“The sit-in was not about [us] sitting down and having a cup of coffee next to a white person. It was much deeper than that. It was about choice. It was about having the ability to say I choose to sit down. Or I choose to drink from that water fountain. I don’t choose black water or white water or colored water. I want water.”
~Joseph MacNeil / The Greensboro Four

1861 – Texas became the seventh state to secede from the Union when a state convention voted 166 to 8 in favor of the measure.
The Texans who voted to leave the Union did so over the objections of their governor, Sam Houston, who predicted an “ignoble defeat” for the South.
He refused to take an oath of allegiance to the Confederacy and was replaced on March 16, 1861 by Lieutenant Governor Edwin Clark.

1862 – The Battle Hymn of the Republic, a poem by Julia Ward Howe, was published in the Atlantic Monthly.
Howe transformed the lyrics of the song John Brown’s Body into the patriotic Battle Hymn of the Republic. This was appropriate considering her husband, Samuel, was a member of the Secret Six, a staunch abolitionist group that financed John Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry.

1871 – Congressman Jefferson Long of Georgia became the first African American to make an official speech (opposing leniency to former Confederates) in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Long was born a slave by a slave mother and a white father. He taught himself to read and write, an illegal act for slaves.
A successful merchant tailor in Macon, Georgia. Long was elected as a Republican to fill the vacancy caused when the U.S. House declared Samuel F. Gove not entitled to the seat.
He served very briefly – from January 16, 1871 to March 3, 1871 – but was not a candidate for reelection because of anti-Reconstruction efforts by the white-majority Georgia GOP.

1920 – The Royal Northwest Mounted Police (founded in 1873) merged with the Dominion Police (founded in 1868) to create the Royal Canadian Mounted Police … the federal and national police force of Canada.

1942 – Voice of America, the official external radio and television service of the United States government, began broadcasting with programs aimed at areas controlled by the Axis powers.

1943 – Japanese forces on Guadalcanal Island – defeated by Marines after the battle had turned to fierce hand-to-hand jungle fighting – started to withdraw after the Japanese emperor finally gave them permission.
The Japanese retreat was so secret that the Americans did not even know it had taken place until they stumbled upon abandoned positions, empty boats, and discarded supplies.
In total, the Japanese lost more than 25,000 men compared with a loss of 1,600 by the Americans. Each side lost 24 warships.

1958 – Elvis Presley recorded Wear My Ring Around Your Neck.
When it was released, it reached #2 on the Billboard singles chart, breaking a string of ten consecutive #1 hits for Presley.

1960 – Four black college students staged a sit-in protest at a Woolworth lunch counter in Greensboro, N.C., where they’d been refused service.
The men – forever known as the Greensboro Four – had purchased products from a desegregated counter at the store with no problems, but were refused service at the store’s lunch counter when they each asked for a cup of coffee. Following store policy, staff refused to serve the black men at the “whites only” counter and store manager Clarence Harris asked them to leave.
They did not.
The next day, more than twenty black students, recruited from other campus groups, joined the sit-in. Students from Bennett College, a college for black women in Greensboro, also joined.
On the third day, more than 60 people came to the Woolworth store. A statement issued by Woolworth national headquarters said that the company would “abide by local custom” and maintain its segregation policy.
On the fourth day, more than 300 people took part, and by the seventh day, more black students launched their own protests in Winston-Salem, Durham, Raleigh, Charlotte, and out-of-state towns such as Lexington, Kentucky.
As the sit-ins continued, sales at the boycotted stores dropped by a third, leading their owners to abandon segregation policies.
On Monday, July 25, 1960, after nearly $200,000 in losses ($1.7 million today), store manager Clarence Harris asked three black employees to change out of their work clothes and order a meal at the counter. They were, quietly, the first to be served at a Woolworth lunch counter.

1965 – Desperate to catch up with CBS and NBC in the nightly news ratings, ABC put 26-year old Canadian native Peter Jennings in the anchor seat for Peter Jennings With the News .
It was a massive failure. Jennings had a hard time keeping up with his rivals at the other networks, and he could not compete with the trusted newscasts of Walter Cronkite at CBS and Chet Huntley and David Brinkley at NBC.
After three rocky years at the anchor desk, Jennings quit to become a foreign correspondent. He eventually returned to the anchor’s chair in 1983 and remained there until his retirement in 2005.

1965 – James Brown recorded Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag at Arthur Smith Studios in Charlotte, NC.
It became Brown’s first song to reach the Billboard Hot 100 Top Ten, peaking at #8, and was a #1 R&B hit, topping the charts for eight weeks.
It won Brown his first Grammy Award, for Best Rhythm & Blues Recording.

1968 – Two days after Vietcong and North Vietnamese forces launched the coordinated attacks of the Tet offensive, Eddie Adams, an Associated Press photographer captured police chief, Brig. Gen. Nguyen Ngoc Loan calmly executing prisoner, Nguyen Van Lem, a Viet Cong officer .
It was a shocking sight for Americans, who had been assured by President Lyndon B. Johnson and his top general in Vietnam, William C. Westmoreland, that the enemy was on its last legs.
The image gave Americans a stark glimpse of the brutality of the Vietnam War and helped fuel a decisive shift in public opinion.
The photo won AP photographer Eddie Adams the 1969 Pulitzer Prize for Spot News Photography, though he later regretted its impact.
Time magazine called it one of the 100 most influential photographs ever taken.

1968 – Richard M. Nixon announced his candidacy for the presidency.
Taking a stance between the more conservative elements of his party, led by Ronald Reagan, and the liberal northeastern wing, led by Governor Nelson Rockefeller, Nixon won the nomination on the first ballot at the Republican National Convention in Miami Beach.
Most observers had written off Nixon’s political career eight years earlier when he had lost to John F. Kennedy in the 1960 election.

What I find really interesting about this is the fact the Nixon waited until only 10 months remained before the election. Today, he would have already been campaigning for two years!

1989 – The Soviet–Afghan War came to a close when the last Soviet armored column left Kabul.
Insurgent groups (“the Mujahideen,” who received aid from both Christian and Muslim countries) had fought the Soviet Army and allied Afghan forces for nine years.

2002 – Daniel Pearl, the South Asia Bureau Chief of The Wall Street Journal, based in Mumbai, India, was decapitated by Islamic extremists.
He had gone to Pakistan as part of an investigation into the alleged links between Richard Reid (the “shoe bomber”) and Al-Qaeda.

From left (bottom row): Kalpana Chawla, mission specialist; Rick Husband, commander; Laurel Clark, mission specialist; and Ilan Ramon, payload specialist. From left (top row) are astronauts David Brown, mission specialist; William McCool, pilot; and Michael Anderson, payload commander.
2003 – Space shuttle Columbia broke up while entering the atmosphere over Texas, killing all seven crew members on board. When it launched on January 16, a piece of foam insulation broke off from the shuttle’s propellant tank and hit the edge of the shuttle’s left wing eighty seconds into the launch.
Engineers at the space agency realized the damage to the wing could cause a catastrophic failure, but their concerns were not addressed in the two weeks that Columbia spent in orbit because NASA management believed that even if major damage had been caused, there was little that could be done to remedy the situation.
Columbia reentered the earth’s atmosphere on the morning of February 1. At 8:53 a.m. – as the shuttle was 231,000 feet above the California coastline traveling at 23 times the speed of sound – the first indications of trouble began. Because the heat-resistant tiles covering the left wing’s leading edge had been damaged or were missing, wind and heat entered the wing and blew it apart.
The first debris began falling to the ground in west Texas near Lubbock at 8:58 a.m. One minute later, the last communication from the crew was heard, and at 9 a.m. the shuttle disintegrated over southeast Texas, near Dallas.
Residents in the area heard a loud explosion and saw streaks of smoke in the sky. Debris and the remains of the crew were found in more than 2,000 locations across East Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana. Making the tragedy even worse, two pilots aboard a search helicopter were killed in a crash while looking for debris.

2014 – Actor Maximilian Schell died of pneumonia at the age of 83.
He was nominated for a Best Actor Academy Award for The Man in the Glass Booth , a Best Supporting Actor nomination for Julia, and won an Academy Award for Best Actor for Judgment at Nuremberg.

2015 – At Super Bowl XLIX in Glendale, AZ, the New England Patriots beat Seattle Seahawks, 28-24.
While New England QB Tom Brady won game MVP honors, many people thought the award should have gone to Malcolm Butler for his game saving interception (shown above) at the goal line with seconds left.

2016 – It was the start of a campaign like no other in American history.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was able to defeat Sen. Bernie Sanders (VT) in the first-in-the-nation Iowa Democratic Caucus by the closest margin in the history of the contest: 49.8% to 49.6%.
Clinton collected 700.47 state delegate equivalents to Sanders’ 696.92, a difference of one quarter of a percentage point. Martin O’Malley, the former Governor of Maryland, suspended his campaign after a disappointing third-place finish with only 0.5% of the state delegate equivalents awarded.
At the Republican Caucuses, there was a crowded field of 12 candidates (more would join the fray as the primary season heated up). Sen. Ted Cruz (TX), with 27.6% of the caucus votes, defeated businessman Donald Trump (24.3%), and Sen. Marco Rubio (FL) had 23.12%. No other Republican was able to score in the double digits.
The “fun” was just beginning.

Compiled by Ray Lemire ©2019 RayLemire.com / Streamingoldies.com. All Rights Reserved.