Living Where You Please – Shelley v. Kraemer

Today in History, May 3, 1948:

The US Supreme Court hands down a decision in Shelley v Kraemer, asserting housing rights for minorities.

In 1906 a nice two-story home was built in the 4600 block of Labadie Street in a neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri. In 1911 residents of the neighborhood established a covenant which was common in America in the early Twentieth Century; the agreement ensured their neighborhood would remain “white only.” Home owners agreed not to sell to African-Americans or Asian-Americans.

In 1930 the Shelley family moved to St. Louis from Mississippi to escape pervasive racial bias. They were raising their six children when in 1945 a home owner agreed to break the covenant and sell them the house on Lebadie Street.

Another owner, Kraemer, filed suit to prevent the sale. The local court ruled in favor of the Shelleys, the Missouri state court against them. The case was then appealed to the US Supreme Court.

In a decision reminiscent of Chief Justice John Marshall, the Court set things right. The covenant was a private, not a state agreement. Therefore, the court system did not have the authority to prevent the covenants. This also meant the courts could not ENFORCE them. The Fourteenth Amendment protections of equal enforcement of laws and property rights had been been upheld.

“Dewey Defeats Truman”

Today in History, November 2, 1948:

“Dewey Defeats Truman”.

The Chicago Tribune is so confident that New York Governor Thomas Dewey will win the Presidential election that the paper publishes it’s desired results in an early edition…but Truman won by 2M votes.

Most sources will describe this as a solitary example of media bias, however in 2000 the media almost in it’s entirety called the election for Al Gore as Florida polls closed…several hours before the polls closed in the majority of the nation. Many voters, hearing the news as they drove home, decided there was no point in going to the polls. As it turned out, not even Florida could be declared for Gore at that point.

The media’s actions would send the nation into a legal limbo for weeks as the victor was determined in the courts. In the attached photo a victorious President Truman holds up the erroneous headline.

In 2016, the polls….and the media…reported it was nearly a forgone conclusion that Secretary Clinton would win.

Israel is “Re-Born”

Today in History, May 14, 1948:

David Ben-Gurion, soon to be Israel’s first Premier, declares the birth of the first Jewish State in 2,000 years. As he finished his speech, the gunfire from the first Israeli-Arab War could be heard in the distance, as Egyptian forces began their attack.

The story continues…and many have changed sides or at least become more vocal in their anti-Israeli sentiments.

This discussion, and the bloodshed, has been ongoing for centuries.

Early Warnings, the Beginning

Today in History, March 25: 1948 – Major Ernest J. Fawbush. Capt. Robert C. Miller. On March 20th, a devastating tornado struck Oklahoma City, and Tinker Air Force Base in particular, causing the most destruction in Oklahoma history to that point; the impact still stands as the second most damaging storm in OK history. Two meteorologists on the base, Fawbush and Miller, sought to provide warning regarding storms and began studying the dynamics of the storm that created the devastating tornado. Within 5 days they got their wish, and were the first to provide early warning against tornadoes. On the morning of March 25th they observed that conditions were amazingly similar to those of March 20th, and they issued warnings not only for the base, but for the surrounding populace. Another tornado struck that night, and while the damage was still severe, expensive resources on the base were secured and civilians sought shelter. How many lives have been saved in the years since?