Monthly Archives: February 2015

Today in History – February 28

1827 – The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad became the first railroad incorporated for commercial transportation of people and freight.

1844 – Several people were killed aboard the USS Princeton when a 12-inch gun exploded.

1849 – Regular steamboat service to California via Cape Horn arrived in San Francisco for the first time. The SS California had left New York Harbor on October 6, 1848. The trip took 4 months and 21 days.

1854 – The Republican Party was organized in Ripon, WI. About 50 slavery opponents began the new political group.

1861 – The U.S. territory of Colorado was organized.

1881 – Thomas Edison hired Samuel Insull as his private secretary.

1883 – The first vaudeville theater opened.

1885 – AT&T (American Telephone and Telegraph) was incorporated. The company was capitalized on only $100,000 and provided long distance service for American Bell.

1893 – Edward G. Acheson showed his patent for Carborundum.

1900 – In South Africa, British troops relieved Ladysmith, which had been under siege since November 2, 1899.

1911 – Thomas A. Edison, Inc. was organized.

1940 – The first televised basketball game was shown. The game featured Fordham University and the University of Pittsburgh from Madison Square Gardens in New York.

1948 – Bud Gartiser set a world record when he cleared the 50-yard low hurdles in 6.8 seconds.

1951 – A Senate committee issued a report that stated that there were at least two major crime syndicates in the U.S.

1953 – In a Cambridge University laboratory, scientists James D. Watson and Francis H.C. Crick discovered the double-helix structure of DNA.

1954 – In San Francisco “Birth of a Planet” was aired. It was the first American phase-contrast cinemicrography film to be presented on television.

1956 – A patent was issued to Forrester for a computer memory core.

1962 – The John Glenn for President club was formed by a group of Las Vegas republicans.

1974 – The U.S. and Egypt re-established diplomatic relations after a break of seven years.

1979 – Mr. Ed, the talking horse from the TV show “Mr. Ed”, died.

1983 – “M*A*S*H” became the most watched television program in history when the final episode aired.

1986 – Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme was assassinated in Stockholm.

1993 – U.S. Federal agents raided the compound of an armed religious cult in Waco, TX. The ATF had planned to arrest the leader of the Branch Davidians, David Koresh, on federal firearms charges. Four agents and six Davidians were killed and a 51-day standoff followed.

1994 – NATO made its first military strike when U.S. F-16 fighters shot down four Bosnian Serb warplanes in violation of a no-fly zone over central Bosnia.

1995 – The Denver International Airport opened after a 16-month delay.

1998 – Serbian police began a campaign to wipe out “terrorist gangs” in the Yugoslav province of Kosovo.

2001 – The Northwest region of the U.S., including the state of Washington, was hit by an earthquake that measured 6.9 on the Richter Scale. There were no deaths reported.

2002 – In Ahmadabad, India, Hindus set fire to homes in a Muslim neighborhood. At least 55 people were killed in the attack.

2002 – Sotheby’s auction house announced that it had identified Peter Paul Reubens as the creator of the painting “The Massacre of the Innocents.” The painting was previously thought to be by Jan van den Hoecke.

2002 – It was announced that John Madden would be replacing Dennis Miller on “Monday Night Football.” Madden signed a four-year $20 million deal with ABC Sports.

2013 – Benedict XVI resigned as pope. He was the first pope to resign since Gregory XII in 1415 and the first to resign voluntarily since Celestine V in 1294.


Today in History – February 27

1700 – The Pacific Island of New Britain was discovered.

1801 – The city of Washington, DC, was placed under congressional jurisdiction.

1827 – New Orleans held its first Mardi Gras celebration.

1861 – In Warsaw, Russian troops fired on a crowd protesting Russian rule over Poland. Five protesting marchers were killed in the incident.

1867 – Dr. William G. Bonwill invented the dental mallet.

1883 – Oscar Hammerstein patented the first cigar-rolling machine.

1896 – The “Charlotte Observer” published a picture of an X-ray photograph made by Dr. H.L. Smith. The photograph showed a perfect picture of all the bones of a hand and a bullet that Smith had placed between the third and fourth fingers in the palm.

1900 – In South Africa, the British received an unconditional surrender from Boer Gen. Piet Cronje at Paardeberg.

1922 – The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the 19th Amendment that guaranteed women the right to vote.

1933 – The Reichstag, Germany’s parliament building in Berlin, was set afire. The Nazis accused Communist for the fire.

1939 – The U.S. Supreme Court outlawed sit-down strikes.

1949 – Chaim Weizmann became the first Israeli president.

1951 – The 22nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, limiting U.S. Presidents to two terms.

1972 – The Shanghai Communique was issued by U.S. President Nixon and Chinese Premier Chou En-lai.

1973 – The American Indian Movement occupied Wouned Knee in South Dakota.

1974 – “People” magazine was first issued by Time-Life (later known as Time-Warner).

1981 – Chrysler Corporation was granted an additional $400 million in federal loan guarantees. Chrysler had posted a loss of $1.7 billion in 1980.

1982 – Wayne B. Williams was convicted of murdering two of the 28 black children and young adults whose bodies were found in Atlanta, GA, over a two-year period.

1986 – The U.S. Senate approved the telecast of its debates on a trial basis.

1990 – The Exxon Corporation and Exxon Shipping were indicted on five criminal counts in reference to the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill.

1991 – U.S. President George H.W. Bush announced live on television that “Kuwait is liberated.”

1997 – In Ireland, divorce became legal.

1997 – Don Cornelius received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

1998 – Britain’s House of Lords agreed to give a monarch’s first-born daughter the same claim to the throne as any first-born son. This was the end to 1,000 years of male preference.

1999 – Colin Prescot and Andy Elson set a new hot air balloon endurance record when they had been aloft for 233 hours and 55 minutes. The two were in the process of trying to circumnavigate the Earth.

1999 – Nigeria returned to civilian rule when Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo became the country’s first elected president since August of 1983.

2002 – In Boston, twenty people working at Logan International Airport were charged with lying to get their jobs or security badges.


Today in History – February 26

1815 – Napoleon Bonaparte escaped from the Island of Elba. He then began his second conquest of France.

1848 – The second French Republic was proclaimed.

1863 – U.S. President Lincoln signed the National Currency Act.

1870 – In New York City, the first pneumatic-powered subway line was opened to the public.

1881 – S.S. Ceylon began his world-wide cruise, beginning in Liverpool, England.

1907 – The U.S. Congress raised their own pay to $7500.

1916 – Mutual signed Charlie Chaplin to a film contract.

1919 – In Arizona, the Grand Canyon was established as a National Park with an act of the U.S. Congress.

1929 – U.S. President Coolidge signed a bill creating the Grand Teton National Park.

1930 – New York City installed traffic lights.

1933 – A ground-breaking ceremony was held at Crissy Field for the Golden Gate Bridge.

1945 – In the U.S., a nationwide midnight curfew went into effect.

1952 – British Prime Minister Winston Churchill announced that Britain had developed an atomic bomb.

1957 – The Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award was established by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

1979 – “Flatbush” debuted on CBS-TV.

1986 – Corazon Aquino was inaugurated president of the Philippines. Long time President Ferdinand Marcos went into exile.

1987 – The Tower Commission rebuked U.S. President Reagan for failing to control his national security staff in the wake of the Iran-Contra affair.

1987 – The U.S.S.R. conducted its first nuclear weapons test after a 19-month moratorium period.

1991 – Iraqi President Saddam Hussein announced on Baghdad Radio that Iraqi troops were being withdrawn from Kuwait.

1993 – Six people were killed and more than a thousand injured when a van exploded in the parking garage beneath the World Trade Center in New York City. The bomb had been built by Islamic extremists.

1995 – Barings PLC collapsed after a securities dealer lost more than $1.4 billion by gambling on Tokyo stock prices. The company was Britain’s oldest investment banking firm.

1998 – A Texas jury rejected an $11 million lawsuit by Texas cattlemen who blamed Oprah Winfrey for price drop after on-air comment about mad-cow disease.

1998 – In Oregon, a health panel rules that taxpayers must help to pay for doctor-assisted suicides.

2001 – A U.N. tribunal convicted Bosnian Croat political leader Dario Kordic and military commander Mario Cerkez of war crimes. They had ordered the systematic murder and persecution of Muslim civilians during the Bosnian war.

2002 – In Rome, Italy, a bomb exploded near the Interior Ministry. No injuries were reported.

2009 – Former Serbian president Milan Milutinovic was acquitted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia regarding war crimes during the Kosovo War.

2009 – The Pentagon reveresed its 18-year policy of not allowing media to cover returning war dead. The reversal allowsd some media coverage with family approval.


Today in History – February 25

1570 – England’s Queen Elizabeth I was excommunicated by Pope Pius V.

1751 – Edward Willet displayed the first trained monkey act in the U.S.

1793 – The department heads of the U.S. government met with U.S. President Washington for the first Cabinet meeting on U.S. record.

1836 – Samuel Colt received U.S. Patent No. 138 (later 9430X) for a “revolving-cylinder pistol.”

1901 – The United States Steel Corp. was incorporated by J.P. Morgan.

1913 – The 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified. It authorized a graduated income tax.

1919 – The state of Oregon became the first state to place a tax on gasoline. The tax was 1 cent per gallon.

1928 – The Federal Radio Commission issued the first U.S. television license to Charles Jenkins Laboratories in Washington, DC.

1930 – The bank check photographing device was patented.

1933 – The aircraft carrier Ranger was launched. It was the first ship in the U.S. Navy to be designed and built from the keel up as an aircraft carrier.

1940 – The New York Rangers and the Montreal Canadiens played in the first hockey game to be televised in the U.S. The game was aired on W2WBS in New York with one camera in a fixed position. The Rangers beat the Canadiens 6-2.

1948 – Communists seized power in Czechoslovakia.

1950 – “Your Show of Shows” debuted on NBC.

1956 – Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev criticized the late Josef Stalin in a speech before a Communist Party congress in Moscow.

1972 – Germany gave a $5 million ransom to Arab terrorist who had hijacked a jumbo jet.

1986 – Filippino President Ferdinand E. Marcos fled the Philippines after 20 years of rule after a tainted election.

1999 – William King was sentenced to death for the racial murder of James Byrd Jr in Jasper, TX. Two other men charged were later convicted for their involvement.

1999 – In Moscow, China’s Prime Minister Zhu Rongji and Russia’s President Boris Yeltsin discussed trade and other issues.

2000 – In Albany, NY, a jury acquitted four New York City police officers of second-degree murder and lesser charges in the February 1999 shooting death of Amadou Diallo.

2005 – Dennis Rader was arrested for the BTK serial killings in Wichita, KS. He later pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 10 life prison terms.


Today in History – February 24

1803 – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled itself to be the final interpreter of all constitutional issues.

1835 – “Siwinowe Kesibwi” (The Shawnee Sun) was issued as the first Indian language monthly publication in the U.S.

1839 – Mr. William S. Otis received a patent for the steam shovel.

1857 – The Los Angeles Vinyard Society was organized.

1857 – The first shipment of perforated postage stamps was received by the U.S. Government.

1863 – Arizona was organized as a territory.

1866 – In Washington, DC, an American flag made entirely of American bunting was displayed for the first time.

1868 – The U.S. House of Representatives impeached President Andrew Johnson due to his attempt to dismiss Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton. The U.S. Senate later acquitted Johnson.

1886 – Thomas Edison and Mina Miller were married.

1900 – New York City Mayor Van Wyck signed the contract to begin work on New York’s first rapid transit tunnel. The tunnel would link Manhattan and Brooklyn. The ground breaking ceremony was on March 24, 1900.

1903 – In Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, an area was leased to the U.S. for a naval base.

1925 – A thermit was used for the first time. It was used to break up a 250,000-ton ice jam that had clogged the St. Lawrence River near Waddington, NY.

1938 – The first nylon bristle toothbrush was made. It was the first time that nylon yarn had been used commercially.

1942 – The U.S. Government stopped shipments of all 12-gauge shotguns for sporting use for the wartime effort.

1942 – The Voice of America (VOA) aired for the first time.

1945 – During World War II, the Philippine capital of Manilla, was liberated by U.S. soldiers.

1946 – Juan Peron was elected president of Argentina.

1956 – The city of Cleveland invoked a 1931 law that barred people under the age of 18 from dancing in public without an adult guardian.

1980 – NBC premiered the TV movie “Harper Valley P.T.A.”

1981 – Buckingham Palace announced the engagement of Britain’s Prince Charles to Lady Diana Spencer.

1983 – The Dow Jones industrial average closed above the 1100 mark for the first time.

1983 – A U.S.congressional commission released a report that condemned the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II.

1987 – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, of the Los Angeles Lakers, got his first three-point shot in the NBA.

1987 – An exploding supernova was discovered in the Large Magellanic Cloud galaxy.

1988 – The U.S. Supreme Court overturned a $200,000 award to Rev. Jerry Falwell that had been won against “Hustler” magazine. The ruling expanded legal protections for parody and satire.

1989 – Iran’s Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini sentenced Salman Rushdie to death for his novel “The Satanic Verses”. A bounty of one to three-million-dollars was also put on Rushidie’s head.

1989 – A United Airlines 747 jet rips open in flight killing 9 people. The flight was from Honolulu to New Zealand.

1992 – “Wayne’s World” opened in U.S. theaters.

1992 – Tracy Gold began working on the set of “Growing Pains” again. She had left the show due to anorexia.

1994 – In Los Angeles, Garrett Morris was shot during a robbery attempt. He eventually recovered from his injury.

1997 – The U.S. The Food and Drug Administration named six brands of birth control as safe and effective “morning-after” pills for preventing pregnancy.

1997 – Dick Enberg received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

1999 – In southeast China, a domestic airliner crashed killing all 64 passengers.

2007 – The Virginia General Assembly passed a resolution expressing “profound regret” for the state’s role in slavery.

2008 – Cuba’s parliament named Raul Castro president. His brother Fidel had ruled for nearly 50 years.


Today in History – February 23

1455 – Traditional date for the publication of the Gutenberg Bible, the first Western book printed from movable type

1574 – France began the 5th holy war against the Huguenots.

1660 – Charles XI became the king of Sweden.

1792 – The Humane Society of Massachusetts was incorporated.

1813 – The first U.S. raw cotton-to-cloth mill was founded in Waltham, MA.

1820 – The Cato Street conspiracy was uncovered.

1821 – The Philadelphia College of Apothecaries established the first pharmacy college.

1822 – Boston was incorporated as a city.

1836 – In San Antonio, TX, the siege of the Alamo began.

1839 – In Boston, MA, William F. Harnden organized the first express service between Boston and New York City. It was the first express service in the U.S.

1847 – Santa Anna was defeated at the Battle of Buena Vista in Mexico by U.S. troops under Gen. Zachary.

1861 – U.S. President-elect Abraham Lincoln arrived secretly in Washington to take his office after an assassination attempt in Baltimore.

1861 – Texas became the 7th state to secede from the Union.

1870 – The state of Mississippi was readmitted to the Union.

1874 – Walter Winfield patented a game called “sphairistike.” More widely known as lawn tennis.

1875 – J. Palisa discovered asteroid #143 (aka Adria).

1883 – Alabama became the first U.S. state to enact an antitrust law.

1886 – Charles M. Hall completed his invention of aluminum.

1887 – The French/Italian Riviera was hit by an earthquake that killed about 2,000.

1896 – The Tootsie Roll was introduced by Leo Hirshfield.

1898 – In France, Emile Zola was imprisoned for his letter, “J’accuse,” which accused the government of anti-Semitism and wrongly jailing Alfred Dreyfus.

1900 – The Battle of Hart’s Hill took place in South Africa between the Boers and the British army.

1904 – The U.S. acquired control of the Panama Canal Zone for $10 million.

1905 – The Rotary Club was founded in Chicago, IL, by Attorney Paul Harris and three others.

1910 – In Philadelphia, PA, the first radio contest was held.

1915 – Nevada began enforcing convenient divorce law.

1916 – The U.S. Congress authorizes the McKinley Memorial $1 gold coin.

1919 – The Fascist Party was formed in Italy by Benito Mussolini.

1927 – The Federal Radio Commission began assigning frequencies, hours of operation and power allocations for radio broadcasters. On July 1, 1934 the name was changed to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

1932 – Robert Short became the first American to die in an arial battle with the Japanese. (more info)

1940 – Russian troops conquered Lasi Island.

1940 – Walt Disney’s animated movie “Pinocchio” was released.

1945 – The 28th Regiment of the Fifth Marine Division of the U.S. Marines reached the top of Mount Surabachi. A photograph of these Marines raising the American flag was taken.

1954 – The first mass vaccination of children against polio began in Pittsburgh, PA.

1955 – The French government was formed by Edgar Faure.

1957 – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the NFL operations did fall within coverage of antitrust laws.

1958 – Juan Fangio, 5-time world diving champion, was kidnapped by Cuban rebels.

1963 – The 24th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified. It prohibited poll taxes in federal elections.

1966 – The Bitar government in Syria was ended with a military coup.

1967 – Jim Ryun set a record in the half-mile run when ran it in 1:48.3.

1968 – Wilt Chamberlain (Philadelphia 76ers) became the first player to score 25,000 career points in the NBA.

1970 – Guyana became a republic.

1974 – The Symbionese Liberation Army demanded $4 million more for the release of Patty Hearst. Hearst had been kidnapped on February 4th.

1980 – Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini declared that Iran’s new parliament would have to decide the fate of the hostages taken on November 4, 1979, at the U.S. embassy in Tehran.

1985 – The TV show “Gimme a Break” was broadcast live before a studio audience. It was the first TV sitcom to be seen live since the 1950s.

1991 – During the Persian Gulf War, ground forces crossed the border of Saudi Arabia into the country of Iraq. Less than four days later the war was over due to the surrender or withdraw of Iraqi forces.

1993 – Gary Coleman won a $1,280,000 lawsuit against his parents.

1995 – The Dow Jones Industrial closed about 4,000 for the first time at 4,003.33.

1997 – NBC-TV aired “Schindler’s List.” It was completely uncensored.

1997 – Ali Hassan Abu Kamal, a Palestinian teacher, opened fire on the 86th-floor observation deck of New York City’s Empire State Building. He killed one person and wounded six more before killing himself.

1998 – In central Florida, tornadoes killed 42 people and damaged and/or destroyed about 2,600 homes and businesses.

1999 – In Ankara, Turkey, Abdullah Ocalan was charged with treason. The prosecutors were seeking the death penalty for the Kurdish rebel leader.

1999 – White supremacist John William King was found guilty of kidnapping and murdering James Byrd Jr. Byrd was dragged behind a truck for two miles on a country road in Texas.

2000 – Robby Knievel made a successful motorcycle jump of 200 feet over an oncoming train.

2005 – The New York, NY, city medical examiner’s office annouced that it had exhausted all efforts to identify the remains of the people killed at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, due to the limits of DNA technology. About 1,600 people had been identified leaving more than 1,100 unidentified.


Lord, Be Merciful To Me, A Sinner

Stunning and exquisite.

‘Genius’ sure gets thrown around all too much, but Mozart certainly was. He composed this……..at 14 years old!

Embrace the suffering…..a continued Happy Lent!

h/t Rocco Palmo at Whispers In The Loggia