I don’t know about you, but I am happy to see January in the rearview. I always find it to be a bit of a depressing month. The holidays are over, the days are short, it’s cold and often snowing, and it feels like spring is months away.
Once we get through the feat that is January, I feel like things start to look up. We get a little more daylight and because February is a short month it feels like it’s just a hop, skip and jump to spring! Not to mention the discounted candy come February 15th!
For such a short month, a lot has happened in February throughout history.
February 3rd was, sadly, “The Day the Music Died” (good luck getting that song out of your head now), when Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and the Big Bopper died in a plane crash in 1959.
February 6, 1935 brought us the first edition of Monopoly. To think, here we are 83 years later and that game is still tearing apart families and friendships, but we have all managed to agree on made up rules that never appear in directions! (I’m looking at you money for ‘Free Parking’)
February 7, 1964 kicked off “The British Invasion” with The Beatles arrival in the US. Later that week on February 9th, they would perform on “The Ed Sullivan Show”. A record setting 73 million people tuned in that evening making it one of the pivotal moments in television history. To put that in perspective that was nearly ¾ of the adult population of the US at the time!
Apparently February is just a month for music. On February 10, 1942 Glenn Miller received the first certified Gold Record for selling one million copies of the song “Chattanooga Choo Choo”.
Walking a bit further back in history February 10, 1793 marked the end of the French and Indian War when France ceded Canada to the English.
Less than romantic, but a piece of history nevertheless, 1929 brought us the Saint Valentine’s Day massacre when mobsters working for Al Capone gunned down several members of rival Bugs Moran’s gang.
NBC TV broadcasted its first nightly newscast on February 16, 1948.
I never cease to be amazed by the way literature prevails through the years. Still an essential in schools today, February 18, 1885 brought the publication of Mark Twain’s “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”. I wonder what the chances are that someone will still be reading my silly little articles 133 years from now? Probably not great…
Almost all of us have sung about ‘peanuts and Cracker Jacks’, but did you know prizes were first inserted in stadium staple, on February 19, 1913?
February 20, 1962 was out of this world when John Glenn became the first US astronaut to orbit the Earth.
Captured in what would become the most reproduced photograph in history, February 23 marks the 73rd anniversary of the Flag Raising at Iwo Jima. During the bloody Battle for Iwo Jima, U.S. 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 most strategic position, and raise the U.S. flag. Marine photographer Louis Lowery was with them and recorded the event.
February 26th marks the 25th anniversary of the first terrorist attack on the World Trade Center that killed six people and injured over 1,000.
According to history.com, “In January 1692, 9-year-old Elizabeth (Betty) Parris and 11-year-old Abigail Williams (the daughter and niece of Samuel Parris, minister of Salem Village) began having fits, including violent contortions and uncontrollable outbursts of screaming. After a local doctor, William Griggs, diagnosed bewitchment, other young girls in the community began to exhibit similar symptoms, including Ann Putnam Jr., Mercy Lewis, Elizabeth Hubbard, Mary Walcott and Mary Warren. On February 28, arrest warrants were issued for the Parris’ Caribbean slave, Tituba, along with two other women–the homeless beggar Sarah Good and the poor, elderly Sarah Osborn–whom the girls accused of bewitching them.” This began the Salem Witch Hunts/Trials.
On a much less serious note, the final episode of “M.A.S.H.” aired on February 28, 1983.
Finally a piece of Leap Year history. On February 29, 1972 Yellowstone became the first National Park.
February history has certainly had it’s ups and downs and I hope you enjoyed learning a little bit about all that has happened this month through the course of history.