1733 James Oglethorpe and 130 colonists arrived at Charleston, South Carolina.
1864 Stephen Foster died. (Stephen Foster Memorial Day)
1898 Emile Zola’s article, “J’accuse,” was published.
1966 Robert C. Weaver became the first African-American cabinet member.
1996 Michael Jordan became one of thirteen NBA players to accumulate at least 23,000 career points. (See February 17th and March 9th entries.)
To say that ideas are powerful is an understatement. Unlike chemical reactions or bombs, ideas that take root are capable of unlimited growth. Today, on this very day in 1898, the Parisian writer Emile Zola published an article entitled “J’accuse” (I accuse). It was written to defend Alfred Dreyfus, a French soldier who was being railroaded on treason charges. Zola’s ideas aroused the emotions of France and the world. Before the case was over, not only was Captain Dreyfus vindicated, but the French government and military establishment were rocked to their heels and their attitudes drastically changed.
A gentle man died on this day in 1864 at Manhattan’s Bellevue Hospital. He rocked no governments; roused no great pangs of conscience. born in 1826 in Lawrenceville, Pennsylvania, Foster died at the age of thirty-eight—penniless. He simply wrote songs: musical images of the American South. Times change, and some of his lyrics are no longer considered politically correct. Yet he is most deservedly commemorated. This is Stephen Foster Memorial Day which is dedicated to the memory of the composer who wrote about the Swanee River; about the old folks at home; and about Jeannie with the light brown hair.
This seems to be a landmark day for successful beginnings. In 1733, James Oglethorpe and 130 colonists arrived at Charleston, South Carolina, on their way to settling what became the state of Georgia. But overcoming oppressive odds through courage and conviction is not limited to just this event. In 1966, Robert C. Weaver was appointed to the U. S. cabinet. President Lyndon Baynes Johnson made Weaver the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. He was the first African-American to attain an executive- branch post.
On this day in 1996, in a showdown with the highly-touted Philadelphia 76ers rookie basketball player Jerry Stackhouse, Michael Jordan scored a game-high 48 points, making him one of thirteen NBA players in basketball history' to accumulate at least 23,000 career points.