On this February Day in History

February 1, 1960. In Greensboro, North Carolina, four African American students sat down and ordered coffee at a lunch counter inside a Woolworth's store. After being refused service they did not leave, but instead, remained sitting at the counter all day. This nonviolent "sit-in" was repeated in other southern states over the next few days, resulting in the eventual arrest of over 1,600 persons.and  leading  to the Woolworth department store chain removing its policy of racial segregation in the South.

February 1, 2003. Shortly  before it was scheduled to land, the Space Shuttle Columbia broke apart in flight over west Texas, killing all seven crew members. This was the second space shuttle lost in flight. In January 1986, Challenger exploded during liftoff

February 2, 1848. The war between Mexico and the United States ended with the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. In exchange for $15 million, the U.S. acquired the land comprising parts or all of present day California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, and Texas.

February 3, 1870. The 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified. This amendment guaranteed the right of citizens to vote, regardless of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.

February 8, 1587. Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots, was beheaded after 19 years as a prisoner of her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I.

Guadalcanal by Edwin Palmer Hoyt

February, 9, 1943. During the Pacific campaign of World War II, U.S. troops captured Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands after a six month battle.  9,000 Japanese and 2,000 Americans were killed.

Conversations with myself by Nelson Mandela

February 11, 1990. Nelson Mandela was released from prison in South Africa at age 71, after serving 27 years of a life sentence on charges of attempting to overthrow the apartheid government.

February, 13, 1865. Boston Latin School - the first public school in America -  was established in Boston, Massachusetts by Puritan leaders.

February 13, 1945. British and American planes began massive bombing raids on Dresden, Germany. A four-day firestorm engulfed the historic old city, killing an estimated 135,000 German civilians, and destroying over 1,600 acres of the city.

February, 15, 1898The  U.S. Battleship Maine was blown up while at anchor in Havana, Cuba. 260 crew members were killed. The incident resulted in a declaration of war against Spain on April 25, 1898, amid cries of "Remember the Maine!"

February 15, 1820. Susan B. Anthony was born in Adams, Massachusetts. A tireless worker  for woman's suffrage, she was arrested in 1872 after voting illegally in the presidential election.

February 19, 1942.  In the aftermath of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the internment of Japanese Americans began after President Franklin Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066 which required those living on the Pacific coast to report for relocation. Over 110,000 persons were forced to shut down their businesses, sell off their property, quit school and move inland to the relocation centers. The camps were located in Arkansas, Arizona, California, Idaho, Utah, Wyoming and Colorado. Sixty-two percent of the internees were American citizens.

John Glenn : a memoir by John Glenn

February 20, 1962. Traveling aboard the Friendship 7, astronaut John Glenn became the first American launched into orbit.

February 27, 1933. The Reichstag building (home of the German Parliament) in Berlin was attacked by an arsonist. The responsibility for the Reichstag fire remains an ongoing topic of debate. The Nazi Party accused communists, while some historians propose that the arson was planned and ordered by the Nazis.