Black History Month

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    June 13

First Aerial Bombing

Tulsa, Oklahoma - Whites made airstrikes against black people. This was the second day of The Tulsa Race Riots.

Early Wednesday morning, whites flew airplanes over the Greenwood District of Tulsa. From the air, whites shot rifles and made aerial bombing runs against black people.

The bombs landed on buildings and homes. The bombers aimed at fleeing families. The aircraft was privately owned. Police participated. The police claimed it was to prevent a 'Negro uprising' in the town.

One witness made this report. There were 'a dozen or more' planes. They circled the neighborhood. The planes dropped 'burning turpentine balls' on an office building, a hotel, a filling station and other buildings. Men fired at black people. They were gunned down in the street.

This was the first aerial bombing in the United States.

Medger Evers Assassinated

Jackson, Mississippi - Medger Evers was murdered, at his home. The murderer, Byron De La Beckwith, was tried and convicted.

Early Wednesday morning, Medger Evers returned home to his waiting wife and children. Evers got out of his car. He carried T-shirts that read 'Jim Crow Must Go' in his hands. There, he was shot in the back, from an Enfield 1917 rifle. The bullet struck the 37 year-old Evers through his heart.

After the shot, Evers staggered 30 feet, to the front door of his house. There he collapsed. His wife, Myrtle, found him there.

Evers was taken to the local hospital. He was refused entry, because he was black. His family explained who he was and the hospital admitted him. Evers was in the hospital for 50 minutes, and died.

On June 19th, 1963, Evers was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. Martin Luther King, Jr. was in the funeral procession. Evers' funeral got full military honors.

Myrtle Evers fought to get the murderer convicted. On February 5th, 1994, Byron De La Beckwith was convicted of Evers' murder. It took 30 years, but Evers' murderer was sent to prison. Beckwith died in prison on Jaunary 21st, 2001.

Black Power Era Began

Greenwood, Mississippi - Stokely Carmichael said 'We want Black Power.' This was the first use of the term in a political movement.

The phrase was used for many years before Carmichael. Richard Wright wrote a book called 'Black Power' in 1954. On May 29, 1966, Adam Clayton Powell used the phrase, in a comment.

Carmichael was part of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). He was elected chairman, May, 1966. His election showed that integration of SNCC, with whites, was not wanted.

To make the point plain, Carmichael said 'Black Power' at a voting rights rally. He said this in Mississippi, where a number of civil rights workers had been killed, by whites.

Charleston Church Massacre

Charleston, South Carolina - Just before 9:00 p.m., a 21 year-old Dylann Roof murdered nine (9) black people. The massacre took place at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. 5 survived.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015, at about 8:00 p.m., Roof came to the church. Inside, there were fourteen (14) people. They started a bible study. Senior pastor, state senator Clementa C. Pinckney ran the bible study.

Once Roof entered the church, he asked for Pinckney. Roof sat next to Pinckney. Once the bible study ended, prayer began. As people prayed, Roof stood, and began shooting people to death. Roof said, 'Y'all want something to pray about? I'll give you something to pray about.'

Roof reloaded his gun 5 times. Each victim was shot at least 5 times. He fired 70 shots. Roof shouted racial slurs at his victims, as he shot them.

All of the survivors were female. 2 survived playing dead. 2 survived, in another room, that Roof never saw. 1 survived because Roof wanted her to tell others.

On December 15, 2016, Roof was convicted on all charges. This included 9 counts of murder.

Juneteenth

Galveston, Texas - General Order Number 3 was read. It was from the Emancipation Proclamation. This began the end of chattel slavery in Texas.

The Proclamation withdrew legal support for slavery. It was limited to the Confederacy. Those who were loyal to the Union, were compensated for any people the government freed. It was not a law. It was similar to a military order.

Chattel slavery was not officially abolished until the (13th) Thirteenth Amendment went into effect. That was six months later, on December 6th, 1865.

In June 1866, Juneteenth began. It is the oldest celebration of the end of chattel slavery, in the world.

The GI Bill Passed

Washington, D. C. - The GI Bill was the Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed it into law.

In 1944, the United States military was segregated. The GI Bill was written to support legal segregation when the black veterans returned.

This Act provided 4 major benefits. Veterans got low-cost mortgages. There were low-interest loans to start a business or farm. One (1) year of unemployment compensation went to veterans. And, there were dedicated payments of tuition and living expenses. This was for high school, college, or vocational school.

Over one (1) million black men returned from World War 2. Under the Act, these black veterans were due these benefits. But, they were blocked from most of them.

Banks denied low-cost, zero down-payment home loans to black veterans. From 67,000 mortgages, less than 100 in New York and northern New Jersey went to black veterans.

The GI Bill helped black veterans get an education. But, the gap, between blacks and whites, got worse. Whites got college degrees while black veterans got high school diplomas.

There were not enough segregated schools for black veterans. White schools denied black veterans admission. Whites had full access to higher education degrees and benefits. Black veterans were denied access to these same white colleges and schools.

Almost all black veterans were denied the low-interest loans to start a business or a farm. This was despite what was promised in the GI Bill.

Racism in the War Industry

Washington, D. C. - The 'Prohibition of Discrimination in the Defense Industry' was signed. It was Executive Order 8802.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued this order. It was meant to stop a planned march on Washington, by black people. The march was planned for the following week.

A. Phillip Randolph planned the March on Washington Movement (MOWM), for July 1st, 1941. 100,000 black people were to attend. After Order 8802 was issued, Randolph stopped the march.

The Order said racial bias was not allowed in the war business. It had little power. On May 27th, 1943, Executive Order 9346 replaced Order 8802 and 8823, with much more Presidential power.

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