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5 Fun Facts About February 15 In District Of Columbia History

---Learn Every Day: DC Today In History Facts Texted Each Day - Text: history dc To: 618-270-4005---

1. In 1870, the first African American senator, Hiram Rhodes Revels, was sworn into office by Vice President Schuyler Colfax. This historic moment took place on February 15, marking a significant step forward in the fight for racial equality and political representation.

2. On February 15, 1898, the battleship USS Maine exploded and sank in Havana Harbor, Cuba, leading to the start of the Spanish-American War. The incident, which killed 260 American sailors, fueled public sentiment for war against Spain and helped to establish the United States as a major world power.

3. In 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicated the first-ever civilian airport in the United States, National Airport (now Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport), in Arlington, Virginia. The dedication ceremony took place on February 15 and marked a major milestone in aviation history.

4. On February 15, 1965, the iconic African American author and civil rights activist, James Baldwin, delivered a speech at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC. Baldwin's speech, titled "The Moral Crisis in America," addressed issues of racial injustice, police brutality, and the need for civil rights reform.

5. In 2003, on February 15, an estimated 10 million people around the world participated in protests against the Iraq War. The protests took place in cities across the globe, including Washington, DC, where an estimated 100,000 people gathered to voice their opposition to the war. The demonstrations marked one of the largest anti-war protests in history.
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