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This week at a glance.

Jan 16

•Folksinger sent to jail
•Shah flees
•Greenpeace acts for nuclear-free oceans

Jan 17
•"U.S. takes control of Hawaii
•100 years of U.S. control
•Ike gives fair warning
•La Raza Unida
•New missile test protested

Jan 18

•The smell of Agent Orange in the morning
•Eartha Kitt speaks out
•McGovern runs against Vietnam war
•Zapatistas seek
accord with Mexico
•Worldwide NO to Iraq war

Jan 19
•Elected then rejected
•March against 1st Gulf war

Jan 20
•Bill of Rights defender
•"Final Solution" planned
•Inaugural protest: wrong guy
Jan 21
•Quakers to King: no violence
•Carter pardons resisters
•A Women's Peace Camp

Jan 22
•Witch-hunts on stage, in Congress
•Roe v. Wade
•Global Gag Rule

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January 16, 1966

Folksinger Joan Baez was sentenced to 10 days in jail for participating in a protest which blocked the entrance to the Armed Forces Induction Center in Oakland, California. She was part of an action to impede the drafting of young men for the U.S. war in Vietnam.

Read more about Joan Baez
Joan Baez

Joan Baez
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January 16, 1979
Faced with strikes, violent demonstrations, an army mutiny and clerical opposition to his repressive rule, the Shah of Iran, its hereditary monarch since 1941, was forced to flee the country. He had been installed in a CIA- and British-engineered 1953 coup which overthrew elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadeq. Mossadeq’s government had voted to nationalize Iran’s oil industry, displacing the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company.

The U.S. gave substantial and continuous military and intelligence support to the Shah throughout his regime. Despite having imposed martial law the previous October, Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi fled the Peacock Throne for Egypt and, later, the U.S. for medical care. Following the subsequent revolutionary overthrow, an Islamist state under Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini was established.

The Shah and family
Chronology of Iran in the 20th century:   More on the Shah

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January 16, 2001

Eight Greenpeace activists were arrested by Gibraltar police as they boarded a damaged British nuclear submarine. The HMS Tireless was considered a radioactivity hazard because of a cracked pipe in its reactor’s cooling system. Those living near Gibraltar Harbour and in Spain were concerned for their safety as the ship had been docked for more than six months awaiting repair.
The problem was serious enough that Great Britain removed twelve comparable subs from service until they could be checked for similar problems. Greenpeace unfurled a banner just before the arrests reading Mares Libres del Peligro Nuclear, or “For a Nuclear-Free Sea.”

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January 17, 1893

Queen Lili`uokalani of the independent kingdom of Hawai`i was overthrown as she was arrested at gunpoint by U.S. Marines.

Queen Lilluokalani

American businessmen, particularly sugar plantation owners, led by Lorrin Thurston, had supported annexation of the islands to the United States. The Queen had been working on a new constitution that would restore voting rights to native Hawaiians.

A new provisional government was installed with Sanford B. Dole as president. The troops had landed the day before, providing support "to protect American lives and property."
In 1898, President William McKinley signed a joint resolution of Congress authorizing the annexation.
Sanford Dole
The overthrow of the monarchy More on Queen Lili`uokalani

"...well I am here at work trying to think of a little gift I could give my co-workers and I have been thinking about peace a lot lately and I thought, how about a peace sign button like we used to wear, and I wondered if they were still around so I googled peace sign and there you were. I like the way they look and the history was very cool to have included. Exported from Detroit didn't hurt either.
I'm sure people will ask where I got them so keep up the good work."

- Janette
Berkeley, CA

January 17, 1993

Native Hawai’ians demonstrated against U.S. control of their homeland on the 100th anniversary of the U.S.-backed overthrow of the independent Hawai'ian government.

"Thank you. Much of this history we know nothing about.
Continued success."

Dana Hard Orlandi
Flower Mound, TX

January 17, 1961


President Dwight Eisenhower in his farewell address, delivered via television and radio, warned the nation: "In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist."

President Dwight D. Eisenhower President Eisenhower delivering his farewell address
The speech Watch a video

"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."
- President Dwight D. Eisenhower

January 17, 1970

Some 300 Chicano activists gathered in Crystal City, Texas, to form an independent political party. La Raza Unida (The United People) Party addressed a broad cross-section of issues – restoration of land grants, farm workers’ rights, enhanced education, voting and political rights. The party eventually became a political force in California, Texas, Colorado, and elsewhere in the southwest.

Read more
The party's name means "the United People."

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January 17, 1987

5,000 rallied and about 200 were arrested while protesting the first test launch of the Trident II missile at Cape Canaveral, Florida. The Trident D-5 is a submarine-launched long-range (12,000 km or 7,456 miles) multiple-warhead nuclear missile. Trident submarines are one leg of the U.S. nuclear deterrent triad, and part of Great Britain’s.

a Trident missile launching from submarine
from the '80s

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January 18, 1962
The U.S. began spraying herbicides on foliage in Vietnam to eliminate jungle canopy cover for Viet Cong guerrillas (a policy known as "territory denial").

The U.S. ultimately dropped more than 20 million gallons of such defoliants, sparking charges the United States was violating international treaties against using chemical weapons. Many of the herbicides, particularly Agent Orange, manufactured by Dow Chemical, Monsanto and others, were later found to cause birth defects and rare forms of cancer in humans.

Agent Orange: An Ongoing Atrocity

"As crude a weapon as the cave man's club, the chemical barrage has been hurled against the fabric of life"
- Rachel Carson

January 18, 1968

Invited to a Women Doers luncheon at the Johnson White House, Eartha Kitt, singer and actor, spoke out about the effect of the Vietnam War on America’s youth. Lady Bird Johnson had convened 50 whites and Negroes to discuss President Lyndon Johnson’s anti-crime proposals.Ms. Kitt first asked the President, “what do you do about delinquent parents, those who have to work and are too busy to look after their children?" He said that there was Social Security money for day care, and the group should discuss such issues.
Later, she told the women that young Americans were "angry because their parents are angry . . . because there is a war going on that they don't understand . . . You send the best of this country off to be shot and maimed. They rebel in the street. They will take pot . . . and they will get high. They don't want to go to school because they're going to be snatched off from their mothers to be shot in Vietnam."
Eartha Kitt and Lady Bird Johnson
Eartha Kitt’s career took a severe downturn after this; for years afterward, Kitt performed almost exclusively overseas, while being investigated by several federal agencies.
"The thing that hurts, that became anger, was when I realized that if you tell the truth – in a country that says you're entitled to tell the truth – you get your face slapped and you get put out of work," Kitt told Essence magazine two decades later.

"When the people who are responsible for our country ask you a direct question, I expect them to accept a direct answer, not to be blackballed because you are telling the truth."

- Eartha Kitt

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January 18, 1971

In a televised speech, Senator George S. McGovern (D-South Dakota) began his anti-war campaign for the 1972 Democratic presidential nomination. He vowed to bring home all U.S. soldiers from Vietnam if elected. McGovern had served in the Army Air Corps during World War II, earning the Silver Star and the Distinguished Flying Cross.
George McGovern

“. . . we must have the courage to admit that however sincere our motives, we made a dreadful mistake in trying to settle the affairs of the Vietnamese people with American troops and bombers . . . .
“ But while our problems are great, certain steps can be taken to recover the confidence of the nation.  The greatness of our nation is not confined to the past, but beckons us to the future.

Text of Senator McGovern’s declaration of candidacy

"I'm fed up to the ears with old men dreaming up wars for young men to die in."
- George McGovern

January 12, 1957

The Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) was founded by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and other African-American clergymen who wanted to press for civil rights long denied members of their community. Sixty black ministers from ten states went to Atlanta, Georgia, to set up the coordinating group. They elected King as its first president, with the Reverend Ralph David Abernathy as treasurer.

SCLC history


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January 18, 1996

The Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN) and the Mexican government reached an agreement in San Andres to recognize and guarantee the constitutional, political, social, cultural, and economic rights of indigenous peoples in Mexico. Treated as second-class citizens since the first colonial entry into their country, the document guaranteed the autonomy and right to self-determination of native communities within the pluricultural Mexican nation.
The Zapatistas tokks their name from Emilano Zapata who played a major role in the Mexican Revolution early in the 20th century.
When they began their revolt in Chiapas state on New Year’s Day of 1994, They wrote:
"We have nothing to lose, absolutely nothing, no decent roof over our heads, no land, no work, poor health, no food, no education, no right to freely and democratically choose our leaders, no independence from foreign interests, and no justice for ourselves or our children.
But we say enough is enough! We are the descendants of those who truly built this nation, we are millions of dispossessed, and we call upon all our brethren to join our crusade, the only option to avoid dying of starvation!"

The Mexican government, despite their signature on the agreement, refused later to implement it.
The full text of the agreement More background on the Zapatistas

¿Habla Espanol?(paz=peace in spanish)
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January 19, 1966

The Georgia State House of Representatives refused to seat black state representative Julian Bond despite his election the previous November.

Their stated objection was his endorsement of a Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee statement accusing the United States of violating international law in Vietnam.
In December 1966, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Bond’s exclusion unconstitutional, and Bond was finally sworn in the following month.

Julian Bond

"Martin Luther King belonged to another transcendent generation. A generation born into segregation; a generation freed from racism's restraints by their own efforts; a generation equally determined to see their way as free women and men."

- Julian Bond

January 19, 1991

25,000 marched in Washington, D.C. to protest massive U.S. bombing of Iraq in the first Gulf war, Operation Desert Storm.


January 20, 1920

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) was founded by Roger Baldwin, Congresswoman Jeannette Rankin, labor leaders Rose Schneiderman and Duncan McDonald, Rabbi Judah Magnes, and others.

The ACLU was organized to protect the rights guaranteed in the the Constitution, particularly the Bill of Rights. Prior to this the first ten amendments had not been enforced.
The ACLU has paid particular attention to
• First Amendment rights: freedom of speech, association and assembly, freedom of the press, and freedom of religion as well as a bar against establishment of a state religion.
• One’s right to equal protection under the law – equal treatment regardless of race, sex, religion or national origin.
• One’s right to due process – fair treatment for citizens by the government whenever the loss of liberty or property is at stake.
• One’s right to privacy – freedom from unwarranted government intrusion into one’s personal and private affairs.

ACLU history  

The ACLU today

"I want to say that this button company is the only one I know where you can order a small number of buttons for a reasonable price.  Many companies require that you order a certain amount of merchandise and that amount is often too high for a very small peace organization. Thank you for doing this. . . . Thanks again for the work you do and for supporting so many good organizations with your profits.  I much prefer to buy from real peace activists rather than regular commercial button companies.  And the weekly history notes are terrific."
-Cathy, Terra Haute, IN

January 20, 1942

Nazi Party and German government officials arrived at what they called the "final solution to the Jewish question in Europe."They developed plans for the coordinated and systematic extermination of all Europe's Jews during a meeting at a villa near Lake Wannsee in Berlin.

Notes of the meeting recorded by Adolf Eichmann used vague terms such as "transportation to the east" or "evacuation to the east" (nach dem Osten abgeshoben). But at his trial for genocide Eichmann testified of the meeting that "the discussion covered killing, elimination, and annihilation."

The villa on Lake Wannsee, now a holocaust museum.
More on the Wannsee conference

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January 20, 2001

Tens of thousands lining Pennsylvania Avenue to protest the legitimacy of the inauguration of President George W. Bush were systematically excluded from almost all media coverage of the event. They called attention to the election irregularities in Florida, the dispute over a recount, and the ultimate effective choice of the president by a 5-4 majority of the Supreme Court.

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January 21, 1661

The Quaker (Society of Friends) Peace Testimony was presented to King Charles II of England. The testimony begins: "We utterly deny all outward wars and strife and fightings with outward weapons, for any end or under any pretence whatsoever. And this is our testimony to the whole world....”

King Charles II

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January 21, 1977

The day after his inauguration President Jimmy Carter declared an unconditional amnesty for draft resisters, both the accused and those who might have faced possible prosecution.

Carter's pardon

January 21, 1984

A Women’s Peace Camp was set up near Volkel Airbase in The Netherlands to protest siting of U.S. nuclear weapons there.
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January 22, 1953

The Arthur Miller drama, ''The Crucible,'' opened on Broadway. It was a parable that reflected the climate of fear that pervaded American society and the politics of its time, witchcraft in the late 17th century, communism in the mid-20th. In both times there existed also the fear
of false accusation.

From the New York Times review of the Broadway revival in November 2001:

“Today, the play is a cautionary tale of astounding immediacy. Its themes include the pathology of rumor, the arrogance of the religiously righteous, the dangers of private panic in the face of public terror, and the individual's difficulty in acting rationally in the face of mob hysteria.”

scene from the original production

Read the playwright’s reasons for writing it:

"Great drama is great questions or it is nothing but technique. I could not imagine a theater worth my time that did not want to change the world."
- Arthur Miller

January 22, 1973

Women won control of their reproductive rights when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Roe v. Wade that Americans have a constitutional right to privacy, and thus women may terminate a pregnancy before the last 10 weeks. Only during the last trimester, when a fetus can survive outside the womb, would states be permitted to regulate abortion of a healthy pregnancy.
Prior to the Court’s ruling that the decision was private and belonged to the pregnant woman, abortion was essentially illegal in all states except New York (as of 1970).

  About the decision   History of New York’s law  

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January 22, 2001

President George W. Bush signed a memorandum the day after his inauguration reinstating full restrictions on U.S. overseas aid that might go to any program that provided abortions or considered them an option for women.
Known as the Mexico City policy, or global gag rule, first signed by President Ronald Reagan, it had been withdrawn by President Bill Clinton as soon as he took office.

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