a day in the day of the days

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February 21st 1848: Communist Manifesto published

On this day in 1848, the Manifesto of the Communist Party - now known as The Communist Manifesto - was published. It was written by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, often considered the founding fathers of communism, on behalf of the London-based Communist League. Engels laid the foundations for the theory, and had been drafting a treatise on communism for some years until he collaborated with Marx who developed his work and proposed the leading principles. The main ideas expressed in the manifesto are chiefly that capitalism and class struggle (between the proletariat and bourgeoisie) have been the chief concerns of society throughout history. Marx and Engels theorised that capitalism would be replaced by socialism and then communism, fulfilling their vision of global communism. Their work has been incredibly influential, and communism has become the ideological basis of several states including the Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China.

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Nina Simone (1933-2003) is one of the most recognizable voices in jazz – a famous and prestigious singer, songwriter, and pianist, earning the nickname “High Priestess of Soul”. She was also active in the civil rights movement in the United States.

Despite a well-received audition at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, she was ultimately rejected, an incident which she blamed on racial prejudice. She gained popularity by singing and playing piano in bars, and was soon recording both studio and live albums. She routinely included messages in support of civil rights in her performances.