25, 50 and 75 Years Ago

May 20, 2019

May 23, 1994

DES MOINES, Iowa — In an important victory for abortion rights, a Polk County jury took less than an hour on April 26 to acquit Dr. Herbert Remer of assault charges. David Shedlock, a local leader of the right-wing antiabortion outfit Operation Rescue, had falsely claimed that Remer attacked him on September 4.

Remer, a doctor who provides abortion services in central Iowa, was arrested and charged with “assault causing injury” for defending himself against Shedlock. The doctor was attempting to photograph Operation Rescue picketers outside his clinic when Shedlock hit him on the wrist with a sign. Remer then struck Shedlock back in self-defense.

Remer’s victory was aided by a series of actions organized to protest his arrest and to mobilize support for safe, legal, and accessible abortion.

May 23, 1969

Three sailors from the USS Boston held a press conference May 9 to report on the condition of the cruiser, which is scheduled to leave Boston Navy Yard soon for service in coast bombardment of Vietnam.

The sailors maintain that the ship is unfit to go to sea without causing unnecessary danger to the crew. The Boston was built early in World War II, and most of its equipment has not been replaced since. The most serious problems are a cracked rudder, an emergency diesel generator that leaks carbon monoxide, and fuel tanks which leak fuel.

The case of the Boston points out an aspect of the war that is sometimes forgotten: the complete disregard for the lives of even their own men shown by the military brass and the U.S. government while they continue their criminal invasion of Vietnam.

May 20, 1944

Sixty-five merchant and naval seamen lost their lives last week in the sudden and tragic breakup of the Liberty ship S.S. John Straub while in Alaska waters. This latest breakup follows by a few weeks a similar accident on the S.S. Joseph Gaines in which ten merchant seamen gave up their lives. These two cases are only the latest in a number of such accidents which have taken place since the Liberty ships were first launched.

A public hearing revealed that defective plates were furnished by the Carnegie Illinois Steel Corporation, that the ship design was faulty and the production methods questionable. Despite these revelations, the investigation was quietly dropped. Since then one Liberty ship after another has cracked open, with a number of them completely coming apart.