12 July 1967

Riots break out in Newark, New Jersey.

The 1967 Newark riots was one of 159 race riots that swept cities in the United States during the “Long Hot Summer of 1967”. This riot occurred in the city of Newark, New Jersey between July 12 and July 17, 1967. Over the four days of rioting, looting, and property destruction, 26 people died and hundreds were injured.

In the decades leading up to the riots, deindustrialization and suburbanization were major contributors to changes in Newark’s demographics. White middle-class citizens left for other towns across North Jersey, in one of the largest examples of white flight in the country. Due to the legislation of the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944, white veterans, who had just returned from fighting in World War II, began to emigrate from Newark to the suburbs where there was improved access to interstate highways, low-interest mortgages, and colleges. The outflow suburban sprawl of white veterans from Newark was rapidly replaced with an influx of blacks moving into the Central Ward; the blacks, however, faced discrimination in jobs and housing, ultimately making their lives exponentially more likely to fall into a cycle of poverty. By 1967, Newark was one of the United States’ first majority-black cities, but was still controlled by white politicians.

Racial profiling, redlining, and lack of opportunity in education, training, and jobs led the city’s African-American residents to feel powerless and disenfranchised. In particular, many felt they had been largely excluded from meaningful political representation and often subjected to police brutality.

Unemployment and poverty were very high, with the traditional manufacturing base of the city having been fully eroded and withdrawn by 1967. Further fueling tensions was the decision by the state of New Jersey to clear tenement buildings from a vast tract of land in the Central Ward to build the new University of Medicine and Dentistry. Thousands of low-income African American residents were displaced at a time when housing in Newark was aging and subjected to high tax rates.

Many African Americans, especially younger community leaders, felt they had remained largely disenfranchised in Newark, despite massive changes in the city’s demographic makeup. Mayor Hugh Addonizio, to date the last white mayor of the city, took few steps to adjust to the changes and provide African Americans with civil leadership positions and better employment opportunities.

Despite being one of the first cities in the country to hire black police officers, the department’s demographics remained at odds with the city’s population, leading to poor relations between blacks and the police department. Only 145 of the 1,322 police officers in the city were black, mirroring national demographics, while the city grew to be over 50% black. Black leaders were increasingly upset that the Newark Police Department remained dominated by white officers, who would routinely stop and question black youths with or without provocation.

The Newark riots of 1967 were in response to an incident of excessive force where two Newark Police officers arrested and beat John Smith an African American taxi driver. The riots in Newark occurred 2 years after riots in Los Angeles and came at a time when racial tensions were high. Historians believe that the shrinking of the economy, increased unemployment, and a city with a majority African American population which was being run by white politicians increased tensions during that era.

This unrest and social change came to a head when two white Newark police officers, John DeSimone and Vito Pontrelli, arrested a black cab driver, John William Smith, on the evening of July 12. After signaling, Smith passed the double parked police car, after which he was pursued and pulled over by the officers. He was arrested, beaten by the officers and taken to the 4th Police Precinct, where he was charged with assaulting the officers[9] and making insulting remarks.

Residents of Hayes Homes, a large public housing project, saw an incapacitated Smith being dragged into the precinct, and a rumor was started that he had been beaten to death while in police custody. Smith in fact had been released in the custody of his lawyer. The rumor, however, spread quickly, and a large crowd soon formed outside the precinct. At this point, accounts vary, with some saying that the crowd threw rocks through the precinct windows and police then rushed outside wearing hard hats and carrying clubs. Others say that police rushed out of their station first to confront the crowd, and then they began to throw bricks, bottles, and rocks.

A person who had witnessed the arrest of Smith contacted members of the Congress of Racial Equality, the United Freedom Party, and the Newark Community Union Project for further investigation; they were subsequently granted access to Smith’s 4th Precinct holding cell. After seeing the injuries Smith sustained from the police, they demanded him to be moved to Beth Israel Hospital in Newark, New Jersey, and were granted their request.

At least five police officers were struck by stones, according to one officer. Some residents went to City Hall and shouted angry protests. After midnight false alarms caused fire engines to race around a six-block area along Belmont Avenue. Looters smashed windows of a few stores and threw merchandise onto sidewalks. According to police, liquor stores were the main target of looters. As the rumors were dispelled, things calmed.

19 December 1967

The Prime Minister of Australia, Harold Holt, is officially declared dead.

Harold Holt, the Prime Minister of Australia, disappeared while swimming near Portsea, Victoria, on 17 December 1967. A massive search operation was mounted in and around Cheviot Beach, but his body was never recovered. He was eventually declared dead in absentia, and his memorial service five days later was attended by many world leaders. It is generally agreed that his disappearance was a simple case of an accidental drowning, but a number of conspiracy theories still surfaced, most famously the suggestion that he had been collected by a Chinese submarine. Holt was the third Australian prime minister to die in office, after Joseph Lyons in 1939 and John Curtin in 1945. He was initially replaced in a caretaker capacity by John McEwen, and then by John Gorton following a Liberal Party leadership election. Holt’s death has entered Australian folklore, and was commemorated by, among other things, the Harold Holt Memorial Swimming Centre.

Harold Holt became Prime Minister of Australia in January 1966, following the retirement of Robert Menzies. He was a career politician, entering parliament at the age of 27 and becoming a government minister at the age of 30. Emulating Menzies, Holt refused a security detail upon taking office – he considered it unnecessary and potentially alienating to the general public. His stance changed after two incidents in mid-1966 – a window in his office was shattered by a sniper, and then an assassination attempt was made on Arthur Calwell, the Leader of the Opposition. Holt begrudgingly accepted a single bodyguard for his official duties, but refused any protection while on holiday, regarding it as a violation of his privacy. His wife Zara would later suggest that this was so he could hide his extramarital affairs.

10 February 1967

The 25th Amendment of the United States Constitution is ratified.

Twenty-fifth Amendment, amendment (1967) to the Constitution of the United States that set forth succession rules relating to vacancies and disabilities of the office of the president and of the vice president. It was proposed by the U.S. Congress on July 6, 1965, and it was ratified on Feb. 10, 1967. While the first section of the Twenty-fifth Amendment codified the traditionally observed process of succession in the event of the death of the president—that the vice president would succeed to the office—it also introduced a change regarding the ascent of the vice president to president should the latter resign from office. In the event of resignation, the vice president would assume the title and position of president—not acting president—effectively prohibiting the departing president from returning to office.

Prior to the passage of the amendment, nine presidents—William Henry Harrison, Zachary Taylor, Abraham Lincoln, James Garfield, William McKinley, Woodrow Wilson, Warren G. Harding, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Dwight D. Eisenhower—experienced health crises that left them temporarily incapacitated, with death resulting in six cases. After the passage of the amendment, Pres. Ronald Reagan was incapacitated for some 24 hours while undergoing surgery for a gunshot wound resulting from a failed assassination attempt, though no official designation of presidential responsibility was ever made. Indeed, this portion of the Twenty-fifth Amendment has never been invoked.

12 January 1967

James Bedford becomes the first person to be cryonically frozen with the aim of future resuscitation.

On 12 January, 1967, Dr. James H. Bedford became the first man to enter cryonic suspension. The story of his suspension and his care over the intervening years is covered elsewhere. The purpose of this article is to document Dr. Bedford’s condition as assessed by a brief external exam conducted on 25 May, 1991. At this time, Dr. Bedford was transferred from the horizontal sealed-in-the-field cryogenic dewar into which he had been welded in April of 1970 to a state-of-the-art multipatient dewar.

Overall this examination indicates that the patient has at least not been warmed above 0°C. Further, the presence of undenatured hemoglobin as evidenced by the presence of bright red blood, and the appearance of the water ice remaining on the patient, including what appeared to be loose condensed “frost” from his cooling to -79°C suggests that rewarming was not to any high subzero temperature.

In the cryonics community, the anniversary of his cryopreservation is celebrated as “Bedford Day.” The story even made the cover of a limited print run of Life magazine before the presses were stopped to report the deaths of the three astronauts in the Apollo 1 fire instead.Bedford’s body was maintained in liquid nitrogen by his family in southern California until 1982, when it was then moved to Alcor Life Extension Foundation, and has remained in their care to the present day.

2 January 1967

Ronald Reagan become the Governor of California.

Ronald Reagan was the Governor of California for two terms, the first beginning in 1967 and the second in 1971. He left office in 1975, declining to run for a third term. Robert Finch, Edwin Reinecke, and John L. Harmer served as lieutenant governors over the course of his governorship.California Republicans were impressed with Reagan’s political views and charisma after his “A Time for Choosing” speech,and nominated him as the Republican party candidate for Governor in 1966.

Reagan’s campaign emphasized two main themes: “to send the welfare bums back to work”, and regarding burgeoning anti-war and anti-establishment student protests at UC Berkeley, “to clean up the mess at Berkeley”. He was elected, defeating two-term governor Edmund G. “Pat” Brown by nearly a million votes, and was sworn in on January 2, 1967 at ten minutes past midnight.In 1988, Reagan explained that this time was chosen because his predecessor, Governor Brown, “had been filling up the ranks of appointments and judges” in the days before his term ended. Professor Marcello Truzzi, a sociologist at Eastern Michigan University who studied the Reagans’ interest in astrology, regarded this explanation as “preposterous”, as the decision to be sworn in at that odd time of day was made six weeks earlier, and was based on advice from Reagan’s long-time friend, the astrologer Carroll Righter.

Reagan was elected to his first term as Governor of California on November 8, 1966 with 57.65% of the vote.