April 16, 1963
KING WRITES LETTER FROM JAIL
Civil rights leader, Martin Luther King, Jr., who was arrested for violating a court-ordered ban on demonstrations in Birmingham, Alabama, has written a letter to ministers who argue that the fight against segregation should take place “in the courts”.
In the “longest letter” he has ever written, King says:
“We have waited for more than 340 years for our constitutional & God given rights. The nations of Asia & Africa are moving with jet like speed toward gaining political independence but we still creep at a horse & buggy pace toward gaining a cup of coffee at a lunch counter.”
In response to the criticism that he was encouraging breaking the law in the movement for civil rights, he wrote:
“One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that an unjust law is no law at all.”
King Arrested in Birmingham
April 16, 1961
CUBAN FREEDOM FIGHTERS ON WAY TO CUBA
On this date a CIA-trained force of 1400 anti-Castro Cubans sailed aboard 5 freighters toward the southern coast of Cuba.
Their destination was the “Baja de Cochinos” or ” the “Bay of Pigs”.
The invasion to overthrow the communist dictator Fidel Castro had been planned during the Eisenhower administration & approved by the President.
JFK, having been in office less than 3 months, made some adjustments to the plan but otherwise approved it.
When Presidential assistant Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.asked him what he thought about the operation, JFK responded: “I think about it as little as possible.”
JFK Gets Update on Invasion of Cuba
April 16, 1947
BARUCH SAYS WE ARE IN A “COLD WAR”
Adviser to Presidents from Woodrow Wilson to Franklin D. Roosevelt, Bernard Baruch spoke today at the unveiling of his portrait in the South Carolina House of Representatives.
“Let us not be deceived. We are today in the midst of a cold war. Our enemies are to be found abroad & at home. Let us never forget this: our unrest is the heart of their success.”*
*The term “Cold War”, identifying the struggle between the United States & Soviet Union in the aftermath of WWII, would be used for the next 50 years.
April 16, 1917
LENIN RETURNS TO RUSSIA FROM EXILE IN SWITZERLAND
Vladimir Ilyrch Lenin, head of the Bolsheviks who had been exiled in Switzerland, returned to Russia today.
Following the abdication of Czar Nicholas II, German authorities permitted Lenin & his assistants to pass through Germany by rail in route to Sweden.*
*Lenin had been in exile for a decade.
Lenin by Isaak Brodsky
April 16, 1789
PRESIDENT-ELECT DEPARTS FOR NEW YORK
George Washington, the 1st President-elect of the United States of America, departed his beloved estate at Mount Vernon, Virginia today headed for his inauguration later this month in New York.
In his diary, Washington will write:
“I bade adieu to Mount Vernon, to private life & to domestic felicity & with a mind oppressed with more anxious & painful sensations that I have words to express.”