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February


 

 "Did You Know..."

 

Notable Historic Events

for the Month of February

 

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February 11th

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela

 

1929...The Vatican is now a sovereign state. Vatican City is located within the city of Rome.  It is the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church.  Now it is the smallest country in the world, both in area and population. The Lateran Treaty, signed by Benito Mussolini and Pope Paul XI,  puts an end to hostility between the Roman Catholic Church and the country of Italy.  Located within Vatican City are many Vatican museums, which hold some of the world's most famous paintings and sculptures.  St. Peter's Basilica and the Sistine Chapel are also located in Vatican City.

1990... The civil rights leader Nelson Mandela is released from prison.  He spent 27 years in jail.  Nelson fought against white supremacy and racial segregation in Africa. At first Mandela encouraged nonviolent resistence.  When that was ineffective and deadly for his followers, he encouraged guerrilla warfare against the white minority government.

 

February 12th

President William J. Clinton

President Bill Clinton

 

1941...General Erwin Rommel arrives in Africa to help Italy. Italy wants to take control of Northern Africa. Things are not going well.  Hitler decides to send one of his top generals to North Africa to help the Italian  allies.  However, Rommel has trouble controlling the Italian troops. At the battle of El Alamein the Allies push the Axis troops out of North Africa.  Rommel returns to Europe in 1943.

1973...The POW's (Prisoners of War) from Vietnam begin coming home.

1999...President Clinton's  impeachment trial ends with the Senate voting to acquit the president on both the perjury and obstruction of justice charges.

 

February 13th

Galileo

 Galileo

1633...Galileo arrives in Rome to face charges of heresy for advocating the Copernican theory that the earth revolves around the sun.

1689...William and Mary become joint rulers of Great Britain.

 

February 14

Alexander Fleming

Alexander Fleming

278...Valentine, a priest in Rome during the reign of Emperor Claudius II, is executed. Valentine is a Roman Catholic Priest in the days of Emperor Claudius II. Claudius is a particularly cruel emperor. Few wanted to join his army. Claudius believes that the men in his empire don't want to join his army because they are unwilling to part from their wives and families. So he decides to ban all marriages and betrothals in Rome. Valentine feels sorry for the young people in love and he ignores the Emperor’s command and continues to marry people. For this reason Claudius orders the execution of Valentine. The sentence is carried out on February 14th. The legend is that when Valentine was in jail he made friends with the jailer’s daughter. He left a farewell note for her, and signed it “from your Valentine.” After his death, St. Valentine was made a saint. The name of Valentine becomes associated with romance. February 14th will go on to become a day of passing loving notes to others and romance.

1929...Seven members of Chicago's North Side Gang are killed in the St. Valentine's Day Massacre.

1929...The discovery of Penicillin is made by Alexander Fleming.

 

 

February 15th

Walt Disney

Walt Disney

1898...The USS Maine is in Cuba's Havana Harbor to protect American citizens while Cubans fight for independence from Spain.  Fuel is added to the growing tension between the United States and Spain when the battleship USS Maine explodes, and 260 American crew members die. This incident, together with Spain's treatment of the Cuban people, moves the United States closer to war with Spain.  

1903...The first sale is made of a stuffed Teddy Bear.  A toy shop owner, Morris Michtom, asks President Roosevelt if he can use his nickname, Teddy, for his stuffed bears. President Roosevelt agrees, and Michtom places a couple of them in his shop window.  He advertises them as Teddy Bears. Other business owners take notice and soon everyone is selling them. Teddy Bears grow in popularity and become one of the most popular childhood toys.

1950...Disney releases the animated musical fantasy film Cinderella.

1933...An assassination attempt is made on the life of President Franklin D. Roosevelt  in Miami, Florida.

 

February 16th

President John Adams

President John Adams

1778...John Adams sets sail for France to enlist their help fighting the British.

1923...Archeologist Howard Carter enters the burial chamber of an ancient Egyptian king named Tutankhamen.  Howard Carter, backed by Lord Carnarvon, has been searching for the tomb for 5 years.  When his workmen find a hidden staircase he knows he is close. When Carter enters the room he finds treasure that is 3,000 years old.  The coffin is made of solid gold.  There is jewelry and clothing, as well as statues and weapons.  The most valuable item in the tomb is the mummy.  It is perfectly preserved. The treasure of King Tutankhamen will go on display around the world as King Tut's Tomb.

1959...Castro becomes prime minister of Cuba.

 

 

February 17th

1972 Volkswagen Beetle

1801...After a tied vote in the Electoral College and 35 ballots in the House of Representatives, Thomas Jefferson finally wins the presidency of the United States.

1820...The Senate passes the Missouri Compromise.

1972...The Volkswagen Beetle becomes the best selling car in the world.

 

February 18th

 Jefferson Davis    

Jefferson Davis

1861...Jefferson Davis becomes president of the Confederacy.

1930...A new planet is discovered and named Pluto. The planet once thought to be the 9th planet away from the sun is discovered at Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona.  It is discovered by astronomer Clyde Tombaugh.  Astronomers suspect the existence of a heavenly body in the position of Pluto because of a wobble in the orbits of Uranus and Neptune. They suspect the wobble is caused by the gravitation pull of another object. They search for many years without finding one. Then with the aid of new techniques and equipment astronomer Tombaugh finds it. The planet is named Pluto, for the Greek god of the underworld. Pluto will later be removed from the planet list  because of new rules for planets and their orbits.

 

February 19th

Aaron Burr

Aaron Burr

1807...Aaron Burr, a former vice-president, is arrested for treason.  Aaron Burr was vice president from 1801-1805. Now he is arrested in Alabama and charged with treason. Aaron Burr’s political career spirals after he kills Alexander Hamilton in a duel. Burr travels to New Orleans and talks with U.S. General James Wilkinson, a shady character who is a secret agent for the Spanish Crown. No one really knows exactly what they talked about, but Burr is accused of plotting to acquire Spanish territory to form another country. In 1806 Burr leads a swarthy, heavily armed group of people toward New Orleans. United States authorities get wind of it, and in an apparent effort to save himself, Wilkinson sends messages to Washington accusing Burr of treason. Burr is tried in a U.S.Circuit court in Virginia. Burr's story is that he intended to farm 40,000 acres in Texas territory and that the land was leased to him by the Spanish Crown. He is acquitted because it is deemed he did not engage in an overt act, which is required by the U.S. Constitution to render a guilty verdict. After spending several years in Europe, he returns home to his law practice in New York.
 

1942...President Franklin D. Roosevelt  signs Executive Order 9066.  It leads to the unfair treatment of Japanese Americans during the WWII.

1847...Rescuers reach the surviving members of the Donner party.

 

February 20th

Astronaut John Glenn

Astronaut John Glenn

1792...George Washington signs the Postal Act.  This creates the US Postal Service.  The States have been relying on couriers and private individuals to deliver and store mail. Benjamin Franklin, living in England, has been acting as Postmaster General to the postal service set up by England. However, his sympathy for the colonies cause his dismissal in 1774. He then returns to America, where in 1775 the Continental Congress accepts his suggestions and sets up a postal service for the colonies. This serves the colonists well, especially during the war when General Washington needs to get messages to Congress. In 1792 President Washington formally creates the U.S. Postal Service with the signing of the Postal Service Act. Included in the Postal Act is permission for newspapers to be delivered in the mail, as well as the restriction of postal officials to open anyone’s mail. The cost of sending a letter is between 6 and 12 cents. There are 75 post offices and 2,400 miles of postal routes.
 

1962...Astronaut John Glenn becomes the first American to orbit the earth.

 

 

 

 

 
 

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