This week in history



  • On Feb. 24, 1886, The House of Representatives voted to impeach President Andrew Johnson due to his removal of the Secretary of War which was said to be a violation of the Tenure of Office Act that stated that the president couldn’t fire anyone who had already been approved by Congress.

  • On Feb. 25, 1870, Congress sworn in the first African American congressman. Hiram Rhodes Revels was elected after he served the union by helping them form African American regiments, created a school for freedmen, as well as served as chaplain to the Union army. After the civil war, Revels was stationed to Mississippi where he was later chosen to replace the seat previously held by the former president of the confederacy.

  • On Feb. 23, 1954, The first polio vaccine, an injection developed by Dr. Jonas Salk, was administerd to a group of children who went to Arsenal Elementary School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Now, after the vaccine has been improved on, only the world’s poorest and most marginalized communities contract polio.

  • On Feb. 26, 1993, the World Trade Center was bombed, causing the death of 6 people and injuring more than 1,000 people. This terrorist attack was meant to send the North Tower crashing into the South Tower.

  • On Feb. 28, 1953, scientists James D. Watson and Francis H.C. Crick from Cambridge University announced that they’ve discovered the double-helical structure of DNA, with the help of Rosalind Franklin and Maurice Wilkins.

  • On Feb. 29, 1940, Hattie McDaniel was the first African American actress to win an Oscar. McDaniel was awarded the Best Supporting Actress Academy Award. She was also one of the first African American women to sing on the radio.

  • On Feb. 26, 2012, neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman fatally shot Travon Martin, a 17-year-old who was walking back from a convenience store. This sparked a concern that George Zimmerman had shot Martin just because he was black, and brought the Florida “stand your ground law” to national attention.