Pieces of History: 1966 - 1969


  • October 15

    Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale write the first draft of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense (BPP) 10 - Point Program.
  • December

    Sixteen-year-old Bobby Hutton becomes the first male recruit of the BPP.


  • January

    First BPP office opens at 5624 Grove Street, Oakland, CA.

    Panthers patrol the street of Oakland.
  • February 21

    The Panthers escort Betty Shabazz from the San Francisco airport to Ramparts for an interview with Eldridge Cleaver.
  • April 1

    In Richmond, CA, Denzil Dowell is shot and killed by sheriff's deputies at Third and Chestly, an unincorporated area of North Richmond. Panthers respond to a request from the Dowell family for protection from police harassment.
  • April 25

    The first issue of the Black Panther Party Black Community News Service is published. This four-page mimeograph newspaper headlines "Why Was Denzil Dowell Killed?"
  • May 2

    Thirty armed Panthers and their supporters go to the California State Capitol at Sacramento to protest the Mulford Act, a bill aimed at banning the display of loaded weapons.
  • June

    Riots explode in major cities, including Newark, Cleveland and Detroit.
  • October 28

    At 4:56am, Oakland officer John Frey is killed and officer Herbert Haines wounded in a predawn altercation after stopping Huey Newton and Gene McKinney. Newton is also critically wounded.
  • December

    The Black Panther increases its circulation tenfold.


  • January

    Alprentice “Bunchy” Carter, deputy minister of defense for Southern California, organizes The Southern California branch of the BPP. The BPP office is at Central Ave. and 43rd Street.
  • January 16

    At 3:30am, San Francisco police officers break down the apartment door of Eldridge and Kathleen Cleaver. The officers ransack the apartment without a search warrant. Emory Douglas is also present.
  • February 8

    In Orangeburg, South Carolina, on the campus of South Carolina State College, local police backed by the National Guard fire on a crowd of unarmed students; 33 black activists are shot, and three die.
  • February 17

    A "Free Huey" rally is held at the Oakland Auditorium on Newton's birthday. More than 5,000 supporters attend including Stokely Carmichael, H. Rap Brown, James Forman, Ron Dellums, and Peace and Freedom Party representatives.
  • February 25

    At 2:00am, Berkeley police officers break down the door and ransack the home of Bobby and Artie Seale. The Seales are charged with conspiracy to commit murder. Charges are later dropped for lack of evidence.
  • March

    Arthur (Glen) Morris, brother of Bunchy Carter, is shot and killed by "agents" of the U.S. government. He is the first member of the BPP to be killed.

    Anthony Coltrale is killed in Watts by a local police officer.

    The Kansas City BPP office is raided by police and five Panthers are arrested.
  • March 4

    An FBI memo from J. Edgar Hoover outlines goals to his staff to "Prevent the coalition of militant black nationalist groups."
  • April

    The New York BPP chapter is organized.
  • April 3

    The Oakland police department raids Father Neil's church, where Party members are holding a meeting.
  • April 4

    Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is assassinated at the Lorraine Motel, Memphis, TN. Riots occur in major cities across the country, but Oakland remains calm due to the efforts of the BPP.
  • April 6

    An Oakland police shoot-out results in the murder of Bobby Hutton; Eldridge Cleaver is wounded. Seven other Panthers are arrested.
  • April 7

    Three Panthers are arrested in Seattle, Washington.
  • April 9

    Panther volunteers register is assassinated at the Lorraine Motel, Memphis, TN. Riots occur in major cities across the country, but Oakland remains calm due to the efforts of the BPP.
  • April 6

    An Oakland police shoot-out results in the murder of Bobby Hutton; Eldridge Cleaver is wounded. Seven other Panthers are arrested.
  • April 7

    Three Panthers are arrested in Seattle, Washington.
  • April 9

    Panther volunteers register Oakland citizens to vote.
  • April 13

    Funeral services for Bobby Hutton held at Ephesians Church of God in Christ on Alcatraz Avenue in Berkeley. More than 2,500 attend the funeral.
  • June

    San Francisco Party captain Dexter Woods arrested for curfew violation and given 5 days in jail.
  • June 25

    Eldridge Cleaver takes Panther case to the United Nations.
  • July

    The West Oakland Panther office opened by Tommy Jones, Glen Stafford, and other dedicated Panther volunteers.

    The Seattle BPP office is raided by local police.

    Captain Aaron Dixon of the Seattle BPP and Panther Curtis Harris are arrested for grand larceny. Both are eventually found not guilty.

    Captain Dexter Woods of the San Francisco BPP arrested for interference with police.

  • July 15-16

    More than 6,000 protestors come out in support of Huey Newton on the steps of the Alameda County Courthouse in Oakland. The national and international press is present as well as the National Guard.

    The newly formed Brown Berets make their appearance on the courthouse steps in support of Huey.
  • August

    The West Oakland Party office is raided and ransacked by police.

    In Newark, the Panther office is firebombed.

    In Detroit, Panthers and police have a shoot-out; however, there are no injuries.

    Five Seattle Panthers are harassed in their car by local police.
  • August 5

    A Los Angeles shoot-out between police and Panthers leaves two Panthers killed.
  • August 16

    Chairman Bobby Seale and Captain David Hilliard speak to a crowd of 5,000 across the street from the Democratic National Convention.
  • August 17

    Communications Secretary Kathleen Cleaver, in Hawaii at the Peace and Freedom Party convention, is refused the right to enter Japan.
  • August 25

    Three Panthers -- Robert Lawrence, Steve Bartholomew, and Tommy Lewis are murdered by Los Angeles police at a service station.
  • September

    The San Francisco Examiner prints an article exposing Panther George Murray's employment as a teacher at San Francisco State. Chancellor Dumke orders Murray's termination. The Black Student Union immediately goes on strike in support of Murray.
  • September 8

    Newton's jury deliberates for four days and in the end come up with a compromise verdict, convicting Huey of voluntary manslaughter. He is acquitted of the assault charge and the kidnap charges are dropped.

    J. Edgar Hoover declares the BPP the "greatest threat to the internal security of the country".
  • September 28

    Huey P. Newton is sentenced to 2 to 15 years in state prison and removed from Oakland in five minutes. Judge Friedman refuses al meetings for granting a mistrial.

    Four hours after Huey's conviction, two (admittedly drunk) on-duty Oakland police officers commit a drive-by shooting of the BPP office on Grove Street.

    Eldridge Cleaver's parole is revoked and he is sent back to prison.

  • October

    Denver police shoot up Panther office during racial disturbance. Panther Lauren Watson is charged with conspiracy to commit arson.

    New York police department harasses Panthers over use of a bullhorn at Panther headquarters.
  • November 6

    San Francisco State college begins major strike.
  • November 7

    Seattle Panther Sidney Miller is murdered.
  • November 13

    Panther Reginald Forte's car is stopped by Berkeley police. After an altercation, Forte and Officer Wolke are wounded.
  • November 25

    FBI memo details plans to cause dissension between Los Angeles Panthers and United Slaves (US) under the leadership of Ron Karenga. December 1 Forty-three Denver police raid Panther office, cause $9,000 in damage, and steal $150 in cash.
  • December 7

    Newark Panther office is bombed by local police.
  • December 12

    Twelve Chicago Panthers are arrested on weapons charges.
  • December 18

    Indianapolis Panther office is raided by FBI and local police, who fire three cans of tear gas and ransack the place; $600 in cash is taken from the Party's treasury.
  • December 21

    Denver police raid Panther office looking for weapons, but none is found. Out of frustration officers burn food and clothing that were to be given to community poor for the holidays.
  • December 23

    A demonstration is held by the Indiana Committee to Defend the BPP in front of the local police station. Clergy members, Citizen's Defense League, Purdue Peace League, and other community organizations are in attendance.
  • December 27

    Des Moines Panther office is raided by 100 police officers and FBI agents. Mrs. Joanne Cheatom, president of the Des Moines Welfare Rights Organization, is arrested along with several Panthers.
  • December 28

    San Francisco Panther office is raided by police.

    Sacramento Panthers exchange gunfire in a shoot-out with police; 13 officers are wounded and 37 persons are jailed.
  • December 30

    Los Angeles Panther Frank Diggs is shot in the head and killed by police agents.

Continued - Top Right


  • January

    The Panthers' Free Breakfast for Children Program (FBCP) is under way at St. Augustine's Church in Oakland.
  • January 17

    Los Angeles captain Bunchy Carter and Deputy Minister John Huggins are murdered in Campbell Hall on the UCLA campus, by US members.
  • January 24

    Chicago police and FBI conspire to prevent Panther Fred Hampton from appearing on a local television talk show.
  • January 30

    J. Edgar Hoover approves mailing of anonymous letter to provoke Blackstone Rangers to attack BPP members in Chicago.
  • In Des Moines, more than 100 police officers storm the BPP office.
  • February 13

    In Berkeley, 37 student strikers are arrested in the UC Berkeley Third Third_World Strike.
  • March 14

    In Los Angeles following a student strike meeting at Victory Baptist Church, an altercation ensues in the parking lot between US members and Panthers. Panther Ronald Freeman is wounded in the chest and groin. Local police watch the fight from their vehicle parked across the street and do not intervene.
  • March 17

    Vallejo, CA, BPP starts FBCP with 35 children. Within a week the number of children grows to 110.
  • March 19

    Panthers Bobby Seale and Masai Hewitt tour Scandinavian countries: Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland.
  • March 24

    In Los Angeles, inflammatory letters instigated by the FBI are sent to Panthers from US members.
  • March 26

    In Des Moines, Iowa, a house used as the BPP office is completely demolished by CDT plastic explosives. Later, in testimony before the House Committee on Un- American Activities, Panthers and the local police department accuse each other of the bombing.
  • March 28

    In San Francisco, police officers tear gas, fire upon using automatic weapons, and raid Party office. A total of 16 Panthers are arrested.
  • April 1

    In Chicago, the FBCP began with 83 children, and by the end of the week more than 1,100 children are fed.

    In New York, 21 Panthers are arrested on a wide variety of conspiracy charges.
  • April 10

    In New York, high school students hold a demonstration at Long Island City High School to demand freedom for the Panther 21 arrested on conspiracy charges.
  • April 13

    In Des Moines, Iowa, the Panthers' FBCP is attacked by police.
  • April 26

    In Des Moines, Iowa, the BPP office is totally destroyed by a firebomb.
  • May 4

    "Free Huey" rallies are held in 20 major cities at U.S. federal district courts.
  • May 13

    New Jersey Panthers David Williams and Marion Fields are harassed by officers for passing out leaflets.
  • May 20

    In Greensboro, North Carolina, the National Guard, with tanks and helicopters, shoots up the campus with tear gas during student unrest.
  • May 21

    In New Haven, Connecticut, Panther Alex Rackley is viciously tortured and murdered by undercover agent George Sams who eventually pled guilty to second-degree murder and whose status as an agent was confirmed at his trial. Before his arrest many Panther offices were raided under the pretext of looking for him.
  • May 22

    New Haven, Connecticut, Panther office is raided by police, and Panthers are arrested on conspiracy to commit murder.
  • May 23

    San Diego Panther John Savage is murdered by US members.
  • May 31

    In Berkeley, the FBI curtails distribution of Party newspapers by ripping them up and disrupting U.S. mail service. United Airlines and TWA accept contracts to receive and deliver the newspaper, but now deny receiving the newspaper.
  • June 4

    In Detroit, local police storm the BPP office in search of suspects in the New Haven murder of Alex Rackley; $25,000 damage is done to the office and bail is set at $4,000 each. Charges on all Panthers arrested are dropped.

    The Liberation School, a BPP survival program, starts.
  • June 5

    Indianapolis, Indiana, Panther Fred Crawford is arrested for assault and battery.

    Los Angeles, Panther Daniel Lynem is charged with murder. Charges are eventually dropped.

    In Denver, Colorado, Rory Hithe and Landon Williams are arrested with no bail and charged with conspiracy in connection with the New York 21 and Connecticut 8 as well as unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.
  • June 7

    the Chicago BPP office is raided in search of George Sams. Eight Panthers are arrested and charged with harboring a fugitive. Bail is set at $1,000, but all charges are dropped.

    Seventeen Panthers in Indianapolis, Indiana, are arrested and charged with disorderly conduct.
  • June 8

    Los Angeles Panther Wayne Pharr is charged with murder. Charges are later dropped.
  • June 10

    In Chicago, 16 Panthers, including William O'Neal (an undercover agent), are indicted for conspiracy, kidnapping, and aggravated battery. Bail is set at $100,000 each.
  • June 13

    Panthers Joel Brown and Ron Davis are attacked, maced, and arrested by police for allegedly blocking a public walkway while selling BPP newspapers.
  • June 15

    the San Diego and Sacramento BPP offices are raided.
  • June 19

    In Chicago, Panther David Smith is arrested for selling the BPP newspaper.
  • June 23

    In Los Angeles, Geronimo Pratt and Roger Lewis are arrested on suspicion of murder. The charges are later dropped.
  • June 26

    In Jersey City, 4 Panthers are arrested for carrying concealed weapons. Bail is set at $350 each.
  • June 28

    Eleven New York Panthers are arrested and charged with obstructed vision because there were too many people in one car. Seven are released on $1,000 bail, the remaining 4 are held for selling BPP newspapers.
  • June 30

    In Los Angeles, Ron Freeman is arrested on suspicion of murder and possession of drugs. Charges are later dropped.
  • Jersey City local police departments report on the BPP before a Senate Subcommittee in Washington DC.
  • July

    In Jersey City, Panther Floyd Tyler is arrested and charged with murder, but soon released.
  • July 2

    In San Francisco, Panther Liberation School opens.
  • July 3

    In Chicago, Bobby Rush is stopped in a car and arrested for driving without a license plate and sticker despite the fact that the receipt is taped to the car window.
  • July 13

    San Diego police provoke a 2-day riot, leaving 2 dead, several wounded, and 100 arrested. Two officers are killed as well.
  • July 17

    New Haven, Connecticut, Panthers initiate lead poisoning testing. This state has the worst lead poisoning in the country.
  • July 18

    In Oakland, the United Front Against Fascism conference runs 3 days. The goal is to plan and discuss community control of police.
  • July 20

    In Queens, New York, Liberation School opens with 90 children.
  • July 24

    In San Francisco, another Liberation School is started at Hunters Point.
  • July 26

    In San Diego, the John Savage Memorial FBCP moves ahead despite vandals who broke into the church and destroyed food.

    In Algeria, Eldridge Cleaver is cheered as he addresses the people in front of the new Afro-American Information Center. Cleaver is joined by Emory Douglas, David Hilliard, Masai Hewitt, Baby Dee, and the daughter of Richard Wright to attend a 12-day Pan-African Cultural Festival.
  • July 31

    In Chicago, the BPP office is raided in an unprovoked attack that lasts 45 minutes. Police destroy food and take $500 in cash. Panther Pete Hayman is charged with attempted murder and is severely beaten and hospitalized.
  • August 1

    In Milwaukee, Panther Richard Smith is arrested for jaywalking and selling BPP newspapers.

    New York Panthers Robert Moore and Eula May Fischer are both arrested for selling BPP newspapers without a permit.
  • August 2

    In Richmond, CA, police raid the BPP office.

    In Kansas City, the BPP opens the Bobby Hutton Free Health Clinic.
  • August 4

    In Denver, the BPP starts a FBCP.
  • August 15

    San Diego Panther Sylvester Bell is shot and killed by US members. The FBCP is closed due to shootings.
  • August 16

    In Ann Arbor, Michigan, White Panther Party Minister of Information John Sinclair is convicted for selling 2 joints to an undercover agent.
  • August 19

    Bobby Seale is kidnapped by Berkeley police after leaving the wedding of Masai Hewitt and Shirley Neely. He is immediately taken to San Francisco and charged with initiating the riots at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago and New Haven murder of Alex Rackley.
  • August 22

    Harlem Panthers initiate a FBCP and Free Clothing Program at All Saints Catholic Church.
  • August 30

    The Black Panther brings attention to South African political prisoner Nelson Mandela.
  • September 2

    San Diego police fire bullets and gas rockets into Panther home for 45 minutes. People in the community throw bottles and rocks at police. Officers in turn kick down citizens' doors and beat the people.
  • September 4

    In Chicago, a federal judge orders Bobby Seale gagged and shackled to a metal folding chair and eventually removes him from the courtroom.

    The BPP in Chicago opens a free medical health clinic.
  • September 6

    The Berkeley Tribe newspaper reveals a transcript of a 35-step assault plan by Berkeley police to engage in a full-scale attack on the BPP National Headquarters.
  • September 12

    In Los Angeles, Panther Nathaniel Clark is murdered.
  • September 24

    In Philadelphia, the BPP office is raided. The FBI takes file records and petitions for community control of the police.
  • October

    In New York, the Young Lords are organized by Cha Cha Jiminez.

    In Philadelphia, Barbara Cox initiates Panther Free Clothing Program.
  • October 18

    Panther Walter "Toure" Pope is murdered by Los Angeles metro squad in broad daylight as he drops BPP newspapers off at store.
  • November

    In Seattle, the BPP opens a free medical clinic.
  • November 22

    In New Haven, Connecticut, 5,000 demonstrators march and converge at state courthouse in support of BPP members charged with murder of Alex Rackley.
  • November 25

    In Chicago, 13 Panthers are held in "preventive detention" on $100,000 bail for trumped-up conspiracy charges to blow up various locations.
  • December 4

    In Chicago, Fred Hampton, and Mark Clark are viciously murdered by police while they sleep.
  • December 8

    Los Angeles police department launches a full- scale attack on Southern California Panthers in a predawn raid. At two separate locations, 400 officers arrest Party members and children. During one shoot-out, Roland Freeman's body is riddled with bullets, but he survives.
  • December 10

    Los Angeles Local Union 535, Social Services Workers' Union, passes a resolution to protest the political murders of Panthers across the country and to demand the release of all political prisoners.
  • December 26

    The entire shipment of BPP newspapers shipped to New Haven, Connecticut, never arrives.
  • December 27

    In Los Angeles, the Bunchy Carter Free Health Clinic opens.
  • December 30

    Winston-Salem, North Carolina, shipment of BPP newspapers arrives a week late.

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