On This Day, Feb 12, 1909 – NAACP Founded to Combat Lynching
1909 – The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was founded, partly in response to the continuing horrific practice of lynching and the 1908 race riot in Springfield, the capital of Illinois and resting place of President Abraham Lincoln.
Appalled at the violence that was committed against blacks, a group of white liberals that included Mary White Ovington and Oswald Garrison Villard, both the descendants of abolitionists, William English Walling and Dr. Henry Moscowitz issued a call for a meeting to discuss racial justice. Some 60 people, seven of whom were African American (including W. E. B. Du Bois, Ida B. Wells-Barnett and Mary Church Terrell), signed the call, which was released on the centennial of Lincoln’s birth.
Other early members included Joel and Arthur Spingarn, Josephine Ruffin, Mary Talbert, Inez Milholland, Jane Addams, Florence Kelley, Sophonisba Breckinridge, John Haynes Holmes, Mary McLeod Bethune, George Henry White, Charles Edward Russell, John Dewey, William Dean Howells, Lillian Wald, Charles Darrow, Lincoln Steffens, Ray Stannard Baker, Fanny Garrison Villard, and Walter Sachs.
Echoing the focus of Du Bois’ Niagara Movement began in 1905, the NAACP’s stated goal was to secure for all people the rights guaranteed in the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the United States Constitution, which promised an end to slavery, the equal protection of the law, and universal adult male suffrage, respectively.
The NAACP established its national office in New York City in 1910 and named a board of directors as well as a president, Moorfield Storey, a white constitutional lawyer and former president of the American Bar Association. The only African American among the organization’s executives, Du Bois was made director of publications and research and in 1910 established the official journal of the NAACP, The Crisis.
1541 – The city of Santiago, Chile was founded.
1554 – Lady Jane Grey was beheaded after being charged with treason. She had claimed the throne of England for only nine days.
1733 – Savannah, GA, was founded by English colonist James Oglethorpe.
1870 – In the Utah Territory, women gained the right to vote.
1879 – The first artificial ice rink opened in North America. It was at Madison Square Garden in New York City, NY.
1892 – President Abraham Lincoln‘s birthday was declared to be a national holiday.
1912 – China’s boy emperor Hsuan T’ung announced that he was abdicating, ending the Manchu Ch’ing dynasty. Subsequently, the Republic of China was established.
1915 – The cornerstone of the Lincoln Memorial was laid in Washington, DC.
1918 – All theatres in New York City were shut down in an effort to conserve coal.
1924 – U.S. President Calvin Coolidge made the first presidential political speech on radio.
1940 – Mutual Radio presented the first broadcast of the radio play “The Adventures of Superman.”
1968 – “Soul on Ice” by Eldridge Cleaver was published for the first time.
1973 – The State of Ohio went metric, becoming the first in the U.S. to post metric distance signs.
1973 – American prisoners of war were released for the first time during the Vietnam conflict.
1998 – A U.S. federal judge declared that the presidential line-item veto was unconstitutional.
1999 – President William Clinton was acquitted by the U.S. Senate on two impeachment articles. The charges were perjury and obstruction of justice.
2002 – Kenneth Lay, former Enron CEO, exercised his constitutional rights and refused to testify to Congress about the collapse of Enron.
2002 – The trial of former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic began at the U.N. tribunal in The Hague. Milosevic was accused of war crimes during the Balkan wars of the 1990s.
2004 – Mattel announced that “Barbie” and “Ken” were breaking up. The dolls had met on the set of their first television commercial together in 1961.
Source: On-This-Day.com; NAACP.org