School Desegregation in the 1950’s – excuses, excuses, excuses.
Click on the link here for Audio player: CBS Radio – Virginia Integration – 1958
When the Supreme Court handed down its decision on Brown vs.The Board of Education, declaring segregated schools unconstitutional in 1954, you would have thought the school districts around the U.S. would be quick in complying. No. Far from it.
The resistance to school desegregation, especially throughout the South was palpable and the showdown between segregationists and the Federal government, made famous by the Central High confrontation in Little Rock in 1957, gave some idea of just how much resistance to the Civil Rights movement there was in the South, and would be for decades.
This documentary, produced by CBS Radio and narrated by the venerable Walter Cronkite, chronicles the situation in Virginia in late August-early September 1958 as school was readying for the Fall semester.
Further proof the Civil Rights struggle of the 1950’s and 1960’s was no walk in the park. It was State to State, precinct to precinct and hand to hand.
Boris Yelstin – no way was the Genie going back in the bottle.
Click on the link here for Audio player: Coup in Russia – August 21, 1991
News for this August 21st in 1991 had to do with the shocking turn of events in Russia. In the early hours of the morning, a coup staged by Kremlin hardliners ousted Mikhail Gorbachev and attempted to overthrow the government in an effort to re-establish the old Communist hierarchy and suppress the new freedoms brought about by Perestroika and Glasnost. As tanks and troops, loyal to the hardliners marched through the streets of Moscow to seize the Parliament Building, fears that Russia would now slip back into the patterns of the Cold War brought thousands into the streets to protest, led by opposition President Boris Yeltsin.
Here are the early reports, via NPR’s Morning Edition from August 21, 1991, when news was sketchy and confusion was everywhere.
Watts: 1965. Giving new meaning to the phrase “long, hot summer”.
Click on the link here for audio player: Watts Riot Coverage – Aug. 13, 1965
August 13, 1965 marked the third straight day of civil unrest, gunfire, and burning buildings in the Los Angeles suburb of Watts. In what began as a routine traffic stop quickly escalated into a tense standoff, was downplayed on local radio and TV as “nothing important going on”, and then exploded into one of the most violent and deadly confrontations to take place in an American city in a long time. By the time it was over, some 20,0000 National Guard troops were patrolling the streets, some 30 people lay dead and destruction of homes and businesses was estimated in the millions.
Here is a portion of that third day (from roughly 10:00 -11:15 pm) as reported by KTLA in Los Angeles on August 13, 1965. In later years, such violent confrontations would warrant our uninterrupted attention. But in 1965 there was still time out for commercial breaks.
The faces have changed, the teargas and pepperspray have not.
Click on the link here for audio player: The Young Rebels – 1968
In case you forgot or weren’t around at the time, 1968 was a tumultuous year in our history. It was the year just about everything fell apart. From the war in Vietnam, to assassinations of much-loved leaders, to an entire country going out on strike. It was, as several called it “The Incredible year”.
Much of that year had to do with protest. The Vietnam War had taken a turn for the grossly unpopular, to the point of even the mainstream press lining up against it. And because of the strong sentiments against the war, the protests became increasingly larger and more violent. The Civil Rights movement had taken a turn from peaceful protest to physical confrontation. And in France, an entire nation went on strike and took to the streets to vent anger and frustration over a government that had lost touch with its people.
Here is one of many documentaries produced in 1968 (and later years) which sought to give some perspective as to what was going on. This one, part of the Second Sunday series from NBC Radio looks at the protest movement from the mainstream standpoint. Produced in October of 1968 the events of the Spring and Summer were still pretty fresh in peoples minds, and the wounds were far from healing. Even though it’s via the Mainstream press, it does strive to be objective. Whether it was successful or not depends on where you were when it all went down.
But still, it’s a reference point, and if you aren’t all that familiar with the period, it’s one place to start.
The Temps – sayin’ it in 1970. Still sayin’ it today.
Click on the Link: The Temptations – Ball Of Confusion – 1970
Forty-two years ago The Temptations summed it all up with Ball Of Confusion.
Forty-two years later, they’re still summing it up. The ball of confusion stays the same.
Turn it up and dig the words.
Senseless violence – as American as Apple Pie.
Click on the Link: Second Sunday – America: The Vision and The Violence – 1969
With the news beginning this morning, and the updated reports concerning the shootings at a movie theater in Aurora Colorado throughout the day, I’m reminded of how all-too-familiar this seems. How it has repeated over and over throughout the years. How violence, senseless acts of carnage, seem to be almost part of our National consciousness; imprinted in our DNA. The causes are probably as many and varied as there are personalities in any given neighborhood. But the end result is the same; innocent death, questionable motives and a trail of physical and emotional wreckage to last complete lifetimes.
Here, from a 1969 radio documentary, part of the NBC Radio Second Sunday series is an earlier look at the violence that has torn through America, that has left other physical and emotional wreckage behind it. And how it, even some 40+ years later, appears to have not changed one bit.
Newstalgia Thousand Yard Stare – 1968 In Review..
In retrospect, the only reasonably calm place to be in 1968.