Nearly five years after President John F. Kennedy’s 1963 assassination in Dallas, TX, his brother, Robert Francis Kennedy, was shot and killed on June 5th in Los Angeles, CA. Robert Kennedy, a former U.S. Attorney General, was serving as the junior senator from New York, and seeking the Democratic nomination for the U.S. presidency. The shooting took place after the celebration of his victory in the California presidential primary at LA’s Hotel Ambassador. His assailant, Sirhan Sirhan, was immediately arrested, convicted, and given the death sentence—which was reduced to life imprisonment.
For more information, the Grateful American Book Prize recommends Robert F. Kennedy (Up Close) by Marc Aronson.
In 1870, voting rights were granted to African Americans by the 15th Amendment of the Constitution. Two years later, on June 6, 1872, a group of pioneering women’s rights activists, led by Susan B. Anthony, voted illegally in a Rochester, NY election. She was arrested and fined $100. It was reported that Anthony made this statement: “Friends and fellow citizens: I stand before you tonight under indictment for the alleged crime of having voted at the last presidential election, without having a lawful right to vote. It shall be my work this evening to prove to you that in thus voting, I not only committed no crime, but, instead, simply exercised my citizen’s rights, guaranteed to me and all United States citizens by the National Constitution, beyond the power of any state to deny.” It took 48 years and 14 years after her 1906 death for the 19th Amendment to pass, so that women could vote.
For more information, read Alma Lutz’s, Susan B. Anthony Rebel, Crusader, Humanitarian.
Until June 13, 1966, the police were not required to inform an arrested citizen about his rights. But, all of that changed when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Miranda vs. Arizona that everyone—including the accused—has the right to remain silent, or to refuse making a statement without the presence of an attorney. It was a landmark case, which deserves the attention of every American.
For more information, the Grateful American Book Prize recommends Miranda Law: The Right to Remain Silent (Supreme Court Milestones) by Ron Fridell—a book written especially for young readers.
The calendar will tell you that the U.S. celebrates Flag Day on June 14th but many people do not know why. The reason: on that day in 1777, John Adams, who later became America’s second president, introduced a resolution in Congress that stated, in part, “the flag of the thirteen United States shall be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen starts, white on a blue field, representing a new constellation.
For more information, read John Adams: Independence Forever by Janet Benge and Geoff Benge. This is as a good way as any to inform kids about one of America’s early heroes, according to the Grateful American Book Prize.
June 1 to June 14, 2019 — History Matters is a biweekly feature courtesy of The Grateful American Book Prize.