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This week at a glance.

June 29

•South Africa passes law enforcing bias
•WMD protest in Great Britain

June 30
•Soldiers refuse to go to Vietnam
•Voting begins for 18-year-olds
•Draft ends for 18-year-olds
•Spain legalizes marriage for all

July 1

•Countries vow to limit spread of nukes
•Ms. Magazine hits newsstands
•Vermont legalizes civil unions

July 2
•First women's suffrage in the Americas
•State ends slavery
•Indians defend their lands
•Civil Rights Law

July 3
•Children on Strike
•London anti-war
July 4
•Independence declared
•First reminder picket
•Peace given a chance
•Anti-war women mobilized

July 5
•Freed people parade up Broadway
•Pullman strike
•NLRB established
•White House official sentenced

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June 29, 1925

The South African parliament passed a bill excluding black, coloured (mixed race) and Indian people from all skilled or semi-skilled jobs.

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June 29, 1963

A mass “walk-on” (trespass) was organized at a chemical and biological warfare facility in Porton Down, England. These weaponized agents had been researched and produced there since 1916; it’s now known as the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory.

Unconscionable activities at Porton Down


June 30, 1966

The first GIs—known as the Fort Hood Three, U.S. Army Privates James Johnson, Dennis Mora and David Samas—refused to be sent to Vietnam. All were members of the 142nd Signal Battalion, 2nd Armored Division stationed at Fort Hood, Texas. The three were from working-class families, and had denounced the war as “immoral, illegal and unjust.” They were arrested, court-martialed and imprisoned. The Pentagon reported 503,926 “incidents of desertion” between 1966 and 1971.
1961-1973: GI resistance in the Vietnam War
View their pamphlet Ballad of The Fort Hood Three Pete Seeger

June 30, 1971

The 26th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, lowering the minimum voting age to 18 in all elections, was ratified after ¾ of the 50 state legislatures had agreed to it, a mere 100 days after its passage
by Congress.

VOTE 2016

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June 30, 1974

The Selective Service law, authorizing the draft, expired, marking the official end of conscription in the U.S. and the beginning of the all-volunteer armed forces.

June 30, 2005

Spain legalized same-sex marriage by a vote of 187-147 in parliament. Such couples were also granted the right to adopt and receive inheritances. Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero spoke in support of the bill, “We are expanding the opportunities for happiness of our neighbors, our colleagues, our friends and our relatives. At the same time, we are building a more decent society.

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July 1, 1968

Sixty-one nations, including the United States, Britain and the Soviet Union, signed the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) which set up systems to monitor use of nuclear technology and prevent more nations from acquiring nuclear weapons. 190 countries are now signatories; Israel, India and Pakistan remain outside the Treaty. North Korea joined the NPT in 1985, but in January 2003 announced its intention to withdraw from the Treaty.

Text of the Treaty

No Nuclear Weapons
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July 1, 1972

Publication of the first monthly issue of Ms. Magazine, founded by Gloria Steinem (“The truth will set you free. But first, it will piss you off”), Letty Cottin Pogrebin (“Housework is the only activity at which men are allowed to be consistently inept because they are thought to be so competent at everything else”), and others.

The first issue
Ms. Magazine today

Peace quote

Any woman who chooses to behave like a full human being should be warned that the armies of the status quo will treat her as something of a dirty joke. That's their natural and first weapon. She will need her sisterhood."
- Gloria Steinem

July 1, 2000

Vermont's civil unions law went into effect, granting gay couples most of the rights, benefits, protections and responsibilities of marriage under state law. In the first five years, 1,142 Vermont couples, and 6,424 from elsewhere, had chosen a Vermont civil union.


July 2, 1776

New Jersey became the first British colony in America to grant partial women's suffrage. The new constitution (temporary if there were a reconciliation with Great Britain) granted the vote to all those “of full age, who are worth fifty pounds proclamation money,” including non-whites and widows; married women were not able to own property under common law.

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July 2, 1777

Vermont became the first of the United States to abolish slavery.

Peace quote

“In our every deliberation we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations.”
- Deganawidah
and a founder of the Iroquois League

July 2, 1809

Alarmed by the growing encroachment of whites squatting on Native American lands, the Shawnee Chief Tecumseh called on all Indians to unite and resist. By 1810, he had organized the Ohio Valley Confederacy, which united Indians from the Shawnee, Potawatomi, Kickapoo, Winnebago, Menominee, Ottawa, and Wyandotte nations.
For several years, Tecumseh's Indian Confederacy successfully delayed further white settlement
in the region.

Chief Tecumseh

Tecumseh’s efforts

July 2, 1964

Jobs and Freedom march April 28, 1963
Washington DC

U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law, thus barring discrimination in public accommodations (restaurants, stores, theatres, etc.), employment, and voting.

The law had survived an 83-day filibuster in the U.S. Senate by 21 members from southern states.

"We have lost the South for a generation," said President Johnson to an aide, immediately after signing the Act, referring to an expected shift in white southern voting from the Democratic to the Republican party in response to the law.
Massive demonstrations a year earlier ensured passage of the Act.

All great legislation grows out of mass movements organized by people like you and me.

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July 3, 1835

The National Labor Relations or Wagner Act (named for New York’s Senator Robert Wagner) became law, recognizing workers' rights to organize and bargain collectively. It was signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

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July 3, 1966

4000 Britons chanting, “Hands off Vietnam,” demonstrated in London against escalation of the Vietnam War. U.S. warplanes had recently bombed the North Vietnamese capital of Hanoi as well as the port city of Haiphong. Police moved in after scuffles broke out at the demonstration outside the U.S. Embassy in Grosvenor Square; 31 were arrested.

Actress Vanessa Redgrave joins 25,000 two years later at Anti-Vietnam war protest, Grosvenor Square.

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Gerald Holtom,
the designer of the peace symbol at work

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July 4, 1776

The United States declared its independence from King George III and Great Britain, thus beginning the first successful anti-imperial revolution in world history. Signed in Philadelphia by 56 British subjects who lived and owned property in thirteen of the American colonies, the document asserted the right of a people to create its own form of government. The signers of the Declaration of Independence were members of the 2nd Continental Congress which had voted two days earlier to separate from the British crown.

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Inspired by the U.S.
Declaration of Independence

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July 4, 1965

The first of an annual picket in front of Philadelphia’s Independence Hall was held by gay and Lesbian Americans. Jack Nichols and Frank Kameny and members of the New York and Washington Mattachine Society and the Daughters of Bilitis had earlier demonstrated in Washington, and wished to change the general perception that homosexuals were perverted or sick.
Barabara Gittings at the Philadelphia picket

“By those protesters coming out publicly, and placing themselves very strategically in front of the building that evoked the Declaration of Independence and the idea that all men are created equal, it suggested it [gay rights] was no longer a moral or national security or psychiatric issue ... it was a civil-rights issues,” David K. Johnson wrote in The Lavender Scare: The Cold War Persecution of Gays and Lesbians in the Federal Government.

Peace quote

"Equality means more than passing laws. The struggle is really won in the hearts and minds of the community, where it really counts."

- Barbara Gittings

July 4, 1969

“Give Peace a Chance” by the Plastic Ono Band was released in the United Kingdom.
The song was recorded May 31, 1969, during the “Bed-In” John Lennon and Yoko Ono staged at the Queen Elizabeth's Hotel in Montreal as part of their honeymoon. John and Yoko stayed in bed for 8 days, beginning May 26, in an effort to promote world peace.
Some of the people in the hotel room who sang on this were Tommy Smothers, Timothy Leary, Allen Ginsberg, and Petula Clark.
Smothers also played guitar. This event promoting peace received a great deal of media attention.

"All we are saying . . ." listen

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"All we are saying"

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July 4, 1983
The Women's Encampment for a Future of Peace and Justice began an eight week stay on a farm just outside the Seneca Army Depot near Romulus, New York. The purpose of the gathering was for the women to learn about and together protest the escalation of militarism and the weapons build-up being led at the time by the Reagan administration.
visit PeaCe eNCaMPeNT HeRSToRy PRoJeCT

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July 5, 1827
The newly freed African-American population of New York, led by men on horseback, marched in an Emancipation Day Parade from the Battery at the foot of Manhattan to City Hall.

Follow the route of the parade

July 5, 1894
Buildings erected for the 1892 Columbian Exposition in Chicago's Jackson Park were set ablaze, seven reduced to ashes. The fire was part of the chaos in reaction to President Grover Cleveland’s calling out federal troops to end the Pullman Strike.
The Pullman Palace Car Company produced the sleeping cars used by most of the railroads. The contingent of federal, state and local forces equalled the number of striking workers.
The Pullman employees, who lived in company-owned housing in Pullman, Illinois, had suffered massive layoffs and pay cuts averaging 25%. The company refused to cut the rent on the housing its employees were required to occupy, nor would it bargain with workers’ representatives.
Federal troops guarding the Arcade Building in Pullman, Illinois.
The Pullman workers’ cause had been taken up by Eugene V. Debs, the leader of the American Railway Union, who helped organize a nationwide boycott of any train that included a Pullman car.

The Pullman Strikers’ Statement

More on the Great Pullman Strike

Peace quote

“While there is a lower class I am in it; while there is a criminal element I am of it; while there is a soul in prison, I am not free”
- Eugene V. Debs

Eugene Debs
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July 5, 1935

The National Labor Relations or Wagner Act (named for New York’s Senator Robert Wagner) became law, recognizing workers' rights to organize and bargain collectively. It was signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Read more about the act

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July 5, 1989   

Former National Security Council aide Oliver North received a $150,000 fine and a suspended prison term for his part in the Iran-Contra scandal. The scandal was a secret arrangement directed from the Reagan White House that provided funds to the Nicaraguan Contra rebels

(despite specific congressional prohibition) from profits gained by selling arms to Iran (at war with Iraq at the time) in hopes of their releasing hostages, despite President Reagan’s claim that he would never negotiate with hostage-takers.

North’s conviction was later overturned because evidence revealed in the congressional Iran-Contra hearings had compromised his right to a fair trial.

The real details on Ollie North’s activities  

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