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In 1824 Edward Pease joined with Michael Longdridge, George Stephenson and his son Robert Stephenson, to form a company to make the locomotives. The Robert Stephenson & Company, at Forth Street, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, became the world's first locomotive builder. Stephenson recruited Timothy Hackworth, one of the engineers who had helped William Hedley to produce Puffing Billy, to work for the company.
The first railway locomotive was finished in September 1825. Initially called Active, it was later given the name Locomotion. The locomotive was similar to those that Stephenson had produced at the collieries at Killingworth and Heaton. The boiler of the Locomotion had a single fire tube and two vertical cylinders let into the barrel and the four wheels were coupled by rods rather than a chain.
The Stockton & Darlington Railroad was opened on 27th September, 1825. Large crowds saw George Stephenson at the controls of the Locomotion as it pulled 36 wagons filled with sacks of coal and flour. The initial journey of just under 9 miles took two hours. However, during the final descent into the Stockton terminus, speeds of 15 mph (24 kph) were reached. These increased speed surprised one man and he fell from one of the wagons and was badly injured.
In 1828 the boiler of the Locomotion exploded, killing the driver. She was rebuilt but did not perform well. The main problem was its inability to produce enough steam for a twenty-mile run. Timothy Hackworth enlarged the boiler and installed a return fire tube. This improved the performance of the locomotive but in 1827 was replaced by the Royal George. Hackworth's locomotive was mounted on six wheels, the cylinders were vertical, inverted and outside the boiler, and pistons and connecting rods drove the rear wheels.
© John Simkin, May 2013
The hour of ten arrived before all was ready to start. About this time the locomotive engine, or steam horse, as it was more generally termed, gave note of preparation. The scene, on the moving of the engine, sets description at defiance. Astonishment was not confined to the human species, for the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air seemed to view with wonder and awe the machine, which now moved onward at a rate of 10 or 12 mph with a weight of not less than 80 tons attached to it.
The train of carriages was then attached to a locomotive engine, built by George Stephenson, in the following order: (1) Locomotive engine, with the engineer (Mr. George Stephenson) and assistants. (2) Tender, with coals and water; next, six wagons, laden with coals and flour; then an elegant covered coach, with the committee and other proprietors of the railway; then 21 wagons, fitted up for passengers; and last of all, six wagons laden with coal, making altogether, a train of 38 carriages.
© John Simkin, April 2013
Seminal works that serve as milestones in environmentalism come from writers and naturalists from the mid-19th century to the mid-20th century.
1854 Henry David Thoreau’s Walden
1864 George Perkins Marsh’s Man and Nature
1872-1913 John Muir’s essays, articles and books about the Sierra Nevada
From the 1880s on, English romantics and reformers including John Ruskin, Octavia Hill and Edward Carpenter articulate ideas about saving nature and man from the Industrial Revolution. German foresters like Dietrich Brandis promulgate scientific conservation. Gifford Pinchot is the first head of the U.S. Forest Service (1899).
1949 Aldo Leopold’s A Sand County Almanac
The tile for the film “A Fierce Green Fire” comes from the pioneering ecologist’s essay, “Thinking Like a Mountain,” in which Leopold describes his experience as a young ranger shooting a wolf.
“We reached the old wolf in time to watch a fierce green fire dying in her eyes. I realized then and have known ever since that there was something new to me in those eyes, something known only to her and to the mountain. I was young then and full of trigger-itch I thought that because fewer wolves meant more deer, that no wolves would mean hunters’ paradise. But after seeing the green fire die, I sensed that neither the wolf nor the mountain agreed with such a view.” — Aldo Leopold
The Times They Are A-Changin’
To many, the American hippie is often seen as a direct result of the various national and international struggles that defined the 1950s. The mammoth disaster that was the Korean War (1950-1953) kicked off the ‘idyllic’ era of the 1950s and continued with the groundbreaking and terrifying hydrogen bomb test in 1954. The African-American Civil Rights Movement also started in the middle of the 1950s and culminated in events such as Brown V. Board (1954) and the integration of Little Rock Central High School in 1957. Along with these developments, technology was rapidly advancing as the Soviets sent the satellite Sputnik I into space in 1957 and started the billion-dollar space race between the two rival superpowers. Along with this, the 1950s were also defined by major events like the Cuban Revolution of 1959 and the failed Hungarian Revolt of 1956. Although many have the preconception that the 1950s were a perfect post-war paradise, they were actually as rocky as the 1960s and single-handedly helped spawn the hippie movement that we know today.
When asked to write the unabridged history of this organization, I was taken aback. I knew that I had reached many thousands in my quest to spread the truth, but I was bewildered and frustrated with myself when I realized that I had not yet done an acute job of giving details: the why, the how, when, who, etc. I knew that I had to write something that was concise, accurate, and free of any fault or error.
Prepare to take a journey into a history that they will not, dare I say- never teach in school. Much of what you are about to read has been censored for almost 60 years who knows how long it will take our corrupt government to block this website? Only time will tell. In the meantime, I ask that you take 20 minutes out of your busy day and read all of this information, soak it in… revel in the fact that everything you know
In 1947 the C.I.A. was founded, its sole responsibility to watch and survey tens of thousands of Americans suspected of doing communist things. This orchestrated stalking epidemic went on for almost 5 years, and few were found guilty of any real crimes. However, it became clear in the early 1950s that the threat of communism was only going to rise, and a broader system was needed to track any individual who was suspected of such activity. The fears were only encouraged when in 1951, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were wrongly arrested and convicted of espionage against the United States- accused of spying on behalf of the Soviet Union (the big boy communist people.) This highly publicized event gave the government a small window to implement a new program that would place the first CCTV surveillance cameras in areas with a high Russian immigrant concentration.
This went on for a few years or so, when in 1953 Allen Dulles was made the first civilian director of the Central Intelligence Agency (C.I.A.) and made it his mission to ramp up the surveillance program hiding cameras in thousands of locations and ordering his staff to plant them in areas that would be impossible to detect (although let’s face it, in the 1950s- you could walk into a bank with a slingshot and steal thousands of dollars. Security was one big joke.) He knew that the possibilities for this camera program were endless, and on April 15 th , 1956 met with President Dwight D. Eisenhower and proposed a plan that would putcameras in the sky. Dulles knew that the sky was the future for his surveillance program, as you could truly track someone with a moving camera- much easier than having to switch between cameras on street corners and hidden in storm drains. One camera in the sky could do the work of hundreds on the ground…
Eisenhower approved the initial idea and asked him to return when he had figured out how to make it possible. Dulles left the oval office and immediately flew to an undisclosed location- meeting with various members of his inner circle, to discuss the plan in more intricate detail. It is believed that the initial plan for killing all of the birds and replacing them with flying cameras was thought up one weekend in May of 1956. Dulles and his team hated birds with a passion, and were heard on many occasions calling them,” flying slugs” and,” the scum of the skies,” as they would often poop on their cars in the parking lot of the C.I.A. headquarters, and quite frankly- all over the D.C. Metro area. I believe this was one of the driving forces that led Dulles to not only implement robots into the sky, but actually replace birds in the process. They did not need to kill all of the birds, and could have launched a quarter of the robot birds that they did, but the pigeons in D.C. at the time were absolutely ruthless… they were eating very well, as American moral was high- people were feeding them much more in public parks and on the street. This in turn created huge amounts of pigeon feces, that would inevitably find its way to the windshield of many men and women- all of whom grew to not only hate pigeons, but all birds. In a stolen transcript from an ex-CIA deputy, she says,” yeah, the higher ups were so annoyed that birds had been dropping fecal matter on their car windows that they vowed to wipe out every single flying feathered creature in North America.”
In this meeting they sought to kill two birds with one stone and remove all birds from the United States (thus eliminating their fecal problem), but also replacing these birds with billions of sophisticated robot look a likes- capable of mimicking real birds in every way. Dulles and his team wanted to create the greatest surveillance system ever imagined, with the capability of tracking someone on foot, in a vehicle, or even in their personal home.
It is imperative that we discuss the methods that the government used to extinguish over 12 billion birds between 1959 and 1971. If we are to make disciples of the birds aren’t real movement, we must equip each and every person with the knowledge of what truly happened in this saga of insanity and government corruption. Here are the facts and eyewitness accounts of various key events that occurred within our nation that completely destroyed every man woman and child bird in existence.
I touched on him for a brief moment in the last chapter, but I want to dive in to Allen Welsh Dulles: the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency from 1953 to 1961. Upon the government writing the plan to slowly kill off the birds, it was his responsibility to make it a reality. He was given the task of reallocating 65 Billion dollars of public health funds towards the forced extinction. On May 6 th , 1957 he met with an unidentified man from the Boeing Airplane Company and ordered 120 B-52 bombers. Dulles knew that if his government was to go undetected, he had to keep these aircraft out of sight from the American public. He was under strict orders not to leave a trace of his actions, so he devised a plan to construct the aircraft in Nevada’s Area 51. This way, the citizens of Seattle Washington (where Boeing was headquartered) wouldn’t be able to claim that the bombers had been built nearby (if the government was exposed).
23 men from within the Boeing Engineering department travelled to Area 51 in the back of an old school bus that they purchased from a salvage yard in Mukilteo Washington. They were seen by a few individuals bringing couches and rugs into the bus, and were also heard discussing and I quote,” really cool playlists for the road trip.”
Clearly, the Boeing Engineers didn’t get the memo from Dulles about remaining undetected, and actually painted “Area 51 or bust” on both sides of the bus. Whenever they would stop for gas, they would set up a makeshift campsite in the parking lot and sing songs with titles such as “I left my Honey for Area 51,” and,” Let’s Kill all the Birds.” They attracted a lot of attention, and the locals of a town in Idaho claimed that the men would reveal intimate details of what they were doing. Clearly, they were complete idiots but their idiocy is one of the hardest pieces of evidence on how the government killed the birds. While 22 of the men made it to Nevada, one man did not. Neil Ford was the only engineer that lived to tell the story, as he was left in a Waffle House bathroom because the others claimed,” he had to pee too many times, and was ruining the vibe of the road trip.”
Neil spoke with one of the founding members of the Birds Aren’t Real movement shortly before his death in 1994. He spoke about the way in which Dulles searched for the engineers who didn’t have families. That way, they would be able to disappear from the map when the project was complete, and nobody would notice. This disturbing reality is a far cry from the way in which many people view the 1950s and proves that our government has been ruthless in its effort to rid our nation of its peace and prosperity.
Upon making it to Area 51, the 22 remaining engineers were tasked with designing a new version of the B-52, the B-52B. The B stands for Bird or Barack, and it was to be a brand-new model of the B-52 that had 450-gallon water tanks in the place of the bomb compartments. The water tanks were hard to design, and one of the engineers almost gave up, but Dulles hit him over the head with a 40-pound wrench to try and “knock some sense into him.” This unintentionally put the man into a coma, to which he never awoke. Scared out of their minds, the remaining 21 engineers vowed to finish designing the airplane so they could leave Area 51 for good. This was to be a faulty dream however, as none of the men were ever seen again. We only know this information because 12 pallets of classified documents were stolen from a warehouse by one of our Birds Aren’t Real patriots- but we’ll get to that later.
Once the water tanks were fitted into each bomber, a complex system of radar and tracking technology was installed to the nose of the aircraft. This technology was extremely advanced for its time and was used by the crew to track large flocks of birds from distances of 200 miles away. Once the radar was fitted, 5 coats of jet-black matte paint was sprayed onto every surface of the plane. This was done to camouflage the aircraft against the night sky, so that it could go undetected from the ground. Not only was paint used to hide the bombers, but each external strobe, beacon, and landing light was removed. Not a single light emitted from the plane, and the Pratt & Whitney JT3D engines were fitted with noise reduction pads that enabled the aircraft to fly completely silent from altitudes of 3,000 ft. or higher.
It took 2 years to build the 120 bombers, and once they were finished, the Boeing Engineers were told that they were free to go home. However, they were intercepted 30 minutes into their trip back to Washington and were put in the back of an armored troop transport vehicle. The men were sent to the front line in Vietnam, which Dulles hoped would seal their fate. Each of the engineers actually survived for 3 weeks in intense combat and were kidnapped by the Viet Cong only after they ran out of ammunition. The men were not heard from again.
Now you may be wondering, how were the birds actually killed? What method was used to accomplish this act of mass murder? Good question. The water tanks in the bombers were filled with a specially formulated bird poison, that once consumed, would give the bird a virus that could be passed onto other birds. The poison was sprayed from an altitude of 8,000 feet and would completely dissolve before it hit the ground. Which meant that only birds would be affected by its terror, and once a single drop of the poison struck the birds feathers, the virus would take hold through the fibers and make its way into the bloodstream. The virus would then affect the bone structure in such a way that total decomposition of the birds would take place within 24 hours.
On June 2 nd , 1959 operation “Water the Country” was born. This was to be the secret code name given to the program from 1959 to 1976, when it was renamed to “Operation Very Large Bird” (the individual in charge of naming the program didn’t want to get into any copyright trouble with the popular PBS show Sesame Street by naming the project Operation Big Bird.) Within the next 6 years, 15% of the bird population was wiped out. During these first few years, bird prototypes were released by the hundred million. The term ‘drone’ was not used at this time, and instead they were referred to as Robot Birds.
Let it be known, the CIA were originally the only ones responsible for this atrocity, and the sitting President (John F. Kennedy at this time) had no idea that this was taking place. The CIA did not intend for anyone but select departments to find out what was going on, even the pilots of the bombers were unaware what they were doing. The Chief Commanding Officer of Water the Country told them that they were,” watering the grass of the entire country” To this day, it is highly unlikely that the pilots know that they assisted in the largest mass murder in world history. If any of the original bomber pilots of operation Water the Country are reading this, here me closely. We do not blame you for the sins of your superiors. While you did kill billions of helpless birds, you did not know what you were doing. You do not have to remain in hiding, join the movement and together we can fight the government.
As I said a few paragraphs ago, the President was unaware what was going on until October 3 rd , 1963 when a top CIA official was overheard speaking about the operation over a tapped phone. John F. Kennedy was the President at this time and had tapped the phone of Alvin B. Cleaver (Internal Communications Director for the CIA). Kennedy believed that Cleaver was stealing his ham sandwich from the White House Kitchen and vowed to catch him speaking about it over the phone. Instead, he heard a highly sensitive conversation that Cleaver was having with Dulles. In it, Cleaver said,” yeah Allen. I’ve stolen John’s lunch again haha, he doesn’t even know. I’m going to keep stealing it until he launches a full investigation. Then I’m going to plant a hidden camera and catch his reaction as I dump all the stolen sandwiches on his desk at one time. I’m going to call the new show ‘You’ve Been Cleavered.”
Dulles responded, “Haha Alvin, that’s going to be so funny. We’ll have to play that clip at the White House Correspondents dinner. By the way, how’s the bird slaughter going? How many birds have we killed so far?”
“We’ve killed about 220 million so far, and the best thing is, the Robot Birds we’ve released in their place have done such a good job that nobody even suspects a thing.”
Kennedy heard this conversation over the tapped phone and immediately called both into the Oval Office he demanded to know what they were discussing. They confessed what was taking place in the American sky late at night and he was appalled. He told them to stop the operation at once or he would fire them. They both explained to Kennedy why the birds needed to be exterminated and asked him if they could show Kennedy a prototype of one of their birds before he made any decisions on whether to end Operation Water the Country.
On October 25 th , 1963 Kennedy was shown a prototype of the Turkey X500- a robot that specialized in killing larger birds like eagles and falcons. The robot displayed its surveillance skills, as well as its ability to find and track escaped criminals (as we learned from chapter 1, this was one of the things that drove Eisenhower to approve the project.) Kennedy was impressed with what he was shown but continued to demand the immediate shutdown of the operation and less than a month later he was dead. Now I’m not saying that these events are correlated, but I am. JFK was murdered by the CIA because he was against the mass murder of every feathered flying creature in the United States. He was to be the first and only President to stand against the murder of the birds from Lyndon Johnson to Donald Trump, every President we’ve had since has turned a blind eye to the atrocities that began in 1959. After Kennedy was killed, the CIA started rigging elections. They would only allow candidates who were anti-bird and pro citizen surveillance to win the Presidency.
By now you must be shaking with fear. The thought of your government doing these things is too much for you to handle, can it really be true? Could the government have killed billions of birds and replaced them with robots? Yes, they did, but don’t feel alone. At any point during the reading of this book, you are free to email our counseling department ([email protected]) and we will walk you through the steps to mentally overcome this nightmare. I personally had to deal with this reality on my own, decades ago. Now I’m giving you a service that I wish had been available to me at the time of my discovery. If you’re currently experiencing episodes of excessive perspiration and muscle spasms because of what you’ve read, do not read Chapter 3 yet. If the first few chapters shocked you, chapter 3 will bring you to your knees. Buckle up, the nightmare is just beginning.
Chapter 3: The Winner Writes the History Book
On July 2nd, 1964 there was a secret meeting held in the Jefferson Building (Washington D.C.) The attendees are unknown, as the only evidence is a 6-minute recording that was uncovered in the basement of an isolated storage warehouse by one of our Patriots. In this meeting, it is believed that members of the C.I.A. and operation Water the Country (W.T.C. for short) discussed the need for a heavy amount of Bauxite, an amorphous clayey rock that is the chief commercial ore of aluminum. This bauxite was essential to the process of robot construction, as aluminum would make up roughly every facet of its frame and internal structure. In the audio recording from the meeting you can clearly hear one of the attendees say,” we need a quick solution to this problem, the production team needs this material right now. Real birds have been disappearing for almost 2 years now, and if we don’t start replacing them in mass quantities, people will notice. We need a solution in 30 days.”
This is where the recording stops.
Please buckle up for this next part. I don’t mean an America’s Car Mart used 1998 Honda Civic seat belt I mean a fighter jet ejection seat harness. Almost a month after this secret meeting, a North Vietnamese Torpedo boat was accused of attacking a U.S. Destroyer in the Gulf of Tonkin. It is widely believed that this incident was faked- and I concur. This incident was an excuse for the United States to place a huge number of troops in Vietnam and engage with the North Vietnamese on a much more escalated platform.
The question is, why would the U.S. want to fake such an incident? What would they have to gain from invading Vietnam? Surely nobody still believes the ‘to stop communism’ lie that was so fervently spread? Well you are in luck, because for the first time in history- you will finally know the truth. You will finally know why the United States of America decided to waltz into a small country on the tip of East Asia.
The nation of Vietnam contains the third largest reserves of Bauxite ore on the entire planet. Like I said earlier, this ore was the primary component of aluminum- which would be used to create the robots. The U.S. used the already brewing conflict in Vietnam to their advantage, and from 1964 to 1975, the U.S. attempted to invade and extract as much of this ore as possible, because without it- there would be no robot birds.
The process looked like this: U.S. soldiers were told to advance into an area of North Vietnam where they could “fight communism the best” (this is what they were told.) They were actually capturing areas that had enormous quantities of bauxite ore. Once flanking defenses were set up, dozens of excavators were deployed to dig into the deposit and dump the bauxite into dump trucks, that would then travel a distance of up to 26 hours through enemy territory- to Cam Ranh Base, a U.S. military port located in theKhánh Hòa Province of South Vietnam. The bauxite ore was then loaded onto a cargo ship that would deliver the ore to an unidentified port on the East Coast of the United States. From there, the ore would be transported to the hundreds of facilities that constructed the robot birds.
These facilities are believed to be located within many of the government fallout shelters and ammunition bunkers (one of the more modern factories is located underneath the Denver International Airport.) You see, the government escalated the fears of a Nuclear War during this time period (1960s-1980s) as an excuse to build massive underground warehouses, under the disguise of being “bomb shelters.” These facilities were so massive that hundreds of workers could fit inside and construct up to 5,000 robot birds per day. There are believed to be 22 of these underground manufacturing plants and during the peak of the construction process (sometime around 1980)- upwards of 100,000 robots were being constructed each day, across all 22 bunkers. However, each of these fake fallout shelter/ robot bird construction facilities would construct a different type of bird, specific to that region. For example, in Colorado- there is a bunker near Colorado Springs that specifically builds hummingbirds, as they used to be the primary backyard bird in the state (fun fact: hummingbirds are the ideal candidate for surveillance in a tight space, as they are small yet versatile.)
Now you may be wondering,” how did the government get thousands of people to build the birds, and where are they now? Why aren’t they testifying in court to the atrocities they were forced to commit, do they not remember building all those robot birds?” My friend, that question has been debated for decades by many within the Birds Aren’t Real community.
To sum it up, they were tripping balls.
The government would send individuals to local night clubs and bars- who would then scope out a candidate who looked like they could assemble a robot bird, and would tell that person that they were having a costume party on acid. It was the 60s and 70s, where acid was more accepted than bottled water. These people were then given work overalls (their costume) and a small tab of “acid” which was actually just a piece of colored paper. The ‘acid trip’ they expected was actually the bus ride to the entrance of the bunker, where they were given a tool box and a pair of headphones that played Pink Floyd nonstop. This combination of assembling a robot bird inside a 5 story government fallout bunker led them to believe they were on the most insane trip of their life.
Many of these individuals would later be heard saying,” the craziest trip I had was back in ’76 when I met this guy who gave me this crazy tab- from then all I remember is riding through the desert for 45 minutes on the top of a sawed off school bus, then walking down a stair case into a huge warehouse that was underground, and having some guy tell me to follow some instructions and make some sort of flying robot bird.”
There you have it, the reason why so many contributed to the construction and why none of them remember.
One of the main questions we have received lately goes as follows,” hello, when did the movement begin?” Well patriot, this chapter will address that very question. It all started in 1973, a time when the Vietnam War was ending, and thousands of U.S. troops were returning home. Operation Water the Country was handed over to William Colby, the new head of the C.I.A under President Gerald Ford. Colby renamed Operation Water the Country to Operation Very Large Bird and enacted an internal rule that anyone who had worked on the original Operation Water the Country was to be released of their duties and removed from their position. It had been over 10 years since the operation had begun, and they had only managed to replace 26% of the bird population with robots. This was 35% under target, and Colby wanted to hire men and women who would get the job done faster.
This proved to be a huge mistake.
One of the men Colby fired turned out to be the first whistleblower and risked his life to share the information that you’ve been reading, his brave actions started this entire movement.
It was a cold, rainy night in November 1973, the man (who shall remain nameless as we do not know his name) showed up on the doorstep of Clark Griffin, a young teenager from San Francisco. Clark had been an outspoken activist during the tail end of the Vietnam War, and now that the war had ended (all of the Bauxite was extracted, we now know) the Master knew that Clark would need another cause to campaign. As the soft raindrops pattered on the sidewalk below, the man (who shall be referred to as ‘the Master’) knocked on the door of Mr. Griffin’s apartment- you see, the Master knew that Colby most likely had people hired to follow him, as he knew information that could take this country down- so he couldn’t be seen meeting with any members of the newspaper, or television. The Master knew that he had to share what he knew with someone young, someone bright, who could be the face of the resistance. He knew that if he tried to start the movement himself, he would never be seen again.
Clark was an outspoken activist against the Vietnam War, and now that the war had ended- the Master wanted to give him something new to campaign against- the government atrocities of the 60s and 70s surrounding the bird genocide. The Master relayed everything he knew to Clark, and secretly helped launch the first Birds Aren’t Real movement…
Griffin was absolutely shocked to learn what the Master knew- but was not surprised. He was used to fighting the all-powerful United States government, and wanted to share his new found knowledge as fast as he could… He quickly formed a team from the original members of his Pro Peace/ Anti War campaign and tasked them with travelling to various college campuses across the United States and standing on street corners and in amphitheaters in these said campuses- preaching the feathered gospel and awakening many students- quickly forming a huge activist base.
This quickly became known as “The Tour of Freedom” by Clark and his team, as they would travel from university to university in the span of a few months at a time… teaching and informing anyone who dared listen to them. When they weren’t touring, they were researching and calling politicians, trying to find at least one individual who would grant them an interview…
It only took a few months for the team to realize that their supporters had grown so large that they needed to hold a public rally to show the government just who they were dealing with, and what they were up against. They needed to show the government that they weren’t about to go down without a fight… so Clark and his team organized a rally in the nation’s capital: Washington D.C.
This rally was attended by upwards of 2,000 people, mainly supporters from various college campuses who had driven through the night just to protest and show their support, true patriots(a phrase we do not take lightly.) During the rally the secret service was ordered to confiscate any film being taken of the event, to prevent it from being aired on television. This is a shame as we now do not have any images of this historic event, but only have the words of those who attended. These rallies would be held every year following 1974 until 1993- when the government officially put an end to the first Birds Aren’t Real movement.
Clark and his team continued to campaign and build support, calling politicians (to no avail) and travelling to public forums to voice their truth. They reached a tipping point in 1987 when they attempted to release an advertisement on national television during Super Bowl 21 however, the government stepped in and confiscated the original film, banning the ad under fears of ‘compromised national security.’ Quickly after this event, the offices of the Birds Aren’t Real movement were raided by the FBI and many of the important documents given to Clark- by the Master- were confiscated and placed in a top-secret location. The team did not let this affect them, and continued to try as hard they could to spread awareness and bring the heinous crimes to light- holding rallies until 1991 when Clark Griffin disappeared during the ’91 rally in San Francisco, last seen holding a sign and marching up Market St.
Nobody has seen or heard from him since that day, a day many of us in the movement call- Blue Monday (May 6 th .) Sadly, we do not have much information on what happened between the ’91 rally and 2017, a massive amount of time that we could’ve accomplished so much for the movement… but we cannot let that get us down. We must push full steam ahead and regain all the lost ground, in an effort to take back America from those that seek to destroy it.
If you’ve made it this far, I thank you. I thank you for your dedication to learn the truth and seek justice for the innocent birds that were taken from us. I have one more subject to discuss, a parting gift if you will- the current state of the movement. As of this writing- it is August 2019. Donald Trump has used sophisticated tactics to keep our movement suppressed, he knows that he can’t regulate the internet as well as he would like to. Google, Facebook and Instagram are independent platforms, being used by the government to track and compile data from the billions of drone birds cruising the skies all across America. Instagram has begun the process of censoring our message, as they remove post after post. Other movements have sprung up all across the world, as millions of people fear that their government is also not to be trusted. While there is zero evidence to suggest that countries in Europe have enacted this process of removing birds in replace of robots, the fear is still alive and well- for good reason.
A common question that we get a lot is, how do the birds not fly out of the United States to Mexico and Canada? Great question. While the majority of the birds are programmed to not cross over into these countries, there are some that still venture into these countries for a few reasons: picking up drugs (cocaine, marijuana, etc.) for eventual delivery into the lower-class segments of our major cities. The government will do anything they can to maintain control over its citizens, even getting them hooked on drugs. Another reason is simple- keeping tabs on U.S. citizens who go on vacation. Any bird you see flying across the U.S. borders to either Mexico or Canada is simply tracking an American citizen who has travelled outside the United States. However, there is currently nothing keeping a bird from Canada or Mexico from travelling inside America, which is why there will never be a 100% robot bird population, it will most likely hover around 95%- as birds are always flying in from our neighboring countries.
This may change soon, however. In 2016 President Trump announced that if he was elected, he will ‘build a wall between Mexico and the United States.’ You may believe the mainstream media and Trump’s lies when you hear that the wall will be designed to keep illegal immigrants out of the United States, but that is false. The ‘wall’ will actually be encapsulated with thousands of microwave guns- that can track any bird entering the United States and shoot it with harsh microwaves- which destroy the birds ability to fly- and will leave it deceased in under a few hours. I hope this does not shock you too much, after all- if you’ve made it this far In the reading, your entire view on this country has been totally reframed.
History of the 9-11 Truth Movement
A movement is similar to a river: dozens of tributaries, hundreds of streams, and thousands of rivulets, all converging together. Tracing a river’s source to a single location is thus impossible. Mapping a movement is more like charting a whole river basin than following a simple stream uphill. As we look at the movement, then, it is not so much a singular thing as a many-pronged flow over complex terrain.
The 9-11 Truth Movement emerged in a time when America’s leadership in the world inspires very mixed feelings. America simultaneously stands for much that is noble and just while also acting as an unaccountable empire. Many patriotic Americans – and the rest of the world as well – are hungry for America to outgrow its Machiavellian power maneuvers and aggressive unilateralism, standing again on the principled freedoms that are built into its foundations.
On this terrain, the storm of the events of 9/11 poured a rain of death, anger, fear, and grief. This stirred compassion, as even the French declared, “We are all Americans.” The vast majority of people felt this to be the tragedy it appeared to be: terrorists versus empire, with many innocent civilians caught in the crossfire. The Bush administration used this attack as an excuse for invading Afghanistan and Iraq while diminishing rights at home and undermining treaty after treaty. In the wake of America’s grief, many tolerated these maneuvers. America was justified, it seemed, in striking out at the terrorists who had struck on its own land.
What if, though, it turns out that the official story of 9/11 is not the true story? What if hundreds of unexplained facts that have slowly accumulated point to something decidedly darker – a deceit on an almost unprecedented scale?
What if forces within America’s own government were complicit, or, even worse, involved in orchestrating the “attacks,” to give carte blanche for a program of military dominance, economic exploitation, and domestic control?
For most, this is, at first, an almost unthinkable thought. It shakes bedrock foundations and beliefs. And yet, the preponderance of unexplained facts points to just that view of the events of 9/11. It is the discovery, accumulation, and analysis of these unexplained facts that have gradually brought together tens of thousands of people into a movement.
The majority of people in the movement did not smell deceit on that fateful day, but some did. Where were the fighter planes, they wondered? Why was Bush behaving in such a bizarre fashion, listening to the story of a pet goat while the towers were in flames? Why did news reports say that Flight 93 was shot down and then change the story later? Why didn’t the Pentagon defend itself?
Most of us, however, suspected nothing. Gradually, though, anomalous evidence began to accumulate and we were exposed to it:
- Building 7 of the WTC, rubbled without even being hit
- Structural analyses that said the towers should not have fallen from a fire alone
- Clear warningsin advance that were ignored
- A pattern of secrecy, denial, and retribution for those in the FBI, CIA, and administration who warned about the pending attacks
- Unusual patterns of debris, strewn over miles, making it appear that Flight 93 was shot down, despite official government reports
- Insider stock trades that made millions off selling American and United short, trade whose origins were not fully investigated
- Advance warnings to key politicians and business leaders not to fly that day
- The quick exit of the extended Bin Laden family from the country with full governmental protection.
- Families of the victims being stonewalled or silenced
- Evidence that the Pakistan ISI wired $100,000 to Mohammed Atta, one of the orchestrators, right around the time ISI chief Gen. Mahmoud was meeting with American political leaders days before the attack.
- Anthrax attacks of suspicious origin, putting the US Congress into a state of fear right before passage of the Patriot Act
Intrepid independent journalists, videographers, activists, and researchers began to string these pieces of evidence together, scrutinizing each to see whether they offered clues to the real truth. Families of victims banded together as they began to feel that the government wanted to silence their questions and stifle their inquiries. Websites sprang up, slowly at first, then by the dozens. Researchers began to network together. Groundbreaking videos emerged. Then books. Conferences. Legal actions. Citizen’s inquiries. Alliances.
The mainstream press is now starting to wake up to the possibility that we could have a scandal on our hands that would dwarf any previous scandal of a sitting president. Many are seeing that the prison torture scandal at Abu Ghraib, CIA leaks, and the pattern of administration secrecy and lies all point back to that fateful day of September 11th, which has been used an excuse for many breaches of honorable conduct.
In the months and years ahead, America will be challenged to reclaim the best of its ideals and take the step of looking into the shadows of American power and its relationship to the events of 9/11. Our world cannot be safe and secure until the truth is known. We ask you to study the evidence, draw your own conclusions, and spread the word that gaps, inconsistencies, and outright lies simply must be addressed for America to stand in integrity again.
It is generally assumed that the pro-life movement in America grew out of the Supreme Court’s 1973 decision in Roe vs. Wade. This is not true. Long before Roe, pro-abortion forces were working in the legislatures of several states and pro-life organizations had already been formed to resist them.
However, even those groups were not the first ones to work in opposition to abortion.
In the mid-60s, many of the more activist-oriented civil rights leaders were alerting their followers that the efforts to legalize abortion were part of a larger agenda designed to reduce or eradicate minority populations. Primarily, these people were associated with organizations like the Black Panther Party and the Nation of Islam. By the late 60s and early 70s, the actions of some of these groups had caused them to become marginalized in the minds of most Americans, and their warnings about the connection between racism and the legalization of abortion were ignored.
By the end of 1972, many other pro-life organizations had been formed with the vast majority being either associated with Catholic organizations or, at least, run by Catholic people. However, when the Supreme Court issued Roe vs. Wade in January of 1973, the conventional wisdom within the media and the political community became that the abortion issue was settled once and for all. These “experts” believed that the fledgling pro-life movement would soon see the futility of their cause and simply fade away.
“Court Settles Abortion Issue”
— Headline from the Milwaukee Journal
January 24, 1973
“So the abortion issue is settled, so far as the courts are concerned.”
— Article Court Stands Firm on Abortion
March 27, 1974
“I hope the abortion issue is settled now once and for all and we do not have to open the floor (of the legislature) to lengthy and emotional speeches. We have other more pressing business to consider.”
— Sen. Kenneth Myers
(On Roe V Wade Decision)
Of course, that never happened and the movement continued to grow. By the mid 1980s, however, it had become stagnant. On the political front, support for the pro-life position was widespread but mostly rhetorical. This meant that meaningful legislative progress was spotty at best. Meanwhile, the abortion industry’s business model seemed to be in good shape and the abortion rate was climbing.
About this time, a new pro-life initiative was being launched. Called Operation Rescue, it was primarily made up of people who were freshly convicted of the pro-life cause and determined to make up for their past inaction. Their strategy was to end abortion by physically blockading the nation’s abortion clinics and if that meant going to jail, it was a price they were willing to pay.
An important aspect of Operation Rescue was that it was not dominated by Catholics. For the first time, a message was being sent that Catholics were no longer going to have to carry the load all by themselves. This influx into the pro-life movement by non-Catholics was accelerated by the rise of organizations like the Moral Majority and Christian Coalition.
Almost overnight, the anti-abortion fire-in-the-belly was relit. In a very real sense, Operation Rescue was not only rescuing babies, it was rescuing the pro-life movement. But like most things that burn white hot, the commitment to blockading clinics burned out relatively quickly. It was soon clear that, in order for Operation Rescue to survive, it would have to embrace different tactics. Because it did so, many of the “replacement troops” it brought into the movement are still active.
By the beginning of the 1990s, the picture was becoming bleak. There were over 2100 free-standing abortion clinics in the United States and they were doing more than 1.7 million abortions annually. Public opinion polls were showing that the abortion lobby had built up a significant lead over the pro-life movement with the gap often being as much as two-to-one. Meanwhile, the nation’s largest chain of abortion clinics, Planned Parenthood, was receiving hundreds-of-millions in taxpayer dollars.
Even within the pro-life community, there was a growing perception that the opposition forces were unstoppable. Then in November of 1992, the picture became even darker when Bill Clinton was elected President and immediately set out to pay off the political debts he had run up with the abortion lobby.
As they had done in 1973, the mainstream media and the political pundits again declared the end of the pro-life movement. The consensus among these “experts” was that the political and judicial environment being created by the Clinton administration would finally put this controversy to rest. And once again, the experts were wrong. Not only did the pro-life movement survive, it prospered.
Today, because of pressure brought by the pro-life movement, the number of abortion clinics has plummeted to less than 650 nationwide and they continue to shut down at an increasing rate. This has been accompanied by a drop in the abortion rate to about one million per year. In addition, public sentiment is now showing a dramatic shift toward the pro-life position. For the first time, polls are consistently finding that more people label themselves “pro-life” than “pro-choice” – sometimes by a wide margin.
Polls are also showing that the highest percentage of pro-life responses come from people in the youngest age groups. Within this group, there is a growing awareness that at least one-fourth of their generation has been wiped-out by abortion, and they are starting to view anyone born after January 1973 as an abortion survivor. These observations have caused these young people to have a closer and more personal connection to the unborn than has ever been seen in the past.
The pro-life movement is also experiencing a significant increase in the number of African-Americans coming onboard. This is being driven by a growing unease within the Black community that the 1960s civil rights activists may have been right when they warned that there was a hidden racial agenda behind the legalization of abortion. Like the younger age group mentioned above, these people are bringing with them an excitement and an energy that the movement has needed for years. It is also true that other demographic groups who do not fit the traditional pro-life stereotype are starting to get involved.
Another major factor in the resurgence of the pro-life movement has been the effect of technology in two crucial areas. First, the most likely explanation for the explosion of young people coming into the pro-life movement is that they grew up seeing ultrasound images of the unborn. In fact, many of them have actually seen sonogram images of themselves before they were born. This has forever crippled the abortion lobby’s ability to characterize the unborn child as nothing more than a clump of cells. Additionally, with each advance in this technology, the abortion lobby’s arguments become even harder to sell.
The second area in which technology has been a game-changer is the internet. It is certainly no secret that the American media has always been dominated by hardcore abortion supporters who are seldom reluctant to use their position to push that agenda. For years, this media bias allowed the abortion lobby to tightly control what the public knew and didn’t know about abortion. But when the internet became a reality, the media lost its monopoly on the flow of information. And it is no coincidence that, once the media could no longer unilaterally manipulate public opinion, the American people began to have profound second thoughts about legalized abortion.
The bottom line is that, right now, there are more dedicated pro-life people on the frontlines of the battle that ever before. And they serve in many capacities. Some work in the legislative process while others focus on trying to influence public opinion. There are those who operate pregnancy resource centers or provide sidewalk counseling to women going into abortion clinics. Still others have taken on the responsibility of providing financial support for the movement. Whether they can give five dollars to the cause or five million, these people are doing their part to make sure that the pro-life effort has the resources it needs.
For more than 40 years, the American pro-life community has been a testament to the power of two things: prayer and persistence. There is no denying that it still has a long way to go, but the fact is that almost 2,000 fewer babies are now being killed per day than were being killed 20 years ago. Without a doubt, this is the most important sign that the pro-life movement is winning. It has the momentum, it is bigger and stronger than ever, it is becoming more diverse everyday, and it has proven that it can succeed even against the most overwhelming odds.
The history of Christianity
Christianity began as a movement within Judaism at a period when the Jews had long been dominated culturally and politically by foreign powers and had found in their religion (rather than in their politics or cultural achievements) the linchpin of their community. From Amos (8th century bce ) onward the religion of Israel was marked by tension between the concept of monotheism, with its universal ideal of salvation (for all nations), and the notion of God’s special choice of Israel. In the Hellenistic Age (323 bce –3rd century ce ), the dispersion of the Jews throughout the kingdoms of the eastern Mediterranean and the Roman Empire reinforced this universalistic tendency. But the attempts of foreign rulers, especially the Syrian king Antiochus IV Epiphanes (in 168–165 bce ), to impose Greek culture in Palestine provoked zealous resistance on the part of many Jews, leading to the revolt of Judas Maccabeus against Antiochus. In Palestinian Judaism the predominant note was separation and exclusiveness. Jewish missionaries to other areas were strictly expected to impose the distinctive Jewish customs of circumcision, kosher food, and Sabbaths and other festivals. Other Jews, however, were not so exclusive, welcoming Greek culture and accepting converts without requiring circumcision.
The relationship of the earliest Christian churches to Judaism turned principally on two questions: (1) the messianic role of Jesus of Nazareth and (2) the permanent validity of the Mosaic Law for all.
The Hebrew Scriptures presented history as the stage of a providential drama eventually ending in a triumph of God over all present sources of frustration (e.g., foreign domination or the sins of Israel). God’s rule would be established by an anointed prince, or Messiah (from mashiaḥ, “anointed”), of the line of David, king of Israel in the 10th century bce . The proper course of action leading to the consummation of the drama, however, was the subject of some disagreement. Among the diverse groups were the aristocratic and conservative Sadducees, who accepted only the five books of Moses (the Pentateuch) and whose lives and political power were intimately associated with Temple worship, and the Pharisees, who accepted the force of oral tradition and were widely respected for their learning and piety. The Pharisees not only accepted biblical books outside the Pentateuch but also embraced doctrines—such as those on resurrection and the existence of angels—of recent acceptance in Judaism, many of which were derived from apocalyptic expectations that the consummation of history would be heralded by God’s intervention in the affairs of men in dramatic, cataclysmic terms. The Great Sanhedrin (central council) at Jerusalem was made up of both Pharisees and Sadducees. The Zealots were aggressive revolutionaries known for their violent opposition to Rome and its polytheisms. Other groups were the Herodians, supporters of the client kingdom of the Herods (a dynasty that supported Rome) and abhorrent to the Zealots, and the Essenes, a quasi-monastic dissident group, probably including the sect that preserved the Dead Sea Scrolls. This latter sect did not participate in the Temple worship at Jerusalem and observed another religious calendar, and from their desert retreat they awaited divine intervention and searched prophetic writings for signs indicating the consummation.
What relation the followers of Jesus had to some of these groups is not clear. In the canonical Gospels (those accepted as authentic by the church) the main targets of criticism are the scribes and Pharisees, whose attachment to the tradition of Judaism is presented as legalistic and pettifogging. The Sadducees and Herodians likewise receive an unfriendly portrait. The Essenes are never mentioned. Simon, one of Jesus’ 12 disciples, was or had once been a Zealot. Jesus probably stood close to the Pharisees.
Under the social and political conditions of the time, there could be no long future either for the Sadducees or for the Zealots: their attempts to make apocalyptic dreams effective led to the desolation of Judaea and the destruction of the Temple after the two major Jewish revolts against the Romans in 66–70 and 132–135. The choice for many Jews, who were barred from Jerusalem after 135, thus lay between the Pharisees and the emerging Christian movement. Pharisaism as enshrined in the Mishna (oral law) and the Talmud (commentary on and addition to the oral law) became normative Judaism. By looking to the Gentile (non-Jewish) world and carefully dissociating itself from the Zealot revolutionaries and the Pharisees, Christianity made possible its ideal of a world religion, at the price of sacrificing Jewish particularity and exclusiveness. The fact that Christianity has never succeeded in gaining the allegiance of more than a small minority of Jews is more a mystery to theologians than to historians.
Civil Rights History Instruction
Prompted by reports showing that American students knew little about the modern civil rights movement, Learning for Justice launched an investigation into the social studies standards states expected teachers to teach and students to learn. We found that few states emphasize the movement or provide classroom support for teaching this history effectively.
From our research comes this set of teaching principles and curriculum rehabilitation tools. This framework is perfect for history educators who want to improve upon the simplified "King-and-Parks" narrative and engage this critical content at the level of depth it deserves.
The March Continues: Five Essential Practices for Teaching the Civil Rights Movement provides a set of principles for educators who want to improve upon the simplified King-and-Parks-centered narrative many state standards offer.
Civil Rights Done Right: A Tool for Teaching the Movement includes five discrete steps for building robust, meaningful lessons that cultivate a deeper understanding of civil rights history.
History of the Women’s Rights Movement
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” That was Margaret Mead’s conclusion after a lifetime of observing very diverse cultures around the world. Her insight has been borne out time and again throughout the development of this country of ours. Being allowed to live life in an atmosphere of religious freedom, having a voice in the government you support with your taxes, living free of lifelong enslavement by another person. These beliefs about how life should and must be lived were once considered outlandish by many. But these beliefs were fervently held by visionaries whose steadfast work brought about changed minds and attitudes. Now these beliefs are commonly shared across U.S. society.
Another initially outlandish idea that has come to pass: United States citizenship for women. 1998 marked the 150th Anniversary of a movement by women to achieve full civil rights in this country. Over the past seven generations, dramatic social and legal changes have been accomplished that are now so accepted that they go unnoticed by people whose lives they have utterly changed. Many people who have lived through the recent decades of this process have come to accept blithely what has transpired. And younger people, for the most part, can hardly believe life was ever otherwise. They take the changes completely in stride, as how life has always been.
The staggering changes for women that have come about over those seven generations in family life, in religion, in government, in employment, in education – these changes did not just happen spontaneously. Women themselves made these changes happen, very deliberately. Women have not been the passive recipients of miraculous changes in laws and human nature. Seven generations of women have come together to affect these changes in the most democratic ways: through meetings, petition drives, lobbying, public speaking, and nonviolent resistance. They have worked very deliberately to create a better world, and they have succeeded hugely.
Throughout 1998, the 150th anniversary of the Women’s Rights Movement is being celebrated across the nation with programs and events taking every form imaginable. Like many amazing stories, the history of the Women’s Rights Movement began with a small group of people questioning why human lives were being unfairly constricted.
A Tea Launches a Revolution
The Women’s Rights Movement marks July 13, 1848 as its beginning. On that sweltering summer day in upstate New York, a young housewife and mother, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, was invited to tea with four women friends. When the course of their conversation turned to the situation of women, Stanton poured out her discontent with the limitations placed on her own situation under America’s new democracy. Hadn’t the American Revolution had been fought just 70 years earlier to win the patriots freedom from tyranny? But women had not gained freedom even though they’d taken equally tremendous risks through those dangerous years. Surely the new republic would benefit from having its women play more active roles throughout society. Stanton’s friends agreed with her, passionately. This was definitely not the first small group of women to have such a conversation, but it was the first to plan and carry out a specific, large-scale program.
Today we are living the legacy of this afternoon conversation among women friends. Throughout 1998, events celebrating the 150th Anniversary of the Women’s Rights Movement are looking at the massive changes these women set in motion when they daringly agreed to convene the world’s first Women’s Rights Convention.
Within two days of their afternoon tea together, this small group had picked a date for their convention, found a suitable location, and placed a small announcement in the Seneca County Courier. They called “A convention to discuss the social, civil, and religious condition and rights of woman.” The gathering would take place at the Wesleyan Chapel in Seneca Falls on July 19 and 20, 1848.
In the history of western civilization, no similar public meeting had ever been called.
A “Declaration of Sentiments” is Drafted
These were patriotic women, sharing the ideal of improving the new republic. They saw their mission as helping the republic keep its promise of better, more egalitarian lives for its citizens. As the women set about preparing for the event, Elizabeth Cady Stanton used the Declaration of Independence as the framework for writing what she titled a “Declaration of Sentiments.” In what proved to be a brilliant move, Stanton connected the nascent campaign for women’s rights directly to that powerful American symbol of liberty. The same familiar words framed their arguments: “We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men and women are created equal that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
In this Declaration of Sentiments, Stanton carefully enumerated areas of life where women were treated unjustly. Eighteen was precisely the number of grievances America’s revolutionary forefathers had listed in their Declaration of Independence from England.
Stanton’s version read, “The history of mankind is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations on the part of man toward woman, having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over her. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.” Then it went into specifics:
- Married women were legally dead in the eyes of the law
- Women were not allowed to vote
- Women had to submit to laws when they had no voice in their formation
- Married women had no property rights
- Husbands had legal power over and responsibility for their wives to the extent that they could imprison or beat them with impunity
- Divorce and child custody laws favored men, giving no rights to women
- Women had to pay property taxes although they had no representation in the levying of these taxes
- Most occupations were closed to women and when women did work they were paid only a fraction of what men earned
- Women were not allowed to enter professions such as medicine or law
- Women had no means to gain an education since no college or university would accept women students
- With only a few exceptions, women were not allowed to participate in the affairs of the church
- Women were robbed of their self-confidence and self-respect, and were made totally dependent on men
Strong words… Large grievances… And remember: This was just seventy years after the Revolutionary War. Doesn’t it seem surprising to you that this unfair treatment of women was the norm in this new, very idealistic democracy? But this Declaration of Sentiments spelled out what was the status quo for European-American women in 1848 America, while it was even worse for enslaved Black women.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s draft continued: “Now, in view of this entire disenfranchisement of one-half the people of this country, their social and religious degradation, — in view of the unjust laws above mentioned, and because women do feel themselves aggrieved, oppressed, and fraudulently deprived of their most sacred rights, we insist that they have immediate admission to all the rights and privileges which belong to them as citizens of these United States.”
That summer, change was in the air and Elizabeth Cady Stanton was full of hope that the future could and would be brighter for women.
The First Women’s Rights Convention
The convention was convened as planned, and over the two-days of discussion, the Declaration of Sentiments and 12 resolutions received unanimous endorsement, one by one, with a few amendments. The only resolution that did not pass unanimously was the call for women’s enfranchisement. That women should be allowed to vote in elections was almost inconceivable to many. Lucretia Mott, Stanton’s longtime friend, had been shocked when Stanton had first suggested such an idea. And at the convention, heated debate over the woman’s vote filled the air.
Today, it’s hard for us to imagine this, isn’t it? Even the heartfelt pleas of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, a refined and educated woman of the time, did not move the assembly. Not until Frederick Douglass, the noted Black abolitionist and rich orator, started to speak, did the uproar subside. Woman, like the slave, he argued, had the right to liberty. “Suffrage,” he asserted, “is the power to choose rulers and make laws, and the right by which all others are secured.” In the end, the resolution won enough votes to carry, but by a bare majority.
The Declaration of Sentiments ended on a note of complete realism: “In entering upon the great work before us, we anticipate no small amount of misconception, misrepresentation, and ridicule but we shall use every instrumentality within our power to effect our object. We shall employ agents, circulate tracts, petition the State and national Legislatures, and endeavor to enlist the pulpit and the press in our behalf. We hope this Convention will be followed by a series of Conventions, embracing every part of the country.”
The Backlash Begins
Stanton was certainly on the mark when she anticipated “misconception, misrepresentation, and ridicule.” Newspaper editors were so scandalized by the shameless audacity of the Declaration of Sentiments, and particularly of the ninth resolution — women demanding the vote!– that they attacked the women with all the vitriol they could muster. The women’s rights movement was only one day old and the backlash had already begun!
In ridicule, the entire text of the Declaration of Sentiments was often published, with the names of the signers frequently included. Just as ridicule today often has a squelching effect on new ideas, this attack in the press caused many people from the Convention to rethink their positions. Many of the women who had attended the convention were so embarrassed by the publicity that they actually withdrew their signatures from the Declaration. But most stood firm. And something the editors had not anticipated happened: Their negative articles about the women’s call for expanded rights were so livid and widespread that they actually had a positive impact far beyond anything the organizers could have hoped for. People in cities and isolated towns alike were now alerted to the issues, and joined this heated discussion of women’s rights in great numbers!
The Movement Expands
The Seneca Falls women had optimistically hoped for “a series of conventions embracing every part of the country.” And that’s just what did happen. Women’s Rights Conventions were held regularly from 1850 until the start of the Civil War. Some drew such large crowds that people actually had to be turned away for lack of sufficient meeting space!
The women’s rights movement of the late 19th century went on to address the wide range of issues spelled out at the Seneca Falls Convention. Elizabeth Cady Stanton and women like Susan B. Anthony, Lucy Stone, and Sojourner Truth traveled the country lecturing and organizing for the next forty years. Eventually, winning the right to vote emerged as the central issue, since the vote would provide the means to achieve the other reforms. All told, the campaign for woman suffrage met such staunch opposition that it took 72 years for the women and their male supporters to be successful.
As you might imagine, any 72-year campaign includes thousands of political strategists, capable organizers, administrators, activists and lobbyists. The story of diligent women’s rights activism is a litany of achievements against tremendous odds, of ingenious strategies and outrageous tactics used to outwit opponents and make the most of limited resources. It’s a dramatic tale, filled with remarkable women facing down incredible obstacles to win that most basic American civil right – the vote.
Among these women are several activists whose names and and accomplishments should become as familiar to Americans as those of Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King, Jr.
- Elizabeth Cady Stanton, of course. And Susan B. Anthony. Matilda Joslyn Gage. Lucy Stone. They were pioneer theoreticians of the 19th-century women’s rights movement.
- Esther Morris, the first woman to hold a judicial position, who led the first successful state campaign for woman suffrage, in Wyoming in 1869. Abigail Scott Duniway, the leader of the successful fight in Oregon and Washington in the early 1900s.
- Ida B. Wells-Barnett and Mary Church Terrell, organizers of thousands of African-American women who worked for suffrage for all women.
- Harriot Stanton Blatch, daughter of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Alice Stone Blackwell, Lucy Stone’s daughter, who carried on their mothers’ legacy through the next generation.
- Anna Howard Shaw and Carrie Chapman Catt, leaders of the National American Woman Suffrage Association in the early years of the 20th century, who brought the campaign to its final success.
- Alice Paul, founder and leader of the National Woman’s Party, considered the radical wing of the movement.
- Ruth Bader Ginsburg, now a Supreme Court Justice, learned the story of the Women’s Rights Movement. Today she says, “I think about how much we owe to the women who went before us – legions of women, some known but many more unknown. I applaud the bravery and resilience of those who helped all of us – you and me – to be here today.”
After the Vote was Won
After the vote was finally won in 1920, the organized Women’s Rights Movement continued on in several directions. While the majority of women who had marched, petitioned and lobbied for woman suffrage looked no further, a minority – like Alice Paul – understood that the quest for women’s rights would be an ongoing struggle that was only advanced, not satisfied, by the vote.
In 1919, as the suffrage victory drew near, the National American Woman Suffrage Association reconfigured itself into the League of Women Voters to ensure that women would take their hard-won vote seriously and use it wisely.
In 1920, the Women’s Bureau of the Department of Labor was established to gather information about the situation of women at work, and to advocate for changes it found were needed. Many suffragists became actively involved with lobbying for legislation to protect women workers from abuse and unsafe conditions.
In 1923, Alice Paul, the leader of the National Woman’s Party, took the next obvious step. She drafted an Equal Rights Amendment for the United States Constitution. Such a federal law, it was argued, would ensure that “Men and women have equal rights throughout the United States.” A constitutional amendment would apply uniformly, regardless of where a person lived.
The second wing of the post-suffrage movement was one that had not been explicitly anticipated in the Seneca Falls “Declaration of Sentiments.” It was the birth control movement, initiated by a public health nurse, Margaret Sanger, just as the suffrage drive was nearing its victory. The idea of woman’s right to control her own body, and especially to control her own reproduction and sexuality, added a visionary new dimension to the ideas of women’s emancipation. This movement not only endorsed educating women about existing birth control methods. It also spread the conviction that meaningful freedom for modern women meant they must be able to decide for themselves whether they would become mothers, and when. For decades, Margaret Sanger and her supporters faced down at every turn the zealously enforced laws denying women this right. In 1936, a Supreme Court decision declassified birth control information as obscene. Still, it was not until 1965 that married couples in all states could obtain contraceptives legally.
The Second Wave
So it’s clear that, contrary to common misconception, the Women’s Rights Movement did not begin in the 1960s. What occurred in the 1960s was actually a second wave of activism that washed into the public consciousness, fueled by several seemingly independent events of that turbulent decade. Each of these events brought a different segment of the population into the movement.
First: Esther Peterson was the director of the Women’s Bureau of the Dept. of Labor in 1961. She considered it to be the government’s responsibility to take an active role in addressing discrimination against women. With her encouragement, President Kennedy convened a Commission on the Status of Women, naming Eleanor Roosevelt as its chair. The report issued by that commission in 1963 documented discrimination against women in virtually every area of American life. State and local governments quickly followed suit and established their own commissions for women, to research conditions and recommend changes that could be initiated.
Then: In 1963, Betty Friedan published a landmark book, The Feminine Mystique. The Feminine Mystique evolved out of a survey she had conducted for her 20-year college reunion. In it she documented the emotional and intellectual oppression that middle-class educated women were experiencing because of limited life options. The book became an immediate bestseller, and inspired thousands of women to look for fulfillment beyond the role of homemaker.
Next: Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act was passed, prohibiting employment discrimination on the basis of sex as well as race, religion, and national origin. The category “sex” was included as a last-ditch effort to kill the bill. But it passed, nevertheless. With its passage, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission was established to investigate discrimination complaints. Within the commission’s first five years, it received 50,000 sex discrimination complaints. But it was quickly obvious that the commission was not very interested in pursuing these complaints. Betty Friedan, the chairs of the various state Commissions on the Status of Women, and other feminists agreed to form a civil rights organization for women similar to the NAACP. In 1966, the National Organization for Women was organized, soon to be followed by an array of other mass-membership organizations addressing the needs of specific groups of women, including Blacks, Latinas, Asians-Americans, lesbians, welfare recipients, business owners, aspiring politicians, and tradeswomen and professional women of every sort.
During this same time, thousands of young women on college campuses were playing active roles within the anti-war and civil rights movement. At least,that was their intention. Many were finding their efforts blocked by men who felt leadership of these movements was their own province, and that women’s roles should be limited to fixing food and running mimeograph machines. It wasn’t long before these young women began forming their own “women’s liberation” organizations to address their role and status within these progressive movements and within society at large.
New Issues Come to the Fore
These various elements of the re-emerging Women’s Rights Movement worked together and separately on a wide range of issues. Small groups of women in hundreds of communities worked on grassroots projects like establishing women’s newspapers, bookstores and cafes. They created battered women’s shelters and rape crisis hotlines to care for victims of sexual abuse and domestic violence. They came together to form child care centers so women could work outside their homes for pay. Women health care professionals opened women’s clinics to provide birth control and family planning counseling — and to offer abortion services — for low-income women. These clinics provided a safe place to discuss a wide range of health concerns and experiment with alternative forms of treatment.
With the inclusion of Title IX in the Education Codes of 1972, equal access to higher education and to professional schools became the law. The long-range effect of that one straightforward legal passage beginning “Equal access to education programs…,” has been simply phenomenal. The number of women doctors, lawyers, engineers, architects and other professionals has doubled and doubled again as quotas actually limiting women’s enrollment in graduate schools were outlawed. Athletics has probably been the most hotly contested area of Title IX, and it’s been one of the hottest areas of improvement, too. The rise in girls’ and women’s participation in athletics tells the story: One in twenty-seven high school girls played sports 25 years ago one in three do today. The whole world saw how much American women athletes could achieve during the last few Olympic Games, measured in their astonishing numbers of gold, silver, and bronze medals. This was another very visible result of Title IX.
In society at large, the Women’s Rights Movement has brought about measurable changes, too. In 1972, 26% of men and women said they would not vote for a woman for president. In 1996, that sentiment had plummeted to just over 5% for women and to 8% for men. The average age of women when they first marry has moved from twenty to twenty-four during that same period.
But perhaps the most dramatic impact of the women’s rights movement of the past few decades has been women’s financial liberation. Do you realize that just 25 years ago married women were not issued credit cards in their own name? That most women could not get a bank loan without a male co-signer? That women working full time earned fifty-nine cents to every dollar earned by men?
Help-wanted ads in newspapers were segregated into “Help wanted – women” and “Help wanted- men.” Pages and pages of jobs were announced for which women could not even apply. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruled this illegal in 1968, but since the EEOC had little enforcement power, most newspapers ignored the requirement for years. The National Organization for Women (NOW), had to argue the issue all the way to the Supreme Court to make it possible for a woman today to hold any job for which she is qualified. And so now we see women in literally thousands of occupations which would have been almost unthinkable just one generation ago: dentist, bus driver, veterinarian, airline pilot, and phone installer, just to name a few.
Many of these changes came about because of legislation and court cases pushed by women’s organizations. But many of the advances women achieved in the 1960s and s were personal: getting husbands to help with the housework or regularly take responsibility for family meals getting a long-deserved promotion at work gaining the financial and emotional strength to leave an abusive partner.
The Equal Rights Amendment Is Re-Introduced
Then, in 1972, the Equal Rights Amendment, which had languished in Congress for almost fifty years, was finally passed and sent to the states for ratification. The wording of the ERA was simple: “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.” To many women’s rights activists, its ratification by the required thirty-eight states seemed almost a shoo-in.
The campaign for state ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment provided the opportunity for millions of women across the nation to become actively involved in the Women’s Rights Movement in their own communities. Unlike so many other issues which were battled-out in Congress or through the courts, this issue came to each state to decide individually. Women’s organizations of every stripe organized their members to help raise money and generate public support for the ERA. Marches were staged in key states that brought out hundreds of thousands of supporters. House meetings, walk-a-thons, door-to-door canvassing, and events of every imaginable kind were held by ordinary women, many of whom had never done anything political in their lives before. Generous checks and single dollar bills poured into the campaign headquarters, and the ranks of NOW and other women’s rights organizations swelled to historic sizes. Every women’s magazine and most general interest publications had stories on the implications of the ERA, and the progress of the ratification campaign.
But Elizabeth Cady Stanton proved prophetic once again. Remember her prediction that the movement should “anticipate no small amount of misconception, misrepresentation, and ridicule”? Opponents of the Equal Rights Amendment, organized by Phyllis Schlafly, feared that a statement like the ERA in the Constitution would give the government too much control over our personal lives. They charged that passage of the ERA would lead to men abandoning their families, unisex toilets, gay marriages, and women being drafted. And the media, purportedly in the interest of balanced reporting, gave equal weight to these deceptive arguments just as they had when the possibility of women winning voting rights was being debated. And, just like had happened with woman suffrage, there were still very few women in state legislatures to vote their support, so male legislators once again had it in their power to decide if women should have equal rights. When the deadline for ratification came in 1982, the ERA was just three states short of the 38 needed to write it into the U.S. constitution. Seventy-five percent of the women legislators in those three pivotal states supported the ERA, but only 46% of the men voted to ratify.
Despite polls consistently showing a large majority of the population supporting the ERA, it was considered by many politicians to be just too controversial. Historically speaking, most if not all the issues of the women’s rights movement have been highly controversial when they were first voiced. Allowing women to go to college? That would shrink their reproductive organs! Employ women in jobs for pay outside their homes? That would destroy families! Cast votes in national elections? Why should they bother themselves with such matters? Participate in sports? No lady would ever want to perspire! These and other issues that were once considered scandalous and unthinkable are now almost universally accepted in this country.
More Complex Issues Surface
Significant progress has been made regarding the topics discussed at the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848. The people attending that landmark discussion would not even have imagined the issues of the Women’s Rights Movement in the 1990s. Much of the discussion has moved beyond the issue of equal rights and into territory that is controversial, even among feminists. To name a few:
- Women’s reproductive rights. Whether or not women can terminate pregnancies is still controversial twenty-five years after the Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade affirmed women’s choice during the first two trimesters.
- Women’s enrollment in military academies and service in active combat. Are these desirable?
- Women in leadership roles in religious worship. Controversial for some, natural for others.
- Affirmative action. Is help in making up for past discrimination appropriate? Do qualified women now face a level playing field?
- The mommy track. Should businesses accommodate women’s family responsibilities, or should women compete evenly for advancement with men, most of whom still assume fewer family obligations?
- Pornography. Is it degrading, even dangerous, to women, or is it simply a free speech issue?
- Sexual harassment. Just where does flirting leave off and harassment begin?
- Surrogate motherhood. Is it simply the free right of a woman to hire out her womb for this service?
- Social Security benefits allocated equally for homemakers and their working spouses, to keep surviving wives from poverty as widows.
Today, young women proudly calling themselves “the third wave” are confronting these and other thorny issues. While many women may still be hesitant to call themselves “feminist” because of the ever-present backlash, few would give up the legacy of personal freedoms and expanded opportunities women have won over the last 150 years. Whatever choices we make for our own lives, most of us envision a world for our daughters, nieces and granddaughters where all girls and women will have the opportunity to develop their unique skills and talents and pursue their dreams.
1998: Living the Legacy
In the 150 years since that first, landmark Women’s Rights Convention, women have made clear progress in the areas addressed by Elizabeth Cady Stanton in her revolutionary Declaration of Sentiments. Not only have women won the right to vote we are being elected to public office at all levels of government. Jeannette Rankin was the first woman elected to Congress, in 1916. By 1971, three generations later, women were still less than three percent of our congressional representatives. Today women hold only 11% of the seats in Congress, and 21% of the state legislative seats. Yet, in the face of such small numbers, women have successfully changed thousands of local, state, and federal laws that had limited women’s legal status and social roles.
In the world of work, large numbers of women have entered the professions, the trades, and businesses of every kind. We have opened the ranks of the clergy, the military, the newsroom. More than three million women now work in occupations considered “nontraditional” until very recently.
We’ve accomplished so much, yet a lot still remains to be done. Substantial barriers to the full equality of America’s women still remain before our freedom as a Nation can be called complete. But the Women’s Rights Movement has clearly been successful in irrevocably changing the circumstances and hopes of women. The remaining injustices are being tackled daily in the courts and conference rooms, the homes and organizations, workplaces and playing fields of America.
Women and girls today are living the legacy of women’s rights that seven generations of women before us have given their best to achieve. Alice Paul, that intrepid organizer who first wrote out the Equal Rights Amendment in 1923, said, “I always feel the movement is sort of a mosaic. Each of us puts in one little stone, and then you get a great mosaic at the end.” Women, acting together, adding their small stones to the grand mosaic, have increased their rights against all odds, nonviolently, from an initial position of powerlessness. We have a lot to be proud of in this heroic legacy, and a great deal to celebrate on the occasion of the 150th Anniversary of the founding of the Women’s Rights Movement.
© By Bonnie Eisenberg and Mary Ruthsdotter, the National Women’s History Alliance. 1998
History of Social Movements in the United States
The history of the United States provides rich examples for social movements and movement building. Below are some resources that you might find useful for a historical outline of modern social movements in the US.
The Labor Movement
See also: NPR’s history of the labor movement
o United Auto Workers
o Industrial Workers of the World
The Women’s Movement
See also History.com’s resources on Second Wave Feminism
o National/American Women’s Suffrage Movement
o Women Strike for Peace
o National Organization for Women (NOW)
o New York Radical Women
o Ms. Foundation for Women
o The White House Project
The Civil Rights Movement
o National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
o Southern Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC)
o Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC)
o Congress of Racial Equality (CORE)
The Student Movement
o Students for a Democratic Society (SDS)
o Revolutionary Youth Movement/Weather Underground
o Mattachine Society
o Gay Liberation Front
Modern Conservative Movement
o Save Our Children
o Focus on the Family
o Tea Party Patriots
o John Birch Society
Occupy Wall Street
The OWS movement that spread across the country this fall brought the term “income inequality” into the national vocabulary. Here are some useful resources for more information about the movement.
A HuffingtonPost interview with historian Robert Cohen on the protest as it stands in context with other modern social movements
A map of the actions and events that took place across the globe in support or connection with the movement.
In the spring of 2010 we witnessed revolution in the Middle East. What began in Tahrir Square in Egypt in January of that year, quickly spread across the region. The season of uprisings and protests against authoritarian regimes became known as the “Arab Spring”, but the movement continues today. Below are some resources that may be useful in explaining what is happening abroad.