Social Security Amendments of 1965 Established Medicare & Medicaid

07/29/2014

socialsecurity

The Social Security Amendments of 1965Pub.L. 89–97, 79 Stat. 286, enacted July 30, 1965, was legislation in the United States whose most important provisions resulted in creation of two programs: Medicare and Medicaid. The legislation initially provided federal health insurance for the elderly (over 65) and for poor families.

History

Many politicians were involved in drafting the final bill that was introduced to the United States Congress in March 1965. On July 30, 1965 President Lyndon B. Johnson (D) signed the bill into law.

The concept of national health insurance began in the early 20th century in the United States and then came to prominence during the Truman administration. Between 1958 and 1964, controversy grew and a bill was drafted. The signing of the act, as part of Johnson’s Great Society, began an era with a greater emphasis on public health issues. Medicare and Medicaid became the United States’ first public health insurance programs. The legislation was vigorously opposed by the American Medical Association until it had been enacted, following which the AMA cooperated in its implementation.

In 1912 Theodore Roosevelt included social insurance for sickness in the platform of his Progressive Party (United States, 1912). Around 1915 the group American Association for Labor Legislation attempted to introduce a medical insurance bill to some state legislatures. These attempts were not successful, and as a result controversy about national insurance came about. National groups supporting the idea of government health insurance included the AFL-CIO, the American Nurses AssociationNational Association of Social Workers, and the Socialist Party USA. The most prominent opponent of national medical insurance was the American Medical Association (AMA); others included the American Hospital Association, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Life Insurance Association of People.

Previous administrations

In 1935, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt (D) signed the Social Security Act, medical benefits were left out of the bill. The committee that Roosevelt appointed to study issues related to Social Security wanted to include health insurance in the bill. However, the committee was concerned that amending the bill to include health insurance would kill the entire bill. Harry Truman took on the idea of national medical care and tried to integrate it into his Fair Deal program. Truman’s attempts were also unsuccessful, though during his presidency the fight for national medical care became specific to the aged population.

For more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_Security_Act_of_1965

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On the Horizon: The 2015 White House Conference on Aging

Cecilia Muñoz July 29, 2014 01:25 PM EDT

Today at the White House, I was delighted to host a roundtable discussion with leaders from across the aging community who came together to discuss the White House Conference on Aging, which will take place in 2015 – the 50th anniversary of Medicare, Medicaid, and the Older Americans Act, as well as the 80th anniversary of Social Security.

Just yesterday, the Medicare Trustees released their annual report finding that, since their report last year, the life of the Medicare Trust Fund has been extended by four additional years to 2030. When this Administration first took office, the Trust Fund was projected to go bankrupt more than a dozen years sooner, in 2017. The Trustees also project that – for the second year in a row – Part B premiums will not increase, allowing seniors to keep more of their Social Security cost-of-living increase.

Thanks in part to the Affordable Care Act, we have improved the affordability of the program, while at the same time helping Medicare work better for seniors. For example, we are closing the prescription drug coverage gap or “donut hole” to make medications more affordable for Medicare beneficiaries. Just today, we learned that 8.2 million seniors and people with disabilities saved $11.5 billion since 2010 – over $1,000 on average for people hitting the donut hole. Additionally, Medicare now provides coverage without cost-sharing for many preventive benefits to help keep older Americans healthy. The Affordable Care Act also responds to older Americans’ desire to remain independent in their communities by creating incentives for states to provide the services and supports that help people remain at home as they age.

For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/07/29/horizon-2015-white-house-conference-aging

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Social Security Timeline: http://www.ssa.gov/history/1930.html

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Learn more about Social Security: http://www.socialsecurity.gov/

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Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010 – Fourth Anniversary

07/28/2014
Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010 signing

Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010 signing

The Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010 is a law, signed into effect by President Obama, that expands the punitive abilities of tribal courts across the nation. The law allows tribal courts operating in Indian country to increase jail sentences handed down in criminal cases. This was a major step toward improving enforcement and justice in Indian country.

Before this law, tribal courts were limited in the scope of punishment they could hand down in criminal cases, giving them the impression of a lower, less serious court. They now possess the power under the Tribal Law and Order Act to pass increased sentences in order to incarcerate defendants longer.

For more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tribal_Law_and_Order_Act_of_2010

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The Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010: A Step Forward for Native Women

July 29, 2010 by Lynn Rosenthal, White House Advisor on Violence Against Women

The President just signed the Tribal Law and Order Act — an important step to help the Federal Government better address the unique public safety challenges that confront tribal communities.

According to a Department of Justice report, Native American women suffer from violent crime at a rate three and a half times greater than the national average. Astoundingly, one in three Native American women will be raped in their lifetimes. At the White House Tribal Nations Conference in November 2009, President Obama stated that this shocking figure “is an assault on our national conscience that we can no longer ignore.”

Last week, Congress took another important step to improve the lives of Native American women by passing the Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010. The Act includes a strong emphasis on decreasing violence against women in Native communities, and is one of many steps this Administration strongly supports to address the challenges faced by Native women.

The stipulations in the Act that will benefit Native women reflect several Administration priorities. The Act will strengthen tribal law enforcement and the ability to prosecute and fight crime more effectively. The Indian Health Care Improvement Act will require that a standardized set of practices be put in place for victims of sexual assault in health facilities. Now, more women will get the care they need, both for healing and to aid in the prosecution of their perpetrators.

For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2010/07/29/tribal-law-and-order-act-2010-a-step-forward-native-women

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July 29, 2010

Remarks by the President Before Signing the Tribal Law and Order Act

East Room

4:58 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you, everybody.  Please have a seat.

I want to start, obviously, by thanking Lisa for her introduction and having the courage to share her story with all of us today.  It’s for every survivor like Lisa who has never gotten their day in court, and for every family that feels like justice is beyond reach, and for every tribal community struggling to keep its people safe, that I’ll be signing the Tribal Law and Order Act into law today.

And in doing so, I intend to send a clear message that all of our people — whether they live in our biggest cities or our most remote reservations — have the right to feel safe in their own communities, and to raise their children in peace, and enjoy the fullest protection of our laws.

As many of you know, I campaigned on this issue.  And during our last — during our tribal conference last year, I pledged my administration’s fullest support for this bill.  And I told Senator Dorgan last week that I intended to sign it in a ceremony here at the White House with all of you.  So today, I am proud to make good on my word.

Now, I’m told there’s a Seneca proverb that says “He who would do great things should not attempt them all alone.”  (Laughter.)  And that’s particularly true of this legislation, which is the product of tireless efforts by countless individuals across this country.  Congressional leaders like Senator Dorgan, Representative Herseth Sandlin, and others who are here today, and tribal leaders like Chairman Marcus Levings, President Theresa Two Bulls, President Diane Enos, Chief Chad Smith, Vice Chairman Jonathan Windy Boy — we are grateful to all of them for their extraordinary support.  And then we’ve got leaders in our administration like Attorney General Holder and Secretary Salazar, Kimberly Teehee, Jodi Gillette here at the White House who work tirelessly on this legislation.

And that’s nothing to say of all the dedicated judges and prosecutors and tribal and BIA law enforcement officers — some of whom are here today — who’ve supported these efforts.  And the determined survivors most of all, like Lisa, who even when it’s too late to undo what happened to them, still speak out to seek justice for others.

All of you come at this from different angles, but you’re united in support of this bill because you believe, like I do, that it is unconscionable that crime rates in Indian Country are more than twice the national average and up to 20 times the national average on some reservations.  And all of you believe, like I do, that when one in three Native American women will be raped in their lifetimes, that is an assault on our national conscience; it is an affront to our shared humanity; it is something that we cannot allow to continue.

For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/remarks-president-signing-tribal-law-and-order-act

 

Tribe passes enhanced sentencing law

August 23, 2012

Cherokee recently passed legislation during the August Session of Tribal Council which updated the Cherokee Criminal Code and finalized the full implementation of the enhanced sentencing authority granted by the federal Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010.  Cherokee Ordinance Number 182 was passed by Tribal Council on Aug. 2 and ratified by Principal Chief Michell Hicks on Aug. 16.  The Ordinance increased the maximum possible punishment of all felony-equivalent tribal crimes from one year to three years imprisonment and from a $5,000 to a $15,000 fine.

The Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010 granted enhanced, felony-level sentencing authority to tribal courts by increasing the maximum possible punishment that a tribal court may hand down from one year of imprisonment and a $5,000 fine per offense to three years of imprisonment and a $15,000 fine per offense, with a provision for stacking up to three offenses in certain criminal cases which could result in a maximum possible punishment of nine years of imprisonment (25 U.S.C. § 1302).  Before tribes can enact legislation to implement this enhanced punishment, the federal law requires that the tribal courts have law-trained judges, provide defendants with the right to effective assistance of counsel and indigent defendants with court appointed counsel, and make the tribal laws publically available, among other things.  The Cherokee Court has met all of these requirements, even for many years prior to the enactment of the Tribal Law and Order Act.

For more: http://www.webcitation.org/6FmBkL7iB
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Executive Order: Non-Discrimination Protection to LGBT Employees of Fed. Contractors

07/20/2014

HRC Statement on the LGBT Executive Order to be Signed Monday

July 18, 2014 by Charlie Joughin – hrc.org

Following the news that President Obama will sign an executive order Monday outlawing anti-LGBT discrimination among federal contractors and federal employees, Human Rights Campaign (HRC) President Chad Griffin issued the following statement:

“With the strokes of a pen, the President will have a very real and immediate impact on the lives of millions of LGBT people across the country. Each and every American worker should be judged based on the work they do, and never because of a fundamental aspect of who they are – like their sexual orientation or gender identity. These actions from the President have the potential to be a keystone in the arch of his administration’s progress, and they send a powerful message to future administrations and to Congress that anti-LGBT discrimination must not be tolerated. We also call on Congress to immediately pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.” .

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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary

FACT SHEET: Taking Action to Support LGBT Workplace Equality is Good For Business

America is built on the fundamental promise that if you work hard, and play by the rules, you can get ahead. But today, millions of Americans in most states in the country go to work every day fearing that they could lose their jobs simply because of who they are or who they love. No current federal law adequately protects lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) workers from employment discrimination. This is completely contrary to our values as Americans – and it’s also bad for business.

President Obama declared 2014 a year of action – working with Congress where they’re willing, but acting where he can when they refuse to take action. As part of this commitment to expanding opportunity for hardworking Americans, today, the President will sign an Executive Order prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating against LGBT employees and prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity in federal employment.

At a critical time for our nation’s economy, we need all of our workers to be focused on making the most of their talent, skill, and ingenuity, rather than worrying about losing their job due to discrimination. The economy functions best when workers are matched to the jobs with the best fit, maximizing their productivity, increasing wages and helping the bottom line for businesses. Discrimination is not just wrong, it also can keep qualified workers from maximizing their potential to contribute to the strengthening of our economy. For decades, companies have found that benefits and inclusive, flexible, and supportive workplace policies make it easier and more cost effective to recruit, retain, and motivate employees. The same logic applies to extending these basic protections and policies to LGBT workers.

American workers should be judged by one thing only: their ability to get the job done. That’s why the President has long supported federal legislation to explicitly prohibit employers across the country from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. For forty years, Congress has considered various pieces of legislation meant to address LGBT workplace equality. Last November, the Senate passed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) with strong bipartisan support. However, the House has failed to act.

For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/07/21/fact-sheet-taking-action-support-lgbt-workplace-equality-good-business-0

 

July 21, 2014  – 10:00 AM EDT
President Obama Signs an Executive Order to Protect LGBT Employees from Workplace Discrimination

Rainbow spectrum..

Actions of President Obama on LGBT Rights 

2009 -
Oct 28 – President Obama signed The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, also known as the Matthew Shepard Act, is an American Act of Congress
2010 -
President Obama authorizes the US State Department to provide assistance to LGBT defenders and advocates through the US Embassies abroad
2012 -
 May 9 – Barack Obama became the first U.S. president to publicly announced support for same-sex marriage
2013 -
Feb. 22 –   President Obama administration urges U.S. Supreme Court to strike down DOMA
Jun. 26 – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced that the US will give visa applications of gay and lesbian spouses in the same manner as heterosexual couples
Jun. 28-  US Office of Personnel Management extends federal rights and benefits to married gay and lesbian federal employees and their families
Jul. 12 – The Social Security Administration announced that it would begin accepting benefit claims related to same-sex marriage
Aug. 2 – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry Announcemens on Visa Changes for Same-Sex Couples
Aug. 14 – DOD Announces Same-Sex Spouse Benefits
Aug. 29 –  Treasury and IRS Announce That All Legal Same-Sex Marriages Will Be Recognized For Federal Tax Purposes,  Social Security Announces the Processing of claims for same-sex couples
Sept. 23 – First WH Bi Conference
Sept. 24 – Pres Obama’s nominee Todd Hughes, become the nation’s first openly gay federal appeals judge
Oct. 31 – Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel  directed the chief of the National Guard Bureau to meet with the adjutants general of nine [of the remaining] states [not in compliance] to resolve the issue of those states denying ID cards to same-sex spouses at National Guard facilities
2014 –
Jan. 10 – Attorney General Eric Holder recognizes the marriages of more than 1,000 same-sex couples in Utah that took place before the Supreme Court put those unions on hold
Mar 14 – President Obama’s Judge Staci Michelle Yandle, an openly gay African-American woman, to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois
Jun 19 – President Obama’s nominee Judith Ellen Levy was confirmed by the Senate as the first openly lesbian federal judge in Michigan
Jun 19 – President Obama’s nominee Darrin P. Gayles becomes the first black, openly gay male judge was appointed to District Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida
Jun 20 – President Obama announces a rule that makes legally married same-sex couples eligible for benefits under the Family and Medical Leave Act in all 50 states

Jun 24 –  White House Global Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Human Rights Forum

Jul 21 – President Obama signs an executive order Monday outlawing anti-LGBT discrimination among federal contractors and federal employees

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LGBT Rights are the Civil Rights Fight of Our Lifetime 

lgbt_obama_logo-sml White House – LGBT

 LGBT Democrats Facebook

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Port Chicago Naval Magazine Explosion – 70th Anniversary

07/17/2014

POCH_2014_Flyer_via_SenHancocksOffice

Port Chicago disaster exposed racism in military; helped launch civil rights movement

7/16/2014 By Lisa P. White –  Contra Costa Times

CONCORD — Seventy years ago today, a horrific explosion at the Port Chicago Naval munitions base claimed hundreds of lives. It also laid bare the ugly truth about racism in the United States military during World War II.

The subsequent mutiny trial and convictions of 50 African-American sailors who refused to resume loading ammunition under working conditions they believed were unsafe helped set the stage for the modern Civil Rights Movement.

Although the Port Chicago disaster was the war’s deadliest home-front accident, many Americans still are unfamiliar with the tragedy and its legacy. Port Chicago hasn’t been recorded in most history books or memorialized as a “date which will live in infamy.” Although there is a National Park Service memorial at the still active Military Ocean Terminal Concord, it won’t be open for the 70th anniversary because the Army is loading live ammunition there this summer.

Yet, for the few remaining survivors and families of the 202 African-American victims and the convicted mutineers, Port Chicago stands as a testament to courage, an indictment of injustice and a monument to resistance.

“The (survivors) that I talked to want people to know that they did their best in a poor situation, they did their best to help win the war,” said Rev. Diana McDaniel, board president of the Friends of Port Chicago National Memorial. “They were patriotic and proud of America and they wanted to go fight … but they got stuck loading munitions and they knew it was important.”

THE EXPLOSION

About 10:18 p.m. July 17, 1944, two explosions in rapid succession shook the Naval munitions base on Suisun Bay. Fire and smoke shot up two miles in the air above the base, and the blast was felt over a huge area, including as far away as Boulder City, Nev., near Las Vegas.

In an instant, 320 men were simply obliterated — most of their bodies too ripped apart to be identified. The blast shattered windows in the barracks a mile from the pier, raining glass and debris down on off-duty sailors. In the nearby town of Port Chicago, the explosion damaged buildings and injured residents. A total of 390 people were wounded that night.

Chaos, confusion and fear gripped the darkened naval base. Some sailors believed the Japanese had bombed them, but others quickly concluded there had been an explosion at the pier where the SS E.A. Bryan sat loaded with about 4,600 tons of bombs, ammunition and depth charges. An additional 429 tons of munitions, packed onto 16 railroad cars, waited on the pier to be transferred into the holds of the SS Quinault Victory also docked there.

Enlisted men and officers who rushed to the waterfront found a nightmarish scene — the pier was gone, and the E.A. Bryan had been reduced to pieces. The Quinault Victory’s stern had landed upside down in the water 500 feet away.

For more: http://www.contracostatimes.com/contra-costa-times/ci_26162692/port-chicago-disaster-exposed-racism-military-helped-launch?source=rss

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Port of Chicago - Storage Facility

Port of Chicago - 1944 Explosion DiagramPort Chicago Accident1944 Port of Chicago, CA

Port Chicago Memorial, Contra Costa County, CA

Port Chicago Memorial, Contra Costa County, CA

Port Chicago Naval Magazine Explosion on 17 July 1944: Court of Inquiry
Port Chicago History Program
Foundation Document For Planning

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2016 Democrats

07/15/2014

Democratics  that have publicly expressed interest in becoming a presidential candidate:

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P2016

Ready for Hillary

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton

Are You Ready for Hillary?

Inside the super PAC that’s already paving the way for the next Clinton White House.

4/1/13 By David Weigel – slate

It was the thrilling-est busywork of Adam Parkhomenko’s young life. Hillary Clinton, still in the Senate, would meet some well-wisher. She’d grab his business card and deliver it to her Friends of Hillary PAC, specifically to Parkhomenko, with “three sentences of notes” about the possible ally/voter/donor.

“She wanted us to save all that information,” says Parkhomenko, breaking between meetings for coffee in downtown D.C. “She wanted to follow up with them. I’d get that all the time. President Clinton did the same thing. They’d hear from people who wanted to be in our world, and they’d take the names. They’d call, they’d ask ‘How’s the database doing?’ Eventually that got shortened. ‘How’s the DBS?’ ”

Talking about data entry makes Parkhomenko wistful. This summer will mark the 10th year of his campaign to elect President Hillary Clinton, a campaign that began when he was in high school. For four of those years, Clinton was secretary of state, barred from the grubby world of politics, Jefferson-Jackson dinners, and databases. The expert prepper lost precious time to prep.

Enter the Ready for Hillary PAC, founded in January, ramping up its activities “in the next two weeks.” It’s a shadow campaign set up at least two years before Clinton will actually decide whether or not to run for president.

For more: http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2013/04/hillary_clinton_running_for_president_her_diehard_fans_and_loyalists_have.html
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Warren for President

Elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth Warren

Ready for Warren? Backers launch site

7/15/14 6:09 PM EDT By KATIE GLUECK – Politico

A group encouraging Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren to run for president is ramping up, launching a website this week just ahead of the liberal Netroots Nation conference.

According to The Boston Globe and other news organizations, ready4warren.com launched Tuesday after several months of having a social media presence on Twitter and Facebook.

Some progressives have long hoped that Warren, with her populist, anti-Wall Street credentials, might jump into the 2016 race, something the Massachusetts senator has said she’s ruled out.

We aren’t wealthy or well-connected,” reads a post on the group’s site. “We don’t have any lobbyists. What we are is a movement of individuals working together who believe that folks like us should have a greater say in the direction of our country. We Are Ready for Elizabeth Warren to run for President in 2016. Warren is the backbone that the Democratic Party too often forgets it needs.”

The Ready for Warren site includes a petition urging Warren to run, and, according to the Globe and other news organizations, there are plans to generate momentum for the organization at the Netroots gathering later this week in Detroit.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2014/07/ready-for-warren-backers-launch-site-108946.html#ixzz37aBdkOFm

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Independence Day 2014

07/03/2014

WH July 4 2014

July 4, 1776, the United States Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Continental Congress which announced that the thirteen American colonies then at war with Great Britain were now independent states. Written primarily by Thomas Jefferson, the Declaration is a formal explanation of why Congress had voted on July 2 to declare independence from Great Britain, more than a year after the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War. The birthday of the United States of America—Independence Day—is celebrated on July 4, the day the wording of the Declaration was approved by Congress.

We celebrate the 238th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the beginning of American democracy.

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Salute to the Military

President Obama and First Lady Michelle will celebrate the Fourth of July by hosting military heroes and their families with a Sixth Annual “Salute to the Military” USO Concert  at the White House.  The celebration includes a barbeque, USO concert featuring Brad Paisley and a view of fireworks on the South Lawn.

11:00 AM EDT: President Obama speaks at a naturalization ceremony for active-duty service members and civilians
6:00 PM EDT: President Obama delivers remarks from the South Lawn
8:10 PM EDT: USO Concert
9:10 PM EDT: National capital fireworks display

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Live Stream: http://www.whitehouse.gov/live

 iPhone  White House App.

USO Fourth of July Festivities being held around the world: http://www.uso.org/2014-fourth-of-july-events/

Happy July 4th America


The Civil Rights Act of 1964 – 50th Anniversary

07/01/2014

Portrait

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Pub.L. 88–352, 78 Stat. 241, enacted July 2, 1964) is a landmark piece of civil rights legislation in the United States that outlawed major forms of discrimination against racial, ethnic, national and religious minorities, and women.  It ended unequal application of voter registration requirements and racial segregation in schools, at the workplace and by facilities that served the general public (known as “public accommodations”).

Powers given to enforce the act were initially weak, but were supplemented during later years. Congress asserted its authority to legislate under several different parts of the United States Constitution, principally its power to regulate interstate commerce under Article One (section 8), its duty to guarantee all citizens equal protection of the laws under the Fourteenth Amendment and its duty to protect voting rights under the Fifteenth Amendment. The Act was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson, who would later sign the landmark Voting Rights Act into law.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_Rights_Act_of_1964

 

"1964: Civil Rights at 50" is a yearlong exhibit at the Newseum, 555 Pennsylvania Ave., Washington, DC

1964: Civil Rights at 50” is a yearlong exhibit at the Newseum, 555 Pennsylvania Ave., Washington, DC

6/24/14 US House and Senate leaders posthumously award the Congressional Gold Medal to Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King at a ceremony marking the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

6/24/14 US House and Senate leaders posthumously award the Congressional Gold Medal to Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King at a ceremony marking the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

johnson-obama-50yr

Desiline Victor, 102, stood in line for three hours to cast her vote on Oct. 28, 2012. Ms. Victor was a guest of First Lady Michelle Obama to listen to President Obama’s 2012 State of the Union address.

Desiline Victor, 102, stood in line for three hours to cast her vote on Oct. 28, 2012. Ms. Victor was a guest of First Lady Michelle Obama to listen to President Obama’s 2012 State of the Union address.

June 25, 2013

Statement by the President on the Supreme Court Ruling on Shelby County v. Holder

“I am deeply disappointed with the Supreme Court’s decision today. For nearly 50 years, the Voting Rights Act – enacted and repeatedly renewed by wide bipartisan majorities in Congress – has helped secure the right to vote for millions of Americans. Today’s decision invalidating one of its core provisions upsets decades of well-established practices that help make sure voting is fair, especially in places where voting discrimination has been historically prevalent.

As a nation, we’ve made a great deal of progress towards guaranteeing every American the right to vote. But, as the Supreme Court recognized, voting discrimination still exists. And while today’s decision is a setback, it doesn’t represent the end of our efforts to end voting discrimination. I am calling on Congress to pass legislation to ensure every American has equal access to the polls. My Administration will continue to do everything in its power to ensure a fair and equal voting process.”

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TELL HOUSE REPUBLICANS: RESTORE & PROTECT VOTING RIGHTS

The Supreme Court just gutted the most important civil rights law in our country — the Voting Rights Act. This decision is an extremely disappointing setback for voting rights in this country. Now it’s up to Congress to enact new legislation to protect the rights of voters, and it’s up to us to make them act.

Contact your legislator Contact your Congress person to Republicans it’s time to pass laws to RESTORE and PROTECT VOTING RIGHTS!!!

U.S. Senators
U.S. Representatives
Tweet a Message to Your Representatives

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Stonewall Riots of 1969 – 45th Anniversary

06/26/2014

Police raids on gay bars and nightclubs were a regular event in cities across the United States. Commonly the police would record the identities of all those present, which would be subsequently published in the newspaper, then load up their police van with as many as it would hold. Kissing, holding hands, or even being in a gay bar at all was used as grounds for arrest on indecency charges at that time.

The Stonewall raid on June 29, 1969 started out just like any other raid. Seven plainclothes policemen entered the bar along with one uniformed policeman, allegedly to investigate improprieties in the liquor license. They cleared the bar, whose clientele remained on the sidewalk and street outside.

The situation took a dramatic turn for the worse, and the police began beating people who resisted with their nightsticks. The crowd started throwing rocks and bottles rather than coins. The police took refuge inside the Inn, which they trashed. This was the first time the homosexual community had resisted with such force. With this event, the gay rights movement was ignited.

“While we have come a long way since the Stonewall riots in 1969, we still have a lot of work to do. Too often, the issue of LGBT rights is exploited by those seeking to divide us. But at its core, this issue is about who we are as Americans. It’s about whether this nation is going to live up to its founding promise of equality by treating all its citizens with dignity and respect.”

6/1/07  Senator Barack Obama  

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2009 -
Oct 28 – President Obama signed The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, also known as the Matthew Shepard Act, is an American Act of Congress
2010 -
President Obama authorizes the US State Department to provide assistance to LGBT defenders and advocates through the US Embassies abroad
2012 -
 May 9 – Barack Obama became the first U.S. president to publicly announced support for same-sex marriage
2013 -
Feb. 22 –   President Obama administration urges U.S. Supreme Court to strike down DOMA
Jun. 26 – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced that the US will give visa applications of gay and lesbian spouses in the same manner as heterosexual couples
Jun. 28-  US Office of Personnel Management extends federal rights and benefits to married gay and lesbian federal employees and their families
Jul. 12 – The Social Security Administration announced that it would begin accepting benefit claims related to same-sex marriage
Aug. 2 – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry Announcemens on Visa Changes for Same-Sex Couples
Aug. 14 – DOD Announces Same-Sex Spouse Benefits
Aug. 29 –  Treasury and IRS Announce That All Legal Same-Sex Marriages Will Be Recognized For Federal Tax Purposes,  Social Security Announces the Processing of claims for same-sex couples
Sept. 23 – First WH Bi Conference
Sept. 24 – Pres Obama’s nominee Todd Hughes, become the nation’s first openly gay federal appeals judge
Oct. 31 – Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel  directed the chief of the National Guard Bureau to meet with the adjutants general of nine [of the remaining] states [not in compliance] to resolve the issue of those states denying ID cards to same-sex spouses at National Guard facilities
2014 –
Jan. 10 – Attorney General Eric Holder recognizes the marriages of more than 1,000 same-sex couples in Utah that took place before the Supreme Court put those unions on hold
Mar 14 – President Obama’s Judge Staci Michelle Yandle, an openly gay African-American woman, to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois
Jun 19 – President Obama’s nominee Judith Ellen Levy was confirmed by the Senate as the first openly lesbian federal judge in Michigan
Jun 19 – President Obama’s nominee Darrin P. Gayles becomes the first black, openly gay male judge was appointed to District Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida
Jun 20 – President Obama announces a rule that makes legally married same-sex couples eligible for benefits under the Family and Medical Leave Act in all 50 states

Jun 24 –  White House Global Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Human Rights Forum

LGBT Rights are the Civil Rights Fight of Our Lifetime 

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Mississippi Freedom Summer Murders – 50th Anniversary

06/24/2014

Freedom Summer Murders

Mississippi Civil Rights Workers’ Murders – 50th Anniversary

Three American civil rights’ workers, James Earl Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael “Mickey” Schwerner, were shot at close range on the night of June 21–22, 1964 by members of the Mississippi White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, the Neshoba County’s Sheriff Office and the Philadelphia Police Department located in Philadelphia, Mississippi. The three had been working on the “Freedom Summer” campaign, attempting to register African Americans to vote.

Their murders sparked national outrage and a massive federal investigation. The Federal Bureau of Investigation referred to this investigation as Mississippi Burning (MIBURN), and eventually found the bodies 44 days later in an earthen dam near the murder site. After the state government refused to prosecute, the federal government initially charged 18 individuals but was only able to secure convictions for seven of them, who received relatively minor sentences for their actions. However, outrage over their deaths assisted in the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

For more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mississippi_civil_rights_worker_murders

June 21, 1964 Three civil rights workers, Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman, and James Chaney, are murdered near Philadelphia, Mississippi, by local Klansmen and a deputy sheriff.

June 21, 1964
Three civil rights workers, Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman, and James Chaney, are murdered near Philadelphia, Mississippi, by local Klansmen and a deputy sheriff.

Mississippi Burning

For years the FBI had investigated civil rights-related matters, but its role was often controversial and many cases did not result in successful conclusions. The FBI had pursued the depredations of the Ku Klux Klan for years as well. In the case of the missing civil rights workers, these concerns about civil rights and the Klan came together.

A Byte Out of History: Mississippi Burning
– 1908 Civil Rights Case One of FBI’s First
– Civil Rights in the 60s: Justice for Medgar Evers
– FBI vs. the Klan: Part 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5
– Retired Agent Revisits Cold Civil Rights Era Cases

Source: http://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2014/june/50-years-since-mississippi-burning

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Among the more notorious murders by Ku Klux Klan members:

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kkk#Later_Klans.2C_1950_through_1960s

1964 KKK w/ Confederate &  Gadsden 'Don't Tread On Me' flags

1964 KKK w/ Confederate & Gadsden ‘Don’t Tread On Me‘ flags

1964 Police:Dogs Attacks Civil Rights
1964 bfd water hose attack civil rights

MLK_Reg_Vote

Freedom50.org

In the summer of 1964, hundreds of summer volunteers from across America convened in Mississippi to put an end to the system of rigid segregation. The civil rights workers and the summer volunteers successfully challenged the denial by the state of Mississippi to keep Blacks from voting, getting a decent education, and holding elected offices.

As a result of the Freedom Summer of 1964, some of the barriers to voting have been eliminated and Mississippi has close to 1000 Black state and local elected officials. In fact, Mississippi has more Black elected officials than any other state in the union. While the Freedom Summer of ’64 made profound changes in the state of Mississippi and the country, much remains to be accomplished.

The Mississippi Freedom Summer 50th Anniversary Conference will convene in Jackson, Mississippi both to recognize the accomplishments and those who worked for changes to the politically segregated Mississippi and to discuss how to continue the struggle toward Mississippi reaching its full potential for all of its citizens.

Learn more: http://freedom50.org

Mississippi Freedom Summer – 50th Anniversary Conference

June 25 – 29, 2014
Tougaloo, MS

For more: http://freedom50.org/agenda/

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1964 St. Augustine Civil Rights Movement vs Ku Klux Klan

06/16/2014
In June 1964, James Brock, Manager of the Monson Motor Lodge in St. Augustine, Florida dumped acid into the swimming pool water. He was trying to disrupt swimmers who were protesting the hotel's whites-only policy.

In June 1964, James Brock, Manager of the Monson Motor Lodge in St. Augustine, Florida dumped acid into the swimming pool water. He was trying to disrupt swimmers who were protesting the hotel’s whites-only policy.

St. Augustine Movement

St. Augustine, Florida, 1963–64

St. Augustine, on the northeast coast of Florida was famous as the “Nation’s Oldest City,” founded by the Spanish in 1565. It became the stage for a great drama leading up to the passage of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964. A local movement, led by Dr. Robert B. Hayling, a black dentist and Air Force veteran, and affiliated with the NAACP, had been picketing segregated local institutions since 1963, as a result of which Dr. Hayling and three companions, James Jackson, Clyde Jenkins, and James Hauser, were brutally beaten at a Ku Klux Klan rally in the fall of that year.

Nightriders shot into black homes, and teenagers Audrey Nell Edwards, JoeAnn Anderson, Samuel White, and Willie Carl Singleton (who came to be known as “The St. Augustine Four“) spent six months in jail and reform school after sitting in at the local Woolworth’s lunch counter. It took a special action of the governor and cabinet of Florida to release them after national protests by the Pittsburgh Courier, Jackie Robinson, and others.

In response to the repression, the St. Augustine movement practiced armed self-defense in addition to nonviolent direct action. In June 1963, Dr. Hayling publicly stated that “I and the others have armed. We will shoot first and answer questions later. We are not going to die like Medgar Evers.” The comment made national headlines. When Klan nightriders terrorized black neighborhoods in St. Augustine, Hayling’s NAACP members often drove them off with gunfire, and in October, a Klansman was killed.

In 1964, Dr. Hayling and other activists urged the Southern Christian Leadership Conference to come to St. Augustine. The first action came during spring break, when Hayling appealed to northern college students to come to the Ancient City, not to go to the beach, but to take part in demonstrations. Four prominent Massachusetts women—Mrs. Mary Parkman Peabody, Mrs. Esther Burgess, Mrs. Hester Campbell (all of whose husbands were Episcopal bishops), and Mrs. Florence Rowe (whose husband was vice president of John Hancock Insurance Company) came to lend their support. The arrest of Mrs. Peabody, the 72-year-old mother of the governor of Massachusetts, for attempting to eat at the segregated Ponce de Leon Motor Lodge in an integrated group, made front page news across the country, and brought the civil rights movement in St. Augustine to the attention of the world.

Widely publicized activities continued in the ensuing months, as Congress saw the longest filibuster against a civil rights bill in its history. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was arrested at the Monson Motel in St. Augustine on June 11, 1964, the only place in Florida he was arrested. He sent a “Letter from the St. Augustine Jail” to a northern supporter, Rabbi Israel Dresner of New Jersey, urging him to recruit others to participate in the movement. This resulted, a week later, in the largest mass arrest of rabbis in American history—while conducting a pray-in at the Monson.

A famous photograph taken in St. Augustine shows the manager of the Monson Motel pouring acid in the swimming pool while blacks and whites are swimming in it. The horrifying photograph was run on the front page of the Washington newspaper the day the senate went to vote on passing the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/US_civil_rights_movement#St._Augustine.2C_Florida.2C_1963.E2.80.9364

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Remembering A Civil Rights Swim-In: ‘It Was A Milestone’


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