February 9 in Pop Culture History

February 9th History, Trivia, and Fun Facts

February 9th History Highlights

  • 1864 – 109 Union Officers escaped from Libby Prison in Virginia.
  • 1943 – The Allies retook Guadalcanal, in the Solomon Island, a major victory in WWII.
  • 1964 – The Beatles appeared on Ed Sullivan, with 73,000,000 viewers, a record at that time. There were 728 people in the studio audience.
  • If you were born on February 9th,
    You were likely conceived the week of… May 19th (prior year)

Pizza Pie Day

Naples, Italy is often credited as the birthplace of pizza. Though flatbreads with toppings were consumed by ancient Egyptians, Romans, and Greeks, Naples took the simple dish and turned it into an art form. The first pizzas were made in the 1700s and early 1800s by Naples’ working poor, or lazzaroni. These pies were typically very thin-crusted and loaded with fresh ingredients like tomatoes, mozzarella, olives, and anchovies.

Today, pizza is enjoyed all over the world and comes in many different varieties. Whether it’s a classic Margherita or something more adventurous like Pizza Hawaii, there’s a slice for everyone. So the next time you’re feeling hungry, why not grab a pizza? You won’t be disappointed.

Some popular pizzas include:

  • Pepperoni Pizza
  • Hawaiian Pizza (heavily debated)
  • BBQ Chicken Pizza
  • Meat Lover’s Pizza
  • Veggie Pizza
  • Garlic Parmesan Pizza

Chocolate Day

We all know that chocolate is a delicious treat, but did you know that the ancient Mayans were the first to make it into a drink? This sweet but bitter foodstuff was reserved for royalty and consumed with dignity as they could afford only luxuries like this. The Olmecs of Mexico’s south discovered how to make cocoa beans into a beverage around 1500 BC – over 3500 years ago! From there it spread throughout South America before making its way northward towards Peru. 

There are many stories about how chocolate made its way around the world. One story says Christopher Columbus discovered cacao beans after intercepting a trade ship on a journey to America and brought the beans back to Spain with him in 1502. Another tale states Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes was introduced to chocolate by the Aztecs of Montezuma’s court. After returning to Spain, cacao beans in tow, he supposedly kept his chocolate knowledge a well-guarded secret. A third story claims that friars who presented Guatemalan Mayans to Philip II of Spain in 1544 also brought cacao beans along as a gift.

Swiss chocolatiers created milk chocolate in 1875. Prior to that, all chocolate was dark chocolate. In Europe chocolate was once considered an aphrodisiac. More chocolate is consumed in the United States than in any other country. Antioxidants in cocoa can improve cardiovascular health. Cocoa also contains flavonoids which can improve cognitive function chocolate has been shown to reduce stress levels and help you feel happier.

Fun Facts about this delicious treat:

  • The word “chocolate” comes from the Nahuatl word “xocolātl,” meaning “bitter water.”
  • Chocolate was originally used as a currency by the Aztecs.
  • Cocoa beans were so valuable that they were used as dowries to pay for brides.
  • Chocolate is the second most popular food in the world, after rice.
  • Chocolate contains antioxidants that can improve your cardiovascular health.
  • Chocolate also contains flavonoids, which can improve your cognitive function.
  • Chocolate has been shown to reduce stress levels and help you feel happier.

February 9th is…

Chocolate Day
National Develop Alternative Voices Day
National Toothache Day
Pizza (Pie) Day
Read in a Bathtub Day

February 9th Birthday Quotes

The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress, and grows brave by reflection.
– Thomas Paine

As human beings, why does it take somebody to feel like they’re close to us for us to see their humanity? Why can’t we see the humanity in people that are distant from us?
– Michael B. Jordan

You just call out my name
And you know wherever I am
I’ll come runnin’ to see you again
Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall,
All you have to do is call
And I’ll be there
You’ve got a friend.

– Carole King

He knew he was good but did he know he was the best ever? Did he know he taught millions of artists how to dream? He never repeated a drawing. He always created anew, discovering again and again what it meant to create, to be a true artist that copied no one, not even himself. A world without Frank Frazetta makes no sense. No one like him will ever appear again. Remember him well.
– Ralph Bakshi’ on Frank Frazetta.

It’s not what you do. It’s the way you do it-stripping or writing or talking… or just breathing. Do it with air, and never admit you’re scared.
– Gypsy Rose Lee

The real danger of writing a great song when you’re on something is that it might get you thinking that the only way to repeat that is by only writing when you’re high.
– Barry Mann

If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace.
– Thomas Paine

In this life, to earn your place you have to fight for it.
– Shakira

Too many managers manage by what the postgame press conference is going to be.
– John Kruk

February 9th Birthdays

1737 – Thomas Paine, English-American philosopher, author, and activist (died in 1809)
1773 – William Henry Harrison, American general and politician, 9th President of the United States (died in 1841)
1800 – Hyrum Smith, American religious leader (died in 1844)
1874 – Amy Lowell, American poet, critic and educator (died in 1925)
1892 – Peggy Wood, American actress (died in 1978)
1914 – Gypsy Rose Lee (Rose Louise Hovick), American burlesque entertainer (died in 1970)
1914 – Ernest Tubb, American singer-songwriter (died in 1984)
1928 – Frank Frazetta, American painter and illustrator (died in 2010)
1939 – Barry Mann, American pianist, songwriter, and producer
1942 – Carole King, American singer-songwriter
1943 – Barbara Lewis, American soul/R&B singer-songwriter
1943 – Joe Pesci, American actor
1945 – Mia Farrow, American actress
1946 – Jim Webb, American politician
1949 – Judith Light, American actress
1954 – Jo Duffy, American comic book writer
1957 – Terry McAuliffe, American politician
1961 – John Kruk, American baseball player and sportscaster
1963 – Travis Tritt, American country singer
1977 – Shakira Ripoll, Columbian singer
1979 – Ziyi Zhang – Chinese actress
1979 – Mema Suvari, American actress
1981 – Tom Hiddleston, English actor
1987 – Michael B. Jordan, American actor
1992 – Avan Jogia, Canadian actor

February 9th History

1825 – The U.S. House of Representatives elected John Quincy Adams president since no candidate had received a majority of electoral votes.

1861 – American Civil War: Jefferson Davis was elected the Provisional President of the Confederate States of America by the Confederate convention at Montgomery, Alabama.

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 (Radhika 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 US.

1957 – #1 Hit February 9, 1957 – March 1, 1957: Elvis Presley – Too Much

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.

1963 – #1 Hit February 9, 1963 – March 1, 1963: Paul & Paula – Hey Paula

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.

1974 – #1 Hit February 9, 1974 – March 1, 1974: Love Unlimited Orchestra – Love’s Theme

1986 – Halley’s Comet last appeared in the inner Solar System, next appearing in 2061.

1991 – #1 Hit February 9, 1991 – February 22, 1991: C+C Music Factory featuring Freedom Williams – Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)

1997- The Simpsons made television history with their episode “The Itchy, Scratchy and Poochie Show” which they then surpassed the Flintstones as the longest-running prime-time cartoon series in terms of episodes aired.

Today’s Random Trivia and Shower Thoughts

Showgirls still holds the record for most Razzie nominations with 13.

One of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World: Hanging Gardens of Babylon, in Iraq?, referred to in the mid 500s BC

“I’m walking here! I’m walking here!” – “Ratso” Rizzo (Dustin Hoffman) in Midnight Cowboy, 1969

In the scene in “Alien” when the alien pops out of John Hurt’s stomach, the actors were not told it was going to happen.

John Williams, the person who composed the scores of Star Wars and Harry Potter, also composed and conducted the music of Home Alone.

Biggest film of 1982: ET: The Extra-Terrestrial (Drama) earned ~ $435,000,000

Marvel’s Deadpool Wade Wilson was originally created as a spoof of DC’s Deathstroke Slade Wilson.

“I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan

There’s no money in scientific data gathering, there’s lots of money in data interpretation, and there’s ungodly money in data distortion.

“The time to change was yesterday; the time to wake up is now.” – Judge Judy

A group of Eagles is called a Convocation or Aerie.

This generation won’t have old school cool… they’ll have an old school selfie. Or worse, old school duckface.

Orgasmatron – from Woody Allen’s SLEEPER. A sex machine

The pound/hashtag sign # is called an Octothorp.

More Pop Culture History Resources