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Civil Liberties

1644 – John Milton publishes Areopagitica, a pamphlet decrying censorship

On This Day – 23 November 1644

Areopagitica; A speech of Mr. John Milton for the Liberty of Unlicenc’d Printing, to the Parlament of England is a 1644 prose polemical* tract by the English poet, scholar, and polemical author John Milton opposing licensing and censorship. Continue reading “1644 – John Milton publishes Areopagitica, a pamphlet decrying censorship”

1937 – FDR’s court-packing plan

22 July

The Judicial Procedures Reform Bill of 1937 or “court-packing plan” was a legislative initiative proposed by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt to add more justices to the U.S. Supreme Court. Roosevelt’s purpose was to obtain favourable rulings regarding New Deal legislation that the court had ruled unconstitutional. Continue reading “1937 – FDR’s court-packing plan”

1963 – Kennedy gave his “Ich bin ein Berliner” speech

26 June

“Ich bin ein Berliner” (“I am a Berliner”) is a quotation from a speech given on this day in 1963, by U.S. President John F. Kennedy in West Berlin. He was saying, “I am a citizen of Berlin.” Continue reading “1963 – Kennedy gave his “Ich bin ein Berliner” speech”

1215 – Magna Carta Libertatum

15 June

On this day in 1215,  King John of England puts his seal to the Magna Carta Libertatum (commonly known as Magna Carta).

Continue reading “1215 – Magna Carta Libertatum”

1966 – ‘Miranda’ ruling

13 June

Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966), was a landmark ruling of the United States Supreme Court that the police must inform suspects of their rights before questioning them.

Continue reading “1966 – ‘Miranda’ ruling”

1968 – RFK dies

6 June

The assassination of Robert Francis “Bobby” Kennedy, a United States Senator and brother of assassinated President John Fitzgerald “Jack” Kennedy, took place shortly after midnight on June 5, 1968, in Los Angeles, California, during the campaign season for the 1968 presidential election, he died on this day in 1968 (the next day).

Continue reading “1968 – RFK dies”

1913 – Emily Davison

4 June

Emily Davison, a suffragette, runs out in front of King George V’s horse, Anmer, at the Epsom Derby. She is trampled, never regains consciousness and dies four days later.

Continue reading “1913 – Emily Davison”

1808 – Outbreak of the Peninsular War

2 May

The people of Madrid rise up in rebellion against French occupation. Francisco de Goya later memorialises this event in his painting The Second of May 1808. Continue reading “1808 – Outbreak of the Peninsular War”

1992 – Los Angeles riots

29 April

The 1992 Los Angeles riots, were a series of riots, looting, arsons, and civil disturbance that occurred in Los Angeles County, California, in 1992. Continue reading “1992 – Los Angeles riots”

1968 – Martin Luther King Jr. assassination

4 April

Martin Luther King, Jr. (15 January 1929 – 4 April 1968) was assassinated on this day in 1968, he was an American Baptist minister, activist, humanitarian, and leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. He is best known for his role in the advancement of civil rights using nonviolent civil disobedience based on his Christian beliefs. Continue reading “1968 – Martin Luther King Jr. assassination”

1967 – Martin Luther King Jr. delivers his “Beyond Vietnam …” speech

4 April

Martin Luther King Jr. long opposed American involvement in the Vietnam War, but at first avoided the topic in public speeches in order to avoid the interference with civil rights goals that criticism of President Johnson’s policies might have created. However, at the urging of James Bevel, King eventually agreed to publicly oppose the war as opposition was growing among the American public. On this day in 1967, appearing at the New York City Riverside Church—exactly one year before his death—King delivered a speech titled “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence”. Continue reading “1967 – Martin Luther King Jr. delivers his “Beyond Vietnam …” speech”

1965 – Malcolm X is assassinated at the Audubon Ballroom in New York City

21 February

Malcolm X (19 May, 1925 – 21 February, 1965), born Malcolm Little was an American Muslim minister and a human rights activist. To his admirers he was a courageous advocate for the rights of blacks, a man who indicted white America in the harshest terms for its crimes against black Americans; detractors accused him of preaching racism and violence. He has been called one of the greatest and most influential African Americans in history. Continue reading “1965 – Malcolm X is assassinated at the Audubon Ballroom in New York City”

1905 – Bloody Sunday in Saint Petersburg, beginning of the 1905 revolution

22 January

Bloody Sunday is the name given to the events of Sunday, 22 January 1905 in St.Petersburg, Russia, when unarmed demonstrators led by Father Georgy Gapon were fired upon by soldiers of the Imperial Guard as they marched towards the Winter Palace to present a petition to Tsar Nicholas II of Russia. Continue reading “1905 – Bloody Sunday in Saint Petersburg, beginning of the 1905 revolution”

1920 – The New York State Assembly refuses to seat five duly elected Socialist assemblymen

7 January

The 143rd New York State Legislature, consisting of the New York State Senate and the New York State Assembly, met from 7 January to September 1920, during the second year of Al Smith’s governorship, in Albany. At this time there were two major political parties: the Republican Party and the Democratic Party. The Socialist Party also nominated tickets. Continue reading “1920 – The New York State Assembly refuses to seat five duly elected Socialist assemblymen”

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