Proposition 187 is approved in California

Year
1994
Month Day
November 08

On November 8, 1994, 59 percent of California voters approve Proposition 187, banning undocumented immigrants from using the state’s major public services. Despite its wide margin of victory, the ballot measure never takes effect.

In 1994, California, the home of Presidents Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, was not yet the Democratic stronghold many now consider it to be. A popular destination for immigrants from both Latin America and Asia, its demographics changed dramatically in the second half of the century, but neither Republicans nor Democrats won a decisive share of these newcomers’ votes. That would change after a group of Republican activists and state-level legislators, responding to the state’s economic slump and the presence of over a million undocumented immigrants, decided to launch the campaign for what became Prop 187. In the name of saving taxpayer money, the proposition prohibited the undocumented from accessing basic public services such as non-emergency health care and both primary and secondary education. It also required public servants like medical professionals and teachers to monitor and report on the immigration status of those under their charge.

Although public support was high from the start, the threat of barring over a million California residents from basic public services stirred up vocal opposition. As Republican Governor Pete Wilson’s campaign used the threat of immigration in an attempt to scare voters, 70,000 people marched against 187 in downtown Los Angeles, and 10,000 public school students walked out of class on November 2, just days before the vote. The measure’s passage on November 8 was an entirely symbolic and short-lived victory for conservatives.

Within a week, a legal challenge had prevented the new law from taking effect—it was held up in the appeals process until 1999, when a Democratic governor dropped the state’s appeal. Studies have since shown that Proposition 187 played a key role in galvanizing immigrants’ rights activists and pushing Latinx and Asian voters away from the California Republican Party. Over the next decade, 66 percent of newly-registered California voters were Latinx and another 23 percent were Asian. In the same period, Republicans went from holding roughly half of elected offices in the state to less than a quarter. California has since formally repealed Prop 187 and enacted some of the United States’ most sweeping protections for the undocumented.

READ MORE: US Immigration Timeline

Source

Maurice Ferré becomes first Puerto Rican to lead a major U.S. mainland city

Year
1973
Month Day
November 08

On November 8, 1973, Maurice Ferré is elected Mayor of Miami, Florida. In addition to becoming the first Puerto Rican to lead a major city in the mainland United States and the first Hispanic Mayor of Miami, Ferré is credited from transforming Maimi from a tourist town into an international city.

The Ferré Family was one of the wealthiest in Puerto Rico, and Ferré’s relatives included prominent politicians, novelists, and industrialists. Ferré served briefly in the Florida House of Representatives before being elected Mayor in 1973. He would hold the position until 1985, serving six two-year terms. Despite being a “weak mayor”—the Mayor of Miami was just one of five commissioners and did not have the power to unilaterally make appointments—Ferré transformed the city. He immediately set about challenging the “non-group,” a cabal of white businessmen who had effectively run the city for the last several decades, and integrating a city that was still largely segregated. With the help of two allies on the city’s governing commission—the black civil rights leader Rev. Theodore Gibson and Manolo Reboso, the city’s first Cuban-born elected official—Ferré appointed the first black city attorney, the first black city manager, and the first two black police chiefs. He and that attorney, George Knox, convinced the federal government to sue the city for discrimination, forcing the desegregation of the police and fire departments.

Known for his cosmopolitanism, Ferré sought to make Miami a global city rather than merely another East Coast beach town. “I had a clear vision that Miami really needed to look south,” he later told the Miami Herald. During his time as mayor, he expanded the city’s port, lured domestic and foreign banks to a newly-christened financial center, and welcomed the immigrants who poured in from Cuba. Among numerous other new developments, Ferré secured the site of AmericanAirlines Arena, home of the Miami Heat, for the city. His focus on building affordable housing and developing urban areas is credited with revitalizing much of the city and preventing suburban sprawl from consuming the Everglades. In many ways, his dream of an international hub and his infrastructure programs created Miami as it is known today.

Ferré’s tenure came to an end due to a trend he helped encourage: Cuban-American participation in city governance. After he was replaced by the city’s first Cuban-American mayor, Ferré held a number of posts in the public and private sectors and ran for senate unsuccessfully in 2010. Upon his death in September of 2019, both allies and bitter political rivals acknowledged his contributions to the city. His obituary in the Herald, whose board had once included members of the “non-group” he sought to destroy, referred to him as “the father of modern-day Miami.”

Source

Lawrence Joel awarded Medal of Honor

Year
1965
Month Day
November 08

For action this day in the Iron Triangle northwest of Saigon, Specialist Five Lawrence Joel, a medic with the 1st Battalion, 503rd Airborne Infantry, 173rd Airborne Brigade is awarded the Medal of Honor, becoming the first living African American since the Spanish-American War to receive the nation’s highest award for valor.

When his unit was outnumbered in an attack by an enemy force, Specialist Joel, who suffered a severe leg wound in the early stages of the battle, continued to administer aid to his wounded comrades. Wounded a second time—with a bullet lodged deep in his lungs—Joel continued to treat the wounded, completely disregarding the battle raging around him and his own safety. Even after the 24-hour battle had subsided, Joel, a 38-year-old father of two, continued to treat and comfort the wounded until his own evacuation was ordered.

President Johnson presented the Medal of Honor to Specialist Joel on March 9, 1967, in ceremonies held on the South Lawn of the White House.

Also on this day: Edward W. Brooke (R-Massachusetts) becomes the first African American elected to Senate. In California, former movie actor Ronald Reagan was elected governor.

Source

Beer Hall Putsch begins

Year
1923
Month Day
November 08

Adolf Hitler, president of the far-right Nazi Party, launches the Beer Hall Putsch, his first attempt at seizing control of the German government.

After World War I, the victorious allies demanded billions of dollars in war reparations from Germany. Efforts by Germany’s democratic government to comply hurt the country’s economy and led to severe inflation. The German mark, which at the beginning of 1921 was valued at five marks per dollar, fell to a disastrous four billion marks per dollar in 1923. Meanwhile, the ranks of the nationalist Nazi Party swelled with resentful Germans who sympathized with the party’s bitter hatred of the democratic government, leftist politics, and German Jews. In early November 1923, the government resumed war-reparation payments, and the Nazis decided to strike.

Hitler planned a coup against the state government of Bavaria, which he hoped would spread to the dissatisfied German army, which in turn would bring down the central, democratic government in Berlin. On the evening of November 8, Nazi forces under Hermann Goering surrounded the Munich beer hall where Bavarian government officials were meeting with local business leaders. A moment later, Hitler burst in with a group of Nazi storm troopers, discharged his pistol into the air, and declared that “the national revolution has begun.” Threatened at gunpoint, the Bavarian leaders reluctantly agreed to support Hitler’s new regime.

In the early morning of November 9, however, the Bavarian leaders repudiated their coerced support of Hitler and ordered a rapid suppression of the Nazis. At dawn, government troops surrounded the main Nazi force occupying the War Ministry building. A desperate Hitler responded by leading a march toward the center of Munich in a last-ditch effort to rally support. Near the War Ministry building, 3,000 Nazi marchers came face to face with 100 armed policemen. Shots were exchanged, and 16 Nazis and three policemen were killed. Hermann Goering was shot in the groin, and Hitler suffered a dislocated elbow but managed to escape.

Three days later, Hitler was arrested. Convicted of treason, he was given the minimum sentence of five years in prison. He was imprisoned in the Landsberg fortress and spent his time writing his autobiography, Mein Kampf, and working on his oratorical skills. Political pressure from the Nazis forced the Bavarian government to commute Hitler’s sentence, and he was released after serving only nine months. In the late 1920s, Hitler reorganized the Nazi Party as a fanatical mass movement that was able to gain a majority in the Reichstag in 1932. By 1934, Hitler was the sole master of a nation intent on war and genocide.

Source

Salvatore “Sonny” Bono is elected to the U.S. Congress

Year
1994
Month Day
November 08

If you had made a friendly wager back in 1974 as to which recent or current pop-music figure might go on to serve in the United States Congress in 20 years’ time, you might have picked someone with an apparent political agenda, like Joan Baez, or at least one who was associated with some kind of cause, like nature-lover John Denver. You almost certainly wouldn’t have placed your bet on Sonny Bono, a singer of arguably limited talents who appeared content to stand, literally and figuratively, in the shadow of his far more popular wife, Cher. It was indeed Salvatore “Sonny” Bono, however, who had a future in elective politics—a future that included his election to the United States House of Representatives from California’s 44th Congressional District on November 8, 1994

Sonny Bono fell almost completely out of the public eye following the cancellation of The Sonny and Cher Show in 1977. While his ex-wife and erstwhile musical partner, Cher, launched a hugely successful second phase of her career with well-received acting roles in the 1980s, Sonny left the spotlight behind to focus on the restaurant business. Although he presented himself as a none-too-bright bumbler during his days on television, Bono had been an astute operator in shepherding his and Cher’s early musical career and in his later business dealings. The owner of several successful restaurants, Bono got involved in politics after growing frustrated with the bureaucratic hurdles placed before one of his restaurant construction projects by local officials in Palm Springs, California, in the late 1980s. Though he himself had registered to vote for the first time only one year earlier, Bono was elected mayor of Palm Springs in 1988. Following a failed run in the California Republican Senatorial primary in 1992, Bono turned his attention to the 44th District’s Congressional seat in 1994. A conservative Republican, Bono was swept into office as part of the Newt Gingrich-led Republican “revolution” that year, and he was re-elected in 1996.

During his time in office, Bono did not treat his fellow lawmakers to any singing performances, but the man behind the hits “I Got You Babe” (1965) and “The Beat Goes On” (1967) did trade on his public persona as a good-natured, non-threatening nice guy. As The Washington Post noted in its obituary following Bono’s death in a skiing accident in 1998, “Bono brought to Congress a rare skill: He could make lawmakers—even the most pompous among them—laugh at themselves.” Or as President Bill Clinton said, “”His joyful entertainment of millions earned him celebrity, but in Washington he earned respect by being a witty and wise participant in policymaking processes that often seem ponderous to the American people.”

READ MORE: How Sonny and Cher Went From TV’s Power Couple to Bitter Exes

Source

The Republican Revolution

Year
1994
Month Day
November 08

For the first time in 40 years, the Republican Party wins control of both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate in midterm congressional elections. Led by Representative Newt Gingrich of Georgia, who subsequently replaced Democrat Tom Foley of Washington as speaker of the House, the empowered GOP united under the “Contract with America,” a 10-point legislative plan to reduce federal taxes, balance the budget, and dismantle social welfare programs established during six decades of mostly Democratic rule in Congress.

Gingrich’s House of Representatives, home to the majority of the Republican freshmen, led the “Republican Revolution” by passing every bill incorporated in the Contract with America–with the exception of a term-limits constitutional amendment–within the first 100 days of the 104th Congress. 

Source

German scientist discovers X-rays

Year
1895
Month Day
November 08

On November 8, 1895, physicist Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen (1845-1923) becomes the first person to observe X-rays, a significant scientific advancement that would ultimately benefit a variety of fields, most of all medicine, by making the invisible visible. 

Röntgen’s discovery occurred accidentally in his Wurzburg, Germany, lab, where he was testing whether cathode rays could pass through glass when he noticed a glow coming from a nearby chemically coated screen. He dubbed the rays that caused this glow X-rays because of their unknown nature.

X-rays are electromagnetic energy waves that act similarly to light rays, but at wavelengths approximately 1,000 times shorter than those of light. Röntgen holed up in his lab and conducted a series of experiments to better understand his discovery. He learned that X-rays penetrate human flesh but not higher-density substances such as bone or lead and that they can be photographed.

Röntgen’s discovery was labeled a medical miracle and X-rays soon became an important diagnostic tool in medicine, allowing doctors to see inside the human body for the first time without surgery. In 1897, X-rays were first used on a military battlefield, during the Balkan War, to find bullets and broken bones inside patients.

Scientists were quick to realize the benefits of X-rays, but slower to comprehend the harmful effects of radiation. Initially, it was believed X-rays passed through flesh as harmlessly as light. However, within several years, researchers began to report cases of burns and skin damage after exposure to X-rays, and in 1904, Thomas Edison’s assistant, Clarence Dally, who had worked extensively with X-rays, died of skin cancer. Dally’s death caused some scientists to begin taking the risks of radiation more seriously, but they still weren’t fully understood. 

During the 1930s, 40s and 50s, in fact, many American shoe stores featured shoe-fitting fluoroscopes that used X-rays to enable customers to see the bones in their feet; it wasn’t until the 1950s that this practice was determined to be risky business. 

Wilhelm Röntgen received numerous accolades for his work, including the first Nobel Prize in physics in 1901, yet he remained modest and never tried to patent his discovery. Today, X-ray technology is widely used in medicine, material analysis and devices such as airport security scanners.

Source

Yogi Berra is the AL MVP

Year
1951
Month Day
November 08

On November 8, 1951, Yankees catcher Yogi Berra (1925-2015) is voted the American League’s most valuable player for the first time in his career. St. Louis Browns’ ace pitcher and slugger Ned Garver almost won the award—in fact, a representative from the Baseball Writers Association of America phoned him and told him that he had won it—but after a recount it turned out that Berra had edged Garver out by a nose. “It’s great to be classed with fellows like DiMaggio and Rizzuto who have won the award,” Berra told reporters that night. “I sure hope I can win it a couple of more times, like Joe did.” He went on to be the league MVP twice more, in 1954 and 1955.

Berra had had a great season, for the most part—he’d been the Yanks’ leading slugger, with 27 homers and 88 RBI—but he’d had a dramatic slump near the end of the year. His teammate Allie Reynolds, meanwhile, had pitched two no-hitters in 1951, and Garver had won 20 games and batted .305 for the Browns, a “collection of old rags and tags” that had only managed to win 32 games that Garver wasn’t pitching. In the face of these performances, Berra was sure he wouldn’t win the award. “I was afraid I had blown it with the bad finish,” he said.

In fact, it was one of the closest MVP races ever. Each member of the baseball writers’ association voted by naming the league’s 10 best players and then ranking them. A first-place vote got a player 14 points; second place was worth nine, third place eight, and so on. When the votes were tallied, the player with the most points overall won the MVP. Berra, Garver and Reynolds actually had the same number of first-place votes—six each—but Yogi squeaked by on his second-, third- and fourth-place points. (His final score was 187; Garver’s was 157; and Reynolds’ was 125.)

Berra was only the second catcher to win the AL MVP prize. (Mickey Cochrane was the first.) That same year, another catcher—Roy Campanella of the Dodgers—was the NL MVP.

Source

Doc Holliday dies of tuberculosis

Year
1887
Month Day
November 08

Doc Holliday–gunslinger, gambler, and occasional dentist–dies from tuberculosis.

Though he was perhaps most famous for his participation in the shootout at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone, Arizona, John Henry “Doc” Holliday earned his bad reputation well before that famous feud. Born in Georgia, Holliday was raised in the tradition of the southern gentleman. He earned his nickname when he graduated from the Pennsylvania College of Dental Surgery in 1872. However, shortly after embarking on a respectable career as a dentist in Atlanta, he developed a bad cough. Doctors diagnosed tuberculosis and advised a move to a more arid climate, so Holliday moved his practice to Dallas, Texas.

By all accounts, Holliday was a competent dentist with a successful practice. Unfortunately, cards interested him more than teeth, and he earned a reputation as a skilled poker and faro player. In 1875, Dallas police arrested Holliday for participating in a shootout. Thereafter, the once upstanding doctor began drifting between the booming Wild West towns of Denver, Cheyenne, Deadwood, and Dodge City, making his living at card tables and aggravating his tuberculosis with heavy drinking and late nights.

Holliday was famously friendly with Wyatt Earp, who believed that Holliday saved his life during a fight with cowboys. For his part, Holliday was a loyal friend to Earp, and stood by him during the 1881 shootout at the O.K. Corral and the bloody feud that followed.

In 1882, Holliday fled Arizona and returned to the life of a western drifter, gambler, and gunslinger. By 1887, his hard living had caught up to him, forcing him to seek treatment for his tuberculosis at a sanitarium in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. He died in his bed at only 36 years old.

Source

Margaret Mitchell, author of “Gone with the Wind,” is born

Year
1900
Month Day
November 08

On November 8, 1900, Margaret Mitchell, author of Gone with the Wind (1936), is born in Atlanta, Georgia.

Mitchell worked as a journalist for the Atlanta Journal for six years. She quit after an ankle injury limited her mobility, and she devoted herself to her novel about the South during and after the Civil War. Her tale of Scarlett O’Hara, the shallow Southern belle transformed into ruthless survivor during the war, became the biggest American publishing sensation of its day. The book sold 1 million copies in its first six months in print, 8 million by the time Mitchell died in 1949, and at least 25 million more to date.

The book was made into an Oscar-winning movie in 1939. In 1988, Warner Books purchased the rights to a Gone with the Wind sequel. The book, titled Scarlett, was written by Alexandra Ripley and published in 1991. Though not a critical success, the book became a bestseller and was made into a TV miniseries. The movie was criticized for its portrayals of enslaved characters, and for whitewashing the horrors of slavery. 

Source