This week in history


On Feb. 17, 1820, The Senate allows Missouri to enter the union as a slave state and Maine to enter as a free state. This is known as the Missouri Compromise and was done to maintain the balance between abolitionists and slave-owners and prevent a civil war.

The Communist Manifesto was published this week on February 21, 1848, by Karl Marx. This book has inspired many and is arguably the world’s most influential political manuscripts.

Ten weeks after Pearl Harbor was bombed by the Japanese, Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 which allowed certain areas to be labeled as military zones, authorizing the removal of anyone from these military zones, “as deemed necessary or desirable.” This was the beginning of internment camps for Japanese Americans. By June, about 112,000 Japanese Americans were evicted from the west coast and held in “relocation centers”.

On Feb. 21, 1965,  Malcolm X was assassinated. Malcolm X lived as a hoodlum but is said to have abandoned that life and embraced Islam while in prison. When Malcolm X was released, he joined the Nation of Islam. In 1963, however, he left the NOI in order to make the pilgrimage to Mecca as well as advocate the equality of all within the Islamic faith. Malcolm X worked toward that ideal for the rest of his life until he was assassinated in Manhattan’s Audubon Ballroom by people who were said to be affiliated with the Nation of Islam.

On Feb. 20, 1985, Ireland defied the catholic church by allowing the sale of contraceptives. This was a highly controversial vote and marks the first-ever defeat of the catholic church in Irish history.

On Feb. 18, 2010,  WikiLeaks published the first documents leaked by Chelsea Manning. These documents included a detailed account of a discussion held among American diplomats and Icelandic government officials. While this barely registered with the public, partly due to WikiLeaks being unknown, Chelsea Manning continued sending sensitive information to Wkileaks— in fact, this was the first of around 750,000 sensitive documents.