Politics

Right to Work Repeal Effort Fails – October 13, 1965

Cartoon in favor of Right to Work Laws

Cartoon in favor of Right to Work Laws

The Johnson Administration gave up its effort to repeal section 14(B) of the Taft Hartley Act (Right to Work). (14B) guarantees the states the right to enact laws which prohibit compulsory union membership dues. Such laws have been described as “Right to Work” laws by their proponents. Organized labor opposed 14(B) when it was enacted in 1947, and has continued to oppose it to this day, arguing that it gives management an unfair advantag in Right to Work states.

Cartoon Opposing Right to Work Laws

Cartoon Opposing Right to Work Laws

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Anti-Busing Mrs. Hicks Re-elected – September 21, 1965

Mrs Hicks (Louise Day Hicks) was re-elected to the Boston School Committee by a wide margin on September 21, 1965. The Boston Globe wrote about her win:

The resounding victory for Mrs. Hicks indicates that she received bullet votes from possibly a third of all voters. (A “bullet” or “single shot” is a vote cast for one candidate with more than one to elect.

Hicks rose to national prominence because of her staunch opposition to the practice of busing African American children into predominately white schools in order to achieve racial balance.

Mrs. Hicks was the city’s most prominent opponent of busing, saying it was not what parents, especially those in her almost-all-white South Boston neighborhood, wanted. To her supporters, she was a champion of working-class residents and neighborhood schools. To her opponents, she epitomized an unwillingness to breach a deep-seated racial divide in deeply segregated Boston. More New York Times.

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Cesar Chavez-Led Grape Strike Begins – September 16, 1965

The National Farm Workers Association, led by Cesar Chavez, voted to strike on September 16, 1965. They joined a strike that began a week before that organized by the Filipino American grape workers, members of the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee. In 1966 the two unions merged and formed the UFW.

From the University of Texas, Liberal Arts At the end of summer of 1965, the grapes were ripening in the fields around a farm town named Delano, California. Many of the farm workers in Delano had just come from the Coachella valley, the site of a recently successful strike. Farm workers demanded $1.25 per hour, and when they didn’t receive it, on September 8 nine farms were struck, organized by AWOC’s Larry Itliong.

After five days growers began to bring in Chicano scabs from the surrounding area. AWOC approached Césaer Chávez, the leader of the National Farm Workers Association, and asked the NFWA to join the mostly Filipino strike. At a meeting on September 16, packed with hundreds of workers, at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Delano, the NFWA voted unanimously, to shouts of “Viva la Huelga!” to strike too. Chavez was apprehensive. Asked later when he felt his organization, which had $100 in its bank account, would have been ready to go out on a big strike, he replied, “About 1968.”

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Court Favors All White Illinois Town November 30, 1962

The Illinois Supreme Court ruled that the all White community of Deerfield could proceed with its plan to condemn land for the purpose of building a park. Deerfield was the defendant in a case brought by the owners of the condemned land, Progress Development Corp. The developer argued that Deerfield only issued its condemnation order after officials learned that 12 of the 51 houses that Progress was planning to build on the land, were going to be sold “to Negroes”.

Read Court Decision Here.

Eleanor Roosevelt, who died just three weeks before the Illinois Supreme Court ruling, became interested in the case. She wrote in her nationally syndicated column on April 18, 1962:

While on the subject of health I think I would like to mention here a small tea which I had in my apartment this past week. The crisis in integrated housing as it has emerged through a situation that arose in Deerfield, Ill., and has been fought in the courts, was discussed by a minister of the North Shore Unitarian Church in Deerfield, the Reverend Russell R. Bletzer.
I feel that housing is closely tied to public health and, strangely enough, I think that integration and the gradual recognition of all our citizens as first-class citizens is also closely tied to physical and mental health.
The Rev. Bletzer told how the village officials have condemned for parks two separate parcels of land on which 51 homes were being built and offered for sale on an interracial basis. (Two model houses were almost completed and roads and sewers were in for the rest.) The county court has upheld the right of eminent domain and has stated that the motives of a village governing body should not be questioned.
The American Freedom of Residence Fund, of which I am national honorary co-chairman, is raising funds to help the builder appeal the condemnation to the Illinois Supreme Court, and, if necessary, to the U.S. Supreme Court.
This is an important test case in housing. If the Deerfield case is lost, we may well be on our way to becoming a nation of beautiful parks, but we certainly won’t be helping to strengthen democracy at home and abroad.

Lawyers for Progress Development did attempt an appeal, but the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the case.

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