Reclaim Our History: July 1-15
July 1, 1796: England executes 14 leaders of Fedon’s slave rebellion in Grenada. Maggie Thatcher would be pleased.
July 2, 1843: An alligator falls from the sky during a Charleston, SC thunderstorm. 1959: “Plan 9 From Outer Space,” one of the worst films ever, premieres. Quickly followed up by the sequel, “Windows 95.” 1961: Great Britain dispatches troops to protect Kuwait from “aggression.”
July 3, 1832: Opium exempted from federal tariff duty.
July 4, 1776: Spurred by unfair taxation issues, the US Declaration of Independence from England begins first successful anti-imperialist revolution in world history. Within 30 years, US begins its 200-year legacy of opposing similar revolutions in other countries.
July 5, 1861: Constitutional guarantees of Habeas Corpus suspended by Abraham Lincoln; in the following four years, some 18,000 “subversives” and peace activists were jailed without cause or charges in US.
July 7, 1846: US annexes California. 1863: First military draft by US (exemptions cost $100). 1941: US occupies Iceland.
July 8, 1914: England: Supplementing inadequate wages through systematic theft, members of the all-women Harrow Road “Check Skirt Gang” strike again by gaining employment at a West End pattern maker, then proceeding to make off with everything that is not nailed down. 1937: Britain sends 13,000 troops to Palestine, and martial law is declared, in an attempt to crush Arab fight for land.
July 9, 1951: Dashiel Hammett sentenced to six months imprisonment for refusing to cooperate with anti-communist inquiry.
July 10, 1947: Birth, to legendary folk singer Woody Guthrie and wife Marjorie, of son Arlo. 1984: Acting Pres. Reagan claims that his environmental record is “one of the best kept secrets” of his Presidency. When a reporter asks where former EPA head Anne Burford fits in that record, press secretary Larry Speakes steps forward and orders the lights turned off. Reagan, believed by many to be the most powerful man on the planet, stands behind his aide, saying, “My guardian says I can’t talk.” And so the secret was kept.
July 12, 1450: Jack Cade, leader of rebellion of workers, executed and his head is left on London Bridge. 1892: Pennsylvania state militia breaks Carnegie steel strike. 1933: Congress passes first minimum wage law ($0.33 per hour).
July 13, 1786: Northwest Ordinance enacted, stating “the utmost good faith shall always be observed toward the Indians…in their property, rights, and liberty they shall never be disturbed.”
July 14, 1798: Sedition Act of 1798 passes, making it a crime to publish “false, scandalous, and malicious” writing against the government, Congress, and the President. 1912: Birth of folk singer Woody Guthrie. 1983: In an admirable act of bipartisanship, Representatives Crane (R-IL) and Studds (D-MA) admit to sex with pages.
July 15, 1097: Capture of Jerusalem (first Crusade); 10,000 massacred, the traditional Christian way. 1205: Pope Innocent III says Jews are doomed to perpetual servitude and subjugation due to the crucifixion of Jesus. 1921: In Aberdeen, Wash., a businessman mob drives 103 IWW members out of town. 1992: “Yellow ribbon” rally against ethnic cleansing, Belgrade.