February History

February History

February is…
American Heart Month
Bird-Feeding Month
Black History Month
Canned Food Month
Cherry Month
National Children’s Dental Health Month
Chocolate Lovers Month
Creative Romance Month
Grapefruit Month
Hot Breakfast Month
Potato Lovers Month
Return Shopping Carts to the Supermarket Month
Snack Food Month
1st week of February: African Heritage & Health Week
3rd Weekend of February: National Margarita Weekend
February 1 in Pop Culture History
February 1st is Decorating With Candy Day.
It is also Robinson Crusoe Day.

1790 – First session of the US Supreme Court, New York City

1851 – Gail Borden invented evaporated milk.

1884 – The Oxford Dictionary debuted

1887 – The area known as Hollywood was founded.

1893 – Thomas A. Edison finished constructing 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, began 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 place 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 US Congress passed the Communications Decency Act.

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 Wardrobe Malfunction controversy occurred

February 2 in Pop Culture History
It’s Groundhog’s Day.

1046 – The “Little Ice Age” began in Europe.

1653 – New Amsterdam (now the City of New York) was incorporated.

1876 – The 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 – Thomas Edison filmed the Record of a Sneeze. 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 the leading anti-apartheid group, the African National Congress (ANC).

2000 – Oxygen debuted on cable

February 3 in Pop Culture History
1690 – The first paper money in America was issued today, in the Colony of Massachusetts.

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 – A German U-boat sank the SS Dorchester. Only 230 of 902 men aboard survive; the Four Chaplains Story describes the event.

1947 – The coldest weather recorded in 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
World Cancer Day

1703 – In Edo (Japan), 46 of the Forty-seven Ronin committed seppuku (ritual suicide) to avenge their master’s death.

1783 – Britain formally ceased 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 – Walt Disney released Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs.

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 expenditure on the “Star Wars” research program.

1991 – Pete Rose (aka Charlie Hustle) was banned ‘for life’ from the Baseball Hall of Fame because he used to gamble on games illegally.

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 for 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
Weatherperson’s Day is named after the birthday (Feb 5, 1744) of early US weatherman, John Jeffries.

62 – Pompeii earthquake (not to be confused with the Great Earthquake of 79)

1783 (Earthquake) Calabria, Italy

1788 – Massachusettes joined the United States.

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, 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’s 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 American inducted into 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
Today is Bob Marley Day in Jamaica and Ethiopia. (He was born on Feb. 6, 1945)

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 unsuccessfully tried to rob a Southern Pacific train near Alila, California.

1911 – US President Ronald Reagan, born February 6, 1911 in Tampico, Illinois, died on June 5, 2004 in Los Angeles, 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, starting 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 – Jack Kilby of Texas Instruments filed the first integrated circuit (computer chip) patent.

1959 – At Cape Canaveral, the first successful test firing of a Titan intercontinental ballistic missile.

1971 – Astronaut Alan B. Shepard used a six-iron he had brought inside his spacecraft and swung at three golf balls on the moon’s surface. 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 lemon, lime, or orange twist.

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 US Senate seat from the state of New York.

2005 – American Dad premiered on FOX

February 7 in Pop Culture History
1497 – The Bonfire of the Vanities occurred in which supporters of Girolamo Savonarola burned thousands of objects like cosmetics, art, and books in Florence, Italy.

1783 (Earthquake) Calabria, Italy

1817 – The first public gas street light was lit in Baltimore, Maryland, the first in the United States.

1904 – 1500 buildings, in an 80-block area of downtown Baltimore were 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. He sold the patented (#2,026,082) game to Parker Brothers in December.

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 arrived in the United States.

1964 – Pan Am Yankee Clipper flight 101 from London Heathrow landed at New York’s Kennedy Airport, bringing 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 and 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
1587 – Mary Queen of Scots was beheaded.

1692 – A doctor in Salem Village claimed three teenage girls were possessed by Satan, which then led 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 many miles.

1865 – Delaware voters rejected the Thirteenth Amendment to the US Constitution, and voted to continue the practice of slavery, although, in practice, it did not exist. (Delaware finally ratified 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 occurred 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 – The large Allende meteorite pieces were recovered in Chihuahua, Mexico. They were estimated to be over 4.6 billion years old.

1969 – The last “Saturday Evening Post” issue was published. It was revived in 1971 as a quarterly publication and eventually six times a year.

1971 – The NASDAQ stock market index opened.

1998 – The first female hockey game in Olympic history took place. Finland defeated Sweden 6-0

February 9 in Pop Culture History
1173 – US President William Henry Harrison, born February 9, 1773, in Charles City County, Virginia, died on April 4, 1841 in Washington, DC.

1825 – The US House of Representatives elected John Quincy Adams president since no candidate had received most electoral votes.

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 volleyball game.

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 US

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 Poochie 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
1763 – The Treaty of Paris ended the French and Indian War, and France ceded Canada to England.

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 permanently on the front page of The New York Times.

1933 – In Round 13 of an infamous boxing match at Madison Square Garden, Primo Carnera knocked out Ernie Shaaf, killing him.

1933 – The Postal Telegraph Company of New York City introduced the singing telegram.

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, a 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
It’s National Pro Sport’s Wives Day

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, Judge Jesse Fell in Pennsylvania burned anthracite coal as a fuel.

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 – Ed Shoemaker invented the La-Z-Boy reclining chair.

1929 – The Vatican was officially independent 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, becoming the world’s new undisputed heavyweight champion.

1994 – The ‘rBGH’ genetically engineered growth hormone for cows was sold 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 accidentally shot his friend Harry Whittington while the two were hunting together

2012 – Singer Whitney Houston died in a hotel bathtub due to accidental drowning. Heart disease and cocaine, which was found in her system, were determined to be contributing factors.

February 12 in Pop Culture History
Feb 12 is Darwin Day, named after the anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth (Feb 12, 1813)

881 – Charles the Fat was declared the Holy Roman Emperor.

1809 – US President Abraham Lincoln, born February 12, 1809 in LaRue County, Kentucky, died on April 15, 1865 in Washington, DC.

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 implemented.

1924 – Rhapsody In Blue, by George Gershwin, performed for the 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 licenses to same-sex couples

2004 – Mattel officially announced the split of Barbie and Ken

February 13 in Pop Culture History
It’s World Whale Day

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 Novocaine.

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 – One day 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 the star’s core is a diamond crystal 4000km in diameter.

February 14 in Pop Culture History
Ferris Wheel Day, named after George Ferris, was born on Feb. 14, 1859.
It is also National Donor Day & St. Valentine’s Day.
Valentine’s Day originates from a celebration called “Lupercalia,” where Roman men would whip women with the pelts of freshly skinned animals.

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.

1859 – Oregon Joined the United States.

1876 – 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 was 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 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 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 audience for the show.

2005 – Youtube.com was launched.

February 15 in Pop Culture History
1758 – Mustard was first advertised for sale in America, by Benjamin Jackson, in Philadelphia, PA.

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 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 times- 1957, 1965, 1973, 1981, and 1987.

1961 – The 18-member US figure skating team was killed in a plane crash in Berg-Kampenhout, Belgium. The team was heading 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. Before that, the official flag was Britain’s Union Jack.

1992 – Serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer was sentenced to life in prison in Milwaukee.

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
1852 – The Studebaker Brothers wagon company was established.

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 Tutankhamun. He had been looking for King Tut’s tomb since his first trip to 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 on 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 bushfires in Southern Australia took the lives of 71 people, becoming Australia’s worst fire ever.

2005 – The National Hockey League canceled the 2004-2005 regular season and playoffs.

February 17 in Pop Culture History
1621 – Myles Standish was appointed as the first commander of the English Plymouth Colony in North America.

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 first worldwide 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 on December 31, 2012.

1958 – Pope Pius XII designated St. Clare of Assisi, the patron saint of television.

1959 – Vanguard 2 – The first weather satellite was launched 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 to 1927.

1979 – A Prairie Home Companion premiered on Minnesota Public Radio.

1995 – Colin Ferguson was convicted of the 1993 Long Island Rail Road shootings and received a 200+ year sentence in 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
1856 – The “Known-Nothing Party,” convened in Philadelphia to nominate its first presidential candidate. The Know-Nothing movement began in the 1840s when an increasing rate of immigration led to the formation of several groups to combat “foreign” influences in American society.

1861 – Jefferson Davis became the provisional president of the Confederate States of America. He was ‘provisional’ because he was not elected by the people, but appointed by the Confederate Congress.

1885 – Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry 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 films.

1930 – A cow named Ollie was milked over St. Louis, MO. Her milk was cartoned and parachuted down.

1930 – Clyde Tombaugh discovered the Ex-planet Pluto.

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
1600 (Volcano Eruption) Huaynaputina

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 Knights 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 US history.

1878 – The patent (#200,521) for Thomas Edison’s phonograph was granted.

1942 – US 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 Japanese 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 US government.

1963 – The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan was published.

1980 – AC/DC vocalist Bon Scott died from alcohol poisoning

1982 – Rock legend Ozzy Osbourne was arrested for urinating on the Alamo

1985 – William J. Schroeder became the first artificial 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 was banned from the NBC network for a year and from SNL for life. During the re-broadcast of the episode, a title card replaced the joke 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 someone with a golf club attacked it. Ironically, his wife, Elin Nordegren, was reportedly informed about his infidelities shortly before the ‘crash.’

February 20 in Pop Culture 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 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” between 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,” 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 Rhode Island’s ‘The Station’ nightclub and taking 100 lives.

2005 – Robot Chicken premiered on Adult Swim.

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

February 21 in Pop Culture History
1848 – The Communist Manifesto, written by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, was published in London by a group of German-born revolutionarys known as the Communist League.

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 – Malcolm 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
1620 – Popcorn was introduced to the English colonists by an Indian named Quadequina.

1632 – Galileo’s Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems was published.

1732 – US President George Washington, born February 22, 1732, in Westmoreland County, Virginia, died on December 14, 1799, in Mount Vernon, Virginia.

1759 – Today, middle-class 27-year-old George Washington married a 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 US 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 performer Milli Vanilli.

2006 – iTunes sold its 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 equivalent of 92 million American dollars from a security depot in Tonbridge, Kent.

February 23 in Pop Culture History
1455 – Traditional date for the publication of the Gutenberg Bible, the first Western book printed with movable type. 

17389 – Richard Palmer was identified by his former schoolteacher, as the outlaw Dick Turpin.

1896 – Leo Hirshfield, in New York, introduced the Tootsie Roll.

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, US 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 raise the US 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 on 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
1582 – The Gregorian Calendar, which most of the world uses today, was introduced.

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 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 US 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 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
National Chili Day

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 a 1-cent tax on every gallon of gas.

1932 – Adolf Hitler obtained German citizenship by naturalization, which allowed 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
1616 – the Roman Catholic Church formally banned Galileo Galilei from teaching or defending the view that the earth orbits the sun.

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 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 World Trade Bombings occurred; 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
1703 – The first Mardi Gras was celebrated in Mobile, Alabama in 1703.

1801 – District of Columbia Organic Act of 1801 – Washington, D.C. is placed under the jurisdiction of the US 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
National Tooth Fairy Day

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 to offer commercial transportation of 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 published in Webster’s New International Dictionary, Second Edition.

1940 – Basketball was televised for the first time. The game was Fordham University vs. the University of Pittsburg

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 US 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
Bachelors Day
Leap Year Day
Underlings Day

46 BC – Julius Caesar declared the first Leap Day.

1288 – In Scotland, the concept of allowing women to propose marriage to men may have begun.

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 appointed secretary of a national political party. She was appointed to the Democratic National Committee.

1960 (Earthquake) 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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