June and Jennifer Gibbons were identical twins. They became known as "The Silent Twins" since they only communicated with each other.
Shortly after their birth in Barbados, their family moved to Wales. The twin sisters were inseparable and their particular high-speed Bajan Creole made it difficult for people to understand them.
As the only black children in the community, they were ostracized at school.
This proved traumatic for the twins, eventually causing their school to dismiss them early each day so that they might avoid bullying. Their language became even more idiosyncratic at this time. Soon it was unintelligible to others.
When the twins turned 14, a succession of therapists tried unsuccessfully to get them to communicate with others.
They were sent to separate boarding schools in an attempt to break their isolation.
When reunited, the two spent several years isolating themselves in their bedroom. Inspired by a pair of gift diaries at Christmas 1979, they began their writing careers.
Each wrote several novels. The stories involve young men and women who exhibit strange and often criminal behaviour.
(See comments for novel descriptions)
The girls committed a number of crimes including arson, which led to their being admitted to Broadmoor Hospital, a high-security mental health hospital.
The girls had a longstanding agreement that if one died, the other must begin to speak and live a normal life.
During their stay in the hospital, they began to believe that it was necessary for one of them to die, and after much discussion, Jennifer agreed to be the sacrifice.
In March 1993, the twins were transferred from Broadmoor to Caswell Clinic; on arrival Jennifer could not be roused. She was taken to the hospital where she died soon after of a sudden inflammation of the heart.her death remains a mystery.
A visit a few days later, recounted that June "was in a strange mood". She said, "I'm free at last, liberated, and at last Jennifer has given up her life for me".
Ted Landsmark is an attorney and architect. He served as the President of Boston Architectural College (BAC) from 1997 to 2014, and was previously the Dean of Graduate and Continuing Education at the Massachusetts College of Art.
He also served as the Director of Boston's Office of Community Partnerships.
Landsmark has received fellowships from the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts and the National Science Foundation, and he served on the editorial board for Architecture Boston.
Landsmark also serves as a trustee to numerous arts-related foundations including Boston's Institute of Contemporary Art and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.
He is widely recognized as an important advocate of diversity and of the African American cause in schools of architecture.
In the 1970s, Landsmark was working in Boston as a civil rights attorney and advocate.
Up until the violent assault from anti-busing activists and protestors, including Jim Kelly who is seen in the photograph The Soiling of Old Glory, Landsmark was involved primarily with trying to get more minority contractors into the construction industry.
He had not been paying much attention to the busing situation.
It was only after the incident and sustaining injuries did Landsmark become involved in the city's conflict over busing as part of desegregation of the public schools.
The photograph raised public ire against anti-busing supporters through its depiction of a supporter appearing to weaponize the American flag in support of his cause.
Free Huey Rally in front of the Alameda County Courthouse, Oakland, California, September 1968
Huey Percy Newton Born February 17, 1942 was an African-American political activist and revolutionary who, along with Bobby Seale, co-founded the Black Panther Party in 1966.
Newton had been convicted of assault with a deadly weapon for repeatedly stabbing another man, Odell Lee, with a steak knife in mid-1964. He served six months in prison and by October 27–28, 1967, he was out celebrating release from his probationary period.
Just before dawn on October 28, Newton and a friend were pulled over by Oakland Police Department officer John Frey. Realizing who Newton was, Frey called for backup. After fellow officer Herbert Heanes arrived, shots were fired, and all three were wounded.
Heanes testified that the shooting began after Newton was under arrest, and one witness testified that Newton shot Frey with Frey's own gun as they wrestled.
No gun on either Frey or Newton was found. Newton stated that Frey shot him first, which made him lose consciousness during the incident. Frey was shot four times and died within the hour, while Heanes was left in serious condition with three bullet wounds.
Black Panther David Hilliard took Newton to Oakland's Kaiser Hospital, where he was admitted with a bullet wound to the abdomen. Newton was soon handcuffed to his bed and arrested for Frey's killing.
Newton was convicted in September 1968 of voluntary manslaughter for the killing of Frey and was sentenced to 2 to 15 years in prison. In May 1970, the California Appellate Court reversed the conviction and ordered a new trial.
After two subsequent trials ended in hung juries, the district attorney said he would not pursue a fourth trial, and the Alameda County Superior Court dismissed the charges.
In his autobiography, Revolutionary Suicide, Newton wrote that Heanes and Frey were opposite each other and shooting in each other's direction during the shootout.
"Wilt" Chamberlain was an American basketball player. He played for the Philadelphia/San Francisco Warriors, the Philadelphia 76ers, and the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA); he played for the University of Kansas and also for the Harlem Globetrotters before playing in the NBA.
The 7 foot 1 inch Chamberlain weighed 250 pounds as a rookie before bulking up to 275 and eventually to over 300 pounds with the Lakers.
He played the center position and is widely considered one of the greatest and most dominant players in NBA history. Chamberlain was known by various nicknames during his basketball playing career.
According to Rod Roddewig, a contemporary of Wilt's, Chamberlain documented his love life using a Day-Timer. Every time Chamberlain went to bed with a different woman, he put a check in his Day-Timer.
Over a 10-day period, there were 23 checks in the book, which would be a rate of 2.3 women per day. Chamberlain divided that number in half, to be conservative and to correct for degrees of variation.
He then multiplied that number by the number of days he had been alive at the time minus 15 years. That was how the 20,000 number came into existence. In response to public backlash regarding his promiscuity, Chamberlain later emphasized that "the point of using the number was to show that sex was a great part of my life as basketball was a great part of my life. That's the reason why I was single."
In a 1999 interview shortly before his death, Chamberlain regretted not having explained the sexual climate at the time of his escapades, and warned other men who admired him for it, closing with the words: "With all of you men out there who think that having a thousand different ladies is pretty cool, I have learned in my life I've found out that having one woman a thousand different times is much more satisfying."
Malcolm X later also known as el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz was an African-AmericanMuslim minister and human rights activist. To his admirers he was a courageous advocate for the rights of blacks, a man who indicted white America in the harshest terms for its crimes against black Americans; detractors accused him of preaching racism and violence.
He has been called one of the greatest and most influential African Americans in history.
Malcolm X was effectively orphaned early in life. His father was killed when he was six and his mother was placed in a mental hospital when he was thirteen, after which he lived in a series of foster homes.
In 1946, at age 20, he went to prison for larceny and breaking and entering. While in prison, he became a member of the Nation of Islam, and after his parole in 1952, quickly rose to become one of the organization's most influential leaders.
He served as the public face of the controversial group for a dozen years. In his autobiography, Malcolm X wrote proudly of some of the social achievements the Nation made while he was a member, particularly its free drug rehabilitation program.
The Nation promoted black supremacy, advocated the separation of black and white Americans, and rejected the civil rights movement for its emphasis on integration.
By March 1964, Malcolm X had grown disillusioned with the Nation of Islam and its leader Elijah Muhammad. Expressing many regrets about his time with them, which he had come to regard as largely wasted, he embraced Sunni Islam.
After a period of travel in Africa and the Middle East, which included completing the Hajj, he repudiated the Nation of Islam, disavowed racism and founded Muslim Mosque, Inc. and the Organization of Afro-American Unity.
He continued to emphasize Pan-Africanism, black self-determination, and black self-defense.
The Fugitive Slave Act of 1793 was an Act of the United States Congress to give effect to the Fugitive Slave Clause of the U.S. Constitution (Article 4, Section 2, Clause 3 Note: Superseded by the Thirteenth Amendment) which guaranteed a right of a slaveholder to recover an escaped slave.
The Act's title was "An Act respecting fugitives from justice, and persons escaping from the service of their masters" and created the legal mechanism by which that could be accomplished.
The Act was passed by the House of Representatives on February 4, 1793 by a vote of 48–7 with 14 abstaining. The "Annals of Congress" state that the law was approved on February 12, 1793.
The Act was strengthened at the insistence of the slave states of the South by the Compromise of 1850, which required even the governments and residents of free states to enforce the capture and return of fugitive slaves.
By 1843, several hundred slaves a year were successfully escaping to the North, making slavery an unstable institution in the border states.
In response to the weakening of the original fugitive slave act, the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 penalized officials who did not arrest an alleged runaway slave, and made them liable to a fine of $1,000 (about $29,000 in present-day value).
Law-enforcement officials everywhere were required to arrest people suspected of being a runaway slave on as little as a claimant's sworn testimony of ownership.
In addition, any person aiding a runaway slave by providing food or shelter was subject to six months' imprisonment and a $1,000 fine. Officers who captured a fugitive slave were entitled to a bonus or promotion for their work.
Slave owners needed only to supply an affidavit to a Federal marshal to capture an escaped slave. Since a suspected slave was not eligible for a trial, the law resulted in the kidnapping and conscription of free blacks into slavery, as suspected fugitive slaves had no rights in court and could not defend themselves against accusations.
One study finds that while slave prices rose across the South in the years after 1850 it appears that "the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act increased prices in border states by 15% to 30% more than in states further south", illustrating how the Act altered the chance of successful escape.
George Junius Stinney Jr. was a 14 year old African-American convicted of murder as a result of a racially-biased and discriminatory trial in 1944 in his home town of Alcolu, South Carolina.
He is one of the youngest persons in the United States in the 20th-century to be sentenced to death and to be executed.
Stinney was convicted in less than 10 minutes, during a one-day trial, by an all-white jury of the first-degree murder of two white girls: 11-year-old Betty June Binnicker and 8-year-old Mary Emma Thames.
After being arrested, Stinney was said to have confessed to the crime.
There was no written record of his confession apart from notes provided by an investigating deputy, and no transcript was recorded of the brief trial. He was denied appeal and executed by electric chair.
On December 17, 2014, his conviction was posthumously vacated 70 years after his execution, because the circuit court judge ruled that he had not been given a fair trial; he had no effective defense and his Sixth Amendment rights had been violated.