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“Prohibition in the United States: National Ban of Alcohol” 

Detroit police inspecting equipment found in a clandestine brewery during the Prohibition era

Every Day Will Be Sunday When the Town Goes Dry (1918–1919)

Prohibition in the United States was a nationwide constitutional ban on the production, importation, transportation, and sale of alcoholic beverages that remained in place from 1920 to 1933. During the 19th century, alcoholism, family violence, and saloon-based political corruption prompted activists, led by pietistic Protestants, to end the alcoholic beverage trade to cure the ill society and weaken the political opposition. One result was that many communities in the late 19th and early 20th centuries introduced alcohol prohibition, with the subsequent enforcement in law becoming a hotly debated issue. Prohibition supporters, called drys, presented it as a victory for public morals and health.

Promoted by the “dry” crusaders, the movement was led by pietistic Protestants and social Progressives in the Prohibition, Democratic, and Republican parties. It gained a national grass roots base through the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union. After 1900 it was coordinated by the Anti-Saloon League. Opposition from the beer industry, mobilized “wet” supporters from the Catholic and German Lutheran communities. They had funding to fight back but by 1917–18 the German community had been marginalized by the nation’s war against Germany, and the brewing industry was shut down in state after state by the legislatures and finally nationwide under the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution in 1920. Enabling legislation, known as the Volstead Act, set down the rules for enforcing the federal ban and defined the types of alcoholic beverages that were prohibited. For example, religious use of wine was allowed. Private ownership and consumption of alcohol were not made illegal under federal law, but local laws were stricter in many areas, with some states banning possession outright.

In the 1920s the laws were widely disregarded, and tax revenues were lost. Very well organized criminal gangs took control of the beer and liquor supply for many cities, unleashing a crime wave that shocked the nation. By the late 1920s a new opposition mobilized nationwide. Wets attacked prohibition as causing crime, lowering local revenues, and imposing rural Protestant religious values on urban America.[1]Prohibition ended with the ratification of the Twenty-first Amendment, which repealed the Eighteenth Amendment on December 5, 1933. Some states continued statewide prohibition, marking one of the last stages of the Progressive Era.

Although popular opinion believes that Prohibition failed, it succeeded in cutting overall alcohol consumption in half during the 1920s, and consumption remained below pre-Prohibition levels until the 1940s, suggesting that Prohibition did socialize a significant proportion of the population in temperate habits, at least temporarily.[2]Some researchers contend that its political failure is attributable more to a changing historical context than to characteristics of the law itself.[3]Criticism remains that Prohibition led to unintended consequences such as the growth of urban crime organizations and a century of Prohibition-influenced legislation. As an experiment it lost supporters every year, and lost tax revenue that governments needed when the Great Depression began in 1929.

https://sites.google.com/a/bloomfield.org/roaring-twenties-sydney-brooklin-jp-sofik/prohibition-crime


The Drunkard’s Progress: A lithograph by&nbspNathaniel Currier supporting the temperance movement, January 1846 Consumption of alcoholic beverages has been a contentious topic in America since the colonial period. In May 1657, the General Court of Massachusettsmade the sale of strong liquor “whether known by the name of rumwhiskywinebrandy, etc.” to the Indians illegal.[15][dubious ]
In general, informal social controls in the home and community helped maintain the expectation that the abuse of alcohol was unacceptable. “Drunkenness was condemned and punished, but only as an abuse of a God-given gift. Drink itself was not looked upon as culpable, any more than food deserved blame for the sin of gluttony. Excess was a personal indiscretion.”[16]When informal controls failed, there were legal options.

Shortly after the United States obtained independence, the Whiskey Rebelliontook place in western Pennsylvania in protest of government-imposed taxes on whiskey. Although the taxes were primarily levied to help pay down the newly formed national debt, it also received support from some social reformers, who hoped a “sin tax” would raise public awareness about the harmful effects of alcohol.[17] The whiskey tax was repealed after Thomas Jefferson‘s Democratic-Republican Party, which opposed the Federalist Party of Alexander Hamilton, came to power in 1800.[18]

Benjamin Rush, one of the foremost physicians of the late eighteenth century, believed in moderation rather than prohibition. In his treatise, “The Inquiry into the Effects of Ardent Spirits upon the Human Body and Mind” (1784), Rush argued that the excessive use of alcohol was injurious to physical and psychological health, labeling drunkenness as a disease.[19]Apparently influenced by Rush’s widely discussed belief, about 200 farmers in a Connecticut community formed a temperance association in 1789. Similar associations were formed in Virginia in 1800 and New York in 1808.[20] Within a decade, other temperance groups had formed in eight states, some of them being statewide organizations. The words of Rush and other early temperance reformers served to dichotomize the use of alcohol for men and women. While men enjoyed drinking and often considered it vital to their health, women who began to embrace the ideology of “true motherhood” refrained from consumption of alcohol. Middle-class women, who were considered the moral authorities of their households, consequently rejected the drinking of alcohol, which they believed to be a threat to the home.[20] In 1830, on average, Americans consumed 1.7 bottles of hard liquor per week, three times the amount consumed in 2010.[12]

The 1898 Congressional Record, when reporting on a proposed tax on distilled spirits (H.R. 10253), noted that the relationship between populations, tax on distilled spirits (made from things other than fruit), and consumption was thus: (The Aggregates are grouped by tax rate)

Wikipedia.org

 

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“The Truth About McCarthyism: Modern Parallels” 

“The Truth About McCarthyism: Modern Parallels” 

Featured image: deverpeastcres.cf

McCarthyism

AMERICAN HISTORY

WRITTEN BY:

 Paul J. Achter

McCarthyismname given to the period of time in American history that saw Wisconsin Sen. Joseph McCarthy produce a series of investigations and hearings during the 1950s in an effort to expose supposed communist infiltration of various areas of the U.S. government. The term has since become a byname for defamation of character or reputation by means of widely publicized indiscriminateallegations, especially on the basis of unsubstantiated charges.

U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy (covering microphones) during an investigation into communist … Byron Rollins/AP


McCarthy was elected to the Senatein 1946 and rose to prominence in 1950 when he claimed in a speech that 205 communists had infiltrated the State Department. McCarthy’s subsequent search for communists in the Central Intelligence Agency, the State Department, and elsewhere made him an incredibly polarizing figure. After McCarthy’s reelection in 1952, he obtained the chairmanship of the Committee on Government Operations of the Senate and of its Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. For the next two years he was constantly in the spotlight, investigating various government departments and questioning innumerable witnesses about their suspected communist affiliations. Although he failed to make a plausible case against anyone, his colourful and cleverly presented accusations drove some persons out of their jobs and brought popular condemnation to others.

McCarthyism both reached its peak and began its decline during the “McCarthy hearings”: 36 days of televised investigative hearings led by McCarthy in 1954. After first calling hearings to investigate possible espionage at the Army Signal Corps Engineering Laboratories in Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, the junior senator turned his communist-chasing committee’s attention to an altogether different matter, the question of whether the Army had promoted a dentist who had refused to answer questions for the Loyalty Security Screening Board. The hearings reached their climax when McCarthy suggested that the Army’s lawyer, Joseph Welch, had employed a man who at one time had belonged to a communist front group. Welch’s rebuke to the senator—“Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?”—discredited McCarthy and helped to turn the tide of public opinionagainst him. Moreover, McCarthy was also eventually undermined significantly by the incisive and skillful criticism of a journalist, Edward R. Murrow. Murrow’s devastating television editorial about McCarthy, carried out on his show, See It Now, cemented him as the premier journalist of the time. McCarthy was censured for his conduct by the Senate, and in 1957 he died. While McCarthyism proper ended with the Senator’s downfall, the term still has currency in modern political discourse.

 
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Posted by on August 5, 2017 in documentary

 

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“Native American Indians:  Stolen Lands and Broken Treaties” 

“Native American Indians:  Stolen Lands and Broken Treaties” 

Featured image:  http://wizzyschool.com

TREATIES MADE, TREATIES BROKEN

Kelly wrote that colonization created the condition of poverty on many American Indian reservations today.  Many Americans have misperceptions that poverty should not exist on reservations because Native people’s basic needs are taken care of under treaties.

Over 500 treaties were made with American Indian tribes, primarily for land cessations, but 500 treaties were also broken, changed or nullified when it served the government’s interests.

The video below about policies toward the Lakota gives many examples of this, and the practice was not limited to tribes in the Plains. It is also true that some tribes have no treaties and many tribes remain unrecognized as tribes by the federal government; this leaves them without reservation trust land and federal programming. The fact is that many Native American people are suffering and we should all care about that.

http://blog.nativepartnership.org/treaties-made-treaties-broken/


 
 

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“Flight 93 – Trailer [2006]” 

“Flight 93 – Trailer [2006]” 

United Airlines Flight 93 was a domestic scheduled passenger flightthat was hijacked by four Al-Qaedaterrorists on board, as part of the September 11 attacks. It crashed into a field in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, during an attempt by the passengers and crew to regain control. All 44 people aboard were killed, including the four hijackers, but no one on the ground was injured. The aircraft involved, a Boeing 757–222, was flying United Airlines‘ daily scheduled morning flight from Newark International Airport in New Jersey to San Francisco International Airport in California.

United Airlines Flight 93
A439, Flight 93 National Memorial, Stonycreek Township, Pennsylvania, USA, memorial sign, flight path.jpg

UA 93’s flight path on September 11, 2001, from Newark, New Jersey, to Stonycreek Township, Somerset County, Pennsylvania.

Suicide hijacking summary
Date Tuesday, September 11, 2001
Summary Terrorist suicidehijacking
Site Field near the Diamond T. Mine, a coal strip mine in Stonycreek TownshipSomerset CountyPennsylvania, U.S.
Passengers 37 (including 4 hijackers)
Crew 7
Fatalities 44 (including 4 hijackers)
Survivors None
Aircraft type Boeing 757–222
Operator United Airlines
Registration N591UA
Flight origin Newark Int’l Airport (now Newark Liberty Int’l Airport)
Destination San Francisco Int’l Airport

The hijackers stormed the aircraft’s cockpit approximately 46 minutes after takeoff. The pilot and first officer took measures, such as de-activating the autopilot, to hinder the hijackers. However, Ziad Jarrah, who had trained as a pilot, took control of the aircraft and diverted it back toward the east coast, in the direction of Washington, D.C. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Ramzi bin al-Shibh have claimed that the intended target was the Capitol Building.[1]

After the hijackers took control of the plane, several passengers and flight attendants learned from phone calls that suicide attacks had already been made by hijacked airliners on the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Arlington County, Virginia. Many of the passengers then attempted to regain control of the aircraft from the hijackers. During the struggle, the plane crashed into a field near a reclaimed strip mine in Stonycreek Township, near Indian Lake and Shanksville, about 65 miles (105 km) southeast of Pittsburghand 130 miles (210 km) northwest of Washington, D.C. A few people witnessed the impact from the ground, and news agencies began reporting the event within an hour.

Of the four aircraft hijacked on September 11 â€“ the others were American Airlines Flight 11United Airlines Flight 175 and American Airlines Flight 77 â€“ United Airlines Flight 93 was the only one that did not reach its hijackers’ intended target. Vice President Dick Cheney, in the Presidential Emergency Operations Center deep under the White House, upon learning of the premature crash, is reported to have said, “I think an act of heroism just took place on that plane.”[2]

A temporary memorial was built near the crash site soon after the attacks.[3]Construction of a permanent Flight 93 National Memorial was dedicated on September 10, 2011,[4] and the concrete and glass visitor center situated on a hill overlooking the site[5] was opened exactly four years later.[66

https://youtu.be/Vk2bbLfyA4A

 
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Posted by on August 5, 2017 in docu-drama

 

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 “The History of Labor Unions” 

 “The History of Labor Unions” 

Featured image:  http://geekestateblog.com/labor-thoughts-on-labor-day/

Unions began forming in the mid-19th century in response to the social and economic impact of the industrial revolution. National labor unions began to form in the post-Civil War Era. The Knights of Labor emerged as a major force in the late 1880s, but it collapsed because of poor organization, lack of effective leadership, disagreement over goals, and strong opposition from employers and government forces.

The American Federation of Labor, founded in 1886 and led by Samuel Gompers until his death in 1924, proved much more durable. It arose as a loose coalition of various local unions. It helped coordinate and support strikes and eventually became a major player in national politics, usually on the side of the Democrats.

American labor unions benefited greatly from the New Deal policies of Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the 1930s. The Wagner Act, in particular, legally protected the right of unions to organize. Unions from this point developed increasingly closer ties to the Democratic Party, and are considered a backbone element of the New Deal Coalition.

Post-World War II

Pro-business conservatives gained control of Congress in 1946, and in 1947 passed the Taft-Hartley Act, drafted by Senator Robert A. Taft. President Truman vetoed it but the Conservative coalition overrode the veto. The veto override had considerable Democratic support, including 106 out of 177 Democrats in the House, and 20 out of 42 Democrats in the Senate.[14] The law, which is still in effect, banned union contributions to political candidates, restricted the power of unions to call strikes that “threatened national security,” and forced the expulsion of Communist union leaders (the Supreme Court found the anticommunist provision to be unconstitutional, and it is no longer in force). The unions campaigned vigorously for years to repeal the law but failed. During the late 1950s, the Landrum Griffin Act of 1959passed in the wake of Congressional investigations of corruption and undemocratic internal politics in the Teamsters and other unions.[15][16]

The percentage of workers belonging to a union (or “density”) in the United States peaked in 1954 at almost 35% and the total number of union members peaked in 1979 at an estimated 21.0 million. Membership has declined since, with private sector union membership beginning a steady decline that continues into the 2010s, but the membership of public sector unions grew steadily.

After 1960 public sector unions grew rapidly and secured good wages and high pensions for their members. While manufacturing and farming steadily declined, state- and local-government employment quadrupled from 4 million workers in 1950 to 12 million in 1976 and 16.6 million in 2009.[17] Adding in the 3.7 million federal civilian employees, in 2010 8.4 million government workers were represented by unions,[18] including 31% of federal workers, 35% of state workers and 46% of local workers.[19] As Daniel Disalvo notes, “In today’s public sector, good pay, generous benefits, and job security make possible a stable middle-class existence for nearly everyone from janitors to jailors.”[20]

By the 1970s, a rapidly increasing flow of imports (such as automobiles, steel and electronics from Germany and Japan, and clothing and shoes from Asia) undercut American producers.[21]By the 1980s there was a large-scale shift in employment with fewer workers in high-wage sectors and more in the low-wage sectors.[22] Many companies closed or moved factories to Southern states (where unions were weak),[23]countered the threat of a strike by threatening to close or move a plant,[24]or moved their factories offshore to low-wage countries.[25] The number of major strikes and lockouts fell by 97% from 381 in 1970 to 187 in 1980 to only 11 in 2010.[24][26] On the political front, the shrinking unions lost influence in the Democratic Party, and pro-Union liberal Republicans faded away.[27] Union membership among workers in private industry shrank dramatically, though after 1970 there was growth in employees unions of federal, state and local governments.[28][29] The intellectual mood in the 1970s and 1980s favored deregulation and free competition.[30]Numerous industries were deregulated, including airlines, trucking, railroads and telephones, over the objections of the unions involved.[31] The climax came when President Ronald Reagan—a former union president—broke the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (PATCO) strike in 1981, dealing a major blow to unions.[26][32]

Republicans, using conservative think tanks as idea farms, began to push through legislative blueprints to curb the power of public employee unions as well as eliminate business regulations.[25][33][34]

Wikipedia.org

 

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“Malcolm X (1992) Official Trailer – Denzel Washington Movie HD” 

“Malcolm X (1992) Official Trailer – Denzel Washington Movie HD” 

Malcolm X (1925–1965) was an African-American Muslim minister and human rights activist. To his admirers he was a courageous advocate for the rights of blacks, a man who indicted white America in the harshest terms for its crimes against black Americans; detractors accused him of preaching racism and violence. He has been called one of the greatest and most influential African Americans in history.

Born Malcolm Little, Malcolm X was effectively orphaned early in life. His father was killed when he was six and his mother was placed in a mental hospital when he was thirteen, after which he lived in a series of foster homes. In 1946, at age twenty, he went to prison for larceny and breaking and entering. While in prison, he became a member of the Nation of Islam (NOI) and after his parole in 1952, quickly rose to become one of the organization’s most influential leaders. He served as the public face of the controversial group for a dozen years. In his autobiography, Malcolm X wrote proudly of some of the social achievements the Nation made while he was a member, particularly its free drug rehabilitation program. The Nation promoted black supremacy, advocated the separation of black and white Americans, and rejected the civil rights movement for its emphasis on integration.

By March 1964, Malcolm X had grown disillusioned with the Nation of Islam and its leader Elijah Muhammad. Expressing many regrets about his time with them, which he had come to regard as largely wasted, he embraced Sunni Islam. After a period of travel in Africa and the Middle East, which included completing the Hajj, he also became known as el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz.[A][B]He repudiated the Nation of Islam, disavowed racism and founded Muslim Mosque, Inc. and the Organization of Afro-American Unity. He continued to emphasize Pan-Africanism, black self-determination, and black self-defense.

In February 1965, he was assassinated by three members of the Nation of Islam.

 
 

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“Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution”

“Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution”

Featured image:  Black Panther Party….   founders Bobby Seale and Huey P. Newton standing in the street, armed with a Colt .45 and a shotgun.


The Black Panther Party or the BPP(originally the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense) was a revolutionary black nationalist and socialist organization founded by Bobby Seale and Huey Newton in October 1966.[1][2] The party was active in the United States from 1966 until 1982, with international chapters operating in the United Kingdom in the early 1970s,[3] and in Algeria from 1969 until 1972.[4]

File:Black Panther 65-27 HD 2Mbps.webm

Newsreel in which Kathleen Cleaver spoke at Hutton Memorial Park in Alameda County, California. The footage also shows a student protest demonstration at Alameda County Courthouse, Oakland, California. Black Panther Party leaders Huey P. NewtonEldridge Cleaver, and Bobby Seale spoke on a 10-point program they wanted from the administration which was to include full employment, decent housing and education, an end to police brutality, and blacks to be exempt from the military. Black Panther Party members are shown as they marched in uniform. Students at rally marched, sang, clapped hands, and carried protest signs. Police in riot gear controlled marchers.

The sweeping migration of black families out of the South during World War II transformed Oakland and cities throughout the West and the North.[24] A new generation of young blacks growing up in these cities faced new conditions, new forms of poverty and racism unfamiliar to their parents, and they sought to develop new forms of politics to address them.[25] Black Panther Party membership “consisted of recent migrants whose families traveled north and west to escape the southern racial regime, only to be confronted with new forms of segregation and repression”.[26]In the early 1960s, the insurgent Civil Rights Movement had dismantled the Jim Crow system of racial caste subordination using the tactics of non-violent civil disobedience, and demanding full citizenship rights for black people.[27] But not much changed in the cities of the North and West. As the wartime jobs which drew much of the black migration “fled to the suburbs along with white residents”, the black population was concentrated in poor “urban ghettos” with high unemployment, and substandard housing, mostly excluded from political representation, top universities, and the middle class.[28] Police departments were almost all white.[29] In 1966, only 16 of Oakland’s 661 police officers were African American.[30]

Insurgent civil rights practices proved incapable of redressing these conditions, and the organizations that had “led much of the nonviolent civil disobedience” such as SNCC and COREwent into decline.[27] By 1966 a “Black Power ferment” emerged, consisting largely of young urban blacks, posing a question the Civil Rights Movement could not answer: “how would black people in America win not only formal citizenship rights, but actual economic and political power?”[29] Young black people in Oakland and other cities developed a rich ferment of study groups and political organizations, and it is out of this ferment that the Black Panther Party emerged.[31]

In late October 1966, Huey P. Newtonand Bobby Seale founded the Black Panther Party (originally the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense). In formulating a new politics, they drew on their experiences working with a variety of Black Power organizations.[32]Newton and Seale first met in 1962 when they were both students at Merritt College.[33] They joined Donald Warden’s Afro-American Association, where they read widely, debated, and organized in an emergent black nationalist tradition inspired by Malcolm X and others.[34]Eventually dissatisfied with Warden’s accommodation-ism, they developed a revolutionary anti-imperialist perspective working with more active and militant groups like the Soul Students Advisory Council and the Revolutionary Action Movement.[35][36] While bringing in a paycheck, jobs running youth service programs at the North Oakland Neighborhood Anti-Poverty Center allowed them to develop a revolutionary nationalist approach to community service, later a key element in the Black Panther Party’s “community survival programs.”[37]

Dissatisfied with the failure of these organizations to directly challenge police brutality and appeal to the “brothers on the block”, Huey and Bobby sought to take matters into their own hands. After the police killed Matthew Johnson, an unarmed young black man in San Francisco, Newton observed the violent rebellion that followed. He had an epiphany that would distinguish the Black Panther Party from the multitude of organizations seeking to build Black Power. Newton saw the explosive rebellious anger of the ghetto as a force, and believed that if he could stand up to the police, he could organize that force into political power. Inspired by Robert F. Williams‘ armed resistance to the KKK (and Williams’ book Negroes with Guns),[38] Newton studied California gun law until he knew it better than many police officers. Like the Community Alert Patrol in Los Angeles after the Watts Rebellion, he decided to organize patrols to follow the police around to monitor for incidents of brutality. But with a crucial difference: his patrols would carry loaded guns.[39] Huey and Bobby raised enough money to buy two shotguns by buying bulk quantities of the recently publicized Little Red Bookand reselling them to leftist radicals and liberal intellectuals on the Berkeley campus at three times the price. According to Bobby Seale, they would “sell the books, make the money, buy the guns, and go on the streets with the guns. We’ll protect a mother, protect a brother, and protect the community from the racist cops.”[40]

On October 29, 1966, Stokely Carmichael â€“ a leader of SNCC – championed the call for “Black Power” and came to Berkeley to keynote a Black Power conference. At the time, he was promoting the armed organizing efforts of the Lowndes County Freedom Organization (LCFO) in Alabama and their use of the Black Panther symbol. Newton and Seale decided to adopt the Black Panther logo and form their own organization called the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense.[41] Newton and Seale decided on a uniform of blue shirts, black pants, black leather jackets, black berets.[42] Sixteen-year-old Bobby Hutton was their first recruit.[43]


  

 

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