February 14 in Pop Culture History

February 14th History, Trivia, and Fun Facts

February 14th History Highlights

  • 1849 – The first photograph of a US President, James Polk, was taken in Washington, DC.
  • 1920 – The League of Women Voters formed in Chicago, IL.
  • 1929 – Four men came in, dressed as police at Bugsy 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 Al Capone.
  • 1930 – The Maltese Falcon, by Dashiell Hammett was published.
  • 1946 – The ENIAC Computer was introduced.
  • If you were born on February 14th,
    You were likely conceived the week of… May 24th (prior year)

Valentine’s Day

Everybody loves Valentine’s Day. Well, everybody that has a significant other is supposed to love Valentine’s Day. Either way, it is another excuse for people to spend all day eating chocolate, and who could contest that?

Many think Valentine’s Day is just a day commemorating Cupid and his little arrow of love, but there’s a little bit more mystery to it than that. There is more than one Saint Valentine recognized by the Catholic Church, so, which one started the whole day of romance and flowers?

One legend of Valentine is he was a Roman priest who served during the third century. At this time, Emperor Claudius II outlawed marriage because he thought single men made better soldiers. Valentine was appalled by this and thought it would be best to keep performing marriages for young couples in love. When the emperor found out about what Valentine was doing behind his back, he had Valentine put to death. Not the greatest end to a story about love.

It is said Valentine sent love letters to a young, blind girl from prison, who visited him while he was there. Supposedly he signed each letter, “From your Valentine.” Sound familiar?

While it is true that February 14th is the day all Valentines were martyred, some say Valentine’s Day is in February because in ancient Rome it is the official beginning of spring, a time of cleansing and purification. The middle of February was also the time of a Christian fertility festival called Lupercalia.

Around 498 AD Pope Gelasius declared February 14th Valentine’s Day. Later, in France and England during the Middle Ages, February 14th was believed to be the first day of bird mating season. (How romantic!) But that also added to the whole notion of a day of love.

According to the History Channel, Valentine’s Day became popular in Great Britain around the 17th century. Exchanging handwritten notes of affection became popular in the 18th century, and by the 19th century printed cards were available to send. Currently, it is approximated by the Greeting Card Association that one billion valentines are sent each year worldwide.

If you ever wondered why everywhere you look on Valentine’s Day there are hearts all around, it’s because it’s a belief in the Christain faith that the heart is the seat of all emotions, especially love. And since love is the dominant feeling of the day, the heart is now a great symbol of the holiday.

SAD – Singles Awareness Day

You may not know it, but there is a different side to Valentine’s Day wonder. It is called Singles Awareness Day, also known as SAD. Although this holiday is usually celebrated on February 15th, it can also be celebrated on the 13th or 14th.

This holiday lets people know that it’s ok to be single, and why not celebrate it?! The tradition is for singles to get together, go to dinner, bars, or even a movie. (It’s usually preferable that you get together with more than one other single.) However, other activities may include: sending yourself flowers/chocolates, planning a party for singles to mix and meet, or possibly sitting home alone eating popcorn and watching The Notebook. The choice is yours.

The holiday was originally created for February 14th, but who wants to celebrate being single on a day that celebrates love, relationships, and matrimony? So for all you singles out there, work up the strength to sit it out for one day, and then CELEBRATE YOUR SINGLENESS!!

Greatest Love Letter of All Time? (To Jane)

I am Tarzan of the Apes.
I want you. I am yours. You are mine.
We live here together always in my house. I will bring you the best of fruits, the tenderest deer, the finest meats that roam the jungle. I will hunt for you. I am the greatest of the jungle fighters. I will fight for you. I am the mightiest of the jungle fighters. You are Jane Porter, I saw it in your letter.
When you see this you will know that it is for you and that Tarzan of the Apes loves you.

February 14th is…

Ferris Wheel Day
Cream-filled Chocolate day
National (Organ) Donor Day
Pet Theft Awareness Day
Read To Your Child Day
Saint Valentine’s Day
National Organ Donor Day is dedicated to raising awareness and celebrating those who have offered the gift of life by donating their organs. It serves as an important reminder that organ donation can save lives, and it’s an opportunity for us all to make a difference.

Organ donation is one of the most generous gifts we can give — it’s the ultimate act of kindness and generosity. But despite its potential to help so many people, there are still not enough donors in the United States. Only about half of Americans are registered as organ donors. This means more than 100,000 people are waiting for transplants that may never come because there aren’t enough organs available.

February 14th Birthday Quotes

“Everything good that happened to me happened by accident.”
– Jack Benny

“I learned that I never really know the true story of my guests’ lives, that I have to content myself with knowing that when I’m interviewing somebody, I’m getting a combination of fact and truth and self-mythology and self-delusion and selective memory and faulty memory.”
– Terry Gross

“Some things you don’t need until they leave you; they’re the things that you miss.”
– Rob Thomas

“Comedy itself is based upon very old principles of which I can readily name seven. They are, in short: the joke, exaggeration, ridicule, ignorance, surprise, the pun, and finally, the comic situation.”
– Jack Benny

“I was in the right place at the right time.”
– Mel Allen

“Happiness often sneaks in through a door you didn’t know you left open.”
– John Barrymore

“I used to lie in bed in my flat and imagine what would happen if there was a zombie attack.”
– Simon Pegg

February 14th Birthdays

1824 – Winfield Scott Hancock, American general and politician (died in 1886)
1838 – Margaret E. Knight, American inventor (died in 1914)
1859 – George Ferris, American engineer and inventor, created the Ferris Wheel (died in 1896)
1882 – John Barrymore, American actor (died in 1942)
1894 – Jack Benny, American comedic actor (died in 1974)
1913 – Mel Allen, American sportscaster (died in 1996)
1929 – Vic Morrow, American actor (died in 1982)
1941 – Donna Shalala, American politician
1942 – Michael Bloomberg, American businessman and politician
1944 – Carl Bernstein, American journalist and author
1946 – Gregory Hines, American actor, singer, and dancer (died in 2003)
1947 – Tim Buckley, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (died in 1975)
1948 – Pat O’Brien, American journalist
1951 – Terry Gross, American radio host
1957 – Alan Hunter, American television host and actor
1960 – Meg Tilly, American actress
1968 – Jules Asner, American model and television host
1970 – Simon Pegg, English actor, director and producer
1972 – Rob Thomas, American singer-songwriter
1977 – Jim Jefferies, Australian comedian
1988 – Katie Boland, Canadian actress
1992 – Freddie Highmore, English actor

February 14th History

278 – Valentine, a priest in Rome in the days of Emperor Claudius II, was beheaded for performing (illegal at the time) marriage 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 as the 48th state of the United States.

1920 – The League of Women Voters was founded in Chicago.

1921 – Birthday (fictional) Skeezix Wallett, a character in Gasoline Alley comic strip

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.

1932 – The US team won the first bobsled competition at the Winter Olympic Games at Lake Placid, NY.

1938 – Former silent film actress Hedda Hopper began her gossip column in The Los Angeles Times.

1949- The Knesset (parliament of Israel) convened for the first time.

1954 – The TV show Letter to Loretta changed its name to The Loretta Young Show. The show premiered on September 20, 1953.

1961 – Element 103, Lawrencium, was first synthesized at the University of California.

1962 – First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy gave a tour of the White House on CBS television.

1968- Broadway Show – Plaza Suite (Play) February 14, 1968

1970 – Live at Leeds by The Who was recorded.

1970 – #1 Hit February 14, 1970 – February 27, 1970: Sly & the Family Stone – Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin) / Everybody Is a Star

1972 – Broadway Show – Grease (Musical) February 14, 1972

1987 – #1 Hit February 14, 1987 – March 13, 1987: Bon Jovi – Livin’ On A Prayer

1989 – Iranian leader Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa encouraging Muslims to kill Salman Rushdie, author of The Satanic Verses. It was rescinded in 1998.

1989 – Union Carbide agreed to pay $470 million to the Indian government for damages it caused in the 1984 Bhopal disaster.

1998 – #1 Hit February 14, 1998 – February 27, 1998: Usher – Nice And Slow

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 audience for the show.

2004 – #1 Hit February 14, 2004 – February 20, 2004: Outkast featuring Sleepy Brown – The Way You Move

2005 – Youtube.com was launched.

February 14, 2006 – The Apple MacBook Pro was released.

February 14, 2010 – Starstruck aired on The Disney Channel

February 14, 2016 (fiction) Pris was incepted, Blade Runner, Film

Today’s Random Trivia and Shower Thoughts

To let a fool kiss you is stupid. To let a kiss fool you is worse.

Ben Franklin’s 13 Virtues #4 – Resolution.
Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.

Harpo Marx – Real Name: Adolph Marx

Characters having no peripheral vision whatsoever. #actionmoviecliches

Frosty wasn’t a living snowman, he was a sentient hat controlling a snowman.

“I like rich people. I like the way they live. I like the way I live when I’m with them.” – Max, in The Sound of Music #moviequotes

An individual horse has a peak power output of 14.9 horsepower.

“Yeah… that’s the ticket” – Jon Lovitz as the pathological liar, Tommy Flanagan (Saturday Night Live)

Grandma Moses – Real Name: Anna Mary Robertson

Progressive auto insurance’s Flo is actress Stephanie Courtney.

“Just hold me two seconds, then drop me so I can kiss the ground.” – Dale Arden

Lincoln Logs were created by John Lloyd Wright, son of the renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

Peter Venkman, Egon Spengler, Ray Stantz, and Winston Zedmore were the original Ghostbusters.

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