Week in History is a collection designed to help us
appreciate the fact that we are part of a rich history
advocating peace and social justice. While the entries
often focus on large and dramatic events there are
so many smaller things done everyday to promote peace
Over 60,000 distributed!
Order some and make peace more visible.
and Jazz For Peace performed at the United Nations Headquarters
in New York City. He led a band consisting of Middle Eastern,
both Arab and Israeli, European, Asian, and American jazz
musicians in concert for an international audience. Jazz
for Peace continues to perform concerts to raise money for
more about Jazz for Peace
African-American children, protected by 300 members of
the U.S. Army's 101st Airborne Division, with fixed bayonets,
entered the previously all-white Central High School
in Little Rock, Arkansas. The troops were there to escort
the children past white segregationists and the Arkansas
Militia (National Guard) that
Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus had activated to interfere
with the federal court-approved racial integration plan.
a tense standoff, President Dwight D. Eisenhower had federalized
the Arkansas National Guard and sent troops to Little Rock
to enforce the court order. The order to de-segregate the
Little Rock schools flowed from the Supreme Court’s
Brown v. Board of Education decision.
The troops remained for the entire school term.
interview with one of the Little Rock Nine
Herbert Lee, a farmer who worked with
civil rights leader Bob Moses to help register black voters,
was killed by a state legislator, E. H. Hurst, in Liberty,
Mississippi. Hurst claimed self-defense and was acquitted
by a coroner's jury the same day as the killing. Lewis Allen,
who witnessed the shooting, said otherwise, and was himself
murdered two years later.
International Ladies' Garment Workers Union (ILGWU Local
25) began a strike against the Triangle Shirtwaist Company.
Most of the workers were young Jewish and Italian women.
In November their strike would become part of the "Uprising
of the 20,000," during which 339 of 352 firms would be
struck. Most companies would reach agreements with the union
over the following five months. The strike ended after thirteen
weeks that saw over 700 striking workers arrested. The women
won a 52-hour workweek and most won agreement on improved working
conditions, but not Triangle.
international protests, the United Kingdom began a new
series of atmospheric nuclear bomb tests beginning with
Operation Buffalo on aboriginal land at Maralinga in
South Australia. The Maralinga site had been inhabited
by the Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara aboriginal
peoples, for whom it had a "great spiritual significance." Most
were relocated prior to the tests. The series of tests
included dropping a bomb from a height of 30,000 feet.
This was the first launching of a British atomic weapon
from an aircraft.
Buffalo Nuclear Test, Maralinga
Five members of Puget Sound
Women's Peace Camp entered Boeing's cruise missile production
plant in Seattle, Washington, to leaflet the workers and
of 1980 and 1981 the Women's Pentagon Actions, where hundreds
of women came together to challenge patriarchy and militarism,
took place. A movement grew that found ways to use direct
action to put pressure on the military establishment and
to show positive examples of life-affirming ways to live
together. This movement spawned women's peace camps at
military bases around the world from Greenham Common, England,
to the Puget Sound Peace Camp, as well as camps in Japan
and Italy, among others.
U.S. President Ronald Reagan, in
a speech to the United Nations General Assembly, urged the
parties to the 1925 Geneva Protocol and other concerned nations
to convene a conference to reverse the rapid deterioration
of respect for international norms against chemical weapons
and Biological Weapons Chronology
advertisement headed "A
Call To Resist Illegitimate Authority," appeared in the
New Republic and the New York Review of Books. It called the
Vietnam War “unconstitutional and illegal” and
offered support for young men to resist being drafted the fight
the war. The statement was signed by over 320 influential people
(professors, writers, ministers, and other professionals).
last U.S. Pershing II mobile ballistic nuclear missiles
in Europe were removed from Germany, fewer than ten years
after their installation provoked a massive anti-nuclear
movement across the continent.
Anti Pershing missile demonstration poster, 1983.
range and accuracy of the Pershing II pushed the Soviet
Union to negotiate the Treaty on Intermediate Range Nuclear
Forces (INF) which completely eliminated all nuclear-armed
ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges
between 500 and 5,500 kilometers (about 300 to 3400 miles),
and their infrastructure. The INF Treaty is the first nuclear
arms control agreement to actually reduce nuclear arms,
and the signatories destroyed almost 2700 nuclear weapons
(including 234 Pershing II) by May of 1991.
on the Pershing II
President George H.W. Bush announced a
major unilateral withdrawal of U.S. tactical nuclear weapons:
" I am...directing that the United States eliminate its entire
worldwide inventory of ground-launched short-range, that is,
theater, nuclear weapons. We will bring home and destroy all
of our nuclear artillery shells and short-range ballistic missile
warheads. We will, of course, insure that we preserve an effective
air-delivered nuclear capability in Europe.
" In turn, I have asked the Soviets...to destroy their entire
inventory of ground-launched theater nuclear weapons....
" Recognizing further the major changes in the international
military landscape, the United States will withdraw all tactical
nuclear weapons from its surface ships, attack submarines,
as well as those nuclear weapons associated with our land-based
naval aircraft. This means removing all nuclear Tomahawk cruise
missiles from U.S. ships and submarines, as well as nuclear
bombs aboard aircraft carriers."
people who were (or had been) active in the I.W.W.
(Industrial Workers of
the World, whose members were also known as Wobblies)
were indicted for protesting World War I. They were accused
of trying to "cause insubordination, disloyalty,
and refusal of duty in the military and naval forces" in
violation of the Espionage Act. One hundred and one defendants
were found guilty, and received prison sentences ranging
from days to twenty years, with accompanying fines of
$10,000-$20,000. This part of a successful U.S. government
campaign to cripple the radical union movement.
Denmark, underground anti-Nazi activists began systematic
smuggling of Jews to Sweden. In just three weeks, all
but 481 of Denmark's 8000 Jews had been moved to safety.
Malthe-Bruun, a 21-year-old
one of the ones who did not make it.
more about Kim
Danish Jewish family ready to go
war objectors imprisoned at Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, began
a hunger strike against censorship of mail and reading
material by federal prison authorities.
London crowd estimated between 200,000 and 500,000
British and U.S. plans for a "preemptive" (that
is, without provocation) invasion of Iraq.
Hundreds of Ku Klux Klan members, and white students
and others, tried to keep a black student, James Meredith,
29, from attending classes at the University of Mississippi
in Oxford. They were supported by the governor, Ross Barnett.
spite of the efforts to block his court-ordered registration,
a deal to allow Meredith to register had been made between
U.S. Attorney General Robert Kennedy and Gov. Barnett.
Meredith was secretly escorted onto campus; deputy U.S.
marshals, border patrolmen and federal prison guards were
stationed on and around the campus to protect him. Those
standing guard were assaulted throughout the night with
guns, bricks, Molotov cocktails, and bottles.
Meredith being escorted to his classes
U.S.marshals and the military.
gas was used to try and control the crowd. Federal troops
arrived, bringing the total to 12,000 (Pres. Kennedy
had activated soldiers or national guardsmen totaling
30,000), and the mob finally retreated.
the end, two were dead, 160 people marshalls were injured
(28 shot), 200 others injured and 300 arrested.
the morning of October 1, 1962, James Meredith registered
(on his fourth attempt) at Ole Miss, the first African
American to do so. Meredith would go on to graduate
U.S. Marshal James P. McShane, left, and Justice Department
attorney John Doar, right, escort James Meredith to his first
class after registration on Oct. 1, 1962.
Puerto Rico, 1,400 draft cards were burned in an anti-Vietnam
began a criminal investigation into whether White House officials
had illegally leaked the identity of an undercover CIA officer,
Valerie Plame, wife of diplomat Joseph C. Wilson, IV. In
early 2002 the CIA had sent Wilson to look into the claim
that Saddam Hussein had sought to acquire yellow-cake uranium
from the African country of Niger. Ambassador Wilson found
nothing to support the claim, and some of the documents cited
as evidence for the claim were clearly shown to be forgeries.
President Bush, nonetheless, repeated the claim in his January,
2003, State of the Union address as part of his argument for
war in Iraq.
Wilson wrote a column in the New York Times in July, 2003,
entitled “What I Didn’t Find in Africa.”
the infamous column
Plame & Joe Wilson
Robert Novak later published Plame’s identity following
conversation with Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage.
Plame, who previously had worked on counter-proliferation,
was in charge of operations for the CIA’s Joint Task
Force on Iraq, formed the summer before 9/11.