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[[EDITOR'S NOTE: Unless otherwise noted, historical items appear courtesy of longtime Nevada reporter Dennis Myers' Poor Denny's Almanac. [PDA] Items highlighted in blue are of particular interest to labor. Copyright © 2007 Dennis Myers.]]
UPDATE: May 31, 2007, 7:24 a.m. PDT, 14:24 GMT/CUT/SUT On May 31, 1864, the national convention of Radical Republicans meeting in Cleveland nominated explorer and former Republican presidential nominee John Charles Fremont for the presidency against Abraham Lincoln (he withdrew from the race on September 21 at the request of a visiting delegation of Republican leaders "to do my part toward preventing the election of the Democratic candidate"); in 1866, about eight hundred U.S. Fenians, armed with weapons from the civil war, invaded Canada at Ontario, subsequently winning two June 1 battles but losing the war; in 1904, the Nevada Historical Society was founded; in 1919, the Clark County Review reported that an effort to name a navy ship the Las Vegas had foundered because Las Vegas, New Mexico, got there first; in 1919, four students graduated from the Clark County Normal School at Bunkerville; in 1940, two weeks after her death, a memorial gathering was held in New York City to remember Emma Goldman; in 1946, President Truman announced that he had invited Joseph Stalin to the U.S. but Stalin had declined the invitation because his doctors advised against a long journey (it was, Truman said, his second invitation to the Soviet dictator); in 1968, Robert Christian Allen of Reno died in Quang Tri Province, Vietnam (panel 62w, row 12 of the Vietnam wall); in 1969, the Las Vegas Review-Journal ran an eight-column wide banner front page headline reading "RED'S MAO MAY BE DEAD" and subhead reading "Say Communist Chief Felled By Stroke" over a story datelined London (Mao lived another eleven years); in 1969, a recording session was held at which John Lennon and Rabbi Abe Feinberg (later a familiar Nevada figure) cut a song together; in 1971, three Reno area writers, Cheri Cross, Darlene Pond and Florence Burge, received awards from the National Federation of Press Women at its convention in Scottsdale.
UPDATE: May 30, 2007, 8:21 a.m. PDT, 15:51 GMT/CUT/SUT On May 30, 1958, unidentified soldiers killed in World War II and the Korean conflict were buried at Arlington National Cemetery. [New York Times/AP e-headlines]
Nevada State Journal / May 30, 1896: This, May 30th, is a day set apart for decorating the graves of soldiers and sailors who fell in the war for the Union. The custom originated in the South and the day on which it was observed became known as "Memorial Day." The North readily adopted the custom and May 30th, by common consent, became known as Decoration Day.
On May 30, 1414, Jerome of Prague, a follower of John Wycliffe and friend of Jan Hus, was burned at the stake for supporting Hus during his heresy trial; in 1867, the Nevada Board of Regents appointed Asa White to replace Richard Stretch as Nevada state mineralogist; in 1874, temperance forces won a prohibition vote in Oakland, and the San Francisco Congregational Church promptly asked the Central Pacific Railroad Company to ban the sale of liquor from ferries running between the two cities; in 1883, Memorial Day became a legal holiday in Nevada; in 1910, by signing presidential proclamation 1043, President Taft designated Ranbow Bridge, a religious site to Hopi, Navajo and other Southwestern tribes, to be a national monument; in 1914, an eruption of Mount Lassen began 12 months of more than 150 eruptions that sent volcanic ash by easterlies across Nevada; in 1941, the British invaded Iraq to overthrow the government of Rashid Ali Al-Gaylani because it was considered sympathetic to Germany; in 1959, the last train ran on the Virginia and Truckee Railroad; in 1959, the University of Nevada board of regents voted to accept the Mackay family silver service (dining table service made from Nevada silver, valued in 1959 at $22,000) on permanent loan, with individual pieces becoming university property each succeeding year [EDITOR'S NOTE: Much, if not all of it, has been on display in the lobby of a Reno hotel-casino for more than a decade. Let's hope no one at the U forgets who owns it.]; in 1966, eastern Nigerians formed the Republic of Biafra, sparking civil war that resulted in Biafra being wiped out, many of its people dying of starvation (Richard Nixon campaigned for president as a Biafra supporter but failed to change the U.S. policy of indifference after he took office); in 1968, worker strikes in numerous fields (transportation, communication, even sports) brought France to a halt; in 1968, The Beatles began recording sessions for The Beatles (better known as the white album); in 1980, the latest benchmark in the decline of civilization: Mickey Mouse Disco went platinum; in 1983, millions of tons of dirt, mud and boulders rolled down from Slide Mountain into Washoe Valley, killing one person, destroying homes and eliminating Price Lake; in 1988, in a banquet toast in Moscow, President Reagan told Secretary Gorbachev that he had brought as a gift a copy of the Gary Cooper film Friendly Persuasion, but though he spent 400 words of the 1,300 word toast describing the plot of the movie, he did not mention (if he knew) that the movie carried no screenwriter credit because screenwriter Michael Wilson was blacklisted (Reagan may have forgotten to actually give the movie to Gorbachev because five months later Gorbachev asked pianist Byron Janis for copies of Friendly Persuasion and Love In The Afternoon); in 1989, Chinese students constructed a "goddess of liberty" in Tiananmen Square.
UPDATE: May 29, 2007, 12:20 a.m. PDT, 09:20 CUT/SUT/GMT On May 29, 1953, Mount Everest was conquered as Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and sherpa Tenzing Norgay of Nepal became the first climbers to reach the summit. [New York Times/AP e-headlines]
On May 29, 1868, there was a major earthquake at 9:20 p.m., felt in San Francisco where patrons of the opera rushed for the doors (Nevada editor Alf Doten wrote that "three whores jumped from lower right hand stage box to the stage in a heap"); in 1855, Native American tribes of the Columbia River basin (the Yakama, Nez Perce, Walla Walla, Umatilla and Cayuse) met with Washington Territorial Governor Isaac Stevens, who was also the U.S. Indian Commissioner, in the First Walla Walla Council, and the tribes ceded more than six million acres in exchange for reservations and other promises (though the Yakima quickly repudiated the agreement when Stevens promptly violated agreements); in 1892, Baha'u'llah, prophet of the Baha'i Faith, died and ascended to heaven; in 1908, Standing Rock Indian Reservation in the Dakotas was opened to white settlement and entry (the lands were restored to the tribe during the Roosevelt administration on September 19 1936); in 1910, Pius X issued a papal encyclical, Editae Saepe, denouncing modernism, reformers and protestants; in 1920, after receiving letters from community leaders arguing that "the University could not afford to let President Clark resign", the Nevada Board of Regents voted to increase the salary of University of Nevada President Walter Clark to $12,000 a year; in 1935, the last concrete in Hoover Dam was poured; in 1941, President Roosevelt signed legislation under which the federal government would pay the engineering costs of the Boca Dam on the Truckee River water system; in 1942 the new Sparks municipal swimming pool was dedicated; in 1960, Cathy's Clown by the Everly Brothers hit number one; in 1965, a Las Vegas newspaper advertisement asked "Will your children go to the new Clark High School next fall?" and offered three and four bedroom homes for $300 move-in costs (and $21,700 full price); in 1969, a Reno national guard unit, activated and sent to bases around the U.S. after the capture of the U.S. spy ship Pueblo, returned to Reno; in 1990, in Duro vs. Reina, a case originating on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Nation, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a Native American tribe may not assert criminal jurisdiction for a crime committed on the tribe's reservation by a member of a different tribe; in 2007, Echoes From The Ancestors, a film on Native American history, will debut in Las Cruces on KRWG.
UPDATE: May 28, 2007, 1:17 a.m. PDT, 08:17 CUT/SUT/GMT On May 28, 1860, Washington Territorial Delegate Isaac Stevens spoke on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives about possible routes for a cross country railroad; in 1868, Minnie Warner Boone and Captain Charles Hobart were married at Fort Churchill, Nevada; in 1882, the Appeal in Carson City said there was a rumor circulating that John Mackay would seek the Republican nomination for governor; in 1888, Jim Thorpe, the greatest U.S. athlete of the 20th century, was born in Prague, Oklahoma; in 1892, John Muir and friends started the Sierra Club; in 1900, the Nevada Board of Regents approved faculty recommendations that 22 students graduate; in 1907, following the sentencing of Goldfield labor leaders Joseph Smith and Morris Preston in a murder case that was rigged against them by George Wingfield's money, I.W.W. leader Vincent St. John and seven other witnesses for the defense were granted bail (the men had been indicted to discredit their testimony for Smith and Preston, then the charges were dropped shortly after the trial); in 1914, Nevada suffrage leader Mrs. William O.H. Martin and national suffrage leader Mabel Vernon (portrayed by Brooke Smith in the movie Iron Jawed Angels) attended a meeting of the Reno barbers union and made a pitch for women's suffrage; in 1929, six weeks after she shocked the alcohol prohibition-supporting Women's National Republican Club by resigning her membership to oppose prohibition, GOP leader Pauline Sabin formed the Women's Organization for National Prohibition Reform that led the fight for repeal of the 18th Amendment because of the damage prohibition was doing to the family; in 1937, Nevada's new minimum wage for women, passed by that year's Nevada Legislature, took effect requiring a minimum $3 a day wage for women and a maximum 48-hour work week; in 1948, the Nazi political party, Herenigde National Party, won South African elections and proceeded to impose apartheid, rig election laws so it would never be turned out of office, and employ repression and violence; in 1949, the Clyde Beatty Circus appeared in Reno before 15,000 people; in 1957, syndicated columnist Drew Pearson wrote in his diary "[Las Vegas Sun publisher] Hank Greenspun talked to me about Hoffa of the Teamsters. He wants me to ease up; said that Hoffa was a good man, and had been entrapped. I pointed out that I had given Hoffa a chance to reply to everything I had written before I had written it, but that the facts as given to me by his lawyers just not jibe with the true facts."; in 1954, the Chicago Cinema Annex theatre turned away crowds wanting to see the movie Salt of the Earth, a dramatization of a miners strike in Bayard, New Mexico, because the film had effectively been red-baited to death (the Bayard miners' International Union of Mine, Mill, and Smelter Workers union had been ejected from the CIO in an anti-leftist purge, the movie was made by four blacklistees, one actress in the movie was deported, the film was denounced unseen on the floor of the U.S. House and in the Hollywood press, and mainstream union members such as projectionists refused to support the film, so brief showings in San Francisco and New York were the only performances); in 1964, the Carson City chamber of commerce and the U.S. Treasury Department reached an agreement over plans by the chamber to circulate their 5,000 coins, minted with the Nevada centennial seal, as trade dollars in the capital city (the chamber agreed not to use them as trade dollars, instead selling them for $50 each as souvenirs); in 1971, Harold's Club employees formed a Casino Employees Association and were considering affiliating with the Teamsters Union; in 1972, the first break-in at Democratic National Committee offices in the Watergate Office Building took place without being detected; in 1984, the only unidentified remains of a U.S. servicemember from the Vietnam war were deposited in the tomb of the unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery (the remains were later identified as those of Michael Blassie, a 24 year-old air force officer who was shot down over An Loc on May 11, 1972, and his family was notified on June 28 1998 and the remains eventually returned to them); in 1987, a teenaged West German pilot named Mathias Rust evaded Soviet air defenses and landed a small private plane in Red Square.
UPDATE: May 27, 2007, 12:01 a.m. PDT, 00:01 CUT/SUT/GMT On May 27, 1964, independent India's first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, died. [New York Times/AP e-headlines]
George Bush / May 27, 2004: Karen is with us tonight, a west Texas girl just like me.
On May 27, 1831, fur trapper Jedediah Smith, who in 1827 was the first known Anglo to enter what is now Nevada, was killed by Commanches; in 1872, the U.S. House of Representatives gave final legislative approval to a resolution ordering publication of five thousand copies of Reconnaissance of Arizona and Nevada, a report of an expedition led by army engineer George Wheeler that explored eastern Nevada and Arizona; in 1875, Governor Lewis Bradley was reported to be almost entirely recovered from a severe stroke suffered during the winter; in 1902, Alice Mabel Stanaway of Reno made her operatic debut in Aida at the New England Conservatory; in 1914, the Nevada board of examiners rejected a plan proposed by Attorney General George Thatcher to orchestrate a court test of whether Nye County Senator Zeb Kendall's $300 a month job as superintendent of Nevada exhibits at the California world's fair violated article 4, section 8 of the Nevada Constitution ("No Senator or member of Assembly shall, during the term for which he shall have been elected, nor for one year thereafter be appointed to any civil office of profit under this State which shall have been created, or the emoluments of which shall have been increased during such term, except such office as may be filled by elections by the people."); in 1937, the Nevada State Journal reported that night crews were being used on the Works Progress Administration project to create what became known as Virginia Lake Park south of Reno, and that the lake was being designed for swimming and wading with an average depth of five and a half feet; in 1957, That'll Be The Day by The Crickets was released, and it became the group's only number one hit; in 1958, a bomb with three sticks of dynamite was removed from the 1952 Ford owned by Reno labor leader Lawrence Sigglekow, and Sheriff Bud Young said it had been in the car for about a month and its failure to detonate resulted in two later attacks on Sigglekow's life (shots fired into his house and then a bomb thrown at the house); in 1962, The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan was released; in 1969, twenty-one year old James Woodford Clark of Reno died in Phuoc Long, Vietnam (panel 24w, line 115 of the Vietnam wall); in 1969, Las Vegas dancers and show "girls" marched from the Strip to their union hall to demonstrate support for their union leaders, accused by the casinos of not having the women's support in wage negotiations; in 1987, Nevada adopted the Virgin Valley black fire opal as its official precious gemstone; in 1999 on, appropriately, Henry Kissinger's birthday, a U.N. tribunal indicted Slobodan Milosevic for crimes against humanity; in 1999, Marshall Fey, grandson of slot machine inventor Charles Fey, spoke at the Nevada State Museum on slot machine history; in 2004, Jody Marie Olsen graduated from Duncanville High School in Texas.
UPDATE: May 26, 2007, 12:00m PDT, 00:00 CUT/SUT/GMT On May 26, 1868, the Senate impeachment trial of President Andrew Johnson ended with his acquittal as the Senate fell one vote short of the two-thirds majority required for conviction. [New York Times/AP e-headlines]
Abigail Adams / May 26, 1798 I wish the Laws of our Country were competent to punish the stirrer up of sedition, the writer and Printer of base and unfounded calumny. This would contribute much to the Peace and harmony of our Country as any measure, and in times like the present, a more carefull and attentive watch ought to be kept over foreigners. This will be done in the future if the Alien Bill passes, without being curtaild & clipt until it is made nearly useless. The Volunteer Corps which are forming not only of young Men but others will keep in check these people, I trust.
On May 26, 1521, the Edict of Worms condemned Martin Luther and his writings; in 1637, whites raided a Pequot tribe fort at Mystic, Connecticut, massacring 500: "Many were burnt in the fort, both men, women, and children. Others forced out...twenty and thirty at a time, which our soldiers received and entertained with the point of the sword. Down fell men, women, and children; those that scaped us fell into the hands of the Indians that were in the rear of us."; in 1647, Massachusetts approved a law prohibiting Catholic priests from entering Puritan regions; in 1830, legislation providing for the removal of eastern tribes to regions farther west was approved by the U.S. House by 102 to 97 and the Senate by 28 to 20; in 1866, the Owyhee Avalanche reported that fifty Chinese traveling through northern Nevada and southern Idaho were killed in a Native American attack; in 1880, Frank Bell, later acting governor of Nevada, said Nevada's delegates to the Republican National Convention were inclined to support Benjamin Harrison of Indiana as a vice presidential running mate for assumed presidential candidate James G. Blaine; in 1906, notorious water trafficker and engineer Alexis Von Schmidt, who proposed turning Lake Tahoe into a reservoir for San Francisco (when the project failed, the magnificent Hetch Hetchy valley north of Yosemite was targeted for damming instead), died; in 1906, Street & Smith publishers released Bowery Boy Weekly Dime Novel No. 32 Bowery Billy, the Bootblack Bravo, or, The Nevada Sport in New York; in 1922, the mining camp of Manhattan, Nevada, burned to the ground; in 1926, religious leader Aimee Semple McPherson vanished from a California beach, an assumed drowning death (after her memorial service, she surfaced in Arizona); in 1911, Ben Alexander, who portrayed "Frank Smith," the fourth partner of "Joe Friday" on Dragnet, was born in Goldfield, Nevada; in 1937, on the eve of a citywide festival celebrating the opening of the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco Mayor Angelo Rossi worked to settle a strike at 16 major hotels (the Nevada delegation at the festival stayed at the Fielding Hotel) and on the same day 85,000 steel workers nationwide went on strike; in 1947, former vice president Henry Wallace announced that if the Democratic Party continued its slide into becoming the "war party", he would run for president on a third party line; in 1962, the new Nevada advisory committee to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission met in Las Vegas with Clyde Mathews as chair; in 1977, George Willig climbed the south tower of the World Trade Center, using the window washers' steel tracks to take a hold, and after reaching the top was arrested and later fined $250,000 but New York City Mayor Abraham Beame, running for reelection, arranged to reduce the fine of the new folk hero to $1.10 (Willig's mother worked in the Empire State Building when a B-25 bomber plowed into it in 1945); in 1978, the first legal casino in Atlantic City opened; in 1998, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Ellis Island is mostly in New Jersey, not New York.
UPDATE: May 25, 2007, 10:01 a.m. PDT, 17:01 CUT/SUT/GMT On May 25, 1925, John T. Scopes was indicted in Tennessee for teaching Darwin's theory of evolution. [New York Times/AP e-headlines]
Allen Ginsberg / Howl
I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked,
dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix;
Angel-headed hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection
to the starry dynamo in the machinery of the night.
On May 25, 1885, Beadle's New York Dime Library released Flash Dan, the Nabob; or, The Blades of Bowie Bar. A Story of the Gold Lands by Howard Holmes, a dime novel set in northern California and near Carson City, Nevada, in 1869; in 1911, a fire broke out in New York's Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, killing 146, 132 of them girls, and disclosure of the lack of safety exits and fire escapes and the condition of the building became a turning point in social policy and politics in the United States, made reformer Francis Perkins famous (she had witnessed the fire from her home), galvanized the union movement, led to workers injury insurance, shorter work weeks, an end to child labor, and not guilty verdicts on manslaughter charges against the factory owners; in 1917, a representative of a new national organization, the League to Enforce Peace, arrived in Reno to form a local chapter and advance an April speech in Reno by former Minnesota governor Adolph Eberhart (peace organizing was very risky during the world war because the Wilson administration prosecuted it under the Espionage Act); in 1926, a Parent Teachers Association chapter was organized at Sparks Junior High School; in 1927, U.S. Senator Tasker Oddie was throwing a fit after learning that U.S. Interior Secretary Hubert Work had arranged the acquisition of land in Secret Valley in California's Lassen County for a site in competition with Nevada's Hawthorne for a Army ammunition depot; in 1931, the Scottsboro men were arrested in Alabama for raping two white women, leading to repeated convictions in Alabama and repeated reversals of those convictions in federal court; in 1939, with war talk common, the Nevada Bureau of Mines was doing a study of the prospects for development of strategic war minerals in the state; in 1947, President Truman issued executive order 9835, creating a program to adjudge the "loyalty" of civil service employees and empowering the U.S. attorney general to compile a "list of subversive organizations"; in 1955, customs inspectors seized a shipment of copies of Allan Ginzberg's Howl as they were brought in to the U.S. (Lawrence Ferlinghetti's City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco responded by publishing the book in the U.S.); in 1958, John Ensign, now U.S. senator from Nevada, was born in Roseville, California; in 1961, Elvis performed at Pearl Harbor to raise money for the U.S.S. Arizona memorial (it was his last public performance for nine years); in 1963, the Nevada Legislature ratified the 24th amendment to the United States Constitution (outlawing poll taxes); in 1966, the fab four posed for the "butcher cover" of their Yesterday and Today album; in 1968, KLVX television in Las Vegas began operation; in 1970, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young's only album, the magnificent Deja Vu (containing Teach Your Children, Helpless, Our House, Woodstock), went gold; in 1971, Bangladesh declared its independence from Pakistan, though it took a day to become known to the public; in 1972, America's A Horse With No Name, written by Dewey Bunnel as a accolade to the desert he missed, hit number one on the Billboard chart; in 1975, Sparks city councilmember Pete Lemberes, who was being investigated by a county grand jury, read a public statement in which he criticized the grand jury, Sparks city attorney Paul Freitag, two of his fellow councilmembers, and Sparks Nugget owner John Ascuaga; in 1977, Governor Mike O'Callaghan vetoed Assemblymember Steve Coulter's, D-Reno, legislation repealing the mandatory motorcycle helmet law for adults; in 1977, Sid Doan testified in court that in 1973 he had threatened a beating of Sparks city councilmember James Vernon "within an inch of his life" if his Sierra Sid's truck stop was denied a gambling license; in 1992, Cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev returned to a changed world after ten months on the Mir space station (his nation, the Soviet Union, no longer existed and the map of eastern Europe was vastly changed).
[[EDITOR'S NOTE: Unless otherwise noted, historical items appear courtesy of longtime Nevada reporter Dennis Myers' Poor Denny's Almanac. [PDA] Items highlighted in blue are of particular interest to labor. Copyright © 2007 Dennis Myers.]]
UPDATE: May 24, 2007, 9:40 a.m. PDT, 16:40 CUT/SUT/GMT On May 24, 1879, the Battle Mountain Messenger reported that two Argenta farmers "are building a dam in the Humboldt, diverting the waters for agricultural purposes"; in 1918, with Washoe County less than half way to its quota of $467,000 in war stamp sales and only six days remaining, a stamp rally was held at Huffaker's south of Reno; in 1926, Nevada political boss George Wingfield, cloaking himself in his role as Republican national committee member from the state, claimed he was neutral in the 1926 party primaries; in 1937, in Mountain City, Nevada, CIO labor union organizer H.I. Mills, who was trying to organize Rio Tinto mine workers, was reportedly beaten twice and forced to leave town; in 1937 near Bilbao, Spain, 800 trapped Basque Republican loyalists were killed by fascist aerial bombing; in 1950, seven local dairies gave a petition to the Reno city council asking that Pete Pederson, who had resigned as city milk inspector, be convinced to reconsider because of his "efficiency and willingness to work"; in 1950, the Sparks City Council tabled plans to widen B Street (main street) by carving up a downtown park; in 1955, the Moulin Rouge Casino opened in Las Vegas; in 1964, Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater endorsed the use of low yield nuclear weapons in Vietnam in order to accomplish "defoliation of the forests"; in 1965, a cross was burned in the garden of a Reno family's home after a boy in the house said he received recruiting calls from callers identifying themselves as Klan members; in 1965, Las Vegas station KORK ran the movie Carson City; in 1967, Raymond Smith, owner of Harold's Club, died in Reno; in 1969, the great Get Back by The Beatles and Billy Preston hit number one on the Billboard chart (it is the only Beatles record whose label shared billing with another artist); in 1970, Nevada Governor Paul Laxalt visited Laguinge in France, the Basque village his father's family migrated from in 1906; in 1979, as part of an out of court settlement, Yankee manager Billy Martin, who was threatened with loss of his job by owner George Steinbrenner, issued a public apology to Reno sportswriter Ray Hagar, who was physically attacked and injured by Martin in November 1978; in 1982, at San Francisco's Moscone Center, Country Joe, The Grateful Dead, Boz Skaggs and Jefferson Starship staged a benefit that raised $175,000 for the Vietnam Veterans Project; in 1994, Mesquite, Nevada was incorporated.
[[EDITOR'S NOTE: Unless otherwise noted, historical items appear courtesy of longtime Nevada reporter Dennis Myers' Poor Denny's Almanac. [PDA] Items highlighted in blue are of particular interest to labor. Copyright © 2007 Dennis Myers.]]
UPDATE: May 23, 2007, 12:25 a.m. PDT, 09:25 CUT/SUT/GMT On May 23, 1934, bank robbers Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow were shot to death in a police ambush as they were driving a stolen Ford Deluxe along a road in Bienville Parish, La. [New York Times/AP e-headlines]
On May 23, 1868, Kit Carson, after whom Nevada's Carson River was named by John C. Fremont, died in the U.S. Territory of Colorado; in 1887, Acting Governor Henry Davis made several appointments to the staff of the Nevada state militia; in 1910, author Margaret Wise Brown (Goodnight Moon, Runaway Bunny) was born in Brooklyn; in 1919, distinguished author and Nevada Writers Hall of Fame member Wilbur Shepperson was born; in 1933, U.S. District Judge Harold Louderback (a graduate of the University of Nevada), impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives on February 24, was acquitted by the Senate; in 1936, longtime Nevada assemblymember Robert Price was born in DeLand, Florida; in 1937, at Beckwourth Pass just over the California border northwest of Reno, a monument was erected to honor James Beckwourth, an African-American scout and explorer who located the route over the Sierra foothills by which many frontier emigrants safely traveled to California; in 1955, the Dunes Hotel Casino opened in Las Vegas; in 1960, acting on information obtained from war crimes hunter Simon Wiesenthal, Israel announced it had kidnapped Adolf Eichmann from Buenos Aires; in 1961, Vice-President Lyndon Johnson recommended to President Kennedy that the U.S. aid Vietnam and Thailand or "pull back our defenses to San Francsico and a Fortress America concept" (Johnson did not explain how the Vietnamese and Thais would reach San Francisco); in 1964, as Lyndon Johnson campaigned for president on a no-wider-war pledge, assistant secretary of state William Bundy ordered a scenario plan for bombing of Hanoi and the north; in 1965, five hundred Nevadans attended the opening of Las Vegas' newest park, Tule Springs Ranch; in 1965, the base hospital at Nellis Air Force Base moved from a World War Two-era building to a new $2 million structure; in 1996, Washoe County Airport Authority board members Dawn Gibbons, Tina Manoukian and Larry Martin walked out of an Authority board meeting in protest against the board refusing to hear their concerns about mistreatment of local residents of Rewana Farms, and their departure halted the meeting because it deprived the board of a quorum.
UPDATE: May 22, 2007, 7:30 a.m. PDT, 14:30 CUT/SUT/GMT On May 22, 1947, the Truman Doctrine was enacted as Congress appropriated military and economic aid for Greece and Turkey. [New York Times/AP e-headlines] President Bush labors under the conceit that the Truman doctrine means "do whatever we say or we'll nuke your ass." Given what Harry did, who can say Dubya's wrong?
On May 22, 1906, $200,000 was wired by United Railroads officials to operatives in San Francisco to be used for bribing city officials in the awarding of trolley franchise matters; in 1912, at London's Old Bailey (court), suffrage leader Emmaline Pankhurst and the editors of Votes for Women were convicted of malicious damage to property and sentenced to nine months in jail; in 1912, Charles Cavanaugh of Reno, who fell off the wagon after 28 months of sobriety, found that the Reno Evening Gazette considered it front page news; in 1925, California Governor Friend Richardson signed legislation providing $100,000 for the state's exhibit at the Transcontinental Highways Exposition in Reno in 1926, which included the construction of a building (which still stands in Reno's Idlewild Park), and the news was such a boost for the prospects of the exposition that a crowd gathered in front of Reno's Golden Hotel to celebrate; in 1944, U.S. war labor board chair Willaim Davis told a U.S. House committee that his agency had to take action in a Montgomery Ward labor dispute or concede workers "would be free to strike"; in 1944, the University of Nevada commencement was held for the first time in the new gymnasium, with most of the fifty-five graduates women (the gymnasium was completed in time for the 1943 commencement but it was housing military training cadets); in 1949, shortly after midnight in his room on the 16th floor of Bethesda Naval Hospital, U.S. Secretary of Defense James Forrestal copied a chorus from Sophocles' play Ajax ("Frenzy hath seized thy dearest son") and then jumped out the window to his death; in 1964, one day after the U.N. Security Council heard Cambodian charges against the United States of sending Saigon forces over the border into Cambodia, U.S. Secretary of State Dean Rusk accused the Vietnamese of aggression against their own nation "There is a simple prescription for peace: Leave your neighbors alone."; in 1966, Salt Lake Tribune publisher J.W. Gallivan told the annual convention of the Nevada Press Association that people may one day read newspapers on home television screens: "Computers eventually may be programmed to actually bypass the [printing] press and transmit directly into the home."; in 1968, Cream's Disraeli Gears went gold; in 1969, the Clark County School District voted to send out the new school year's contracts (they provided a starting base salary of $6,800); in 1974, White House aide John McLaughlin, a Catholic priest who repeatedly defended President Nixon, was called to Boston by his church superior for "prayer and reflection" after he defended the heavy use of profanity in the Nixon tapes; in 1976, boxer Oscar Bonavena was murdered at the Mustang Ranch brothel; in 1997, Air Force officers forced bomber pilot Kelly Flinn out of the service by threatening her with prosecution for adultery.
UPDATE: May 21, 2007, 1:38 a.m. PDT, 08:38 CUT/SUT/GMT On May 21, 1927, Charles A. Lindbergh landed his Spirit of St. Louis near Paris, completing the first solo airplane flight across the Atlantic Ocean. [New York Times/AP e-headlines]
On May 21, 1876, the Nevada State Journal asked "When Canada becomes a part of the United States, where will all the scoundrels go to? We feel that this [is] one of the most serious questions of the Centennial year."; in 1883, W.L. French was in Reno after a trip to England where he sought financing for his plan to link San Francisco with Nevada's Carson and Colorado Railroad by putting a rail line through the Yosemite Valley; in 1897, with marriage within a year of a divorce forbidden under a new California law, the tugboat Vigilant had discovered a new source of income taking couples to sea to be married; in 1904, Thomas "Fats" Waller was born in New York City; in 1906, Catholic officials purchased the Sol Levy home at the corner of Second and Chestnut [now Arlington] streets in Reno for $10,000 to be the site of a church, possibly a cathedral; in 1912, at St. Thomas Catholic Church in Reno, Father Meagher gave a sermon on "Hell" described by a local newspaper as "the most touching exposition on the position of the Catholic views on the subject of punishment after death yet heard in Reno"; in 1937, the Golden and Riverside hotels in Reno retired the black bus they had used since 1932 to shuttle visitors between the Reno train depot and the hotels and replaced it with a DeSoto sedan (the bus had 45,000 miles on it); in 1955, Chuck Berry had his first recording date, for Chess Records in Chicago; in 1969, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that billionaire Howard Hughes had purchased the Paradise Valley golf course and country club from Las Vegas Sun publisher Hank Greenspun; in 1969, John and Yoko began their bed-in for peace in Montreal; in 1970, a day after fire hoses and mace were used against students during a disturbance at Rancho High School in Las Vegas, fifty students at the school were arrested when they barricaded themselves in the library and refused to go to class; in 1973, Sierra Pacific Power was making another run at saddling the state with a nuclear power plant; in 1979, on the eve of San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk's birthday, former supervisor Dan White, charged with murdering Milk and Mayor George Moscone, was convicted on the lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter after using a defense that he had been depressed and eaten large amounts of sugary junk food on the day of the murders, a verdict that set off angry protests and the "white night" rioting; in 1990, the situation comedy Newhart ended its eight-year run with a hilarious episode that stunned viewers and won wide praise. Bob Newhart woke up in bed with Suzanne Pleshette, his "wife" from his previous sitcom The Bob Newhart Show, making the whole eight-year Newhart series a dream; in 1993, in the sitcom Frazier, radio psychiatrist Frazier Crane broadcast his first radio show, beginning with "If you can feel, I can heal"; in 2004, Florida National Guard Staff Sergeant Camilo Mejia was convicted by a court martial of desertion for refusing to return to Iraq after a furlough in order to avoid being ordered to perform war crimes (he testified to having witnessed prisoner abuse and torture) and was sentenced to a year in prison and declared a political prisoner by Amnesty International.
UPDATE: May 20, 2007, 2:46 a.m. PDT, 09:46 GMT/CUT/SUT On May 20, 1961, a white mob attacked a busload of "Freedom Riders" in Montgomery, Ala., prompting the federal government to send in United States marshals to restore order. [New York Times/AP e-headlines]
On May 20, 325, Emperor Constantine called the first ecumenical council and charged it with healing divisions among Christians (instead, the delegates anathematized Arius and his beliefs and ordered his books burned); in 1856, President Franklin Pierce, an admirer of the notorious U.S. mercenary leader William Walker, granted diplomatic recognition to Walker's short-lived Nicaraguan occupation government; in 1912, a strike by Detroit players protesting the suspension of teammate Ty Cobb (who had climbed into the bleachers and savagely beaten a one-handed heckler), ended when the team owner told the players the suspension would stand; in 1937, George Orwell, fighting in battle for the Spanish Republic, was shot in the throat by a sniper; in 1953, the new commander of French forces in Indochina, General Henri Navarre, said of the rapidly worsening French prospects, "Now we can see [victory] clearly, like the light at the end of the tunnel" a metaphor later adopted by President Kennedy and many other U.S. officials when it came time for them to exhibit Navarre's lack of contact with reality; in 1964, the movie Viva Las Vegas was released; in 1967, A Day in the Life by The Beatles, compared by a Newsweek critic to T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land, was banned from the BBC; in 1969, in Oakland, a turbulent meeting of the board of education ended with the police macing a crowd that was protesting the appointment of former Clark County superintendent of schools James Mason as Oakland school chief (at the same time, in Las Vegas, Mason was being investigated by the county prosecutor over a book contract); in 1995, the first game of the Arena Football League was played in Las Vegas between San Jose and Las Vegas; in 2002, Israeli agents assassinated Mohammed Jibril, the son of Palestinian leader Ahmed Jibril; in 2003, a group of first amendment advocates petitioned New York Governor George Pataki to posthumously pardon Lenny Bruce for an obscenity conviction that followed Bruce's performance at the Café au Go Go: "A pardon now is too late to save Lenny Bruce. But a posthumous pardon would set the record straight and thereby demonstrate New York's commitment to freedom free speech, free press, free thinking."
UPDATE: May 19, 2007, 3:03 a.m. PDT, 10:03 GMT/CUT/SUT On May 19, 1935, T.E. Lawrence, also known as Lawrence of Arabia, died in England from injuries sustained in a motorcycle crash. [New York Times/AP e-headlines]
Mark Twain/letter to the Chicago Republican/May 19, 1868: They treated me exceedingly well in Carson (as they always do) and made no attempt whatever to rob me.
On May 19, 1856, U.S. Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts spoke in the senate on slavery and the question of Kansas' admission into the union as slave or free state, a speech that was laced with sexual imagery and that attacked Senator Andrew Pickens Butler of South Carolina (three days later, Butler's first cousin, U.S. Representative Preston Brooks of South Carolina, beat Sumner nearly to death with a metal-headed cane on the senate floor); in 1868, a letter from Mark Twain giving an account of his sea voyage from New York to San Francisco and his return to Nevada was published in the Chicago Republican; in 1900, Jim Butler supposedly found gold and silver ore that started the rush to Tonopah, though there is evidence that rather than finding it, it was pointed out to him by Native Americans; in 1938, James Bilbray, Nevada regent, state senator, U.S. representative, and U.S. base closing commissioner, was born in Las Vegas; in 1950, young piano students of Mrs. Ethel Zimmer gave a piano workshop in Reno, and future television actress Dawn Wells performed On the Magic Lake, The Butterfly, Mantilla, To a Wild Rose, and she performed Indians in a duet with Marlene Ferrari; in 1953, an atomic test code named "Harry" that became informally known as "Dirty Harry" was detonated in Nevada, spewing so much fallout into the atmosphere that farm animals died (as the years passed, at least 91 members of a 220-person Hollywood crew filming The Conquerer near St. George, Utah, during the test including Susan Hayward, Dick Powell, Pedro Armendariz and John Wayne contracted leukemia or cancer); in 1962, Guild Gray, former Clark County school superintendent, Lyon County school superintendent, and Reno High School principal (and later a state legislator), received the Phi Delta Kappa education award at a banquet in Las Vegas; in 1962, Bonanza Days were underway in Virginia City with the stars of the television program on hand; in 1966, after a federal official informed Nevada officials that the recently closed Stead Air Force Base north of Reno was being "cannibalized" to supply the Vietnam war and would be turned over to the state as "only an empty shell", the Nevada Department of Education took its requested appropriation of $70,000 for a vocational education center at the base off the agenda of the 1966 special session of the Nevada Legislature; in 1969, the great Beatles/Billy Preston single Get Back went gold; in 1971, Godspell opened at Cherry Lane Theatre in New York; in 1992, Vice President Dan Quayle criticized the situation comedy Murphy Brown in a speech whose misrepresentation of the story line made it clear he had not actually watched the program (which he later admitted) before criticizing it.
UPDATE: May 18, 2007, 1:37 a.m. PDT, 08:37 CUT/GMT/SUT On May 18, 1980, the Mount St. Helens volcano in Washington state exploded, leaving 57 people dead or missing. [New York Times/AP e-headlines]
On May 18, 1048, Omar Khayyam was born at Nishapur, Persia; in 1897, at the Royal Lyceum Theatre in London, Dracula was read for the purpose of qualifying it for theatrical copyrights (this version of the story was used only once and never performed again until a copy was located and used for a centennial performance in 1997); in 1909, JohnD Nevers Winters, later a Carson Tahoe Hospital trustee and Nevada/California Interstate Compact commissioner, was born; in 1920, the Utah Construction Company was building a railroad from Fernley to Pyramid Lake and was planning a steam launch on the lake; in 1920, the Nevada Bar Association spent the day discussing judicial recall (empowering voters to overturn court rulings, proposed by Republican presidential candidate Theodore Roosevelt) but reached no conclusion and decided instead to conduct a post card vote of the full membership; in 1927, Grauman's Chinese Theatre opened on Hollywood Boulevard (The King of Kings was the first movie shown); in 1928, President Coolidge vetoed a bill providing $3,500,000 for road building on federally managed lands and tribal reservations and U.S. Senator Tasker Oddie of Nevada said he would reintroduce the measure; in 1931, a former congressmember selected to lease properties in the Boulder City reservation said he would make the town the antithesis of Reno only U.S. citizens permitted, applicants judged on character, fitness and personality, gambling or other prohibited activities grounds for revocation of leases; in 1943, Szarajowka in Poland joined a macabre list, villages punished for their resistance to the Nazis by being completely wiped off the face of the earth by the SS (others included Socky, Kitow, and most notoriously Lidice); in 1947, Las Vegas police chief George Thompson asked bar owners to help quash a spate of violent incidents at local taverns; in 1951, the end of Lake Success, New York's day in the sun came when the United Nations ended five years in the town and moved to New York City; in 1951, Stockton draft board member Charles Bird resigned in protest against the "slaughter of the cream of American youth"; in 1955, Reno High School student Dawn Wells was named advisor to the local Order of the Rainbow for Girls; in 1956, the Fremont Hotel Casino opened in downtown Las Vegas; in 1957, in the District of Columbia, Atomic Energy Commission member Willard Libby said rain that fell in the district earlier in the week was hot with radiation but was "not dangerous and nothing to be frightened about" (Libby, who rationed accuracy carefully during the 1950s, also said the radiation was from Soviet tests; the U.S. at that time had detonated 88 atomic tests, 50 of them in Nevada); in 1960, The Beetles (as they then called themselves), including Stuart Sutcliffe and Tommy Moore, began a tour of Scotland as a backup band for Johnny Gentle; in 1990, at a meeting of the University of Nevada board of regents, UNR student body president Jason Geddes objected to a tuition hike proposal, in part because it was being floated so late in the academic year so students could not be heard; in 2002, Dan Coming, the first Nevada millennium scholar, graduated from UNR (the Millennium Scholarship program, funded by Nevada's share of the tobacco lawsuit settlement, provides a free college education for all Nevada high school graduates with a B average); in 2003, Les Miserables closed after a 16-year Broadway run (6,680 performances).
UPDATE: May 17, 2007, 2:08 a.m. PDT, 09:08 GMT/CUT/SUT On May 17, 1829, explorer Peter Skene Ogden recorded in his journal "large flocks of pelicans seen this day" along the Humboldt River near Rye Patch in what is now Nevada; in 1880, the Central Pacific Railroad refused a request from Nevada Republican leader Charles Stevenson for special rates for the state's delegates to travel to the Republican National Convention in Chicago; in 1892, Annie Martin of Carson City began a new career as editor/publisher of the Carson City Daily News, which she had recently purchased after working as a teacher, writing in her first edition, "We dropped the rattan [cane or switch for whipping children] and the primer, left the schoolroom, and boldly (though blindly) jumped over into the next field journalism" (Annie Martin should not be confused with the Nevada suffrage leader and U.S. senate candidate Anne Martin); in 1920, the U.S. weather service began providing highway condition reports in Reno; in 1923, at a time of growing Klan influence, President Harding used the dedication of a statue of Alexander Hamilton to say, "We have the factions of hatred and prejudice and violence. We have our conditions which would invade the constitutional rights of others or subvert the constitution itself."; in 1947, the Motor-In Theatre, a Reno drive-in theater, opened "one mile out South Virginia Road"; in 1954, in a case argued before the court by an African-American attorney representing blacks and a former Democratic presidential nominee representing white supremacy, the United States Supreme Court overturned its 1896 ruling that said public facilities for races can be segregated if they are equal, now finding (unanimously) that separate schools are "inherently unequal" and ordering nationwide desegregation [Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka]; in 1962, attorney Gene Mateucci was named by Nevada Attorney General Roger Foley to investigate a dispute in which Clark County established an unincorporated town on land that officials of the city of Las Vegas said was inside their borders; in 1968, Robert Warren Andrews, Jr., of Reno died in Kien Phong Province, Vietnam (panel 24w, fow 29); in 1969, Chicago Transit Authority's first album entered the Billboard chart (in Chicago, the Daley administration, apparently concerned that there would be some confusion between the band and the transit system, threatened a lawsuit, and future albums were released simply as Chicago; there have been no known instances of confusion between the band and the city); in 1972, Milan police chief Luigi Calabresi, suspected of "suiciding" political radical Giuseppe Penelli by throwing him out a window of police headquarters, was himself assassinated in front of his house; in 1990, a two day meeting of the Nevada board of regents began, during which the regents considered twelve recommendations to enhance the status of the community colleges; in 1995, the Nevada Legislature honored former Tahoe Regional Planning Agency member and Washoe County Democratic Party chair Thomas Cooke; in 2003, the Ottawa Citizen's Norman Provencher revealed a transcript of John Lennon's 1969 closed door testimony before Canada's Le Dain Commission on legalization of marijuana as an alternative to harder drugs sold by "pushers in the schoolyard...This is the opportunity for Canada to lead the world...Canada is America without being American, without that...'We-are-the-mighty-whatever scene'."; in 2004, Massachusetts allowed same gender marriages.
UPDATE: May 16, 2007, 12:14 a.m. PDT, 09:14 CUT/GMT/SUT On May 16, 1868, the United States Senate failed by one vote to convict President Andrew Johnson as it took its first ballot on one of 11 articles of impeachment against him. (Johnson was acquitted of all charges.) [New York Times/AP e-headlines]
On May 16, 1865, the Nevada Appeal began publication (which continues today); in 1868, the U.S. Senate voted 35 to 19 to convict Andrew Johnson in his impeachment trial, falling one vote short of conviction; in 1903, rumors were published that Senator Patrick Flanigan of Washoe County had purchased the Nevada Power, Light, and Water Company; in 1918, Congress passed the Sedition Act, used by the Wilson administration to launch a reign of terror against opponents of the war; in 1923, Nevada pharmacies inspector Denver Dickerson issued the first state permit to fill alcoholic liquor prescriptions under federal alcohol prohibition (it went to the Elko Drug Company); in 1923, two Tonopah illegal drug users were committed to the state asylum; in 1928, U.S. reclamation commissioner Elwood Mead, after whom Lake Mead is named, was formally absolved by a congressional committee of engaging in political collusion with U.S. House Democratic floor leader John Nance Garner of Texas by trading water in Texas for Garner's vote on the Boulder Dam project bill, a charge made by U.S. Representative Elmer Leatherwood of Utah; in 1929, the first film Academy Awards were given, with Sunrise/A Song of Two Humans winning Best Picture/Artistic and Wings winning Best Picture/Production (there were then two best picture awards); in 1939, after the Roosevelt administration sought to purchase Argentine beef that was superior to U.S. beef (and cheaper, too), the Senate took up a House measure banning the purchase; Senate Foreign Relations Committee chair Key Pittman of Nevada denounced the sale, and when President Roosevelt was told at a news conference that western ranching states believed that he had impugned the honor of the U.S. cow, he replied that he had cast no aspersions on the virtue of the U.S. cow nor the valor of the U.S. bull; in 1939, Nevadans had the second highest income per capita in the nation, after Delaware; in 1940, the Nazis launched an effort to annihilate the entire Polish intellectual community teachers, professors, authors apparently considering it a rich source of resistance leaders (the operation, which involved summary executions in the Kampinos forest and in a prison in Warsaw, was called the "Extraordinary Pacification Operation") while also trying to destroy Poland's distinctive culture by destroying universities, museums, schools, libraries and laboratories; in 1948, reporter George Polk, one of "Murrow's boys" at CBS, was murdered in Greece while investigating the right wing Greek regime and its leftist opponents during the Greek civil war; in 1950, Elizabeth Ann Fisher was born at St. Joseph's Hospital in Denver; in 1955, after subduing Taiwan by massacring 30,000 of the island's inhabitants, the Nationalist Chinese declared Taiwan to be a province of the mainland; in 1955, Harvey Gross opened his Wagon Wheel Saloon at Stateline, Lake Tahoe; in 1956, Clark County voters approved, by a two to one margin, a $10,600,000 school construction bond issue; in 1956, after obtaining an April 27 divorce in Ely, North Las Vegas Police Chief W.C. Pool (who was under investigation by the FBI for police brutality) secretly married North Las Vegas Mayor Dorothy Porter in Elko (when news of the May 16 marriage broke, Pool's wife or ex-wife contacted the Clark County district attorney about having the Ely divorce set aside); in 1962, as part of his saber rattling toward Laos, President Kennedy ordered the landing of the 3d Marines (4,000 men) in next-door Thailand; in 1964, President Lyndon Johnson ordered preparations for the U.S. to go to war in Laos, but cooler heads prevailed before Johnson sent a resolution to Congress asking for authority for the war; in 1966, Pet Sounds, which was partly inspired by Rubber Soul and would help to inspire Sgt. Pepper, was released; in 1970, several University of Nevada-Reno student leaders, most of them conservative or establishment (Frankie Sue Del Papa, Paul Basta, Brooke Piper, Bob Mayberry, John Doherty and Dave Slemmons), were hauled before the student judicial council as part of an investigation of a hoax flyer that had announced the cancellation of a "governor's day" military ceremony held right after the invasion of Cambodia and the killings at Kent State (unfortunately, the flyer was unsuccessful); in 2002, Assembly Speaker Joe Dini announced his retirement from the Nevada Legislature.
UPDATE: May 15, 2007, 12:42 a.m. PDT, 09:42 GMT/CUT/SUT On May 15, 1911, the Supreme Court ordered the dissolution of Standard Oil Company, ruling it was in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act. [New York Times/AP e-headlines] Here we are a century later. Notwithstanding that the Sherman act remains on the books, the five pieces of Standard Oil have basically reconstituted themselves and gasoline prices have reached predatory levels. Old John D. Rockefeller would be proud. For the anatomy of the con, go to the Barbwire Oilogopoly Archive.
On May 15, 1905, former acting Nevada governor Frank Bell sued a Sparks merchant and a Reno constable in a dispute over attachment of furniture owned by Bell but attached to satisfy someone else's debt; in 1928, the Reno chamber of commerce voted to support a proposal by the Dominican sisters' hospital that another hospital was needed in the area; in 1928, the Nevada State Bar was investigating whether Reno divorce lawyers were paying fortune tellers and hotel employees for divorce case referrals; in 1931, during whelping time, the Elko Fox Farm so far had seen arrivals of about 100 silver pups and 140 Alaskan blue pups; in 1905, an auction of lots took place in Las Vegas, Nevada, an event that is regarded as the founding of the city; in 1911, the United States Supreme Court ordered the break up of the Standard Oil Company; in 1920, the Constituent Seimas of Lithuania restated the declaration of independence that was proclaimed by the First Lithuania Council on February 16; in 1956, a federal grand jury sitting in Las Vegas recommended to Nevada's members of Congress that Las Vegas Indian Village be broken up, the land sold off and the Native American residents compensated for the loss of their land; in 1957, Nevada Governor Charles Russell appointed Mason Valley News publisher Walter Cox to the Nevada Planning Board; in 1964, the new military junta in Saigon removed former dictator Ngo Dinh Diem's restrictions on the majority Buddhists; in 1965, a 15-hour national teach-in on the Vietnam war, sponsored by the Inter-University Committee for Public Hearings on Vietnam, was held in Washington, D.C., and carried by closed circuit television to more than a hundred colleges; in 1966, insurrection was threatening in Vietnam after Saigon dictator Nguyen Cao Ky's dispatch of troops to Da Nang to put down an uprising and the Associated Press reported that Saigon was preparing for a general strike; in 1967, Senator Robert Kennedy and Governor Ronald Reagan debated the issue of Vietnam on CBS radio and television; in 1970, Religious Heritage of America Inc. announced an award to President Nixon for helping create a climate that encouraged "a return to the spiritual, moral, and ethical values of the Founding Fathers".
UPDATE: May 14, 2007, 3:32 p.m. PDT, 22:32 GMT/CUT/SUT Labor's sweetheart Bebe Hoffman dies
This just arrived from Danny Thompson, executive secretary-treasurer of the Nevada State AFL-CIO: "Over the weekend, Bebe Hoffman passed away. I know you all feel as I do that we have lost a loyal member of our family. We will notify you as soon as we know when the arrangements are made."
May sweet sister Bebe rest in peace after all those decades working for justice.
Tribute to Bebe Hoffman announced
UPDATE: May 21, 2007: Brother Thompson has announced that U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev., will headline a tribute luncheon in honor of Bebe Hoffman. It will take place on Saturday, June 9, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Teamsters Local 631 union hall, 700 N. Lamb. Blvd. in Las Vegas. Those who wish to attend should call or e-mail A'shanti at Congressmember Berkley's office, (702) 212-3350.
Poor Denny's Almanac for May 14
On May 14, 1787, some delegates arrived for what was supposed to be the first day of a convention to reform the Articles of Confederation (they exceeded their instructions and instead designed a whole new form of government, making the convention into a constitutional convention), but there were not enough on hand yet to meet; in 1841, the members of the Mendi village in Sierra Leone who were enslaved, brought to the Americas, and mutinied on board La Amistad, appeared at New York's Tabernacle after they were freed by order of the U.S. Supreme Court but before their return to Africa; in 1877, Charles Bryan, who was a 49er, served in the California Senate and on the California Supreme Court and was a delegate to the first Nevada constitutional convention, died after choking on a piece of meat in Carson City; in 1883, the Reno Evening Gazette wrote: "The big 400 pound fish that was scaring the [Lake Tahoe] steamers was seen again near the Tallac House."; in 1892, Mildred Bray, later elected Nevada superintendent of schools, was born in either Reno or Dayton; in 1896, Reno's Tribune reported that Nevada State University students wanted the school's "colors changed from blue and silver to something else"; in 1905, Robert Griffith, later a community leader, arrived in the year-old town of Las Vegas at age six and witnessed the historic auction of town lots; in 1912, the Democratic Party of Nevada, acting under a little known state statute, held Nevada's first presidential primary election in which U.S. House Speaker Champ Clark of Missouri defeated former U.S. attorney general and Ohio governor Judson Harmon and New Jersey Governor Woodrow Wilson of New Jersey (in 1958, legislative researchers discovered that the statute under which the primary was conducted depended for its authority on a second statute that had been repealed before 1912, making the primary illegal); in 1912, the first graduating class of the Nevada school of mines since its endowment by the Mackay family installed a bronze plaque in the brick walkway between the school and the quad memorializing themselves: "Mackay Pioneers 1912"; in 1934, the Las Vegas high school building at the corner of Fourth and Clark burned; in 1934, 177 students, including Bud Beasley, Russell Elliott, Amy Gulling, Walter Baring and Sessions Wheeler, graduated from the University of Nevada; in 1935, a Swiss court declared that the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, a notorious tract used by anti-Semites to prove supposed ignoble Jewish intentions, are a hoax and are not of Jewish origin; in 1948, the nation of Israel was established; in 1956, baseball great Ty Cobb was granted a divorce from his second wife by Judge Frank Gregory in Minden, Nevada; in 1956, President Eisenhower signed a measure sponsored by Nevada Senators George Malone and Alan Bible allowing the city of Henderson to purchase 7,000 acres of federal land to feed growth; in 1962, University of Nevada President Charles Armstrong wrote a letter to Rev. Thomas Connelly, pastor of St. Albert's Church, accepting an offer to sell the St. Albert's cemetery (now the site of Nye Hall), contingent on the State Planning Board also purchasing an option on the St. Albert's School building (now UNR Central Services); in 1968, John Lennon and Paul McCartney appeared on The Tonight Show , guest hosted by Joe Garagiola (there are reports that the tape of the program no longer exists because NBC failed to preserve it); in 1970, police at Jackson State College abruptly opened fire on a women's dormitory and on a crowd that had gathered (in response to a rumor that civil rights leader Charles Evers had been killed), killing two men Phillip Gibbs, a 21 year-old JSC student, and James Green, a teenager walking home from work (in 1995 Gibbs' son Demetrius graduated from Jackson State); in 1975, the University of Nevada Press announced it would publish a book, Amerikanauk, that would make a case that Basque whalers arrived in the Americas before Columbus; in 1975, the U.S. Economic Development Administration granted $175,000 to the Washo tribe for construction of a community center in Woodfords; in 1975, the latest Nevada lottery proposals, by Assemblymembers Robert Benkovich, R-Sun Valley, and Eileen Brookman, D-Las Vegas, were both killed by the Assembly Judiciary Committee.
UPDATE: May 13, 2007, 1:34 p.m. PDT, 20:34 GMT/SUT/CUT SUNDAY LUCKY SUNDAY THE 13th: WYNN RESORT CASINO DEALERS VOTE OVERWHELMINGLY TO FORM A UNION 75% TO 25% .
UPDATE: May 13, 2007, 2:40 a.m. PDT, 09:40 GMT/CUT/ SUT Darlene Jespersen, heroine of the world famous lipstick lawsuit vs. Harrah's, appears in a new feature-length Hollywood documentary motion picture.
On May 13, 1981, Pope John Paul II was shot and seriously wounded in St. Peter's Square by Turkish assailant Mehmet Ali Agca. [New York Times/AP e-headlines]
On May 13, 1846, with little rationale or reason beyond trust in a lying president and territorial acquisition (the U.S. would gain most of the southwest, including Nevada), the U.S. Congress declared war on Mexico; in 1907, the Seattle city council prohibited the carrying of any flag other than those recognized by the U.S. government, and also ordered that a U.S. flag measuring not less than 54 by 56 inches must lead all parades in the city (the action was aimed at socialists and the Industrial Workers of the World, whose members carried a red flag in the Seattle May Day parade); in 1914, an inquiry was launched after a man died at 8:30 in the morning after being turned away by the county hospital in Reno the night before; in 1914, the state silver service committee (Governor Tasker Oddie, Lieutenant Governor Gilbert Ross and Secretary of State George Brodigan) accepted a design for the $8,500 silver service (made from Nevada silver) that Nevada was planning to donate to the U.S.S. Nevada; in 1931, Elko Mayor David Dotta said the town was finished aiding Depression travelers making their way from one community to the next: "We have had a continuous string of motorists so far this summer, who are not financially able to travel. We have already given help to a number of them. Elko in not in a position to aid them financially and we have adopted a stringent policy of letting them make their own way."; in 1933, officials of the Three Flags Highway Association from three states met in Reno for its second annual meeting to discuss what needed to be done to close the two remaining gaps in a highway running from Banff, Canada, to La Paz, Mexico (the California Legislature on May 12 approved money for completion of one of the gaps, between Alturas and Susanville, and it was awaiting Governor James Rolph's signature); in 1940, in his first speech as prime minister, Winston Churchill told the House of Commons "I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat", often mistakenly quoted as "blood, sweat, and tears" (radio listeners who thought they heard Churchill make the speech were actually hearing an actor named Norman Shelley, who was hired by the BBC to voice many of Churchill's speeches); in 1941, Richie Valens was born in the San Fernando Valley; in 1950, Stevie Wonder was born in Saginaw, Michigan; in 1952, in Carson City, a judge issued a temporary restraining order, delaying enforcement of restrictions on horse race bookies; in 1956, Las Vegas television station KLRJ broadcast what it said was the city's first remote telecast (a presentation by Las Vegas Review-Journal food editor Muriel Mooney at a housing development at the corner of Bruce and Bonanza); in 1956, Warner Brothers was shooting a travelogue in Las Vegas; in 1963, FBI agents arrested Reno police officer Fred Paszek on a charge of kidnapping; in 1963, Governor Grant Sawyer said "I'm for it, unqualifiedly" about a one cent sales tax increase that would be the subject of a statewide special election on June 11; in 1963, a twenty year-old woman was hospitalized at Washoe Medical Center after an abortion she said was performed in a motel room by an unknown man for $350; in 1969, J. Edgar Hoover began sending reports to President Nixon, Henry Kissinger and various other White House staffers on the results of wiretaps of critics of administration policy on Vietnam, a practice that continued at least until February 1971 and became the subject of the 19th statement of information for the second article of impeachment; in 1970, the U.S. premiere of the film Let It Be was held in New York; in 1969, Oscar Dan Boydston of Las Vegas died in Thua Thien province, Vietnam (panel 25w, row 95 of the Vietnam wall; in 1985, Philadelphia police dropped a bomb on the headquarters of the African-American political group MOVE, killing eleven people; in 1994, twenty-seven years of Israeli occupation ended when the Palestinian flag was raised on the West Bank. 1998, the Nevada Law Enforcement Officers Memorial was dedicated in Carson City.
UPDATE: May 12, 2007, 3:36 a.m. PDT, 10:36 GMT/CUT/SUT On May 12, 1943, during World War II, Axis forces in North Africa surrendered. [New York Times/AP e-headlines]
On May 12, 1765, in his journal, George Washington recorded starting two days of planting marijuana "at Muddy hole" at Mount Vernon; in 1860, a group of white settlers led by William Ormsby launched the Pyramid Lake War to defend the right of white sexual predators to rape young Native American girls, marching on Pyramid Lake where they were annihilated by Paiute tribal warriors led by Chief Numaga (to tie everything together neatly, the "soldiers" were probably attacking the wrong tribe); in 1902, 140,000 coal miners around the nation went out on strike, staying out for five months until consumer demand forced the companies to negotiate; in 1928, Columbia University President Nicholas Murray Butler, President Taft's second 1912 running mate, said the United States for many years was the "chief obstacle to every movement to make war unlikely"; in 1948, Admiral W.S. Parsons wrote a memorandum discussing the use of Eniwetok Atoll for atomic testing in which he bewailed the "unhealthy, dangerous, and unjustified fear of atomic detonations" that he said could be overcome by putting "people [including military servicepeople] on ships, airplanes, and sandpits" in the blast area; in 1960, Frank Sinatra, who had never been particularly successful on television, finally had a smash hit television special (of course, his guest star was Elvis, newly arrived home from the Army); in 1963, Nevada casino regulators revoked the gambling license of Las Vegas' Silver Slipper casino for cheating customers; in 1963, Bob Dylan walked out of rehearsals for the Ed Sullivan Show after being told he would not be permitted to perform Talking John Birch Society Blues; in 1987, the last episode of Hill Street Blues was broadcast (the final line by a "Sgt. Jenkins" speaking into a phone in a burned out station, "Hello, Hill Street," was spoken by actor Lawrence Tierney, who became famous as John Dillinger in 1945's Dillinger, and later became famous again as Elaine Benis' father in Seinfeld).
UPDATE: May 11, 2007, 2:16 p.m. PDT, 21:16 GMT/SUT/CUT NEWSFLASH
STEVE WYNN PERSONALLY WORKING TO BUST DEALERS UNION ORGANIZING DRIVE
UPDATE: May 11, 2007, 1:09 a.m. PDT, 08:09 CUT/SUT/GMT Weekend union election for Wynn/LV casino dealers
On May 11, 1973, charges against Daniel Ellsberg for his role in the Pentagon Papers case were dismissed by Judge William M. Byrne, who cited government misconduct. [New York Times/AP e-headlines]
On May 11, 1682, in British Massachusetts, the General Court repealed a law imposing the death penalty on Quakers who returned to the colony after being banished and also a law banning Christmas celebrations; in 1812, in London British Prime Minister Spencer Perceval was murdered by a businessperson; in 1878, the Weekly Post in Elko, Nevada, reported that whites were stealing catches from Native American fish net traps in the Humboldt River at Moleen and called for prosecution of the whites; in 1880, a group of residents of California's Tulare County who held legal homesteads (now in Kings County) that they had improved and developed only to learn that the Southern Pacific Railroad claimed their lands and was upheld by the courts engaged in a gunfight with a marshal and railroad officials that left five people dead (the incident inspired Frank Norris' influential novel The Octopus, a California Story) [EDITOR'S NOTE FROM A SAN JOAQUIN VALLEY NATIVE WHO READ IT IN HIGH SCHOOL: It was known as the Mussell Slough Tragedy.]; in 1903, a small reservoir on Nevada State University grounds at Ninth and Center streets in Reno came apart, water rushing down the hill into nearby homes; in 1907, plans were being made for a casino hotel in Bijou at Lake Tahoe that would straddle the state border with the hotel in California and the casino in Nevada; in 1923, in a legal opinion addressed to Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles Cantwell, Nevada Attorney General Michael Diskin said that the poll tax applied to Native Americans in the state; in 1928, the Nevada Democratic Convention meeting in Reno elected S.M. Pickett over Patrick McCarran for Democratic national committeeman from Nevada and chose to support Al Smith for president, sending a delegation pledged to Smith and bound by the unit rule to the national convention in Houston (the delegation of twelve, each with half a vote, included H.R. Cooke, William Woodburn and Charles Henderson); in 1931, new figures indicated that, of Nevada's twelve incorporated communities, Elko had the highest tax rate; in 1947, the townsite of Gabbs, including its wartime magnesium oxide plant, was put up for sale by the U.S. War Assets Administration; in 1960, the birth control pill commissioned from scientists by Margaret Sanger (with funding from biologist Katharine Dexter McCormick) was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration; in 1961, President Kennedy ordered 500 military "advisors" (including 400 Special Forces soldiers) sent to Vietnam, substantially upping the ante in Indochina; in 1962, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert McNamara made his first trip to Vietnam (on one of his inspection trips, reporter Neil Sheehan was at the airport to cover McNamara's arrival and said to his fellow reporters in a mock-Oriental accent, "Ah so, another foolish westerner come to lose reputation to Ho Chi Minh"); in 1964, Capitol released an extended play 45 of four Beatles songs (Please Mr. Postman, This Boy, Roll Over Beethoven and All My Loving) that scarcely made a blip on the record charts and then sank without a trace; in 1970, the Woodstock album was released and quickly went gold, a remarkable achievement for a three-disc album; in 1972, U.S.-supported Saigon dictator Nguyen Van Thieu declared martial law and lowered the draft age to 17; in 1973, in the Pentagon Papers trial, Judge William Byrne dismissed all charges against Anthony Russo and Daniel Ellsberg on the grounds of "improper government conduct shielded so long from public view" (burglary, among other things) by the Nixon administration that made a fair trial impossible and "offended a sense of justice"; in 1981, Bob Marley died in Miami.
UPDATE: May 10, 2007, 8:43 a.m. PDT, 15:43 GMT/CUT/SUT On May 10, 1869, the Central Pacific and Union Pacific railroads linked up at Promontory Point, U.S. Territory of Utah. In a ceremony, Leland Stanford used a sledge made of Nevada silver to tap a spike of California gold into a polished laurel tie (photographer Alfred Hart accompanied the Central Pacific construction crew in eastern Nevada, taking photos of the route that became a valuable part of Nevada's photographic history and are now preserved at Stanford Special Collections and the Huntington Library); in 1907, there were predictions of a rush to White Pine County after oil was struck fifty miles south of Ely near the Utah border; in 1911, a justice of the peace in Virginia City upheld the constitutionality of a law prohibiting the placement of a house of prostitution near a school and denied a defense motion to dismiss the case at issue; in 1920, Mexican President Venustiano Carranza was captured by forces backing General Alvaro Obregon; in 1924, George Russell, the Democratic candidate for governor of Nevada in 1898, died in Elko; in 1924, J. Edgar Hoover began 48 years as director of the agency that would become the FBI; in 1928, the Winnemucca city council decided to kill a plan for a commercial landing strip in favor of an emergency landing field; in 1945, a two-day meeting of the target committee of the Manhattan Project began in Robert Oppenheimer's office at Los Alamos and ultimately recommended, in this order, these proposed targets for the first use of the atom bomb: Kyoto, Hiroshima, Yokohama and Kokura arsenal; in 1954, Rock Around the Clock by Bill Haley and the Comets was released but went nowhere (it became a hit a year later when it was used in the soundtrack of The Blackboard Jungle); in 1956, Clark County fair and recreation board chair George Albright said the planned Las Vegas Convention Center should be completed and hosting its first convention by March 1958; in 1965, the two day battle of Haughhai Binhduong, in which Saigon regime troops cut out after being scared by their own planes, ended; in 1967, an international conference on war crimes ended in Stockholm after the tribunal accused the U.S. of "deliberate and systematic bombing of civilian objectives" in Vietnam; in 1969, The Turtles performed at a Tricia Nixon masked ball at the White House and frontman Mark Volman (vocals, percussion, guitar) kept falling off the stage (five times, reportedly); in 1969, the great Get Back by The Beatles and Billy Preston, debuted; in 1972, U.S. Navy pilots Randy Cunningham (later the U.S. House member) and William Driscoll, flying an F-4J Phantom II from the carrier Constellation, became the first Vietnam war "flying aces" (fliers with five confirmed kills) after taking down three MIGs in one mission; in 1988, the second season of the NBC series Crime Story, set in Las Vegas, ended on this date with a cliffhanger that was never resolved because the series was cancelled before the start of the next season; in 2000, former Sparks High School basketball coach and vice principal Orsie Graves died.
UPDATE: May 9, 2007, 2:03 a.m. PDT, 09:03 GMT/CUT/SUT On May 9, 1868, the town of Reno, Nevada, was established with the auction of 400 lots on a townsite created by the railroad; in 1875, a Nevada news report said that the twenty cent piece (created by legislation sponsored by U.S. Senator John P. Jones of Nevada) would be minted exclusively in the west at the San Francisco mint because the Carson City mint had its hands full with production of trade dollars (actually, 133,290 pieces in 1875 and 10,000 in 1876 were struck at the Carson mint); in 1879, after the Reno town trustees enacted a dog license ordinance ($3 for males, $5 for females), the Nevada State Journal recommended "Kill your dogs."; in 1880, U.S. Representative Rollin Daggett of Nevada was preparing legislation to have all railroad lands surveyed as a step toward making them pay their property taxes; in 1896, the Nevada Republican Convention, meeting in Virginia City, adopted a resolution describing "the unmistakable evidence on every hand pointing with unerring certainty to an overwhelming Republican victory next November" (the GOP lost every statewide race except state superintendent of schools and was left with only one member of the Nevada Assembly and five members of the Nevada Senate); in 1907, a Reno physician named DeHaslea was arrested for murder after he performed an abortion and the patient, Mrs. Edward Huntington, died; in 1915, a mass meeting was held in Arcanum Hall in Minneapolis to call on President Wilson to act to save Armenians from massacre at the hands of Turkish leaders; in 1927, Nevada Treasurer Ed Malley, former state controller George Cole, and former Carson Valley Bank cashier H.P. Clapp were in the Ormsby County jail recanting confessions and $516,000 was missing from the state treasury; in 1928, the White Pine county commissioners authorized an air field at East Ely, the Winnemucca chamber of commerce endorsed construction of an airfield there, and Eureka County was being lobbied to join an Elko/Eureka/Ely air route; in 1940, the tiny nation of Luxembourg was invaded by the Third Reich in violation of its neutrality and Grand Duchess Charlotte and the cabinet fled to London where a government in exile was established; in 1942, the University of Nevada Regents adopted a regulation that "no further matriculation be permitted of persons of Japanese birth or ancestry, unless born in the State of Nevada"; in 1945, one day after Germany surrendered, Soviet soldiers and Czech resistance fighters liberated Prague; in 1960, the Food and Drug Administration approved use of The Pill; in 1961, a term entered the language when Federal Communications Commission chair Newton Minow told the members of the National Association of Broadcasters at their national convention that they were not meeting their responsibilities but were creating a "vast wasteland"; in 1965, Donovan and The Beatles were in the audience when Bob Dylan performed at the Royal Albert Hall; in 1970, H. James Shea, Jr., a Massachusetts state legislator who sponsored the state law that said no citizen of the state could be forced to fight in an undeclared war and sent the Massachusetts attorney general into court to defend any soldier who refused to serve in Vietnam, killed himself in despair over the widening of the war into Cambodia and the resulting tumult across the U.S.; in 1970, Canadian antiwar activists vandalized the Peace Bridge between Canada and the U.S. in protest against the U.S. attack on Cambodia; in 1974, nine months after the Nixon administration engineered the September 11 overthrow of the democratic government of Chile, Phil Ochs, Pete Seeger, Melanie, Larry Estridge, Bob Dylan and Dave Van Ronk performed in concert in New York to raise money for victims of the Chilean junta; in 1975, a Native American employee of the Washoe County school district accused the district of misusing federal funds earmarked for tribal education by "trying to eliminate us from the curriculum"; in 1983, the Catholic Church reversed the condemnation of Galileo Galilei for supporting Copernicus' theory of a stationary sun and a mobile earth; in 1994, Nelson Mandela became President of South Africa; in 2001, a photograph was taken at a White House gathering that included George Bush and lobbyist Jack Abramoff in the same frame, and it became the first photo of the two men made public (by Kickapoo tribal leader Raul Garza in The New York Times) after the White House spent weeks trying to suppress all such photos.
UPDATE: May 8, 2007, 4:35 a.m. PDT, 11:35 GMT/CUT/SUT
Inside report from Gomorrah East
ATLANTIC CITY (Barbwire, 5-7-2007) A fifth group of dealers has filed for an election to join the UAW. So far, three have won with resounding force. Many smoking ban activists are also active union supporters. After the city council made a back room deal with casino management that destroyed their hopes of a local ordinance banning smoking, many dealers saw the smoking issue as just one more example of how they have been getting screwed. SOLIDARNOSC! More smoke...
On May 8, 1786, Saint John Vianney, patron saint of draft dodgers, was born near Lyon (in 1808, he hid in the mountain community to avoid service with the French Army on the Spanish lines and was able to return to his home town after Napoleon granted amnesty to deserters and others in 1810); in 1897, the abolition of the whipping post in Delaware prompted the Reno Evening Gazette to point out that Nevada still had an old law on the books providing for the use of a whipping post against men "who shall willingly and violently strike, beat, or torture the body of any maiden or woman who is more than sixteen years of age"; in 1897, Nevada sheepman William O'Brien, seriously injured by a gunshot wound in the head, said his mistress Orena Loek accidentally shot him in the room in the Tremont Hotel in Reno where they had been living; in 1907, Nevada Attorney General Richard Stoddard issued a legal opinion holding that under a new state law a woman could not hold the post of state school superintendent; in 1907, several feet of the top of the state capitol flag pole was lying in a capitol hallway after it was snapped off the pole by a Washoe zephyr and the heavy steel ball at the top of the pole put a hole in the roof of the building; in 1914, Paramount Pictures was formed; in 1929, the bodies of Chicago mobsters Joe Giunta, Albert Anselmi and John Scalisi were found and newspapers called it retribution against Capone for the St. Valentine's massacre (actually, Capone ordered the hits); in 1931, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that Nevada's urban population (those living in communities of 2,500 or more) had leaped from 19.7 percent of the state in 1920 to 37.8 percent in 1930; in 1940, Eric Nelson, better known as Ricky, was born in Teaneck, New Jersey; in 1943, Mordecai Anielewicz, the leader of the Warsaw ghetto uprising, was executed by the Nazis (he wrote that he would die happy, knowing that after centuries of the Catholic Church forcing Jews into ghettos, "I have lived to see Jewish resistance in the ghetto in all its greatness and glory:); in 1950, in Washington D.C., police committed a man to a hospital for observation after they entered his kitchen and found him biting a dog (news reports contained no explanation of what the police were doing in the man's kitchen in the first place); in 1956, much of Roxie's, once a house of prostitution in Clark County, Nevada, burned down; in 1970, more than 250 State Department and foreign service employees signed a letter objecting to the U.S. attack on Cambodia; in 1970, student protestors were attacked and beaten by New York City construction workers who were later honored at the White House by President Nixon; in 1970, the Let It Be album was released; in 1971, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration said two sites in Nevada (the Fallon Naval Auxiliary Air Station and the Indian Springs Air Base) were among more than 70 locations in 19 states that were under consideration to be the site of a facility where the planned space shuttle would be assembled, tested and launched; in 1973, the Native American occupation of Wounded Knee, SD, ended after 71 days; in 1979, Supertramp's Breakfast In America album went platinum; in 2000, Germany removed the name of Wehrmacht Chief of Air Defence Gunther Rudel, a veteran of both world wars, from a military base and renamed it for Sgt. Anton Schmid, who saved more than 250 Jews in the Vilnius ghetto from the Nazis.
UPDATE: May 7, 1:01 a.m. PDT, 08:01 GMT/CUT/SUT On May 7, 1945, Germany signed an unconditional surrender at Allied headquarters in Rheims, France, to take effect the following day, ending the European conflict of World War II. [New York Times/AP e-headlines]
On May 7, 1634, in star chamber, Puritan leader William Prynne was convicted of libeling the Queen consort (part of his ears were amputated); in 1833, Johannes Brahms was born in Hamburg; in 1840, Tchaikovsky was born in Votkinsk, Udmurtia, Russia (it was April 25 by the Julian calendar); in 1860, white men at Williams Station on the Carson River kidnapped Native American girls, provoking an attack by tribal members who burned the station to the ground, whereupon a white force attacked the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe (they were probably attacking the wrong tribe, since the attack on Williams Station was likely made by the Bannocks); in 1896, jurors decided in favor of the State of Nevada in a tax lawsuit against the Virginia and Truckee Railroad; in 1907, banker Richard Kirman defeated incumbent Reno mayor N.E. Wilson, 704 to 562; in 1911, powerful winds hit Virginia City, flattening fences, pushing over chimneys, destroying one porch, setting off fire alarms and lifting into the air one young man coming home from the motion picture at the national guard armory while his friends watched; in 1915, two years before U.S. entry into World War One, the British passenger ship Lusitania was sunk by the German submarine U-20 (historians now suspect it was carrying 3-inch shells and millions of rounds of ammunition); in 1945, German Chancellor Karl Doenitz ordered an unconditional surrender to Allied forces, ending the European war; in 1945, to help calibrate instruments and provide some information on how fissionable material might be distributed in an upcoming first atom bomb test, 108 tons of TNT were denonated in New Mexico; in 1955, in a track meet at Mackay Stadium, San Francisco State's John Mathis later famous as a singer broke a stadium high jump record (breaking at 6 feet, 5.5 inches) that had been set the previous year at Mackay by Bill Russell, later a basketball great; in 1959, George Burns began a ten-day run at a Lake Tahoe casino, with Bobby Darin as the opening act; in 1960, the Eisenhower administration admitted that one of its spy planes, which it had previously claimed was a weather plane, had "probably" flown over Soviet territory (given that the plane had been shot down two days earlier, the probability was high); in 1966, Del Shannon's The Big Hurt and Simon and Garfunkel's I Am A Rock entered Billboard's top 100; in 1968, ten thousand French students and workers were in possession of the Arc de Triomphe as the police agreed to return protest leader Daniel Cohn Bendit's resident permit; in 1969, a stockade rebellion began in the Camp Pendelton brig; in 1973, George Harrison's Give Me Love was released; in 1973, the Washington Post received the Pulitzer Prize for its Watergate coverage; in 1975, the victory of the Vietnamese over the United States was celebrated in Ho Chi Minh City; in 1984, seven manufacturers of the Agent Orange defoliant used in Vietnam agreed to pay $180 million to its victims and their families to avoid trial; in 1994, Edvard Munch's The Scream was recovered undamaged three months after its theft from a Norway museum; in 1997, the first scheduled nonstop commercial flight from Frankfurt to Las Vegas landed; in 1999, the Jenny Jones Show was ordered to pay $25 million to the family of a gay man murdered after revealing a crush on another male guest; in 1999, the University of Nevada held opening ceremonies for its fire academy in Carlin (design flaws and groundwater contamination associated with the facility later came to light, prompting the university to default on payments for the construction).
2007, UPDATE: May 5, 2007, 12:39 PDT, 07:39 CUT/GMT/SUT On May 5, 1961, astronaut Alan B. Shepard, Jr., became America's first space traveler as he made a 15-minute suborbital flight in a capsule launched from Cape Canaveral, Fla. [New York Times/AP e-headlines]
UPDATE: May 4, 2007, 5:13 a.m. PDT, 12:13 CUT/SUT/GMT TIN SOLDIERS AND NIXON COMING, WE'RE FINALLY ON OUR OWN: On May 4, 1970, Ohio National Guardsmen opened fire on anti-war protesters at Kent State University, killing four students and wounding nine others. [New York Times/AP e-headlines]
How can you run when you know?
On May 4, 1776, Rhode Island declared independence from England, two months before the Continental Congress did so; in 1886, President Cleveland reserved additional land to the Western Shoshone, expanding the size of the Duck Valley Indian Reservation astride the Nevada/Idaho border; in 1888, the Nevada Education Association, a teachers group, met in Virginia City's Fourth Ward School, with a welcoming address given by Major F.M. Huffaker; in 1931, former Nevada state controller Edward Malley, former state treasurer George Cole, and former Carson Valley Bank cashier H.C. Clapp, imprisoned after revelation of their embezzlement of half a million dollars from the state treasury, were paroled from prison; in 1938, Las Vegas Mayor Leonard Arnett resigned in protest over disagreements with city commissioners; in 1956, Gene Vincent recorded Be Bop A Lulu; in 1970, four anti-war protesters on the campus of Kent State University in Ohio were shot and killed by National Guard soldiers (http://may4archive.org); in 1973, John Dean freaked out Richard Nixon by revealing he had kept some documents when he left the White House and put them in a safe deposit box, the key to which he turned over to Judge Sirica; in 1988, a fire in a rocket fuel factory in Henderson, Nevada, caused detonation of thousands of pounds of chemicals, demolishing the factory and damaging nearby structures. (Editor's note: Two were killed.)
UPDATE: May 2, 2007, 4:42 a.m. PDT, 11:42 GMT/CUT/SUT About 5,500 march for fair treatment of immigrants at Nevada May Day rallies
UPDATE: April 30, 2007, 3:28 a.m. PDT, 10:28 GMT/CUT/SUT May Day immigrant march scheduled for Reno on Tuesday is part of a national day of demonstration. Reno Latino leader Gilbert Cortez leads the event.
UPDATE: April 16, 2007, 7:51 p.m. PDT, 02:51 GMT/SUT/CUT
For Nevada Newsmakers viewers
Here's the landmark Nevada Commission on Economic Development "smoking gun" study which lays our growth problems at the silk-stockinged feet of the gambling industry
View Barbano vs. GOP moonhowlers on statewide TV
The Barbwire on the state smoking gun whitepaper
UPDATE: April 2, 2007, 5:06 a.m. PDT, 12:06 GMT/CUT/SUT On April 2, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson asked Congress to declare war against Germany, saying"The world must be made safe for democracy." [New York Times/AP e-headlines]
UPDATE: April 1, 2007, 12:01 a.m PDT, 07:01 GMT/SUT/CUT On this date in 1945, American forces invaded Okinawa during World War II. [New York Times/AP e-headlines]
On April 1, 1881, Ed Vesey gave up his lease on Reno's Lake House, possibly to move to Sierra Valley, and Myron Lake took over operation of the property again; in 1894, the town of Greenfield, Nevada, changed its name to Yerington, thirteen years after Henry Yerington's C & C railroad used a route that bypassed the town; in 1896, the Nevada State Journal reported that Mrs. M.C. Lake would move into the Lake mansion; in 1904, Truckee-Carson Project (Newlands Project) engineer L.H. Taylor said the project would reclaim (irrigate and farm) 235,000 acres (it never reached 100,000); in 1914, the streets of the Native American village in Lovelock were being outfitted with electric lights and a pumping plant for irrigation was being considered; in 1930, the U.S. seized a British ship carrying rum off Nassau, and the ship was carrying papers from St. Pierre and Miquelon, a tiny island northeast of Maine that is the last French colony in north America; in 1952, officials of the Calaveras County Fair came up with a grisly publicity stunt, to prove or disprove stories that frogs had emerged alive from stonemasonry after being inside for years, the fair would entomb a frog in a wall for a year; in 1957, Bye Bye Love by the Everly Brothers was released on Cadence; in 1963, a day after a 114-day strike of New York City newspapers finally ended, the Times published a remarkable and candid account of the strike by A.H. Raskin that occupied two full pages, infuriated some Times executives, and drew praise from press critics and President Kennedy (who said he would not have published it if he'd been editor); in 1964, Nevada casinos changed the rules of blackjack to defeat a successful system for beating the house that was then in use; in 1968, the underground newspaper Changing Times began publication in Las Vegas, becoming a target of law enforcement harassment and being driven out of business within thirteen weeks; in 1970, Captain Ernest Medina was charged in the My Lai massacre (he was later acquitted in a court martial, then still later admitted his role); in 1970, U.S. Army Sp. 4 Peter Lemon was involved in an action in which he stood off Vietnamese troops with three machine guns and some hand grenades while being wounded three times and rescuing a fellow soldier, actions for which he received the Medal of Honor (he later credited his alertness in the action to the fact that he was stoned on marijuana at the time); in 1971, the Nevada Senate voted to refuse a public vote on whether to make abortion legal; in 1975, NLF and Hanoi forces were sweeping through Vietnam toward Saigon and Cam Ranh, with two province capitals falling without a shot being fired; in 1975, the National Academy of Sciences released a study that warned that SST aircraft would accelerate the deterioration of the ozone and fuel more skin cancer, and the Reno Evening Gazette ran two sentences on the study at the bottom of page 16 under the obituaries, vital statistics and weather table; in 1987, President Reagan finally declared AIDS a public health emergency after years of deaths, but "he remained reluctant to use his presidential bully pulpit to send a clear public message about the AIDS epidemic," his biographer Lou Cannon wrote; in 2003, U.S. forces invaded an Iraqi hospital at Nasiriyah to seize Private Jessica Lynch (earlier the Iraqis, who saved Lynch's life, had tried to turn her over to U.S. forces who refused to accept her).
Congressional Medal of Honor Citation
LEMON, PETER C.
Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company E, 2d Battalion, 8th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division.
Place and date: Tay Ninh province, Republic of Vietnam, 1 April 1970.
Entered service at: Tawas City, Mich.
Born: 5 June 1950, Toronto, Canada.
Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Sgt. Lemon (then Sp4c.), Company E, distinguished himself while serving as an assistant machine gunner during the defense of Fire Support Base Illingworth. When the base came under heavy enemy attack, Sgt. Lemon engaged a numerically superior enemy with machine gun and rifle fire from his defensive position until both weapons malfunctioned. He then used hand grenades to fend off the intensified enemy attack launched in his direction. After eliminating all but 1 of the enemy soldiers in the immediate vicinity, he pursued and disposed of the remaining soldier in hand-to-hand combat. Despite fragment wounds from an exploding grenade, Sgt. Lemon regained his position, carried a more seriously wounded comrade to an aid station, and, as he returned, was wounded a second time by enemy fire. Disregarding his personal injuries, he moved to his position through a hail of small arms and grenade fire. Sgt. Lemon immediately realized that the defensive sector was in danger of being overrun by the enemy and unhesitatingly assaulted the enemy soldiers by throwing hand grenades and engaging in hand-to-hand combat. He was wounded yet a third time, but his determined efforts successfully drove the enemy from the position. Securing an operable machine gun, Sgt. Lemon stood atop an embankment fully exposed to enemy fire, and placed effective fire upon the enemy until he collapsed from his multiple wounds and exhaustion. After regaining consciousness at the aid station, he refused medical evacuation until his more seriously wounded comrades had been evacuated. Sgt. Lemon's gallantry and extraordinary heroism, are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit on him, his unit, and the U.S. Army.
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