yesterday - On this day - tomorrow

The beginning of Black History Month in the US, begun in 1926 to raise awareness of the hidden history of the African-Americans.

The first

The steamboat is patented by Isaac Briggs and William Longstreet in 1788.
The first volume of the Oxford English Dictionary is published in 1884. Scheduled to take 11 years to finish, the project will not be complete before 43 years have passed.
The world's first film studio is opened by Thomas Edison in 1893 in West Orange, New Jersey.
The first automobile insurance policy is issued by The Travelers Insurance Company of Hartford, Connecticut in 1898.
The first armored car is introduced in 1920.
The first single record is released by RCA in 1949.


Settlers led by James Oglethorpe first land on the site of today's Savannah in 1733.
Bohemian peasants revolt against servitude in 1775.
The American Supreme Court convenes for the first time in 1790 in New York City.
France declares war on England and the Netherlands in 1793.
The opera La Boheme by Giacomo Puccini opens in Turin in 1896.
Foot binding is prohibited in China by empress Tz'u-hsi in 1902.
Germany makes a decision to let its submarines attack merchant ships from neutral nations going to Britain in 1917. This will lead to the American entry into the first world war.
The Norwegian Trygve Lie becomes the first secretary-general of the United Nations.
In 1958, Egypt and Syria proclaim a union between the two countries, in a state to be known as The United Arab Republic.
Female suffrage in federal elections is rejected by a Swiss referendum in 1959.
A sit-in protest by four black college students begins at a lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Coca-Cola introduces Sprite to the market as a lemon-lime competitor to 7Up in 1961.
In 1965, Martin Luther King, Jr. is arrested in Selma, Alabama together with 700 demonstrators.
Nauru becomes independent in 1968.
Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini returns to Iran after nearly 15 years in exile in 1979.
President F.W. De Klerk opens the South African Parliament promising to end apartheid completely in 1991.
Presidents George Bush and Boris Yeltsin formally end the cold war in 1992 by signing the Camp David declaration stating that their countries no longer see each other as adversaries.
Flooding rivers force 250,000 Dutchmen out of their homes in 1995.


Feodor Chaliapin, Russian opera singer, born in 1873 (On the 1st of February according to the old style Julian calendar used in Russia at the time, on February 13 otherwise)
Victor Herbert in Dublin, Ireland, 1859. He was a composer of symphonic and chamber music, but is most famous for his comic operettas such as Babes in Toyland, The Fortune Teller, and Naughty Marietta.
Langston Hughes in Joplin, Missouri, 1902. A member of the Harlem Renaissance, he described the life of American blacks in poems, stories and true histories.
Clark Gable, king of Hollywood, was born in 1901. He was famous for his role in Gone with the Wind and won an Oscar for It Happened One Night.
President of Russia, Boris Yeltsin, was born in 1931.
Singer Don Everly was born in 1937.
Princess Stephanie of Monaco was born in 1965.
Lisa Marie Presely, famous daughter and wife, was born in 1968.


1328 - Charles IV, the Handsome, King of France
1650 - Rene Descartes, French philosopher and mathematician.
1733 - August II, the Strong, King of Poland and alleged father of 355 children.
1851 - Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, author of Frankenstein.
1908 - Carlos I, King of Portugal, is assassinated by a mob, 44 years old.
1944 - Piet Mondrian, abstract painter.
1966 - Buster Keaton, movie actor.
1976 - Werner C Heisenberg, Nobel prize winner in physics.
2002 - Hildegard Knef, actress, singer, writer.

In 1974, a fire in a newly constructed skyscraper kills over 220 people in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
A 1977 blizzard claims 100 lives in New England.
In 1991, an earthquake measuring 6.8 on the Richter scale kills 1,200 people in Afghanistan and Pakistan. At Los Angeles International Airport, 34 people are killed and several injured when two planes clash on the runway.


St. Brigid of Kildare - Irish 5th century saint known from numerous folk legends for her gentleness and devotion. She became the model for the knightly ideal of a woman.
St. Cecilius of Granada, the first bishop and patron saint of Granada. According to legend he was one of the seven disciples of St. James. His second feast is on May 15.
St. Henry Morse, A convert to Catholicism, this priest died at Tyburn, England on this date in 1645, and is one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales.
St. Ignatius, bishop of Antioch, who established choir singing in his church.
St. Severus of Ravenna, the weaving bishop, saint of glove makers, hatters and weavers.
St. Ursus of Aosta, 6th century arch-deacon and missionary for the Church of Rome. Invoked at childbirth, for children dead before baptism, and against faintness, kidney disease, and rheumatism. Alternate feast day is June 17.
St. Viridiana was voluntarily walled up in a cell for 34 years in her native Castelfiorentino in Tuscany, Italy. Her alternate feast day is February 16.

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