June 11: This Day in History

b_Thich-Quang-Duc-3June 11, 2015 – Segment 1

On this day in history, the IWW launched a strike in New Orleans against United Fruit and the Buddhist monk Thick Quang Duc set himself on fire to protest the dictatorial regime of South Vietnam.

Transcript of this day in history included below.

Fountain Hughes, Age 101


That was Fountain Hughes, who was 101 years when he was interviewed on this in 1949, as part of Library of Congress’s archive of the voices of those who had been enslaved. Born in Charlottesville, Virginia, his grandfather was owned by Thomas Jefferson. Enshrined for all time for us to learn from.

In 1913, Mary White Ovington, who was one of the founders of the NAACP, said the only organization that cared about the Negro outside of the NAACP was the Industrial Workers of the World, or IWW, known by most as the Wobblies.  In 1913, the Wobblies led many strikes throughout the country for worker’s rights, from the textile mills of Patterson, NJ to a general strike of all workers in Seattle, Washington.  On this day in 1913, former slaves and their children and former confederate soldiers and their children were working on the docks of New Orleans together with interracial leadership, where they struck United Fruit docks. They were attacked by the police, who killed two workers and wounded many more.

One of the great confrontations breaking the back of  legal segregation took place today in 1963 on the steps of the entrance to the University of Alabama. It became known as the “Stand in the School House Door.”  African American students Vivian Malone and James Hood came to register at the University of Alabama, and Governor George Wallace, flanked by dozens of Alabama State Troopers, stood at the entrance to block the way and not allow the two Black students to register.  As Attorney General of the United States Nicholas Katzenback mounted those stairs, he calmly told the Governor that President Kennedy had mobilized the National Guard, and he asked the Governor to step aside so Malone and Hood could register. Wallace did step aside, but promised to continue the fight for segregation.  This incident became a catalyst for Mississippi Freedom Summer of 1964 to make the hard militant push to end segregation and racial terror. And two years later Vivian Malone became the first Black graduate of the University of Alabama.

While George Wallace was standing at the schoolhouse door, another seminal moment of the 1960’s was taking place … in Saigon, Vietnam. The Buddhist monk Thich Quang Duc set himself on fire in the middle of the street to protest the lack of freedom for Buddhists and others in the dictatorial regime of South Vietnam.

The civil rights movement and Vietnam defined the 1960’s … these defined became symbolic of those struggles.

And it was today in 1919 that Sir Barton became the first triple crown winner as he sailed to victory in the Belmont Stakes.  58 years later, Seattle Slew did the same.

Here’s a song for your June the 11th. It’s the birthday of  Thornton James “Pookie” Hudson, known for being the lead singer in The Spaniels. That group went on to become the first truly successful R&B group to come out of the Midwest, and we’re listening to their song “Everyone’s Laughing” on our way out of this day in history.

The Spaniels – Everyone’s Laughing


To continue your exploration of this day in history, take a look at some of our favorite sources:Charles H. Wright Museum: Today in Black History; African American Registry;BlackPast; NYTimes on this Day; EyewitnessToHistory.com; The Civil War Trust;Voices in Labor: Today in Labor History; Union Communication Services at The Worker Institute: Today in Labor History; BBC On This Day; The Holocaust History Project; PBS African American World; PBS; Today in Women’s History; South African History Online; This Day In North American Indian History; Jewish Virtual Library; The People History; Wikipedia List of Historical Anniversaries; Yenoba; and This Day in Music