20 April 1968

English politician Enoch Powell makes his controversial “Rivers of Blood” speech.

Enoch Powell (1912–1998)

The "Rivers of Blood" speech was made by British Member of Parliament Enoch Powell on 20 April 1968, to a meeting of the Conservative Political Centre in Birmingham, United Kingdom. His speech strongly criticised mass immigration, especially Commonwealth immigration to the United Kingdom and the proposed race relations bill. It became known as the "Rivers of Blood" speech, although Powell always referred to it as "the Birmingham speech".

The expression "rivers of blood" did not appear in the speech but is an allusion to a line from Virgil's Aeneid which he quoted: "as I look ahead, I am filled with foreboding; like the Roman, I seem to see 'the River Tiber foaming with much blood'."[1]

The speech caused a political storm, making Powell one of the most talked about and divisive politicians in the country, and leading to his controversial dismissal from the Shadow Cabinet by Conservative Party leader Edward Heath.[2] According to most accounts, the popularity of Powell's perspective on immigration may have been a decisive factor in the Conservatives' surprise victory in the 1970 general election, and he became one of the most persistent rebels opposing the subsequent Heath government.[2][3]

Background

Powell, the Conservative MP for Wolverhampton South West, was addressing the general meeting of the West Midlands Area Conservative Political Centre. The Labour government's 1968 race relations bill was to have its second reading three days later, and the Conservative Opposition had tabled an amendment significantly weakening its provisions.[4] The bill was a successor to the Race Relations Act 1965.

The Birmingham-based television company ATV saw an advance copy of the speech on the Saturday morning, and its news editor ordered a television crew to go to the venue, where they filmed sections of the speech. Earlier in the week, Powell had said to his friend Clement ("Clem") Jones, a journalist and then editor at the Wolverhampton Express & Star, "I'm going to make a speech at the weekend and it's going to go up 'fizz' like a rocket; but whereas all rockets fall to the earth, this one is going to stay up."[5]

In preparing his speech, Powell had applied Clem Jones's advice that to make hard-hitting political speeches and short-circuit interference from his party organisation, his best timing was on Saturday afternoons, after delivering embargoed copies the previous Thursday or Friday to selected editors and political journalists of Sunday newspapers; this tactic could ensure coverage of the speech over three days through Saturday evening bulletins then Sunday newspapers, so that the coverage would be picked up in Monday newspapers.[5]

Speech

In the speech Powell recounted a conversation with one of his constituents, a middle-aged working man, a few weeks earlier. Powell said that the man told him: "If I had the money to go, I wouldn't stay in this country... I have three children, all of them been through grammar school and two of them married now, with family. I shan't be satisfied till I have seen them all settled overseas." The man finished by saying to Powell: "In this country in 15 or 20 years' time the black man will have the whip hand over the white man".[6]

Powell went on:

Here is a decent, ordinary fellow Englishman, who in broad daylight in my own town says to me, his Member of Parliament, that the country will not be worth living in for his children. I simply do not have the right to shrug my shoulders and think about something else. What he is saying, thousands and hundreds of thousands are saying and thinking – not throughout Great Britain, perhaps, but in the areas that are already undergoing the total transformation to which there is no parallel in a thousand years of English history. We must be mad, literally mad, as a nation to be permitting the annual inflow of some 50,000 dependents, who are for the most part the material of the future growth of the immigrant descended population. It is like watching a nation busily engaged in heaping up its own funeral pyre. So insane are we that we actually permit unmarried persons to immigrate for the purpose of founding a family with spouses and fiancées whom they have never seen.[6][7]

Powell quoted a letter he received from a woman in Northumberland, about an elderly woman living on a Wolverhampton street where she was the only white resident. The woman's husband and two sons had died in World War II and she had rented out the rooms in her house. Once immigrants had moved into the street in which she lived, her white lodgers left. Two black men had knocked on her door at 7:00 am to use her telephone to call their employers, but she refused, as she would have done to any other stranger knocking at her door at such an hour, and was subsequently verbally abused.

The woman had asked her local authority for a rates reduction, but was told by a council officer to let out the rooms of her house. When the woman said the only tenants would be black, the council officer replied: "Racial prejudice won't get you anywhere in this country."

Powell advocated voluntary re-emigration by "generous grants and assistance" and he mentioned that immigrants had asked him whether it was possible. He said that all citizens should be equal before the law, and that:

This does not mean that the immigrant and his descendants should be elevated into a privileged or special class or that the citizen should be denied his right to discriminate in the management of his own affairs between one fellow-citizen and another or that he should be subjected to an inquisition as to his reasons and motives for behaving in one lawful manner rather than another.[8]

He argued that journalists who urged the government to pass anti-discrimination laws were "of the same kidney and sometimes on the same newspapers which year after year in the 1930s tried to blind this country to the rising peril which confronted it". Powell described what he perceived to be the evolving position of the indigenous population:

For reasons which they could not comprehend, and in pursuance of a decision by default, on which they were never consulted, they found themselves made strangers in their own country. They found their wives unable to obtain hospital beds in childbirth, their children unable to obtain school places, their homes and neighbourhoods changed beyond recognition, their plans and prospects for the future defeated; at work they found that employers hesitated to apply to the immigrant worker the standards of discipline and competence required of the native-born worker; they began to hear, as time went by, more and more voices which told them that they were now the unwanted. On top of this, they now learn that a one-way privilege is to be established by Act of Parliament; a law which cannot, and is not intended to, operate to protect them or redress their grievances, is to be enacted to give the stranger, the disgruntled and the agent provocateur the power to pillory them for their private actions.[9]

Powell warned that if the legislation proposed for the then–race relations bill were to be passed it would bring about discrimination against the native population:

The discrimination and the deprivation, the sense of alarm and of resentment, lies not with the immigrant population but with those among whom they have come and are still coming. This is why to enact legislation of the kind before parliament at this moment is to risk throwing a match on to gunpowder.[10]

Powell was concerned about the current level of immigration and argued that it must be controlled:

In these circumstances nothing will suffice but that the total inflow for settlement should be reduced at once to negligible proportions, and that the necessary legislative and administrative measures be taken without delay.[10]

Powell argued that he felt that although "many thousands" of immigrants wanted to integrate, he felt that the majority did not, and that some had vested interests in fostering racial and religious differences "with a view to the exercise of actual domination, first over fellow-immigrants and then over the rest of the population".[11] Powell's peroration of the speech gave rise to its popular title. He quotes the Sibyl's prophecy in the epic poem Aeneid, 6, 86–87, of "wars, terrible wars, / and the Tiber foaming with much blood".

As I look ahead, I am filled with foreboding. Like the Roman, I seem to see "the River Tiber foaming with much blood". That tragic and intractable phenomenon which we watch with horror on the other side of the Atlantic but which there is interwoven with the history and existence of the States itself, is coming upon us here by our own volition and our own neglect. Indeed, it has all but come. In numerical terms, it will be of American proportions long before the end of the century. Only resolute and urgent action will avert it even now. Whether there will be the public will to demand and obtain that action, I do not know. All I know is that to see, and not to speak, would be the great betrayal.[12]

Reaction

Political

According to C. Howard Wheeldon, who was present at the meeting in which Powell gave the speech, "it is fascinating to note what little hostility emerged from the audience. To the best of my memory, only one person voiced any sign of annoyance."[13] The day after the speech Powell went to Sunday Communion at his local church and when he emerged there was a crowd of journalists and a local plasterer (Sidney Miller) said to Powell: "Well done, sir. It needed to be said."[14] Powell asked the assembled journalists: "Have I really caused such a furore?" At midday Powell went on the BBC's World This Weekend to defend his speech and he appeared later that day on ITN news.

The Labour MP Edward Leadbitter said he would refer the speech to the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Liberal Party leader Jeremy Thorpe spoke of a prima facie case against Powell for incitement. Lady Gaitskell called the speech "cowardly" and the cricketer Sir Learie Constantine condemned it.[15]

The leading Conservatives in the Shadow Cabinet were outraged by the speech. Iain Macleod, Edward Boyle, Quintin Hogg and Robert Carr all threatened to resign from the front bench unless Powell was sacked. Margaret Thatcher thought that some of Powell's speech was "strong meat",[16] and said to Heath when he telephoned her to inform her Powell was to be sacked: "I really thought that it was better to let things cool down for the present rather than heighten the crisis". The Conservative leader, Edward Heath, sacked Powell from his post as Shadow Defence Secretary, telling him on the telephone that Sunday evening (it was the last conversation they would have). Heath said of the speech in public that it was "racialist in tone and liable to exacerbate racial tensions". Conservative MPs on the right of the party—Duncan Sandys, Gerald Nabarro, Teddy Taylor—spoke against Powell's sacking.[17] On 22 April 1968, Heath went on Panorama, telling Robin Day: "I dismissed Mr Powell because I believed his speech was inflammatory and liable to damage race relations. I am determined to do everything I can to prevent racial problems developing into civil strife ... I don't believe the great majority of the British people share Mr Powell's way of putting his views in his speech."[18]

The Times newspaper declared it "an evil speech", stating "This is the first time that a serious British politician has appealed to racial hatred in this direct way in our postwar history."[19] The Times went on to record incidents of racial attacks in the immediate aftermath of Powell's speech. One such incident, reported under the headline "Coloured family attacked", took place on 30 April 1968 in Wolverhampton itself: it involved a slashing incident with 14 white youths chanting "Powell" and "Why don't you go back to your own country?" at patrons of a West Indian christening party. One of the West Indian victims, Wade Crooks of Lower Villiers Street, was the child's grandfather. He had to have eight stitches over his left eye. He was reported as saying, "I have been here since 1955 and nothing like this has happened before. I am shattered."[20] An opinion poll commissioned by the BBC television programme Panorama in December 1968 found that eight per cent of immigrants believed that they had been treated worse by white people since Powell's speech, 38 per cent would like to return to their country of origin if offered financial help, and 47 per cent supported immigration control, with 30 per cent opposed.[21]

The speech generated much correspondence to newspapers, most markedly with the Express & Star in Wolverhampton itself, whose local sorting office over the following week received 40,000 postcards and 8,000 letters addressed to its local newspaper. Clem Jones recalled:

Ted Heath made a martyr out of Enoch, but as far as Express & Star's circulation area was concerned, virtually the whole area was determined to make a saint out of him. From the Tuesday through to the end of the week, I had ten, fifteen to twenty bags full of readers' letters: 95 per cent of them were pro-Enoch.[5]

At the end of that week there were two simultaneous processions in Wolverhampton, one of Powell's supporters and another of opponents, who each brought petitions to Clem Jones outside his office, the two columns being kept apart by police.[5]

On 23 April 1968, the race relations bill had its second reading in the House of Commons.[4] Many MPs referred or alluded to Powell's speech. For Labour, Paul Rose, Maurice Orbach, Reginald Paget, Dingle Foot, Ivor Richard, and David Ennals were all critical.[4] Among the Conservatives, Quintin Hogg and Nigel Fisher were critical, while Hugh Fraser, Ronald Bell, Dudley Smith, and Harold Gurden were sympathetic.[4] Powell was present for the debate but did not speak.[4]

Earlier that day, 1,000 London dockers had gone on strike in protest of Powell's sacking and marched from the East End to the Palace of Westminster carrying placards with sayings such as "we want Enoch Powell!", "Enoch here, Enoch there, we want Enoch everywhere", "Don't knock Enoch" and "Back Britain, not Black Britain". Three hundred of them went into the palace, 100 to lobby the MP for Stepney, Peter Shore, and 200 to lobby the MP for Poplar, Ian Mikardo. Shore and Mikardo were shouted down and some dockers kicked Mikardo. Lady Gaitskell shouted: "You will have your remedy at the next election." The dockers replied: "We won't forget."[22] The organiser of the strike, Harry Pearman, headed a delegation to meet Powell and said after: "I have just met Enoch Powell and it made me feel proud to be an Englishman. He told me that he felt that if this matter was swept under the rug he would lift the rug and do the same again. We are representatives of the working man. We are not racialists."[23]

On 24 April 600 dockers at St Katharine Docks voted to strike and numerous smaller factories across the country followed. Six hundred Smithfield meat porters struck and marched to Westminster and handed Powell a 92-page petition supporting him. Powell advised against strike action and asked them to write to Harold Wilson, Heath or their MP. However, strikes continued, reaching Tilbury by 25 April and he allegedly received his 30,000th letter supporting him, with 30 protesting against his speech. By 27 April, 4,500 dockers were on strike. On 28 April, 1,500 people marched to Downing Street chanting "Arrest Enoch Powell".[24] Powell claimed to have received 43,000 letters and 700 telegrams supporting him by early May, with 800 letters and four telegrams against.[25] On 2 May, the attorney-general, Sir Elwyn Jones, announced he would not prosecute Powell after consulting the Director of Public Prosecutions.

The Gallup Organization took an opinion poll at the end of April and found that 74 per cent agreed with what Powell had said in his speech;[26] 15 per cent disagreed. 69 per cent felt Heath was wrong to sack Powell and 20 per cent believed Heath was right. Before his speech Powell was favoured to replace Heath as Conservative leader by one per cent, with Reginald Maudling favoured by 20 per cent; after his speech 24 per cent favoured Powell and 18 per cent Maudling. 83 per cent now felt immigration should be restricted (75 per cent before the speech) and 65 per cent favoured anti-discrimination legislation.[27] According to George L. Bernstein, the speech made the British people think that Powell "was the first British politician who was actually listening to them".[28]

Powell defended his speech on 4 May through an interview for the Birmingham Post: "What I would take 'racialist' to mean is a person who believes in the inherent inferiority of one race of mankind to another, and who acts and speaks in that belief. So the answer to the question of whether I am a racialist is 'no'—unless, perhaps, it is to be a racialist in reverse. I regard many of the peoples in India as being superior in many respects—intellectually, for example, and in other respects—to Europeans. Perhaps that is over-correcting."[29] On 5 May the Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, made his first public statement on race and immigration since Powell's speech. He told Labour supporters at a May Day rally in Birmingham Town Hall:

I am not prepared to stand aside and see this country engulfed by the racial conflict which calculating orators or ignorant prejudice can create. Nor in the great world confrontation on race and colour, where this country must declare where it stands, am I prepared to be a neutral, whether that confrontation is in Birmingham or Bulawayo. In these issues there can be no neutrals and no escape from decision. For in the world of today, while political isolationism invites danger and economic isolationism invites bankruptcy, moral isolationism invites contempt.[30]

In a speech to the Labour Party conference in Blackpool that October, Wilson said:

We are the party of human rights—the only party of human rights that will be speaking from this platform this month. (Loud applause.) The struggle against racialism is a worldwide fight. It is the dignity of man for which we are fighting. If what we assert is true for Birmingham, it is true for Bulawayo. If ever there were a condemnation of the values of the party which forms the Opposition it is the fact that the virus of Powellism has taken so firm a hold at every level.[31]

During the 1970 general election the majority of the Parliamentary Labour Party did not wish to "stir up the Powell issue".[32] However, Labour MP Tony Benn said:

The flag of racialism which has been hoisted in Wolverhampton is beginning to look like the one that fluttered 25 years ago over Dachau and Belsen. If we do not speak up now against the filthy and obscene racialist propaganda ... the forces of hatred will mark up their first success and mobilise their first offensive. ... Enoch Powell has emerged as the real leader of the Conservative Party. He is a far stronger character than Mr. Heath. He speaks his mind; Heath does not. The final proof of Powell's power is that Heath dare not attack him publicly, even when he says things that disgust decent Conservatives.[32]

According to most accounts, the popularity of Powell's perspective on immigration may have played a decisive contributory factor in the Conservatives' surprise victory in the 1970 general election, although Powell became one of the most persistent rebels opposing the subsequent Heath government.[2][3] In "exhaustive research" on the election, the American pollster Douglas Schoen and University of Oxford academic R. W. Johnson believed it "beyond dispute" that Powell had attracted 2.5 million votes to the Conservatives, but nationally the Conservative vote had increased by only 1.7 million since 1966.[3] In his own constituency at that election – his last in Wolverhampton – his majority of 26,220 and a 64.3 per cent share of the vote were then the highest of his career.

Powell's reflection on the speech

Powell reflected on the speech in an interview in 1977 when the interviewer asked him, "nine years after the speech, are we still in your view on a kind of funeral pyre?":

Yes, I've been guilty I suppose of, I've said this before, of under-estimating rather than over-estimating. And I was just looking back at the figures that I was then talking about in 1968 for the end of the century. Do you know my estimates which were regarded with such ridicule and denounced, behold the academics forgive me, they are less than the official estimate which the Franks reported at the beginning of this year are thought. So upon the whole I have leaned, perhaps it's a fault, towards the under-estimation of the magnitude and of the danger.

And then asked him, "what do you see as the likely prospect now? Still the 'River Tiber foaming with blood'?":

My prospect is that, politicians of all parties will say "Well Enoch Powell is right, we don't say that in public but we know it in private, Enoch Powell is right and it will no doubt develop as he says. But it's better for us to do nothing now, and let it happen perhaps after our time, than to seize the many poisonous nettles which we would have to seize if we were at this stage going to attempt to avert the outcome." So let it go on until a third of Central London, a third of Birmingham, Wolverhampton, are coloured, until the Civil War comes, let it go on. We won't be blamed, we'll either have gone or we'll slip out from under somehow.[33]

Cultural

Polls in the 1960s and 1970s showed that Powell's views were popular among the British population at the time.[34] A Gallup poll, for example, showed that 75% of the population were sympathetic to Powell's views.[35] An NOP poll showed that approximately 75% of the British population agreed with Powell's demand for non-white immigration to be halted completely, and about 60% agreed with his inflammatory call for the repatriation of non-whites already resident in Britain.[34]

The Rivers of Blood speech has been blamed for leading to "Paki-bashing", violent attacks against British Pakistanis and other British Asians, which became frequent after the speech in 1968;[36] however, there is "little agreement on the extent to which Powell was responsible for racial attacks".[37] These "Paki-bashing" attacks later peaked during the 1970s–1980s.[36]

Powell was mentioned in early versions of the 1969 song "Get Back" by the Beatles.[38][39] This early version of the song, known as the "No Pakistanis" version, parodied the anti-immigrant views of Enoch Powell.[40]

On 5 August 1976, Eric Clapton provoked an uproar and lingering controversy when he spoke out against increasing immigration during a concert in Birmingham. Visibly intoxicated, Clapton voiced his support of the controversial speech, and announced on stage that Britain was in danger of becoming a "black colony". Among other things, Clapton said "Keep Britain white!"[41] which was at the time a National Front (NF) slogan.[42][43]

In November 2010, the actor and comedian Sanjeev Bhaskar recalled the fear which the speech instilled in Britons of Indian origin: "At the end of the 1960s, Enoch Powell was quite a frightening figure to us. He was the one person who represented an enforced ticket out, so we always had suitcases that were ready and packed. My parents held the notion that we may have to leave."[44]

Whilst a section of the white population appeared to warm to Powell over the speech, the author Mike Phillips recalls that it legitimised hostility, and even violence, towards black Britons like himself.[45]

In his book The British Dream (2013), David Goodhart claims that Powell's speech in effect "put back by more than a generation a robust debate about the successes and failures of immigration".[46]

Just when a discussion should have been starting about integration, racial justice, and distinguishing the reasonable from the racist complaints of the white people whose communities were being transformed, he polarised the argument and closed it down.[46]

Identity of the woman mentioned in the speech

After Powell delivered the speech, there were attempts to locate the Wolverhampton constituent whom Powell described as being victimised by non-white residents. The editor of the local Wolverhampton newspaper the Express & Star, Clem Jones (a close friend of Powell who broke off relations with him over the controversy) claimed he failed to identify the woman using the electoral register and other sources.[47]

Shortly after Powell's death, Kenneth Nock, a Wolverhampton solicitor, wrote to the Express and Star in April 1998 to claim that his firm had acted for the woman in question, but that he could not name her owing to rules concerning client confidentiality.[48] In January 2007, the BBC Radio Four programme Document claimed to have uncovered the woman's identity. They said she was Druscilla Cotterill (1907–1978), the widow of Harry Cotterill, a battery quartermaster sergeant with the Royal Artillery who had been killed in World War II.(She was also the second cousin of Mark Cotterill, a figure in British far-right politics.[49]) She lived in Brighton Place in Wolverhampton, which by the 1960s was dominated by immigrant families. In order to increase her income, she rented rooms to lodgers, but did not wish to rent rooms to West Indians and stopped taking in any lodgers when the Race Relations Act 1968 banned racial discrimination in housing. She locked up the spare rooms and lived only in two rooms of the house.[citation needed]

Support for the speech

In the United Kingdom, particularly in England, "Enoch [Powell] was right" is a phrase of political rhetoric, inviting comparison of aspects of current English society with the predictions made by Powell in the "Rivers of Blood" speech.[50] The phrase implies criticism of racial quotas, immigration and multiculturalism. Badges, T-shirts and other items bearing the slogan have been produced at different times in the United Kingdom.[51][52] Powell gained support from both right-wing and traditionally left-leaning, working-class voters for his anti-immigration stance.

Powell gained the support of the far-right in Britain. Badges, T-shirts and fridge magnets emblazoned with the slogan "Enoch was right" are regularly seen at far-right demonstrations, according to VICE News.[51] Powell also has a presence on social media, with an Enoch Powell page on Facebook run by the far-right Traditional Britain Group which amassed several thousands of likes, and similar pages which post "racist memes and Daily Mail stories"[51] have been equally successful,[51] such as British nationalist and anti-immigration Britain First's Facebook page.[53]

In The Trial of Enoch Powell, a Channel 4 television broadcast in April 1998, on the thirtieth anniversary of his Rivers of Blood speech (and two months after his death), 64% of the studio audience voted that Powell was not a racist. Some in the Church of England, of which Powell had been a member, took a different view. Upon Powell's death, Barbados-born Wilfred Wood, then Bishop of Croydon, stated, "Enoch Powell gave a certificate of respectability to white racist views which otherwise decent people were ashamed to acknowledge".[54]

In March 2016, right-wing German writer Michael Stürmer wrote a retrospective pro-Powell piece in Die Welt, opining that nobody else had been "punished so mercilessly" by fellow party members and media for their viewpoints.[55]

Trevor Phillips wrote in May 2016 "Rome may not yet be in flames, but I think I can smell the smouldering whilst we hum to the music of liberal self-delusion" by ignoring the effects of mass immigration. He explicitly compared his warning to Powell's: "He too summoned up echoes of Rome with his reference to Virgil's dire premonition of the River Tiber 'foaming with much blood'". From the damage the reaction to the speech did to Powell's career, Phillips wrote, "Everyone in British public life learnt the lesson: adopt any strategy possible to avoid saying anything about race, ethnicity (and latterly religion and belief) that is not anodyne and platitudinous".[56]

On 19 April 2018, British political activist and Breitbart News editor Raheem Kassam self-published Enoch Was Right: 'Rivers of Blood' 50 Years On, in which he defends Powell and argues that his Rivers of Blood speech has been realised.[50]

In October 2018, support for the speech was expressed by the Plymouth University Conservatives who referenced the phrase "Enoch was Right" on one of the apparel worn for a society gathering.[57]

Acknowledgement from politicians

In an interview for Today shortly after her departure from office as Prime Minister in 1990, Margaret Thatcher said that Powell had "made a valid argument, if in sometimes regrettable terms".[58]

Thirty years after the speech, Edward Heath said that Powell's remarks on the "economic burden of immigration" had been "not without prescience".[58]

The Labour Party MP Michael Foot remarked to a reporter that it was "tragic" that this "outstanding personality" had been widely misunderstood as predicting actual bloodshed in Britain, when in fact he had used the Aeneid quotation merely to communicate his own sense of foreboding.[58]

In November 2007, Nigel Hastilow resigned as Conservative candidate for Halesowen and Rowley Regis after he wrote an article in the Wolverhampton Express & Star that included the statement: "Enoch, once MP for Wolverhampton South-West, was sacked from the Conservative front bench and marginalised politically for his 1968 'Rivers of Blood' speech, warning that uncontrolled immigration would change Britain irrevocably. He was right and immigration has changed the face of Britain dramatically."[59][60]

In January 2014, UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage, after being told during an interview that a statement just read to him had come from Powell's speech, said: "Well what he was warning about was the large influx of people into an area, that change an area beyond recognition, there is tension – the basic principle is right."[61] In June of that year, in response to the alleged Islamist Operation Trojan Horse, Conservative peer and former minister Norman Tebbit wrote in The Daily Telegraph, "No one should have been surprised at what was going on in schools in Birmingham. It is precisely what I was talking about over 20 years ago and Enoch Powell was warning against long before that. We have imported far too many immigrants who have come here not to live in our society, but to replicate here the society of their homelands."[62] Conservative MP Gerald Howarth said on the same issue, "Clearly, the arrival of so many people of non-Christian faith has presented a challenge, as so many of us, including the late Enoch Powell, warned decades ago."[63]

In April 2018, the leader of UKIP in Wales, Neil Hamilton, said that "the idea that Enoch Powell was some kind of uniquely racist villain is absolute nonsense". Hamilton said that Powell had been "proved right by events" in terms of social change if not violence. In response, the leader of Plaid Cymru, Leanne Wood, accused Hamilton of "keeping Powell's racist rhetoric going". Labour AM Hefin David described Hamilton's comments as "outrageous".[64]

Dramatic portrayals

The speech is the subject of a play, What Shadows, written by Chris Hannan. The play was staged in Birmingham from 27 October to 12 November 2016, with Powell portrayed by Ian McDiarmid and Clem Jones by George Costigan.[65]

The Speech, a novel by author Andrew Smith set in Wolverhampton during the ten days before and after the speech and featuring Powell as a character, was published in October 2016 by Urbane Publications.[66]

In April 2018 the BBC announced that Archive on 4 would transmit 50 Years On: Rivers of Blood, a programme marking the 50th anniversary of the speech.[67] Ian McDiarmid would read the entire speech, the first time it would be broadcast on British radio, and it would be discussed and analysed. In the days before the broadcast, there was criticism from a number of commentators of the BBC's decision to broadcast the still-controversial speech.[68]

See also

References

  1. ^ Heffer 1999, p. 449
  2. ^ a b c McLean 2001, pp. 129–30
  3. ^ a b c Heffer 1999, p. 568
  4. ^ a b c d e "Race Relations Bill". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). 763. HC. 23 April 1968. col. 53–198.
  5. ^ a b c d "My father and Enoch Powell". Shropshire Star. 8 October 2016. p. 3 (Weekend supplement). Article by Nicholas Jones, Clem Jones's son, condensed from book What Do We Mean By Local? The Rise, Fall – and Possible Rise Again – of Local Journalism (Abramis, 2013).
  6. ^ a b Powell 1969, p. 282
  7. ^ Powell 1969, p. 283
  8. ^ Powell 1969, p. 285
  9. ^ Powell 1969, p. 286
  10. ^ a b "Enoch Powell's 'Rivers of Blood' speech". The Daily Telegraph. 6 November 2007.
  11. ^ Powell 1969, pp. 287–88
  12. ^ Powell 1969, pp. 289–90
  13. ^ Heffer 1999, p. 455
  14. ^ Roth 1970, p. 357
  15. ^ Heffer 1999, p. 457
  16. ^ "Part 2: Enoch Powell and the 'Rivers of Blood'" Archived 11 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine Ottawa Citizen (Canada.com), 4 June 2008
  17. ^ Heffer 1999, p. 459
  18. ^ Heffer 1999, p. 461
  19. ^ Editorial comment, The Times, 22 April 1968
  20. ^ The Times, 1 May 1968
  21. ^ Heffer 1999, p. 500
  22. ^ Heffer 1999, p. 462
  23. ^ Roth 1970, p. 361
  24. ^ Heffer 1999, pp. 462–65
  25. ^ Heffer 1999, p. 466
  26. ^ https://www.facebook.com/mradamtaylor. "In 1968, a British politician warned immigration would lead to violence. Now some say he was right". Washington Post. Retrieved 13 October 2018.
  27. ^ Heffer 1999, p. 467
  28. ^ George L Bernstein (2004). The Myth Of Decline: The Rise of Britain Since 1945. Pimlico. p. 274. ISBN 1844131025.
  29. ^ Heffer 1999, pp. 466–67
  30. ^ 'Race-Problem Towns To Get Funds For Social Needs', The Times (6 May 1968), p. 1.
  31. ^ 'Standing ovation for Prime Minister', The Times (2 October 1968), p. 4.
  32. ^ a b David Butler; Michael Pinto-Duschinsky (2 July 1971). British General Election of 1970. Palgrave Macmillan UK. pp. 159–160. ISBN 978-1-349-01095-0.
  33. ^ "Enoch Interview 1977". Youtube. 1977.
  34. ^ a b Collins, Marcus (2016). "Immigration and opinion polls in postwar Britain". Modern History Review. Loughborough University. 18 (4): 8–13. hdl:2134/21458. ISBN 9781471887130.
  35. ^ Nahid Afrose Kabir (2012), Young British Muslims, Edinburgh University Press
  36. ^ a b Ashe, Stephen; Virdee, Satnam; Brown, Laurence (2016). "Striking back against racist violence in the East End of London, 1968–1970". Race & Class. 58 (1): 34–54. doi:10.1177/0306396816642997. ISSN 0306-3968. PMC 5327924. PMID 28479657.
  37. ^ Hillman 2008, p. 89.
  38. ^ Sulpy, Doug; Schweighardt, Ray. "Thursday, 9 January 1969". Get Back: The Unauthorized Chronicle of The Beatles Let It Be Disaster. p. 153.
  39. ^ Alex Sayf Cummings. "'No Pakistanis': The racial satire the Beatles don't want you to hear". Salon.
  40. ^ Sulpy, Doug; Schweighardt, Ray (2003). Get Back: The Unauthorized Chronicle of the Beatles' Let It Be Disaster. Helter Skelter Publishing. p. 153. ISBN 978-1-900924-83-2.
  41. ^ Bainbridge, Luke (14 October 2007). "The ten right-wing rockers". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 20 April 2018.
  42. ^ Hall, John (19 August 2009). "The ten worst rock'n'roll career moves". The Independent. London. Retrieved 18 January 2010.
  43. ^ Rebel Rock: The Politics of Popular Music by J. Street. First Edition (1986). Oxford Press/Basil Blackwell. pp.74–75.
  44. ^ "Sanjeev Bhaskar's family feared Enoch Powell". BBC News. 15 November 2010.
  45. ^ Shrapnel, Norman; Phillips, Mike (7 February 2001). "Enoch Powell – An enigma of awkward passions". The Guardian.
  46. ^ a b Goodhart 2013, p. 144
  47. ^ Goodhart 2013, p. 143
  48. ^ Heffer 1999, p. 460
  49. ^ Heritage and Destiny Issue 33 July–September 2008 p13-14
  50. ^ a b Kassam, Raheem (2018). Enoch Was Right: 'Rivers of Blood' 50 Years On. Self-published. ISBN 978-1980818823.
  51. ^ a b c d Poulter, James (2 April 2015). "We Tried to Ask Far-Right Groups About the Enoch Powell Paedophilia Allegations". VICE News. United Kingdom. Retrieved 23 April 2016.
  52. ^ "Northern Ireland Enoch Powell MP 'Enoch Was Right' T-Shirt". Amazon.com. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  53. ^ McIntyre, Niam (3 October 2014). "Britain First: Feminism and Fascism". New Left Project. Retrieved 23 April 2016.
  54. ^ "Bishops criticise Abbey over Powell honour", The Irish Times, 16 February 1998, p. 14
  55. ^ Stürmer, Michael (29 March 2016). "Enoch Powells frühe Warnung vor der Massenmigration" [Enoch Powell's early warning about mass migration]. Die Welt (in German). Retrieved 31 March 2016.
  56. ^ Bingham, John (10 May 2016). "Britain 'sleepwalking to catastrophe' over race: Trevor Phillips". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 16 June 2020.
  57. ^ "Tory uni group suspended over T-shirts". BBC News. 3 October 2018. Retrieved 15 October 2018.
  58. ^ a b c Christopher Sandford: "To See and to Speak" in Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture, June 2012
  59. ^ Helm, Toby (5 November 2007). "Race row Tory refused to sign gagging order". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 5 November 2007.
  60. ^ Hastilow, Nigel (2 November 2007). "Britain seen as a soft touch". Wolverhampton Express and Star. Retrieved 5 November 2007.
  61. ^ Graham, Georgia. "Nigel Farage: 'the basic principle' of Enoch Powell's River of Blood speech is right". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  62. ^ Tebbit, Norman (10 June 2014). "Trojan Horse: I warned about this years ago". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 19 January 2015.
  63. ^ McSmith, Andy (27 August 2014). "Tory MP Gerald Howarth says Enoch Powell 'was right' in notorious Rivers of Blood speech". The Independent. Retrieved 28 August 2014.
  64. ^ "UKIP Wales leader defends Enoch Powell". BBC News. 16 April 2018. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  65. ^ "Acting out: That famous speech set for the stage". Shropshire Star. 8 October 2016. p. 2 (Weekend supplement).
  66. ^ "The Speech, by Andrew Smith - review". Express & Star. 12 November 2016.
  67. ^ "50 Years On: Rivers of Blood, Archive on 4 - BBC Radio 4". BBC. Retrieved 20 April 2018.
  68. ^ Sweney, Mark (12 April 2018). "BBC under fire over Enoch Powell 'rivers of blood' broadcast". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 13 April 2018.

Further reading

  • Bourne, Jenny. "The beatification of Enoch Powell". Race & Class 49.4 (2008): 82–87. Argues "we are witnessing the beginnings of his rehabilitation as an authoritative political figure."
  • Crines, Andrew, Tim Heppell, and Michael Hill. "Enoch Powell’s ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech: A rhetorical political analysis". British Politics 11#1 (2016): 72–94. online
  • Deakin, N. and Bourne, J. "Powell, and the minorities and the 1970 election". Political Quarterly (1970) 44#4: 399–415.
  • Goodhart, David (2013). The British Dream: Successes and Failures of Post-War Immigration. London: Atlantic Books. ISBN 9781843548058.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Heffer, Simon (1999). Like the Roman: The Life of Enoch Powell. London: Orion. ISBN 0-7538-0820-X.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Hillman, Nicholas (February 2008). "A 'chorus of execration'? Enoch Powell's 'rivers of blood' forty years on". Patterns of Prejudice. 42 (1): 83–104. doi:10.1080/00313220701805927.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • McLean, Iain (2001). Rational Choice and British Politics. Oxford Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-829529-4.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Norton, P. "The Oratory of Enoch Powell" in Hayton R. and Crines, A. (eds.) Conservative Orators from Baldwin to Cameron (Manchester University Press, 2015).
  • Roth, Andrew (1970). Enoch Powell: Tory Tribune. London: Macdonald & Co. ISBN 0-356-03150-0.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Whipple, Amy. "Revisiting the 'Rivers of Blood' Controversy: Letters to Enoch Powell". Journal of British Studies 48#3 (2009): 717–735.

Primary sources

  • Powell, Enoch (1969). Freedom and Reality. Kingswood: Elliot Right Way Books. ISBN 0-7160-0541-7.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)

External links

11 December 1968

The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus, featuring the Rolling Stones, Jethro Tull, the Who, Taj Mahal, Marianne Faithfull, and the Dirty Mac with Yoko Ono, is filmed in Wembley, London.

The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus
The Rolling Stones Rock-and-Roll Circus poster 300x417px.jpg
Directed byMichael Lindsay-Hogg[1]
Produced bySandy Leiberson[1][2]
StarringThe Rolling Stones, Jethro Tull, the Who, Taj Mahal, Marianne Faithfull, the Dirty Mac, Yoko Ono, Sir Robert Fossett's Circus and the Nurses.[2]
CinematographyAnthony B. Richmond
Edited byRuth Foster, Robin Klein[1][2]
Release date
12 October 1996
(New York Film Festival),
6 December 1996
(TV premiere)
October 2004 (DVD)
Running time
66 min

The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus was a concert show organised by the Rolling Stones on 11 December 1968. The show was filmed on a makeshift circus stage with Jethro Tull, the Who, Taj Mahal, Marianne Faithfull, and the Rolling Stones. John Lennon and his fiancee Yoko Ono also performed as part of a one-shot supergroup called the Dirty Mac, featuring Eric Clapton, Mitch Mitchell, and Keith Richards. The original idea for the concert was going to include the Small Faces, the Rolling Stones, and the Who, and the concept of a circus was first thought up between Mick Jagger, Pete Townshend and Ronnie Lane. It was meant to be aired on the BBC, but instead the Rolling Stones withheld it. The Rolling Stones contended they did so because of their substandard performance, clearly exhausted after 15 hours (and some indulgence in drugs).[3] There is also the fact that this was Brian Jones' last appearance with the Rolling Stones; he drowned some seven months later while the film was being edited. Some speculate that another reason for not releasing the film was that the Who, who were fresh off a concert tour, seemingly upstaged the Stones on their own production. Led Zeppelin was considered for inclusion but the idea was dropped.[4][5][6][7][8] The show was not released commercially until 1996.

Concept and performance

The project was originally conceived by Mick Jagger as a way to promote the new record Beggars Banquet beside conventional press and concert appearances.[3] Jagger approached Michael Lindsay-Hogg, who had directed two promos for Rolling Stones songs (and would go on to direct the Beatles' Let It Be documentary), to make a full-length TV show for them. According to Lindsay-Hogg, the idea of combining rock music and a circus setting came to him when he was trying to come up with ideas; he drew a circle on a piece of paper and free-associated.

The Rolling Stones and their guests performed in a replica of a seedy big top on a British sound stage—the Intertel (V.T.R. Services) Studio, Wycombe Road, Wembley[9]—in front of an invited audience. The performances began at around 2 pm on 11 December 1968, but setting up between acts and reloading cameras took longer than planned, which meant that the final performances took place at almost 5 o'clock in the morning on the 12th.[10]

By that time the audience and most of the Rolling Stones were exhausted. It was only due to Jagger's sheer enthusiasm and stamina that they kept going until the end. Regardless, Jagger was reportedly so disappointed with his and the band's performance that he cancelled the airing of the film, and kept it from public view. Pete Townshend recalled:

When they really get moving, there is a kind of white magic that starts to replace the black magic, and everything starts to really fly. That didn't happen on this occasion; there's no question about that. They weren't just usurped by The Who, they were also usurped by Taj Mahal – who was just, as always, extraordinary. They were usurped to some extent by the event itself: the crowd by the time the Stones went on were radically festive.[11]

This was the last public performance of Brian Jones with the Rolling Stones,[12] and for much of the Stones performance he is inaudible, although his slide guitar on "No Expectations", maracas on "Sympathy for the Devil", and rhythm guitar on "Jumpin' Jack Flash" remain clear. Ian Anderson remarked:

Brian Jones was well past his sell-by date by then… We spoke to Brian and he didn't really know what was going on. He was rather cut off from the others – there was a lot of embarrassed silence. But a delightful chap, and we felt rather sorry for him… I was approached for an interview by a chap from Record Mirror… I inadvertently remarked that the Stones were a bit under-rehearsed and that Brian couldn't even tune his guitar, which was literally the truth but a bit tactless and inappropriate for me to say. This was duly reported, whereupon Mick Jagger was mightily upset. I had to send a grovelling apology to his office.[11]

The last song, "Salt of the Earth", was sung live by Keith Richards and Mick Jagger to the pre-recorded tape from the Beggars Banquet studio album on which the song had been released.

According to Bill Wyman's book, Rolling with the Stones, the Rolling Stones also performed "Confessing the Blues", "Route 66" and an alternative take of "Sympathy for the Devil" with Brian Jones on guitar.[13] Nicky Hopkins supplemented the Rolling Stones on piano.

Performers

Footage

The project was abandoned until director Michael Lindsay-Hogg attempted to edit the film in 1992 but, due to missing principal footage, the project was put on hold. Some of the footage of the concert was thought to be lost or destroyed until 1993, when it was discovered in a bin in the Who's private film vault by director/producer team Michael Gochanour and Robin Klein. Subsequent to their discovery, Gochanour and Klein completed the unfinished film in fall of 1996.

A significant segment, featuring the Who, had been shown theatrically in the documentary The Kids Are Alright (1979), the only public viewing of the film until its eventual release. The Rolling Stones' film was restored, edited, and finally released on CD and video in 1996. Included on the recordings are the introductions for each act, including some entertaining banter between Jagger and Lennon.

This concert is the only footage of Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi performing as a member of Jethro Tull, during his brief two-week tenure as replacement for Mick Abrahams. Coincidentally this is also the first live footage of Jethro Tull ever made; no footage of the original lineup with Abrahams (December 1967 – December 1968) is known to exist. The band mimed to the album version of "A Song for Jeffrey" and "Fat Man," so the guitar heard is actually Abrahams, and not Iommi, who may not have known his part sufficiently after only a few days in the band. The Rolling Stones forced them to cut their rehearsal time short, although Ian Anderson sings and plays flute live on "A Song For Jeffrey". "Fat Man" never made the final release, although it is not unreasonable to assume he also sang that live, as the released version (which appears on Stand Up) wasn't recorded until four months later. Finally, the footage shows Ian Anderson's first clumsy attempts at his now famous flute-playing position of standing on one leg.

Reception

In a 1996 review, Janet Maslin lauded the "sleek young Stones in all their insolent glory presiding over this uneven but ripely nostalgic show"; although "rumor had it that the Stones... thought they looked tired and felt upstaged by the high-energy Who", "it hardly looks that way as Mick Jagger's fabulous performance nearly turns this into a one-man show."[2] She called Jethro Tull's performance a "shaky start" by "arguably the most unbearable band of their day", said The Who "turn up early and stop traffic, delivering a fiery [performance]", and notes Yoko Ono's "glass-shattering shrieks" are "dutifully" backed by the Dirty Mac. She calls the concert-ending sing-along of "Salt of the Earth" smug and condescending, a "song about little people living in the real world".[2]

Theatrical releases

October 1996

The film premiered on 12 October 1996 at the Walter Reade Theater as part of the New York Film Festival.[2]

April 2019

In March 2019, it was announced that the film would be receiving a limited theatrical release in Dolby Cinema in early April, as the first concert film was due to be remastered with Dolby's Atmos and Vision, in conjunction with what was—still then—the ongoing North American leg of the Rolling Stones' No Filter Tour (before it was later postponed). Indeed, a limited U.S. remastered theatrical release of the film run during the first week of April 2019.[14][15]

Home media

October 1996

The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus was released in October 1996 on VHS and laserdisc following two days of screenings at the Walter Reade Theater as part of the New York Film Festival.[2]

October 2004

A DVD version, produced by Gochanour and Klein, was released in October 2004,[16] with audio remixed into Dolby Surround by Gochanour and co-producer Klein. The DVD includes footage of the show, along with extra features directed by Gochanour and Klein, which include previously "lost" performances, an interview with Pete Townshend, and three audio commentaries. Of particular interest in the Townshend interview is his description of the genesis of the Circus project, which he claims was initially meant to involve the performers travelling across the United States via train (a concept used for a short concert series in Canada that was later documented in the feature film Festival Express). The remastered DVD also includes a special four-camera view of The Dirty Mac's performance of The Beatles' "Yer Blues" (showing Yoko Ono kneeling on the floor in front of the musicians, completely covered in a black sheet).

DVD track listing

  1. David Dalton's written historic introduction (0:33)
  2. "Entry of the Gladiators" (Julius Fučík) – Orchester /
    The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus Parade /
    Mick Jagger's introduction of Rock and Roll Circus (2:10)
  3. Mick Jagger's introduction of Jethro Tull /
    "Song for Jeffrey" (Ian Anderson) – Jethro Tull (3:43)
  4. Keith Richards's introduction of The Who /
    "A Quick One While He's Away" (Pete Townshend) – The Who (7:40)
  5. "Over the Waves" (Juventino Rosas) – Orchester (1:20)
  6. "Ain't That a Lot of Love" (Willia Dean "Deanie" Parker, Homer Banks) – Taj Mahal (3:52)
  7. Charlie Watts' introduction of Marianne Faithfull /
    "Something Better" (Barry Mann, Gerry Goffin) – Marianne Faithfull (2:37)
  8. Keith Richards's introduction of Danny Camara /
    "Fire Eater and Luna (Donyale Luna)" (1:28)
  9. Mick Jagger and John Lennon's introduction of The Dirty Mac (1:05)
  10. "Yer Blues" (John Lennon, Paul McCartney) – The Dirty Mac (4:26)
  11. "Whole Lotta Yoko" (Yoko Ono) – Yoko Ono, Ivry Gitlis, The Dirty Mac (5:03)
  12. John Lennon's introduction of The Rolling Stones/
    "Jumping Jack Flash" (Mick Jagger, Keith Richards) – The Rolling Stones (3:38)
  13. "Parachute Woman" (Jagger, Richards) – The Rolling Stones (2:57)
  14. "No Expectations" (Jagger, Richards) – The Rolling Stones (4:07)
  15. "You Can't Always Get What You Want" (Jagger, Richards) – The Rolling Stones (4:27)
  16. "Sympathy for the Devil" (Jagger, Richards) – The Rolling Stones (8:52)
  17. "Salt of the Earth" (Jagger, Richards) – The Rolling Stones (4:56)
  18. Credits, to the sound of "Salt of the Earth" (2:45)

Sideshows (DVD extras)

[17]

References

  1. ^ a b c "The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus". Turner Classic Movies. Atlanta: Turner Broadcasting System (Time Warner). Retrieved 19 July 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Maslin, Janet (12 October 1996). "Taking a Trip Back in Time To the Sleek Young Stones". The New York Times. Retrieved 23 August 2012.
  3. ^ a b "The Story of 'The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus'". Ultimate Classic Rock.
  4. ^ "The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus". CD Universe Store.
  5. ^ The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus on IMDb
  6. ^ Brusie, David (12 February 2009). "1996: The Rolling Stones – The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus". Tiny Mix Tapes.
  7. ^ See infobox picture for appearances
  8. ^ Fischer, Russ (4 February 2008). "STONES ON FILM: THE ROLLING STONES ROCK AND ROLL CIRCUS (1968/1996)". Chud.com. Archived from the original on 15 December 2013. Retrieved 25 February 2012.
  9. ^ "London's old (and present) ITV studios". An incomplete history of London's television studios.
  10. ^ Dalton, David (19 March 1970). "The Rolling Stones' Masterful Rock & Roll Circus". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 12 May 2017.
  11. ^ a b Mojo, issue number and date unknown
  12. ^ https://ultimateclassicrock.com/rolling-stones-rock-roll-circus-box-set/
  13. ^ Shooting The Rolling Stones Rock'n Roll Circus 10 – 12 December 1968: London, Intertel Studios
  14. ^ www.latimes.com > Rolling Stones' 'Circus,' once lost and unfinished, will receive a theatrical release (by Steve Appleford – 19 March 2019)
  15. ^ http://www.rockandrollcircusthefilm.com/
  16. ^ Farley, Christopher John (18 October 2004). "Starry Circus". Time. Retrieved 23 August 2012.
  17. ^ "The Rolling Stones: Rock And Roll Circus [DVD] [2004] [Region 1] [NTSC]-The Rolling Stones – Rock and Roll Circus-PAL version-The Rolling Stones – Rock and Roll Circus-PAL version". Amazon.com. 25 October 2004.

External links


4 April 1968

NASA launches Apollo 6.

Following on the heels of the two very successful Apollo 4 and 5 missions, Apollo 6 was the second all-up unmanned test of the Saturn 5. The plan called for the first three stages to place the spacecraft still attached to the third stage into low Earth orbit. Then, to simulate a Translunar Injection, the third stage would reignite to send the spacecraft into a highly elliptical Earth orbit. Soon after TLI, the Service Module engine would fire to slow the spacecraft down in a simulation of a direct-return abort, with Apollo 6 reaching an altitude of about 14,000 miles before descending back toward Earth. The SM engine would fire again to increase the spacecraft’s speed on reentry to about 25,000 miles per hour to mimic a lunar return, much as happened on Apollo 4.

The second Saturn 5 lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A on April 4, 1968; the mission ran into trouble from the start. Two minutes into the flight, the first stage experienced about 30 seconds of vertical oscillations known as “pogo effect”, which caused no serious damage but would have been very uncomfortable for any crew. Then during the second stage burn, two of the five engines shut down prematurely. The remaining three engines burned longer to compensate for the reduced thrust, as did the third stage to propel Apollo 6 into orbit. When it was time for the third stage to restart, it simply wouldn’t. The flight control team led by Flight Director Clifford Charlesworth decided on an alternate mission plan to separate the spacecraft from the third stage and use the SM engine instead to reach the nearly 14,000-mile altitude. But this used so much fuel that the second SM burn could not be carried out, so reentry occurred at less than the planned speed. Apollo 6 splashed down in the Pacific Ocean after a troubled flight of 9 hours and 57 minutes and was recovered aboard the aircraft carrier USS Okinawa. The spacecraft is on display at the Fernbank Science Center in Atlanta, Georgia.

The rocket problems notwithstanding, Apollo 6 returned some stunning photographic results. Camera pods in the second stage that were jettisoned and recovered after launch recorded some stunning film of the first stage separation, imagery that has become iconic of Saturn 5 launches. While Apollo 6 was orbiting the Earth, the spacecraft’s special 70-millimeter camera obtained some spectacular color stereo photographs. These were later found to be excellent for cartographic, topographic, and geographic studies of continental areas, coastal regions, and shallow waters. The camera photographed sections of the United States, the Atlantic Ocean, Africa, and the western Pacific Ocean, and had a haze-penetrating film and filter combination that provided better color balance and higher resolution than any photographs obtained during the Mercury and Gemini flights.

Apollo 6 did not garner much press attention as major events in the country overshadowed the mission. Only four days before the flight, President Lyndon B. Johnson made the surprising announcement that he would not seek reelection. About an hour after the Apollo 6 splashdown, an assassin’s bullet took the life of civil rights leader Rev. Martin Luther King in Memphis, Tennessee. Within NASA, the focus was still on accomplishing President John F. Kennedy’s goal of landing a man on the Moon before the end of the decade. After detailed analysis of the Saturn 5’s less than perfect performance by engineers at Marshall Space Flight Center, NASA managers decided they could solve the pogo issue and the engine malfunctions and that another unmanned test flight was not necessary – the next Saturn 5 would carry a crew! And as events unfolded, it was to be more than just the first manned flight of the Moon rocket.

3 April 1968

Martin Luther King gives his “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered this speech in support of the striking sanitation workers at Mason Temple in Memphis, TN on April 3, 1968 — the day before he was assassinated. License to reproduce this speech granted by Intellectual Properties Management, 1579-F Monroe Drive, Suite 235, Atlanta, Georgia 30324, as manager for the King Estate. Write to IPM re: copyright permission for use of words and images of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Thank you very kindly, my friends. As I listened to Ralph Abernathy in his eloquent and generous introduction and then thought about myself, I wondered who he was talking about. It’s always good to have your closest friend and associate say something good about you. And Ralph is the best friend that I have in the world.

I’m delighted to see each of you here tonight in spite of a storm warning. You reveal that you are determined to go on anyhow. Something is happening in Memphis, something is happening in our world.

As you know, if I were standing at the beginning of time, with the possibility of general and panoramic view of the whole human history up to now, and the Almighty said to me, “Martin Luther King, which age would you like to live in?” — I would take my mental flight by Egypt through, or rather across the Red Sea, through the wilderness on toward the promised land. And in spite of its magnificence, I wouldn’t stop there. I would move on by Greece, and take my mind to Mount Olympus. And I would see Plato, Aristotle, Socrates, Euripides and Aristophanes assembled around the Parthenon as they discussed the great and eternal issues of reality.

But I wouldn’t stop there. I would go on, even to the great heyday of the Roman Empire. And I would see developments around there, through various emperors and leaders. But I wouldn’t stop there. I would even come up to the day of the Renaissance, and get a quick picture of all that the Renaissance did for the cultural and esthetic life of man. But I wouldn’t stop there. I would even go by the way that the man for whom I’m named had his habitat. And I would watch Martin Luther as he tacked his ninety-five theses on the door at the church in Wittenberg.

But I wouldn’t stop there. I would come on up even to 1863, and watch a vacillating president by the name of Abraham Lincoln finally come to the conclusion that he had to sign the Emancipation Proclamation. But I wouldn’t stop there. I would even come up to the early thirties, and see a man grappling with the problems of the bankruptcy of his nation. And come with an eloquent cry that we have nothing to fear but fear itself.

But I wouldn’t stop there. Strangely enough, I would turn to the Almighty, and say, “If you allow me to live just a few years in the second half of the twentieth century, I will be happy.” Now that’s a strange statement to make, because the world is all messed up. The nation is sick. Trouble is in the land. Confusion all around. That’s a strange statement. But I know, somehow, that only when it is dark enough, can you see the stars. And I see God working in this period of the twentieth century in a away that men, in some strange way, are responding — something is happening in our world. The masses of people are rising up. And wherever they are assembled today, whether they are in Johannesburg, South Africa; Nairobi, Kenya; Accra, Ghana; New York City; Atlanta, Georgia; Jackson, Mississippi; or Memphis, Tennessee — the cry is always the same — “We want to be free.”

And another reason that I’m happy to live in this period is that we have been forced to a point where we’re going to have to grapple with the problems that men have been trying to grapple with through history, but the demand didn’t force them to do it. Survival demands that we grapple with them. Men, for years now, have been talking about war and peace. But now, no longer can they just talk about it. It is no longer a choice between violence and nonviolence in this world; it’s nonviolence or nonexistence.

That is where we are today. And also in the human rights revolution, if something isn’t done, and in a hurry, to bring the colored peoples of the world out of their long years of poverty, their long years of hurt and neglect, the whole world is doomed. Now, I’m just happy that God has allowed me to live in this period, to see what is unfolding. And I’m happy that He’s allowed me to be in Memphis.

I can remember, I can remember when Negroes were just going around as Ralph has said, so often, scratching where they didn’t itch, and laughing when they were not tickled. But that day is all over. We mean business now, and we are determined to gain our rightful place in God’s world.

And that’s all this whole thing is about. We aren’t engaged in any negative protest and in any negative arguments with anybody. We are saying that we are determined to be men. We are determined to be people. We are saying that we are God’s children. And that we don’t have to live like we are forced to live.

Now, what does all of this mean in this great period of history? It means that we’ve got to stay together. We’ve got to stay together and maintain unity. You know, whenever Pharaoh wanted to prolong the period of slavery in Egypt, he had a favorite, favorite formula for doing it. What was that? He kept the slaves fighting among themselves. But whenever the slaves get together, something happens in Pharaoh’s court, and he cannot hold the slaves in slavery. When the slaves get together, that’s the beginning of getting out of slavery. Now let us maintain unity.

Secondly, let us keep the issues where they are. The issue is injustice. The issue is the refusal of Memphis to be fair and honest in its dealings with its public servants, who happen to be sanitation workers. Now, we’ve got to keep attention on that. That’s always the problem with a little violence. You know what happened the other day, and the press dealt only with the window-breaking. I read the articles. They very seldom got around to mentioning the fact that one thousand, three hundred sanitation workers were on strike, and that Memphis is not being fair to them, and that Mayor Loeb is in dire need of a doctor. They didn’t get around to that.

Now we’re going to march again, and we’ve got to march again, in order to put the issue where it is supposed to be. And force everybody to see that there are thirteen hundred of God’s children here suffering, sometimes going hungry, going through dark and dreary nights wondering how this thing is going to come out. That’s the issue. And we’ve got to say to the nation: we know it’s coming out. For when people get caught up with that which is right and they are willing to sacrifice for it, there is no stopping point short of victory.

We aren’t going to let any mace stop us. We are masters in our nonviolent movement in disarming police forces; they don’t know what to do, I’ve seen them so often. I remember in Birmingham, Alabama, when we were in that majestic struggle there we would move out of the 16th Street Baptist Church day after day; by the hundreds we would move out. And Bull Connor would tell them to send the dogs forth and they did come; but we just went before the dogs singing, “Ain’t gonna let nobody turn me round.” Bull Connor next would say, “Turn the fire hoses on.” And as I said to you the other night, Bull Connor didn’t know history. He knew a kind of physics that somehow didn’t relate to the transphysics that we knew about. And that was the fact that there was a certain kind of fire that no water could put out. And we went before the fire hoses; we had known water. If we were Baptist or some other denomination, we had been immersed. If we were Methodist, and some others, we had been sprinkled, but we knew water.

That couldn’t stop us. And we just went on before the dogs and we would look at them; and we’d go on before the water hoses and we would look at it, and we’d just go on singing “Over my head I see freedom in the air.” And then we would be thrown in the paddy wagons, and sometimes we were stacked in there like sardines in a can. And they would throw us in, and old Bull would say, “Take them off,” and they did; and we would just go in the paddy wagon singing, “We Shall Overcome.” And every now and then we’d get in the jail, and we’d see the jailers looking through the windows being moved by our prayers, and being moved by our words and our songs. And there was a power there which Bull Connor couldn’t adjust to; and so we ended up transforming Bull into a steer, and we won our struggle in Birmingham.

Now we’ve got to go on to Memphis just like that. I call upon you to be with us Monday. Now about injunctions: We have an injunction and we’re going into court tomorrow morning to fight this illegal, unconstitutional injunction. All we say to America is, “Be true to what you said on paper.” If I lived in China or even Russia, or any totalitarian country, maybe I could understand the denial of certain basic First Amendment privileges, because they hadn’t committed themselves to that over there. But somewhere I read of the freedom of assembly. Somewhere I read of the freedom of speech. Somewhere I read of the freedom of the press. Somewhere I read that the greatness of America is the right to protest for right. And so just as I say, we aren’t going to let any injunction turn us around. We are going on.

We need all of you. And you know what’s beautiful tome, is to see all of these ministers of the Gospel. It’s a marvelous picture. Who is it that is supposed to articulate the longings and aspirations of the people more than the preacher? Somehow the preacher must be an Amos, and say, “Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.” Somehow, the preacher must say with Jesus, “The spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to deal with the problems of the poor.”

And I want to commend the preachers, under the leadership of these noble men: James Lawson, one who has been in this struggle for many years; he’s been to jail for struggling; but he’s still going on, fighting for the rights of his people. Rev. Ralph Jackson, Billy Kiles; I could just go right on down the list, but time will not permit. But I want to thank them all. And I want you to thank them, because so often, preachers aren’t concerned about anything but themselves. And I’m always happy to see a relevant ministry.

It’s all right to talk about “long white robes over yonder,” in all of its symbolism. But ultimately people want some suits and dresses and shoes to wear down here. It’s all right to talk about “streets flowing with milk and honey,” but God has commanded us to be concerned about the slums down here, and his children who can’t eat three square meals a day. It’s all right to talk about the new Jerusalem, but one day, God’s preachers must talk about the New York, the new Atlanta, the new Philadelphia, the new Los Angeles, the new Memphis, Tennessee. This is what we have to do.

Now the other thing we’ll have to do is this: Always anchor our external direct action with the power of economic withdrawal. Now, we are poor people, individually, we are poor when you compare us with white society in America. We are poor. Never stop and forget that collectively, that means all of us together, collectively we are richer than all the nations in the world, with the exception of nine. Did you ever think about that? After you leave the United States, Soviet Russia, Great Britain, West Germany, France, and I could name the others, the Negro collectively is richer than most nations of the world. We have an annual income of more than thirty billion dollars a year, which is more than all of the exports of the United States, and more than the national budget of Canada. Did you know that? That’s power right there, if we know how to pool it.

We don’t have to argue with anybody. We don’t have to curse and go around acting bad with our words. We don’t need any bricks and bottles, we don’t need any Molotov cocktails, we just need to go around to these stores, and to these massive industries in our country, and say, “God sent us by here, to say to you that you’re not treating his children right. And we’ve come by here to ask you to make the first item on your agenda fair treatment, where God’s children are concerned. Now, if you are not prepared to do that, we do have an agenda that we must follow. And our agenda calls for withdrawing economic support from you.”

And so, as a result of this, we are asking you tonight, to go out and tell your neighbors not to buy Coca-Cola in Memphis. Go by and tell them not to buy Sealtest milk. Tell them not to buy—what is the other bread?—Wonder Bread. And what is the other bread company, Jesse? Tell them not to buy Hart’s bread. As Jesse Jackson has said, up to now, only the garbage men have been feeling pain; now we must kind of redistribute the pain. We are choosing these companies because they haven’t been fair in their hiring policies; and we are choosing them because they can begin the process of saying, they are going to support the needs and the rights of these men who are on strike. And then they can move on downtown and tell Mayor Loeb to do what is right.

But not only that, we’ve got to strengthen black institutions. I call upon you to take your money out of the banks downtown and deposit your money in Tri-State Bank—we want a “bank-in” movement in Memphis. So go by the savings and loan association. I’m not asking you something we don’t do ourselves at SCLC. Judge Hooks and others will tell you that we have an account here in the savings and loan association from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. We’re just telling you to follow what we’re doing. Put your money there. You have six or seven black insurance companies in Memphis. Take out your insurance there. We want to have an “insurance-in.”

Now these are some practical things we can do. We begin the process of building a greater economic base. And at the same time, we are putting pressure where it really hurts. I ask you to follow through here.

Now, let me say as I move to my conclusion that we’ve got to give ourselves to this struggle until the end. Nothing would be more tragic than to stop at this point, in Memphis. We’ve got to see it through. And when we have our march, you need to be there. Be concerned about your brother. You may not be on strike. But either we go up together, or we go down together.

Let us develop a kind of dangerous unselfishness. One day a man came to Jesus; and he wanted to raise some questions about some vital matters in life. At points, he wanted to trick Jesus, and show him that he knew a little more than Jesus knew, and through this, throw him off base. Now that question could have easily ended up in a philosophical and theological debate. But Jesus immediately pulled that question from mid-air, and placed it on a dangerous curve between Jerusalem and Jericho. And he talked about a certain man, who fell among thieves. You remember that a Levite and a priest passed by on the other side. They didn’t stop to help him. And finally a man of another race came by. He got down from his beast, decided not to be compassionate by proxy. But with him, administering first aid, and helped the man in need. Jesus ended up saying, this was the good man, this was the great man, because he had the capacity to project the “I” into the “thou,” and to be concerned about his brother. Now you know, we use our imagination a great deal to try to determine why the priest and the Levite didn’t stop. At times we say they were busy going to church meetings—an ecclesiastical gathering—and they had to get on down to Jerusalem so they wouldn’t be late for their meeting. At other times we would speculate that there was a religious law that “One who was engaged in religious ceremonials was not to touch a human body twenty-four hours before the ceremony.” And every now and then we begin to wonder whether maybe they were not going down to Jerusalem, or down to Jericho, rather to organize a “Jericho Road Improvement Association.” That’s a possibility. Maybe they felt that it was better to deal with the problem from the causal root, rather than to get bogged down with an individual effort.

But I’m going to tell you what my imagination tells me. It’s possible that these men were afraid. You see, the Jericho road is a dangerous road. I remember when Mrs. King and I were first in Jerusalem. We rented a car and drove from Jerusalem down to Jericho. And as soon as we got on that road, I said to my wife, “I can see why Jesus used this as a setting for his parable.” It’s a winding, meandering road. It’s really conducive for ambushing. You start out in Jerusalem, which is about 1200 miles, or rather 1200 feet above sea level. And by the time you get down to Jericho, fifteen or twenty minutes later, you’re about 2200 feet below sea level. That’s a dangerous road. In the days of Jesus it came to be known as the “Bloody Pass.” And you know, it’s possible that the priest and the Levite looked over that man on the ground and wondered if the robbers were still around. Or it’s possible that they felt that the man on the ground was merely faking. And he was acting like he had been robbed and hurt, in order to seize them over there, lure them there for quick and easy seizure. And so the first question that the Levite asked was, “If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?” But then the Good Samaritan came by. And he reversed the question: “If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?”

That’s the question before you tonight. Not, “If I stop to help the sanitation workers, what will happen to all of the hours that I usually spend in my office every day and every week as a pastor?” The question is not, “If I stop to help this man in need, what will happen to me?” “If I do not stop to help the sanitation workers, what will happen to them?” That’s the question.

Let us rise up tonight with a greater readiness. Let us stand with a greater determination. And let us move on in these powerful days, these days of challenge to make America what it ought to be. We have an opportunity to make America a better nation. And I want to thank God, once more, for allowing me to be here with you.

You know, several years ago, I was in New York City autographing the first book that I had written. And while sitting there autographing books, a demented black woman came up. The only question I heard from her was, “Are you Martin Luther King?”

And I was looking down writing, and I said yes. And the next minute I felt something beating on my chest. Before I knew it I had been stabbed by this demented woman. I was rushed to Harlem Hospital. It was a dark Saturday afternoon. And that blade had gone through, and the X-rays revealed that the tip of the blade was on the edge of my aorta, the main artery. And once that’s punctured, you drown in your own blood—that’s the end of you.

It came out in the New York Times the next morning, that if I had sneezed, I would have died. Well, about four days later, they allowed me, after the operation, after my chest had been opened, and the blade had been taken out, to move around in the wheel chair in the hospital. They allowed me to read some of the mail that came in, and from all over the states, and the world, kind letters came in. I read a few, but one of them I will never forget. I had received one from the President and the Vice-President. I’ve forgotten what those telegrams said. I’d received a visit and a letter from the Governor of New York, but I’ve forgotten what the letter said. But there was another letter that came from a little girl, a young girl who was a student at the White Plains High School. And I looked at that letter, and I’ll never forget it. It said simply, “Dear Dr. King: I am a ninth-grade student at the White Plains High School.” She said, “While it should not matter, I would like to mention that I am a white girl. I read in the paper of your misfortune, and of your suffering. And I read that if you had sneezed, you would have died. And I’m simply writing you to say that I’m so happy that you didn’t sneeze.”

And I want to say tonight, I want to say that I am happy that I didn’t sneeze. Because if I had sneezed, I wouldn’t have been around here in 1960, when students all over the South started sitting-in at lunch counters. And I knew that as they were sitting in, they were really standing up for the best in the American dream. And taking the whole nation back to those great wells of democracy which were dug deep by the Founding Fathers in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. If I had sneezed, I wouldn’t have been around in 1962, when Negroes in Albany, Georgia, decided to straighten their backs up. And whenever men and women straighten their backs up, they are going somewhere, because a man can’t ride your back unless it is bent. If I had sneezed, I wouldn’t have been here in 1963, when the black people of Birmingham, Alabama, aroused the conscience of this nation, and brought into being the Civil Rights Bill. If I had sneezed, I wouldn’t have had a chance later that year, in August, to try to tell America about a dream that I had had. If I had sneezed, I wouldn’t have been down in Selma, Alabama, been in Memphis to see the community rally around those brothers and sisters who are suffering. I’m so happy that I didn’t sneeze.

And they were telling me, now it doesn’t matter now. It really doesn’t matter what happens now. I left Atlanta this morning, and as we got started on the plane, there were six of us, the pilot said over the public address system, “We are sorry for the delay, but we have Dr. Martin Luther King on the plane. And to be sure that all of the bags were checked, and to be sure that nothing would be wrong with the plane, we had to check out everything carefully. And we’ve had the plane protected and guarded all night.”

And then I got to Memphis. And some began to say the threats, or talk about the threats that were out. What would happen to me from some of our sick white brothers?

Well, I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn’t matter with me now. Because I’ve been to the mountaintop. And I don’t mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land. And I’m happy, tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.

31 January 1968

Nauru gains independence from Australia.

Nauru was first settled by Micronesian and Polynesian people at least 3,000 years ago. Nauruans subsisted on coconut and pandanus fruit, and engaged in aquaculture by catching juvenile ibija fish, acclimated them to freshwater conditions, and raised them in Buada Lagoon, providing an additional reliable source of food. Traditionally only men were permitted to fish on the reef, and did so from canoes or by using trained man-of-war hawks.

There were traditionally 12 clans or tribes on Nauru, which are represented in the 12-pointed star in the nation’s flag. Nauruans traced their descent on the female side. The first Europeans to encounter the island were on the British whaling ship Hunter, in 1798. When the ship approached, “many canoes ventured out to meet the ship. The Hunter’s crew did not leave the ship nor did Nauruans board, but Captain John Fearn’s positive impression of the island and its people” led to its English name, Pleasant Island. This name was used until Germany annexed the island 90 years later.

From around 1830, Nauruans had contact with Europeans from whaling ships and traders who replenished their supplies at Nauru. The islanders traded food for alcoholic toddy and firearms. The first Europeans to live on the island, starting perhaps in 1830, were Patrick Burke and John Jones, Irish convicts who had escaped from Norfolk Island, according to Paradise for Sale. Jones became “Nauru’s first and last dictator,” who killed or banished several other beachcombers who arrived later, until the Nauruans banished Jones from the island in 1841.

The introduction of firearms and alcohol destroyed the peaceful coexistence of the 12 tribes living on the island. A 10-year internal war began in 1878 and resulted in a reduction of the population from 1,400 to around 900. Ultimately, alcohol was banned and some arms were confiscated.

Nauru became self-governing in January 1966. On 31 January 1968, following a two-year constitutional convention, Nauru became the world’s smallest independent republic. It was led by founding president Hammer DeRoburt. In 1967, the people of Nauru purchased the assets of the British Phosphate Commissioners, and in June 1970, control passed to the locally owned Nauru Phosphate Corporation. Money gained from the exploitation of phosphate was put into the Nauru Phosphate Royalties Trust and gave Nauruans the second highest GDP Per Capita and one of the highest standards of living in the Third World.

In 1989, Nauru took legal actions against Australia in the International Court of Justice over Australia’s actions during its administration of Nauru. In particular, Nauru made a legal complaint against Australia’s failure to remedy the environmental damage caused by phosphate mining. Certain Phosphate Lands: Nauru v. Australia led to an out-of-court settlement to rehabilitate the mined-out areas of Nauru.

By the close of the twentieth century, the finite phosphate supplies were fast running out. Nauru finally joined the UN in 1999.

31 January 1968

Nauru gains its independence from Australia.

During World War II, Nauru was subject to significant damage from both Axis and Allied forces.

On 6 and 7 December 1940 the Nazi German auxiliary cruisers Orion and Komet sank four merchant ships. On the next day, Komet shelled Nauru’s phosphate mining areas, oil storage depots, and the shiploading cantilever. The attacks seriously disrupted phosphate supplies to Australia and New Zealand.

Japanese troops occupied Nauru on 26 August 1942. The native Nauruans were badly treated by the occupying forces. On one occasion thirty nine leprosy sufferers were reputedly loaded onto boats which were towed out to sea and sunk. The Japanese troops built an airfield on Nauru which was bombed for the first time on 25 March 1943, preventing food supplies from being flown to Nauru. In 1943 the Japanese deported 1,200 Nauruans to work as labourers in the Chuuk islands.

Nauru was finally set free from the Japanese on 13 September 1945, when Captain Solda, the commander of all the Japanese troops on Nauru, surrendered the island to the Royal Australian Navy and Army. This surrender was accepted by Brigadier J. R. Stevenson, who represented Lieutenant General Vernon Sturdee, the commander of the First Australian Army, on board the warship HMAS Diamantina Arrangements were made to repatriate from Chuuk the 737 Nauruans who survived Japanese captivity there. They were returned to Nauru by the BPC ship Trienza in on 1 January 1946. In 1947, a trusteeship was established by the United Nations, and Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom became the U.N. trustees of the island, with administration passing mostly to Australia.

Nauru became self-governing in January 1966. On 31 January 1968, following a two-year constitutional convention, Nauru became the world’s smallest independent republic. It was led by founding president Hammer DeRoburt. In 1967, the people of Nauru purchased the assets of the British Phosphate Commissioners, and in June 1970, control passed to the locally owned Nauru Phosphate Corporation. Money gained from the exploitation of phosphate was put into the Nauru Phosphate Royalties Trust and gave Nauruans the second highest GDP Per Capita and one of the highest standards of living in the Third World.

In 1989, Nauru took legal actions against Australia in the International Court of Justice over Australia’s actions during its administration of Nauru. In particular, Nauru made a legal complaint against Australia’s failure to remedy the environmental damage caused by phosphate mining. Certain Phosphate Lands: Nauru v. Australia led to an out-of-court settlement to rehabilitate the mined-out areas of Nauru.

By the close of the twentieth century, the finite phosphate supplies were fast running out. Nauru finally joined the UN in 1999.

13 January 1968

Johnny Cash performs live at Folsom State Prison to record an album.

At Folsom Prison is a live album and 27th overall album by Johnny Cash, released on Columbia Records in May 1968. Since his 1955 song “Folsom Prison Blues”, Cash had been interested in performing at a prison. His idea was put on hold until 1967, when personnel changes at Columbia Records put Bob Johnston in charge of producing Cash’s material. Cash had recently controlled his drug abuse problems, and was looking to turn his career around after several years of limited commercial success. Backed with June Carter, whom he married later that year; Carl Perkins and the Tennessee Three, Cash performed two shows at Folsom State Prison in California on January 13, 1968. The resulting album consisted of 15 tracks from the first show and two tracks from the second.

Despite little initial investment by Columbia, the album was a hit in the United States, reaching number one on the country charts and the top 15 of the national album chart. The lead single from the album, a live version of “Folsom Prison Blues”, was a top 40 hit, Cash’s first since 1964’s “Understand Your Man”.

At Folsom Prison received good reviews upon its release and the ensuing popularity revitalized Cash’s career, leading to the release of a second prison album, At San Quentin. The album was re-released with additional tracks in 1999 and as a three-disc set in 2008. It was certified Gold on October 30, 1968, Platinum and 2x Platinum on November 21, 1986 and 3x Platinum on March 27, 2003 by the RIAA.

5 January 1968

The “Prague Spring” begins in Czechoslovakia.

On the 5th January 1968, the Prague Spring began when Alexander Dub?ek became the new First Secretary of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia. The Prague Spring lasted for just over seven months before the Soviet Union, along with other members of the Warsaw Pact, invaded Czechoslovakia to bring the reforms to a halt.

Dub?ek was a committed Communist, and had been First Secretary of the regional Communist Party of Slovakia since 1963. However he struggled to work with Antonín Novotný, the President of Czechoslovakia, under whose control the country experienced a slow and uneasy move towards destalinization while suffering a huge economic downturn. Frustrated by Novotný’s failure to effectively restructure the country, Dub?ek and other reformists challenged him at a meeting of the Central Committee in October 1967. In response Novotný secretly invited the Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev to visit Czechoslovakia to secure his support. However, this plan backfired when Brezhnev learned just how unpopular Novotný was and instead lent his support to remove him from power.

Consequently Dub?ek replaced Novotný as First Secretary on the 5th January 1968, and quickly began to introduce a series of political reforms. Known as “socialism with a human face” this political programme was intended to maintain Communist control of the government while allowing mild democratisation and political liberalisation. However, as the reforms took hold the government was faced with public demands to go even further. At the same time, the USSR and other Warsaw Pact countries began pressuring Dub?ek to bring the Prague Spring under control. On the 20th August they took matters in to their own hands and invaded Czechoslovakia.

6 September 1968

Swaziland becomes independent.

publishable

Swaziland became independent on 6 September 1968 and joined the Commonwealth. In 1973, the King repealed the independence constitution, abolishing parliament and all political parties. The tinkhundla system of government was introduced in 1978 and overhauled in 1993 (see Constitution). When the King died in 1982, there was a four-year delay before Prince Makhosetive acceded to the throne as King Mswati III in 1986. From the mid-1980s there was building pressure for a return to multiparty democracy. The reintroduction of universal adult suffrage in 1993 only served to increase this pressure. There was from the mid-1990s a succession of strikes organised by the Swaziland Federation of Trade Unions and increasingly public activity by opposition movements. A Constitutional Review Commission was set up in July 1996 to solicit the views of the Swazi nation on the type of constitution the people wanted, by visiting all the constituencies in the country and then submitting a report, including a draft new constitution by 1998.

Elections for pre-selected candidates were held in October 1998. About 60% of the registered voters cast their vote. The King confirmed Dr Sibusiso Barnabas Dlamini as prime minister. Most of the 16 ministers were royal appointees rather than elected members of parliament.

The Constitutional Review Commission finally presented its report to the King in November 2000, but it was not published. In 2001 the King attempted to give himself additional powers to contain the pressure for constitutional reform but climbed down in the face of national and international protests. In August 2001 he called a national gathering and the Commission’s chairperson announced – to an audience of only about 10,000 people (the last national gathering was attended by 250,000) – that the King’s powers were to be enlarged but gave no details of the fruits of the five-year review.

Subsequently the King set up a new commission to draft a new constitution and the draft was released in May 2003. However, under this constitution the country was to remain an absolute monarchy and, though freedom of assembly was to be allowed and the ban on political parties therefore technically lifted, under the continuing tinkhundla election system there is no role for parties.