered about 43 percent of the popular vote, the distribution of Nixon’s nearly 32 million votes gave him a clear majority in the Electoral College, and he won the election.

“Nixon announces his candidacy for president.” 2009. The History Channel website. 1 Feb 2009, 08:00 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=1647.

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03
Nov
08

On This Day, 11-3-2008: Communists and Klansmen

November 3, 1979

Communists and Klansmen clash in Greensboro

Five members of the Communist Workers Party, participating in a “Death to the Klan” rally in Greensboro, North Carolina, are shot to death by a group of Klansmen and neo-Nazis. Seven others were wounded.

Members of the Communist Workers Party had organized the anti-Ku Klux Klan rally and march and were joined by a group of local African American mill workers. A caravan of cars carrying Klansmen and neo-Nazis arrived to disrupt the march, and videotape shows demonstrators initiating the violence by kicking and striking the Klan and Nazi vehicles. The Klansmen and Nazis then opened fire, shooting six demonstrators. The communists, who were carrying concealed weapons, then returned fire. When the gun battle ended, five demonstrators were dead or dying, and seven were wounded.

In 1980, six Klan and Nazi members were put on trial on murder and rioting charges. During the trial, evidence came to light indicating that the Greensboro police, and perhaps the federal government, were aware of the probability of violence at the rally but did little to prevent it. Edward Dawson, a paid informant for the Greensboro Police Department and former FBI informer in the Klan, had helped plan the massacre and had notified the Greensboro police of the details, while Bernard Butkovich, a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) agent undercover in the local branch of the American Nazi Party, had supplied some of the firearms used. When the scheduled time arrived for the Klansman and neo-Nazis to disrupt the march, the tactical squad from the Greensboro Police Department assigned to monitor the march was suspiciously absent.

The six defendants were acquitted on all charges on the grounds that they had fired on the demonstrators in self-defense. In 1984, a federal trial likewise ended in acquittals. In 1985, a North Carolina jury found two Greensboro police officers, five Klansmen and Nazis, and Edward Dawson liable for the “wrongful death” of one of the demonstrators who was killed and ordered them to pay nearly $400,000 in damages. The jury also ruled that there was no conspiracy between the Klan, local police, and the federal government to disrupt the rally or injure the protesters.

“Communists and Klansmen clash in Greensboro.” 2008. The History Channel website. 3 Nov 2008, 01:59 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=5492.

On This Day

1507 – Leonardo DaVinci was commissioned by the husband of Lisa Gherardini to paint her. The work is known as the Mona Lisa.

1631 – The Reverend John Eliot arrived in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. He was the first Protestant minister to dedicate himself to the conversion of Native Americans to Christianity.

1796 – John Adams was elected the 2nd U.S. President.

1839 – The first Opium War between China and Britain erupted.

1903 – Panama proclaimed its independence from Columbia.

1934 – The first race track in California opened under a new pari-mutuel betting law.

1941 – Japanese Ambassador John Grew warned that the Japanese may be planning a sudden attack on the U.S.

1957 – Sputnik II was launched by the Soviet Union. It was the second manmade satellite to be put into orbit and was the first to put an animal into space, a dog named Laika.

1973 – The U.S. launched the Mariner 10 spacecraft. On March 29, 1974 it became the first spacecraft to reach the planet Mercury.

1986 – The Ash-Shiraa, pro-Syrian Lebanese magazine, first broke the story of U.S. arms sales to Iran to secure the release of seven American hostages. The story turned into the Iran-Contra affair.

1992 – Carol Moseley-Braun became the first African-American woman U.S. senator.

November 3, 1777

Washington learns of Conway cabal

On this day in 1777, General George Washington is informed that a conspiracy is afoot to discredit him with Congress and have him replaced by General Horatio Gates. Thomas Conway, who would be made inspector general of the United States less than two months later on December 14, led the effort.

Conway, who was born in Ireland but raised in France, entered the French army in 1749. He was recruited to the Patriot cause by Silas Deane, the American ambassador to France, and after meeting with Washington at Morristown in May 1777, he was appointed brigadier general and assigned to Major General John Sullivan’s division.

Conway served admirably under Sullivan at the battles of Brandywine, in September 1777, and Germantown, in October 1777, before becoming involved in an unconfirmed conspiracy to remove General Washington from command of the Continental Army. The rumored conspiracy would go down in history as the “Conway cabal.”

After the Continental Army suffered several defeats in the fall of 1777, some members of Congress expressed displeasure with Washington’s leadership and Conway began writing letters to prominent leaders, including General Horatio Gates, that were critical of Washington. After Washington got wind of Conway’s letter to General Gates, he responded with a letter to Congress in January 1778. Embarrassed, Conway offered his resignation in March 1778 by way of apology, and was surprised and humiliated when Congress accepted. After General John Cadwalader wounded him in a duel defending Washington’s honor, Conway returned to France, where he died in exile in 1800.

“Washington learns of Conway cabal.” 2008. The History Channel website. 3 Nov 2008, 02:02 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=52037.

01
Feb
08

On This Day 2-1-08: F. W. Woolworth; Greensboro, North Carolina

1790 – The U.S. Supreme Court convened for the first time in New York City.

1793 – France declared war on Britain and Holland.

1861 – Texas voted to secede from the Union.

1893 – Thomas A. Edison completed work on the world’s first motion picture studio in West Orange, NJ.

1900 – Eastman Kodak Co. introduced the $1 Brownie box camera.

1913 – Grand Central Station opened in New York City, NY. It was the largest train station in the world.

1946 – Norwegian statesman Trygve Lie was chosen to be the first secretary-general of the United Nations.

1951 – The first telecast of an atomic explosion took place.

1958 – The United Arab Republic was formed by a union of Egypt and Syria. It was broken 1961.

1960 – Four black college students began a sit-in protest at a lunch counter in Greensboro, NC. They had been refused service.

1968 – During the Vietnam War, South Vietnamese National Police Chief Brig. Gen. Nguyen Ngoc Loan executed a Viet Cong officer with a pistol shot to the head. The scene was captured in a news photograph.

1979 – Patty Hearst was released from prison after serving 22 months of a seven-year sentence for bank robbery. Her sentence had been commuted by U.S. President Carter.

1994 – Jeff Gillooly plead guilty in Portland, OR, for his role in the attack on figure skater Nancy Kerrigan. Gillooly, Tonya Harding’s ex-husband, struck a plea bargain under which he confessed to racketeering charges in exchange for testimony implicating Harding.

2003 – NASA’s space shuttle Columbia exploded while re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere. All seven astronauts on board were killed.

Greensboro Lunch Counter

Greensboro Lunch Counter in the Separate Is Not Equal exhibition

In 1960, if you were African American, you were not allowed to sit here—the lunch counter at the F.W. Woolworth store in Greensboro, North Carolina. Racial inequality pervaded American life. Throughout the South, a racist system known as “Jim Crow” segregated people in restaurants, restrooms and most other accommodations. When African Americans tried to find a house or apartment, register to vote, or even order lunch, they were denied equal rights. The Woolworth’s in the Greensboro, like other stores in the community, refused to seat and serve African Americans at the luncheonette.

On Feb. 1, 1960, four African American students sat down at this counter and asked for service. Their request was refused.

When asked to leave, they remained in their seats. Ezell A. Blair Jr. (now Jibreel Khazan), Franklin E. McCain, Joseph A. McNeil and David L. Richmond were all enrolled at the North Carolina Agricultural and Technical College. Their “passive sit-down demand” began the first sustained sit-in and ignited a youth-led movement to challenge injustice and inequality throughout the South.

In Greensboro, hundreds of students, civil rights organizations, churches and members of the community joined in a six-month-long protest. They challenged the company’s policy of racial discrimination by sitting at the counter, and, later, organizing an economic boycott of the store. Their defiance heightened many Americans’ awareness of racial injustice and ultimately led to the desegregation of F.W. Woolworth lunch counter on July 25, 1960.

http://americanhistory.si.edu/news/factsheet.cfm?key=30&newskey=53




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