February 15

February 15

February 15


School Desegregation

February 15

February 15, 1848: 5-year-old Sarah Roberts  (“a colored child..., a resident of Boston, and living with her father.”) had applied to a member of the (Boston) district primary school committee for a ticket of admission to her district school. The school committee refused her application “on the ground of her being a colored person.”

                On this date Sarah Roberts “went into the primary schol nearest her residence, but without any ticket of admission...and was...ejected from the school by the teacher.”  Benjamin Roberts, Sarah’s father, sued the City of Boston. (BH, see Mar 17; SD, see December 4, 1849)
February 15, 1935: Samuel Leibowitz argued before the US Supreme Court,  that blacks had been excluded from the Scottsboro jury pool because of their race. Leibowitz claimed that the black names currently on the jury rolls had been forged in after the fact. (SB, see April 1)
The Greensboro Four (see February 1)
February 15 – 21, 1960: Edward R. Zane, a member of the Greensboro City Council, worked with students to reach a compromise. The Mayor agreed to appoint a committee to address the issue, and the protesters agreed to continue negotiations. Several Greensboro associations, including The Board of Directors of the Greensboro Council of Church Women, the YWCA, and several ministerial alliances came out in favor of integration. (see Feb 22)
February 15, 1961: more than 300 acres in which Rev Ralph Abernathy has an interest were ordered sold in order to help satisfy the libel suit judgment against him in the L B Sullivan suit. (BH, and FS, see Feb 21)
White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan
February 15
Sam Bowers
February 15, 1964: Sam Bowers viewed the original Ku Klux Klan as being too passive. On this date at a meeting in Brookhaven, Mississippi, he convinced about 200 members of the original Knights to defect and join his Klan, to be called the White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, that would not hesitate to reveal the true nature of CORE, SPLC, NAACP, and SDS to achieve its goals. He became the group's fraternal "imperial wizard". Bowers adopted a code of secrecy with the purpose of preserving law and order in the South. (BH, see Feb 22 ; Bowers, see June 7)
Muhammad Ali

February 15

February 15, 1978: probably taking his young challenger too lightly, Ali lost his heavyweight title to Leon Spinks in a split decision. (Ali, see September 15; Black History, see June 8)


Supreme Court
February 15, 1879: President Rutherford B. Hayes signed legislation allowing women to be admitted to practice before the US Supreme Court. (Feminism, see March 3)
Voting Rights

February 15

February 15, 1919: the “Prison Special” tour began when a train named “Democracy Limited” left Union Station in Washington, D.C. and traveled across country with 26 suffragists on board who had served jail sentences. Over next three weeks, the women, often dressed in prison costumes, spoke about their incarceration and sought support for federal woman suffrage amendment. (see Feb 24)
Bill Baird Abortion Clinic
February 15
Bill Baird
February 15, 1979:  Peter Burkin bombed the clinic of abortion rights activist Bill Baird in Hempstead, Long Island. by anti-abortion terrorist Peter Burkin. All escaped due to Baird's training drills with his employees that prepared them for such a violent attack. Burkin was given a two-year sentence in a mental hospital. (see Feminism  Oct 14, 1979)
The Red Scare & US Labor History
February 15, 1950: the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) expelled the Mine, Mill & Smelter Workers; the Food, Tobacco & Agricultural Workers; and the United Office & Professional Workers for “Communist tendencies.” Other unions expelled for the same reason (dates uncertain): Fur and Leather Workers, the Farm Equipment Union, the Int’l Longshoremen’s Union, the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers. (RS, see Feb 20; LH, see October 27, 1951)

The Cold War

February 15

February 15, 1967: the March 1967 issue of Ramparts magazine created a national sensation by publishing an exposé of Central Intelligence Agency’s secret funding of education groups, including primarily the National Student Association. The article was titled, “A Short Account of International Student Politics and the Cold War with Particular Reference to the NSA, CIA, etc.” It was the first significant breach in the veil of secrecy surrounding the CIA, and the first revelation of secret funding of American organizations and journalists.

                From the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s, Ramparts was the most important anti-war, counter-culture, general circulation magazines in the U.S. It was later revealed that the CIA learned of the forthcoming article and spied on the magazine and its writers in violation of the CIA charter that forbade the agency from spying within the United States. (see November 17, 1969)

Music et al

(see February 15 Music et al for more)
The Sound of Music
February 15 – May 8, 1960: the soundtrack from the original cast for The Sound of Music was Billboard’s #1 album.
The Beatles
February 15 – May 1, 1964: Meet the Beatles became the Billboard #1 album. (see Feb 16)
February 15 – March 7, 1969: The Beatles again the Billboard #1 album. (see Mar 12)
Sly and the Family Stone
February 15 – March , 1969: “Everyday People” by Sly and the Family Stone #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Vietnam War

Helicopters shot down

February 15

February 15, 1967: the Viet Cong shot down thirteen American helicopters in one day, 10 in one area. An American spokesman said that 9 or the 10 were repairable.

                Based on Pentagon announcements about 685 helicopters had been destroyed in the war to this point. (see March 2)
Chicago 8
February 15, 1970: Judge Julius Hoffman convicted the two defense attorneys and three of the defendants to prison for contempt of court. William M Kunstler was convicted of 24 counts of contempted and sentenced to 4 years and 13 days in a Federal prison. Leonard Weinglass, the other defense attorney was found guilty on 14 counts of contempt and sentenced to 1 year 8 months and 3 days.

                Hoffman also gave contempt terms to three defendants. Jerry Rubin received 2 years 1 month 23 days on 15 counts; John Froines received 6 months 15 days on 10 counts, and Lee Weiner received 2 months 18 days on 7 counts. (see Feb 18)
Soviet war in Afghanistan

February 15

February 15, 1989: The Soviet Union announced that all of its troops had left Afghanistan.

Jack Kevorkian

February 15, 1993: Hugh Gale, a 70-year-old man with emphysema and congestive heart disease, died in his Roseville home. Prosecutors investigated after Right-to-Life advocates find papers that show Kevorkian altered his account of Gale's death, deleting a reference to a request by Gale to halt the procedure. (see Feb 25)

Sexual Abuse of Children

February 15

February 15, 2005: defrocked Paul Shanley sentenced in to 12 to 15 years in prison on child rape charges. (see March 30)


February 15, 2008: the American College of Physicians (ACP) stated its support for the use of nonsmoked forms of THC, research on the benefits of medical marijuana, review of the federal scheduling of marijuana, and exemption from criminal prosecution. (see Nov 4)

Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

February 15

February 15, 2010: the  Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, owned by Transocean, began drilling on the Macondo Prospect. (see Apr 1)


February 15

February 15, 2011: Judge Nancy G. Edmunds of Federal District Court sentenced Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who tried to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner with explosives concealed in his underwear on Christmas Day in 2009. Edmunds his crime and subsequent lack of remorse demanded the maximum possible punishment.. (see November 21, 2013)


February 15

February 15, 2015: Roy Moore, the conservative chief justice of Alabama’s Supreme Court, said that if the U.S. Supreme Court decided that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry, he would defy the ruling because it would alter God’s “organic law.” (see Feb 17)


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