February in History
By Mickey Dunaway Reprinted with permission from Limitless Magazine Cornelius, NC 28031
The earliest Roman calendars contained 10 months and 304 days, with the new year beginning in March. The months of January and February were not separated because winter was just too grim to give a name. Sounds reasonable to me.
2-6-1895 Baseball player Babe Ruth was born. Sold to the Yankees in 1920, and thus began the curse of the Babe, ending in 2005 with a Red Sox World Series win.
2-7-1812 Charles Dickens was born in Portsmouth, England. Did you read his novel, Great Expectations, in high school English?
2-9-1942 Guadalcanal captured in WWII. 9000 Japanese and 2000 Americans killed.
2-10-1967 25th Amendment passed regarding presidential disability. Used six times—mainly for medical reasons. Readers will surely find it interesting that the 25thAmendment emerged as a significant topic in last month’s rigamarole regarding certifying the Electoral College votes.
2-11-1990 Nelson Mandela freed. Mandela served 27 years as a political prisoner. Should cause everyone to ask themselves: for what cause would I serve and then forgive my captors to unite my nation?
2-12-1809 Abraham Lincoln was born. Generally, it is conceded that he was born in that famous log cabin in Harden County, Kentucky. However, some researchers believe he was born near Bryson City, North Carolina. He traveled a lot—like Daniel Boone!
2-13-1945 WWII Allied Bombing of Dresden, Germany. Allied propaganda said the bombing was to destroy German railroads and industry. However, an estimated 25,000 German civilians died when fires swept the industrial city. Historians attribute the purpose of the bombing to reducing Germany’s will to fight on.
2-14-496 St. Valentine’s Day established. The celebration of the day began in Rome in the year 496. Now celebrated around the world. It seems to this writer that Valentin’s Day 2121 comes at a particularly critical point when a little—no, a lot—more love is needed at home and nationwide.
2-17-1936 Jim Brown, famed Cleveland Browns running back, born in St. Simons, Georgia. Athlete Jim Brown was a dual All American in football and lacrosse at Syracuse University, but he also ran track and played varsity basketball for Syracuse. Arguably the best athlete of his time.
2-18-1991 The movie, Silence of the Lambs, released. One of the best horror films of all time. It went on to win five Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Actor (Anthony Hopkins), and Best Actress (Jody Foster).
2-19-1942 Internment of 110,000 Japanese Americans began. In 1988, President Reagan signed the Civil Liberties Act of 1988. More than $1.6 billion in reparations were paid to 82,219 Japanese-Americans.
2-20-1962 First American orbits the earth. John Glenn launched into orbit aboard the Atlas LV-3B.
2-21-1972 President Nixon visits China. Opened relations by meeting with Mao Tse-tung and Premier Chou En-lai.
2-22-1732 President George Washington was born in Westmorland County, VA. Of the many traits and accomplishments for which George Washington is renowned, historians accept that by refusing to serve more than two terms, Washington assured a representative democracy—a fact that we need to be reminded of from time to time.
2-25-1909 Geoffrey Dummer was born in Hull, England. Dummer was the first person to build an integrated circuit/microchip. Hero or villain? I will leave that for you to debate among yourselves!
2-26-1848 Germans Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels published Communist Manifesto. Advocating the abolishment of private property.
At a time in our country’s history when we are most divided, and sharing and compromise are dirty words, it is good to remember these words from motivational expert Zig Ziglar:
Among the things you can give away and still keep are your word, a smile, and a grateful heart.