PEOPLE WITH A
PASSION FOR PEACE
Since 1995, the all-volunteer and interfaith peaceCENTER continues to be a significant community catalyst for peace in San Antonio, Texas. Compassion and Justice are our strong guiding lights. Contemplative Practices, Experiential Education, and Nonviolent Actions are our working expressions throughout the community at large.
285 Oblate Drive
San Antonio, Texas 78216
The peaceCENTER is a 501(c)((3)) non-profit
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May 17, 1921
The Lucy Stone League was founded, committed to the principle that women can choose to keep their own names when they marry. Lucy Stone (1818–1853) was reportedly the first woman in the United States to keep her name after marrying.
May 16, 1918
The U.S. Congress passed the Sedition Act. Aimed at socialists, pacifists and other anti-war activists, the Sedition Act imposed harsh penalties on anyone found guilty of making false statements; insulting or abusing the U.S. government, conscription, the flag, the Constitution or the military; agitating against the production of necessary war materials; or advocating, teaching or defending any of these acts.
May 15, 1817
Opening of the first private mental health hospital in the United States, the Asylum for the Relief of Persons Deprived of the Use of Their Reason (now Friends Hospital) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The Demilitarized Zone is a strip of land running across the Korean Peninsula; it was established as part of the armistice agreement in 1953 to serve as a buffer zone between North and South Korea. Since 1974, the South Koreans have discovered four infiltration tunnels that start in North Korea and dip under the DMZ; they speculate that there may be as many as twenty yet-to-be-discovered tunnels. Only 20 miles from the South Korean capital of Seoul, the 3rd Infiltration Tunnel — “the Tunnel of Aggression” — was discovered in 1978. It penetrates 0.3 miles south of the DMZ, running through bedrock at a depth of about 240 feet below ground. Capable of moving a full division (30,000 soldiers, plus their weapons) per hour, to the South Koreans it was obviously designed for a surprise attack on Seoul. The North Koreans claim it was used for coal mining, although there is no coal in the area. This tunnel is now a tourist attraction, complete with a gift shop (concrete barriers prevent tourists from passing to the other side.) This statue is one of a number of pro-unification artworks and sculptures found on both sides of the DMZ. The split earth indicates the sadness of a country torn in two. Men, women and children on both sides of the divide attempt to push the earth back together, in a symbol of peace and forgiveness.
May 15, 1856
L. Frank Baum
“There is no living thing that is not afraid when it faces danger. The true courage is in facing danger when you are afraid.”
May 15, 1935
Utah (Bruce) Phillips
“No root, no fruit.”
May 19, 1925
“If you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything.”
May 14, 1961
The Freedom Riders bus was fire-bombed near Anniston, Alabama, and the civil rights protesters were beaten by an angry mob.
May 13, 1932
“We Want Beer” marches were held in cities all over America, with 15,000 unionized workers demonstrating in Detroit. Prohibition (the 18th amendment to the U.S. Constitution barring “the manufacture, sale or transportation of intoxicating liquors”) was repealed the following year.
May 12, 1968
The Poor People’s Campaign, organized by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) began when contingents of the poor, mainly from the south, began pitching tents in a “Resurrection City” near the Lincoln Memorial. It was dismantled by police on June 24.
May 11, 1973
All charges were dismissed against Daniel Ellsberg who, while employed by the RAND Corporation, sparked a national political controversy in 1971 when he released the Pentagon Papers, a top-secret Pentagon study of U.S. government decision-making about the Vietnam War, to The New York Times and other newspapers. Ellsberg, charged under the Espionage Act of 1917 of theft and conspiracy, faced a maximum sentence of 115 years.
May 10, 1970
As part of the nationwide protests of the invasion of Cambodia that began on May 1, 1970, following President Richard Nixon’s expansion of the Vietnam War the day before, a college student hung an American flag upside down, with peace symbols attached. He was arrested and convicted under the State of Washington’s “improper use” clause of its flag statute law. The Supreme Court overturned his conviction, in Spence v. Washington, on June 25, 1974.
May 9, 1933
Future Vice President Nelson Rockefeller, who was a member of the committee selecting art for the new Rockefeller Center in New York, authorized a set of murals by the famous Mexican painter Diego Rivera. When he discovered that the murals contained left-wing political messages, he ordered work stopped on this day. The murals were covered and then destroyed in February 1934.
Thirty years ago a group of Black activists planted a tree to mark the place, on a median on MLK Blvd, where they wanted to install a statue of Martin Luther King. In 2012 the tree had to be removed when Metro, Houston’s transit authority, began construction on its light rail line. The director of the Black Heritage Society chained himself to the tree in protest, saying “The first train may run over my dead body.” Known as the Tree of Life, it was eventually relocated to MacGregor Park, and Metro paid $750,000 to create a memorial plaza near the tree. On one path that leads to the statue are quotes from King’s “I have a Dream” speech and the “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” The statue shows King in preacher’s robes, arm outstretched. On the intersection path is inlaid a chronology of his life. The video below, taken on the morning of its dedication in 2014, shows how people interact with the memorial plaza.