Tom's Book of Days
   
      February 21-29  
     
   
 

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February 21

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Hero of Vera Cruz

   

1794: Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna is born. Popinjay and patriot, he will dominate Mexican politics for much of the 19th century. (See The U.S.-Mexican War.)

1848: The Communist Manifesto is published in Brussels.

1925: The first issue of the The New Yorker is published.

1939: Schultes identifies teonanacatl.

1965: Malcolm X is assassinated in the Audubon Ballroom, New York City.

1972: Richard Nixon is the first U.S. president to visit the People's Republic of China.

     

February 22

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luis buñuel

FEAST DAY OF ST. MARGARET OF CORTONA: St. Margaret of Cortona is considered "the patroness of fallen women."

1631: The First Thanksgiving is held in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

1882: Eric Gill is born in Brighton, England.

1900: Luis Buñuel (pictured) is born in Calanda, Spain.

2000: Screamin' Jay Hawkins dies in Paris. One of his dying wishes is to unite his 57 (by his estimate) illigitimate sons and daughters--if you think you might belong in this group, the Hawkins family will perform DNA tests to see if you measure up.

     

February 23

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chinchilla

1395: Johannes Gutenberg is born.

1821: In his room above the Spanish Steps in Rome, twenty-five-year-old John Keats dies of tuberculosis.

1884: Casimir Funk is born. Investigating the hypothesis that diseases such as beriberi, scurvy, rickets and pellagra were causes by nutritional deficiencies, he would coin the word vitamin.

1923: The first American chinchilla farm opens near Los Angeles.

1984: "They tell me I'm the most powerful man in the world. I don't believe that. Over there in the White House someplace, there's a fellow that puts a piece of paper on my desk every day that tells me what I'm going to be doing every 15 minutes. He's the most powerful man in the world." --President Reagan, on an unidentified aide

     

February 24

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balloon

1582: Pope Gregory XIII signs a papal bull introducing the Gregorian calendar, which corrects the Julian calendar, eliminating 10 days in October 1582.

1821: Mexico declares independence from Spain.

1860: Typehead Daniel Berkeley Updike is born in Providence, Rhode Island.

1942: Mistaking a weather balloon that strayed over Los Angeles for a Japanese bomber, the army unleashes a saturation antiaircraft barrage. Three civilians are trampled to death in the attending panic, and dozens more injured by falling shrapnel.

1956: Police in Cleveland, Ohio invoke a 1931 ordinance barring people under the age of eighteen from dancing in public unless accompanied by an adult.

     

February 25

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1570: Pope Pius V excommunicates Queen Elizabeth I.

1601: The Earl of Essex is executed by order of Elizabeth I (who is said by some to be not only his queen but also his lover).

1901: Herbert (Zeppo) Marx is born.

1904: Nutritionist Adelle Davis is born.

1970: Mark Rothko commits suicide in New York City.

     

February 26

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m. bonaparte


1815: Napoleon escapes from the island of Elba.

1829: Levi Straus is born in Bavaria. He would train as a tailor and travel to San Francisco during the gold rush with the idea of making tents and wagon covers out of canvas. Instead, he would use the material to manufacture hardy jeans, strengthening the stress points with copper rivets.

1880: New York City's first subway line opens.

1929: Grand Teton National Park is created..

1956: Sylvia Plath meets Ted Hughes: "The one man in the room who was as big as his poems, huge.... I screamed in myself, thinking oh, to give myself crashing, fighting, to you."

     

February 27

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N. Scott Momaday

1844: The Dominican Republic gains independence from Haiti.

1879: Constantine Fahlberg of Johns Hopkins University discovers saccharin.

1934: N. Scott Momaday is born in Lawton, Oklahoma.

1969: At U.C. Berkeley police charge a student picket line and club and arrest Chicano leaders; governor Ronald Reagan orders the National Guard sent to campus. On the same day, students at the University of Wisconsin, Madison (my alma mater) occupy nine buildings in a protest over black enrollments. Students also march at the University of Chicago.

1969: From the East London (South Africa) Daily Dispatch:

"Cradock -- The longest female boomslang recorded in the world has been caught on the farm of Mr Brits Wattrus at Mortimer. The snake, which was sent to the Port Elizabeth Snake Park, measured 6ft 2ins. Mr Wattrus has trained a labourer, Mr James Mbiko, to catch snakes for snake parks. He found the boomslang in a tree, pulled it to the ground by its tail, put his foot behind its head and then put it into a tin."

1990: Milli Vanilli "singer" Rob Pilatus quoted in Time magazine: "Musically, we're more talented than any Bob Dylan or Paul McCartney. Mick Jagger can't produce a sound. I'm the new Elvis."

     

February 28

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mr. ed & friend

FEAST DAY OF ST. ROMANUS: St. Romanus is "the patron of the insane." There are several St. Romanuses, actually. This one was French, and he lived as a hermit in the Condat region in the fifth century. Eventually he was joined by his younger brother Lupicinus, and together they founded several monasteries.

1525: Cuauhtémoc is assassinated in Mexico.

1533: Michel de Montaigne is born.

1749: Tom Jones is published.

1854: The Republican Party forms in Ripon, Wisconsin, due to opposition to the Kansas-Nebraska Act. The act, which became law on 30 May, left the issue of slavery to the settlers of each state.

1973: Members of the American Indian Movement occupy Wounded Knee, South Dakota.

1979: Mr. Ed dies.

     

February 29

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pulsar

  

1869: W.E.B. DuBois is born.

1840: In Gilbert and Sullivan's operetta The Pirates of Penzance, Frederic celebrates his 21st birthday and gains release from the pirates' indenture.

1968: The first pulsar star is discovered.

continue to March 1

 

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