February 13: This Day in History

fountainFebruary 13, 2015 – Segment 1

Marc shares some of the events that happened on this day in history, including the 1960 sit-in of Black college students at lunch counters in Nashville.

Transcript of this day in history below.

This is Marc Steiner, and today is February the 13th.

(Tennessee Ernie Ford – Shotgun Boogie)

That was “Shotgun Boogie” by Tennessee Ernie Ford. Today is his birthday, born in Bristol, Tennessee in 1919.

The world has long been a battleground against new ideas that challenge the accepted norm. Many in power do not like to be confronted with the reality that their truth is not real. The astronomer Galileo Galilee was sent to Rome to stand trial today in 1633 because he came up with the theory that the Earth’s tides were affected by the moon orbiting the Earth in relation to the Earth’s orbit around the Sun. Well, that contradicted the Church’s belief that the Earth was the center of the universe and everything revolved around it. This heresy against Church doctrine could have cost him his life, but he was silenced and sentenced to house arrest for the rest of his life. He kept writing and receiving visitors, and one of those books he wrote while exiled was “Two New Science,” which Albert Einstein said was one of the greatest books of science ever written.

And today in sports: Rube Foster founded the Negro National League In 1920. It was one of the powerhouse’s of the professional Negro baseball leagues of the 20’s and 30’s.

And three years later in 1923, the first Black professional basketball team was founded — the New York Renaissance, or the Harlem Rens as they were called. It was one of greatest basketball teams ever. They played a great rivalry with the then-Boston Celtics, winning more than they lost. The Harlem Rens were the stuff of legend, memorialized in the documentary “On the Shoulders of Giants.”

In modern civil rights history, students in Nashville Tennessee started the first of the now iconic sit ins at lunch counters in Tennessee today in 1960.

Three years before in 1957, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference — or as we know it the SCLC — was founded. It named the hero of Montgomery as it’s President, Martin Luther King, Jr.

Musicians, writers and artists are in the midst of battles over copyright defined by this digital age, and 101 years ago in 1914, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers was established in New York City to protect the copyrighted musical compositions of its members.

And the first feminist paper hit the newsstands in Paris in 1881. La Citoyenne pulled few punches, was risqué and led the world know that full equal rights for women were long overdue. It became a sensation beyond Paris and France; women picked it up around the globe, and fought against colonialism and for the rights of women in the west and under colonization.

I want to share a song with you this February the 13th. It’s by a German composer, theatre director, polemicist, and conductor who died today in 1883. He was known for his dramatic works, and we listen to one of those today: Cavalcata delle Valchirie by Richard Wagner.

(Richard Wagner – Cavalcata delle Valchirie)

To continue your exploration of this day in history, take a look at some of our favorite sources: Charles H. Wright Museum: Today in Black History; African American Registry; BlackPast; NYTimes on this Day; EyewitnessToHistory.com; The Civil War Trust; Voices in Labor: Today in Labor History; Union Communication Services at The Worker Institute: Today in Labor History; BBC On This Day; The Holocaust History Project; PBS African American World; PBS; Today in Women’s History; South African History Online; This Day In North American Indian History; Jewish Virtual Library; The People History; Wikipedia List of Historical Anniversaries; Yenoba; and This Day in Music