This Weekend in History: Rosa Parks refuses to leave the “Whites-only” seat in the bus, the “Condemnation” of Senator McCarthy and other events
A number of interesting events have taken place on December 1st and 2nd in U.S. history. Here is our take on the most interesting and valuable of them.
December 1, 1955 – Rosa Parks refuses to leave the “Whites-only” seat in the bus
One of the first acts of civil disobedience directly connected to the struggle of African Americans against the racial segregation happened December 1, 1955 in the capital of Alabama, Montgomery, in the very deep American South, as a simple Black woman, Rosa Parks, refused to leave the seat she was occupying after the bus driver told her she was sitting at the place where only White people could sit. Interesting fact, earlier in the year, Parks completed a course in "Race Relations" at the Highlander Folk School in Tennessee, where nonviolent civil disobedience had been discussed as a tactic.
Twelve years before her history-making arrest, Parks was stopped from boarding a city bus by driver James F. Blake, who ordered her to board at the back door and then drove off without her. When a white man boarded the bus on December 1, 1955, the bus driver told everyone in her row to move back. And at that exact moment, Parks realized that she was again on a bus driven by Blake!
While all of the other black people in her row complied, Parks refused, so she was immediately arrested for failing to obey the driver's seat assignments, as city ordinances did not explicitly mandate segregation but did give the bus driver authority to assign seats. Parks was fined and later appealed. Her decision not to leave the seat she was occupying led to the Montgomery Bus Boycott – one of the most famous political and social protest movements of the era.
December 2, 1824 – The 10th U.S. Presidential election
Why should we pay our historical attention to this election? Simply because this was one the most competitive campaigns in the U.S. history, as neither of four candidates for Presidency (all – members of the Democratic-Republican Party) won a majority of the electoral vote, necessitating a contingent election in the House of Representatives under the provisions of the Twelfth Amendment to the United States Constitution! Andrew Jackson received 99, John Quincy Adams – 84, William H. Crawford – 41 and Henry Clay – 37 electoral votes respectively!
Yet, Jackson – future 7th President of the country (1829 – 1837) didn’t win back in 1824, as on February 9, 1825, the House of Representatives elected John Quincy Adams as president. Adams owed the victory to Henry Clay, who “shared” his votes with him, so he could win. And as soon as Adams took office, he appointed Clay as Secretary of State.
The 1824 presidential election was also the first election in U.S. political history in which the winner of the election lost the popular vote, as Adams received a bit more than 113 thousand votes comparing to 151 thousand ballots cast for Jackson.
December 2, 1954 – Senator McCarthy is condemned by the Senate for his “witch-hunt”
This case is very interesting, as it might serve as good warning for all the American politicians (primarily – from the Democratic Party), who use hate-speech and preach Russophobia in our era, brainwashing the American people with the crazy idea of “Russian interference into the Presidential election.” The “witch-hunt” in the era of McCarthyism de-facto ended with the strong condemnation of the senator who initiated it, which happened 64 years ago on this date.
The two counts on which the Senate ultimately voted were:
That McCarthy had "failed to cooperate with the Subcommittee on Rules and Administration," and "repeatedly abused the members who were trying to carry out assigned duties ..."
That McCarthy had charged "three members of the [Watkins] Select Committee with 'deliberate deception' and 'fraud' ... that the special Senate session ... was a 'lynch party,' and had characterized the committee "as the 'unwitting handmaiden', 'involuntary agent' and 'attorneys in fact' of the Communist Party", and had "acted contrary to senatorial ethics and tended to bring the Senate into dishonor and disrepute, to obstruct the constitutional processes of the Senate, and to impair its dignity".
Unfortunately, what the modern-day “witch-hunt against Russia” supporters in the U.S. don’t understand, is that history always repeats itself. More than 60 years ago the Senate realized McCarthyism posed a real threat to the country, as it only led to disruption among its members. How much time will it take for the American politicians of our era to realize the same thing?
These are the most notable events in U.S. history that occurred this weekend, at least in our view.