February History, Trivia and Fun Facts
Traditional February Information
|The Roman month Februarius was named after the Latin term februum, which means purification, via the purification ritual Februa held on February 15 (full moon) in the old lunar Roman calendar. January and February were the last two months to be added to the Roman calendar, since the Romans originally considered winter a monthless period.|
They were added by Numa Pompilius about 713 BC. February remained the last month of the calendar year until the time of the decemvirs (c. 450 BC), when it became the second month. At certain intervals February was truncated to 23 or 24 days, and a 27-day intercalary month, Intercalaris, was inserted immediately after February to realign the year with the seasons. Under the reforms that instituted the Julian calendar, Intercalaris was abolished, leap years occurred regularly every fourth year, and in leap years February gained a 29th day. Thereafter, it remained the second month of the calendar year, meaning the order that months are displayed (January, February, March, etc) within a year-at-a-glance calendar.
Even during the Middle Ages, when the numbered Anno Domini year began on March 25 or December 25, the second month was February whenever all twelve months were displayed in order. The Gregorian calendar reforms made slight changes to the system for determining which years were leap years and thus contained a 29-day February.
Middle English – Februarius
|1st week of February: African Heritage & Health Week|
3rd Weekend of February: National Margarita Weekend
American Heart Month
“The day is ending,
“Groundhog found fog. New snows and blue toes. Fine and dandy for Valentine candy. Snow spittin’; if you’re not mitten-smitten, you’ll be frostbitten! By jing-y feels spring-y.”
“In the coldest February, as in every other month in every other year, the best thing to hold on to in this world is each other.”
“There is always in February some one day, at least, when one smells the yet distant, but surely coming, summer.”
“February – the month of love?!! No wonder the shortest one in the calendar.”
“February is the uncertain month, neither black nor white but all shades between by turns. Nothing is sure.”
“Even though February was the shortest month of the year, sometimes it seemed like the longest.””
“The most serious charge which can be brought against New England is not Puritanism but February.”
The February sunshine steeps your boughs and tints the buds and swells the leaves within.
February 1st is Decorating With Candy Day.
February 1 in Pop Culture History
1790 – First session of the U.S. Supreme Court, New York City
1851 – Evaporated milk was invented by Gail Borden.
1884 – The Oxford Dictionary debuted
1887 – The area known as Hollywood was founded.
1893 – Thomas A. Edison finished construction of the first motion picture studio, the Black Maria in West Orange, New Jersey.
1896 – Puccini’s La bohème premiered in Turin, Italy.
1898 – Travelers Insurance Company began issuing car insurance.
1911 – Thomas Jennings was found guilty in Illinois with the first use of fingerprint evidence in the US.
1913 – Grand Central Terminal opened in New York as the world’s largest train station
1938 (Volcano Eruption) Banda Sea, Indonesia.
1942 – Voice of America, the official external radio and television service of the US, begans broadcasting with programs aimed at areas controlled by the Axis powers (later at the communist block).
1953 – You Are There premiered on CBS radio.
1960 – The Greensboro ‘Sit In’ took plane in North Carolina, protesting discrimination.
1964 – I Want To Hold Your Hand by The Beatles was number 1 on the Billboard music charts.
1974 – Good Times premiered on CBS.
1978 – Director Roman Polanski fled the United States to France after pleading guilty to charges of having sex with a 13-year-old girl.
1982 – Late Night with David Letterman debuted on NBC.
1996 – The Communications Decency Act was passed by the US Congress.
2003 – Space Shuttle Columbia on mission STS-107 disintegrated during reentry into the Earth’s atmosphere, killing all seven astronauts aboard over Texas.
2004 – The Janet Jackson/Justin Timberlake Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show Wardobe Malfunction controversy occurred
February 2 in Pop Culture History
1046 – The “Little Ice Age” began in Europe.
1653 – New Amsterdam (now the City of New York) was incorporated.
1876 – National League (now Major League Baseball) of baseball was founded
1887 – The first Groundhog Day was observed in Punxsutawney, PA
1892 – The bottle cap with cork seal was patented (#468,226) by William Painter, from Baltimore.
1893 – The Record of a Sneeze was filmed by Thomas Edison. It was the first filmed ‘close up.’
1914 – Charlie Chaplin’s first film appearance, Making a Living premiered in early theaters.
1922 – Ulysses by James Joyce was published.
1925 – Dog sleds, led by Gunnar Kasson, reached Nome, Alaska with diphtheria serum, inspiring the Iditarod Race.
1925 – Sears & Roebuck opened their first retail store, in Chicago.
1928 – Great Fall River Fire, Massachusetts
1950 – What’s My Line debuted on CBS.
1961 -Nearly 600 passengers aboard the hijacked Santa Maria liner were finally landed and released in Brazil.
1964 – G.I. Joe action figures (they are not ‘dolls’!) went on sale for the first time, featuring the four branches of the US military.
1967 – The American Basketball Association (ABA) was established. It only had four teams (New York Nets, Denver Nuggets, Indiana Pacers, and San Antonio Spurs) and later merged with its competition, the National Basketball Association (NBA)
1979 – Sid Vicious died of a heroin overdose in New York City.
1980 – An FBI operation called ABSCAM, an undercover operation regarding US congressional corruption was made known to the public.
1989 – Sky Television began broadcasting in the UK.
1990 – President De Klerk of South Africa lifted the 30-year ban on leading anti-apartheid group the African National Congress (ANC).
2000 – Oxygen debuted on cable
February 3 in Pop Culture History
1834 -Wake Forest University was established in North Carolina.
1870 – The 15th Amendment was ratified in the US, granting every citizen, regardless of race, the right to vote
1891 – The official electrical lighting of London streets commenced.
1889 – Outlaw Belle Starr was murdered in Oklahoma, shot twice in the back.
1913 – The Sixteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified, authorizing the Federal government to impose and collect an income tax.
1923 (Volcano Eruption) Kamchatka.
1943 – The SS Dorchester is sunk by a German U-boat. Only 230 of 902 men aboard survive; the event is described in the the Four Chaplains Story.
1947 – The coldest weather ever recorded in the North America was at Snag, Yukon: -63 °C or -81 °F.
1953 – Jacques Cousteau’s book The Silent World was published.
1959 – The Day The Music Died: Big Bopper, Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and Pilot Roger Peterson crashed in a cornfield near Clear Lake, Iowa.
1984 – The Challenger (STS-10) launched from the Kennedy Space Center.
2008 – The Naked Brothers Band premiered on Nickelodeon.
2009 – Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling was made a knight of the Légion d’Honneur, which is France’s highest civilian award.
February 4 in Pop Culture History
1703 – In Edo (Japan), 46 of the Forty-seven Ronin committed seppuku (ritual suicide) for avenging their master’s death.
1783 – Britain declared a formal cessation of hostilities with its American colonies, the United States.
1789 – George Washington was elected as the first president of the United States by the Electoral College.
1801 – John Marshall was sworn in as Chief Justice of the United States.
1825 – The Ohio Legislature authorized the construction of the Ohio and Erie Canal and the Miami and Erie Canal
1826 – The Last of the Mohicans by James Fennimore Cooper was published
1922 – Ford Motor Company acquired the failing luxury automaker Lincoln Motor Company for $8 million.
1932 – The Winter Olympics were held in the United States at Lake Placid, NY.
1935 – Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch premiered on CBS radio.
1936 – Radium (Ra) became the first radioactive element to be synthetically made.
1938 – Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs was released by Walt Disney.
1941 – Roy Plunkett received the patent (#2,230,654) for Tetrafluoroethylene Polymers’ (Teflon)
1941 – The USO (United Services Organization) was founded.
1957 – Smith-Corona began selling portable electric typewriters.
1961 – The Misfits, starring Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable and Montgomery Clift, was released by United Artists
1965 (Earthquake) Rat Islands, Alaska
1974 – The Symbionese Liberation Army abducted 19 year-old Patty Hearst
1979 (Earthquake) Riobamba, Ecuador
1983 – Singer Karen Carpenter died of anorexia.
1985 – President Ronald Reagan’s defense budget called for a tripling of the expenditure on the “Star Wars” research program.
1991 – Pete Rose (aka Charlie Hustle) was banned ‘for life’ from the Baseball Hall of Fame due to the fact that he used to illegally gamble on games.
1992 – A coup d’état was led by Hugo Chávez against Venezuelan President Carlos Andrés Pérez.
1997 – A civil jury in California found O.J. Simpson liable in the death of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman. Goldman’s parents were awarded $8.5 million in compensatory damages.
2004 – Facebook launched as “TheFacebook.com”
February 5 in Pop Culture History
62 – Pompeii earthquake (not to be confused with the Great Earthquake of 79)
1783 (Earthquake) Calabria, Italy
1824 – Samuel Vaughan Merrick and William H. Keating founded “The Franklin Institute of the State of Pennsylvania for the Promotion of the Mechanic Arts” in Philadelphia.
1846 – The Oregon Spectator became the first newspaper published on the Pacific coast, in Oregon City.
1883 – The Southern Pacific Railroad completed its transcontinental “Sunset Route” from New Orleans to California.
1917 – The Congress of the United States passed the Immigration Act of 1917. Also known as the Asiatic Barred Zone Act, and it forbade immigration from nearly all of south and southeast Asia.
1919 – Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, and D.W. Griffith launch United Artists.
1929 – A runner’s ‘starting blocks’ (Foot Support) patent (#1,701,026) was issued to George T. Bresnahan of Iowa City, Iowa
1936 – The last silent film of the era, Modern Times, was released by Charlie Chaplin.
1953 – Walt Disney film Peter Pan opened at the Roxy Theatre in New York City.
1958 – A hydrogen bomb, known as the Tybee Bomb, was lost by the US Air Force off the coast of Savannah, Georgia, and was never found.
1972 – Bob Douglas became the first African America to be inducted to the Basketball Hall of Fame.
1988 – Manuel Noriega was indicted on drug smuggling and money laundering charges.
1999 – Mike Tyson was sentenced to a year in jail for assaulting two people after a car accident on August 31, 1998. Tyson was also fined $5,000, had to serve 2 years of probation, and had to perform 200 hours of community service upon release.
2000 – Kelly Ripa officially joined Regis Philbin on Live!
February 6 in Pop Culture History
1819 – Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles founded Singapore.
1820 – The first 86 African American immigrants sponsored by the American Colonization Society left New York to start a settlement in present-day Liberia.
1843 – The first minstrel show in the United States, The Virginia Minstrels, opened at the Bowery Amphitheatre in New York City.
1891 – The Dalton Gang’s first attempt at train robbery failed. Bob, Grat, and Bill Dalton unsucessfully tried to rob a Southern Pacific train near Alila, California.
1926 – The National Football League (NFL) adopted a rule that made players ineligible for competition until their college class graduated.
1928 – A woman calling herself Anastasia Tschaikovsky and claiming to be the youngest daughter of the murdered czar of Russia arrived in New York City. In 1991, DNA evidence indicated she was not the Russian princess.
1933 – The 20th Amendment to the Constitution was declared in effect, making the start of presidential, vice-presidential and congressional terms from March to January.
1937 – John Steinbeck’s novella Of Mice and Men was published.
1952 – Queen Elizabeth II succeeded to the British throne.
1959 – The first patent for an integrated circuit (computer chip) was filed by Jack Kilby of Texas Instruments.
1959 – At Cape Canaveral, the first successful test firing of a Titan intercontinental ballistic missile.
1971 – Astronaut Alan B. Shepard used a six-iron that he had brought inside his spacecraft and swung at three golf balls on the surface of the moon. He said it went for “miles and miles.”
1978 (Blizzard) The Blizzard of 1978 – One of the worst Nor’easters in New England history, hit the region, with sustained winds of 65 mph and snowfall of four inches an hour.
1985 – The French mineral water company, Perrier, debuted its first new product in 123 years. The new items were water with a twist of lemon, lime or orange.
1998 – Washington National Airport was renamed the Ronald Reagan National Airport.
2000 – First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton formally declared that she was a candidate for a U.S. Senate seat from the state of New York.
2005 – American Dad premiered on FOX
February 7 in Pop Culture History
1783 (Earthquake) Calabria, Italy
1817 – The first public gas street light in the was lit in Baltimore, Maryland, the first in the United States.
1904 – 1500 buildings, in an 80block area of the downtown Baltimore was destroyed in a fire. No one was killed.
1914 – The silent film Kid Auto Races at Venice premiered in theaters, featuring Charlie Chaplin in his first screen appearance as The Little Tramp.
1932 – The ‘neutron’ was mentioned in an article in the journal Nature by its discoverer, James Chadwick,
1935 – ‘Monopoly’ was first sold by Charles Darrow. In December he sold the patented (#2,026,082) game to Parker Brothers.
1940 – The second full-length animated Walt Disney film, Pinocchio, premiered.
1962 – The United States banned all Cuban imports and exports.
1964 – The Beatles first arrive in the United States.
1964 – Pan Am Yankee Clipper flight 101 from London Heathrow landed at New York’s Kennedy Airport, bring The Beatles to America for the first time.
1979 – Ex-planet Pluto moved inside real planet Neptune’s orbit for the first time since both planets were known to science
1982 – Superman: The Movie was broadcast on American television for the first time. It was in two parts, continued the following night.
1984 – STS-41-B Challenger Mission: Astronauts Bruce McCandless II and Robert L. Stewart make the first untethered space walk using the Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU).
1985 – New York, New York became the official anthem of New York City.
1988 – America’s Most Wanted premiered on FOX.
1990 – Dissolution of the Soviet Union: The Central Committee of the Soviet Communist Party agrees to give up its monopoly on power.
February 8 in Pop Culture History
1692 – A doctor in Salem Village claimed three teenaged girls were possessed by Satan, which then lead to the chaotic Salem Witch Trials.
1693 – The College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia was granted a charter by King William III and Queen Mary II.
1855 – The Devil’s Footprints mysteriously appeared around the Exe Estuary in East Devon and South Devon, England. After a heavy snowfall, trails of two-legged hoof-like marks appeared overnight in the snow covering a total distance of many miles.
1865 – Delaware voters rejected the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and vote to continue the practice of slavery, although in practice, it did not exist.. (Delaware finally ratifies the amendment on February 12, 1901.)
1898 – The first envelope folding and gumming machine patent (#598,716) was issued to John Ames Sherman of Worcester, Mass.
1910 – The Boy Scouts of America were founded.
1915 – The Birth of a Nation, D.W. Griffith’s controversial film, premiered. It was originally titled The Clansman.
1924 – The first state execution in the United States by gas chamber took place in Nevada.
1936 – The first National Football League (NFL) draft was held. The Philadelphia Eagles chose Jay Berwanger, the first to be selected.
1946 – The first portion of the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, the first serious challenge to the popularity of the Authorized King James Version, was published.
1950 – The Stasi, the secret police of East Germany, was established.
1952 – Elizabeth II was proclaimed Queen of the United Kingdom.
1960 – Ground-breaking for the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The initial stars were Joanne Woodward, Olive Borden, Ronald Colman, Louise Fazenda, Preston Foster, Burt Lancaster, Edward Sedgwick, and Ernest Torrence.
1969 – Pieces of the large Allende meteorite were recovered in Chihuahua, Mexico. They were estimated to be over 4.6 billion years old.
1969 – The last issue of the “Saturday Evening Post” was published. It was revived in 1971 as a quarterly publication and eventually 6 times a year.
1971 – The NASDAQ stock market index opened.
1998 – The first female hockey game in Olympic history took place. Finland defated Sweden 6-0
February 9 in Pop Culture History
1870 – The weather service, now named the National Weather Service (NWS) was authorized by Congress.
1889 – The United States Department of Agriculture was established
1895 – William G. Morgan, a Holyoke, MA, YMCA physical education director, invented the game of volleyball.
1900 – The Davis Cup tennis competition was established.
1902 – Doctor Eugène-Louis Doyen of Paris, performed a successful operation separating Siamese freakshow twins (Radika and Dodika), from the Barnum and Bailey Circus, apart.
1913 – The 1913 Great Meteor Procession took place over the eastern section of North America.
1942 – ‘War Time’ Daylight-savings went into effect in the U.S.
1960 – Adolph Coors was kidnapped and later killed by Joe Corbett while driving to work from his Morrison, Colorado, home.
1961 – The Beatles debuted at Liverpool’s Cavern
1964 – The Beatles appeared in the Ed Sullivan Show for the first time.
1969 – The Boeing 747 flew its inaugural flight.
1971 – Satchel Paige became the first Negro League player to be voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
1997- The Simpsons made television history with their episode “The Itchy, Scratchy and Pootchie Show” which they then surpassed the Flintstones as the longest running prime-time cartoon series in terms of episodes aired
February 10 in Pop Culture History
1840 – Queen Victoria and her cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe Coburg-Gotha, married. They had 9 children – Victoria, Bertie, Alice, Alfred, Helena, Louise, Arthur, Leopold, and Beatrice.
1863 – General Tom Thumb and Lavinia Warren were married in NYC.
1870 – The YWCA (Young Women’s Christian Association) was formally founded in New York City.
1897 – All The News That’s Fit To Print Day – the phrase began permanantly on the front page of The New York Times.
1933 – In Round 13 of a infamous boxing match at Madison Square Garden; Primo Carnera knocked out Ernie Shaaf, killing him.
1933 – The singing telegram was introduced by the Postal Telegraph Company of New York City.
1942 – The first gold record was presented to Glenn Miller for Chattanooga Choo Choo for selling 1.2 million copies. There was no official rule set at the time to qualify.
1949 – Death of a Salesman by American playwright Arthur Miller, opened at the Morocco Theatre in New York City.
1953 – Romper Room premiered, in syndication.
1956 – My Friend Flicka debuted on CBS
1962 – Roy Lichtenstein’s first solo art exhibition opened at the Castelli Gallery in NYC.
1962 – The Soviet Union exchanged captured American U2 pilot Francis Gary Powers for the Soviet spy Rudolph Ivanovich Abe with the US.
1966 – Ralph Nader, the author of Unsafe at Any Speed: The Designed-In Dangers of the American Automobile, testified before Congress for the first time about unsafe practices in the auto industry.
1992 – Mike Tyson was convicted in Indianapolis of raping Desiree Washington, Miss Black American contestant.
1993- Oprah Winfrey interviewed Michael Jackson at his home The Neverland Ranch. It was Jackson’s first televised interview since 1979.
1996 – World chess champion Gary Kasparov lost the first game of a six-game match against Deep Blue. He won three, and tied twice in the matchup.
February 11 in Pop Culture History
660 BC – Traditional date for the foundation of Japan by Emperor Jimmu.
1534 – Henry VIII of England is recognized as supreme head of the Church of England.
1752 – The first hospital in the United States, Pennsylvania Hospital, opened.
1808 – As an experiment, anthracite coal was burned as a fuel by Judge Jesse Fell in Pennsylvania.
1812 – Massachusetts governor Elbridge Gerry gerrymandered for the first time.
1858 – Marie-Bernarde Soubirous, a 14-year-old French peasant girl, first claimed to see a vision of the Virgin Mary near Lourdes, France. In 1933, she was canonized as St. Bernadette by the Roman Catholic Church.
1928 – The La-Z-Boy reclining chair was invented by Ed Shoemaker.
1929 – The Vatican was officially independant from Italy with the Lateran Treaty.
1939 – Nature published a theoretical paper on nuclear fission by Lise Meitner and Otto Fritsch.
1940 – NBC radio debuted The Chamber Music Society of Lower Basin Street.
1963 – The French Chef, starring Jula Child debuted on WGBH in Boston, MA.
1989 – Rev. Barbara Harris became the first woman to be consecrated as a bishop in the Episcopal Church.
1990 – Nelson Mandela, leader of the movement to end South African apartheid, was released from prison after 27 years
1990 – Buster Douglas (40 to 1 odds against him winning) defeated Mike Tyson, to become the new undisputed heavyweight champion of the world.
1994 – The ‘rBGH’ genetically engineered growth hormone for cows goes on sale to dairy farmers under the name Posilac, made by Monsanto. It was the first time altered genes were allowed into live animals.
2006 – Vice President Dick Cheney accidently shot his friend Harry Whittington while the two were hunting together
2012 – Singer Whitney Houston died in a hotel bathtub, the result of accidental drowning. Heart disease and cocaine, which was found in her system, were determined to be contributing factors.
February 12 in Pop Culture History
881 – Charles the Fat was declared the Holy Roman Emperor.
1870 – Women were given the right to vote, in Utah.
1879 – The first artificial ice rink opened in Madison Square Garden in NYC.
1898 – The first car crash resulting in a fatality happened to Henry Lindfield, in England.
1914 – The first stone of Washington DC’s Lincoln Memorial is put into place.
1924 – Rhapsody In Blue, by George Gershwin, performed for first time at the Aeolian Hall in New York City. Paul Whitman conducted the now classic piece of American music.
1931 – Dracula premiered in theaters.
1935 – The patent (#1,991,236) was issued to Robert Jemison Van de Graaff for his Electrostatic Generator.
1963 – Construction began on the Gateway Arch in St. Louis.
1999 – President Bill Clinton was acquitted on both articles of impeachment against him: perjury and obstruction of justice.
2004 – The city and county of San Franciso began to issue marriage license to same-sex couples
2004 – Mattel officially announced the split of Barbie and Ken
February 13 in Pop Culture History
1633 – Galileo Galilei arrived in Rome to face charges of heresy by the Catholic Church for advocating Copernican theory, which held that the Earth revolved around the Sun.
1741 – The first magazine was published in America – The American Magazine.
1906 -The patent (#812,554) was issued to Alfred Einhorn for his synthesis of procaine, which was given the tradename of Novocain.
1914 -The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP ) was established to protect the copyrighted musical compositions of its members.
1915 – The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), headed by Victor Herbert, was founded.
1946 – The world’s first electronic digital computer, ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Calculator) was first demonstrated at the Moore School of Electrical Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania, by John W. Mauchly and J. Presper Eckert.
1993 – Double Dare game show ended
2000 – Two days after Charles M Schulz died, February 11, the last original Peanuts comic strip was printed in newspapers
2004 – Astronomer Travis Metcalfe of the Harvard – Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics believed he discovered the largest diamond in the known universe at the center of the white dwarf star, BPM 37093. Observations claim that the core of the star is a diamond crystal 4000km in diameter.
February 14 in Pop Culture History
278 – Valentine, a priest in Rome in the days of Emperor Claudius II, was beheaded for performing (illegal at the time) marragige ceremonies.
1779 – Captain James Cook, the great English explorer and surveyor in the Royal Navy, was murdered by natives of Hawaii during his third visit to the Pacific island group.
1822 – The patent (#X003456) was issued for the first practical grass mowing machine to Jeremiah Bailey of Chester county, Pennsylvania.
1876 – Both Alexander Graham Bell and Elisha Gray applied for a telephone patent. Alexander’s was later approved.
1903 – The United States Department of Commerce and Labor is established (it was later split into the Department of Commerce and the Department of Labor).
1912 – Arizona was admitted at the 48th state of the United States.
1920 – The League of Women Voters formed in Chicago, IL.
1929 – Sir Alexander Fleming left a plate of staphylococcus bacteria uncovered, and noticed the mold had killed much of the bacteria. He identified the mold as penicillium notatum, and shortened the name to Penicillin.
1929 – Four men came in, dressed as police at Bugs Moran’s headquarters on North Clark Street in Chicago, killing seven of Bugs’s men in what is called the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. Moran was a rival of of Al Capone.
1938 – Former silent film actress Hedda Hopper began her gossip column in The Los Angeles Times.
1961 – Element 103, Lawrencium, was first synthesized at the University of California.
1970 – Live at Leeds by The Who was recorded.
1989 – Iranian leader Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa encouraging Muslims to kill Salman Rushdie, author of The Satanic Verses.
2000 – NEAR Shoemaker became the first spacecraft to orbit around an asteroid, 433 Eros
2002 – The final Family Guy episode aired after Fox announced its cancellation. It came back after DVD sales indicated a huge auduence for the show.
2005 – Youtube.com was launched.
February 15 in Pop Culture History
1764 – The city of St. Louis was established in Spanish Louisiana (now in Missouri, USA).
1898 – An explosion sank the battleship USS Maine in Cuba’s Havana harbor, killing 260 of the fewer than 400 American crew members aboard, sparking the Spanish-American war.
1903 – The first Teddy Bear was introduced in Brooklyn, NY.
1946 – ENIAC, the first electronic general-purpose computer, was formally dedicated at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.
1950 – Disney’s Cinderella cartoon feature opened in theaters. It was one of the biggest films of the year, and was theatrically re-released several time s- 1957, 1965, 1973, 1981 and 1987.
1961 – The whole 18-member U.S. figure skating team was killed in a plane crash in Berg-Kampenhout, Belgium. The team was on its way to the 1961 World Figure Skating Championships in Prague, Czechoslovakia.
1965 – The flag we know today, the red and white maple leaf was designed as the new flag of Canada. Prior to that, the official flag was Britain’s Union Jack.
1992 – Serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer was sentenced in Milwaukee to life in prison.
2003 – It was estimated that between 8,000,000-30,000,000 people in 600 cities worldwide, the protest of the Iraq War was the largest protest in the history of the world.
2005 – YouTube was activated online.
2013 – A meteor exploded in the sky over Russia’s Ural Mountains, near Chelyabinsk, shattering glass and setting off car alarms for miles. Also, asteroid DA14 came with 18,000 miles of Earth.
February 16 in Pop Culture History
1894 – Gunslinger John Wesley Hardin is pardoned after spending 15 years in a Texas prison for murder. Hardin shot and killed a man just for snoring, by firing through the wall at the sleeping snorer.
1923 – In Thebes, Egypt, English archaeologist Howard Carter entered the sealed burial chamber of the ancient Egyptian ruler King Tutankhamen. He had been looking for King Tut’s tomb since his first trip the Egypt in 1891. The outer chambers were discovered in November, 1922.
1959 – Fidel Castro was sworn in as prime minister of Cuba after leading a Communist guerrilla campaign that forced dictator Fulgencio Batista into exile.
1964 – The Beatles appeared in the Ed Sullivan Show for the second time.
1968 – Haleyville, Alabama was the first town to use the 911 emergency number.
1983 – The Ash Wednesday brushfires in Southern Austalia took the lives of 71 people, becoming Australia’s worst fire ever.
2005 – The National Hockey League canceled the entire 2004-2005 regular season and playoffs.
February 17 in Pop Culture History
1859 – Dmitri Mendeleev began creating what we now call The Periodic Table.
1904 – Giacomo Puccini’s opera Madame Butterfly premiered at the La Scala theatre in Milan, Italy. It was one of the firts world-wide pop culture event ‘hits’.
1933 – The magazine Newsweek was published for the first time. In October 2012, it was announced that Newsweek would cease print publication with the December 31, 2012.
1958 – Pope Pius XII designated St. Clare of Assisi the patron saint of television.
1959 – Vanguard 2 – The first weather satellite waslaunched to measure cloud-cover distribution.
1968 – The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame opened in Springfield, MA
1972 – With the 15,007,034th Volkswagen Beetle coming off the assembly line, the VW Beetle broke the world car production record held for more than four decades by the Ford Motor Company’s Model T, which was in production from 1908 and 1927.
1979 – A Prairie Home Companion premiered on Minnesota Public Radio.
1995 – Colin Fergson was convicted of the 1993 Long Island Rail Road shootings and received a 200+ year sentence to jail
1996 – In the final game of a six-game match, world chess champion Garry Kasparov defeated Deep Blue, IBM’s chess-playing computer, and won the match, 4-2. But in 1997, Deep Blue defeated Kasparov in a rematch.
2009 – 368 US Television stations permanently shut off their analog transmission signals, becoming digital.
February 18 in Pop Culture History
1861 – Jefferson Davis became the provisional president of the Confederate States of America. He was ‘provisional’ becuase he was not elected by the people, but appointed by the Confederate Congress.
1885 – Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckberry Finn was published for the first time.
1913 – Pedro Lascuráin becomes President of Mexico for 45 minutes, the shortest term to date of any person as president of any country.
1929 – The first Academy Awards were announced in 1929 for 1928’s films.
1930 – A cow named Ollie was milked over St. Louis, MO. Her milk was cartoned and parachuted down.
1930 – Ex-planet Pluto was discovered by Clyde Tombaugh.
1954 – The first Church of Scientology was established in Los Angeles.
1978 – The first Ironman Triathlon competition took place on the island of Oahu and is won by Gordon Haller.
2001 – Race car legend Ralph Dale Earnhardt was killed in a crash in the last lap of the Daytona 500 . Richard Petty won the race.
February 19 in Pop Culture History
1847 – Of the 89 original members of the Donner Party, only 45 reached California. They had been trapped, with no provisions and little survival skills since late October of 1848, about 13 miles northwest of Lake Tahoe.
1864 – The Kights of Pythias was established in Washington, DC.
1884 – More than sixty tornadoes struck the Southern United States in one of the largest tornado outbreaks in U.S. history.
1878 – The patent (#200,521) for Thomas Edision’s phonograph was granted.
1942 – U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, authorizing the removal of any or all people from military areas “as deemed necessary or desirable.” This was the basis for the Japanses Internment camps, which held over 100,000 Japanese and Japanese Americans until January 2, 1945. In 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed a bill to repay every surviving internee with a tax-free payment of$20,000 and an apology from the U.S. government.
1963 – The Feminine Mistique by Betty Friedan was published.
1980 – AC/DC vocalist Bon Scott died from alcohol poisoning
1982 – Rock legend Ozzy Ozbourne was arrested for urinating on the Alamo
1985 – William J. Schroeder became the first articifial heart patient to leave the hospital.
1985 – The Eastenders premiered in the UK.
1986 – The US Senate approved a treaty that outlawed genocide
1994 – Martin Lawrence made a sexually explicit joke during his opening monologue during his appearance on Saturday Night Live. The joke was in reference to female genitalia and feminine hygiene. He ended up being banned from the NBC network for a year and from SNL for life. During re-broadcast of the episode the joke is replaced by a title card read off-screen and the joke nearly cost everyone at SNL their jobs.
2006 – The Rolling Stones performed in front of the largest open show for the public in Copacabana Beach in Brazil,1.3 Million people attended
2010 – Golfer Tiger Woods admitted to having several affairs, which were brought to light after an incident in Windermere, Florida, an Orlando suburb, around 2:30 a.m. on November 27, 2009. His car crashed, reportedly, but several eyewitness accounts said it looked like it was attacked by someone with a golf club. Ironically, his wife, Elin Nordegren, was reportedly informed about his infidelities shortly before the ‘crash.’
February 20 in Pop Culture History
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.
1931 – San Franciso 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.
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” bewteen the UK and France would be built. Construction began in December 1987 and the “chunnel” was finally completed in 1994
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-metal 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.
February 21 in Pop Culture History
1878 – The first telephone directory in the US, listing about 50 names, was issued by the New Haven Telephone Company, in New Haven, Connecticut.
1885 – The Washington Monument was dedicated. It was opened to the public about three years later. At 555 feet 5 1/8 inches, it was the tallest structure in the world until the Eiffel Tower was completed in 1889. The 555-foot-high marble obelisk was first proposed in 1783, and had countless delays, including the American Civil War.
1925 – The New Yorker magazine began publication.
1948 – The National Association for Stock Car Racing – NASCAR – was founded.
1953 – The structure of the DNA molecule was discovered by Francis Crick and James D. Watson
1965 – Malcom X was assassinated by members of the Nation of Islam in the Audubon Ballroom in New York City.
1991 – Lost in Yonkers premiered in NYC at the Richard Rodger Theatre.
1997 – The all digital Wheel of Fortune board was introduced.
February 22 in Pop Culture History
1632 – Galileo’s Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems was published.
1759 – Today is the day that middle class 27 year old George Washington married rich widow (also 27) Martha Dandridge Curtis, and became a wealthy man (he was already a war hero).
1819 – Spanish minister Do Luis de Onis and U.S. Secretary of State John Quincy Adams signed the Florida Purchase Treaty, giving the United States control of all of Florida.
1855 – Pennsylvania State University was founded in State College, Pennsylvania (as the Farmers’ High School of Pennsylvania)
1879 – The first F.W. Woolworth’s 5 & Dime opened in Utica, NY. It became the first chain store.
1934 – It Happened One Night premiered in theaters.
1956 – Elvis Presley debuted on the music charts with Heartbreak Hotel.
1959 – Lee Petty defeated Johnny Beauchamp in a photo finish at the brand new Daytona International Speedway in Florida to win the first-ever Daytona 500.
1974 – Samuel Byrck unsuccessfully attempted to assassinate President Richard Nixon
1978 – Rock band The Police appeared in a television commercial for Wrigley’s chewing gum
1980 – The ‘Miracle on Ice’ – The US Men’s Hockey Team won a 4-3 victory over the Soviet Union at the Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York. Two days later, the Americans went on to beat Finland and take home the gold medal.
1990 – Best New Artist Grammy was awarded to song and dance performers Milli Vanilli.
2006 – iTunes sold it’s BILLIONTH music download. 16 year old Alex Ostrovsky of West Bloomfield, bought “Speed of Sound” by Coldplay. He later got a phone call from Steve Jobs and won a lot of iPod and Mac stuff.
2006 – At least six men staged Britain’s biggest bank robbery ever stealing the equilvalent of 92 million American dollars from a security depot in Tonbridge, Kent.
February 23 in Pop Culture History
17389 – Richard Palmer was identified by his former schoolteacher, as the outlaw Dick Turpin.
1896 – The Tootsie Roll was introduced by Leo Hirshfield, in New York.
1903 – Cuba leased Guantanamo Bay to the United States “in perpetuity”.
1905 – Chicago attorney Paul Harris and three other businessmen met for lunch to form the Rotary Club, the world’s first service club.
1941 – Plutonium was first produced and isolated by Dr. Glenn T. Seaborg
1945 – During the Battle for Iwo Jima, U.S. Marines from the 3rd Platoon, E Company, 2nd Battalion, 28th Regiment of the 5th Division take the crest of Mount Suribachi, the island’s highest peak, and raised the U.S. flag. The photo would later become world-famous as well as win a Pulitzer Prize.
1947 – The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) was founded.
1954 – The first mass inoculation of children against polio with Jonas Salk’s vaccine began in Pittsburgh, PA.
1955 – First meeting of the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO).
1964 – The Beatles appeared in the Ed Sullivan Show for the third time.
1967 – The Beatles made a taped appearance on American Bandstand, where they premiered their new music videos for the songs “Penny Lane” and “Strawberry Fields Forever”
1975 – There was an energy crisis in the US in 1975, so daylight savings time started two months early – Feb 23rd instead of April.
1978 -Both Barbra Streisand’s Love Theme from A Star Is Born (Evergreen) and Debby Boone’s You Light Up My Life were awarded the Best Song Grammy – the first and only tie in that category in Grammy history.
1987 – Supernova 1987a was seen in the Large Magellanic Cloud.
1991 – Operation Desert Storm began in Iraq.
1997 – Scientists announced the first successful cloning of an animal, a lamb named Dolly.
February 24 in Pop Culture History
1711 – The London premiere of Rinaldo by George Frideric Handel. It was the first Italian opera written for the London stage.
1863 – Arizona was organized as a United States territory.
1892 (Earthquake) Imperial Valley, California
1938 – A nylon-bristled toothbrush became the first commercial product to be made with nylon yarn.
1938 – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) had bought the rights to adapt L. Frank Baum’s beloved children’s novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, as reported by Variety magazine.
1938 – DuPont began commercial production of nylon toothbrush bristles for the so-called “Miracle Tuft Toothbrush.”
1942 – In what may or may not have been a UFO attack, The Battle of Los Angeles lasted into the early hours of February 25.
1952 – The Reputed ‘Battle of LA’ in Los Angeles, California
1970 – The National Public Radio was founded in the US.
1980 – The United States Olympic Hockey team completed its Miracle on Ice by defeating Finland 4–2 to win the gold medal.
1981- The engagement of Charles, Price of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer was announced
1982 – The U.S. Supreme Court voted 8-0 to overturn the $200,000 settlement awarded to the Reverend Jerry Falwell for his emotional distress at being parodied in Hustler, a pornographic magazine. Basically the Supreme Court ruled that you can mock public figures.
1993- Michael Jackson received the Grammy Legend award which was presented to him by his sister Janet at the 35th annual Grammy Awards.
2011 – The final Launch of Space Shuttle Discovery (OV-103).
February 25 in Pop Culture History
1836 – Samuel Colt was granted a United States patent (#9430X) for his Colt revolver.
1901 – J.P. Morgan incorporated the United States Steel Corporation.
1919 – Oregon became the first US state to levy a gasoline tax by placing 1 cent tax on every gallon of gas.
1932 – Adolf Hitler obtaind German citizenship by naturalization, which allows him to run in the 1932 election for Reichspräsident.
1950 – Your Show of Shows, hosted by Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca premiered on NBC.
1964 – Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali), age 22, defeated champion Sonny Liston in a technical knockout to win the world heavyweight boxing crown.
1967 – Gene Kelly starred in Jack and the Beanstalk on NBC(produced by Hanna-Barbera) it was the first TV special to combine live action and animation.
1991 – The Warsaw Pact officially disbanded.
2000 – Max Steel premiered on Kid’s WB
2004 – The Passion of the Christ, Mel Gibson’s film about the last 44 hours of Jesus of Nazareth’s life, opened in theaters, eventually earning over $370,700,000.
2006 – The world’s population reached an estimated 6.5 billion people
February 26 in Pop Culture History
1815 – Napoleon Bonaparte escaped from Elba.
1829 – Levi Strauss was born. He never married, so, ironically, he didn’t get to pass his genes on to the next generation.
1870 – New York City’s first pneumatic-powered subway line, created by Alfred Beach, was opened to the public.
1909 – Kinemacolor, the first successful color motion picture process, was first shown to the general public at the Palace Theatre in London with 21 short films.
1919 – 800,000 acres of the Grand Canyon, already a national monument, was designated a national park under President Woodrow Wilson
1929 – President Calvin Coolidge signed into law a bill establishing the Grand Teton National Park, in Wyoming.
1946 – Finnish observers reported the first of thousands of sightings of ghost rockets.
1993 – The first of the World Trade Bombings occured , the bomb went off in a parked truck under the North Tower. The bombing killed six and injured over a thousand people
1995 – Selena Quintanilla-Perez performed her last concert in Houston before being shot by her manager.
2005 – Halle Berry accepted her Razzie Award at the 25th annual ceremony at Hollywood’s historic Ivar Theatre.
2012 – Trayvon Martin, an African-American teen walking home from a trip to a convenience store, was fatally shot in an altercation with George Zimmerman, a hispanic neighborhood watch volunteer patrolling the townhouse community of the Retreat at Twin Lakes in Sanford, Florida.
February 27 in Pop Culture History
1801 – District of Columbia Organic Act of 1801 – Washington, D.C. is placed under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Congress. ‘Taxation without representation.’
1827- Masked and costumed students danced through the streets of New Orleans, Louisiana, in the first of the city’s famous Mardi Gras celebrations.
1879 – Saccharin, the artificial sweetener, was discovered by Constantin Fahlberg,
1900 – German chemist Felix Hoffmann was issued the patent (#644,077) for ‘Acetyl Salicylic Acid’. We now call it Aspirin.
1936 – Shirley Temple received a new contract from 20th Century Fox that paid the seven-year-old star $50,000 per film.
1960 – The US Olympic hockey team defeated the Soviet Union in the semifinals at the Winter Games in Squaw Valley, California. The next day, the US team beat Czechoslovakia to win its first-ever Olympic gold medal in hockey.
1973 – The American Indian Movement (AIM) occupied Wounded Knee, South Dakota.
1974 – People magazine was published for the first time
1980 – There was only one Grammy for Best Disco Recording ever, and it was awarded to Gloria Gaynor for I Will Survive.
1999 – Colin Prescot and Andy Elson set a new endurance record after being in a hot air balloon for 233 hours and 55 minutes.
2010 (Earthquake) Coastal Maule, Chile
February 28 in Pop Culture History
1784 – John Wesley chartered the first Methodist Church in the United States. An Anglican, Wesley wanted a church structure for his followers after the Anglican Church abandoned its American believers during the American Revolution.
1827 – The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad was incorporated. It was the first railroad in America offering commercial transportation of both people and freight.
1885 – The American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T) was incorporated in New York, as the subsidiary of American Bell Telephone.
1935 – Wallace Carothers discovered Nylon while working at DuPont.
1839 – The non-existent word “dord” was publsihed in the Webster’s New International Dictionary, Second Edition.
1940 – Basketball was televised for the first time. The game was Fordam University vs. University of Pittsberg
1953 – Cambridge University scientists James D. Watson and Frances H.C. Crick announced that they had found the double-helix structure of DNA, the molecule containing human genes.
1983 – CBS sitcom M*A*S*H ended after 11 seasons, airing a special two-and-a-half hour episode watched by 77% of the television viewing audience.
1993 – Near Mount Carmel in Waco, Texas, agents of the U.S. Treasury Department’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) launch a raid against the Branch Davidian compound. At least 80 people, including 22 children, were killed.
1996 – KISS reunited at the Grammys in full makeup and costume.
2013 – Pope Benedict XVI resigned as the pope of the Catholic Church – the first pope to do so since 1415.
February 29 in Pop Culture History
46 BC – Julius Caesar declared the first Leap Day.
1288 – The concept of allowing women to propose marraige to men may have begun, in Scotland.
1692 – The first witches were arrested in Salem Massachusetts.
1936 – Baby Snooks, played by Fanny Brice, debuted on the radio show The Ziegfeld Follies of the Air.
1940 – Hattie McDaniel became the first African American to win an Academy Award, for her role as Mammy in Gone With The Wind. It won 8 Oscars overall.
1944 – Dorothy McElroy Vredenburgh of Alabama became the first woman to be appointed secretary of a national political party. She was appointed to the Democratic National Committee.
1960 (Eathquake) Agadir , Morocca, killed over 3,000 people.
1960 – The Family Circus comic strip by Bil Keane debuted.
1960 – The first Playboy Club opened, in Chicago.
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