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jgo's Journal
jgo's Journal
June 13, 2024

On This Day: Edict of Milan, granting religious liberty, published in Eastern Roman Empire - June 13, 313

(edited from Wikipedia)
"
June 13, 313 – The decisions of the Edict of Milan, signed by Constantine the Great and co-emperor Valerius Licinius, granting religious freedom throughout the Roman Empire, are published in Nicomedia.

Edict of Milan

The Edict of Milan was the February 313 AD agreement to treat Christians benevolently within the Roman Empire. Western Roman Emperor Constantine I and Emperor Licinius, who controlled the Balkans, met in Mediolanum (modern-day Milan) and, among other things, agreed to change policies towards Christians following the edict of toleration issued by Emperor Galerius two years earlier in Serdica. The Edict of Milan gave Christianity legal status and a reprieve from persecution but did not make it the state church of the Roman Empire, which occurred in AD 380 with the Edict of Thessalonica.

The document is found in Lactantius's De mortibus persecutorum and in Eusebius of Caesarea's History of the Church with marked divergences between the two.

The version found in Lactantius is not in the form of an edict. It is a letter from Licinius to the governors of the provinces in the Eastern Empire that he had just conquered by defeating Maximinus later that same year and issued in Nicomedia.

Background

The Edict of Milan was in effect directed against Maximinus Daza, the Caesar in the East who styled himself as Augustus. Having received Emperor Galerius's instruction to repeal the persecution in 311, Maximinus had instructed his subordinates to desist, but he had not released Christians from prisons or virtual death sentences in the mines, as Constantine and Licinius had both done in the West.

After Galerius's death, Maximinus was no longer constrained and enthusiastically took up renewed persecutions in the eastern territories under his control, encouraging petitions against Christians. One of those petitions, addressed not only to Maximinus but also to Constantine and Licinius, is preserved in a stone inscription at Arycanda in Lycia, and is a "request that the Christians, who have long been disloyal and still persist in the same mischievous intent, should at last be put down and not be suffered by any absurd novelty to offend against the honour due to the gods."

Edict goes further than Christians

The edict is popularly thought to concern only Christianity and even to make it the official religion of the Empire (which did not occur until the Edict of Thessalonica in 380). Indeed, the edict expressly grants religious liberty to Christians, who had been the object of special persecution, but also goes even further and grants liberty to all other religions:

When you see that this has been granted to [Christians] by us, your Worship will know that we have also conceded to other religions the right of open and free observance of their worship for the sake of the peace of our times, that each one may have the free opportunity to worship as he pleases; this regulation is made that we may not seem to detract from any dignity of any religion.

— "Edict of Milan", Lactantius, On the Deaths of the Persecutors (De Mortibus Persecutorum), ch. 48. opera, ed. 0. F. Fritzsche, II, p 288 sq. (Bibl Patr. Ecc. Lat. XI).


Since Licinius composed the edict with the intent of publishing it in the east upon his hoped-for victory over Maximinus, it expresses the religious policy accepted by Licinius, a pagan, rather than that of Constantine, who was already a Christian. Constantine's own policy went beyond merely tolerating Christianity. He tolerated paganism and other religions but actively promoted Christianity.

Religious statement

Although the Edict of Milan is commonly presented as Constantine's first great act as a Christian emperor, it is disputed whether the Edict of Milan was an act of genuine faith. The document could be seen as Constantine's first step in creating an alliance with the Christian God, whom he considered the strongest deity. At that time, he was concerned about social stability and the protection of the empire from the wrath of the Christian God: in this view, the edict could be a pragmatic political decision rather than a religious shift. However, the majority of historians believe that Constantine's adoption of Christianity was genuine, and that the Edict of Milan was merely the first official act of Constantine as a dedicated Christian. This view is supported by Constantine's ongoing favors on behalf of Christianity during the rest of his reign.

Nicomedia

Nicomedia was an ancient Greek city located in what is now Turkey. In 286, Nicomedia became the eastern and most senior capital city of the Roman Empire (chosen by the emperor Diocletian who ruled in the east), a status which the city maintained during the Tetrarchy system (293–324).

The Tetrarchy ended with the Battle of Chrysopolis (Üsküdar) in 324, when Constantine defeated Licinius and became the sole emperor. In 330 Constantine chose for himself the nearby Byzantium (which was renamed Constantinople, modern Istanbul) as the new capital of the Roman Empire.

The city was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire with the victory of Sultan Orhan Gazi against the Byzantine Empire. The Byzantines managed to retake it in the aftermath of the Battle of Ankara, but it fell definitively to the Ottomans in 1419.

Persecutions of 303

Nicomedia was at the center of the Diocletianic Persecution of Christians which occurred under Diocletian and his Caesar Galerius. On 23 February 303 AD, the pagan festival of the Terminalia, Diocletian ordered that the newly built church at Nicomedia be razed, its scriptures burnt, and its precious stones seized. The next day he issued his "First Edict Against the Christians," which ordered similar measures to be taken at churches across the Empire.

Remains

The ruins of Nicomedia are buried beneath the densely populated modern city of İzmit, which has largely obstructed comprehensive excavation. Before the urbanization of the 20th century occurred, select ruins of the Roman-era city could be seen, most prominently sections of the Roman defensive walls which surrounded the city and multiple aqueducts which once supplied Nicomedia's water. Other monuments include the foundations of a 2nd-century AD marble nymphaeum on İstanbul street, a large cistern in the city's Jewish cemetery, and parts of the harbor wall.

The 1999 İzmit earthquake, which seriously damaged most of the city, also led to major discoveries of ancient Nicomedia during the subsequent debris clearing. A wealth of ancient statuary was uncovered, including statues of Hercules, Athena, Diocletian and Constantine.

In the years after the earthquake, the Izmit Provincial Cultural Directorate appropriated small areas for excavation, including the site identified as Diocletian's Palace and a nearby Roman theatre. In April 2016 a more extensive excavation of the palace was begun under the supervision of the Kocaeli Museum, which estimated that the site covers 60,000 square meters (196,850 square feet).
"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edict_of_Milan
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicomedia

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On This Day: Peasant's assemble for revolt, setting stage in history for reforms for the poor - June 12, 1381
https://www.democraticunderground.com/1016379365

On This Day: Native American occupation of Alcatraz Island ends after 19 months - June 11, 1971
https://www.democraticunderground.com/1016379265

On This Day: Elusive Equality in the Equal Pay Act, now 77 cents or less on a dollar - June 10, 1963
https://www.democraticunderground.com/1016379198

On This Day: Civilians rounded up, 99 hanged in public, following French Resistance operations - June 9, 1944
https://www.democraticunderground.com/1016379163

On This Day: Volcanic system spews lava, gases, for 8 months causing death, famine, climate impact - June 8, 1783
https://www.democraticunderground.com/1016379099
June 12, 2024

On This Day: Peasant's assemble for revolt, setting stage in history for reforms for the poor - June 12, 1381

(edited from article)
"
Conflict and Upheaval – The Peasants’ Revolt, 1381

The Peasants' Revolt started in Essex on 30 May 1381, when a tax collector tried, for the third time in four
years, to levy a poll tax. Richard II's war against France (the next phase of the Hundred Years War) was
going badly, the government's reputation was damaged, and the tax was 'the last straw'.

The peasants were not just protesting against the government. Since the Black Death, poor people had
become increasingly angry that they were still serfs, usually farming the land and serving their king.
Whipped up by the preaching of radical priest John Ball, they were demanding that all men should be free
and equal; for less harsh laws; and a fairer distribution of wealth.

Soon both Essex and Kent were in revolt. The rebels coordinated their tactics by letter. They marched to
London, where they destroyed the houses of government ministers. They also had a clear set of political
demands.

Although the Revolt was defeated, its demands – less harsh laws, money for the poor, freedom and
equality – all became part of democracy in the long term.
"
https://www.southamcollege.com/uploaded/subjects/history/conflict/Peasants%27_Revolt_content_overview.pdf

(edited from Wikipedia)
"
June 12, 1381 – Peasants' Revolt: In England, rebels assemble at Blackheath, just outside London.

Peasants' Revolt

The Peasants' Revolt was a major uprising across large parts of England in 1381. The revolt had various causes, including the socio-economic and political tensions generated by the Black Death in the 1340s, the high taxes resulting from the conflict with France during the Hundred Years' War, and instability within the local leadership of London.

The final trigger for the revolt was the intervention of a royal official, John Bampton, in Essex on 30 May 1381. His attempts to collect unpaid poll taxes in Brentwood ended in a violent confrontation, which rapidly spread across the southeast of the country. A wide spectrum of rural society, including many local artisans and village officials, rose up in protest, burning court records and opening the local prisons. The rebels sought a reduction in taxation, an end to serfdom, and the removal of King Richard II's senior officials and law courts.

Inspired by the sermons of the radical cleric John Ball and led by Wat Tyler, a contingent of Kentish rebels advanced on London. They were met at Blackheath by representatives of the royal government, who unsuccessfully attempted to persuade them to return home. King Richard, then aged 14, retreated to the safety of the Tower of London, but most of the royal forces were abroad or in northern England. On 13 June, the rebels entered London and, joined by many local townsfolk, attacked the prisons, destroyed the Savoy Palace, set fire to law books and buildings in the Temple, and killed anyone associated with the royal government. The following day, Richard met the rebels at Mile End and agreed to most of their demands, including the abolition of serfdom. Meanwhile, rebels entered the Tower of London, killing Simon Sudbury, Lord Chancellor, and Robert Hales, Lord High Treasurer, whom they found inside.

On 15 June, Richard left the city to meet Tyler and the rebels at Smithfield. Violence broke out, and Richard's party killed Tyler. Richard defused the tense situation long enough for London's mayor, William Walworth, to gather a militia from the city and disperse the rebel forces. Richard immediately began to re-establish order in London and rescinded his previous grants to the rebels. The revolt had also spread into East Anglia, where the University of Cambridge was attacked and many royal officials were killed. Unrest continued until the intervention of Henry Despenser, who defeated a rebel army at the Battle of North Walsham on 25 or 26 June. Troubles extended north to York, Beverley, and Scarborough, and as far west as Bridgwater in Somerset. Richard mobilised 4,000 soldiers to restore order. Most of the rebel leaders were tracked down and executed; by November, at least 1,500 rebels had been killed.

The Peasants' Revolt has been widely studied by academics. Late 19th-century historians used a range of sources from contemporary chroniclers to assemble an account of the uprising, and these were supplemented in the 20th century by research using court records and local archives. Interpretations of the revolt have shifted over the years. It was once seen as a defining moment in English history, but modern academics are less certain of its impact on subsequent social and economic history. The revolt heavily influenced the course of the Hundred Years' War, by deterring later Parliaments from raising additional taxes to pay for military campaigns in France. The revolt has been widely used in socialist literature, including by the author William Morris, and remains a potent symbol for the political left, informing the arguments surrounding the introduction of the Community Charge in the United Kingdom during the 1980s.
"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peasants%27_Revolt

---------------------------------------------------------

On This Day: Native American occupation of Alcatraz Island ends after 19 months - June 11, 1971
https://www.democraticunderground.com/1016379265

On This Day: Elusive Equality in the Equal Pay Act, now 77 cents or less on a dollar - June 10, 1963
https://www.democraticunderground.com/1016379198

On This Day: Civilians rounded up, 99 hanged in public, following French Resistance operations - June 9, 1944
https://www.democraticunderground.com/1016379163

On This Day: Volcanic system spews lava, gases, for 8 months causing death, famine, climate impact - June 8, 1783
https://www.democraticunderground.com/1016379099

On This Day: Civil rights group orchestrates test of "white" RR cars - loses at Supreme Court - June 7, 1892
https://www.democraticunderground.com/1016378994

June 11, 2024

On This Day: Native American occupation of Alcatraz Island ends after 19 months - June 11, 1971

(edited from Wikipedia)
"
June 11, 1971 - The U.S. Government forcibly removes the last holdouts to the Native American Occupation of Alcatraz, ending 19 months of control.

Alcatraz Island

Alcatraz Island is a small island 1.25 miles offshore from San Francisco, California, United States. The island was developed in the mid-19th century with facilities for a lighthouse, a military fortification, and a military prison. In 1934, the island was converted into a federal prison, Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary. The strong currents around the island and cold water temperatures made escape nearly impossible, and the prison became one of the most notorious in American history. The prison closed in 1963, and the island is now a major tourist attraction.

Beginning in November 1969, the island was occupied for more than 19 months by a group of Native Americans, initially primarily from San Francisco, who were later joined by AIM and other urban Indians from other parts of the country, who were part of a wave of Native American activists organizing public protests across the US through the 1970s. In 1972, Alcatraz was transferred to the Department of Interior to become part of Golden Gate National Recreation Area. It was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1986.

Today, the island's facilities are managed by the National Park Service as part of Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

Native American occupation

Beginning on November 20, 1969, a group of Native Americans called United Indians of All Tribes, mostly college students from San Francisco, occupied the island to protest federal policies related to American Indians. Some of them were children of Native Americans who had relocated in the city as part of the Bureau of Indian Affairs' (BIA) Indian termination policy, which was a series of laws and policies aimed at the assimilation of Native Americans into mainstream US society. It encouraged Native Americans to move away from the Indian reservations and into cities to take advantage of health, educational and employment opportunities. A number of employees of the Bureau of Indian Affairs also occupied Alcatraz at that time.

The occupiers, who stayed on the island for nearly two years, demanded that the island's facilities be adapted and new structures built for an Indian education center, ecology center, and cultural center. The American Indians claimed the island by provisions of the Treaty of Fort Laramie (1868) between the US and the Sioux; they said the treaty promised to return all retired, abandoned, or out-of-use federal lands to the native peoples from whom they were acquired.

Indians of All Tribes claimed Alcatraz Island by the "Right of Discovery"; as historian Troy R. Johnson states in The Occupation of Alcatraz Island, generations of indigenous peoples knew about Alcatraz at least 10,000 years before any European knew about any part of North America. Begun by urban Indians of San Francisco, the occupation attracted other Native Americans from across the country, including American Indian Movement (AIM) urban activists from Minneapolis.

During the occupation, President Richard Nixon rescinded the Indian termination policy, designed by earlier administrations to end federal recognition of many tribes and their special relationship with the US government. He established a new policy of self-determination, in part as a result of the publicity and awareness created by the occupation. The occupation ended on June 11, 1971.

Indian termination policy

Indian termination is a phrase describing United States policies relating to Native Americans from the mid-1940s to the mid-1960s. It was shaped by a series of laws and practices with the intent of assimilating Native Americans into mainstream American society. Cultural assimilation of Native Americans was not new; the belief that indigenous people should abandon their traditional lives and become what the government considers "civilized" had been the basis of policy for centuries. What was new, however, was the sense of urgency that, with or without consent, tribes must be terminated and begin to live "as Americans." To that end, Congress set about ending the special relationship between tribes and the federal government.

In practical terms, the policy ended the federal government's recognition of sovereignty of tribes, trusteeship over Indian reservations, and the exclusion of state law's applicability to Native persons. From the government's perspective, Native Americans were to become taxpaying citizens subject to state and federal taxes as well as laws from which they had previously been exempt.

From the Native standpoint, a former US Senator from Colorado Ben Nighthorse Campbell, of the Northern Cheyenne, said of assimilation and termination in a speech delivered in Montana:

If you can't change them, absorb them until they simply disappear into the mainstream culture.... In Washington's infinite wisdom, it was decided that tribes should no longer be tribes, never mind that they had been tribes for thousands of years.

— Ben Nighthorse Campbell, Opening Keynote Address


The policy for termination of tribes collided with the Native American peoples' own desires to preserve Native identity. The termination policy was changed in the 1960s and rising activism resulted in the ensuing decades of restoration of tribal governments and increased Native American self-determination.

[Movement toward self-determination]

The Occupation of Alcatraz had a direct effect on federal Indian policy and, with its visible results, established a precedent for Indian activism. While the Nixon administration did not accede to the demands of the protesters, it was aware of the delicate nature of the situation, and so could not forcibly remove them.

Spurred in part by Spiro Agnew's support for Native American rights, federal policy began to progress away from termination and toward Indian autonomy. In Nixon's July 8, 1970, Indian message, he decried termination, proclaiming, "self-determination among Indian people can and must be encouraged without the threat of eventual termination." While this was a step toward substantial reform, the administration was hindered by its bureaucratic mentality, unable to change its methodical approach of dealing with Indian rights.

Nixon's attitude toward Indian affairs soured with the November 2, 1972, occupation of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA).

[Later protests]

Much of the Indian rights activism of the period can be traced to the Occupation of Alcatraz. The Trail of Broken Treaties, the BIA occupation, the Wounded Knee incident, and the Longest Walk all have their roots in the occupation. The American Indian Movement noted from their visit to the occupation that the demonstration garnered national attention, while those involved faced no punitive action.

[Symbol for "unity and authority in a white world"]

When AIM members seized the Mayflower II on Thanksgiving, 1970, the Occupation of Alcatraz was noted as "the symbol of a newly awakened desire among Indians for unity and authority in a white world". The occupation of Alcatraz Island served as a strong symbol and uniting force for indigenous peoples everywhere because of the importance the island held in their ancestors' lives. Indians traveled to Alcatraz about 10,000 years before the Europeans even entered the Bay Area. Over the course of their history, the island served the purpose of a camping ground, was used as a place to hunt for food, and at one point became an isolated and remote place where law violators were held.

The occupation which began in 1969 caused Native Americans to remember what the island meant to them as a people.

[Women, who were the majority of occupiers, receive little attention]

Although the Alcatraz occupation inspired many other Pan-Indian movements to occur, it also showed how gender played a part in Indian activism. Mainstream media had an obsession with documenting the stereotype of the male Indian warrior and as such it was only the men that were highlighted as being the leaders and creators of movements. Women at the occupation of Alcatraz, such as LaNada Means and Stella Leach, receive little attention for contributing to the movement. As a result, the many women who had initiated movements such as the Wounded Knee Incident would never be as well known as Russell Means and other AIM leaders, even though, in the case of Wounded Knee, of the 350 occupiers, just 100 were men. Quoted in John William Sayer's Ghost Dancing the Law: The Wounded Knee Trials, John Trudell admitted, in reflection, "We got lost in our manhood."
"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcatraz_Island
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_termination_policy
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occupation_of_Alcatraz

---------------------------------------------------------

On This Day: Elusive Equality in the Equal Pay Act, now 77 cents or less on a dollar - June 10, 1963
https://www.democraticunderground.com/1016379198

On This Day: Civilians rounded up, 99 hanged in public, following French Resistance operations - June 9, 1944
https://www.democraticunderground.com/1016379163

On This Day: Volcanic system spews lava, gases, for 8 months causing death, famine, climate impact - June 8, 1783
https://www.democraticunderground.com/1016379099

On This Day: Civil rights group orchestrates test of "white" RR cars - loses at Supreme Court - June 7, 1892
https://www.democraticunderground.com/1016378994

On This Day: Largest seaborne invasion in history - June 6, 1944
https://www.democraticunderground.com/1016378954
June 10, 2024

On This Day: Elusive Equality in the Equal Pay Act, now 77 cents or less on a dollar - June 10, 1963

(edited from article)
"
Elusive Equality in the Equal Pay Act
June 2023
Katherine Turk, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

The Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA), which bans employers from sex-based wage discrimination for “equal work” in jobs requiring “equal skill, effort, and responsibility” with “similar working conditions,” was the first in a decade of federal laws meant to open full economic citizenship to American women. Sixty years later, the nation’s economic landscape is crowded with inequalities. For every dollar paid to a man, a woman earns 77 cents, shortchanging their sex by almost $1.6 trillion each year. Women do not shoulder this burden equally. When a white, non-Hispanic man earns a dollar, a Black woman earns 64 cents and a Latina earns 54 cents.

Why have equal rights protections thrived alongside gaping wage disparities? The answer lies in the historic structures of American work and the contested meanings of equality, both at the EPA’s inception and today.

At the EPA’s sixty-year mark, it’s time to revisit the roots of unequal pay in America. The EPA has eroded the wage gap and won back pay for millions of women whose work could be defined as “substantially similar” to a male counterpart’s. But the Act only applies to workers in the same workplace. The EPA also leaves untouched the myriad forms of sex and race discrimination that keep women clustered in underpaid sectors.

Our current predicament—the veneer of equality draped over deep inequities—was not inevitable. Let us mark the EPA’s anniversary by demanding what has always been required to deliver on its promise: broader mandates for equality alongside a reckoning about labor’s value.
"
https://genderpolicyreport.umn.edu/elusive-equality-in-the-equal-pay-act/

(edited from Wikipedia)
"
Equal Pay Act of 1963

The Equal Pay Act of 1963 is a United States labor law amending the Fair Labor Standards Act, aimed at abolishing wage disparity based on sex (see gender pay gap). It was signed into law on June 10, 1963, by John F. Kennedy as part of his New Frontier Program. In passing the bill, Congress stated that sex discrimination:

- depresses wages and living standards for employees necessary for their health and efficiency;
- prevents the maximum utilization of the available labor resources;
- tends to cause labor disputes, thereby burdening, affecting, and obstructing commerce;
- burdens commerce and the free flow of goods in commerce; and
- constitutes an unfair method of competition.


The law provides in part that "[n]o employer having employees subject to any provisions of this section [section 206 of title 29 of the United States Code] shall discriminate, within any establishment in which such employees are employed, between employees on the basis of sex by paying wages to employees in such establishment at a rate less than the rate at which he pays wages to employees of the opposite sex in such establishment for equal work on jobs[,] the performance of which requires equal skill, effort, and responsibility, and which are performed under similar working conditions, except where such payment is made pursuant to (i) a seniority system; (ii) a merit system; (iii) a system which measures earnings by quantity or quality of production; or (iv) a differential based on any other factor other than sex [...]."

Further legislation

The EPA did not originally cover executives, administrators, outside salespeople, and professionals, but the Education Amendments of 1972 amended the EPA so that it does.

In 2005, Senator Hillary Clinton introduced the "Paycheck Fairness Act," which proposed to amend the EPA’s fourth affirmative defense to permit only bona fide factors other than sex that are job-related or serve a legitimate business interest. Representative Rosa DeLauro first introduced an identical bill in the House of Representatives on the same day.

In 2007, the Supreme Court restricted the applicable statute of limitations for equal pay claims in Ledbetter v. Goodyear. On January 29, 2009, President Barack Obama signed into law the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which overturned the Court's holding in this case. This bill, providing that each gender-unequal paycheck is a new violation of the law, was the first bill signed by President Obama.

Enforcement

Initially, a 2007 study commissioned by the Department of Labor cautioned against overzealous application of the EPA without closer examination of possible reasons for pay discrepancies. This study noted, for example, that men as a group earn higher wages in part because men dominate blue collar jobs, which are more likely to require cash payments for overtime work; in contrast, women comprise over half of the salaried white collar management workforce that is often exempted from overtime laws. In summary, the study stated: "Although additional research in this area is clearly needed, this study leads to the unambiguous conclusion that the differences in the compensation of men and women are the result of a multitude of factors and that the raw wage gap should not be used as the basis to justify corrective action. Indeed, there may be nothing to correct. The differences in raw wages may be almost entirely the result of the individual choices being made by both male and female workers."

However, later, in 2021, a Department of Labor blogpost observed, "Women earn less than their same race and ethnicity counterpart at every level of educational attainment - Compared with white men with the same education, Black and Latina women with only a bachelor's degree have the largest gap at 65%, and Black women with advanced degrees earn 70% of what white men with advanced degrees earn. Educational attainment is not enough to close gender earnings gaps. In fact, most women with advanced degrees earn less than white men, on average, with only a bachelor's degree."
"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equal_Pay_Act_of_1963

---------------------------------------------------------

On This Day: Civilians rounded up, 99 hanged in public, following French Resistance operations - June 9, 1944
https://www.democraticunderground.com/1016379163

On This Day: Volcanic system spews lava, gases, for 8 months causing death, famine, climate impact - June 8, 1783
https://www.democraticunderground.com/1016379099

On This Day: Civil rights group orchestrates test of "white" RR cars - loses at Supreme Court - June 7, 1892
https://www.democraticunderground.com/1016378994

On This Day: Largest seaborne invasion in history - June 6, 1944
https://www.democraticunderground.com/1016378954

On This Day: Robert F. Kennedy shot - June 5, 1968
https://www.democraticunderground.com/1016378846
June 10, 2024

On This Day: Elusive Equality in the Equal Pay Act, now 77 cents or less on a dollar - June 10, 1963

(edited from article)
"
Elusive Equality in the Equal Pay Act
June 2023
Katherine Turk, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

The Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA), which bans employers from sex-based wage discrimination for “equal work” in jobs requiring “equal skill, effort, and responsibility” with “similar working conditions,” was the first in a decade of federal laws meant to open full economic citizenship to American women. Sixty years later, the nation’s economic landscape is crowded with inequalities. For every dollar paid to a man, a woman earns 77 cents, shortchanging their sex by almost $1.6 trillion each year. Women do not shoulder this burden equally. When a white, non-Hispanic man earns a dollar, a Black woman earns 64 cents and a Latina earns 54 cents.

Why have equal rights protections thrived alongside gaping wage disparities? The answer lies in the historic structures of American work and the contested meanings of equality, both at the EPA’s inception and today.

At the EPA’s sixty-year mark, it’s time to revisit the roots of unequal pay in America. The EPA has eroded the wage gap and won back pay for millions of women whose work could be defined as “substantially similar” to a male counterpart’s. But the Act only applies to workers in the same workplace. The EPA also leaves untouched the myriad forms of sex and race discrimination that keep women clustered in underpaid sectors.

Our current predicament—the veneer of equality draped over deep inequities—was not inevitable. Let us mark the EPA’s anniversary by demanding what has always been required to deliver on its promise: broader mandates for equality alongside a reckoning about labor’s value.
"
https://genderpolicyreport.umn.edu/elusive-equality-in-the-equal-pay-act/

(edited from Wikipedia)
"
Equal Pay Act of 1963

The Equal Pay Act of 1963 is a United States labor law amending the Fair Labor Standards Act, aimed at abolishing wage disparity based on sex (see gender pay gap). It was signed into law on June 10, 1963, by John F. Kennedy as part of his New Frontier Program. In passing the bill, Congress stated that sex discrimination:

- depresses wages and living standards for employees necessary for their health and efficiency;
- prevents the maximum utilization of the available labor resources;
- tends to cause labor disputes, thereby burdening, affecting, and obstructing commerce;
- burdens commerce and the free flow of goods in commerce; and
- constitutes an unfair method of competition.


The law provides in part that "[n]o employer having employees subject to any provisions of this section [section 206 of title 29 of the United States Code] shall discriminate, within any establishment in which such employees are employed, between employees on the basis of sex by paying wages to employees in such establishment at a rate less than the rate at which he pays wages to employees of the opposite sex in such establishment for equal work on jobs[,] the performance of which requires equal skill, effort, and responsibility, and which are performed under similar working conditions, except where such payment is made pursuant to (i) a seniority system; (ii) a merit system; (iii) a system which measures earnings by quantity or quality of production; or (iv) a differential based on any other factor other than sex [...]."

Further legislation

The EPA did not originally cover executives, administrators, outside salespeople, and professionals, but the Education Amendments of 1972 amended the EPA so that it does.

In 2005, Senator Hillary Clinton introduced the "Paycheck Fairness Act," which proposed to amend the EPA’s fourth affirmative defense to permit only bona fide factors other than sex that are job-related or serve a legitimate business interest. Representative Rosa DeLauro first introduced an identical bill in the House of Representatives on the same day.

In 2007, the Supreme Court restricted the applicable statute of limitations for equal pay claims in Ledbetter v. Goodyear. On January 29, 2009, President Barack Obama signed into law the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which overturned the Court's holding in this case. This bill, providing that each gender-unequal paycheck is a new violation of the law, was the first bill signed by President Obama.

Enforcement

Initially, a 2007 study commissioned by the Department of Labor cautioned against overzealous application of the EPA without closer examination of possible reasons for pay discrepancies. This study noted, for example, that men as a group earn higher wages in part because men dominate blue collar jobs, which are more likely to require cash payments for overtime work; in contrast, women comprise over half of the salaried white collar management workforce that is often exempted from overtime laws. In summary, the study stated: "Although additional research in this area is clearly needed, this study leads to the unambiguous conclusion that the differences in the compensation of men and women are the result of a multitude of factors and that the raw wage gap should not be used as the basis to justify corrective action. Indeed, there may be nothing to correct. The differences in raw wages may be almost entirely the result of the individual choices being made by both male and female workers."

However, later, in 2021, a Department of Labor blogpost observed, "Women earn less than their same race and ethnicity counterpart at every level of educational attainment - Compared with white men with the same education, Black and Latina women with only a bachelor's degree have the largest gap at 65%, and Black women with advanced degrees earn 70% of what white men with advanced degrees earn. Educational attainment is not enough to close gender earnings gaps. In fact, most women with advanced degrees earn less than white men, on average, with only a bachelor's degree."
"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equal_Pay_Act_of_1963

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On This Day: Civilians rounded up, 99 hanged in public, following French Resistance operations - June 9, 1944
https://www.democraticunderground.com/1016379163

On This Day: Volcanic system spews lava, gases, for 8 months causing death, famine, climate impact - June 8, 1783
https://www.democraticunderground.com/1016379099

On This Day: Civil rights group orchestrates test of "white" RR cars - loses at Supreme Court - June 7, 1892
https://www.democraticunderground.com/1016378994

On This Day: Largest seaborne invasion in history - June 6, 1944
https://www.democraticunderground.com/1016378954

On This Day: Robert F. Kennedy shot - June 5, 1968
https://www.democraticunderground.com/1016378846
June 9, 2024

On This Day: Civilians rounded up, 99 hanged in public, following French Resistance operations - June 9, 1944

(edited from Wikipedia)
"
Tulle massacre

The Tulle massacre was the roundup and summary execution of civilians in the French town of Tulle by the 2nd SS Panzer Division Das Reich in June 1944, three days after the D-Day landings in World War II.

After a successful offensive by the French Resistance group Francs-tireur on 7 and 8 June 1944, the arrival of Das Reich troops forced the Maquis [a French Resistance group] to flee the city of Tulle (department of Corrèze) in south-central France. On 9 June 1944, after arresting all men between the ages of sixteen and sixty, the Schutzstaffel (SS) and Sicherheitsdienst (SD) men ordered 120 of the prisoners to be hanged, of whom 99 were actually hanged.

In the days that followed, 149 men were sent to the Dachau concentration camp, where 101 died. In total, the actions of the Wehrmacht, the Waffen-SS, and the SD claimed the lives of 213 civilian residents of Tulle.

A day later, the same 2nd SS Panzer Division Das Reich was involved in the massacre at Oradour-sur-Glane.

[German crackdown]

Given the activity of the Resistance in the region, the department of Corrèze and in particular the town of Tulle and its surroundings were the object of frequent interventions by German Security Services.

In collaboration with a division cobbled together under the command of Major General Walter Brehmer, [the German and German-aligned forces] systematically swept the region during April 1944. In total, the operations against the Resistance by the Brehmer division were responsible for 1,500 arrests, 55 shootings, 128 crimes or offenses in 92 localities and 200 Jews murdered, but no direct confrontation with the Maquis [a major group of French Resistance]. The crackdown partially explains the operations in Tulle by the Resistance, which hoped to end the suffering of the population.

Battle of Tulle - [Resistance operations]

Resistance operations in Tulle were planned in mid April or at the beginning of May 1944.

The offensive began on 7 June 1944 at 05:00 with a bazooka shot on the security forces' barracks at Champ de Mars serving as the signal to begin the attack.

For the Resistance, with the exemption of two small holdouts, Tulle was liberated.

German losses were estimated by Sarah Farmer as 37 dead, 25 wounded and 35 missing. For G. Penaud, they amount to about 50 dead, sixty missing, probably taken prisoner, and between 23 and 37 wounded. The majority of the prisoners were probably shot thereafter, except for a handful of soldiers of Polish origin who agreed to join the Maquis.

Reoccupation

On 8 June at about 21:00, the first tanks of the 2nd SS Panzer Division arrived in Tulle from three different directions, surprising the Maquis.

Throughout the night of 8 June, the SS patrolled in town and encircled it.

Mass arrests

On 9 June, [SS commander] Kowatsch told [Tulle officials] that the mass arrests had already begun, detaining all men between the ages of sixteen and sixty and authorizing only "the release of all essential elements after verification of their loyalties."

In total, close to five thousand men and boys were assembled in front of the weapons factory.

Selection

In accordance with the agreement with Kowatsch that authorized the release of those essential to the resumption of normal activity in the city, French officials went to the arms factory to negotiate who among those rounded up would be counted among these. The representatives of the French government obtained the release of 3,500 of the 5,000 men and young people.

The remaining hostages were divided into three groups of different size and composition as the selection gradually ended up creating two groups of sixty men, suspected, according to Schmald, of participation in the Resistance based on factors like being unshaven or wearing shoes that weren't polished. According to H. Espinasse, even though Schmald asked for verification of some identity cards, he judged people based on their appearance and, for no apparent reason, sent them to join the small group on his left [the future victims]. According to Trouillé, "the three groups were constantly changing, ..."

Hangings

Around 15:30, in response to a last-minute plea from the prefect that the executions not be carried out by hanging, Kowatsch responded that "we have developed on the Russian Front the practice of hanging. We have hanged over a hundred thousand men in Kharkov and in Kiev, this is nothing to us".

On their arrival [at the town square], the prisoners discovered, over many hundreds of meters, nooses hung from trees, lampposts, and balconies.

[Deportations, torture, and aftermath]

On 10 June, the hostages remaining at the weapons factory in Tulle were treated in the same manner as in the selection of the hanging victims the previous day: negotiations between members of the 2nd SS Panzer Division Das Reich and the SD, including Schmald, and the French authorities, divided them into groups destined for deportation and those who would be pardoned by interventions.

149 of the remaining prisoners were transferred to Poitiers, then on to Compiègne, and from there they were taken to Dachau concentration camp on 2 July; 101 would not survive.

On 11 or 12 June, the 2nd SS Panzer Division began moving north to the Normandy front. With the massacres at Tulle and Oradour-sur-Glane and other killings, it had killed 4000 people, including many civilians.

Repression continued in Tulle in the weeks following the hangings. From 11 June to 31 July, the laboratory of the weapons factory was used as a centre of torture, where the Milice cooperated with Schmald.

In total, the crimes of the Wehrmacht, of the Waffen-SS and of the SD had claimed 218 civilian victims in Tulle.
"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tulle_massacre

---------------------------------------------------------

On This Day: Volcanic system spews lava, gases, for 8 months causing death, famine, climate impact - June 8, 1783
https://www.democraticunderground.com/1016379099

On This Day: Civil rights group orchestrates test of "white" RR cars - loses at Supreme Court - June 7, 1892
https://www.democraticunderground.com/1016378994

On This Day: Largest seaborne invasion in history - June 6, 1944
https://www.democraticunderground.com/1016378954

On This Day: Robert F. Kennedy shot - June 5, 1968
https://www.democraticunderground.com/1016378846

On This Day: "The most stunning and decisive blow in the history of naval warfare" begins - June 4, 1942
https://www.democraticunderground.com/1016378814

June 8, 2024

On This Day: Volcanic system spews lava, gases, for 8 months causing death, famine, climate impact - June 8, 1783

(edited from Wikipedia)
"
Laki

Laki is a volcanic fissure in the western part of Vatnajökull National Park, Iceland, not far from the volcanic fissure of Eldgjá and the small village of Kirkjubæjarklaustur. The fissure is properly referred to as Lakagígar, while Laki is a mountain that the fissure bisects. Lakagígar is part of a volcanic system centered on the volcano Grímsvötn and including the volcano Þórðarhyrna.

[42 billion tons of lava plus poisonous clouds]

The system erupted violently over an eight-month period between June 1783 and February 1784 from the Laki fissure and the adjoining volcano Grímsvötn. It poured out an estimated 42 billion tonnes of basalt lava as well as clouds of poisonous hydrofluoric acid and sulfur dioxide compounds that contaminated the soil, leading to the death of over 50% of Iceland's livestock population, and the destruction of the vast majority of all crops. This led to a famine which then killed at least a fifth of the island's human population, although some have claimed a quarter.

The Laki eruption and its aftermath caused a drop in global temperatures, as 120 million tonnes of sulfur dioxide was spewed into the Northern Hemisphere. This caused crop failures in Europe and may have caused droughts in North Africa and India.

1783 eruption

On 8 June 1783, a 15.5 mi long fissure of at least 130 vents opened with phreatomagmatic explosions because of the groundwater interacting with the rising basalt magma. Over a few days the eruptions became less explosive, Strombolian, and later Hawaiian in character, with high rates of lava effusion. This event is rated as 4 on the Volcanic Explosivity Index, but the eight-month emission of sulfuric aerosols resulted in one of the most important climatic and socially significant natural events of the last millennium.

The eruption produced an estimated 14 km3 (18×109 cu yd) of basalt lava, and the total volume of tephra emitted was 0.91 km3 (1.2×109 cu yd). Lava fountains were estimated to have reached heights of 2,600 to 4,600 ft. The gases were carried by the convective eruption column to altitudes of about 50,000 ft.

["Laki haze" across Europe]

The eruption continued until 7 February 1784, but most of the lava was ejected in the first five months. One study states that the event "occurred as ten pulses of activity, each starting with a short-lived explosive phase followed by a long-lived period of fire-fountaining". Grímsvötn volcano, from which the Laki fissure extends, also erupted at the time, from 1783 until 1785. The outpouring of gases, including an estimated 8 million tonnes of fluorine and an estimated 120 million tonnes of sulfur dioxide, gave rise to what has since become known as the "Laki haze" across Europe.

Consequences in Iceland

The consequences for Iceland were disastrous. An estimated 20–25% of the population died in the famine after the fissure eruptions ensued. Approximately 80% of sheep, 50% of cattle and 50% of horses died because of dental fluorosis and skeletal fluorosis from the 8 million tons of fluorine that were released. The livestock deaths were primarily caused by eating the contaminated grass, while humans deaths were mostly from the subsequent famine.

Consequences in monsoon regions

There is evidence that the Laki eruption weakened African and Indian monsoon circulations, leading to between 1 and 3 millimetres (0.04 and 0.12 in) less daily precipitation than normal over the Sahel of Africa, resulting in, among other effects, low flow in the River Nile. The resulting famine that afflicted Egypt in 1784 cost it roughly one-sixth of its population. The eruption was also found to have affected South Arabia and the already ongoing Chalisa famine in India.

Consequences in East Asia

The Great Tenmei famine of 1782–1788 in Japan may have been worsened by the Laki eruption. In the same year, Mt. Asama erupted in Japan (Tenmei eruption). The eruption may have affected a drought in eastern China.

Consequences in Europe

An estimated 120,000,000 tonnes of sulfur dioxide was emitted, about three times the total annual European industrial output in 2006 (but delivered to higher altitudes, hence its persistence), and equivalent to six times the total 1991 Mount Pinatubo eruption. This outpouring of sulfur dioxide during unusual weather conditions caused a thick haze to spread across western Europe, resulting in many thousands of deaths throughout the remainder of 1783 and the winter of 1784.

[Heat, and fog that disrupted shipping]

The summer of 1783 was the hottest on record and a rare high-pressure zone over Iceland caused the winds to blow to the south-east. The poisonous cloud drifted to Bergen in Denmark–Norway, then spread to Prague in the Kingdom of Bohemia (now the Czech Republic) by 17 June, Berlin by 18 June, Paris by 20 June, Le Havre by 22 June, and Great Britain by 23 June. The fog was so thick that ships stayed in port, unable to navigate, and the sun was described as "blood coloured".

[Choking death]

Inhaling sulfur dioxide gas causes victims to choke as their internal soft tissues swell – the gas reacts with the moisture in the lungs and produces sulfurous acid. The local death rate in Chartres was up by 5% during August and September, with more than 40 dead. In Great Britain, the east of England was most affected. The records show that the additional deaths were among outdoor workers; the death rate in Bedfordshire, Lincolnshire, and the east coast was perhaps two or three times the normal rate. It has been estimated that 23,000 British people died from the poisoning.

[Severe weather]

The weather became very hot, causing severe thunderstorms with large hailstones that were reported to have killed cattle, until the haze dissipated in the autumn. The winter of 1783–1784 was very severe; the naturalist Gilbert White in Selborne, Hampshire, reported 28 days of continuous frost. The extreme winter is estimated to have caused 8,000 additional deaths in the UK. During the spring thaw, Germany and Central Europe reported severe flood damage. This is considered part of a volcanic winter.

[Spread of poverty and famine]

The meteorological impact of Laki continued, contributing significantly to several years of extreme weather in Europe. In France, the sequence of extreme weather events included a failed harvest in 1785 that caused poverty for rural workers, as well as droughts, bad winters and summers. These events contributed significantly to an increase in poverty and famine that may have contributed to the French Revolution in 1789.

[Other climate sources]

Laki was only one factor in a decade of climatic disruption, as Grímsvötn was erupting from 1783 to 1785, and there may have been an unusually strong El Niño effect from 1789 to 1793.

Contemporaneous reports

Kirkjubaejarklaustur, an important church farm in South Iceland, was the home of the Rev. Jón Steingrímsson (1728–1791), who left contemporary eyewitness accounts of the effects of the eruption and its aftermath. Today, Kirkjubæjarkaustur is a small village.
Gilbert White recorded his perceptions of the event at Selborne, Hampshire, England:

The summer of the year 1783 was an amazing and portentous one, and full of horrible phaenomena; for besides the alarming meteors and tremendous thunder-storms that affrighted and distressed the different counties of this kingdom, the peculiar haze, or smokey fog, that prevailed for many weeks in this island, and in every part of Europe, and even beyond its limits, was a most extraordinary appearance, unlike anything known within the memory of man. By my journal I find that I had noticed this strange occurrence from June 23 to July 20 inclusive, during which period the wind varied to every quarter without making any alteration in the air. The sun, at noon, looked as blank as a clouded moon, and shed a rust-coloured ferruginous light on the ground, and floors of rooms; but was particularly lurid and blood-coloured at rising and setting. All the time the heat was so intense that butchers' meat could hardly be eaten on the day after it was killed; and the flies swarmed so in the lanes and hedges that they rendered the horses half frantic, and riding irksome. The country people began to look, with a superstitious awe, at the red, louring aspect of the sun; ...

"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laki

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On This Day: Civil rights group orchestrates test of "white" RR cars - loses at Supreme Court - June 7, 1892
https://www.democraticunderground.com/1016378994

On This Day: Largest seaborne invasion in history - June 6, 1944
https://www.democraticunderground.com/1016378954

On This Day: Robert F. Kennedy shot - June 5, 1968
https://www.democraticunderground.com/1016378846

On This Day: "The most stunning and decisive blow in the history of naval warfare" begins - June 4, 1942
https://www.democraticunderground.com/1016378814

On This Day: China tries to stop Britain from forcing Chinese to get hooked on opium - June 3, 1839
https://www.democraticunderground.com/1016378726
June 7, 2024

On This Day: Civil rights group orchestrates test of "white" RR cars - loses at Supreme Court - June 7, 1892

(edited from Wikipedia)
"
["Whites-only" railroad travel becomes the legal basis for segregated schools]

Orchestrating a test case

In 1890, the State of Louisiana passed the Separate Car Act, which required separate accommodation for black and white people on railroads, including separate railway cars. A group of 18 prominent black, creole of color, and white creole New Orleans residents formed the Comité des Citoyens (Committee of Citizens) to challenge the law. Many staff members of The New Orleans Crusader, a black Republican newspaper, were among the group's members, including publisher Louis A. Martinet, writer Rodolphe Desdunes, and managing editor L. J. Joubert, who served as president of the Justice, Protective, Educational, and Social Club at the same time Plessy was vice president.

[Plan called for someone who could pass as white]

The group contacted attorney and civil rights advocate Albion W. Tourgée, who agreed to help them bring a test case to court in order to force the judiciary to determine the constitutionality of Jim Crow laws. In his correspondence with Martinet, Tourgée suggested finding a plaintiff who had "not more than one-eight colored blood" and could pass as white. The attorney hoped that by selecting a person of ambiguous racial identity, he might exploit the Louisiana legislature's failure to define race and to force the court to consider the inconclusiveness of scientific evidence on definitive racial categories. In court, he later argued that a man of one-eighth African ancestry may not even know to which race he belongs, so a railroad employee would be even less qualified to "decide the question of race" and determine in what car a mixed-race individual ought to sit.

Tourgée also suggested finding a female plaintiff, because he believed the courts might be more sympathetic to a woman being ejected from a railroad car. However, the Comité des Citoyens instead recruited musician Daniel Desdunes, the son of group member Rodolphe Desdunes. Martinet contacted several railroad companies to inform them of the group's intentions.

[Most railroads opposed "whites-only" cars]

The railroads overwhelmingly opposed the Separate Car Act because it raised their operating costs by forcing them to use additional cars that might only be at half capacity. Some companies enforced the law, while others did not. Martinet eventually enlisted the Louisville and Nashville Railroad Company to participate in the group's plan.

[First test case doesn't work]

On February 24, 1892, Daniel Desdunes purchased a first-class ticket on a train bound for Mobile, Alabama. After he sat in a "whites only" car, the conductor stopped the train, and a private detective hired by the Comité des Citoyens arrested Desdunes. The prosecution dropped their case against Desdunes in May 1892, however, after the Louisiana State Supreme Court ruled that the Separate Car Act did not apply to interstate railroad trips.

[Homer Plessy test case]

In order to bring their test case to court, the Comité des Citoyens had to stage another incident on a train trip entirely within Louisiana state lines. They recruited Plessy, who may have been a friend of Rodolphe Desdunes, to be the plaintiff. Martinet contacted the East Louisiana Railroad, one of the companies that opposed the law, and declared their intentions to stage an act of civil disobedience. He also hired the services of private detective Chris C. Cain to arrest Plessy and ensure that he was charged with violating the Separate Car Act and not with a misdemeanor such as disturbing the peace.

On June 7, 1892, Plessy bought a first-class ticket on the East Louisiana Railroad running between the Press Street Depot in New Orleans and Covington, Louisiana, an approximately 30-mile journey that would have taken two hours. He sat in the "whites only" passenger car. When conductor J. J. Dowling came to collect Plessy's ticket, he told Plessy to leave the "whites only" car. Plessy refused. The conductor stopped the train, walked back to the depot, and returned with Detective Cain. Cain and other passengers forcibly removed Plessy from the train. Cain then arrested Plessy and took him to the Orleans Parish jail. The Comité des Citoyens arrived at the jail, arranged for him to be released, and paid his $500 bond the following day by offering up a committee member's house as collateral.

Trial

On October 28, 1892, Plessy was arraigned before Judge John Howard Ferguson in the Orleans Parish criminal district court. He was represented by New Orleans lawyer James Walker, who submitted a plea challenging the jurisdiction of trial court by claiming that the Separate Car Act violated the Thirteenth and Fourteenth amendments of the United States Constitution, which provided for equal protection under the law and "impermissibly clothed train officers with the authority and duty to assign passengers on the basis of race and with the authority to refuse service." Walker's plea deliberately did not specify if Plessy was black or white. On November 18, Ferguson denied Walker's petition, stating that Louisiana had the right to regulate railroad companies while they operated within state boundaries. Four days later, Walker petitioned the Louisiana Supreme Court for a writ of prohibition to stop the trial.

[Pro-segregation cases in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania used as precedent]

In December 1892, the Louisiana Supreme Court's five members unanimously upheld Ferguson's ruling, citing two cases from Northern states as precedents: Roberts v. City of Boston, an 1849 Massachusetts Supreme Court decision, ruling that racial segregation of schools was constitutional, and an 1867 Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling that upheld railroads' rights to seat black and white passengers in separate sections of passenger cars.

Supreme Court appeal

On May 18, 1896, the Supreme Court issued a 7–1 decision against Plessy that upheld the constitutionality of Louisiana's train car segregation laws. Justice Henry Billings Brown delivered the majority opinion, first dismissing any claim that the Louisiana law violated the Thirteenth Amendment, which, in the majority's opinion, did no more than ensure that black Americans had the basic level of legal equality needed to abolish slavery. Next, the Court considered whether the law violated the Equal Protection Clause, concluding that although the Fourteenth Amendment was meant to guarantee legal equality of all races in America, it was not intended to prevent social or other types of discrimination.

[Legal definition of racial categories]

Brown's opinion ended with a note on the subject of Plessy's racial identity under the law. He wrote that while the question of whether Plessy was legally black or white may have bearing on the outcome of the criminal case, legal definitions of racial categories were an issue of state law not before the U.S. Supreme Court. Ultimately, Brown deferred to Louisiana law to determine whether Plessy was legally black or white.

[Aftermath]

After the Supreme Court ruling, Plessy's criminal trial went ahead in Ferguson's court in Louisiana on February 11, 1897. He pleaded guilty of violating the Separate Car Act, which carried a punishment of a $25 fine or twenty days in jail. He opted to pay the fine. The Comité des Citoyens disbanded shortly after the trial's end.

Legacy

The Supreme Court's decision in Plessy v. Ferguson created the "Separate but Equal" legal doctrine, allowing state-sponsored racial segregation. The Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education overturned the doctrine in 1954. Though the Plessy case did not involve education, it formed the legal basis of separate school systems for the following fifty-eight years.
"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homer_Plessy

---------------------------------------------------------

On This Day: Largest seaborne invasion in history - June 6, 1944
https://www.democraticunderground.com/1016378954

On This Day: Robert F. Kennedy shot - June 5, 1968
https://www.democraticunderground.com/1016378846

On This Day: "The most stunning and decisive blow in the history of naval warfare" begins - June 4, 1942
https://www.democraticunderground.com/1016378814

On This Day: China tries to stop Britain from forcing Chinese to get hooked on opium - June 3, 1839
https://www.democraticunderground.com/1016378726

On This Day: Michigan fort captured amid brutal warfare between British and Native Americans - June 2, 1763
https://www.democraticunderground.com/1016378627

June 6, 2024

On This Day: Largest seaborne invasion in history - June 6, 1944

(edited from Wikipedia)
"
Normandy landings

The Normandy landings were the landing operations and associated airborne operations on Tuesday, 6 June 1944 of the Allied invasion of Normandy in Operation Overlord during World War II. Codenamed Operation Neptune and often referred to as D-Day, it is the largest seaborne invasion in history. The operation began the liberation of France, and the rest of Western Europe, and laid the foundations of the Allied victory on the Western Front.

[Deception ahead of time]

Planning for the operation began in 1943. In the months leading up to the invasion, the Allies conducted a substantial military deception, codenamed Operation Bodyguard, to mislead the Germans as to the date and location of the main Allied landings.

[Requirements of moon, tides, time of day]

The weather on the day selected for D-Day was not ideal, and the operation had to be delayed 24 hours; a further postponement would have meant a delay of at least two weeks, as the planners had requirements for the phase of the moon, the tides, and time of day, that meant only a few days each month were deemed suitable.

Adolf Hitler placed Field Marshal Erwin Rommel in command of German forces and developing fortifications along the Atlantic Wall in anticipation of an invasion. U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt placed Major General Dwight D. Eisenhower in command of Allied forces.

[Allied landings]

The invasion began shortly after midnight on the morning of 6 June with extensive aerial and naval bombardment as well as an airborne assault—the landing of 24,000 American, British, and Canadian airborne troops. The early morning aerial assault was soon followed by Allied amphibious landings on the coast of France c. 06:30. The target 50-mile (80 km) stretch of the Normandy coast was divided into five sectors: Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and Sword. Strong winds blew the landing craft east of their intended positions, particularly at Utah and Omaha.

[Heavy fire]

The men landed under heavy fire from gun emplacements overlooking the beaches, and the shore was mined and covered with obstacles such as wooden stakes, metal tripods, and barbed wire, making the work of the beach-clearing teams difficult and dangerous. Casualties were heaviest at Omaha, with its high cliffs. At Gold, Juno, and Sword, several fortified towns were cleared in house-to-house fighting, and two major gun emplacements at Gold were disabled using specialised tanks.

[Foothold gained]

The Allies failed to achieve any of their major goals beyond the establishment of the beachheads on the first day. Carentan, Saint-Lô, and Bayeux remained in German hands, and Caen, a major objective, was not captured until 21 July. Only two of the beaches (Juno and Gold) were linked on the first day, and all five beachheads were not connected until 12 June; however, the operation gained a foothold that the Allies gradually expanded over the coming months. German casualties on D-Day have been estimated at 4,000 to 9,000 men. Allied casualties were documented for at least 10,000, with 4,414 confirmed dead.

Aftermath

The Germans never achieved Hitler's stated aim of "throwing the Allies back into the sea" on D-Day or anytime thereafter.

The Allied invasion plans had demanded a rapid build-up of troops and the establishment of a secure bridgehead, which was achieved with fewer casualties than expected. The plan had also called for the capture of Carentan, Saint-Lô, Caen, and Bayeux on the first day, with all the beaches (other than Utah) linked with a front line 6 to 10 mi from the beaches; none of these latter objectives were achieved. At Utah the 4th Division made significant progress inland, making a rendezvous with the airborne troops, and the British and Canadians were between four and seven miles inland. The five beachheads were not connected until 12 June, by which time the Allies held a front around 60 mi long and 15 mi deep.

Caen, a major objective, was still in German hands at the end of D-Day and would not be completely captured until 21 July. The Germans had ordered French civilians other than those deemed essential to the war effort to leave potential combat zones in Normandy. Civilian casualties on D-Day and D+1 are estimated at 3,000.

The Allied victory in Normandy stemmed from several factors. German preparations along the Atlantic Wall were only partially finished; shortly before D-Day Rommel reported that construction was only 18 per cent complete in some areas as resources were diverted elsewhere. The deceptions undertaken in Operation Fortitude were successful, leaving the Germans obliged to defend a huge stretch of coastline.

Rommel was in Berlin and the forecasted stormy weather meant that some German other commanders and troops were not present in Normandy. The Allies achieved and maintained air supremacy, which meant that the Germans were unable to make observations of the preparations underway in Britain and were unable to interfere via bomber attacks.

Infrastructure for transport in France was severely disrupted by Allied bombers and the French Resistance, making it difficult for the Germans to bring up reinforcements and supplies. Some of the opening bombardment was off-target or not concentrated enough to have any impact, but the specialised armour worked well except on Omaha (where most of it had been lost at sea), providing close artillery support for the troops as they disembarked onto the beaches. Indecisiveness and an overly complicated command structure on the part of the German high command were also factors in the Allied success.
"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Normandy_landings

---------------------------------------------------------

On This Day: Robert F. Kennedy shot - June 5, 1968
https://www.democraticunderground.com/1016378846

On This Day: "The most stunning and decisive blow in the history of naval warfare" begins - June 4, 1942
https://www.democraticunderground.com/1016378814

On This Day: China tries to stop Britain from forcing Chinese to get hooked on opium - June 3, 1839
https://www.democraticunderground.com/1016378726

On This Day: Michigan fort captured amid brutal warfare between British and Native Americans - June 2, 1763
https://www.democraticunderground.com/1016378627

On This Day: GM declares bankruptcy- biggest manufacturing collapse in US history - June 1, 2009
https://www.democraticunderground.com/1016378579

June 5, 2024

On This Day: Robert F. Kennedy shot - June 5, 1968

(edited from Wikipedia)
"
Robert F. Kennedy

Robert Francis Kennedy (November 20, 1925 – June 6, 1968), also known by his initials RFK, was an American politician and lawyer. He served as the 64th United States attorney general from January 1961 to September 1964, and as a U.S. senator from New York from January 1965 until his assassination in June 1968, when he was running for the Democratic presidential nomination. Like his brothers John F. Kennedy and Ted Kennedy, he was a prominent member of the Democratic Party and is an icon of modern American liberalism.

Kennedy was born into a wealthy, political family in Brookline, Massachusetts. After serving in the U.S. Naval Reserve from 1944 to 1946, Kennedy returned to his studies at Harvard University, and later received his law degree from the University of Virginia. He began his career as a correspondent for The Boston Post and as a lawyer at the Justice Department, but later resigned to manage his brother John's successful campaign for the U.S. Senate in 1952.

The following year, he worked as an assistant counsel to the Senate committee chaired by Senator Joseph McCarthy. He gained national attention as the chief counsel of the Senate Labor Rackets Committee from 1957 to 1959, where he publicly challenged Teamsters President Jimmy Hoffa over the union's corrupt practices. Kennedy resigned from the committee to conduct his brother's successful campaign in the 1960 presidential election. He was appointed United States attorney general at the age of 35, one of the youngest cabinet members in American history. He served as his brother's closest advisor until the latter's assassination in 1963.

His tenure is known for advocating for the civil rights movement, the fight against organized crime and the Mafia, and involvement in U.S. foreign policy related to Cuba. He authored his account of the Cuban Missile Crisis in a book titled Thirteen Days. As attorney general, he authorized the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to wiretap Martin Luther King Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference on a limited basis.

After his brother's assassination, he remained in office during the presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson for several months. He left to run for the United States Senate from New York in 1964 and defeated Republican incumbent Kenneth Keating, overcoming criticism that he was a "carpetbagger" from Massachusetts.

In office, Kennedy opposed U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War and raised awareness of poverty by sponsoring legislation designed to lure private business to blighted communities (i.e., Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration project). He was an advocate for issues related to human rights and social justice by traveling abroad to eastern Europe, Latin America, and South Africa, and formed working relationships with Martin Luther King Jr., Cesar Chavez, and Walter Reuther.

In 1968, Kennedy became a leading candidate for the Democratic nomination for the presidency by appealing to poor, African American, Hispanic, Catholic, and young voters. His main challenger in the race was Senator Eugene McCarthy. Shortly after winning the California primary around midnight on June 5, 1968, Kennedy was shot by Sirhan Sirhan, a 24-year-old Palestinian, allegedly in retaliation for his support of Israel following the 1967 Six-Day War.

Kennedy died 25 hours later. Sirhan was arrested, tried, and convicted, though Kennedy's assassination, like his brother's, continues to be the subject of widespread analysis and numerous conspiracy theories.
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_F._Kennedy

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