The second day of the Republican National Convention began on this day ten years ago in New York City. Protests groups had promised a day of action across the city to express their displeasure at President George Bush and the War in Iraq. Down in lower Manhattan the War Resisters League organized a march that was to begin at Ground Zero and end with a die-in up at Madison Square Garden where the RNC was being held. However, that didn’t quite work out as planned. About 400 of the lead protesters crossed over onto Fulton Street from Ground Zero and marched half a block before they were stopped by police and ordered to disperse. After a few moments a captain in the NYPD declared that everyone standing on Fulton Street was all under arrest. He ordered members of media off the sidewalk. Police on bicycles surrounded the protesters. Pretty soon the police surrounded the protesters with orange netting and the bicycle cops donned their riot gear and lined up to begin arresting people. I attempted to step off the sidewalk but was stopped by the police. I walked to the head of the line and found the commanding officer. I showed him my press pass and asked if I may step off the sidewalk. He looked at it and turned to the line of cops behind him in riot gear and said “Who is my first arresting officer?” A young officer stepped up and said “Me sir.” “Alright, arrest this man.” The officer took an industrial strength zip-tie placed my arms behind my back and secured my hands together with the zip-tie. I was the first one arrested that day down on Fulton Street, August 31, 2004. I spent about about 24 hours incarcerated and was never told what I had done that was unlawful. Eventually, I was charged with disorderly conduct but soon, as with all the others arrested, these charges were dropped. Please enjoy the slideshow below of the photos I made that day. Also included is a bonus picture, me and my arresting officer- officer Martinez. All told, about 900 people were arrested across New York City that day. A class action lawsuit was brought against the city by those arrested which resulted in one of the largest civil rights settlements in the city’s history. The city paid out 18 million dollars to settle the suit. For more details about that click here. To see video of the events at ground zero click here. Also, as an interesting historical note Fulton Street was the site of one of the first clashes between British soldiers and Colonists that helped spark the Revolutionary War. Click here to read about that.
On August 30, 1813 a militant faction of the Creek Nation known as the Red Sticks attacked Fort Mims in Baldwin County, Alabama and killed 500 men, women and children. News of the massacre spread quickly and militia units from the surrounding states and territories mobilized to make war on the Red Sticks. This was the start of what would become known as the Creek War of 1813-14. Below is a slideshow of photographs taken last year during a reenactment of the Fort Mims massacre. Descendants of the inhabitants and attackers gathered at the Fort Mims site to watch the reenactment which took place 200 years to the day and hour of the original attack.
On August 30, 2004 the GOP's Republican National Convention began in New York City. Security was tight outside Madison Square Garden where Republicans from across the nation converged to nominate President George W. Bush for the Republican presidential candidate. Protesters from around the world also converged on the city to express their displeasure towards the Republicans and the war in Iraq. Enjoy a slideshow of images from August 30, 2004 below. Also in the slideshow are pictures from a Still We Rise Rally in Manhattan.
To let their voices be heard and known many protests groups planned A Day of Action for August 31, 2004 known as A31. Check back to the Palmer's Almanac tomorrow on the ten-year anniversary of that day for pictures of the events at Ground Zero. It was there in lower Manhattan where members of the War Resisters League and hundreds of other protesters attempted to march from Ground Zero to Madison Square Garden. Four-hundred of the protesters were stopped after marching about half a block and promptly arrested. Michael E. Palmer was there to capture the moment in photographs.
Today marks the ten-year anniversary of the initial protests in New York City during the Republican National Convention. Protest groups from across the globe converged on New York City in August 2004 to protest the GOP’s RNC. United for Peace and Justice organized a Sunday August 29 march that brought 800,000 protesters into the streets of New York to express their sentiment against President George Bush and the war in Iraq. About 200 people were arrested that day but that was only a drop in the bucket compared to the arrests that the City of New York would make in the following days. Before the start of the RNC the NYPD had constructed special holding cells for protesters at an old greasy bus depot at Pier 57. The only catch was they needed people to occupy the specially made cells. The cells would fill with hundreds of protesters in the following days. Below is a slideshow of photos from the August 29 protest. Check back to the Palmer’s Almanac tomorrow for photos from the August 30, 2004 actions in New York.
On August 13, 1831 the slave Nat Turner looked to the sky and saw the sign he was looking for. An upper atmospheric disturbance had made the sun appear bluish-green. That and a total solar eclipse the previous February convinced Turner that he must now begin the work he had been chosen by God to perform. Eight days later Turner began his bloody slave rebellion that shocked the nation and spread terror throughout the slave states.
In the early hours of August 21st in Southampton County, Virginia Turner, along with other slaves he had recruited, marched from house to house freeing slaves and murdering the white inhabitants. Men, women and children were axed as they slept. Others were shot as they tried to escape the slaves’ wrath.
After 48 hours and 60 white people killed, the slave rebellion was suppressed. Word of the slave rebellion spread quickly throughout the slave states. Fear gripped white people throughout the land and as far south as Alabama free blacks and slaves alike were murdered in cold blood. Historians estimate that as many as 200 black people were killed in retaliation for the revolt.
Nat Turner was captured two months after the rampage. Turner confessed to his crimes and was tried and hanged on November 11, 1831 in Jerusalem, Virginia. Afterword his body was flayed, beheaded and quartered.
On this date 823 years ago King Richard I of England had 3,000 Muslim men, women and children executed. Richard, known as the Lion Hearted , was in the Holy Land on what has become known as the Third Crusade to take Jerusalem from the Muslim military leader and Syrian Sultan, Saladin. Richard had hoped to trade the prisoners for the True Cross which Saladin held. The True cross was the cross on which the Christians believed Jesus was crucified. Saladin held the cross and a large number of Christian prisoners. Richard demanded the Christian prisoners and 200,000 pieces of gold in exchange for the Muslims. After hearing Richard’s terms of trade Saladin stalled for time in hopes that a nearby Muslim army could help him retake the city of Acre, which Richard occupied. When Richard the Lion Hearted sensed Saladin was stalling he gave Saladin one month to meet the Ransom. After the ransom was not met the slaughter began. The killings, known as the Massacre of Ayyadieh, began at 4:00 in the afternoon on a hill near the City of Acre. The 3,000 Muslim men, women and children were lead out into the desert by Richard in full view of the Muslim army and were lanced, beaten to death or be-headed. A member of Saladin’s court known as Beha-ed-Din documented what he witnessed as the massacre began- “They numbered more than three thousand and were all bound with ropes. The Franks then flung themselves upon them all at once and massacred them with sword and lance in cold blood.” A brief battle took place as the Muslim army attempted to stop the massacre but were driven back. The next day the Muslims went to the massacre sight- “On the morrow morning our people gathered at the spot and found the Musulmans stretched out upon the ground as martyrs for the faith. They even recognised some of the dead, and the sight was a great affliction to them,” Beha-ed-Din wrote. Saladin took the Christian prisoners to Damascus and had them killed. The True Cross was never recovered and disappeared from history.
One hundred five years ago today the Lincoln head penny was released to the public. The penny was minted and released in 1909 to coincide with the 100th anniversary of Lincoln’s birthday. In the early 1900's President Theodore Roosevelt commissioned sculptor David Victor Brenner to design a coin to honor Lincoln, the man Roosevelt felt had saved the United States during the Civil War. Brenner designed the Lincoln profile used on the coin based on a Matthew Brady photograph. However, Roosevelt objected to the phrase “In God We Trust” being inscribed on the coins. Roosevelt thought it was irreverent to put the name of God on money. “A beautiful and solemn sentence such as the one in question should be treated and uttered only with that fine reverence which necessarily implies a certain exaltation of spirit,” he wrote in a letter published in the New York Times. Incidentally, congress had passed an act approving the use of the phrase for coinage on March 3, 1865 when Lincoln was president.
Michael E. Palmer is a writer and photographer based in Alabama.
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org