February 14

February 14

February 14


Oregon Bans Blacks

February 14

February 14, 1859: Oregon granted statehood in 1859. It was the only state in the Union admitted with a constitution that forbade black people from living, working, or owning property there. It was illegal for black people even to move to the state until 1926. (see Mar 3)

National Negro Congress forms

February 14

February 14, 1936:  The National Negro Congress (NNC) (formed in 1935 at Howard University) held its first national meeting in Chicago. The NCC was a confluence of civic, civil rights, labor, and religious groups from across the nation; over 800 delegates representing 551 organizations and over 3 million constituents attended. A. Philip Randolph was elected President and John P. Davis was elected National Secretary. In keeping with their Popular Front orientation, the Communists in attendance did not attempt to hide their affiliation but consciously deferred to non-Communist delegates. (see Dec 8)
Southern Christian Leadership Conference

February 14

February 14, 1957: a follow-up to the January 10 meeting was held in New Orleans. Out of these two meetings came a new organization with Dr. King as its president. Initially called the "Negro Leaders Conference on Nonviolent Integration," then "Southern Negro Leaders Conference," the group eventually chose "Southern Christian Leadership Conference" (SCLC) as its name, and expanded its focus beyond busses to ending all forms of segregation. A small office was established on Auburn Avenue in Atlanta with Ella Baker as SCLC's first — and for a long time only — staff member. (see Mar 26)

Malcolm X

February 14

February 14, 1965:  Malcolm X's home firebombed. He and his family escaped injury. A week later, after his return from Detroil, on February 21st, 1965 he would be assassinated at the age of 40. (BH, see Feb 15; MX, see Feb 21)

Voting Rights

February 14

February 14, 1899: Congress approved the use of voting machines in federal elections. (see April 27, 1903)


National American Woman Suffrage Association

February 14


February 14, 1920:  the National American Woman Suffrage Association became the League of Women Voters. The first president of the organization was Maude Wood Park. (Fem, see June 8; VR, see June 8)
Birth Control

February 14

February 14, 1969: now known as NARAL Pro Choice America, NARAL was founded as the National Association for Repeal of Abortion Laws, and later became the National Abortion Rights Action League. It was founded at the first National Conference on Reform of Abortion Laws in Chicago.  21 organizations and 350 individuals  sponsored the conference . (Feminism, see Feb 20; BC, see Mar 21)

US Labor History

February 14

February 14, 1903: the U.S. Department of Commerce and Labor was established. (see June 17)
Volkswagon Chattanooga, TN
February 14, 2014: employees at Volkswagon’s Chattanooga, TN plant voted against representation by United Auto Workers, leaving the factory as the only Volkswagen plant worldwide without a formal mechanism for workers' representation. (see Mar 26)

Technological & Cultural Milestones


February 14

February 14, 1929: Alexander Fleming introduced his mold by-product called penicillin to cure bacterial infections. (see January 31, 1930)

February 14

February 14, 1946: the ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer) was unveiled. The device, built at the University of Pennsylvania, was the world's first general purpose electronic computer. (see February 21, 1947)
Pale Blue Dot
February 14, 1990: the Pale Blue Dot picture was sent back from Voyager 1. It was around 3.5 billion miles away from earth.  (see May 31)

February 14

February 14 2005: the video sharing website YouTube founded. (see Apr 23)


Military Advisors
February 14, 1962: President John F. Kennedy authorized U.S. military advisors in Vietnam to return fire if fired upon. At a news conference, he said, "The training missions we have [in South Vietnam] have been instructed that if they are fired upon, they are of course to fire back, but we have not sent combat troops in [the] generally understood sense of the word." (see Feb 18)
Chicago 8
February 14, 1970: Judge Julius Hoffman sentenced four of the defendants to lengthy prison terms for contempt of court. After sending the jury to begin its deliberations, Hoffman started convicting the defendants and their lawyers for “numerous acts that add up to a total disregard for the conduct of this trial.” David Dellinger was found guilty on 31 counts and sentenced to 2 years 5 months 16 days; Renny Davis  on 23 counts was sentenced to 2 years 1 month 14 days; Thomas Hayden on 11 counts was sentenced to 1 year 1 month 14 days; and Abbie Hoffman found guilty on 24 counts and sentenced to 8 months. (see Feb 15)
February 14

The Beatles

February 14

February 14, 1972: John Lennon and Yoko Ono began a week long stay as co-hosts on "The Mike Douglas Show." (see Feb 19)

Here's a clip. Mike does "Michelle." Yikes! Slide up to 4:40 for John and Yoko.

Iran hostage crisis

February 14

February 14, 1979: In Kabul, Muslim extremists kidnapped the American ambassador to Afghanistan, Adolph Dubs, who was later killed during a gunfight between his kidnappers and police. (see Oct 20)

Environmental Issues

February 14

February 14, 1989: Union Carbide agreed to pay $470 million to the Indian government for damages it caused in the 1984 Bhopal Disaster. (see Mar 24)

Nuclear/Chemical Weapons News

February 14, 2006: Iran said it had resumed uranium enrichment, prompting Russia and France to call on Tehran to halt its work. (see March 11, 2011)

Native Americans

February 14, 2011: The Long Walkers 3 left La Jolla, California. Walkers split into two routes: North and South.  Along the way, they will hold community talks about reversing diabetes and heart disease through diet and exercise. Their statement read, in part, “This is a 5,000+ mile Walk Across America to bring awareness of the devastating effects of diabetes and how it can be reversed by changing our entire diet and lifestyle! This disease is at epidemic levels across America, and throughout Indian Country.” (see July 8)

Stop and Frisk Policy

February 14, 2012: The NYPD conducted about 685,000 stops in 2011, the highest number on record since the City Council started collecting stop-and-frisk data in 2002. (see Feb 29)


February 14

February 14, 2013:  the Obama administration gave the banking industry the green light to finance and do business with legal marijuana sellers, a move that could further legitimize the burgeoning industry. For the first time, legal distributors will be able to secure loans and set up checking and savings accounts with major banks that have largely steered clear of those businesses. The decision eliminates a key hurdle facing marijuana sellers, who can now legally conduct business in 20 states and the District. (see Mar 21)


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