February 26: This Day in History

cashFebruary 26, 2015 – Segment 1

Marc shares some of the events that happened on this day in history, including the birth of Johnny Cash and the first bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993.


Fats Domino – Ain’t That A Shame


That’s “Ain’t That A Shame” by Fats Domino, whose birthday is today. He was born in New Orleans, Louisiana and today is his 87th Birthday. He was born into a musical family that inspired him to play: his dad was a violinist and his uncle, jazz guitarist Harrison Verrett, taught him how to play. When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, Fats’ house flooded and he was rescued by a Coast Guard helicopter. We’re happy he’s still with us today and we wish him a very happy birthday.

We do love blue jeans, don’t we? .. Well let’s also say Happy Birthday to Levi Strauss, who created denim overalls for miners. He was born today in 1829.

In 1869, the 15th Amendment was passed after four years of battling in Congress. It guaranteed that the right to vote “shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” And that Congress will “have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.”

The Civil War ended in 1865, but the war for rights of newly Freed Black citizens were not.  Black people did not have the right to vote in 8 of the Northern states and Black Codes were being adopted throughout the South to limit the freedom of formerly enslaved people. This amendment to guarantee the right to vote was a compromise that did not outlaw literacy tests, poll taxes and more.   Then-President Johnson vetoed it all, but was overridden by the Radical Republican leadership, who then were buoyed by the victory of Ulysses S. Grant as President.

Today, we commemorate the day in 1926 that Carter G Woodson created Negro History Week.

Congress made the Grand Canyon a National Park in 1919, and 10 years later, President Coolidge did the same thing for Grand Tetons in Wyoming.  It was a time of explosive growth for national parks in America, with a growing environmental consciousness. But this was also land held sacred by many Native peoples and it was no longer in their control.

Today, Wyatt Outlaw was lynched in North Carolina in 1870.  A hero in battle during the Civil War, he came home to North Carolina to lead his newly freed brothers and sisters, becoming a county commissioner and militia leader to defend newly freed people.  His militia literally fought white militias and enforced laws in both white and black worlds, He became a target of the White Brotherhood and Klu Klux Klan, and today in 1870 he was dragged from his home, lynched and the war known as the Kirk-Holden War broke out.

The first attack on the World Trade Center occurred today in 1993 when a car bomb exploded in the garage, collapsing several floors in the garage and hitting a subway tunnel. Six people were killed and over a hundred were injured. The following year in May, four men were sentenced to life in prison for the attack, One of those who was convicted was Ramzi Yousef, whose uncle was one of Al-AQueda’s leaders and who trained with them. He said that this would be only the first attack to come against the United States.

Paul Revere’s ride into the night to warn that the British were coming is stuff of American legend, but what about Sybil Ludington? … Never the heard the name? Well, many have not. She was just 16 years old, and she rode many times the distance of Paul Revere. She went from 9PM till dawn, staved off night rider with just her staff, and saved the day mobilizing troops … So let us all remember the brave night ride of Sibyl Ludington, who passed away on this day in 1839.

Here’s a song for your February the 26th. It’s by one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century, who celebrates a birthday today. This musician was born in Kingsland, Arkansas and he made a name for himself mixing the genres of rock and roll, rockabilly, blues, folk, and gospel. I’m talking about the Man In Black, Johnny Cash, who would have been 83 today. He passed away in 2003.

Johnny Cash – Big River


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