Jun 19 2011

On This Day In History June 19

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

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June 19 is the 170th day of the year (171st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 195 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1964, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is approved after surviving an 83-day filibuster in the United States Senate.

Passage in the Senate

(President Lyndon B.) Johnson, who wanted the bill passed as soon as possible, ensured that the bill would be quickly considered by the Senate. Normally, the bill would have been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by Senator James O. Eastland , Democrat from Mississippi. Given Eastland’s firm opposition, it seemed impossible that the bill would reach the Senate floor. Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield took a novel approach to prevent the bill from being relegated to Judiciary Committee limbo. Having initially waived a second reading of the bill, which would have led to it being immediately referred to Judiciary, Mansfield gave the bill a second reading on February 26, 1964, and then proposed, in the absence of precedent for instances when a second reading did not immediately follow the first, that the bill bypass the Judiciary Committee and immediately be sent to the Senate floor for debate. Although this parliamentary move led to a filibuster, the senators eventually let it pass, preferring to concentrate their resistance on passage of the bill itself.

The bill came before the full Senate for debate on March 30, 1964 and the “Southern Bloc” of 18 southern Democratic Senators and one Republican Senator led by Richard Russell (D-GA) launched a filibuster to prevent its passage. Said Russell: “We will resist to the bitter end any measure or any movement which would have a tendency to bring about social equality and intermingling and amalgamation of the races in our (Southern) states.”

The most fervent opposition to the bill came from Senator Strom Thurmond (D-SC): “This so-called Civil Rights Proposals, which the President has sent to Capitol Hill for enactment into law, are unconstitutional, unnecessary, unwise and extend beyond the realm of reason. This is the worst civil-rights package ever presented to the Congress and is reminiscent of the Reconstruction proposals and actions of the radical Republican Congress.”

After 54 days of filibuster, Senators Everett Dirksen (R-IL), Thomas Kuchel (R-CA), Hubert Humphrey (D-MN), and Mike Mansfield (D-MT) introduced a substitute bill that they hoped would attract enough Republican swing votes to end the filibuster. The compromise bill was weaker than the House version in regard to government power to regulate the conduct of private business, but it was not so weak as to cause the House to reconsider the legislation.

On the morning of June 10, 1964, Senator Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) completed a filibustering address that he had begun 14 hours and 13 minutes earlier opposing the legislation. Until then, the measure had occupied the Senate for 57 working days, including six Saturdays. A day earlier, Democratic Whip Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota, the bill’s manager, concluded he had the 67 votes required at that time to end the debate and end the filibuster. With six wavering senators providing a four-vote victory margin, the final tally stood at 71 to 29. Never in history had the Senate been able to muster enough votes to cut off a filibuster on a civil rights bill. And only once in the 37 years since 1927 had it agreed to cloture for any measure.

On June 19, the substitute (compromise) bill passed the Senate by a vote of 71-29, and quickly passed through the House-Senate conference committee, which adopted the Senate version of the bill. The conference bill was passed by both houses of Congress, and was signed into law by President Johnson on July 2, 1964.

 1269 – King Louis IX of France orders all Jews found in public without an identifying yellow badge to be fined ten livres of silver.

1306 – The Earl of Pembroke’s army defeats Bruce’s Scottish army at the Battle of Methven.

1586 – English colonists leave Roanoke Island, N.C., after failing to establish England’s first permanent settlement in America.

1807 – Admiral Dmitry Senyavin destroys the Ottoman fleet in the Battle of Athos.

1816 – Battle of Seven Oaks between North West Company and Hudson’s Bay Company, near Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

1846 – The first officially recorded, organized baseball match is played under Alexander Cartwright’s rules on Hoboken, New Jersey’s Elysian Fields with the New York Base Ball Club defeating the Knickerbockers 23-1. Cartwright umpired.

1850 – Princess Louise of the Netherlands marries Crown Prince Karl of Sweden-Norway.

1862 – The U.S. Congress prohibits slavery in United States territories, nullifying the Dred Scott Case.

1865 – Over two years after the Emancipation Proclamation, slaves in Galveston, Texas, United States, are finally informed of their freedom. The anniversary is still officially celebrated in Texas and 13 other contiguous states as Juneteenth.

1867 – Maximilian I of the Mexican Empire is executed by a firing squad in Querétaro, Querétaro.

1870 – After all of the Southern States are formally readmitted to the United States, the Confederate States of America ceases to exist.

1875 – The Herzegovinian rebellion against the Ottoman Empire begins.

1910 – The first Father’s Day is celebrated in Spokane, Washington.

1934 – The Communications Act of 1934 establishes the United States’ Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

1943 – Race riots occur in Beaumont, Texas.

1944 – World War II: First day of the Battle of the Philippine Sea.

1953 – Julius and Ethel Rosenberg are executed at Sing Sing, in New York.

1961 – Kuwait declares independence from the United Kingdom.

1964 – The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is approved after surviving an 83-day filibuster in the United States Senate.

1966 – Shiv Sena a political party in India is founded in Mumbai.

1970 – The Patent Cooperation Treaty is signed.

1974 – A female resident of Bellevue, Washington, becomes the first person to be saved by the Heimlich maneuver.

1978 – Garfield appears in his first comic strip.

1982 – In one of the first militant attacks by Hezbollah, David S. Dodge, president of the American University in Beirut, is kidnapped.

1982 – The body of God’s Banker, Roberto Calvi is found hanging beneath Blackfriars Bridge in London.

1987 – Basque separatist group ETA commits one of its most violent attacks, in which a bomb is set off in a supermarket, Hipercor, killing 21 and injuring 45.

1990 – The current international law defending indigenous peoples, Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention, 1989, is ratified for the first time by Norway.

2006 – Prime ministers of several northern European nations participate in a ceremonial “laying of the first stone” at the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Spitsbergen, Norway.

Holidays and observances

   * Birthday of José Gervasio Artigas (Uruguay)

   * Christian Feast Day:

       * Gervasius and Protasius (Roman Catholic Church)

       * Juliana Falconieri

       * Romuald

       * Zosimus

       * June 19 (Eastern Orthodox liturgics)

   * Day of the Independent Hungary (Hungary)

   * Feast of Forest (Palawan)

   * Juneteenth (United States, especially African Americans)

   * Labour Day (Trinidad and Tobago)

   * Laguna Day (Laguna)

   * Never Again” Day and Birthday of José Gervasio Artigas (Uruguay)

   * Surigao del Sur Day (Surigao del Sur)

   * World Sickle Cell Day (International)