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Vol. 74/No. 6      February 15, 2010

25, 50 and 75 years ago
February 15, 1985
NEW YORK—On February 1, New York City police commissioner Benjamin Ward reinstated the cop who murdered Eleanor Bumpers here last October. Stephen Sullivan, who shotgunned Bumpurs to death, had been suspended for one day after being indicted on manslaughter charges. Ward put Sullivan back on the job at full pay.

“I’m damn mad about it,” said Mary Bumpurs, daughter of the slain 66-year-old Black woman. “Ben Ward is just saying that he doesn’t give a damn about a Black woman being killed.”

Sullivan and several other Emergency Service Unit cops burst into Eleanor Bumpurs’ apartment on October 29 and tried to evict her for being four months behind in rent. The cops claim that Sullivan killed Bumpurs because she threatened them with a kitchen knife.

City officials hope that the Sullivan indictment will appease Blacks, who are increasingly concerned about cop and other racist violence.  
February 15, 1960
FEB. 7—A lunch-counter anti-discrimination sit-down action by Negro college and high school students in Greensboro, N.C., yesterday forced the downtown F.W. Woolworth and S.H. Kress stores to close up. A number of white students supported the protest which was directed against refusal of the stores to serve Negroes at the lunch counters.

The action was begun at the Woolworth store Feb. 2, forcing it to close almost immediately its segregated stand-up snack bar for Negroes. The students sat at the “whites only” counter, chatting quietly, studying and reading newspapers. About 60 students were involved.

A group of white teenagers and some adults identified as members of the Ku Klux Klan tried to counter the action by also occupying seats and then giving them up to white patrons. Four of the white youths had hunting knives strapped to their belts.  
February 16, 1935
In defiance of an expulsion threat made by President Mike Tighe of the Amalgamated Association of Iron, Steel and Tin Workers, delegates and members from 78 locals met in Pittsburgh February 3 in a conference called to consider steps toward the organization of the steel industry.

The initiators of this progressive movement are by and large the same militants who took over the 1934 annual convention of the A.A. and forced through a program for general strike action, over the protest of the International officials.

Approximately 400 steel workers came to the conference. The fact that the bureaucrats, after first indicating that they would tolerate the conference, launched an attack outlawing it, undoubtedly kept many delegates away. The conference illustrated that the job of building a real, national progressive movement in steel has just begun.  
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