February 20 in Pop Culture History

February 20th History, Trivia, and Fun Facts

February 20th History Highlights

  • 1491 – An unnamed comet came within 860,000 miles of Earth, the closest we know of.
  • 1920 – Carl Stoltz, American founder of Little League Baseball (died in 1992)
  • 1962 – While aboard Friendship 7, John Glenn became the first American to orbit the earth, making three orbits in four hours, 55 minutes.
  • 1986 – The Soviet Union launched the Mir spacecraft.
  • February 20, 19** Birthday (fictional) Hal Jordan (Green Lantern), DC Comics.
  • If you were born on February 20th,
    You were likely conceived the week of… May 30th (prior year)

February 20th is…

Clean Out Your Bookcase Day
Love Your Pet Day
National Cherry Pie Day
National Muffin Day
Student Volunteer Day
World Pangolin day

February 20th Birthday & Astronaut Quotes

“The most important thing we can do is inspire young minds and to advance the kind of science, math, and technology education that will help youngsters take us to the next phase of space travel.”
– John Glenn

“I am the me I choose to be.”
– Sidney Poitier

“Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are.”
– Kurt Cobain

“I’m always in love. If it’s not with a man, it’s something else. I love beauty. I love the sky I see outside the window. There’s so much beauty in the world.”
– Gloria Vanderbilt

“The only difference between a good shot and a bad shot is if it goes in or not.”
– Charles Barkley

“I don’t believe in the “supernatural,” I believe in the “supernormal.” To me, there is nothing that goes against nature. If it seems incomprehensible, it’s because we haven’t been able to understand it yet.”
– Richard Matheson

“There is nothing worse than a brilliant image of a fuzzy concept.”
– Ansel Adams

“What can the government do? They can listen to their own people. But I’ll tell you what citizens can do when we elect one of these people – whether we think it’s a good guy or a bozo – you got to stay on the case. You don’t vote and go home and give them the keys to the car, he’ll drive you right off a cliff. You have to help people to stay honest.”
– Buffy Sainte-Marie

February 20th Birthdays

1633 – Jan de Baen, Dutch painter (died in 1702)
1726 – William Prescott, American soldier, coined the term “Don’t shoot until you see the whites of their eyes.” (died in 1795)
1897 – Ivan Albright, American painter (died in 1983)
1902 – Ansel Adams, American photographer and environmentalist (died in 1984)
1906 – Gale Gordon, American actor (died in 1995)
1921 – Buddy Rogers, American wrestler (died in 1992)
1924 – Gloria Vanderbilt, American actress, fashion designer, and socialite (died in 2019)
1925 – Robert Altman, American director and screenwriter (died in 2006)
1926 – Richard Burton Matheson, American author (died in 2013)
1927 – Sidney Poitier, Bahamian-American actor
1934 – Bobby Unser, American race car driver
1937 – Roger Penske, American race car driver and businessman
1937 – Nancy Wilson, American singer and actress (died in 2018)
1941 – Buffy Sainte-Marie, Canadian singer-songwriter
1942 – Phil Esposito, Canadian ice hockey player
1943 – Antonio Inoki, Japanese wrestler, mixed martial artist and politician
1946 – Sandy Duncan, American actress, singer and dancer
1946 – J. Geils, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (died in 2017)
1948 – Jennifer O’Neill, American model and actress
1949 – Ivana Trump, Czech-American socialite and model
1951 – Edward Albert, American actor (died in 2006)
1954 – Patty Hearst, American actress and author
1960 – Joel Hodgson, American comedian, actor, and screenwriter
1963 – Charles Barkley, American basketball player and sportscaster
1964 – French Stewart, American actor
1966 – Cindy Crawford, American mode
1967 – Kurt Cobain, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (died in 1994)
1987 – Miles Teller, American actor
1988 – Rihanna, Barbadian-American singer-songwriter

February 20th History

1792 – The United States Post Office became a cabinet position under President George Washington. In 1971, the Post Office became an independent corporation.

1816 – Rossini’s opera The Barber of Seville premiered at the Teatro Argentina in Rome.

1872 – The Metropolitan Museum of Art opened in New York City.

1872 – Luther Childs Crowell (#123,811) received the patent for a machine for manufacturing square-bottom paper bags. We still use the design today.

1877 – Tchaikovsky’s ballet Swan Lake gave its premiere performance at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow.

1921 – The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, starring Rudolph Valentino was released in theaters.

1931 – San Francisco got approval from the US Congress to build the San Franciso-Oakland Bay Bridge.

1943 – American movie studio executives agreed to allow the Office of War Information to censor movies.

1962 – Launching from Cape Canaveral, Florida, John Hershel Glenn Jr. successfully went into space aboard the Friendship 7 spacecraft on the first orbital flight by an American astronaut.

1965 – # 1 Hit February 20, 1965 – March 5, 1965: Gary Lewis & The Playboys – This Diamond Ring

February 20, 19** Birthday (fictional) Hal Jordan (Green Lantern), DC Comics

1979 – This Old House premiered on PBS.

1986 – The Soviet Union launched the Mir space station into orbit.

1986 – After about a century of planning and a millennium of wishing, it was announced that the “Chunnel” between the UK and France would be built. Construction began in December 1987 and the “chunnel” was finally completed in 1994.

1988 – # 1 Hit February 20, 1988 – February 26, 1988: Expose – Seasons Change

1995- A short called “Changes” which was the pilot for Dexter’s Laboratory aired on Cartoon Network. It was a huge success and is credited with helping launch the animation careers of Butch Hartman, Craig McCracken, and Seth McFarlane.

1996- VH1 Storytellers debuted on VH1

1998 – American figure skater Tara Lipinski became the youngest gold-medal winner at the Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan

2001 – FBI agent Robert Hanssen was arrested and charged with spying for the Russians for 15 years

2003 – Great White’s pyrotechnics went out of control, burning down Rhode Island’s ‘The Station’ nightclub, and took 100 lives.

2005 – Robot Chicken premiered on Adult Swim.

2013 – The smallest extrasolar planet, Kepler-37b was discovered.

Today’s Random Trivia and Shower Thoughts

Slumber Party Barbie came with a book called “How to Lose Weight.” One of the tips was “Don’t eat.” #truestory

Building an averaged size house out of Lego would cost almost 6 times more than building it from real bricks.

“The tribe has spoken” – Jeff Probst (Survivor)

“The Grand Budapest Hotel” was entirely filmed in Saxony, Germany. The interior scenes were shot in a department store.

Always count backward from the number of reps you wish to accomplish when you are exercising. #advice

Peppers taste hot because of a chemical compound called capsaicin.

“It’s a fool looks for logic in the chambers of the human heart.” – Everett (George Clooney) #moviequotes

“It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.” – Walt Disney

The Janitor from “Scrubs” was meant to be part of JD’s imagination in the first season, as a finale twist if the show was canceled, which is why he does not interact with any other cast members that season.

Dogs can now watch more TV due to higher refresh rates and resolutions, whereas before it was like watching a flickering image.

TV Quotes… “Resistance is futile” (Picard as Borg) on “Star Trek: The Next Generation”

After Haiti defeated France to earn its independence in 1804, France returned 20 years later with warships and demanded 150 million francs in gold to compensate for lost property. Haiti did not pay off this debt until 1947.

John Hurt holds the record by dying in over 40 different movies including Alien, Spaceballs, Elephant Man, Hellboy and V for Vendetta.

The word ‘currently’ is useless. It can always be omitted without affecting understanding of a sentence, at least in how we use English currently.

“People Hearing without listening, people talking without speaking.” #songlyrics

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