Birthdays: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Leo Tolstoy, George Villiers the Duke of Buckingham- minister of James I, Sean O'Flagherty, Donald O'Connor, Charles Boyer, Karl Boehm, Bruno Bettleheim, Disney designer Ferdinand Horvath, Ben Gazzara, Janet Evans, Ron 'Louisiana Lightning' Guidry, Nancy Kulp, Daniel Stern, Shania Twain, anim historian Charles Solomon, Jack Black is 49, Rita Coolidge is 57. Jack "King" Kirby.
1963- Dr. Martin Luther King gave his "I Have a Dream" speech in front of the Lincoln Memorial at the climax of the first ' Poor People's March 'on Washington”. Organizer A. Phillip Randolph conceived a poor people’s march taking weeks not unlike the Bonus Marchers of 1929. The sympathetic John F. Kennedy administration prevailed upon them to keep it to one day to reduce the chance of violence and maximize media exposure. They had planned for 100,000 but they got 400,000. Movie stars like Sidney Poitier, Marlon Brando, James Garner, and Charlton Heston attended.
50 Years Ago 1968- THE CHICAGO DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION- While thousands of anti-war hippie and yippie protestors battled the Chicago Police in Grant Park, the Democrats nominated Hubert Horatio Humphrey, the "Happy Warrior" their candidate to replace the assassinated Bobby Kennedy. Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin, the Yippie and SDS (Students for a Democratic Society) leaders tried to get a live 100 pound pig into the convention and get it nominated for President. The Chairman of the DNC decried Chicago Mayor Richard Daley's "Gestapo Tactics" from the rostrum. Ironically Boss Daley opposed the Vietnam War, but he would not tolerate kids making him look bad on national TV.
Newsman Dan Rather was gut-punched by a Chicago cop on camera on the convention floor. My friend Animation writer John Culhane was clubbed down by police despite wearing all his press credentials and a baby blue army helmet with Newsweek painted on it. While the police and demonstrators battled poet Alan Ginsburg and Timothy Leary grabbed a loudspeaker and chanted the Buddhist "Ohhhmmmmm" to calm people down.
The student leaders -the Chicago 7 in reality 8, were put on trial for incitement to riot but after a year long media circus all the charges were overturned. Republican Richard Nixon won the election. The Democrats wouldn't go near Chicago again for thirty years.