“The only thing new in the world is the history you don't know.” -- Harry Truman

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Memorable Moments from the Past

Colonial Period

March 13, 1775: Sheriff’s Deputies seize a courthouse, beginning what becomes known as the Westminster Massacre, an early step toward independence.

July 24, 1776: Vermont colonists gather for the Dorset Convention and declare Vermont an Independent Republic.

June 4, 1777: At the suggestion of Dr. Thomas Young, a friend of Ethan Allen’s from Pennsylvania, the state’s name is changed to Vermont.

March 4, 1791: The Republic of Vermont becomes the 14th US state and officially enters the Union.

19th Century

September 11, 1814: US vessels meet a superior British force for the Battle of Plattsburgh on Lake Champlain. After two hours of fighting the British fleet surrenders.

March 21, 1843: Followers of religious leader William Miller give away their worldly goods to prepare for Christ’s return.

June 27, 1844: Vermonter Joseph Smith, Mormon prophet, is killed in Illinois when a mob surrounds the jail where he is being held.

July 4, 1846: The state militia helps management put down Irish workers striking for back pay.

July 13, 1854: The second state Republican Party in the nation is formed at the statehouse in Montpelier.

September 20, 1881: The day after James Garfield dies of a bullet wound Chester Arthur becomes the first US President from Vermont.

Progressive Era

March 3, 1903: Democrat James Burke defeats a Republican incumbent and becomes Burlington mayor.

June 28, 1906: The Independent and Democratic Parties create a statewide Fusion ticket to challenge the Republicans.

January 16: 1909: The Vermont Supreme Court rules that Burlington can develop a public wharf on its waterfront in Burlington v. Central Vermont Railway, Co.

September 3, 1909: Mayor James Burke prevents anarchist Emma Goldman from speaking in Burlington.

February 17, 1912: Residents of Barre, Bethel and Waterbury express solidarity with a strike in Lowell, Massachusetts by taking 200 of their children into their homes.

August 2, 1923: Warren Harding dies suddenly in San Francisco, making Calvin Coolidge President.

Depression Era

April 1, 1933: Barre granite workers begin a two-month strike that shuts down six major companies.

March 3, 1936: The Green Mountain Parkway is defeated in a statewide referendum.

April 7, 1937: Vermont becomes the first state to declare the sit-down strike illegal.

Post-War Period

March 9, 1954: US Senator Ralph Flanders challenges Joseph McCarthy for spreading confusion and sowing division.

May 14, 1965: House of Representatives votes to reduce its size from 245 to 150 seats and elect each member based on population ("one man, one vote") rather than geography.

May 1 1966: United Stone and Allied Products Workers union members vote to strike at Vermont Marble, demanding a union shop and a 15-cent an hour pay increase.

April 23, 1971: The Bilderberg Group meets in Woodstock for what they call “an international peace conference.”

July 7, 1972: Local 522 begins a strike against Pizzagalli Construction and nine other companies.

Modern Progressive Era

March 3, 1981: Independent socialist Bernie Sanders defeats Democratic incumbent Gordon Paquette to become Burlington mayor, launching a new progressive movement.

August 13, 1991: Richard Snelling dies unexpectedly, making Howard Dean governor.

December 10, 1999: State Supreme Court rules in Baker v. Vermont that gay couples have a right to the same benefits provided to straight couples.

21st Century

June 23, 2003: Howard Dean launches his presidential campaign at a mass rally on Church Street in Burlington.

January 19, 2004: Howard Dean loses the Iowa Caucuses.

May 3, 2006: Governor Jim Douglas recognizes the historical Abenaki for the contributions they made to the state.

March 4, 2008: Voters in Brattleboro and Marlboro pass a symbolic resolution that instructs local police to arrest George Bush and Dick Cheney for "crimes against our Constitution" if they ever step foot in either town.

April 7, 2009: Over a veto from Governor Jim Douglas, Vermont becomes the first in the country to allow marriage for same-sex couples.

December 10, 2010: Bernie Sanders stages a mini-filibuster to protest a tax cut for the wealthy.

December 20, 2010: Mayor Kiss announces a “letter of cooperation” with Lockheed Martin.

February 9, 2011. Citizens crowd City Hall Auditorium to challenge Mayor Kiss’s development deal with Lockheed Martin. October 19, 2011: Republican mayoral candidate Kurt Wright proposes the sale of the Burlington Electric Department to reduce the city's debt.
March 6, 2012: Almost 60 Vermont communities vote for a US Constitutional Amendment to overturn the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision; Burlington voters elect the first Democratic mayor in 31 years.

*These events and many more are explored in the book.