This Weekend in History: Missouri Executive Order 44, “A Time for Choosing” Speech, and Other Events of the Dates
A number of interesting events took place on October, 27th and 28th in U.S. history. Here is our take on the most interesting and valuable of them.
October 27, 1838 – Missouri Executive Order 44 is issued
This could be a typical state order, as there have been thousands of them issued throughout U.S. history, if we didn’t take into the account one feature: this was a direct order to kill people for their religious beliefs. Missouri governor Lilburn Boggs had proclaimed a hunt against the Mormons.
The order was actually issued in the context of the 1838 Mormon War in general, and in the aftermath of the Battle of Crooked River, which was a battle fought between Latter-Day Saints and a unit of the Missouri State Militia in northern Ray County. Governor Boggs eventually claimed that Latter-Day Saints had committed open and avowed defiance of the law and were responsible for initiating a war against the inhabitants of Missouri, so he said: “the Mormons must be treated as enemies, and must be exterminated or driven from the State if necessary for the public peace—their outrages are beyond all description.”
It remains a question whether any Mormons were killed by Missourians or not following this exact order, but what is known – in harsh “winter is coming” conditions, no less than 15,000 people had to leave the state, and many of them died on the way to Illinois. The Extermination Order against the Mormons in Missouri formally lasted till June 25, 1976, when Governor Christopher S. Bond issued an executive order rescinding the Extermination Order, and recognized its legal invalidity. Bond also brought official apologies to the Latter-Day Saints for the activities of the past.
October 27, 1964 – Ronald Reagan makes “A Time for Choosing” speech
Despite being a well-known Hollywood actor and a trade union leader, before October 27, 1964 Ronald Reagan was not so noticeable as a politician on the federal level. The speech he made on behalf of Republican candidate Barry Goldwater during the Presidential campaign of 1964 and shortly before the election boosted Reagan’s popularity, which helped him become a future political leader of the nation.
The Founding Fathers knew a government can't control the economy without controlling people. And they knew when a government sets out to do that; it must use force and coercion to achieve its purpose. So we have come to a time for choosing; "You and I are told we must choose between a left or right, but I suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There is only an up or down. Up to man's age-old dream – the maximum of individual freedom consistent with law and order – or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism,
Reagan said in L.A. County in California under lights of a TV studio—the true-ruler of America in that era.
Goldwater eventually lost the campaign to Johnson with one of the worst margins in U.S. electoral history, but Reagan’s political star shone bright.
October 28, 1864 – American Civil War: The Battle of Fair Oaks & Darbytown Road
This battle was a part of the Richmond-Petersburg Campaign of the American Civil War and was fought in the main battlefield-state of Virginia.
Along with the movements aimed against the Boydton Plank Road at Petersburg, Union General Major Benjamin Butler attacked the Richmond defenses along Darbytown Road with the X Corps.
The XVIII Corps, in turn, marched north to Fair Oaks where they were repulsed by the Confederates under the command of Major General Charles W. Field's. As the Confederates counterattacked right away, they took about 600 Union soldiers as prisoners.
The battle in general proved to be a true disaster for the Union forces as their casualties exceeded 1,600, while the Confederates lost fewer than 100 during the Battle of Fair Oaks & Darbytown Road.
October 28, 1919 – The Volstead Act is passed
The act that started Prohibition was passed 99 years ago on this date. Prohibition was a nationwide constitutional ban on the production, importation, transportation, and sale of alcoholic beverages that lasted for 13 years from 1920 to 1933.
Despite the fact this measure was supposed to reduce the amount of alcohol consumed by Americans, it led to slightly different consequences.
As society wasn’t ready for it and didn’t want to give up drinking, people looked for places to buy alcohol illegally, so the Prohibition years were also, the golden era of American gangs, many of which took power over the biggest cities of the country, such as Chicago and New York.
Italian Mafia (Five Families of New York and others) became an image of the 1920’s in America, as gangsters distributed alcohol with tremendous profit during Prohibition and were a significant political power of the U.S. at that time.
Also on these dates:
October 28, 1962 – International Relations: Cuban Missile Crisis comes to an end, as Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev orders to remove the missiles from Cuba.
October 28, 1964 – U.S. officials denied the presence of American troops in Vietnam and their involvement in the Vietnamese Civil War on the side of the South. They also denied the American Air Force was bombing Viet Kong positions. In less than a year, starting from August 1965, America began its full-scale intervention in Vietnam.
These are the most notable events in U.S. history that occurred this weekend, at least in our view.