This Week In History, Feb. 19 – 25

Published February 24, 2017

Donner Party rescue, the first New Yorker issue, the Iwo Jima flag raising, Malcolm X's assassination, and a Cold War nuclear test.

February 19, 1847: Donner Party Rescued

Trudeau Portrait

Wikimedia CommonsJean Baptiste Trudeau, one of the people who reportedly engaged in cannibalism while the Donner Party was stranded.

On February 19, 1847, the first rescue party reached 45 pioneers stuck in the snowy Sierra Nevada mountains of northeast California. They’d been stranded there with virtually no food or supplies for four months, and lost 36 companions, many of whom they ate in order to stay alive.

So begins the infamous tale of the Donner Party.

February 21, 1925: The New Yorker‘s First Issue Published

New Yorker


On February 21, 1925, Harold Ross and his wife Jane Grant released the first issue of The New Yorker. In its nearly century-long life, the magazine has become a hotbed of cultural commentary, original reportage, and fiction, but its founders originally intended for it to be a slightly highbrow humor publication.

February 23, 1945: U.S. Flag Raised At Iwo Jima

Iwo Jima

Joe Rosenthal / Public DomainAmerican soldiers raising a flag on Mount Suribachi.

After days of bloody fighting during the Battle of Iwo Jima, five American marines and one Navy corpsman hoisted an American flag atop a peak of Mount Suribachi. The resulting Pulitzer Prize-winning image, captured by Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal, still stands as the most reproduced photograph in history.

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