Michael Manley

“Human rights do not begin with the right to dissent in safety. The process may end there, but it begins in the stomach of man.”

Michael Manley

The Early Years

  • 1924 - Born at Nuttall Memorial Hospital in Cross Roads St. Andrews, Jamaica to Edna (1900-1987) and Nornan Manley (1893-1969). His father a decorated WWI hero and his mom an international renowned sculptor
  • 1934 - One of the ten foundation students and the first captain of St Andrew Preparatory School
  • 1935 - Attended Jamaica College his father's alma mater
  • 1938 - His father founded the People's National Party. The Bustamante Industrial Trade Union was the official trade union of the People's National Party
  • 1943 - Manley attended McGill University, An English-language university located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He also joined the Royal Canadian Air Force during World War II
  • 1945 - He enrolled at the London School of Economic and was tutored by the seminal political scientist and socialist theoretician Professor Harold Laski
  • 1946 - He married Jacqueline Kamellard
  • 1949 - The People's National Party lost the general elections again but made some gains while an irreparable rift had developed between the party and its labor union
  • 1949 - He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Government
  • 1950 - He worked as a freelance journalist with the British Broadcasting Service
  • 1951 - His marriage to Jacqueline Kamellard was dissolved. He joined The Public Opinion newspaper as the editor and columnist at the same time getting involved with the National Workers Union.
  • 1952 - Manley became a member of the executive committee of the People's National Party
  • 1953 - Manley quit Public Opinion to work full time with the National Worker's Union and rapidly expansion of the union not only among sugar workers, the traditional stronghold of the rival Bustamante Industrial Trades Union, but also among elite bauxite and mine workers, as well as urban industrial workers

The chosen one

  • 1955 - He was elected Island supervisor and first vice president of the National Workers Union. Married Thelma Verity
  • 1960 - Marriage to Thelma Verity dissolved
  • 1962 - He was appointed a senator and was elected president of the Caribbean Bauxite and Mineworkers Union
  • 1966 - Manley married Barbara Lewars
  • 1967 - Manley won the seat in the House of Representatives for the constituency of Central Kingston, later reclassified as East Central Kingston
  • 1968 - His 3rd wife Barbara Lewars died

The Statesman

  • 1969 - His father resigned as the People's National Party and he was elected.
  • 1972 - Manley led the People's National Party to victory defeating the unpopular incumbent Prime Minister, Hugh Shearer, running on the slogans "Better must come". Manley later married Beverley Anderson after the election.
  • 1973 - He introduced Project Land Lease, attempted an integrated rural development approach, providing tens of thousands of small farmers with land, technical advice, inputs such as fertilizers and access to credit. An estimated 14 percent of idle land was redistributed through this program, much of which had been abandoned during the post-war urban migration and/or purchased by large bauxite companies
  • 1974 - Manley proposed free education from primary school to university. The introduction of universally free secondary education. Also he formed the Jamaica Movement for the Advancement of Literacy(JAMAL), which administered adult education programs with the goal of involving 100,000 adults a year. He also, oversaw the passage of the Gun Court Act and the Suppression of Crime Act, giving the police and the army new powers to seal off and disarm high-violence neighborhoods. Published The Politics of Change: A Jamaican Testament
  • 1975 Manley
  • 1976 - Won an easy reelection victory then economic problems forced him to seek loans from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which required him to reduce the value of the Jamaican currency. Published "Not for sale"
  • 1977 - He had an Oval Office meeting with Jimmy Carter
  • 1980 - Elections were held in an atmosphere of near-civil war, with over 750 dying and thousands being injured in the shootings and stabbings that broke out over the country. Edward Seaga and his Jamaican Labor Party received a landslide victory winning 51 of 60 seats in Parliament
  • 1982 - He published "Jamaica: Struggle in the Periphery"
  • 1983 - He strongly opposed intervention in Grenada after Prime Minister Maurice Bishop was overthrown and executed. Immediately after committing Jamaican troops to Grenada in 1983, Seaga called a snap election
  • 1983 - He published "Up the Down Escalator: Development and the International Economy - A Jamaican Case Study"
  • 1986 - Manley travelled to Britain and visited Birmingham. He attended a number of venues including the Afro Caribbean Resource Centre in Winson Green and Digbeth Civic Hall. The mainly black audiences turned out en masse to hear Manley speak.
  • 1988 - Published "A History of West Indies Cricket"
  • 1989 - Manley and the People's National Party won a decisive victory, capturing 44 seats in Parliament. Seaga's failure to deliver on his promises to the US and foreign investors, as well as complaints of governmental incompetence in the wake Hurricane Gilbert's devastation in 1988, Manley had softened his socialist rhetoric, explicitly advocating a role for private enterprise. With the fall of the Soviet Union, he also ceased his support for a variety of international causes. He forged a close relationship with the United States, even supporting President George Bush's proposed North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
  • 1990 - Marriage to Beverley Anderson was dissolved. Manley was diagnosed with cancer, and on March 16th he announced he was stepping down
  • 1991 - He published "A Voice at the Workplace: Reflections on Colonialism and the Jamaican Worker" and "Poverty of Nations"
  • 1992 - Citing health reasons, Manley stepped down as Prime Minister and PNP leader. His former Deputy Prime Minister, Percival Patterson, assumed both offices. Manley's final marriage was to Glynne Ewart
  • 1994 - He led the Commonwealth Observer Mission to oversee the historic elections in South Africa
  • 1997 - Manley died in Kingston after having served his country in one form or another for over 40 years and was interned at the National Heroes Park in Kingston, Jamaica

"a statesman of courage and conviction who extended his vision of a better and more just society beyond his island shores" who was "endeared not only to his Commonwealth colleagues but to people so many parts of the world."

Emeka Anyaoku

"If you have time, you should read more about this incredible human being on his" Wikipedia entry.

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