In today’s episode of our Shocking Events That Made History Series, we will continue talking about shocking events related to social movement.
Disclaimer: Please note that AI transcription services were used to create this transcript, so the accuracy is up to 95%, and there may be some mistakes in the transcript.
Even some of the most basic rights were hard won at some point, freedom of speech, women’s suffrage representative government criminal justice change can take decades or even centuries as with racial equality, or it can happen in a flash like a presidential impeachment. The historic faux pas and fiascos here are products of societies that are complicated, often contradictory, and yet magnificently intertwined. Welcome to a new episode from our series shocking events that made history today we’re going to talk about a lot of shocking events. So are you ready for a new episode from our series shocking events that made history stick around and stay with me, this is your host, Danny, and this is English plus podcast.
Now before we start, let me remind you that you can find the transcript of this episode on the website English plus podcast.com. And of course, the website is not only for transcripts, there is a lot more that you can find on the website. So take the link, go to the transcript, read it, but then take some time to explore the many learning opportunities you can find on the website. And they’re not only educational, but entertaining at the same time. And if you want to unlock access to everything on the website, you can do that by becoming a patron on Patreon. The link is also in the show notes. By doing that, you will get a lot of benefits, you will unlock a lot of content, but at the same time, you will be supporting me and supporting this show to make sure that the show goes on. But with that being said, let’s not waste any more time today, we have a lot of shocking events that we want to talk about. And let’s start with the very first one. And that has to do with communism versus capitalism. And here we’re talking not about the Cold War. It’s kind of related to the Cold War, of course, but it is not exactly another Cold War story, but it is a mural confrontation. That’s coming next. So don’t go anywhere. I’ll be right back.
Plato presented his idea of the ideal society in the Republic, Thomas Moore did the same thing in Utopia as did Voltaire in Candide. These were mere philosophical musings interesting, but entirely impractical. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels followed in the same vein, but after their communist manifesto was first published on February the 21st 1848. People actually try to apply or rather impose this half baked blueprint for a worker’s paradise on the world. Thus, what really should have been an academic exercise on political theory instead became one of the most devastating forces of the 20th century, the lethal track that empowered monsters like Mao and Stalin materialized in totalitarian regimes across the globe, and ultimately caused the deaths of an estimated 100 million people through murder and mass starvation. In the midst of Stalin’s reign, a non violent communist capitalist showdown occurred in of all places, the lobby of New York’s RCA building the Rockefellers, capitalists to their core commissioned world renowned muralist Diego Rivera, who is an avowed communist to paint a dramatic centerpiece for the new building. The work would feature two opposing views of society with capitalism on one side and socialism on the other. In retrospect, one might have seen trouble coming. With work on the mural well underway, Nelson Rockefeller went to check on reverse progress. What he saw appalled him incorporated into the work was a portrait of arch communist Vladimir Lenin. On May the Fourth 1933, he shared his feelings with the artist in a letter requesting he changed Lenin’s face to that of an unknown person. Predictably, Rivera bolt at the idea of altering his artistic vision. He responded that rather than mutilate the conception, I should prefer the physical destruction of the conception in its entirety. And with that, the Battle of Rockefeller Center was on amid uproar from the art world rocker fellows suggested the plywood covered mural be removed and donated to the museum of modern art. But the museum’s timid trustees wouldn’t touch it. And the following February, that masterpiece was smashed to bits. So that’s kind of not exactly Cold War stuff, but it is related, of course, to Cold War. And when you think about it now shouldn’t be surprised that a problem like that occurred. But anyway, that was our very first shocking event for today’s episode, but that’s not the last next we’re going to talk about racism and we’re not talking about
Any racist we’re gonna talk about Raging Bull, the famous racist who actually helped civil rights. I know you might say this is crazy, but he did actually help civil rights and we’ll see how don’t judge me yet. Wait because I’ll be back with how that exactly happened. So don’t go anywhere. I’ll be right back to talk about Raging Bull
there must have been something about the month of May that got the office Eugene Connors blood boiling. And of course, we’re talking about the bull here he was nicknamed the bull that happened when the segregationist Public Safety Commissioner of Birmingham, Alabama seemed extra energized and apt to impose his most virulent policies on the public. On May the first 1948 Glenn H. Taylor, a white US senator from Idaho, came to Birmingham and tried to enter a meeting of the Southern Negro Youth Congress through a door reserved for blacks rather than the whites only entrance. The senator was promptly seized by the police under bulls order, and they ordered him to keep his mouth shut before hauling Taylor away to jail. Connors bigotry blossomed again in the early 1960s. The Freedom Riders were coming to town and bull was ready. He had pre arranged with the Ku Klux Klan, a greeting party for May the 14th 1961, which happened to be Mother’s Day. According to one clan informant, Connor had assured the terrorists that they would be given 15 minutes and here I quote what he said to burn, bomb, kill, maim, I don’t give a goddamn I will guarantee your people that not one soul will ever be arrested in that 15 minutes. The Klansmen utilize the allotted time to unleash a barbaric assault on the riders with iron pipes, baseball bats and chains. Two years later, Bull Connor struck again in the early May a few months after Alabama Governor George Wallace promised in his inaugural address and here again, I quote what he said segregation now segregation tomorrow, segregation forever. When 1000s of Birmingham’s children took to the streets in peaceful protest, he ordered mass arrests that were followed by an assault on demonstrators with fire hoses and attack dogs. And the images of these assaults were captured on film. This time, Bull had gone too far. By the end of the month, he was out of a job and the Kennedy administration finally felt pressed to address the injustice is Bull Connor represented and hear President Kennedy said the civil rights movement should thank God for Bull Connor. He’s helped it as much as Abraham Lincoln. And President Kennedy was right about that. Of course, nobody’s saying what bull did was right. Of course not. But it transformed the movement to an urgent national cause leading to Martin Luther King Junior’s marched on Washington DC in August that same year, so in a way Raging Bull, this racist helped civil rights. But definitely I’m not talking about that to praise Raging Bull. Remember, we’re talking about shocking events that made history that was one of them, but that’s definitely not the last one. Next we’re going to talk about male frog protecting women from voting rights. That’s coming next. Don’t go anywhere. I’ll be right back.
On January the 12th 1915 representative James Thomas helfen of Alabama, who was known as cotton, Tom added his voice to the sexist spectacle unfolding in the United States House of Representatives at issue was a constitutional amendment that would give women the right to vote and appalling prospect for the majority of the male lawmakers. And here I quote what helfen proclaimed that very day, he said, most women now control one vote, as I told a blushing suffragette the other day, if you are given the franchise, you will control two votes in every household and that’s to many, many of the congressmen declared themselves interested only in protecting women and helping them sustain their divinely ordained place at home. Ohio representative Stan Lee battle offered something else he said, the women of this smart Capitol are beautiful. Their feet are beautiful, their ankles are beautiful. But here I must pause for they are not interested in this state. No, this is shocking. And I’m sorry, I have to say that and I know that a lot of my listeners are women. So my apologies but these are shocking events. And if you don’t know about these things, where else would you know about them other than shocking events that made history No, let me continue here after he said that outrageous comment but by the way, it was not that outrageous.
Back in the day, and we’re not talking like 200 or 300 years ago, we’re just talking about 100 years ago, and in the United States. But anyway, the voting measure failed passage that day 204 to 174. But women were not out in five years, they’d earned the right to take themselves along with their beautiful ankles and all to the ballot box to vote in the 1920 election. So that was another shocking event. That didn’t happen in ancient history. It just happened in 1915, about 100 and a few years ago. Now the next shocking event we’re going to talk about is about the Parthenon. Now, you might have heard of the Parthenon before the famous temple in Athens, on the Acropolis Hill, but we’re going to talk about when the Parthenon was bombed. That’s coming next. Don’t go anywhere. I’ll be right back.
But what Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote once that Earth proudly wears the Parthenon as the best gem upon his own, and here of course, he was talking about the grand ruin atop the Athens Acropolis, yet the crumbling edifice of architectural perfection that Emerson and others so lauded was a shell of what it had once been owing largely to the events of a single catastrophic day in September 16 87. When the forces of war all but destroyed this marble shrine to Western civilization. The Ottoman Turks occupied Athens at that time, the Venetians formed part of a holy League against them. In the midst of a clash between the two sides on September the 26th, the ancient Parthenon was reduced to ruins. The Turks were using it as an ammunition depository, as well as a shelter for women and children, perhaps as historians have speculated in the belief that their Christian enemies would never fire on the classic structure that had once been a consecrated church. Alas, the besiegers had no such scruples and bombarded the building. One of the many hundreds of cannon balls fired at the Parthenon set off the gunpowder stored inside causing a massive explosion. Walls and perfectly proportioned columns came crashing down as did the roof while ancient statuary was blown to bits, an estimated 300 refugees were killed and the fires that resulted raged for two days, and one eyewitness recorded. And here I quote, in this way, the famous temple of Minerva or Athena, which so many centuries in so many wars had not been able to destroy, was ruined. A little more than a century later, in the early 1800s, Thomas Bruce, seventh Earl of Elgin took what was left of the Parthenon marble sculptures to display in London, hacking the ancient statues to remove them. It was hard work considering the temples treasures had been expertly installed more than 2000 years earlier, the overseer complained about one stubborn panel, and here I quote, this piece has caused much trouble in all respects, and I have even been obliged to be a little barbarous, despite the haphazard dismantling the Parthenon, his legacy endures a testament to humanity’s wondrous capabilities, whether to create or to ruin. But that’s definitely shocking. Not only the bombing of the Parthenon, but just stripping things from the Parthenon just to display them somewhere because you can because you have the money to do that. And you have the power is just outrageous. But it happened and not only to the Parthenon, just look everywhere around the world and go to some extravagant mansions. And you will find artifacts from different parts of the world. And you would think you are in a museum or something. But definitely this is not a museum. And definitely we’re talking about black market trafficking of these artifacts from different countries around the world. But this is happening because those people simply can do it. But let’s not get into that. That was shocking enough what we talked about about the Parthenon. Next, we’re going to talk about some shocking events related to some American presidents. So don’t go anywhere. I’ll be right back.
Now first, let’s talk about America’s founding father getting slimed. Even George Washington, America’s first president and revered visionary faced sharp political opposition. In a bitter open letter published on July the 30th 1796. Thomas Paine wrote to Washington and he writes, quote, the world will be puzzled to decide whether you are an apostate or an imposter, whether you have abandoned good principles or whether you ever had any early partisan opponents such as William Dwayne further denounced Washington’s in here I quote again, tyrannical act Machiavellian policy and
monarchical privilege and Dwayne use these words to denounce Washington in published pamphlets. The former commander of the Continental Army proved to be surprisingly thin skinned, though his outrage did little to stop the mudslinging. In his last letter to Thomas Jefferson, Washington complained that he was being slandered. And here I quote his own words, he said in such indecent term as scarcely be applied to a common pickpocket. So even America’s Founding Father got slimed. But I promised you we’re going to talk about more than one president. I will talk now about Harrison’s fatal inaugural address, and that happened on March 18 41. Now, Harrison was America’s first manufacture candidate, a Virginia aristocrat, transformed by the Whig party into a frontier legend and hero. All William Henry Harrison had to do during the campaign was avoid controversial issues and keep his mouth shut. And that’s how he got his nickname general month. After winning handily, Harrison was ready to talk and he did so in the most excruciatingly boring inaugural address for over two hours. Harrison blathered on his speech peppered with odd references to ancient Rome. It could have been worse, the President Elect had first allowed Daniel Webster to edit the speech from an even longer draft. The address was nomming, even to Harrison, who delivered it without a coat and developed pneumonia. Within a month, he became the first US president to die in office and the last to give such an insufferable speech. So Harrison’s inaugural address was really fatal, literally fatal. And next, let’s talk about Ulysses Grant and Richard Nixon. These two are coming next. So don’t go anywhere. I’ll be right back.
So let’s talk about general ruin Ulysses S. graft. You might be surprised with the name right. But wait a minute, I’ll make it clear in a second. incongruously Ulysses S Grant went from being one of the most acclaimed generals of his era to one of the worst United States presidents. And for that he had to blame his corrupt cabinet that and his own failure to check their outrageous chicanery criminal behavior permeated federal government daily take October the 28th 1871. At random Secretary of War, William Belk. Knapp had been supplementing his income nicely with kickbacks from John Evans, who was a merchant he had appointed to operate the Fort Sill trading post on the western frontier. When Evans drew unwanted attention by taking a large quantity of liquor into the Indian territory to sell. The Treasury Department started asking questions about his permit, belt nap, eager to protect his illicit earnings issued him one that very same day, it was classic grant ism in the new sense of the name. So unfortunately, Ulysses S. Grant went from being one of the most acclaimed generals of his era to one of the worst United States presidents. But maybe there’s another president who competes for that title. And here we’re talking about Richard Nixon. Richard Nixon had many bad days, but his worst was probably August the seventh 1974. Though he vowed he would never resign from office, it became clear his only other choice was to stand trial and almost certainly be convicted of high crimes for covering up the breaking of the Democratic Party headquarters. Nixon on his way to becoming drunk summoned Secretary of State Henry Kissinger to the Lincoln sitting room. And here I quote what Nixon said, Will history treat me more kindly than my contemporaries. Nixon then invited Kissinger to kneel and pray with him, after which the President remained on his knees and began sobbing. What have I done, he cried, helpless in the face of his booze soaked meltdown, Kissinger did his best to comfort Nixon now curled up on the floor in agony. Two days later, Nixon became the first president to resign. So you decide on your own, who was the worst president who was the best president, but every single story I shared with you about those president was shocking enough to make it into our series shocking events that made history and these are not the last shocking events you’re going to be hearing about in today’s episode, we still have more. Next we’re going to talk about Senator summers violence schooling, so don’t go anywhere. I’ll be right back.
In the decades before the Civil War, when sectional differences over slavery and states rights began to intensify to a dangerous degree, edgy lawmakers roamed the halls of Congress armed
with pistols and daggers, practically daring any political opponents to defy them, the House of Representatives seemed like a boiling cauldron. And here I’m just quoting what one observer wrote once, lawmakers challenged one another to duels, and in a sense, reminiscent of Wild West saloon reacted like threatened cowboys. After one member’s gun fell to the ground and accidentally discharged, there were instantly fully 30 or 40 pistols in the air. The tension was punctuated by one particularly violent episode in 1856, after Charles Sumner and abolish earnest senator from Massachusetts, delivered his rousing crime against Kansas speech, in which he argued vehemently against the expansion of slavery into that territory and attacked in particular, Andrew Butler of South Carolina, who was one of the authors of the Kansas Nebraska Act, the senator from South Carolina has read many books of chivalry and believes himself a chivalrous knight with sentiments of honor and courage. Of course, he has chosen a mistress to whom he has made his vows and who, though ugly to others is always lovely to him, though polluted in the sight of the world is chased in his sight. I mean, the harlot slavery. Now Sumner speech infuriated representative Preston Brooks, who was the nephew of Butler’s and Brooks retaliated two days later on May the 22nd as Sumner worked at his desk in the near empty Senate chamber, Brooks approached him. He said Mr. Sumner, I have read your speech twice over carefully. It is a libel on South Carolina and Mr. Butler, who is a relative of mine, without warning, Brooks then began whacking Sumner over the head with his cane even after Sumners collapsed on the floor in a bloody heap. His injuries were so grave it would take him years to recover. Northern reaction to Sumners bludgeoning was one of horror and here I quote, what came in the Boston Evening transcript. The crime is not merely against Liberty, but civilization. In the south, however, Brooks was hailed as a hero. Sumner was well and elegantly whipped. That’s how Charleston Mercury gloated, southerners sent Brooks commemorative canes Brooks got off with only a fine, but the polarizing incidents sent the country careening even closer to civil war. So that was about Senator Sumners violent schooling. And next we’re gonna go back to the prohibition days and we’re going to talk about the Feds poisons don’t go anywhere. I’ll be right back.
Prohibition had been in effect for seven years by 1926. But people were slurping illicit booze like never before. Frustrated, Uncle Sam was determined to spoil the party, even if it meant poisoning the punch bow from which millions of Americans imbibed the Volstead Act of 1919 had provided for the continued production of alcohol for industrial purposes, as long as it was rendered unfit for use as an intoxicating beverage. Nasty substances were added to make it so gasoline, cadmium, zinc, formaldehyde, chloroform, and carbolic acid, just to name a few. The problem was that much of this legally tainted alcohol found its way to bootleggers, who in turn hired chemists to remove the toxins and escalating chemical warfare ensued as the authorities concocted even more noxious additives while the criminals kept trying to diminish their effectiveness. Still, the government had one particularly lethal weapon in its arsenal, a vicious agent known as methyl or would alcohol, which even in small amounts causes blindness, hallucinations, paralysis, and not uncommonly death. On New Year’s Eve 1926. Enforcement agents announced that they were going to double the already dangerous amount of metal in industrial alcohol, and if necessary, quadruplet This is what had come of prohibition, a moral crusade once described by future President Herbert Hoover as an experiment noble in purpose. While the government’s announcement about the methyl came as holiday revelers were already staggering into hospitals, literally blind drunk from the effects of methyl, New York’s chief medical examiner Charles Norris issued a report on the staggering toll the poisoning policy had taken and the devastation to come from upping the metal yet there were still those who insisted the legions of sick and dying Americans got exactly what they deserved. Wayne Wheeler, the powerful leader of the anti saloon League, which had lobbied extensively for prohibition responded to the uproar with this statement to the press and here I quote, The government is under no law
obligation to furnish people with alcohol that is drinkable when the Constitution forbids it. The person who drinks this industrial alcohol is a deliberate suicide. And, quote, Wheeler and his movement lost a great deal of credibility in the wake of these callous remarks. But it would be another seven years before Prohibition was repealed, and Americans could safely and legally toast one another’s health. So that was about the Feds poison or the government’s poison back in the days of prohibition. Next, we’re going to focus on some shocking events that happened around courthouses. And here we’re talking about Fatty Arbuckle, OJ Simpson and President Clinton. So don’t go anywhere. I’ll be right back.
Now first, we’ll start about justice that came just too late for Fatty Arbuckle, one of Hollywood’s biggest stars was a hefty silent era comedian named Rosco who was nicknamed Fatty Arbuckle, after signing a three year contract with Paramount picture for an unheard of $1 million Arbuckle and some friends drove up to San Francisco to celebrate in the midst of carousing. One of the revelers, a starlet named Virginia rap ended up dead. partygoer bambina Delmont, claimed Arbuckle had brutally raped the young woman. The Press ate up the story nevermind del moans history of blackmail and extortion. Arbuckle was arrested on September the 11th 1921 and charged with manslaughter. Two trials ended without a verdict before a third jury declared our buckle not guilty. A ruptured bladder had been the real killer. But despite our buckles acquittal, the media and the law had condemned him anyway. Aside from a few small roles, he never really worked again. So justice came, but it was too late for Fatty Arbuckle. But can we say the same about OJ Simpson? I don’t think so. That’s what we’re going to talk about next. So don’t go anywhere. I’ll be right back.
There was none of the drama of the slow speed police chase that preceded OJ Simpson’s 1994 arrest for double homicide. Nevertheless, the former football stars more subdued second arrest on September 16 2007 resulted in graver consequences, charged with multiple robbery, assault, burglary and conspiracy charges stemming out of what One witness described as a military style invasion of a sports memorabilia dealers Last Vegas hotel room three days earlier, Simpson was convicted of all 10 counts against him. The verdict delivered 13 years after his acquittal in the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman ended the juices golf playing days of leisure. And barring any unforeseen reversals, it ensured that he would rot in jail for somewhere between nine and 33 years coming after his controversial book deal for if I did it in 2006. The arrest was for the public, all the more satisfying. So what happened to Fatty Arbuckle was shocking, of course, because he was innocent, but we cannot say the same for OJ Simpson here. But anyway, both were as shocking. And next we’re going to talk about President Clinton. Of course, we’re talking about justice. We’re talking about these shocking events. We have to talk about President Bill Clinton, that’s coming next. Don’t go anywhere. I’ll be right back.
One of life’s certainty is that politicians lie. And that is not okay. But it is accepted as a fact, even though that is kind of a fact of life, perhaps none more brazenly than Bill Clinton on January the 26th 1998, when he vehemently denied having an affair with a certain White House intern. And here I quote what Clinton said, I want you to listen to me. The president declared fingerpointing with indignation. I am going to say this again. I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky. However, Miss Lewinsky had evidence of her dalliances with him on a blue dress she had worn during one such encounter. Seven months later, Clinton backtracked, and here I quote what he said again, I did have a relationship with Miss Lewinsky that was not appropriate. It was a mortifying blunder for the country’s commander in chief. But Clinton’s transgression didn’t scare other public officials from extra marital activity. Plenty of Congressman and presidential hopefuls since have been caught in shady dealings. But thanks to the internet and social media, they faced judgment in the harshest court of all public opinion, but not like Clinton who was bedeviled by a blue
dress. And here I’m not judging him. I know that it can happen to anybody. It’s against my moral code. But anyway, maybe what was worse that he lied about it. But anyway, that’s another shocking event in today’s shocking events that made history series. And with this shocking event, we come to the last shocking event for today’s episode, don’t forget that we still have one last episode in the series before we move on and start a new series. And this one has to do with shocking events related to leaders war and discord. But that’s coming next week, so don’t miss that. And of course, if you’re listening to shocking events that made history for the first time, remember, this is episode six, so we have five more episodes you can check if you’re interested in learning more about some other shocking events that made history. Don’t forget that you can find the transcript on my website the link is in the show notes. While you’re there, check out the other learning opportunities you can find in there and consider becoming a patron to unlock everything English plus has to offer. With that being said this is your host Danny, I would like to thank you very much for listening to another episode from English plus podcast. I will see you next time.