August 16, 1913, Tōhoku Imperial University (now known as Tōhoku
University) became the first Japanese university to admit female
students. The university allowed four women to take the entrance
examinations at its discretion. The Ministry of Education sent a
letter, stating that, “As there are no precedents for women to
enter the Imperial University, this is a serious incident that must
be discussed thoroughly” and demanded an explanation. The
university ignored their demands and accepted three of the four,
Chika Kuroda (March 24, 1884–November 8, 1968), Raku Makita, and
Ume Tange. They became the first female baccalaureates and spent
several years as junior assistants and graduate students.
Chika Kuroda and Ume Tange received their degrees in chemistry and
Raku Makita in mathematics.
Kuroda graduated from the Women’s Department of Saga Normal School and taught for one year before going to the Division of Science at the Women’s Higher Normal School and went on to enroll in a graduate course there. She completed the course two years later and became an assistant professor at Tokyo Women’s Higher Normal School (now Ochanomizu University), before continuing her studies at Oxford. After returning to Japan, she became a worked for her mentor Rikoh Majima at Riken as a non-tenured part-time researcher, working with safflower pigments. In 1929, she became the second woman to received a Doctor of Science degree in Japan, the first being Kono Yasui who received hers from Tokyo Imperial University in 1927.
Her research on onion skin pigment contributed to developing Keruchin C, a drug to treat high blood pressure.
graduate school, Tange
went to the United States where she received her Ph.D. in agriculture
from Johns Hopkins University in 1927.
On returning to Japan, she became a professor at her alma mater,
Japan Women’s University and worked at Riken under Umetaro Suzuki
also returned to her alma mater Tokyo Women’s Higher Normal School
to and joined the faculty. But she resigned her position when she
married Heizo Kanayama, a Western-style painting artist.
Imperial University had the highest female enrollment among the
imperial university system and women were in the law, liberal arts,
departments. In 2001, the university established the Gender Equality
and Multicultural Conviviality to promote gender equality, and
adopted the Tohoku University Declaration for Gender Equality the
following year and incorporated the Tohoku University Gender Equality
Encouragement Prize, also known as the Sawayanagi Prize, named for
the first President of Tohoku University, Seitaro Sawayanagi, who was
instrumental in the allowing the first female students to enroll.
1999, the Kuroda Chika Prize was established to encourage female
researchers in their scientific research and careers. 45 have been
awarded over the last 15 years. The prize is awarded by the Aoba
Society for the Promotion of Science, a group of mainly Faculty of
Science alumni, which honours a female graduates who have produced
outstanding achievements during their scientific doctoral studies.
This prize is awarded to female students selected from the whole
doctoral cohort across the Graduate School of Science and the
Graduate School of Life Science at Tohoku University. This prize was
founded in 1999 to encourage female researchers in their scientific
endeavors and careers, and 45 female students have been awarded over
the last 15 years.
July 29 was apparently a popular day for royal marriages and coronations.
From the British Library
Queen of Scots (December 8, 1542-February 8, 1587) was born less
than a week after her father King James V of Scotland died. He and
his army had been fighting the English when they were defeated at the
Battle of Solway Moss. He collapsed on December 6 and died on
was heir to Scotland but also a great-niece of Henry VIII of England
through his sister Margaret Tudor, giving her a claim to the English
secure an alliance between England and Scotland, Mary was initially
arranged to marry King Henry VIII’s son Prince Edward, but the
Scots refused. King Henry attacked Scotland again and Mary was sent
to France in 1548 to marry the French prince the Dauphin, to secure
Catholic allies against the English Protestants. They married in
April 1558 when they were around fifteen. Francis inherited the
French throne in 1559 when he was 15 and Mary was 16. However,
Francis was not strong and he died in December 1560 after only 17
months and Mary returned home to Scotland.
By the time Mary returned, Scotland was in the middle of a
While Mary looked for Catholic husbands, including Don Carlos, heir
to the Spanish throne,
Elizabeth I wanted Mary to marry a Protestant and proposed Robert
Dudley, the Earl of Leicester, her favourite courtier. Neither Dudley
nor Mary wanted the match and Dudley proposed Henry
Lord Darnley, Duke of Albany, a Catholic. Mary and Darnley were
cousins through their grandmother Margaret Tudor and more distantly
related through King
James II of Scotland. They were married on July
29, 1565.The marriage was a disaster.
ruled alone and did not give Darnley any authority. His constant
demands to be crowned King of Scotland in his own right alienated
Mary and the nobles.
He became a drunk, and, jealousy of Mary’s secretary and favourite
David Riccio, he and several others murdered Riccio in front of Mary
in Holyrood House. She was six months pregnant with the future King
James VI of Scotland at the time.
son, the future King James VI of Scotland and I of England, was born
19, 1566 and baptized a Catholic, alarming the Protestants.
Darnley’s behaviour worsened after James was born and the marriage
did not last much longer. He and his men were found murdered at Kirk
o’Field, Edinburgh on February
10, 1567. The house he was staying at was blown up, but Darnley’s
body was found in the garden after the explosion. He had died of
How involved Mary was has never been determined.
third husband was James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell, who was accused of
murdering Darnley but found not guilty. Shortly after he was
acquitted, Bothwell forced Mary to marry him.
The Lords of Congregation did not approve.
After Mary failed to repress a rebellion by Scottish peers, she was
not only imprisoned in Leven Castle but also forced to abdicate in
favour of her one-year-old son James who became King
James VI of Scotland. The family was never together again as
Bothwell fled to Dunbar and died in sane in Denmark in 1578.
Mary escaped from Leven Castle in May 1568 and gathered a small army
that was defeated at Langside by Protestants. Mary then fled to
England, hoping that Elizabeth would help her. Instead she became a
pawn and was imprisoned in various castles for the next 19 years.
Eventually Mary was found guilty of treason when incriminating
letters of her plotting against Elizabeth were intercepted.
Mary was executed in 1587. Her son became King James VI of Scotland and King James I of England after Elizabeth died in 1603, uniting the countries. In 1612, he had Mary’s body exhumed and reburied in a place of honour at Westminster Abbey, and moved Elizabeth to a less prominent tomb nearby.
James VI of Scotland and I of England
(June 19, 1566-March 27, 1625) was crowned King James VI of Scotland
on July 19, 1567, exactly two years after his parents were
married. Without his parents, James was the pawn of four regents who
tried to control him. The only constant was his tutor George
Buchanan, who raised him to be a Protestant and unsuccessfully tried
to teach him to hate his mother.
Two years after Queen Elizabeth signed the death warrant for his mother Mary Queen of Scots, James married Anne of Denmark. The couple had three sons and four daughters of whom three survived infancy: Henry, Prince of Wales, Charles I and the ‘Winter Queen’, Elizabeth of Bohemia. They were happy at first, but eventually drifted apart.
On March 24, 1603, Queen Elizabeth died and named James her successor, allowing James to achieve his ambition of ruling England. He went to England to claim the crown. Though he wanted the two countries to be completely united, Scotland retained its parliament, Church, and educational systems.
years after James became king, on November 5th 1605, the
Gunpowder Plot to kill James and his government was foiled. Guy
Fawkes was caught with barrels of gunpowder beneath the House
Gunpowder Plot, to kill James and his government on the 5th of
November 1605, was foiled. Guy Fawkes was caught with barrels of
gunpowder beneath the House of Lords.
1606 James granted a charter to establish a colony in North America,
named “Jamestown” in his honour. It became the first permanent
British settlement in America. When Pocahontas visited England with
her husband John Rolfe in 1616 she met King James.
Though he was king of Scotland, he only returned once, in 1617. The following year, he forced through the Five Articles of Perth, to bring Church of Scotland government and worship into line with the Church of England. However, after strong opposition, he did not enforce the articles and made no further attempts to change the country’s religion
July 29, 1981, Charles, Prince of Wales (Born: November 14, 1948) and
Lady Diana Spencer (July 1, 1961–August 31, 1997) married at St.
Paul’s Cathedral in London. He is the eldest child of Queen
Elizabeth II and Prince Philip. She was the youngest daughter of John
and Frances Roche Spencer, then the Viscount and Viscountess Althorp.
Diana was born The Honourable Diana Frances Spencer and received the
style Lady Diana Spencer in 1975, when her father became the 8th
Diana was named for an ancestor also Lady Diana Spencer, later the
Russell, Duchess of Bedford, and her mother Frances.
Spencers had a long history with the royal family. Viscount Althorp
was Equerry to King George VI and Queen
Elizabeth II. Her
maternal grandmother Ruth,
Lady Fermoy and paternal grandmother Cynthia,
Countess Spencer were ladies-in-waiting to Queen Elizabeth II’s
mother, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.
Diana and Prince Charles married at St Paul’s Cathedral in London on
July 29, 1981. An estimated 1,000 million watched or listened to the
at 750 million, it was the most popular program broadcast on TV
– and hundreds of thousands lined the route from Buckingham Palace
to the Cathedral. There were around 3,500 guests at the church. The
day was declared a national holiday.
There were even children re-creating the wedding.
was the first Englishwomen to marry an heir to the throne in 300
years, since Anne Hyde married the future James II, Diana’s
ancestor. On their marriage Diana became Her Royal Highness The
Princess of Wales.
couple had two sons, Princes William in 1982 and Henry (Harry) in
1984. They divorced in 1996 and Diana continued to be a member of the
royal family as mother of the heir to the throne. After the divorce,
Diana became Diana, Princess of Wales, without the style of ‘Her
Royal Highness’. She died on Sunday, August 31, 1997, after a car
crash in Paris.
16, 622 marks the beginning of the Islamic calendar. It is dated
from the hejira, when Muhammad and his followers fled from
Mecca to Medina, two hundred miles north because of a plan to
was born in Mecca in 570 A.D. He was an orphan raised by his uncle.
At 25, Kjadija, a widow fifteen years older, employed him. The couple
later married in a Christian ceremony. Muhammad often prayed in a
cave. In 610 A.D., when he was forty, he received a vision commanding
him to recite a message, which he proclaimed to be from Allah. The
message was later codified into the Qur’an.
Soon Muhammad began to preach against idol worship and proclaimed Allah as the only true God. Many of his followers were ostracised and some fled to Abyssinia while Muhammad stayed in Mecca. In 619, Khadija and Muhammad’s uncle died and anti-Muslim persecution increased. On July 16, 622 Muhammad and his followers fled to Medina.
mediated conflicts between Arabs, Jews, and Muslims. He became
governor and established two principles of Islam: Islam is the source
of temporal and spiritual authority and religion is the source of
loyalty among men rather than tribe.
630, Muhammad and an army of 10,000 men conquered Mecca. Muhammad
demanded loyalty from every citizen and removed idols from the city.
Polytheism was forbidden, though he allowed “people of the book”
– Jews and Christians – to continue worshiping. Muhammad died two
years later. He had at least thirteen wives. A dispute arose about
his successor. Some chose Ali, Muhammad’s son-in-law and cousin,
who are called Shi’ites, and others who followed Abu Bakr –
Muhammad’s father-in-law, father of his wife Aisha
– the was selected by the majority, who became Sunni.
639, Caliph Umar I created a lunar calendar which began on July 16,
622. The years were numbered A.H. for the Latin Anno Hegirae,
“in the year of the Hegira.” A little a millenium later,
the Ottomans shifted from a lunar to a solar cycle, creating a second
Hegira calendar with different dates.
equation is used to roughly convert between Islamic calendar year
(AH) and its Gregorian (AD) equivalent:
= 622 + (32/33 x AH)
= 33/32 x (AD – 622)
generally agree that paper money first appeared in ninth–century
China. In Europe, the first paper money was issued by Johan
Palmstruch, founder of Stockholms Banco, Sweden’s first
bank, on July
1660, the government began to mint new coins, which were lighter.
Many citizens wanted their older coins back, because they had higher
metal value, leading to a run on the bank. To prevent this,
Palmstruch began issuing deposit certificates, called credit notes
(Kreditivsedlar), giving the owner the right to withdraw the
deposited amount in coins. This meant that the bank no longer relied
on having money to lend, but could use the certificates as loans,
paying the value of the note in coins on demands.
banknotes became popular for their convenience and the bank printed
more notes. But this led to inflation – the notes decreased in
value – and the public lost confidence. They demanded that their
notes be redeemed but the bank did not have enough coins, so the bank
closed and many customers had financial difficulties.
In 1664, the government, called Council of the Realm, decided that the loans would be repaid and the credit notes would be withdrawn. Palmstruch was summoned before the Svea Court of Appeal and was sentenced to death for mismanaging bank in 1668. He was reprieved but remained in prison until 1670 and died 1671.
July 16, 1935, the world’s first parking meter, known as
Park-O-Meter No. 1, was installed on the southeast corner of what was
then First Street and Robinson Avenue in Oklahoma
Cole “Carl” Magee, thought of the idea in 1932 to solve
parking congestion. He had been a reporter for an Albuquerque
newspaper and exposed the Teapot Dome Scandal and testified against
Secretary of the Interior Albert B. Fall. Magee who was later
arrested but acquitted for manslaughter in an altercation with a New
Mexico judge. After quitting the Albuquerque newspaper, Magee came to
Oklahoma City to start a newspaper, the Oklahoma
most major American cities in the 1920s and 1930s, Oklahoma City
suffered from traffic congestion and lack of parking. By 1913, there
were around three thousand cars in Oklahoma, which had climbed to
five hundred thousand by 1930. Parking was especially difficult for
retail customers as downtown workers took up the spaces all day. The
city attempted to solve the problem by imposing time limits, with
police chalking tires and issuing tickets on their hourly rounds. But
the problem grew so bad, the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce began
to look into it, appointing Magee as the chair of the Traffic
invented a small, cheap, mechanical device that could be wound to
time each parking space. He filed a patent on December 21, 1932. To
refine his invention, he collaborated with the Oklahoma State
University Engineering Department. They sponsored a design
competition, which ran from February 17 to May 6, 1933, offering $160
for the winner and $240 for a working model. Several students built
models, but none were accepted. Professor H. G. Thuesen soon joined
the projected, and with help from Gerald A. Hale, a former
engineering student and 1927 OSU graduate, created a new model called
“Black Maria.” By the end of the year, McGee, Thuesen, and Hale
were looking for a manufacturer.
July 16, 1935, 175 meters were installed and tested on fourteen
blocks throughout the city. This proved successful and there were
soon meters all over downtown. The parking meter not only solved the
city’s parking problem, but generated revenue, and increased the
value of downtown commercial property.
The first parking meter that Magee’s company made, was donated to the
Oklahoma Historical Society in 1937.
The patent was granted on May
years later, parking meters were a central plot in Paul Newman’s 1967
film Cool Hand Luke in which Newman’s character Luke Jackson,
was sent to a chain gang for drunkenly cutting the tops off several
Supreme Court cases relating to LGBTQ rights were decided on June 26:
v. Texas in
States v. Windsor in
2013, and affirming Obergefell
v. Hodges in
June 26, 2003, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Lawrence
that gender-based sodomy laws are unconstitutional and affirmed a
right to privacy.
were called after a weapons disturbance was reported at a home in
Houston, Texas. They entered John Lawrence’s apartment and reported
seeing him and another man, Tyron Gardner in the bedroom engaged in
sexual activity. They were arrested
and charged under the “Homosexual Conduct,” which made it a
Class C misdemeanor for “a person commits an offense if he engages
in deviate sexual intercourse with another individual of the same
Supreme Court overturned its decision in Bowers
v. Hardwick (1986),
a similar case where Michael Hardwick was arrested by Georgia police
for engaging in a consensual sex act. The Court had ruled that such
laws “have ancient roots” and that “there was no constitutional
protection for acts of sodomy, and that states could outlaw those
the Court ruled that the Texas statute “furthers no legitimate
state interest which can justify its intrusion into the personal and
private life of the individual.”
A key factor in the decision was that, “the sexual acts happened
inside a private residence, where the state and law enforcement had
no right to dictate individual behavior in these deeply personal
Court’s ruling was used in State
v. Limon to
amend Kansas’s “Romeo and Juliet” laws, which penalizes
teens younger than 19 who engage in “voluntary
sexual intercourse, sodomy or lewd touching with a teen between the
ages of 14 and 16, provided the teens are of the opposite sex” but
if the teens are of the same gender, they are penalized under the
state’s criminal sodomy statute, which “prohibits sodomy with a
child between 14 and 16 years of age, without regard to consent, the
offender’s age, or the gender of the participants.”
The Kansas Supreme Court ruled that, “the Romeo and Juliet law,
which effectively mandates a substantially higher sentence for the
same acts, based on whether the defendant is of the same sex as the
victim, is a violation of the Due Process Clause of the Fifth and
Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution referenced in
the Lawrence decision.”
years later, on June 26, 2013, the Supreme Court ruled in United
States v. Windsor
that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional
and violated the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), enacted in 1996, states that, under
federal law, the words “marriage” and “spouse”
refer to legal unions between one man and one woman. Edith Windsor
and Thea Clara Spyer were married in Toronto, Canada in 2007.and
their marriage was recognized under New York law. When Spyer died in
2009, Spyer left her estate to Windsor. But, as their marriage was
not recognized by federal law, the government imposed a $363,000 tax.
If the federal government had recognized the marriage, there would
not have been any taxes imposed as the estate would have qualified
for a marital exemption.
November 9, 2010, Windsor filed suit in district court, to declare
DOMA unconstitutional. When the suit was filed, the government
stipulated that DOMA must be defended, but the President and the
Attorney General declined to do so. The Bipartisan Legal Advisory
Group of the House of Representatives filed a petition to intervene
and defend DOMA and also a motion to dismiss the case. The district
court denied the motion and held DOMA unconstitutional.
Supreme Court ruled that “states have the authority to define
marital relationships and that DOMA goes against legislative and
historical precedent by undermining that authority.” DOMA “denies
same-sex couples the rights that come from federal recognition of
marriage, which are available to other couples with legal marriages
under state law.” Therefore, “the purpose and effect of DOMA is
to impose a “disadvantage, a separate status, and so a stigma”
on same-sex couples in violation of the Fifth Amendment’s guarantee
of equal protection.”
years later, the Supreme Court would come to a different conclusion.
groups of same-sex couples in Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, and Tennessee
challenging the constitutionality of bans on same-sex marriage. The
plaintiffs argued that the bans violated the Equal Protection Clause
and Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, and in one case,
the Civil Rights Act. In all cases, the trial court found for the
plaintiffs, but the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit reversed
and held that the states’ bans did not violate the Fourteenth
Amendment, equal protection, and due process. The cases converged
and went to the Supreme
Supreme Court considered three questions: 1. Does the Fourteenth
Amendment require a state to license a marriage between two people of
the same sex?; and 2. Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state
to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex that was
legally licensed and performed in another state? Citing
cases such as Loving
v. Virginia (1967),
which overturned anti-miscegenation laws, the Court concluded that
the Fourteenth Amendment the “Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth
Amendment guarantees the right to marry as one of the fundamental
liberties it protects, and that analysis applies to same-sex couples
in the same manner as it does to opposite-sex couples.” Preventing
same-sex couples from marrying also violates the Equal Protection
Clause, but also ruled that the “First Amendment protects the
rights of religious organizations to adhere to their principles, but
it does not allow states to deny same-sex couples the right to marry
on the same terms as those for opposite-sex couples.”
with the Supreme Court ruling in Loving
where some states refused to comply and kept such laws on their books
(Alabama became the last state to repeal its law in 2000),
seven counties in Alabama refused to issue marriage licenses to
same-sex couples, two years later.
As of early 2019, those seven counties were still not issuing
marriage licenses to same-sex couples, prompting the Alabama
legislature to abolish all marriage licenses and replacing them with
Medgar Evers (July 2, 1925-June 12, 1963) was a civil rights activist, born in Decatur, Mississippi. He served in World War II from 1943 to 1945, fighting in Europe before being honorably discharged as a sergeant.
In 1951, he married Myrlie Beasley, a fellow student at the historically black Alcorn College (now Alcorn State University). After graduating in 1952, Evers became an insurance salesman. He later joined the Regional Council of Negro Leadership, his first experience as a civil rights organizer. He led the boycott against gas stations that refused to let blacks use their restrooms, and he and his older brother Charles organized local chapters on behalf of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
Evers became the first NAACP Field Secretary in Mississippi in 1954. He investigated hate crimes against blacks. He filed lawsuits to end segregation beginning in 1954 when he applied to the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) Law School and was denied. His case was aided by the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision and the university was integrated in 1962. Additionally, Evers registered black people to vote, organized boycotts and sit-ins, challenging segregated seating on uses and campaigned for better education for all children.
Evers made a 17-minute speech on WLBT on May 20, 1963, describing the black community’s desire for equality. Many Mississippians called in to protest Evers’ speech being broadcast and even threatened his life.
For his efforts, Evers was beaten, jailed and eventually assassinated in Jackson, Mississippi on June 12, 1963. President Kennedy had given his speech supporting civil rights only the day before. After Evers was assassinated, Kennedy to ask Congress to pass the Civil Rights Bill, leading to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Many buildings – a post office, library, airport, and college – were named for him, as was a U.S. Navy humanitarian ship in 2011, the first vessel named for a civil rights activist. His widow Myrlie attended the christening in San Diego.
After decades of work, Myrlie Evers efforts paid off and on December 17, 19990, white supremacist Byron De la Beckwith, was as arrested for murdering Evers. The trial lasted two weeks, after which a jury of four whites and eight blacks found Beckwith guilty and in 1997, the Mississippi Supreme Court upheld the conviction.
Myrlie Evers later became the first woman to chair the NAACP Board of Directors and published her memoir Watch Me Fly: What I Learned on the Way to Becoming the Woman I Was Meant to Be and established the Evers Collection and the Medgar Evers Institute. The collected papers are being preserved and cataloged at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.
On May 25, 1999, the Jackson City Council unanimously declared July 4 as Medgar Wiley Evers Day and Mississippi senators Thad Cochran and Trent Lott led a resolution that the U.S. Senate adopted, declaring June 9-16 Medgar Evers National Week of Remembrance.
The Evers’ home became a National Historic Landmark and museum in 2019. It was restored to its condition when the family lived there.
From South Africa History Online
Rolihlahla “Nelson” Mandela(July 18 1918 – December 5, 2013) was an anti-apartheid activist who fought against segregation in South Africa.
Mandela was a member of the Madiba clan, was born in the Eastern Cape. His father Nkosi Mphakanyiswa Gadla Mandela, was a principal counselor to Jongintaba Dalindyebo the Acting King of the Thembu people. After his father died in 1930, Mandela became Dalindyebo’s ward.
Mandela matriculated to the University College of Fort Hare but was expelled for joining student protests. He became more politically active and joined the African National Congress in 1944 when he helped to form the ANC Youth League (ANCYL). His activism eventually led the ANC to became more radical and adopt the Programme of Action, in 1949.
He was chosen as the National Volunteer-in-Chief of the Defiance Campaign in 1952. The Campaign joined with the ANC and the South African Indian Congress and began a civil disobedience campaign against apartheid. The Campaign began a mass resistance movement against apartheid, which like Jim Crow laws in the United States, separated whites and blacks, with separate entrances and laws such as the Population Regulation Act and pass laws. He and 19 others were charged under the Suppression of Communism Act and sentenced to nine months of hard labour, which was suspended for two years.
Mandela was arrested on December 5, 1956 as part of a nationwide raid, leading to the 1956 Treason Trial where 28, including Mandela were accused but acquitted on March 29, 1961. During this time, on March 21, 1960, police killed 69 unarmed protesters against the laws. As a result, the ANC and Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) were banned. Mandela and his Treason Trial colleagues were among thousands detained.
A few days before the Treason Trial, Mandela spoke at the All-in Africa Conference, which resolved that he should write to Prime Minister Verwoerd requesting a national convention on a non-racial constitution, and to warn that if he did not agree there would be a national strike against South Africa becoming a republic. After he and his colleagues were acquitted, Mandela went underground and began planning a national strike from the 29th through the 31st of March.
In January 1962, using the name David Motsamayi, Mandela secretly left South Africa, traveling around Africa and visiting England to gain support for the struggle. He received military training in Morocco and Ethiopia and returned to South Africa in July 1962. He was arrested and charged with leaving the country without a permit and inciting workers to strike. He was convicted and sentenced to five years in prison.
In October 1963, Mandela and 10 others went on trial for sabotage in what would become known as the Rivonia Trial. On June 12 the following year, Mandela and seven others were convicted and sentenced to life in prison.
He was released from prison in 1990, nine days after the ban on the ANC and PAC were lifted. In 1993, he and President FW de Klerk jointly won the Nobel Peace Prize and on April 27, 1994 he voted for the first time.
On May 10, 1994, Mandela was inaugurated as South Africa’s first democratically elected President. He kept his promise of only serving one term. After he left office, he continued to work with the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund he had set up in 1995 and established the Nelson Mandela Foundation and The Mandela Rhodes Foundation.
He died at his home in Johannesburg on December 5, 2013.
Five years later, a collection of letters that Mandela sent from prison was published as The Prison Letters of Nelson Mandela,” edited by South African journalist Sahm Venter. It featured 255 letters, of which roughly half had never been released to the public.
Loving v. Virginia
On June 12, 1967, the United States Supreme Court ruled in Loving v. Virginia that all laws prohibiting interracial marriage in the Untied States were unconstitutional. Anti-miscegenation laws had been in effect for 103 years, since Maryland enacted the first law banning marriage between black men and white women in 1664. Interestingly, Japan enacted its law allowing interracial marriage in 1873.
The trial was held on April 10, 1967, and it took two months for the decision to be handed down. In addition to the two ACLU attorneys, Bernard Cohen and Philip Hirschkop, the Supreme Court granted William Marutani, a Japanese-American lawyer to speak on behalf of the Japanese-American Citizens League (JACL) which had filed an amicus brief in support. Marutani would marry a white Virginia woman in 1975.
I created a website for a class project on the history of anti-miscegenation laws using Peggy Pascoe’s What Comes Naturally: Miscegenation Law and the Making of Race in America as a base, including links to various media, from books to songs. Please enjoy!
Julia Chang Lin (May 4, 1928-August 1, 2013) was born Ming-hui Tsang in Shanghai to Tsang Foh-Sing and Sung Zong-Cui in Shanghai, China. She grew up there and in Amoy, a small southern coastal town. Her mother Julia was a nurse, her father was an ophthalmologist educated at the University of Pennsylvania. One of his patients was
Madame Sun Yat-sen. Both of her grandmothers were doctors, long before women were allowed to have such professions.
She attended St. Mary’s Hall School for Girls and St. John’s University in Shanghai. On May 24, 1949, the day that the Communist troops marched into Shanghai, Chang received a telegram announcing her acceptance to Smith College and awarding her a scholarship. Her family’s housekeeper Liu Ma sewed the telegram and $20 into Julia’s clothes. Chang and her best friend Shirley Wang were smuggled out of the country in August on a fishing boat as the Nationalist government bombed the coast. She would not see her brothers for three decades and she would never see her father, grandmothers, or Liu Ma had died.
The pair went to the Zhoushan Islands, a group of small islands still occupied by the Nationalist government. They were detained there for several weeks before Chang arrived at Smith in October, 1949. While her godmother had hoped Chang would go into medicine, Chang discovered English literature and graduated with a BA in English in 1951.
She received her MA in English from the University of Washington in 1952 and entered the University of Washington for her Ph.D. in an emerging field, Chinese Language and Literature. Chang spoke several languages: Mandarin, Shanghainese, an Amoy dialect, English, Cantonese, French, Fukienese (her husband’s native tongue), and some Japanese. One of her professors Theodore Roethke, liked her poem, “Song of the Crazy Monk,” so much that he mailed it to Botteghe Oscure, a prominent literary journal, which became Chang’s first publication. Her Ph.D. thesis was published as Modern Chinese Poetry: An Introduction. Her publication was completely shortly after Nixon allowed Americans to visit China. Chang traveled to gather materials and became friends with many poets. Chang received her Ph.D. in 1965.
Chang met Henry Huan Lin, whose father Lin Chang-Min was a politician and calligrapher and helped establish the Chinese League of Nations. His stepsister Lin Huiyin, was considered the first female architect in China. The couple moved to Athens, Ohio in 1959. Lin taught English at Ohio University for thirty years and helped establish the Chinese language courses. She was the only member of the Asian Studies department, which introduced students to The Tale of Genji and Journey to the West. She wrote four books, bringing Chinese women poets to western audiences.
In 1999, she was one of 29 women honored by Smith College for “achievements representing the accomplishments of generations of Smith alumnae.” She was writing her auto-biography when she died in New York in 2013.
Her daughter Maya Lin, then a Yale student, deigned the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. The design was chosen in a nationwide competition which had over 1,400 submissions. Maya Lin received an honorary degree from Smith in 1993 and was chosen to re-design Neilson, the college’s social sciences and humanities library. It also includes the Smith College Archives, the Mortimer Rare Book Room, and the Sophia Smith College, one of the world’s largest and most important women’s history archives.
I began this blog on February 19, 2018, the 76th anniversary of Executive Order 9066, when President Franklin Roosevelt authorized over 120,000 Japanese-Americans and others to be incarcerated, six weeks after Pearl Harbor. This included 5,918 children born in the assembly centers and camps, 1,118 people from Hawaii, and 219 non-Japanese (mostly husbands) who voluntarily accompanied their families.
On April 27, I attended the 50th Annual Pilgrimage to Manzanar, one of ten camps where between 110,000 and 120,000 Japanese-Americans were incarcerated during World War II, and one of two in California.
At camp, Jeanne makes friends with a Japanese girl, whose adoptive parents are a Japanese man and his half-black wife, who was passing as Japanese to stay with her family. I was intrigued because I had thought that interracial marriage was illegal. I decided to look into it and uncovered some heartbreaking stories of families torn apart, mixed-race children in orphanage being ostracized, including Dennis Tojo Bambauer who didn’t know he was Japanese until the military took him to a Japanese orphanage. The orphans lived in the Children’s Village at Manzanar, though some were re-united with their families in camp.
There was even a case of a family incarcerated despite not being Japanese-American, because the husband had his Japanese-American stepfather’s surname. My class project became one of my long-term research interests. Over the last ten years, I have learned that there were several hundred mixed-race families in the camp, and have expanded my research to the history of mixed-race Japanese-Americans and their families in the U.S. and Japan, learning about some fascinating and important people such as Takamine Jokichi, in the early years of interracial marriage between Japan and the United States.
While reading Farewell to Manzanar, a classmate asked if we could go. To our delight, half of my class and I attended the 38th annual pilgrimage. We spent four and a half hours one way on the bus with former incarcerees. None of them had been in Manzanar, but it was the only location at the time that had a pilgrimage.
As we neared the camp, we were struck by the beauty of the flowers and mountains, which surrounded the site.
The surrounding mountains were a stark contrast to camp.
There was little left, the remains of a block garden, a replica guard tower, a few signs, the original guardhouse, and the visitor’s center in the auditorium, which had been used by Inyo County as a road maintenance facility. The buildings had been torn apart right after the war, much of it re-used by local communities.
The 38th pilgrimage was dedicated to Sue Kunitomi Embrey, who had worked to make Manzanar a National Historical Site, as she had died shortly after the 2006 pilgrimage. The ceremony began with a rendition of “Ue o muite” (Look Up), re-named for American audiences to “Sukiyaki” which had been a hit in the U.S. in 1963. This was followed by a process of flags bearing the camp names, speakers, and an interfaith service at the graveyard.
It was a haunting experience, to be surrounded by so many who had been sent to such desolate places simply because of their ancestry. Had I been born forty-five or more years earlier on the west coast, I would have been one of them. But, because of the racist, patriarchal attitudes, the Western Defense Command believed that children with non-Japanese fathers were culturally more American. Therefore, families with children like me, would not only have been allowed out of the camps, but been permitted to go home. But families with non-Japanese mothers, while permitted to leave the camps, could not go back to the restricted areas and had to find a new place to live. Nor were interracial couples without children permitted to leave. But this did not prevent such families from being sent to assembly centers. Despite noting that such families and children in care of non-Japanese foster parents were exempt from evacuation, this was not the case, as children living with white foster parents were also incarcerated. There was at least one exception, Ronald, Hirano, a Deaf boy who was temporarily adopted by an acquaintance and given special permission to stay to continue attending the California School for the Deaf. Other Deaf people and those with other disabilities were not as lucky.
In 2017, with the 25th anniversary of Manzanar becoming a National Historic Site, and the 75th anniversary of Executive Order 9066, the Manzanar National Historic Site began building recreations of everything from a classroom, barracks, basketball court, mess hall, and women’s latrine.
The incarcerees lived in hastily-built, tar paper shacks without proper heating or water. The camp was over 540 acres, surrounded by barbed wire. Inside were 67 blocks, including 36 residential, two staff housing, one administrative, two warehouse, one garage, and a military police, and a hospital. Each residential block had 14 barracks, a mess hall, recreation hall, two bathhouses, a laundry and ironing room, and a heating oil storage tank. Later, a Bank of America branch and Sears Roebuck cataloger store would be added.
The bathrooms offered no privacy and incarcerees had build their own partitions.
But the most gratifying for me were two new addition. The first was the Children’s Village, which is still under archaeological investigation. I had read Catherine Irwin’s Twice orphaned : voices from the Children’s Village of Manzanar several years earlier. Unfortunately it hadn’t been published when I was doing my undergraduate research. But it provided a lot of valuable information and showed how different the experiences were for the orphans than those who were incarcerated with their families.
The other was a replica of a classroom. This included information on children with disabilities, another of my research interests. I learned about the Helen Keller School at Tule Lake, a short-lived program for children with disabilities, a few years ago. I also found letters from Deaf and blind schools across the country offering to take children into their institutions. To my surprise, I found that camp newspapers had extensive coverage of “crippled children” with disabilities such as harelip, partial hearing and sight loss, paralysis due to polio, etc, as well as wounded soldiers. But this was the first time that I found any mention of special education programs in any exhibits and it was gratifying to see that it was finally being included.
Seeing the camp with these additions made it all the more heartbreaking. But I am grateful that more of this story is being told, to include those who have been overlooked.