Seeds of Fire: A People’s Chronology

Recalling events that happened on this day in history.
Memories of struggle, resistance and persistence.

Compiled by Ulli Diemer

January  February  March  April  May  June  July  August  September  October  November  December
1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20  21  22  23  24  25  26  27  28  29  30  31  

April 4, 1854  
American and English ships land forces in and near Shanghai in order to ‘protect their interests.’
April 4 - May 12, 1868
U.S. forces intervene in Japan ‘to protect American interests.’
April 4 - July 1, 1935
In the middle of the Great Depression of the 1930s, unemployed men confined to dismal ‘relief camps’ in British Columbia walk out of the camps, where they are paid twenty cents a day to work on roads and other public projects, and head to Vancouver. Their demands include the provision of first aid equipment in the camps and the right to workers’ compensation for men who are injured in the often-dangerous work. They are also demanding the repeal of Section 98 of the Canadian Criminal Code, which bans “unlawful associations” and which is used to harass the Communist Party, other left-wing organizations, and labour unions.
In Vancouver, the men decide to take their grievances directly to the federal government in Ottawa, and on June 3 they board boxcars headed east in what becomes known as the On to Ottawa Trek.
Related Topics: DepressionUnemployment
April 4, 1967
Speaking at the Riverside Church in New York City, Martin Luther King Jr. condemns the U.S. war against Vietnam. He calls the U.S. government “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today” and says that its goal is to occupy Vietnam “as an American colony.” He condemns misplaced national priorities, saying “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.”
The speech is widely condemned by the pro-war American elite, which wants to see King as a saintly spokesman for non-violence, and is disturbed by his increasing focus on poverty and economic injustice.
Related Topics: Anti-War Movement
April 4, 1968
Martin Luther King Jr. is assassinated in Memphis, where he has been organizing in support of striking black sanitation workers. He is 39 years old. In the aftermath of the assassination, riots break out in over 100 American cities.
Related Topics: Assassinations
April 4, 1972  
A right-wing terrorist group sets off an explosion at the Cuban consulate in Montreal which kills Cuban official Sergio P‚rez Castillo.
Related Topics: BombingPolitical MurdersTerrorism

January  February  March  April  May  June  July  August  September  October  November  December
1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20  21  22  23  24  25  26  27  28  29  30  31  
For more information about people and events in Seeds of Fire, explore these pages: