New York City (JFK+50) Malcolm X, born as Malcolm Little*, was giving a speech in Harlem when he was shot and killed fifty years ago today, February 21, 1965.
Malcolm X got into some trouble with his leader, Elijah Muhammad, when he responded to a question at a rally answering that President John F. Kennedy's death was a case of "chickens coming home to roost."
"Chickens coming home to roost never make me sad, they make me glad."
Malcolm, who converted to the Nation of Islam while in prison in the early 1950s, was forbidden by Elijah Muhammad from making public statements for a period of 90 days. Malcolm immediately resigned from the Black Muslims and organized the Muslim Mosque and Organization of Afro-American Unity.
Just one week before his assassination, Malcolm's apartment in Queens, N.Y. was bombed.
Undeterred, Malcolm had just begun a speech before 400 members of the Organization of Afro-American Unity when a man in the 2nd row stood up, brandished a shotgun and fired hitting Malcolm X directly in the chest.
Additional shots were fired by other conspirators in the crowd.
After the death of Elijah Muhammad in 1975, one of the conspirators said that the assassination of Malcolm X was the work of himself and "four Muslim brothers (who feared)....that Malcolm X" would have brought down their beloved leader.
Talmadge Hayer, Thomas 15X Johnson and Norman 3X Bulter had been tried and sentenced to life imprisonment for shooting Malcolm X.
*Malcolm Little, a.k.a. Malcolm X (1925-1965) was born in Omaha, NE. Having lost his father at the age of 6, Malcolm lived in Boston during his teenage years. He was arrested and sentenced to prison for burglary.
Malcolm said that the "X" replaced Little, the slavemaster's name. It was his view that the "X" represented his true African family name.
"True Crime: Assassination," by the Editors of Time-Life Books, Alexandria, Virginia, 1994.
Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) The Washington Monument, the tallest structure in the world at the time, was dedicated a century and thirty years ago today, February 21, 1885, here in the Nation's Capital.
The ceremony, which began at 11 a.m., had eight hundred people in attendance enduring very cold temperatures and a brisk wind.
The 555 foot monument, designed by Robert Mills, was begun on July 4, 1848.
Made of marble, granite and sandstone, the Washington Monument was completed at a cost of $1,817,710.
The proceedings were called to order by Senator Sherman and concluded with the acceptance of the monument "on behalf of the people of the United States" by President Chester A. Arthur.
Following is an excerpt from President Arthur's remarks:
"I do now, as President of the United States in behalf of the people, receive this monument from the hands of its builder and declare it dedicated from this time forth to the immortal name and memory of George Washington."*
"Marking a People's Love", The New York Times, February 22, 1885.