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5 Fun Facts About February 19 In Massachusetts History

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

1. On February 19, 1807, Aaron Burr was arrested in the town of Wakefield, Massachusetts, after being charged with conspiracy and treason against the United States. Burr, who had previously served as Vice President under Thomas Jefferson, was accused of leading a militia to attack Spanish-controlled territory in Louisiana and establish his own independent nation.

2. The first recorded game of basketball was played in Springfield, Massachusetts, on February 19, 1892. The game was invented by Canadian physical education instructor James Naismith, who was seeking a new indoor activity to keep his students active during the winter months.

3. On February 19, 1861, Abraham Lincoln spoke at Tremont Temple in Boston, Massachusetts, during his inaugural tour as President-elect. The speech focused on the need for national unity amidst growing tensions between North and South, and helped to solidify support for Lincoln during the early months of his presidency.

4. Famed African American writer and abolitionist Frederick Douglass gave a speech in Salem, Massachusetts, on February 19, 1865, entitled "What the Black Man Wants." In the speech, Douglass argued for full political and social rights for African Americans in the wake of the Civil War and the abolition of slavery.

5. On February 19, 2004, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court issued a landmark ruling in the case of Goodridge v. Department of Public Health, making Massachusetts the first state to legalize same-sex marriage. The ruling paved the way for similar decisions in other states and helped to advance the cause of LGBTQ rights nationwide.
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