Tag Archives: American History

On This Day – “Alabama Police Use Gas and Clubs to Rout Negroes”

On March 7, 1965, a march by civil rights demonstrators was broken up in Selma, Ala., by state troopers and a sheriff’s posse.

Alabama state troopers and volunteer officers of the Dallas County sheriff’s office tore through a column of Negro demonstrators with tear gas, nightsticks and whips to enforce Gov. George C. Wallace’s order against a protest march from Selma to Montgomery.

At least 17 Negroes were hospitalized with injuries and about 40 more were given emergency treatment for minor injuries and tear gas effects.

The Negroes reportedly fought back with bricks and bottles at one point as they were pushed back into the Negro community, far away from most of a squad of reporters and photographers who had been restrained by the officers.

[In Washington the Justice Department announced that agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Selma had been directed to make a full and prompt investigation and to gather evidence whether “unnecessary force was used by law officers and others” in halting the march.]

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Read the article in it’s entirety here: (Source)

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On This Day – “Decision of the Supreme Court in the Dred Scott Case”

On March 6, 1857, in its Dred Scott decision, the Supreme Court held that Scott, a slave, could not sue for his freedom in a federal court.

The opinion of the Supreme Court in the Dred Scott Case was delivered by Chief Justice Taney. It was a full and elaborate statement of the views of the Court. They have decided the following important points:

First – Negroes, whether slaves or free, that is, men of the African race, are not citizens of the United States by the Constitution.

Second – The Ordinance of 1787 had no independent constitutional force or legal effect subsequently to the adoption of the Constitution, and could not operate of itself to confer freedom or citizenship within the Northwest Territory on negroes not citizens by the Constitution.

Third – The provisions of the Act of 1820, commonly called the Missouri Compromise, in so far as it undertook to exclude negro slavery from, and communicate freedom and citizenship to, negroes in the northern part of the Louisiana cession, was a Legislative act exceeding the powers of Congress, and void, and of no legal effect to that end.

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“Freedom Riders” attacked on this day in 1961

On May 20, 1961, a mob of white persons attacked a racially mixed group of bus riders in Montgomery, Ala. The disorders lasted two hours. At least twenty of the riders were beaten, prompting the federal government to send in United States marshals to restore order.

Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy announced the Federal action in a telegram to Alabama officials. He said it was necessary to “guarantee safe passage in interstate commerce.”

Mr. Kennedy disclosed also that he would ask the Federal Court in Montgomery “to enjoin the Ku Klux Klan, the National States Rights Party, certain individuals and all persons acting in concert with them from interfering with peaceful interstate travel by buses.”

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(Source)