February 10


1567: The second husband of Mary Queen of Scots, Lord Darnley, age 21, was found strangled to death in Edinburgh, Scotland, in a suspected assassination.

1840: Queen Victoria (1819-1901) of the United Kingdom married Prince Albert (1819-1861) of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha.

1861: Jefferson Davis was notified by telegraph that he had been chosen as provisional president of the Confederate States of America.

1870: The YWCA (Young Women’s Christian Association) was founded in New York City.

1883: Ontario, Canada’s, first free public library opened in Guelph.

February 11

660 BC: Japan was founded by Emperor Jimmu.

1534: King Henry VIII of England became the supreme head of the Church of England.

1752: Pennsylvania Hospital, the first hospital in the United States, was opened by Benjamin Franklin.

1790: The Religious Society of Friends, also known as Quakers, petitioned the U.S. Congress to abolish slavery.

1794: The first session of the U.S. Senate opened to the public.

February 12

881: Pope John VIII crowned Charles the Fat, the King of Italy: Holy Roman Emperor.

1733: Englishman James Oglethorpe founded Georgia, the 13th of the original 13 colonies, and its first city at Savannah.

1809: Born this day: English scientist Charles Darwin, author of On The Origins of Species, died 1882), and Abraham Lincoln, 16th U.S. president (in Hardin County, now Larue, Kentucky, died 1865).

1825: The Creek Indians, also known as the Muscogee people, gave up the last of their lands in Georgia to the U.S. government with the Treaty of Indian Springs and migrated west to Oklahoma.

1832: Ecuador annexed the Galápagos Islands.

2009: The U.S. Mint issued the first of four new Lincoln pennies. This one has a log cabin on the back to depict his birth and early childhood. It was issued on the 200th anniversary of the 16th president’s birth at a special ceremony at LaRue County High School in Hodgenville, Ky., Lincoln’s birthplace.


February 13

1668: Spain recognized Portugal as an independent nation.

1914: The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) was established in New York City to protect the copyrighted musical compositions of its members.

February 14

1349: In Strasbourg, France, several hundred Jews were burned to death by mobs that blamed them for the Black Death sweeping Europe at that time.

1925: Twenty mushers driving dogsled teams delivered antitoxin to Nome, Alaska, saving the town from a diphtheria epidemic and establishing the historic Iditarod dogsled trail.


February 15


1933: In Miami, Florida, Giuseppe Zangara tried to assassinate President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt but shot Chicago Mayor Anton J. Cermak instead, who died of peritonitis as a result of his wounds on March 6, 1933.

1951: Born this day: actress Jane Seymour and singer Melissa Manchester.

1965: The red-and-white maple leaf design was adopted as the flag of Canada, replacing the Canadian Red Ensign banner.

February 16

1786: Elizabeth Kortright married James Madison in New York City. He would become the fourth president (1809-1817).

1852: Studebaker Brothers wagon company, precursor of the auto maker, was founded.

1923: English archaeologist Howard Carter unsealed the intact burial chamber of Pharaoh Tutankhamun, “King Tut.”

Buffalo Soldiers in Montana (1888-1898)

By Caelen Anacker

Black Calvary, Montana, 1894.

Courtesy of Montana Historical Society


Between 1866 and 1917, African American soldiers served throughout the western United States, including the territory and later state of Montana.

Beginning in 1888, the 24th and 25th Infantries and the 9th and 10th calvaries would be stationed throughout Montana at Fort Missoula, Fort Keogh, and Fort Assiniboine.

The primary responsibility of the black soldiers stationed in Montana was to protect the settlers from the actions of hostile Amerindians. While there were no Buffalo Soldiers involved in the Montana Territory’s most famous conflict, the Battle of the Little Bighorn (1876), they took part in less well-known actions.

In 1896, General Pershing led a unit of the 10th Cavalry on a mission to round up Cree Indians over the space of 600 miles and deport them to Canada. Montana-based soldiers also were involved in policing the labor disputes in the Coeur d’Alene mining district of northern Idaho. In 1892, when a labor dispute in the region turned violent, the 25th Infantry was deployed to impose martial law to prevent bloodshed between the strikers and the company-hired strike breakers. Soldiers stationed in Montana also took on less traditional assignments. The 25th Infantry Bicycle Corp, based at Fort Missoula, was formed in 1896 by order of Major General Nelson Miles (1839-1892) to test the combat viability of bicycle-mounted infantry.

There was racial tension between the black soldiers stationed in Montanan forts and the predominantly white citizens of the territory and later state, as there was in all places that Buffalo Soldiers were stationed. However, there were also numerous examples of good will between the two groups. In 1897, as the 25th Infantry Bicycle Corp rode through the state, they were escorted into Big Timber by enthusiastic members of the local bicycle club. The soldiers of the 24th and 25th Infantries stationed at Fort Missoula had a particularly congenial relationship with the citizens of Missoula. Local clergy were often employed for weddings, funerals, and the like for the soldiers. When the 25th Infantry was redeployed for service in the Spanish-American War, the townspeople postponed their Easter services and turned out en masse to see the soldiers off.

Retrieved from



White Sulfur Springs errand boy leaves indelible mark on Harlem Renaissance

Courtesy of
Montana Historical Society


Emmanuel Taylor Gordon, brother of Rose Gordon, was born into the only African American family in White Sulphur Springs. He was a world famous singer in the 1920s at the height of the Harlem Renaissance.

With his musical partner, J. Rosamond Johnson, Gordon was a crucially important figure in popularizing African American spirituals as an art form, giving many listeners their first experience of black spirituals.

Despite his fame, Taylor Gordon has been all but forgotten, until now. Michael K. Johnson illuminates Gordon’s personal history and his cultural importance to the legacy of the Harlem Renaissance, arguing that during the height of his celebrity, Gordon was one of the most significant African American male vocalists of his era.

Gordon’s story—working in the White Sulphur Springs brothels as an errand boy, traveling the country in John Ringling’s private railway car, performing on vaudeville stages from New York to Vancouver to Los Angeles, performing for royalty in England, becoming a celebrated author with a best-selling 1929 autobiography, and his long bout of mental illness—adds depth to the history of the Harlem Renaissance and makes him one of the most fascinating figures of the twentieth century.

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