Reclaim Our History Mar. 1-16
Mar. 1, 1847: Michigan becomes first state to abolish death penalty. 1875: Civil Rights Bill enacted by US Congress gives blacks the rights to equal treatment in public places and transport. Yeah, right. 1907: Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) strike Portland, Oregon sawmills. 1954: First H-bomb test, Bikini Atoll, South Pacific. Over 7,000 square miles are contaminated as well as many local residents and Japanese fishermen.
Mar. 2, 1955: Nine months before Rosa Parks, teenager Claudette Colvin is arrested in Montgomery, Ala., for refusing to give up her bus seat to a white person. 1995: Proposal to reinstate death penalty loses in Iowa.
Mar. 3, 1871: Reacting strongly to charges of corruption, US Congress establishes a Commission on Civil Service Reform. In four years, however, it fails to appropriate a single penny for the Commission, which as a result, is forced to disband. 1873: “Salary Grab” Act passes, raising the salaries of US congressmen and government officials retroactively.
Mar. 4, 1910: Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) begins Spokane, Wash. free speech fight (which they win). 1998: Ford sued for compensation for using 10,000 slave laborers supplied by Hitler’s regime.
Mar. 5, 1917: Wobblies (Industrial Workers of the World, aka IWW) go on trial, Everett, Washington. 1927: US Marines land in China “to protect US property” during a civil war there. 1937: US officially apologizes to Nazi Germany for New York Mayor LaGuardia’s reference to Adolf Hitler as a “brown-shirted fanatic.”
Mar. 6, 1836: Mexican troops defend their country’s abolitionist constitution, defeat foreign slaveholders. San Antonio, Texas. Remember the Alamo.
Mar. 7 1932: Detroit police fire on Ford hunger marchers, killing four. Beginning of Ford Hunger Strike. 1942: IWW founder, anarchist labor organizer Lucy Parsons dies, Chicago, Illinois. 1995: After decades of opposition, state of New York instates the death penalty.
Mar. 8, 1876: After three years of controversy, the US Senate refuses to seat P.B.S. Pinchback, elected as Louisiana senator in 1873, marking the beginning of the reversal of political gains of African Americans following Emancipation.
Mar. 10, 1951: Pres. Eisenhower states willingness to launch a first-strike nuclear attack. 1958: A B-47 accidentally drops a nuclear bomb on the town of Mars Bluffs, South Carolina. A 50-foot wide crater was dug, and six injured by conventional explosives incorporated in the weapon, but there was no atomic blast. 1987: United Nations Human Rights Commission recognizes conscientious objection to military service as a human right.
Mar. 11, 1959: Lorraine Hansberry’s play A Raisin in the Sun opens, transforming American theater.
Mar. 13, 1925: Tennessee legislature bans teaching of evolution. 1984: Acting Pres. Reagan agrees to cleanup South Pacific’s Bikini Atoll of nuclear contamination so Bikinians can return, over 30 years after above-ground nuclear tests forced them out of their lands. 1996: Licensed gun enthusiast shoots dead 16 children and their teacher, Dunblane Primary School, Dunblane, Scotland.
Mar. 14, 1912: IWW agrees to terms granting over 20% wage increases, successfully ending 32,000-person “Bread and Roses” strike against wool mills precipitated by wage cuts. Lawrence, Massachusetts.