February 16

February 16

February 16

Native Americans

February 16, 1760: Cherokee Indians failed to rescue Cherokee hostages held in Fort St. George (South Carolina). In revenge, the British killed all the hostages. (see 1789)


February 16, 1847: the Missouri legislature passed an act that prohibited “Negroes and mulattoes” from learning to read and write and assembling freely for worship services. The act also forbade the migration of free blacks to the state. The penalty for anyone violating any of the law’s provisions was a fine not to exceed five thousand dollars, a jail term not to exceed six months, or a combination of fine and jail sentence.

The 1847 law supplemented a Missouri law passed in 1825 that imposed various restrictions on free black people. The 1825 law defined a black person as anyone having at least one black grandparent, and made a distinction between those considered full-blooded Negroes and mixed-blooded mulattoes. The 1825 law also prohibited free blacks from keeping or carrying weapons without a special permit and settling in Missouri without a certificate of citizenship from Missouri or another state. Free blacks who migrated to or through Missouri without citizenship documents faced arrest, a court order to leave the state within thirty days, and a punishment of ten lashes. Under the 1825 law, white ship captains and labor bosses were permitted to bring free blacks into the state as workers, though for no longer than six months at a time.

In 1840, nearly 13 percent of Missouri’s population was composed of enslaved black people, while free black people made up less than one percent of the state’s residents. The 1847 law was enacted to place further limitations on the black population and calm fears of a possible rebellion. (see June 30)
U.S. Navy
February 16, 1944: the U.S. Navy began training its first African-American officers. More than 100,000 African Americans were in the Navy in World War II, many of them forced to serve as laborers, support crew and cooks. None were officers. After pressure from civil rights groups, the Navy responded by commissioning 16 African-American officers and sending them for training. (see Apr 3)
Black Liberation Front

February 16

February 16, 1965: the New York City police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation with the help of the Royal Canadian Police broke up a plot to blow up the Statue of Liberty, the Liberty Bell, and the Washington Monument.  The four were: Walter Augustus Bowe, Khaicel Sultan Sayyed , leader Robert Steele Collier, and Canadian Michelle Duclos,The men were part of an extremist organization known as the "Black Liberation Front" (BLF), while Duclos was a member of the Quebec secessionist group Rassemblement pour l'Indépendance Nationale. (BH, see Feb 17; Terrorism, see June 14)


February 16

February 16, 1918: Lithuania independent from the Russian and German Empires. (see Feb 24)

February 16

February 16, 1990: Lithuania declared its independence from the Soviet Union. (see March 15)

US Labor History

February 16, 1926:  the beginning of a 17-week general strike of 12,000 New York furriers, in which Jewish workers formed a coalition with Greek and African American workers and became the first union to win a 5-day, 40-hour week (see May 1)
Technological & Cultural Milestones

February 16

February 16, 1937: Wallace H. Carothers, a research chemist for Du Pont, received a patent for nylon. (see April 30, 1939)
The Camel Newsreel Theatre

February 16

February 16, 1948: NBC-TV aired the first nightly newscast, "The Camel Newsreel Theatre," which consisted of Fox Movietone newsreels. The program was 10-minutes long. (see June 20)
February 16, 1968:  the nation's first 911 emergency telephone system was inaugurated in Haleyville, Ala. (see September 2, 1969)

Cold War

Fidel Castro

February 16

February 16, 1959: Fidel Castro became prime minister of Cuba after leading a guerrilla campaign that forced right-wing dictator Fulgencio Batista into exile. Castro, who became commander in chief of Cuba's armed forces after Batista was ousted on January 1, replaced the more moderate Miro Cardona as head of the country's new provisional government. (see Apr 15)
Boston SANE
February 16, 1962: Boston SANE [Sane Nuclear Policy (1957)] & fledgling Students for a Democratic Society held first anti-nuclear march on Washington with 4000 - 8000 protesters. (see April 14)

February 16, 2016: the Obama administration’s top transportation officials joined Cuban dignitaries at the Hotel Nacional in Havana to sign an agreement that restored commercial airline service between the two countries for the first time in more than 50 years. (see Mar 20)

Music et al

Beatles/Ed Sullivan
February 16, 1964: second appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. This time in Miami. An estimated 70 million viewers watch that night Set list: She Loves You > That Boy > All My Loving; I Saw Her Standing There > With Love From Me To You > I Want To Hold Your Hand [Sullivan also refers to upcoming Clay/Liston fight in Miami] (next Beatles, see Feb 18) (see Ed Sullivan Meets the Beatles Again for more)
February 16, 1968: Mike Love, Mia Farrow, Donovan and others travel to India to visit the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi at Rishikesh.  (see April 12)
Tony Sheridan

February 16

February 16, 2013: Tony Sheridan, the British guitarist, singer and songwriter who was the star on the Beatles’ first commercial recording — they were the backup band—died. (see March 21, 2016)


February 16, 1968: U.S. officials reported that, in addition to the 800,000 people listed as refugees prior to January 30, the fighting during the Tet Offensive created 350,000 new refugees. (see Feb 18)


February 16

February 16, 1971: Nixon began secret recordings using a newly installed taping system in White House. (see June 17, 1972)

Symbionese Liberation Army

February 16, 1974: in a second tape recording, Patty Hearst asked her parents to "stop acting like I'm dead." DeFreeze says that the S.L.A. is looking for "a good faith gesture."  The SLA had kidnapped Hearst on February 4.


February 16, 2012: a federal judge in Detroit ordered life in prison for Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a Nigerian man who'd tried to blow up a packed Northwest jetliner with a bomb concealed in his underwear. (see Feb 29)

Immigration History

February 16, 2015: Federal District Judge Andrew S. Hanen in Brownsville, Texas ordered a temporary halt to President Obama’s executive actions on immigration, siding with Texas and 25 other states that filed a lawsuit opposing the initiatives. (see Feb 23)

Hanen prohibited the Obama administration from carrying out programs the president announced in November that would offer protection from deportation and work permits to as many as five million undocumented immigrants. The first of those programs was scheduled to start receiving applications February 17. (IH, see Feb 23; Obama, see May 26)

Environmental Issues

February 16

February 16, 2015: a CSX train carrying crude oil from North Dakota’s Bakken formation derailed in the Mount Carbon area of Fayette County, West Virginia sending oil tankers off the tracks, with some reaching the Kanawha River.

The train, consisting of two locomotives and 109 rail cars, was en route to Yorktown, Va. (see Feb 24)


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