“Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown”

Two men became rulers 121 years apart on September 30.

The first was King Henry IV of England (April 1367-March 20, 1413), known as Henry Bolingbroke, in 1399. His parents were John of Gaunt, the third surviving son of King Edward III of England and his mother was Blanche of Lancaster, who were third cousins through their great-great grandfather King Henry III of England.

Henry IV succeeded his cousin King Richard II (January 6, 1367-February 1400). Richard was the son of Edward, the black Prince, son of King Edward III, who died a year apart, making Richard king at age 10 in 1377. As he was a minor, his uncle John of Gaunt ruled until he came of age. But once Richard came of age, he made several unpopular decisions, including gathering some unwelcome favourites, and asking Parliament to fund a war with France. Parliament demanded that Richard’s favourites be dismissed, which Richard refused and provoked Parliament to impeach his chancellor, the Earl of Suffolk and create a commission to oversee his activities. Richard declared these acts treasonable, and Parliament and his opponents outlawed his closest friends in 1388. Some were executed and Richard submitted to the demands of the five ‘Lords Appellant’.

For eight years, Richard appeared to get along with Gaunt and the Lords Appellant, but was actually forming a stronger royalist party. In 1397, he arrested and tried three of the appellants. Two were murdered and one was exiled.

In September the following year, Henry Bolingbroke and Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk, to former appellants quarreled and were banished. When Henry Bolingbroke’s father John of Gaunt died in February 1399, Richard confiscated his estates and exiled him for life.

In May, Richard left to campaign in Ireland. While he was gone, Bolingbroke invaded England, rallying nobles and commoners. When Richard returned in August, he surrendered. In September, he abdicated and Bolingbroke became King Henry IV. In October, Richard was imprisoned in Pontefract Castle, where he died the following February.

King Henry IV’s reign was also turbulent. He had to consolidate his power bu crushing rebellions in Wales and Scotland, and waging war with France. Like Richard, Henry asked Parliament for funds, which were granted, but he was accused of mismanagement and Parliament eventually acquired power over royal expenditures and appointments.

But his troubles were far from over. As Henry’s health declined, two factions appeared, one headed by his favourite Thomas Arundel, archbishop of Canterbury, and the by one of his half-brothers and son, Prince Henry. The King’s uneasy relationship with his son lasted until he died. Prince Henry succeeded his father as King Henry V, who became “one of the greatest warrior kings of medieval England” who won the Battle of Agincourt.

King Henry IV was the subject of one of many of William Shakespeare’s plays about English royals. Henry IV Part I was published in 1598 and Part II in 1600.

Sultan Suleyman I (April 27, 1495-September 7, 1566) was proclaimed sultan of the Ottoman Empire on September 30, 1520. He was the son of Sultan Selim I and Hafsa Sultan who reigned for forty-six years and was given the appellations “the Magnificent” or “the Great” by Europeans and “the Lawgiver” (kanun) and “lord of his century” by his subjects.

Suleyman’s father Selim emphasized his education. His first teacher was his grandmother Gulbahar Hatun. At seven, Suleyman was sent to his grandfather Sultan Bayezid II in Istanbul where he studied history, science, literature, and theology, war tactics and techniques. He returned to his father until he left to be the governor of several provinces.

When Sultan Selim I succeeded his father, Suleyman went to Istanbul as his father’s regent while serving as governor of Saruhan province. After Selim I died Suleyman succeeded him.

Suleyman is called “the lawgiver” because he made the final revisions to what became known as the “Ottoman laws.” The kanun refers situations that are not covered by the Shari’ah or laws derived from the Qur’an. Mehmed the Conqueror collected the laws and divided them into two sets, dealing with government and military organization, and taxation and treatment of peasants. Suleyman revised the codes, but kept them almost identical to its original form, but he created the final version.

Suleyman territory picture: Chapter 27: The islamic Empires

Suleyman was also a conqueror, who acquired vast territory, conquering Rhodes, most of Greece, Hungary, and part of the Austrian Empire, which nearly included Vienna. He nearly invaded Rome, and though he never occupied them, claimed them for himself. Under his reign, the Ottoman empire stretched from the western Carpathians and the Persian Gulf, almost to the Caspian Sea and the Straights of Gibraltar. He also helped any Muslim country threatened by European expansion.

While conquering vast territories, Suleyman also built up his empire, including bridges, mosques, and palaces. Istanbul became the center of art, music, writing, and philosophy, making this the most creative Ottoman period. However, this was the high point of Ottoman culture and history. Under Suleyman’s successor, his son Sultan Selim II Ottoman power began to decline internally and externally.

Suleyman died the day that the Ottomans conquered Szigetvar in Austria. However, his death was kept a secret for over a month. He was the longest-reigning Ottoman sultan.

His body was taken to Süleymaniye Mosque in Istanbul. But during his journey, his organs were removed and said to have been buried in a golden coffin under the encampment where he died. This tomb was found in 2016 during an archaeological dig.

A World of Wonders Revealed

Empress Theodora Porphyrogenita (980-August 31, 1056) was the youngest daughter of Emperor Constantine VII (960-1028) and Empress Helena of Byzantium. She was “born in purple”, referring to babies born while their parents reigned. Her elder sisters were Eudokia, who became a nun, and Zoe (c. 978-1050), who would become regent or co-emperor to five emperors between 1028 and 1050, while Theodora co-reigned with two emperors and ruled alone for a year.

At sixteen, she was her father’s first choice as a bride for the Holy Roman Emperor Otto III. But he died before they could be married. After that, Theodora lived in the gynaeceum, the women’s quarters in the inner section of an ancient Greek house.

After her uncle Emperor Basil II (976-1025) died without children, her father became Emperor Constantine VIII. But he did not have any sons and wanted Theodora to marry Romanos Argyros, who would succeed him. Theodora defied him, on the grounds that his wife had become a nun so that Romanos could marry into the imperial family and that they were third cousins. Constantine forced Zoe to marry Romanos in 1028.

After Constantine died, Romanos and Zoe ruled until Romanos died in 1034. Zoe remarried and her husband became Emperor Michael IV until he died in 1041 after which, Zoe ruled alone for a short time. In 1042, Zoe and Theodora became co-empresses for two months, with Zoe as the senior empress and Theodora as the junior. The pair curbed selling public offices and focused on administering justice. Zoe replaced incompetent rules with officials who gained their position through merit. Still jealous that her father had favored Theodora, Zoe tried to force Theodora back to the monastery, but the Senate overruled Zoe and demanded that the sisters rule jointly. This lasted for two months. Zoe married for a third time, to Constantine, who became Emperor Constantine IX Monomachos.

Zoe died in 1050 and Constantine IX in 1055, allowing seventy-year-old Theodora to assert her right to rule. She became sole empress. During her short reign, there were no conspiracies and the empire prospered, without plundering or warfare. But her reign was short. In 1056, she died of an intestinal disorder. As she was childless and the last member of her dynasty, she chose her former military finance minister as her successor and he became Emperor Michael VI Bringas. But after she died, conflicts arose between the noble families who wanted the throne, which lasted until Alexios I Komnenos took the throne in 1081, beginning the Komnenian dynasty.

Though many coins were issued for Zoe’s uncle, father, husbands and some for Theodora, there were only a few for her sole reign in 1041 and her co-reign with Theodora in 1042.

The Honorable Mrs. Mary King Ward (April 27, 1827-August 31, 1869), was an Irish astronomer, microscopist, artist, and entrepreneur. She was born in Ballylin in County Offaly, Ireland, the youngest of four children of Reverend Henry and Hariette Lloyd King. Her maternal aunt Alice was the mother of the famous astronomer William, third Earl of Rosse.

As a child, she became interested in insects and when she received a microscope as a teenager, she studied plants and insects. King was also a talented painted and draughter and her illustrations appeared in scientific publications. She also wrote educational children’s books on how to use a microscope and telescope.

She married the Honorable Henry Ward of Castle Ward in northern Ireland. His elder brother was Lord Bangor. The couple had eight children.

Despite her accomplishments, she is best known for how she died. At 42, she returned to Birr for a memorial service for the 3rd Earl of Rosse. While riding a steam carriage which her cousin Charles Parson had built, she fell from the car when it turned sharply. She died instantly. This is said to be Ireland’s first motorcar accident.

An inquest occurred the following day at Birr Castle, where the jury deemed it an accidental death. Mary Ward is the great-grandmother of English actress Lalla Ward, who played Romana on the BBC’s Dr. Who.

“As there are no precedents for women to enter the Imperial University, this is a serious incident that must be discussed thoroughly”

On 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.

Japanese Women in Science and Engineering: History and Policy Change

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.

Japanese Women in Science and Engineering: History and Policy Change

After 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 researching vitamins.

Japanese Women in Science and Engineering: History and Policy Change

Makita 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.

Tōhoku Imperial University had the highest female enrollment among the imperial university system and women were in the law, liberal arts, and science 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.

In 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.

“How fond and inconstant I were if I should prefer my mother to the title, let all men judge.”

July 29 was apparently a popular day for royal marriages and coronations.

From the British Library

Mary, 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 December 15.

She 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 throne.

To 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 Reformation. While Mary looked for Catholic husbands, including Don Carlos, heir to the Spanish throne,

But, 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.

Mary 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.

Their son, the future King James VI of Scotland and I of England, was born on June 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 strangulation. How involved Mary was has never been determined.

Mary’s 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.

Meanwhile, 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.

National Portrait Gallery

King 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.

Two 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 of Lords.

The 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.

In 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

Royal Wedding

On 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 Earl Spencer. Diana was named for an ancestor also Lady Diana Spencer, later the Diana Russell, Duchess of Bedford, and her mother Frances.

The 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.

Lady 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 broadcast – 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.

Diana 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.

The 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.

“How are we to reach a way of regulating this matter?”

Islamic Calendar

July 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 assassinate him.

Muhammad 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.

Muhammad 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.

In 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.

In 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.

The following equation is used to roughly convert between Islamic calendar year (AH) and its Gregorian (AD) equivalent:

AD = 622 + (32/33 x AH)

AH = 33/32 x (AD – 622)

From Sveriges Riksbank History

Paper Money

Historians 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 16, 1661.

In 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.

The 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.

Parking Meter

On 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 City, Oklahoma.

Carlton 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 News.

Like 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 Committee.

Magree 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.

On 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 24, 1938.

Thirty 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 parking meters.

“The nature of injustice is that we may not always see it in our own times”

Three Supreme Court cases relating to LGBTQ rights were decided on June 26: Lawrence v. Texas in 2003, United States v. Windsor in 2013, and affirming Obergefell v. Hodges in 2015.

On June 26, 2003, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Lawrence v. Texas that gender-based sodomy laws are unconstitutional and affirmed a right to privacy.

Police 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 sex.”

The 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 practices.” In Lawrence, 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 matters.”State v. Limon

The 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.”

Ten 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.

The 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.

On 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.

The 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.”

Two years later, the Supreme Court would come to a different conclusion. In Obergefell v. Hodges, 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 into Obergefell v. Hodges and went to the Supreme Court.

The 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.”

As with the Supreme Court ruling in Loving v. Virginia, 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 affidavits.

“History has reached a turning point, here and over the world”


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. VA

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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!