This Week in History: June 10-16

By Samantha Rozzell and Seth Connell

June 10, 1924: First Republican Convention Broadcast on Radio

During the election season of 1924, the radio was the new big idea on how to get election candidates ideas out to the public. Radio programs were afraid that candidates would abuse the time. Political committees were set up to manage requests for air time and the best speakers were given spots. On June 10, the first Republican Convention was broadcast on the radio in Cleveland, Ohio. AT&T set up special wires to create sixteen stations to link to 12 different cities to hear the convention. Unfortunately many cities were not able to purchase the expensive package that AT&T created. Many stations did not believe people would listen to the convention. The new technologies in 1924 changed the way politicians and conventions were relayed to people everywhere.

June 11, 1963: Desegregation of Alabama University

George Wallace, Governor of Alabama stood in front of the door to Alabama University making sure that no “black” students entered the doors to the university. When confronted by United States Marshals sent by President Kennedy and the Attorney General themselves, Wallace stepped aside and let the two students, Vivian Malone and James Hood, enter the school as the first two African American students to attend Alabama University. This came 10 years after the first attempt to admit students after the Brown V. Board of Education decision. Governor Wallace later in life administered an apology for his ways during 1953-1963.

June 12, 1987: Tear Down this Wall!

These words emanated all around the world after President Ronald Reagan demanded that Mikhail Gorbachev, the Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Reagan made this speech at the Brandenburg Gate in front of two panes of bulletproof glass protecting him from potential snipers. Approximately 45,000 attended the speech.

“We welcome change and openness; for we believe that freedom and security go together, that the advance of human liberty can only strengthen the cause of world peace. There is one sign the Soviets can make that would be unmistakable, that would advance dramatically the cause of freedom and peace. General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization, come here to this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall”

June 13, 1966: Establishment of Miranda Rights

The Miranda Rights were established after a Supreme Court decision found that the Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights had been violated during the arrest of Ernesto Arturo Miranda. The Supreme Court did not come up with the exact saying that police say today, but their ruling stated:

“The person in custody must, prior to interrogation, be clearly informed that he/she has the right to remain silent, and that anything the person says will be used against that person in court; the person must be clearly informed that he/she has the right to consult with an attorney and to have that attorney present during questioning, and that, if he/she is indigent, an attorney will be provided at no cost to represent him/her”.

Now these warnings are given by police to any suspect taken into custody.

June 14, 1777: Congress Adopts the Stars and Stripes

The flag that was used to represent the newly formed United States was officially adopted as the national flag. During the Revolutionary War, the Continental Congress adopted a resolution saying that “the flag of the United States be thirteen alternate stripes red and white” and “the Union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation.” Since the 100th anniversary, in 1877, Flag Day has been observed annually to honor the flag, and in 1949, Congress officially declared June 14 “Flag Day.”

June 15, 1877: First Black Candidate Graduates from West Point

 Just over 10 years after the end of the American Civil War, the first black American graduated from the West Point Military Academy. He was not the first candidate, however. In 1870, James Webster Smith was admitted, but did not reach graduation. After 4 years of prejudice, and silence from fellow classmates, Henry Ossian Flipper graduated. This was one of the first steps forward for the Civil Rights movement. It would be another hundred years though until women would be allowed into the academy, in 1976.

June 16, 1884: First Roller Coaster in America Opens

In Brooklyn, New York the first American roller coaster opened up on Coney Island. The coaster travelled approximately six miles-per-hour, and cost a nickel to ride. By 1900, there would be hundreds of roller coasters across the country. Throughout the decades, the advent of theme parks such as Disneyland and Six Flags has further increased the race to create the most thrilling ride that money can buy.

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