Seeds of Fire: A People’s Chronology

Recalling events that happened on this day in history.
Memories of struggle, resistance and persistence.

Compiled by Ulli Diemer

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February 21, 1848
An obscure German-language printshop in London prints 1,000 copies of a 23-page political statement issued by a small revolutionary organization called the Communist League. With the whiff of revolution in the air, the manuscript has been hurriedly written by two young members of the League, 29-year-old Karl Marx and 27-year-old Friedrich Engels. In that spring of 1848, revolts start to break out across Europe. The original press run rapidly sells out, and the pamphlet, known as the Communist Manifesto, is quickly reprinted and translated into other languages. It goes on to become one of history’s most influential and widely-read political statements.
The Manifesto combines a vision of the total overthrow of capitalist society, and its replacement by communism, with a willingness to ally with other progressive political groups, and a series of short-term demands, including the confiscation of land held by wealthy landowners, a heavy progressive or graduated income tax, the abolition of the right of inheritance for capitalist property, and free education for all children.
February 21, 1891
125 men die in a mine disaster in Springhill, Nova Scotia.
Related Topics: Coal MiningDisastersMining Safety
February 21, 1934
Nicaraguan revolutionary Augusto César Sandino is assassinated by Anastasio Somoza Garcia’s National Guard while in the midst of negotiations with the government about a peaceful settlement to the conflict between peasants and the government. The day after Sandino’s murder, National Guard troops descend on the co-operatives Sandino’s movement has organized and massacre their inhabitants. Somoza holds power in Nicaragua until 1979, when he is overthrown by a new organization basing itself on Sandino’s legacy, the Sandinista National Liberation Front.
February 21, 1965
African-American leader Malcolm X is assassinated.
Related Topics: AssassinationsPolitical Murders
February 21, 1973  
Israeli military jets shoot down a Libyan civilian passenger plane in northern Egypt.
Related Topics: Israeli MilitaryLibya

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For more information about people and events in Seeds of Fire, explore these pages: