1965 – Malcolm X assassinated
Malcolm X had espoused the teachings of Nation of Islam founder Elijah Muhammad while in prison, but over time had become more radical than the movement’s founder. Muhammad believed that Malcolm had become too powerful and suspended him from the Nation of Islam. Malcolm X had grown disillusioned with the Nation of Islam and its leader Elijah Muhammad. Expressing many regrets about his time with them, which he had come to regard as largely wasted.
On February 21, 1965, one week after his home was firebombed, Malcolm X was shot to death by Nation of Islam members while speaking at a rally of his organization in New York City.
1948 – NASCAR founded
On this day in 1948, the National Association for Stock Car Racing–or NASCAR, as it will come to be widely known–is officially incorporated. NASCAR racing will go on to become one of America’s most popular spectator sports, as well as a multi-billion-dollar industry.
1848 – Marx publishes Manifesto
On February 21, 1848, The Communist Manifesto, written by Karl Marx with the assistance of Friedrich Engels, is published in London by a group of German-born revolutionary socialists known as the Communist League. The political pamphlet–arguably the most influential in history–proclaimed that “the history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles” and that the inevitable victory of the proletariat, or working class, would put an end to class society forever. Originally published in German as Manifest der Kommunistischen Partei (“Manifesto of the Communist Party”), the work had little immediate impact. Its ideas, however, reverberated with increasing force into the 20th century, and by 1950 nearly half the world’s population lived under Marxist governments.
1927 – Erma Bombeck is born
On this day in 1927, humorist Erma Bombeck is born in Dayton, Ohio.
In 1965, the Dayton Journal Herald, invited Bombeck to write a three-times-a-week column called “At Wit’s End,” which was soon syndicated nationally. She became one of America’s most beloved columnists, writing about the everyday trials of suburban housewives.