Learn Your History

Feb 28th: 1942 Mob of more than 1000 white people riots outside public housing project in Detroit, Michigan, to prevent black families from moving in.

Feb 27th: 2013 Alabama officials argue before U.S. Supreme Court in Shelby County v. Holder that Voting Rights Act of 1965’s protections are no longer needed to prevent discrimination; on June 25, the Court agrees.

Feb 26th: 2012, Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old black boy, is killed in Sanford, Florida; police arrest shooter George Zimmerman only after national outcry against claim that Stand Your Ground law barred his prosecution.

Feb 25th: 1886, Anti-Chinese convention in Boise, Idaho, starts movement, often violent, against Chinese immigrants; Chinese share of Idaho’s population decreases from one-third in 1870 to nearly zero by 1910.

Feb 24th: 1865, Kentucky refuses to ratify Thirteenth Amendment abolishing slavery; does so in 1976.

Feb 22nd: 1898, after Frazier Baker is appointed postmaster of Sumter County, South Carolina, enraged local whites burn his home, shoot him and his infant daughter to death, and wound his wife and other children.

Feb 21st: 1956, Grand jury in Montgomery, Alabama, indicts more than 85 bus boycott leaders and charges them with violating a statue that barred boycotts without just cause.

Feb 20th: 1915, The Panama-Pacific International Exposition opens in San Francisco, showcasing advances in racial eugenics and efforts to sterilize and selectively breed people of color for “race betterment”.

Feb 19th (Presidents’ Day): 1942, President Franklin Roosevelt signs Executive Order 9066, leading to forced relocation to internment camps of 120,000 men, women, and children of Japanese ancestry living in western United States.

Feb 18th: 1965, Jimmie Lee Jackson, a 26-year-old black man, is shot by a white officer after police attack a peaceful civil rights protest in Marion, Alabama; he dies eight days later.

Feb 17th: 1947, Mob of white men brutally beats Willie Earle, slashing chunks of flesh from his body before blasting him with a shotgun, in Greenville, South Carolina; 28 men charged with the murder are later acquitted.

Feb 16th: 1847, Missouri outlaws education of black people in the state and bans immigration of free black people into the state.

Feb 15th: 1804, New Jersey passes gradual emancipation act, becoming the last Northern state to abolish slavery.

Feb 14th: 1945, All-white grand jury refuses to indict any of six white men who gang-raped Mrs.Recy Taylor in Abbeville, Alabama; they are never prosecuted.

Feb 13th: 1923, New York Renaissance becomes the first black pro basketball team; the team dissolves in 1948 after being denied admission into the segregated National Basketball Association.

Feb 12th: 1901, after having rejected it in 1865, Delaware ratifies Thirteenth Amendment, which abolishes slavery.

Feb 11th: 1978, Members of the American Indian Movement begin “The Longest Walk,” a five-month march from Alcatraz Island to Washington, D.C., to protest anti-Indian legislation pending in Congress.

Feb 10th: 1915, the birth of a Nation Premieres this week in Los Angeles and with its white supremacist themes, use of white actors in blackface to play African Americans, and celebration of the KKK, becomes a hit.

Feb 9th: 1960, A bomb explodes at the home of Carlotta Walls, the youngest of nine black students who integrated Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, three years prior.

Feb 8th: 1968 White state troopers fire into crowd of mostly African American students at South Carolina State College, killing three and injuring 28, after students attempt to desegregate “white” bowling alley.

Feb 7th: A Black man named Luther Holbert and an unidentified black woman are tortured, mutilated, and burned alive in front of 600 picnicking white spectators in Doddsville, Mississipi.

Feb 6th: 1902, in Nicholasville, Kentucky, a mob of 200 whites seizes a 19-year-old black man named Thomas Brown from jail and lynches him on the courthouse lawn after he is accused of assault.

Feb 5th: 1917, Congress passes the Immigration Act of 1917 to bar entry of Asian, Mexican and Mediterranean people, poor people, and those with mental or physical disabilities or criminal records.

Feb 4th: 1846, Alabama launches convict leasing by leasing Wetumpka State Penitentiary and its inmates to private businessman. 1999, NYPD officers fatally shoot unarmed Amadou Diallo 41 times.

Feb 3rd: 1956, Autherine Lucy, the first black student admitted to University of Alabama, attends classes; after white students and residents riot in protest, the school suspends Lucy citing “safety concerns”.

Feb 2nd: 1866, Frederick Douglass and other black leaders meet with President Andrew Johnson to advocate for black citizens’ voting rights, which Johnson opposes

Feb 1st: 1965, Dr.Martin Luther King Jr. and more than 200 others are arrested and jailed after a voting rights march in Selma, Alabama.

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