jfkplusfifty

Just another WordPress.com site

Archive for the month “March, 2011”

JFK HAPPY WITH STEEL CONTRACT

March 31, 1962


JFK HAPPY WITH STEEL CONTRACT


President Kennedy, having assisted in the negotiations between the steel industry & the Steelworkers of America, was pleased to learn an agreement was reached today on a new contract.


JFK is hoping to avoid a repeat of the 1959-1960 steel strike which hurt the economy.


The President phoned leaders of both sides to offer his congratulations on the agreement.


The new contract will provide a 3% pay increase for workers which should not have an adverse effect on the economy.


JFK said:


“I am sure the nation will agree with me that the most notable aspect of this settlement is that it demonstrates the national interest can be protected & in the interest of industry & the employees forwarded through…..responsible collective bargaining.”





March 31, 1968


LBJ WILL NOT SEEK ANOTHER TERM


President Lyndon B. Johnson shocked everyone this evening with his announcement at the end of his televised address on the situation in Vietnam by saying:


“I shall not seek & I will not accept the nomination of my party for another term as your President.”


Up until the statement, LBJ had discussed Vietnam.  He announced a partial bombing halt of the North & said that he would be sending 13,500 additional troops.


Mr. Johnson has come under increasing criticism for his Vietnam War policies.



         LBJ Addresses the Nation on TV


March 31, 1943


MUSICAL “OKLAHOMA” PREMIERS ON BROADWAY


The new musical, “Oklahoma”, produced by Richard Rogers & Oscar Hammerstein II, premiers on Broadway today.


The show’s choreographer, Agnes DeMille, said the opening number ‘Oh, What a Beautiful Morning’ “produced a sigh from the entire house that I don’t think I’ve ever heard in the theater.”


Joan Roberts, who plays the lead female role “Laurie” in the performance, said:  “The applause was so deafening & it continued & continued.”*




*”Oklahoma” went on to a record 2,212 performances before closing after 15 years on Broadway.


My daughter, Jennifer, who had performed in many local plays at the Oak Ridge Playhouse, got her 1st lead role as “Laurie” in South Doyle High School’s production of “Oklahoma” in 2004.



Seth Maples (Curly) & Jennifer White (Laurie)
South Doyle High’s Production of “Oklahoma” 
John Maples, Director


Photo by John White (2004)



March 31, 1889


THE EIFFEL TOWER IS DEDICATED IN PARIS


The Eiffel Tower was dedicated today in Paris, France in a ceremony presided over by its creator Gustave Eiffel.  The Prime Minister of France, Pierre Tirard, also participated in the dedication.


The tower, the world’s tallest man made structure, is 984 feet tall.


As the tower’s elevators were not yet completed, Mr. Eiffel & some other hardy souls took the stairs to the top where they raised a huge French Tricolor on the tower’s flagpole. 



  Eiffel Tower Under Construction (1878)



JFK NAMES "WHIZZER" WHITE TO SUPREME COURT

March 30, 1962


JFK NAMES “WHIZZER” WHITE TO SUPREME COURT


President Kennedy named Byron “Whizzer” White Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court today.


Justice White, 44 years old, becomes the youngest judge to ever serve on the high court.


Byron White earned the nickname “Whizzer” as a star half back for the University of Colorado Buffaloes.  He also starred in basketball & baseball.


White, born in Fort Collins, Colorado, had also been a successful student, a Rhodes Scholar & member of Phi Beta Kappa.


In making the appointment, JFK said:


“He has excelled at everything.  And I know that he will excel on the highest court in the land.”


Ironically, during WWII, White in naval intelligence, wrote the report on the sinking of JFK’s PT109.


Before being appointed to the Supreme Court, Byron White was a Deputy Attorney General.*



     Byron White & Robert Kennedy


*White served on the Supreme Court until his retirement in 1993.  As a justice, he took a practical rather than philosophical approach to the law.  At the time of his death in 2002, White had been the last living “Warren Court” justice.



      Associate Justice Byron White


March 30, 1981


PRESIDENT REAGAN SURVIVES ASSASSINATION ATTEMPT IN WASHINGTON


Just 69 days into his Presidency, Ronald Reagan was shot today as he left a speaking engagement at the Washington Hilton Hotel.


The President & 3 others were allegedly shot by John Hinckley, Jr. who was immediately taken into custody.  Authorities have not yet determined a motive for the shooting. 


The attempt on Reagan’s life took place at 2:27 p.m. Washington time as Reagan, accompanied by aides & Secret Service agents, exited the hotel.



Reagan Waves Just Before Shooting


Six shots were fired from a Rohm RG-14 .22 caliber pistol.


Special Agent Jerry Parr of the US Secret Service pushed Reagan into the back of the Presidential car in an attempt to get him out of the line of fire while Special Agent Timothy McCarthy, placing his body in front of the President, took a bullet in the abdomen.



     Parr Pushes Reagan Into Limo


The other victims include James Brady, Reagan’s Press Secretary & Special Agent Thomas Delahanty.


President Reagan was taken to nearby George Washington University Hospital where he was attended by a surgical team headed by Dr. Joseph Giordano.


As the President was wheeled into surgery, he said “I hope you are all Republicans”.


Dr. Giordano, a self-described “old fashioned liberal Democrat” replied:  “Today, Mr. President, we are all Republicans.”


During a very tense surgery, doctors located a bullet in the President’s lung just an inch from his heart.  Thanks to the quick action by the Secret Service & the talent & training of the medical staff at George Washington University, President Reagan is expected to recover.*



    Mrs. Reagan with the President 


*Ronald Reagan is the 1st President to survive being shot in an assassination attempt.  He was hit by the 6th bullet which ricocheted off the side of the armored vehicle & entered under the left arm.  The bullet grazed a rib & lodged in a lung.


President Reagan was able to return to the Oval Office on April 25 but James Brady, who suffered a serious head injury, was left permanently disabled.  Agent Delahanty was forced to retire due to his wound.


John Hinckley was found not guilty by reason of insanity on June 1, 1992.  The motivation for his crime is said to be a fanatical obsession with actress Jodie Foster.



                     John Hinckley, Jr.


March 30, 1948


FORMER VEEP CRITICAL OF TRUMAN’S POLICIES


Henry A. Wallace, former Vice-President of the United States, & now a Progressive Party presidential candidate, testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee today.


In his testimony, Wallace said that President Truman’s call for universal military training is unnecessary & criticized Truman’s statements on how to deal with the threat of communism.



                        Henry A. Wallace


March 30, 1867


ALASKA PURCHASE TREATY SIGNED BY SEWARD


Secretary of State William Seward signed a treaty with Russia today providing for the transfer of the Alaska territory to the United States for $7.2 million.


Seward, a Lincoln appointee now serving President Andrew Johnson, is a supporter of territorial expansion.*


*The Alaska Purchase was lampooned in the press as “Seward’s Ice Box” or “Seward’s Folly”.  The treaty was ratified by a single vote on April 9, 1867.



Alaska Purchase Check for $7,200,000







FIRST LADY NAMES WHITE HOUSE CURATOR

March 29, 1961


FIRST LADY NAMES WHITE HOUSE CURATOR


Mrs. John F. Kennedy has named Lorraine Waxman Pearce of Delaware to be the 1st Curator of the White House.


Mrs. Pearce, a graduate of the Winterthur Program in Early American Culture, will work with the newly created White House Fine Arts Committee.


The 1st Lady, displeased with the lack of period furnishings in the mansion, is launching a program of restoration.  


Mrs. Kennedy wants to furnish the White House with historically correct, museum-quality pieces.


If successful, Mrs. Kennedy & Mrs. Pearce will supervise the most extensive renovation of the President’s home since following the burning of the mansion during the War of 1812.*


*Mrs. Kennedy will host a televised tour of the White House in February 1962.  On the program, the 1st Lady will show much of the work that had been done to achieve her goals.



     Mrs. Kennedy’s White House Tour


March 29, 1961


23RD AMENDMENT RATIFIED


The 23rd Amendment to the US Constitution which allows residents of the District of Columbia to vote in Presidential elections became law today with ratification by Kansas & Ohio.


“The District constituting the seat of Government of the United States shall appoint in such manner as the Congress may direct:

A number of electors of President & Vice President equal to the whole number of Senators & Representatives in Congress to which the District would be entitled if it were a State, but in no event more than the least populous State; they shall be in addition to those appointed by the States, but they shall be considered, for the purposes of the election of President & Vice President, to be electors appointed by a State; & they shall meet in the District & perform such duties as provided by the 12th…amendment.”

Tennessee ratified the amendment on March 6, 1961 but Arkansas rejected the amendment.  9 other Southern states have not ratified it.


March 29, 1962



JFK WANTS OFFICE OF SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY


President Kennedy has asked Congress to create an Office of Science & Technology to be headed by Special Assistant, Jerome B. Wiesner.


Wiesner’s position was created during the Eisenhower administration following the Soviet Union’s successful launching of Sputnik I.


In his request, JFK writes:


“Considering the rapid growth of federal activities in science & technology, it is imperative that the President have adequate staff support in developing policies & evaluating programs….to assure that science & technology are used more effectively…..”



March 29, 1973


LAST US COMBAT TROOPS LEAVE VIETNAM


After 8 years of direct intervention & just 2 months after the signing of a peace agreement, the last US combat troops left South Vietnam today.


7,000 Department of Defense civilian officials will remain in Vietnam to assist the South Vietnamese government.


In 1961, JFK sent the 1st large contingent of US “military advisers” to South Vietnam & his successor, LBJ, sent the 1st combat troops.  President Nixon began a withdrawal of troops but also expanded the war into Cambodia & Laos.



            Veteran at the Vietnam Wall 


March 29, 1945


PATTON’S THIRD ARMY TAKES FRANKFURT


“Old Blood & Guts”, General George S. Patton. led the 3rd US Army into Frankfurt, Germany today.


Almost one year ago, Frankfurt suffered major damage from a month of bombing by the Allied air forces.



             General George S. Patton


March 29, 1929


HOOVER GETS TELEPHONE IN THE OVAL OFFICE


Today President Herbert Hoover became the 1st US President to have a telephone installed in the Oval Office at the White House.



           Western Electric Telephone


In 1878, President Rutherford B. Hayes had the 1st telephone installed in the White House & previous to the installation today the telephone was located in the foyer outside the office.


March 29, 1806


CONGRESS OKS SURVEY FOR CUMBERLAND ROAD


The US Congress has authorized a survey for the construction of the Cumberland Road.


The proposed national road will begin in Cumberland, Maryland & pass through the Appalachian Mountains to Wheeling, Virginia.


The survey will be conducted by the Army’s Corps of Engineers which will also be responsible for construction of the road.*


*Construction begins in 1811 & is competed in 1818.  By 1850, the road is rechristened the National Road & is expanded to reach Indianapolis.



     National (Cumberland) Road Marker















BILLIE SOL ESTES FOUND GUILTY

March 28, 1963


BILLIE SOL ESTES FOUND GUILTY 


Texas cotton farmer turned millionaire & associate of Vice-President Lyndon B. Johnson was convicted today on charges of mail fraud & conspiracy.


Estes, a Democrat who made a fortune in the fertilizer & grain storage business. made contributions to LBJ’s political campaigns of the late 1950s & early 1960s.


An FBI investigation led to an April 1962 indictment of 57 counts of fraud.


Estes was accused of swindling $24 million from investors & institutions.


There is a rumor going around Washington that JFK may consider dropping LBJ from the Democratic ticket in 1964 because of his association with Billie Sol Estes.*


*Estes served 6 years of a 15 year sentence but while on parole was sent back to prison for income tax evasion for another 4 years.  His 2nd conviction was overturned, however, by the Supreme Court which ruled his constitutional rights had been violated by media coverage of his trial.



                       Billie Sol Estes


March 28, 1961


INTELLIGENCE REPORT SAYS DIEM IN TROUBLE


President Kennedy received a report today which says that the situation in South Vietnam under the leadership of President Ngo Dinh Diem is “critical”.


The reasons for the assessment include the fact that Diem narrowly survived a coup last November & more than half the area around Saigon is under the control of the communist Viet Cong.


The report is also critical of Diem’s handling of discontent among the people of South Vietnam.*


*Diem will continue to resist JFK’s suggestion that he institute land reform in South Vietnam & in early November 1963 Diem will be an assassination victim in a successful coup led by SVA generals.



                         Ngo Dinh Diem


March 28, 1969


GENERAL EISENHOWER DEAD


The 34th President of the United States, Dwight David Eisenhower, died today in New York City at the age of 78.


A graduate of West Point,  Eisenhower was appointed Supreme Allied Commander in Operation Overlord in World War II & successfully led allied armies in landing at Normandy in France.


After the war, Ike served as president of Columbia University & then was appointed Supreme Commander of NATO troops in 1951.  


Eisenhower was elected President of the United States in 1952, was re-elected in 1956 & retired to his home in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania one of the most popular chief executives in our history.


Dwight D. Eisenhower will be buried in Abilene, Kansas.





March 28, 1979


NUCLEAR REACTOR OVERHEATS AT 3 MILE ISLAND


The most serious accident in the history of commercial nuclear power in the United States occurred today at the Three Mile Island Nuclear Plant in Middletown, Pennsylvania.


A pump that directs steam to the plant’s electric turbines ceased to work causing a water circulation break down.*


*Within days radiation leaks were elevated in 4 counties, but by April 9, 1979 the areas were deemed safe.



Three Mile Island Nuclear Power Plant


March 28, 1958


W.C. HANDY “FATHER OF THE BLUES” IS DEAD


W.C. Handy, credited with giving the ‘Blues’ its contemporary form, died today in New York City at the age of 85.


Handy, who played piano, coronet & trumpet, took a relatively unknown music style & turned it into a dominant American music form.


Born in Florence, Alabama, Handy moved to Memphis in 1909 where he & his band performed on Beale Street.  He published “Memphis Blues” in 1912.


In the 1920s, the Handy Record Company was founded in New York City.


Handy’s “St. Louis Blues”, written in 1914, was made famous by Bessie Smith in 1925.





March 28, 1834


PRESIDENT JACKSON CENSURED 


The United States Senate censured President Andrew Jackson today for his failure to turn over his Cabinet papers regarding the National Bank Veto of 1931.


This marks the 1st time a President has been censured.


When the President refused to turn over the papers, Whig Senator Henry Clay of Kentucky introduced the censure resolution.  Since the Whig Party currently has a majority in the Senate, the censure resolution passed.*


*When the Democrats regained control of the Senate in 1837, they had the censure expunged from the record.






KING HASSAN II OF MOROCCO

March 27, 1963


JFK & 1ST LADY WELCOME KING HASSAN II


President & Mrs. Kennedy welcomed King Hassan II of Morocco & his sister, Princess Lalla Nezha, at Union Station today.


The King, who came to the throne in 1961, is 33 years old.  He & his sister brought gifts for Caroline & John John.


Later a state dinner was held in honor of the King at the White House. 


In his toast, JFK reminded the audience that Morocco was the 1st nation to recognize American independence & talked of the close relationship between the United States & Morocco.


The President also read excerpts from a letter written by George Washington to the King of Morocco.


After the dinner, the film Brigadoon was screened in the East Room.*


*King Hussan II ruled Morocco until his death in 1999 at the age of 70.  The reigning king of the nation today is Hussan’s son, King Mohammed VI.



King Hussan II of Morocco (1961-1999)


March 27, 1962


JFK ELABORATES ON NUCLEAR WAR COMMENT


The Kennedy administration today elaborated on a comment made by the President published in a recent article by Stewart Alsop in The Saturday Evening Post.


JFK was quoted in the article as saying the United States…


“must maintain a sufficient margin of superiority in nuclear striking power so Khrushchev will be certain that, if he strikes first, he will receive a devastating counter blow.”


“But Khrushchev must not be certain, that, where his vital interests are threatened, the United States will never strike first.”


To clarify this statement, the administration has announced that its nuclear program is structured to act as a deterrent to war….but that the “nuclear option” will not be taken off the table if the U.S. is threatened by a Soviet conventional-weaponry offensive.



                             Stewart Alsop


March 27, 1912


1ST LADY & WIFE OF JAPANESE AMBASSADOR PLANT CHERRY TREES ON THE POTOMAC


Helen Taft & Viscountess Chinda, the wife of the Japanese ambassador to the United States, planted 2 Japanese cherry trees on the North bank of the Potomac River today.



                     First Lady Helen Taft


The idea to plant Japanese cherry trees along the Potomac originated with Eliza Ruhamah Scidmore who, after her 1st visit to Japan in 1905, suggested it to government officials.



             Eliza Ruhamah Scidmore


It has taken years of campaigning to make the idea a reality.


The trees were a gift from Yuko Ozaki, the mayor of Tokyo.*





*The National Cherry Tree Festival began in 1935 & continues to this day.  In 1965, Japan gave 3800 more Yoshino trees to the United States which were accepted by Lady Bird Johnson.



                 Lady Bird Johnson (1965)


March 27, 1836


MASSACRE AT GOLIAD


The Mexican Army under General Santa Anna continues its effort to put down a revolt in Texas.


Following its victory at the Alamo, 300 Texan rebels under James W. Fannin along with 100 more were captured & executed by Mexican forces under General Urrea, Santa Anna’s chief lieutenant.


Fannin, who had been unsure whether he should take his troops to the Alamo, found his position at Goliad completely surrounded & had no choice but to surrender.


The orders from Santa Anna at Goliad were the same they had been at the Alamo, “no quarter”, or no prisoners would be taken alive.*


*Along with the Alamo, Goliad will inspire & unify Texans to defeat Santa Anna at San Jacinto with the battle cries “Remember the Alamo” & “Remember Goliad”. 



                  “Remember Goliad”


March 27, 1829


JACKSON APPOINTS JOHN EATON WAR SECRETARY


President Andrew Jackson has appointed his good friend, John Eaton, Secretary of War.


The appointment has come under immediate criticism for the fact that Eaton recently married  former barmaid with a scandalous past, Margaret “Peggy’ O’Neal Timberlake.



   Margaret “Peggy” O’Neale Eaton


The new War Secretary’s wife had worked at her father’s hotel, The Franklin House, where she was known to flirt & gossip with Congressmen & Senators.


She married Timberlake, a 39 year old sailor on the USS Constitution, when she was just 17.


He died at sea under mysterious circumstances less than a year before she married Eaton.*


*The Eaton or “Petticoat Affair” will result in turmoil in President Jackson’s cabinet.  The Vice-President’s wife, Mrs. John C. Calhoun, leads an internal revolt over the issue which results in Jackson replacing his entire cabinet.



Peggy Eaton (1870s)
Photo by Matthew Brady &
Levin Corbin Handy



THIS SIDE OF PARADISE IS PUBLISHED

March 26, 1920

“THIS SIDE OF PARADISE”  IS PUBLISHED

F. Scott Fitzgerald published his 1st novel today, This Side of Paradise, which examines the lives & morality of youth of the post-world war.

Fitzgerald was born in St. Paul, Minnesota & is named after his famous ancestor, Francis Scott Key, the author of the “Star Spangled Banner”.


The book’s publisher is Charles Scribner & Sons of New York.  Critic, H.L. Mencken says that this is the “best American novel I have seen of late”.

*Fitzgerald would marry Zelda Sayre a week later & they would begin a life of glamorous parties & luxurious living.  By 1925, they were living in Europe where Fitzgerald wrote his most famous work, “The Great Gatsby”.

Zelda Fitzgerald died in a sanitarium & her husband died of a heart attack at the age of 44.


March 26, 1961



JFK & MACMILLAN WANT TRUCE IN LAOS


President Kennedy & British Prime Minister Harold MacMillan met for the 1st time today in Key West, Florida & focused their discussions on the situation in Laos.


They are determined to end the civil war there between the Royal government & the pro-Communist rebels.


In a joint statement they said:


“The situation….cannot be allowed to continue to deteriorate.”



JFK & Macmillan on the USS Sequoia
April 6, 1961
Photo by Abbie Rowe


They urged the USSR to accept a British cease-fire proposal which would be arranged by the International Control Commission composed of representatives from Canada, India & Poland.






March 26, 1961


JFK WANTS MORE MONEY FOR DEFENSE


President Kennedy submitted a budget today which calls for an increase in long-range missiles along with a reduction in B-70 supersonic bombers.



              B70 Supersonic Bomber


The JFK budget proposal is about $2 billion higher than Eisenhower’s budget of a year ago.


JFK wants more Minutemen ICBM bases & an increase in Polaris submarines.


He said:


“Our interest lies in peaceful solutions, in reducing tensions, in settling disputes…”






March 26, 1962


HIGH COURT RULES IN REDISTRICTING CASE


The Supreme Court led by Chief Justice Earl Warren has handed down a landmark decision today in Baker v. Carr.


The majority ruling is that Federal courts can determine whether state legislatures reapportionment  plans are constitutional.


The case, which has been argued for almost a year, was brought by Charles Baker, a Shelby County, Tennessee Republican who complained that Tennessee had not redistricted, as required by the state constitution, since 1901.


The failure to redistrict had resulted in a higher value of votes in less populated rural counties.


The defendant is Tennessee Secretary of State, Joe Carr, who is the person responsible for state elections.


The Supreme Court decision establishes a “one person, one vote” standard for legislative redistricting which holds that each individual must be weighed equally in apportionment.*


*After his retirement, Earl Warren said that “Baker v Carr” was one of the most important cases of his tenure as Chief Justice.



March 26, 1963


JFK WARY OF PROLIFERATION OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS


President Kennedy, who said in his televised conversation with reporters in December 1962 that the development of nuclear weapons by other countries presents a major threat to world peace, asked the State Department today to find ways to stop nuclear weapons development in other countries.


JFK targeted Israel, Egypt & Syria in his memorandum.*


*JFK’s concern about nuclear proliferation has proven to be warranted.  Today there are 5 nations considered to be “nuclear powers”, the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France & China & there are 3 more nations which have done nuclear testing: India, Pakistan & North Korea.  A 9th nation, Israel, is believed to also have nuclear capability. 



March 26, 1975


HUE FALLS TO NVA


Hue, located in the northernmost part of South Vietnam, has fallen to the North Vietnamese Army today.*


*The NVA will go on to seize Da Nang, South Vietnam’s 2nd largest city, resulting in many military & civilian casualties.  Saigon falls on April 30, 1975 & the Vietnam War ends.



           North Vietnamese Pith Helmet
                     Photo by DO’Neil


March 26, 1979

EGYPT & ISRAEL SIGN PEACE TREATY


President Anwar el-Sadat of Egypt & Prime Minister Menachem Begin of Israel signed a monumental peace agreement today at Camp David, Maryland.

The peace agreement, sponsored by President Jimmy Carter, officially ends 30 years of hostilities between the two Middle-Eastern nations & establishes diplomatic & commercial ties as well.*

*Began & Sadat were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1978 & their nations formally opened diplomatic relations with each other in 1982.


 Sadat, Carter & Begin at Camp David















U.S.S. SEQUOIA IS COMMISSIONED

March 25, 1933


U.S.S. SEQUOIA IS COMMISSIONED


On this date, the US Navy commissioned the U.S.S. Sequoia which will be in the service of the President of the United States.


For two years previous to commissioning, the Sequoia was used by President Hoover as a fishing boat.


Because of his confinement to a wheelchair, FDR had an elevator installed between the upper & lower decks of the yacht.  LBJ, who apparently saw little need for an elevator, had it removed during his term & in its place was built a liquor bar.


LBJ also enjoyed sitting on the deck at night having movies projected on the Sequoia’s white smokestack.


The website www.sequoiayacht.com says that JFK “was perhaps the crew’s favorite President” because of his youth, service in the US Navy, & love of the sea.


JFK had some meetings associated with the Cuban Missile Crisis aboard the vessel & also celebrated his 46th birthday on the Sequoia.


Jimmy Carter was the last President to use the yacht & it was sold to a private firm in 1977.

                           USS Sequoia


March 25, 1957


EUROPEAN COMMON MARKET IS FOUNDED


Representatives of France, West Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium & Luxembourg today signed a treaty in Rome establishing the European Economic Commission.


The “Common Market” is seen as a major step in Europe’s movement toward economic & political union.


The representatives also signed a treaty creating the European Atomic Energy Commission, known as EURATOM, for the peaceful development of nuclear resources.*


*Denmark, Great Britain & Ireland joined the Common Market in 1973. Greece joined in 1981 followed by Portugal & Spain in 1986.  Former East Germany joined as a part of unified Germany in 1990.



March 25, 1967


DR. KING LEADS ANTI-WAR DEMONSTRATION


Civil Rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was in Chicago today to lead a demonstration of 5000 anti-Vietnam War protesters.


In his speech at the demonstration, Dr. King said:


“(The Vietnam War is a)….blasphemy against all that America stands for.”


Dr. King first spoke out against the war in the summer of 1965.  He opposes the war not only on moral grounds, but also because he feels it diverts money & attention from domestic programs to help America’s poor.


Dr. Martin L. King, Jr.



March 25, 1968


LBJ MEETS WITH “WISE MEN”


President Lyndon B. Johnson today convened a panel of 9 retired Presidential advisers to discuss options in the war in Vietnam.


Members of the group include General Omar Bradley, Matthew Ridgway, Dean Acheson, George Ball & McGeorge Bundy.


The panel was convened by LBJ after his Secretary of Defense, Clark Clifford, told the President “Vietnam is a real loser”.


*After 2 days, the panel concludes, much to LBJ’s dismay, that further US combat troop increases should be cancelled & that the US should seek a negotiated peace.  Just days later, LBJ announced he would not seek another term as President.





March 25, 1911


TRIANGLE SHIRTWAIST FIRE KILLS 145


A tragedy of epic proportions struck the heart of Manhattan today when a fire broke out at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York City.


The factory, located on the top 3 floors of the 10 story Asch Building, was crammed with poor immigrant workers who were trapped by the fire.


*Only 1 of 4 elevators in the building were functional & 1 of the 2 stairwells leading to street level was locked.  The fire escape was in disrepair.  Many of the 600 workers, mostly women, panicked & some jumped to their deaths out of windows or down the elevator shaft.  


The tragedy led to passage of laws & regulations for workers’ safety.



Firefighters work the Triangle Fire









SENATOR KENNEDY SPEAKS ON BERLIN

March 24, 1960


SENATOR KENNEDY SPEAKS ON BERLIN


Democratic Presidential candidate, Senator John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts, spoke on the topic of Berlin today at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.


JFK, who hopes to win his party’s nomination in July, describes Berlin as a “small island of free men in the midst of communist territory”.


He went on to say:


“(Berlin’s) assets have been the courage & vitality of its people, reinforced by our own determination that Berlin…must…remain free.”



Brandenburg Gate of Berlin, Germany 
Photo by Norbert Aepli, Switzerland (2005) 



March 24, 1963


COMMITTEE  SAYS JFK NEEDS TO CUT FOREIGN AID


A committee appointed by President Kennedy recommended today that $500 million be cut from the foreign aid budget.


The committee also calls for more strict conditions for those countries who receive aid from the United States.


While the administration has not yet responded to the recommendations, the calls for a budget cut in foreign aid would most likely not be welcome at this time.





March 24, 1965


HO CHI MINH CAMPAIGN LAUNCHED IN VIETNAM


The North Vietnamese Army attacked the provincial capital of Ban Me Thuot today in the Central Highlands.


The NVA plans to continue their attack along the coast, defeating the South Vietnamese forces one at a time.*


*The campaign was the final assault on Saigon which was forced to surrender on April 27.



March 24, 1965


1ST TEACH-IN HELD IN MICHIGAN


The 1st “Teach-In” protest of the Vietnam War was held this evening at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.  


The event was attended by 3500 students & participated in by 200 faculty members with the support of the university administration.


The ‘Teach-In’, sponsored by Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), included lectures, debates & music.


It is the largest demonstration ever to be held at the University of Michigan.


The main speakers were Robert Browne of Farleigh Dickinson University (NJ), John Donahue of Michigan State University, & Arthur Waskow of the Institute for Policy Studies.


In his address, Waskow said:


“We have not yet learned that the political freedom of the Vietnamese people cannot be advanced by a military policy that relies on burning villages with napalm & torturing the villagers for information.”



March 24, 1958


ELVIS INDUCTED INTO THE ARMY


Elvis Presley, along with his parents, left Graceland today to go to the US Army Induction Center in downtown Memphis, Tennessee.*


*Mrs. Presley later will be diagnosed with hepatitis & hospitalized.  She died on August 16, 1958 just 4 weeks after Elvis left for Germany.



March 24, 1949


TRUMAN SIGNS PALESTINIAN REFUGEE RESOLUTION


President Harry S Truman signed a resolution today authorizing $16 million in aid for Palestinian refugees who are displaced & facing starvation as a result of Israel’s War of Independence last year.


The President said that he hopes that a permanent solution to the refugee problem can be worked out.*


*In 1950, Truman will request another $27 million to go to the United Nations relief efforts for Palestinian refugees.



          Palestinian Refugees 1948


March 24, 1603


QUEEN ELIZABETH I DIES


Queen Elizabeth I passed away today after 44 years of rule.  King James VI of Scotland will take the throne as King.


The Queen came to power in 1559 upon the death of her half-sister Queen Mary.


Known as the “Virgin Queen” because she never married, Elizabeth encouraged voyages of discovery including Sir Francis Drake’s circumnavigation of the globe & Sir Walter Raleigh’s expeditions to North America.



                    Queen Elizabeth I

MARCH 24, 2011


HAPPY BIRTHDAY PEYTON


Former University of Tennessee Volunteer quarterback & now of the Indianapolis Colts, Peyton Manning, celebrates a birthday today.


Peyton was born on March 24, 1976 in New Orleans, Louisiana, the son of Archie & Olivia Manning.


Archie Manning was a star quarterback at the University of Mississippi in the late 1960s & played for the New Orleans Saints for a decade.


In the 1997 season at UT, the Vols record was 11-2 with Peyton Manning’s leadership.  The Vols were coached by Philip Fulmer.


Peyton finished 2nd in the Heisman Trophy voting but was drafted in the 1st round by the Indianapolis Colts.


Peyton won his 1st Super Bowl when the Colts defeated the Bears in Super Bowl XLI.



Peyton Manning in the 2006 Pro Bowl
Photo by USMC Captain Michelle Dickson









PAKISTAN WELCOMES FIRST LADY

March 23, 1962


PAKISTAN WELCOMES FIRST LADY


Mrs. Kennedy was the guest today of Mohammad Ayub Khan, President of the Republic of Pakistan.


The 1st Lady was the President’s guest at the Pakistan National Horse & Cattle Show held at the 320 year old Shalimar Gardens.


Mrs. Kennedy said:


“All my life I’ve dreamed of coming to the Shalimar Gardens.  I only wish my husband could be with me & that we had something as romantic to show President Ayub when he came to our country.”



Shalamar Gardens, Lahore, Pakistan
Photo by Ali Imran (2005)


The President presented the 1st Lady with a special gift:  a jet black horse named “Sardar”.*



             Mrs. Kennedy with “Sardar”


*Mrs. Kennedy, known for her love of horses, chose “Sardar” as the ceremonial riderless horse for JFK’s funeral procession.  She nicknamed the horse “Black Jack”.





PAKISTAN became the 1st Islamic republic in the world on this day in 1956.  We want to wish the people of Pakistan “Happy Republic Day” 2011.



March 23, 1961


JFK APPOINTS COACH WILKINSON TO HEAD FITNESS  PROGRAM


President Kennedy, concerned about the physical fitness of the American people, appointed winning Oklahoma football coach, Bud Wilkinson, as a special consultant today.


Coach Wilkinson said:


“Pure spectatorism is a vicarious thrill….but participation is more beneficial, win or lose.”



          JFK & Coach Bud Wilkinson
          Photo by Abbie Rowe,
          National Park Service
          March 23, 1961


March 23, 1961


US SPY PLANE SHOT DOWN IN LAOS


Just one day after JFK spoke of the importance of Laos at his news conference, an American reconnaissance aircraft has been shot down.


The spy plane was on a mission to determine the extent of Soviet support for the communist Pathet Lao when it was shot down on its way back to Saigon.





March 23, 1983


PRESIDENT REAGAN PROPOSES STAR WARS INITIATIVE


President Ronald Reagan proposed today an anti-missile system that he says will make the United States virtually impregnable to a nuclear attack.*


*His proposal is officially known as the Strategic Defense Initiative but reporters dub it the “Star Wars Initiative”.


The $30 billion program was shelved with the fall of the Soviet Union in the 1990s.



             Strategic Defense Initiative


March 23, 1775


PATRICK HENRY SAYS “GIVE ME LIBERTY…”


Virginia’s famous orator, Patrick Henry, spoke in support of his resolutions to organize the militia & put the colony in a state of defense before the Virginia Convention today in Richmond.


Patrick Henry, speaking at St. John’s Church, concluded his remarks with these words:


“Gentlemen may cry: peace! peace! but there is no peace.  The war is actually begun.  Is life so dear, or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains & slavery?  No!  Forbid it Almighty God.  I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”



               Patrick Henry Speaking

JFK WANTS PEACE IN LAOS

March 22, 1961


JFK SAYS WE WANT PEACE IN LAOS


Using maps to illustrate his points, President Kennedy discussed the current situation in Laos at his televised news conference in Washington today.


Laos is in the grip of a civil war between the pro-Western regime & pro-Communist Pathet Lao.


JFK said the United States will not tolerate the loss of Laos to rebel forces & that along with our allies, we will consider military options.


JFK said:


“I want to make it clear…all we want in Laos is peace…a truly neutral government & a settlement at the conference table.”



                     JFK points to map of Laos


March 22, 1963


JFK PUSHES ANTI-POLL TAX AMENDMENT


President Kennedy sent a telegram today to the governors of states that have not ratified the proposed 24th amendment to the U.S. Constitution which outlaws the collection of poll taxes.


JFK emphasized the importance of ratification of the amendment to insure a fair election in 1964.


He said:


“Every effort should be made to broaden the base of citizen participation.”



          Receipt for Payment of Poll Tax


March 22, 1965


STATE DEPARTMENT SAYS US USED GAS AGAINST VC


The State Department today revealed that non-lethal gas was supplied by the United States to the South Vietnamese Army to be used in battle with the Viet Cong.


Secretary of State Dean Rusk says the gas is the same type used by police in riot control.*


*The North Vietnamese & USSR protested the introduction of “poisonous gas” into the war.


March 22, 1972


ERA PASSED BY US SENATE


The proposed Equal Rights Amendment passed the Senate today & will be sent to the states for ratification.


The amendment, if ratified by 3/4 of the states, will provide for the legal equality of the sexes & will also prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex.*


*ERA failed to achieve ratification by the required # of states.



                    ERA Activists


March 22, 1933


FDR SIGNS BEER & WINE REVENUE ACT


President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into law today the Beer & Wine Revenue Act.


The act levies a Federal tax on all alcoholic beverages & gives the states the option of further regulation of the sale & distribution of beer & wine.*


*The law was followed by the ratification of the 21st Amendment in December 1933 which officially ended Prohibition.





March 22, 1820


AMERICAN NAVAL HERO KILLED IN DUEL


Hero of the war with the Barbary Pirates, Stephen Decatur, was mortally wounded today in a duel with James Barron at Bladensburg, Maryland.


Decatur played a role in the court martial of Barron & later opposed his reinstatement into the US Navy.


This led to a disagreement between the two men that led to today’s duel.


James Barron was wounded in the leg but is expected to recover.  Decatur, who suffered a wound in the abdomen, was taken to his home on Lafayette Square in Washington where he died.*


*Barron was reinstated in the Navy in 1821.



                      Stephen Decatur


March 22, 1765


PARLIAMENT PASSES STAMP ACT


The British Parliament passed the Stamp Act in London today.


The act will levy a direct tax on all printed materials, commercial or legal, sold in the American colonies.


The revenue raised from the tax will be used to defray the cost of defending the vast lands in America acquired by Great Britain as a result of the French & Indian War.*


*The Stamp Act will result in a storm of protest in the colonies.  The act, repealed in 1766, was a key event leading to the American Revolution.



           British Tax Stamp (1765)





















Post Navigation