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29 Days of February Trivia

1. February 1
February is American Heart Month. Educate your readers on heart disease and how one can prevent it.
After all, it is the leading cause of death for both men and women.

February 1, 1960 – In Greensboro, North Carolina, four African American students sat down and ordered
coffee at a lunch counter inside a Woolworth’s store. They were refused service, but did not leave.
Instead, they waited all day. The scene was repeated over the next few days, with protests spreading to
other southern states, resulting in the eventual arrest of over 1,600 persons for participating in sit-ins.
February 1, 2003 – Sixteen minutes before it was scheduled to land, the Space Shuttle Columbia broke
apart in flight over west Texas, killing all seven crew members. The accident may have resulted from
damage caused during liftoff when a piece of insulating foam from the external fuel tank broke off,
piercing a hole in the shuttle’s left wing that allowed hot gases to penetrate the wing upon re-entry into
the Earth’s atmosphere. This was the second space shuttle lost in flight. In January
1986, Challenger exploded during liftoff.

Birthday – Hattie Caraway (1878-1950) the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate, was born in Bakersville,
Tennessee. Her husband became the U.S. Senator from Arkansas. Following his death in 1931, she filled
the remainder of his term, then was elected herself, serving a total of 14 years.

Birthday – Hollywood director John Ford (1895-1973) was born in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. Known for The
Grapes of Wrath and The Searchers, he also served in World War II as chief of the Photographic Unit of
OSS, and earned two Academy Awards for documentaries made during the war.

2. February 2
February 2, Legend has it that on this morning, if a groundhog can see its shadow, there will be six more
weeks of winter. If it cannot see its shadow, spring is on the way. Groundhog Day 2020 is observed on
February 2 in many states throughout the United States of America
February 2, 2020 Super Bowl
February 2, 1848 – The war between the U.S. and Mexico ended with the signing of the Treaty of
Guadalupe Hidalgo. In exchange for $15 million, the U.S. acquired the areas encompassing parts or all of
present day California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, and Texas. The treaty
was ratified on March 10, 1848.
February 2, 1990 – In South Africa, the 30-year-old ban on the African National Congress was lifted by
President F.W. de Klerk, who also promised to free Nelson Mandela and remove restrictions on political
opposition groups.
Birthday – Irish novelist and poet James Joyce (1882-1941) was born in Dublin, Ireland. His works
include; Dubliners, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Ulysses, and Finegan’s Wake.

3. February 3
February 3, 1865 – A four-hour peace conference occurred between President Abraham Lincoln and
Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens at Hampton Roads, Virginia. The meeting was
unsuccessful as President Lincoln insisted there could be no armistice until the Confederates
acknowledged Federal authority. The Confederates wanted an armistice first. Thus the Civil
War continued.
National Feed the Birds Day: Help the wild birds in your backyard to survive the long, cold winter by
feeding them. That’s exactly why this special day was created. Mid and late winter are especially hard on
all outdoor animals. By mid winter, food sources become scarcer and scarcer for the wild birds that over-
winter in your backyard. What little food that is available, can get buried under deep snow. The bird
feeder that you place in your backyard, in view of your picture window, may be entertaining to you as a
bird watcher. It is also vital to the survival of birds in harsh winters

February 3, 1870 – The 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, guaranteeing the right of
citizens to vote, regardless of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.
February 3, 1913 – The 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, granting Congress the
authority to collect income taxes.
February 3, 1943 – An extraordinary act of heroism occurred in the icy waters off Greenland after the U.S.
Army transport ship Dorchester was hit by a German torpedo and began to sink rapidly. When it became
apparent there were not enough life jackets, four U.S. Army chaplains on board removed theirs, handed
them to frightened young soldiers, and chose to go down with the ship while praying.
The first female physician in the U.S., Elizabeth Blackwell (1821-1910) was born near Bristol, England. As a
girl, her family moved to New York State. She was awarded her MD by the Medical Institute of Geneva,
New York, in 1849. She then established a hospital in New York City run by an all-female staff. She was
also active in training women to be nurses for service in the American Civil War.
American artist and illustrator Norman Rockwell (1894-1978) was born in New York City. Best known for
depicting ordinary scenes from small town American life for the covers of Saturday Evening
Post magazine.

4. February 4
February 4, Thank Your Mailman Day is your chance to say thanks to the guy, or gal, who delivers your
mail. After all, your mail carrier delivers your mail six days a week. They are a hardy lot. The reliable postal
worker is always there doing their job, regardless of the weather. Did you Know? Pony Express riders
were the most famous early American “mailmen”. Their motto was ” Neither rain, nor snow, nor death of
the night, can keep us from our duty”. This motto is believed to be taken in part from a motto dating back
to ancient times. Among the most popular variation is “Through rain or snow, or sleet or hail, we’ll carry
the mail. We will not fail”.

February 4, 1861 – Apache Chief Cochise was arrested in Arizona by the U.S. Army for raiding a ranch.
Cochise then escaped and declared war, beginning the period known as the Apache Wars, which lasted 25
years.

February 4, 1985 – Twenty countries in the United Nations signed a document entitled “Convention
Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.”
Thaddeus Kosciusko (1746-1817) was born in Poland. He served in the American Revolution, building the
first fortifications at West Point. He then returned to Poland and fought against a Russian invasion.
Aviation pioneer Charles Lindbergh (1902-1974) was born in Detroit, Michigan. He made the first non-
stop solo flight from New York to Paris, May 20-21, 1927.

5. February 5
February 5:  National Weatherman’s Day honors weather men and woman who work hard to accurately
predict the often fickle local and national weather. Despite major technological advances and
supercomputers, forecasting the weather can still be tricky, and ever changing business. According to the
Air Force News, Weatherman’s Day “commemorates the birth of John Jeffries, one of America’s first
weathermen”. Jeffries was born on Feb 5, 1744. He kept weather records from 1774 to 1816.
February 5, 1917 – The new constitution of Mexico, allowing for sweeping social changes, was adopted.

6. February 6
Massachusetts became the sixth state to ratify the new U.S. Constitution, by a vote of 187 to 168.
February 6, 1933 – The 20th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was adopted. It set the date for the
Presidential Inauguration as January 20th, instead of the old date of March 4th. It also sets January 3rd as
the official opening date of Congress.
February 6, 1952 – King George VI of England died. Upon his death, his daughter Princess Elizabeth
became Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Her
actual coronation took place on June 2, 1953.
Aaron Burr (1756-1836) was born in Newark, New Jersey. In 1804, Vice President Burr challenged
Alexander Hamilton to a duel over Hamilton’s negative remarks and mortally wounded him. Burr was later
tried for treason over allegations he was planning to invade Mexico as part of a scheme to establish his
own empire in the Southwest, but was acquitted.
Legendary baseball player George Herman “Babe” Ruth (1895-1948) was born in Baltimore, Maryland.
Ruth held or shared 60 Major League records, including pitching 29 consecutive scoreless innings and
hitting 714 home runs.
Ronald Reagan, (1911-2004) the 40th U.S. President, was born in Tampico, Illinois. Reagan spent 30 years
as an entertainer in radio, film, and television before becoming governor of California in 1966. Elected to
the White House in 1980, he survived an assassination attempt and became the most popular president
since Franklin Roosevelt.

7. February 7
February 7, 1795 – The 11th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, limiting the powers of the
Federal Judiciary over the states by prohibiting Federal lawsuits against individual states.

Thomas More (1478-1535) was born in London, England. He was a lawyer, scholar, and held the title Lord
Chancellor of England. As a devout Catholic, he refused to acknowledge the divorce of King Henry VIII
from Queen Catherine, thereby refusing to acknowledge the King’s religious supremacy. He was charged
with treason, found guilty and beheaded in 1535, with his head then displayed from Tower Bridge. Four
hundred years later, in 1935, he was canonized by Pope Pius XI.
British novelist Charles Dickens (1812-1870) was born in Portsmouth, England. He examined social
inequalities through his works including; David Copperfield, Oliver Twist, and Nicholas Nickleby. In 1843,
he wrote A Christmas Carol in just a few weeks, an enormously popular work even today.
American social critic and novelist Sinclair Lewis (1885-1951) was born in Sauk Center, Minnesota. He
received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1930. His works include; Main Street, Babbit, and It Can’t
Happen Here.
8. February 8
February 8, 1587 – Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots, was beheaded at Fotheringhay, England, after 19 years as
a prisoner of Queen Elizabeth I. She became entangled in the complex political events surrounding the
Protestant Reformation in England and was charged with complicity in a plot to assassinate Elizabeth.
February 8, 1910 – The Boy Scouts of America was founded by William Boyce in Washington, D.C.,
modeled after the British Boy Scouts.
Birthday – Union Civil War General William Tecumseh Sherman (1820-1891) was born in Lancaster, Ohio.

9. February 9
February 9, 1943 – During World War II in the Pacific, U.S. troops captured Guadalcanal in the Solomon
Islands after six months of battle, with 9,000 Japanese and 2,000 Americans killed.
Birthday – William Henry Harrison (1773-1841) the 9th U.S. President was born in Berkeley, Virginia. He
took office on March 4, 1841 and died only 32 days later after developing pneumonia from the cold
weather during his inaugural ceremonies.

10. February 10
February 10, 1942 – The first Medal of Honor during World War II was awarded to 2nd Lt. Alexander
Nininger (posthumously) for heroism during the Battle of Bataan.
February 10 th – is National Umbrella Day!
February 10, 1967 – The 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, clarifying the procedures
for presidential succession in the event of the disability of a sitting president.

11. February 11
February 11th – Celebrated in Japan as the founding date of the Japanese nation, which occurred with the
accession to the throne of the first Emperor, Jimmu, in 660 BC.

February 11, 1929 – Italian dictator Benito Mussolini granted political independence to Vatican City and
recognized the sovereignty of the Pope (Holy See) over the area, measuring about 110 acres.
February 11, 1990 – In South Africa, Nelson Mandela, at age 71, was released from prison after serving 27
years of a life sentence on charges of attempting to overthrow the apartheid government. In April 1994,
he was elected president in the first all-race elections.
February 11, 2011 – In Egypt, President Hosni Mubarak resigned amid a massive protest calling for his
ouster. Thousands of young Egyptians and others had protested non-stop for 18 days in Cairo, Alexandria
and elsewhere. Mubarak had ruled Egypt for nearly 30 years, functioning as a virtual dictator.
Birthday – American inventor Thomas Edison (1847-1931) was born in Milan, Ohio. Throughout his lifetime
he acquired over 1,200 patents including the incandescent bulb, phonograph and movie camera. Best
known for his quote, “Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.”

12. February 12
February 12, 1999 – The impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton in the U.S. Senate ended. With the
whole world watching via television, Senators stood up one by one during the final roll call to vote “guilty”
or “not guilty.” On Article 1 (charging Clinton with perjury) 55 senators, including 10 Republicans and all
45 Democrats voted not guilty. On Article 2 (charging Clinton with obstruction of justice) the Senate split
evenly, 50 for and 50 against the President. With the necessary two-thirds majority not having been
achieved, President Clinton was thus acquitted on both charges and served out the remainder of his term
of office lasting through January 20, 2001.
Birthday – Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) the 16th U.S. President was born in Hardin County, Kentucky. He
led the nation through the tumultuous Civil War, freed the slaves, composed the Gettysburg Address, and
established Thanksgiving.
Birthday – Author and naturalist Charles Darwin (1809-1882) was born in Shrewsbury, England. Best
known for his work Origin of the Species concerning the theory of evolution.

13. February 13
February 13, 1635 – Boston Latin School, the first tax-payer supported (public) school in America was
established in Boston, Massachusetts.
February 13, 1945 – During World War II in Europe, British and American planes began massive bombing
raids on Dresden, Germany. A four-day firestorm erupted that was visible for 200 miles and engulfed the
historic old city, killing an estimated 135,000 German civilians.
Birthday – American artist Grant Wood (1892-1942) was born near Anamosa, Iowa. Best known for his
painting American Gothic featuring a farm couple.

14. February 14
February 14th – Celebrated as Saint Valentine’s Day around the world, now one of the most widely
observed unofficial holidays in which romantic greeting cards and gifts are exchanged.

February 14, 1849 – Photographer Mathew Brady took the first photograph of a U.S. President in
office, James Polk.
February 14, 1929 – The St. Valentine’s Day massacre occurred in Chicago as seven members of the Bugs
Moran gang were gunned down by five of Al Capone’s mobsters posing as police.

15. February 15
February 15, 1898 – In Havana, the U.S. Battleship Maine was blown up while at anchor and
quickly sank with 260 crew members lost. The incident inflamed public opinion in the U.S., resulting in a
declaration of war against Spain on April 25, 1898, amid cries of “Remember the Maine!”
February 15, 1933 – An assassination attempt on newly elected U.S. President Franklin D.
Roosevelt occurred in Miami, Florida. A spectator deflected the gunman’s aim. As a result, Chicago Mayor
Anton Cermak was shot and killed instead. The gunman, an Italian immigrant, was captured and later
sentenced to death.
February 15, 1989 – Soviet Russia completed its military withdrawal from Afghanistan after nine years of
unsuccessful involvement in the civil war between Muslim rebel groups and the Russian-backed Afghan
government. Over 15,000 Russian soldiers had been killed in the fighting.
Birthday – Astronomer and physicist Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) was born in Pisa, Italy. He was the first
astronomer to use a telescope and advanced the theory that the sun, not the earth, was the center of the
solar system.
Birthday – Inventor Cyrus McCormick (1809-1884) was born in Rockbridge County, Virginia. He invented
the horse-drawn mechanical reaper, a machine that freed farmers from hard labor and contributed to the
development and cultivation of vast areas of the American Great Plains.
Birthday – Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906) was born in Adams, Massachusetts. A pioneer in women’s rights,
she worked tirelessly for woman’s suffrage (right to vote) and in 1872 was arrested after voting (illegally)
in the presidential election. She was commemorated in 1979 with the Susan B. Anthony dollar coin, thus
became the first American woman to have her image on a U.S. coin.

16. February 16
Birthday – Entertainer and politician Sonny Bono (1935-1998) was born in Detroit, Michigan. Following a
career as a popular singer, he became mayor of Palm Springs, California, then became a Republican
congressman, serving until his accidental death from a skiing mishap.

17. February 17
February 17, 1865 – During the American Civil War, Fort Sumter in South Carolina was returned to the
Union after nearly a year and a half under Confederate control. The fort had been the scene of the first
shots of the war.
February 17, 1909 – Apache Chief  Geronimo (1829-1909) died while in captivity at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. He
had led a small group of warriors on raids throughout Arizona and New Mexico. Caught once, he escaped.
The U.S. Army then sent 5,000 men to recapture him.

18. February 18
Birthday – American politician Wendell Willkie (1892-1944) was born in Elwood, Illinois. He was the
Republican nominee for president in 1940, running against Franklin D. Roosevelt.

19. February 19
February 19, 1942 – Internment of Japanese Americans began after President Franklin Roosevelt issued an
Executive Order requiring those living on the Pacific coast to report for relocation. Over 110,000 persons
therefore shut down their businesses, sold off their property, quit school and moved inland to the
relocation centers.
Birthday – Astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543) was born in Torun, Poland. Considered the
founder of modern astronomy, he theorized that the sun, not the earth, was the center of the solar
system.

20. February 20
February 20, 1943 – German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel broke through American lines at Kasserine Pass
in North Africa as inexperienced U.S. Troops lost their first major battle of World War II in Europe, with
1,000 Americans killed.
February 20, 1962 – Astronaut John Glenn became the first American launched into orbit. Traveling
aboard the “Friendship 7” spacecraft, Glenn reached an altitude of 162 miles (260 kilometers) and
completed three orbits in a flight lasting just under five hours. Glenn was the third American in space,
preceded by Alan Shepard and Virgil “Gus” Grissom who had each completed short sub-orbital flights. All
of them had been preceded by Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin who was the first human in space,
completing one orbit on April 12, 1961 – a feat that intensified the already ongoing Space Race between
the Russians and Americans. Glenn’s successful flight showed the Americans had caught up and was
followed in September 1962 by President John F. Kennedy’s open call to land an American on the moon
before the decade’s end.

21. February 21
February 21, 1965 – Former Black Muslim leader Malcolm X (1925-1965) was shot and killed while
delivering a speech in a ballroom in New York City.
February 21, 1972 – President Richard Nixon arrived in China for historic meetings with Chairman Mao
Tse-tung and Premier Chou En-lai.
February 21, 1994 – CIA agent Aldrich Ames was arrested on charges he spied for the Soviet Union from
1985 to 1991.

22. February 22
February 22, 1956 – In Montgomery, Alabama, 80 participants in the three-month-old bus boycott
voluntarily gave themselves up for arrest after an ultimatum from white city leaders. Martin Luther King
and Rosa Parks were among those arrested. Later in 1956, the U.S. Supreme Court mandated
desegregation of the buses.

Birthday – George Washington (1732-1799) was born in Westmoreland County, Virginia. He served as
commander of the Continental Army during the American Revolution and became the first U.S. President

23. February 23
February 23, 1942 – During World War II, the first attack on the U.S. mainland occurred as a Japanese
submarine shelled an oil refinery near Santa Barbara, California, causing minor damage.
February 23, 1991 – In Desert Storm, the Allied ground offensive began after a devastating month-long air
campaign targeting Iraqi troops in both Iraq and Kuwait.
Birthday – African American educator and leader W.E.B. Du Bois (1868-1963) was born in Great
Barrington, Massachusetts.
Birthday – Historian William L. Shirer (1904-1993) was born in Chicago, Illinois. As a news reporter
stationed in Europe, he witnessed the rise of Adolf Hitler and reported on the surrender of France.
Following the war he wrote the first major history of Nazi Germany, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich.

24. February 24
February 24, 1582 – Pope Gregory XIII corrected mistakes on the Julian calendar by dropping 10 days and
directing that the day after October 4, 1582 would be October 15th. The Gregorian, or New Style
calendar, was then adopted by Catholic countries, followed gradually by Protestant and other nations.
February 24, 1867 – The House of Representatives voted to impeach President Andrew Johnson. The vote
followed bitter opposition by the Radical Republicans in Congress toward Johnson’s reconstruction
policies in the South. However, the effort to remove him failed in the Senate by just one vote.
Birthday – Admiral Chester Nimitz (1885-1966) was born in Fredericksburg, Texas. He commanded Allied
naval, land and air forces in the South Pacific during World War II, and signed the Japanese surrender
document on September 2, 1945.

25. February 25
Birthday – Millicent Fenwick (1910-1992) was born in New York City. She championed liberal causes,
serving as a member of the U.N. General Assembly and as a U.S. Congresswoman.

26. February 26
February 26, 1848 – The Communist Manifesto pamphlet was published by two young socialists, Karl Marx
and Friedrich Engels. It advocated the abolition of all private property and a system in which workers own
all means of production, land, factories and machinery.
February 26, 1994 – Political foes of Russian President Boris Yeltsin were freed by a general amnesty
granted by the new Russian Parliament.
Birthday – American frontiersman “Buffalo Bill” Cody (1846-1917) was born in Scott County, Indiana. He
claimed to have killed over 4,000 buffalo within 17 months. He became world famous through his Wild
West show which traveled throughout the U.S. and Europe for 30 years.

27. February 27
February 27, 1950 – The 22nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, limiting the president to
two terms or a maximum of ten years in office.
February 27, 1991 – In Desert Storm, the 100-hour ground war ended as Allied troops entered Kuwait just
four days after launching their offensive against Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi forces.
Birthday – American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882) was born in Portland, Maine. Best
known for Paul Revere’s Ride, The Song of Hiawatha, and The Wreck of the Hesperus.

28. February 28
February 28, 1844 – During a demonstration of naval fire power, one of the guns aboard the
USS Princeton exploded, killing several top U.S. government officials on the steamer ship, and narrowly
missed killing President John Tyler.
February 28, 1986 – Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme (1927-1986) was assassinated in Stockholm while
exiting a movie theater with his wife.
February 28, 1994 – NATO conducted its first combat action in its 45 year history as four Bosnian Serb jets
were shot down by American fighters in a no-fly zone.

29. February 29
February 29 is a date that usually occurs every four years, and is called leap day. This day is added to the
calendar in leap years as a corrective measure, because the Earth does not orbit the sun in precisely 365
days. The Gregorian calendar is a modification of the Julian calendar first used by the Romans.
46 BC – Julius Caesar declared the first Leap Day.
1288 – The concept of allowing women to propose marriage to men may have begun in Scotland.
1692 – The first witches were arrested in Salem Massachusetts.

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