Reclaim Our History Nov. 1-15
Special Radioactive Edition!
Nov. 1 1951: First atomic explosion witnessed by troops (as an experiment), New Mexico.
1952: US tests first H-bomb, equivalent to 700 Hiroshimas. Marshall Islands.
1961: Fifty thousand women join in protests in 60+ US cities against resumption of atmospheric nuclear tests, leading to founding of Women Strike for Peace.
Nov. 3 1971: Canadian activists block international bridges in Detroit and Buffalo in protest against US nuclear weapons testing in Alaska.
Nov. 4 1958: B-47 carrying nuclear weapons crashes near Abilene, Texas.
Nov. 5 1949: Peace Pledge Union sets up Nonviolence Commission, leading to direct action against nuclear weapons. Britain.
1962: United Nations General Assembly demands complete nuclear weapons testing ban.
1974: Voters ban underground bomb tests, Colorado.
1977: Pres. Carter vetoes Tennessee Clinch River (Tenn.) Breeder Reactor.
1978: Voters agree to leave nuclear reactor unfuelled, Zwentendorf, Austria.
1982: Demonstration at Honeywell, Minnesota’s largest defense contractor, 36 arrested. The “Honeywell Project,” dogs the company for over three decades, at times with enormous success. It continues today, targeting Alliant Technologies, the arms-making branch of Honeywell spun off in the 1990s.
Nov. 6 1971: US explodes five-megaton bomb in nuclear weapons test despite petition to US Supreme Court.
Nov. 7 1978: Nation’s first nuclear-free zone established in Missoula, Mont.
Nov. 10 1950: When a USAF B-50 bomber carrying an H-bomb develops engine trouble over Canada, crew members detontate the bomb (with its plutonium core removed), scattering 45 kg of highly enriched uranium into the atmosphere only 2,493 feet over Riviere du Loup, Quebec.
2001: Despite an official ban on such demonstrations, tens of thousands of Germans participate in four days of protests and direct actions to block shipment of high-level nuclear waste from France across Germany to a storage site at Gorleben.
Nov. 12 1921: Disarmament conference opens, Washington DC.
1984: A Plowshares protest targets Silo Pruning Hooks, a Minuteman II nuclear-missile silo in Knob Noster, Mo. After using a jackhammer and air-compressor to damage the silo lid, protesters Carl and Paul Kabat, Larry Cloud Morgan, and Helen Woodson offer a Eucharist, then leave behind a Biblical and a Native American indictment of the US government. Arrested an hour after the action, authorities hold the four on preventive detention and deny bond. In March 1985, they are convicted of conspiracy, destruction of government property, and intent to damage the national defense. Their prison sentences, ranging from eight to 18 years, are the most severe to date of any Plowshares member. All but Woodson appeal their cases, which they lose in the spring of 1986.
Nov. 13 1974: Karen Silkwood, anti-nuclear activist, murdered en route to meet a New York Times reporter, Oklahoma. All her documentation of safety violations disappear.
Nov. 14 1983: US cruise missiles arrive at Greenham Common, Britain.
Nov. 15 1957: US Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy (SANE), the precursor of SANE/FREEZE (now Peace Action), founded.
1986: Great Peace March for Nuclear Disarmament arrives in Washington DC, having left Los Angeles in March.