In 1906, the Santa Ana city council claimed that a Chinatown resident contracted leprosy and in order to contain its spread the area needed to be burned down. This decision was supported by the Santa Ana community. On May 25, 1906, as the fire department and on-lookers stood by, the area was set ablaze. The residents were forewarned of the decision, evacuated, and relocated along the Santa Ana River. Though city leaders professed that the relocation strategy created better conditions, by 1912 most Chinese had left Santa Ana to reside in nearby Anaheim.
While leprosy was used as a justification for setting Santa Ana’s Chinatown on fire, many doubt the validity of that claim today
In May of 1963, the Rumford Act, which declared racial discrimination in the sale and rental of housing illegal, was enacted. Its impact was being blunted in Orange County by Proposition 14 which proposed to overthrow the Rumford Act. At this time Dorothy Mulkey and her husband, Lincoln, were looking for housing. The young couple found an attractive apartment in the city of Santa Ana, which was a segregated community at the time. The couple sought to rent an apartment but was refused by the landlord because they were African American.
The Mulkeys decided to challenge the landlord’s refusal. With the support of the ACLU and the OC Fair Housing Council, they sought redress in court. Their case, Reitman v. Mulkey, eventually came before the United States Supreme Court.
On May 29 1967, the court decided in favor of the Mulkeys, declaring Proposition 14 unconstitutional, and confirming that no landlords could refuse to rent to people based on their skin color, race/ethnicity, or religion.
Dorothy Mulkey received an OC Human Relations Award in 2014.
On May 31, 1921 an armed white mob rampaged through Greenwood, a mostly black area of Tulsa, killing as many as 300 people, burning 35 blocks of stores and homes & leaving up to10,000 people homeless. No one was ever held accountable for the lives lost or the property destroyed. For decades this horrific episode was shrouded in silence. Recently some of the survivors filed a lawsuit seeking reparations.
Learn more at: Washington Post Interactive Article on Tulsa Massacre
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) Pride Month is currently celebrated each year in the month of June to honor the 1969 Stonewall riots in Manhattan. The Stonewall riots were a tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States. In the United States the last Sunday in June was initially celebrated as “Gay Pride Day,” but the actual day was flexible. In major cities across the nation the “day” soon grew to encompass a month-long series of events. Today, celebrations include pride parades, picnics, parties, workshops, symposia and concerts, and LGBTQ Pride Month events attract millions of participants around the world. Memorials are held during this month for those members of the community who have been lost to hate crimes or HIV/AIDS. The purpose of the commemorative month is to recognize the impact that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals have had on history locally, nationally, and internationally.
On 19 August 1982, the United Nations decided to commemorate 4 June of each year as the International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression (resolution ES-7/8). The purpose of the day is to acknowledge the pain suffered by children throughout the world who are the victims of physical, mental and emotional abuse. This day affirms the UN’s commitment to protect the rights of children. Its work is guided by the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the most rapidly and widely ratified international human rights treaty in history. For more information see: https://www.un.org/en/events/childvictimday/
The International Labour Organization (ILO) launched the World Day Against Child Labour in 2002 to focus attention on the global extent of child labour and the action and efforts needed to eliminate it. Each year on 12 June, the World Day brings together governments, employers and workers organizations, civil society, as well as millions of people from around the world to highlight the plight of child labourers and what can be done to help them.
For more information: https://www.un.org/en/events/childlabourday/
2021 Theme: Act Now, End Child Labor
On World Refugee Day, held every year on June 20th, we commemorate the strength, courage and perseverance of millions of refugees. World Refugee Day also marks a key moment for the public to show support for families forced to flee. One in every 113 people on the planet is now a refugee. Around the world, someone is displaced every two seconds, forced from their homes by violence, war and persecution. By the end of 2018, the number of displaced people had risen to 70.8 million – more than the population of the United Kingdom.
The UN General Assembly, on 4 December 2000, adopted resolution 55/76 where it noted that 2001 marked the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, and that the Organization of African Unity (OAU) had agreed to have International Refugee Day coincide with Africa Refugee Day on 20 June.
“Refugees are people like anyone else, like you and me. They led ordinary lives before becoming displaced, and their biggest dream is to be able to live normally again. On this World Refugee Day, let us recall our common humanity, celebrate tolerance and diversity and open our hearts to refugees everywhere.” – Ban Ki-moon
Learn more at UN World Refugee Day
The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), signed by President Bill Clinton in 1996, prevented same-sex couples – even those whose marriages were recognized by their home state – from receiving benefits available to married couples under federal law. On June 26, 2013 the Supreme Court ruled by a 5-4 vote that DOMA was unconstitutional.
On 12 December 1997, by resolution 52/149, the UN General Assembly proclaimed 26 June the United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, with a view to the total eradication of torture and the effective functioning of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
26 June is an opportunity to call on all stakeholders including UN Member States, civil society and individuals everywhere to unite in support of the hundreds of thousands of people around the world who have been victims of torture and those who are still tortured today.
Torture is a crime under international law. According to all relevant instruments, it is absolutely prohibited and cannot be justified under any circumstances. This prohibition forms part of customary international law, which means that it is binding on every member of the international community, regardless of whether a State has ratified international treaties in which torture is expressly prohibited. The systematic or widespread practice of torture constitutes a crime against humanity.
For more information: https://www.un.org/en/events/torturevictimsday/
Same-sex marriage first became legal in California on June 16, 2008. However, Proposition 8, a California ballot proposition and a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages, passed in the November 2008 state elections. Proposition 8 was ultimately ruled unconstitutional by a United States District Court decision in 2010. In 2013, a Supreme Court decision upheld the ruling, paving the way for same-sex marriages to resume in California on June 26, 2013, after several years of legal battles.
The Stonewall riots (also referred to as the Stonewall uprising or the Stonewall rebellion) were a series of spontaneous, violent demonstrations by members of the gay (LGBT) community in response to a police raid that began in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City. Patrons of the Stonewall, other Village lesbian and gay bars, and neighborhood street people fought back when the police became violent. The riots are widely considered to constitute one of the most important events leading to the gay liberation movement and the modern fight for LGBT rights in the United States.