Posts tagged “Civil Rights

This Day In History: Japanese Internment

Article From this day In History
January 14, 1942
Roosevelt ushers in Japanese-American internment
On this day in 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issues Presidential Proclamation No. 2537, requiring aliens from World War II-enemy countries–Italy, Germany and Japan–to register with the United States Department of Justice. Registered persons were then issued a “Certificate of Identification for Aliens of Enemy Nationality.” A follow-up to the Alien Registration Act of 1940, Proclamation No. 2537 facilitated the beginning of full-scale internment of Japanese Americans the following month.
While most Americans expected the U.S. to enter the war, presumably in Europe or the Philippines, the nation was shocked to hear of Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. In the wake of the bombing, the West Coast appeared particularly vulnerable to another Japanese military offensive. A large population of Japanese Americans inhabited the western states and American military analysts feared some would conduct acts of sabotage on west-coast defense and agricultural industries.
Official relations between the governments of Japan and the United States had soured in the 1930s when Japan began its military conquest of Chinese territory. China, weakened by a civil war between nationalists and communists, represented an important strategic relationship for both the U.S. and Japan. Japan desperately needed China’s raw materials in order to continue its program of modernization. The U.S. needed a democratic Chinese government to counter both Japanese military expansion in the Pacific and the spread of communism in Asia. Liberal Japanese resented American anti-Japanese policies, particularly in California, where exclusionary laws were passed to prevent Japanese Americans from competing with U.S. citizens in the agricultural industry. In spite of these tensions, a 1941 federal report requested by Roosevelt indicated that more than 90 percent of Japanese Americans were considered loyal citizens. Nevertheless, under increasing pressure from agricultural associations, military advisors and influential California politicians, Roosevelt agreed to begin the necessary steps for possible internment of the Japanese-American population.
Ostensibly issued in the interest of national security, Proclamation No. 2537 permitted the “arrest, detention and internment” of enemy aliens who violated restricted areas, such as ports, water treatment plants or even areas prone to brush fires, “for the duration of the war.” A month later, a reluctant but resigned Roosevelt signed the War Department’s blanket Executive Order 9066, which authorized the physical removal of all Japanese Americans into internment camps.

Rosa Parks From This Day In History

December 1, 1955
Rosa Parks ignites bus boycot


In Montgomery, Alabama, Rosa Parks is jailed for refusing to give up her seat on a public bus to a white man, a violation of the city’s racial segregation laws. The successful Montgomery Bus Boycott, organized by a young Baptist minister named Martin Luther King, Jr., followed Park’s historic act of civil disobedience.

“The mother of the civil rights movement,” as Rosa Parks is known, was born in Tuskegee, Alabama, in 1913. She worked as a seamstress and in 1943 joined the Montgomery chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

According to a Montgomery city law in 1955, African Americans were required to sit at the back of public buses and were also had to give up those seats to white riders if the front of the bus filled up. Parks was in the first row of the black section when the white driver demanded that she give up her seat to a white man. Parks’ refusal was spontaneous but was not merely brought on by her tired feet, as is the popular legend. In fact, local civil rights leaders had been planning a challenge to Montgomery’s racist bus laws for several months, and Parks had been privy to this discussion.

Learning of Parks’ arrest, the NAACP and other African American activists immediately called for a bus boycott to be held by black citizens on Monday, December 5. Word was spread by fliers, and activists formed the Montgomery Improvement Association to organize the protest. The first day of the bus boycott was a great success, and that night the 26-year-old Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., told a large crowd gathered at a church, “The great glory of American democracy is the right to protest for right.” King emerged as the leader of the bus boycott and received numerous death threats from opponents of integration. At one point, his home was bombed, but he and his family escaped bodily harm.

The boycott stretched on for more than a year, and participants carpooled or walked miles to work and school when no other means were possible. As African Americans previously constituted 70 percent of the Montgomery bus ridership, the municipal transit system suffered gravely during the boycott. On November 13, 1956, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Alabama state and Montgomery city bus segregation laws as being in violation of the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. On December 20, King issued the following statement: “The year old protest against city buses is officially called off, and the Negro citizens of Montgomery are urged to return to the buses tomorrow morning on a non-segregated basis.” The boycott ended the next day. Rosa Parks was among the first to ride the newly desegregated buses.

Martin Luther King, Jr., and his nonviolent civil rights movement had won its first great victory. There would be many more to come.

Rosa Parks died on October 24, 2005. Three days later the U.S. Senate passed a resolution to honor Parks by allowing her body to lie in honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda.

“I have a dream” by Eric Metzgar

We are reading the biography ” I have a dream”, by Eric Metzgar.


What has happened in the book so far?

What experiences with segregation has Martin had that will shape him in the future?

What have you learned about King in the book that you did not know?

Do you like the book thus far?

January Writing Contests: Deadline 1/25/08

This month in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday we are accepting written pieces on three people:

1. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr


Research Dr. King’s life and write a piece about him.
Your piece should include all/some of the following points:

* Where and When Martin Luther King grew up, what was the world like he grew up in (the segregated south)
* What strengths Martin possessed in himself (what type of a man was he?)
* What kind of a family did Martin come from?
* How was the Church important to Martin and how did it help him accomplish the great things he did.
* What were some of Martin Accomplishments?
* What did Martin Change in The United States?
* How important was Martin to ending racism in our country?
* Do you think we still have problems with racism in our country?
• If you answer yes to this how can we change it?

2. Rosa Parks and the history of the Montgomery Bus boycott.t012714a.jpg

• Who were Rosa parks?
• Where and when did she live?
• What were the laws on buses in the segregated south?
• What was the boycott?
• What was life like in the segregated south?
• How did the boycott change segregation?

• Give details, how long did it last?
• How did the African American Citizens travel?
• Who was the leader of the boycott?
• Talk about how this little boycott changed the law in the United states
• Why are Rosa Parks and this boycott important in our history?

2 “Ruby Bridges”

Write a short review of this movie.

* Tell what the story was about. (What happened in the story? {Plot}

* When and where did the story take place? (Setting)
* Tell what you find important about Ruby’s story?
* What does it mean that schools were segregated?
* At the time how did the white citizens feel about integration (African American and white students attending schools together)?

• How did Ruby’s African American neighbors feel about Ruby attending a white school?
* What was life like for African Americans at the time (1960) in the south?
* What was special about Ruby?
• What was special about her family?
* What do you think got her through her trouble?
• How would have you reacted if you were she?
• Would you have been afraid or angry?

Short film On MLK’s Childhood


Watch the Film and write a paragraph about the film. Consider the following questions when writing your piece:

1. Where did MLK grow up?

2. What did his father do for a job?

3. What was life like in the Southern States in the U. S. when Martin was a boy 1929 -1935 ?

4. What does prejudice mean?

5. What does segregation mean?

6. What are people’s civil rights?

7. How did Martin feel when at age six he had to stop seeing his best friend because he was white?

8. How did Martin see himself in relation to white people, did he feel equal

9. What roll did the church play in Martin’s self-esteem?

Women and The Right to Vote!

The right to vote is one of our Civil rights in a democracy. The right to vote is called suffrage. Women for most of the United States History were not allowed to vote. They got the right to vote in 1920 with the 19 amendment to the Constitution .

Watch the movie: and learn about how women got the right to vote.

Then right four sentennces about how women got the right to vote. Name leaders of the suffrage movement and important details of the history of how women got the right to vote.


Abraham Lincoln Born today 1809



On this day in 1809, Abraham Lincoln is born in Hodgenville, Kentucky.
Lincoln, one of America’s most admired presidents, grew up a member of a poor family in Kentucky and Indiana. He attended school for only one year, but thereafter read on his own in a continual effort to improve his mind. As an adult, he lived in Illinois and performed a variety of jobs including stints as a postmaster, surveyor and shopkeeper, before entering politics. He served in the Illinois legislature from 1834 to 1836, and then became an attorney. In 1842, Lincoln married Mary Todd; together, the pair raised four sons.

Lincoln returned to politics during the 1850s, a time when the nation’s long-standing division over slavery was flaring up, particularly in new territories being added to the Union. As leader of the new Republican Party, Lincoln was considered politically moderate, even on the issue of slavery. He wanted to restrict slavery to the states in which it already existed and described the practice in a letter as a “minor issue” as late as 1854. In an 1858 senatorial race,the south started to talk of leaving the union. He did not win the Senate seat but earned national recognition as a strong political force. Lincoln was an inspiring speaker who could move audiences with his speeches.

As a presidential candidate in the election of 1860, Lincoln tried to reassure slaveholding interests that although he favored abolition, he had no intention of ending the practice in states where it already existed. When he won the presidency by approximately 400,000 popular votes and carried the Electoral College, he was in effect handed a ticking time bomb. His concessions to slaveholders failed to prevent South Carolina from leading other states in an exodus from the Union that began shortly after his election. By February 1, 1861, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas had also seceded. Soon after, the Civil War began. As the war progressed, Lincoln moved closer to committing himself and the nation to the abolitionist movement and, in 1863, finally signed the Emancipation Proclamation. The document freed slaves in the Confederate states, but did not address the legality of slavery in Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska or Arkansas.

Lincoln was the tallest president at 6’ 4.” As a young man, he impressed others with his sheer physical strength–he was a legendary wrestler in Illinois–and entertained friends and strangers alike with his dry, folksy wit, which was still in evidence years later. Exasperated by one Civil War military defeat after another, Lincoln wrote to a lethargic general “if you are not using the army I should like to borrow it for awhile.” An animal lover, Lincoln once declared, “I care not for a man’s religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it.” Fittingly, a variety of pets took up residence at the Lincoln White House, including a pet turkey named Jack and a goat called Nanko. Lincoln’s son Tad frequently hitched Nanko to a small wagon and drove around the White House grounds.

Lincoln’s sense of humor may have helped him to hide recurring bouts of depression. He admitted to friends and colleagues that he suffered from “intense melancholia” and hypochondria most of his adult life. Perhaps in order to cope with it, Lincoln engaged in self-effacing humor, even chiding himself about his famously homely looks. When an opponent in an 1858 Senate race debate called him “two-faced,” he replied, “If I had another face do you think I would wear this one?”

Lincoln is remembered as “The Great Emancipator.” Although he waffled on the subject of slavery in the early years of his presidency, his greatest legacy was his work to preserve the Union and his signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. To Confederate sympathizers, however, Lincoln’s signing of the Emancipation Proclamation reinforced his image as a hated despot and ultimately led John Wilkes Booth to assassinate him on April 14, 1865. His favorite horse, Old Bob, pulled his funeral hearse.

Ruby Bridges


We watched the movie “Ruby Bridges” last week. Write a short review of this movie. Tell what the story was about. When and where it took place. Tell what you find important about the movie. Did you like the acting? Who was your favorite character. Do you think Ruby was brave? What do you think got her through her trouble? If you need help you can go to the Ruby Bridges site to refresh you memory. Here is the Link

February 5: 1994 Beckwith Convicted of the 1963 Killing of Medgar Evers

February 5: General Interest
1994 : Beckwith convicted of killing Medgar Evers


(click on the picture to read about Medgar Evers)

On this day in 1994, white supremacist Byron De La Beckwith is
convicted in the murder of African-American civil rights leader Medgar
Evers, over 30 years after the crime occurred. Evers was gunned down
in the driveway of his Jackson, Mississippi, home on June 12, 1963,
while his wife, Myrlie, and the couple’s three small children were

Medgar Wiley Evers was born July 2, 1925, near Decatur, Mississippi,
and served in the U.S. Army during World War II. After fighting for
his country, he returned home to experience discrimination in the
racially divided South, with its separate public facilities and
services for blacks and whites. Evers graduated from Alcorn College in
1952 and began organizing local chapters of the NAACP (National
Association for the Advancement of Colored People). In 1954, after
being rejected for admission to then-segregated University of
Mississippi Law School, he became part of an NAACP campaign to
desegregate the school. Later that year, Evers was named the NAACP’s
first field secretary in Mississippi. He moved with his family to
Jackson and worked to dismantle segregation, leading peaceful rallies,
economic boycotts and voter registration drives around the state. In
1962, he helped James Meredith become the first African American to
attend the University of Mississippi, a watershed event in the civil
rights movement. As a result of his work, Evers received numerous
threats and several attempts were made on his life before he was
murdered in 1963 at the age of 37.

Beckwith, a fertilizer salesman and Ku Klux Klan member widely
believed to be the killer, was prosecuted for murder in 1964. However,
two all-white (and all-male) juries deadlocked and refused to convict
him. A second trial held in the same year resulted in a hung jury. The
matter was dropped when it appeared that a conviction would be
impossible. Myrlie Evers, who later became the first woman to chair
the NAACP, refused to give up, pressing authorities to re-open the
case. In 1989, documents came to light showing that jurors in the case
were illegally screened.

Prosecutor Bobby DeLaughter worked with Myrlie Evers to force another
prosecution of Beckwith. After four years of legal maneuvering, they
were finally successful. At the third trial they produced a riflescope
from the murder weapon with Beckwith’s fingerprints, as well as new
witnesses who testified that Beckwith had bragged about committing the
crime. Justice was finally achieved when Beckwith was convicted and
given a life sentence by a racially diverse jury in 1994. He died in
prison in 2001 at the age of 80.




Published: January 29, 2007

BIRMINGHAM, Ala., Jan. 28 — More times than he remembers, La’Markus Cook has traveled south on Interstate 65 from Nashville, where he attends American Baptist College, to his home outside Montgomery, Ala. But never, he said, as he did this weekend.

Air brakes hissing and motors rumbling, four buses retraced segments of the 1961 Freedom Rides on Saturday and Sunday, giving students aboard a front-seat view of a pivotal moment in civil rights history. On the rides 46 years ago, activists armed with only their convictions braved white mobs to defy segregation of interstate bus travel.

There have been many previous expeditions to locations where riders were beaten, bloodied and jailed, but this weekend’s was probably the largest and most ambitious attempt to keep the history alive.

“I don’t know that any students have ever had this opportunity before,” said Raymond Arsenault, the author of the 2006 book “Freedom Riders,” considered an authoritative history.

About 100 students from Vanderbilt University, Tennessee State University, Fisk University and American Baptist College accompanied veterans of the civil rights movement, some of whom came close to death in the bloody confrontations over interstate travel in the South.

The buses served as rolling classrooms, leaving Nashville early Saturday for Montgomery and arriving in Birmingham on Saturday evening. The students, along with faculty members, historians and others, returned to Nashville on Sunday.

Along the route, speakers rotated among buses to describe their experiences and answer questions. Several came from the “Nashville movement” of brash activists, many affiliated with the same colleges and universities as the students.

Among them were Representative John Lewis, Democrat of Georgia, who was beaten and jailed on the rides; John Seigenthaler, an aide to Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy during the crisis; James Lawson and C. T. Vivian, ministers who advised many of the students; and Diane Nash, who in the early 1960s led sit-in movements to desegregate lunch counters in Nashville and became one of the founders of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.

“Maybe, just maybe,” Mr. Lewis said, “this trip will help renew and inspire and encourage people to take a page from the past and apply it to your own life.”

Though the Supreme Court had ruled that Jim Crow segregation in interstate travel was unconstitutional, the Justice Department had little appetite for enforcement. In 1947, an interracial “Journey of Reconciliation” in the upper South had done little to break travel segregation, Mr. Arsenault wrote.

In 1961, the Congress of Racial Equality decided to challenge travel segregation again with nonviolent civil disobedience. When one group of interracial passengers reached Anniston, Ala., a Ku Klux Klan-organized mob firebombed the bus and beat the passengers. Passengers on another bus were badly beaten when they reached Birmingham.

Attorney General Kennedy intervened. The riders, some badly hurt, wanted to press on, but the trip was scuttled and the riders flew instead to New Orleans.

Nashville activists pledged to continue. Mr. Seigenthaler pleaded with the students, but Ms. Nash said riders had signed their wills and were prepared to die if necessary.

In Montgomery, a mob met the new wave of riders, severely beating Mr. Lewis and another rider, Jim Zwerg. In the melee, Mr. Seigenthaler was clubbed and left unconscious.

The crisis mounted with riders’ imprisonment in Mississippi. Eventually, more than 400 riders would board segregated buses and trains, taxing courts throughout the South. Then, in September, the Interstate Commerce Commission prohibited all discrimination in interstate busing.

Sherrae M. Hayes, a 20-year-old junior at Tennessee State, said the trip gave the lesson new meaning. “You can definitely learn it from a textbook,” Ms. Hayes said, “but I don’t think it means half as much, or a quarter as much, as being there.”

Outside Montgomery’s old Trailways station on Saturday, riders craned to see the building’s facade. A few minutes later, as rain pattered on the roof of the bus, Mr. Zwerg, 67, described the eerie quiet before the crowd set upon him 46 years ago. “I knew whether I lived or died,” he said, “it was going to be all right.”