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February ALMANAC 2014



This is the Month of Deep Snow or

Namebinigisiss/Sucker Spawning Moon (Ojibwa),

Février (French),  Obhlis (Hmong), Febrero (Spanish)

二月 [にがつ] (Japanese), (Yuè) (Chinese)



This year’s theme is “Civil Rights in America”



Birthstone: Amethyst (sincerity), Flower: Violet or Primrose

Almanac complied with 34 sources

by Susan Curnow Breedlove, c)2014


Quotes for the Month:

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." -Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Better to light one small candle than to curse the darkness.”  Chinese proverb


Saturday, February 1  Today is the beginning of NATIONAL AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY MONTH.  (Dr. Carter G. Woodson, started "Negro History Week," on February 12, 1926.)  2013 was the 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation and commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington.  It is NATIONAL FREEDOM DAY, the anniversary of Lincoln's approval, in 1865, of the 13th Amendment (abolishing slavery) as celebrated by Presidential Proclamation in 1949.  CANADA holds its annual INTERNATIONAL YUKON QUEST SLED DOG RACE of 1,000 miles.  The WINTER CARNIVAL in ST. PAUL, MN holds its Torchlight Parade this evening at 5:30.  Check out the ice sculptures in Rice Park this weekend.  Additional activities are on the Winter Carnival website.  Festivities continue for the CHINESE NEW YEAR 4712, the Chinese Year of the Horse which began yesterday. 

            The first U.S. Supreme Court convened on this day in 1790. 

            The first draft of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo to end the Mexican-American war

was made in 1848 providing for Mexico's cession to the U.S. the territory which would become California, Nevada, Utah, most of Arizona,& parts of other states. 

Hattie Wyatt Caraway, first woman elected to the US Senate, born in 1878.  She once    

introduced 43 bills on the same day & supported & sponsored equal rights & New Deal policies. 

            On this day in 1894, U.S. troops forcibly rounded up Hopi children and punished parents

                        for resisting European American education.       

            Car insurance first issued on this day in 1898, insuring cars vs. accidents with horses.

            Langston Hughes, internationally acclaimed African American writer, who wrote such

                        books as a collection of verse titled The Dream Keeper, born in 1902. 

            Actor Sherman Hemsley of "The Jeffersons" and "Amen," born 1938. 

Four North Carolina A&T students started the Sit-in Movement, Greensboro, N.C. in

                        1960 with a sit-in at Woolworth's lunch counter. The same was done in St. Paul.

            The first mass-marketed doll intended for boys, G.I. George, was introduced in 1964.     In 1965, in Selma, ALA, 700 people were arrested as they demonstrated demanding

                        African American voting rights.

            "Good Times," featuring an African American family working to improve their lot, began

                        in 1974. 

            1978- The first US postage stamp to honor an African American woman (abolitionist

                        Harriet Tubman, a nurse, scout, and spy for the Union Army) is issued.

This is the anniversary of the Space Shuttle Columbia Disaster, killing its seven

                        member crew in 2003.

Now is the time to put up nesting boxes for American Kestrels.  They are several of these, the smallest of falcons, in North Minneapolis.  The author of this almanac has the moral dilemma of welcoming these beautiful dusty blue birds with cream/orange spotted breasts, only to see the smaller species, the chickadees, etc., become their prey.

Sunday, February 2   IMBOLC or THE FEAST OF TORCHES DAY (Celtic), a fire festival that marks the start of Spring, halfway between the winter solstice and the vernal equinox is observed the next three days. It roughly corresponds to Groundhog Day, celebrating the anticipation of spring.  GROUND HOG DAY and CANDLEMAS (Presentation of the Lord, Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches) is observed.  There is an old belief that if the sun shines on Candlemas Day, or if the groundhog sees his shadow when he emerges, on this day, six weeks of winter will ensue.  Today is also the DIA DE LA CANDELARIA - The day of the candles in MEXICO.  The NFL SUPERBOWL is played with the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks, in the MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey.

            1807-U.S. Congress bans foreign slave trade.

John Parker an active participant in the Underground Railroad in Ohio who helped          

                        enslaved people escape to freedom, born, 1828.

Sarah Stevenson, physician, first female member of American Medical Association

                        (1876), born in 1839.  Edmond Berger (an African American) patents the spark

                        plug the same year.

            Carter Williams, African American inventor, patents canopy frame (awning) in 1892.

            1897-African American inventor A.L. Cralle patents the ice cream scooper.

            African American Ernest E. Just, biologist, received Springarn Medal for pioneer

                        research on fertilization and cell division in 1915. 

            Sled dogs with their mushers carried serum 674 miles to save Nome, Alaska, from a

                        diphtheria outbreak in 1925. 

            Model Christie Brinkley, born in 1953.

            1990-South African President F. W. deKlerk lifts ban on opposition groups.

Bear cubs are born in dens now, at 4 oz each

Monday, February 3  The holiday SETSUBUN節分is observed in JAPAN with a bean throwing contest to drive away imaginary devils.  MOZAMBIQUE celebrates HEROES’  DAY.  Today is MEXICAN CONSTITUTION DAY (1st Monday of February).

Felix Mendelssohn, German composer, born in 1809.

            Antonio Ruiz, national hero of Buenos Aires, Argentina, died for his country in 1810. 

            Horace Greeley, newspaper editor, outspoken opponent of slavery, best known for his

                        saying, "Go West, young man," born in 1811. 

            Elizabeth Blackwell, first female graduate of regular medical school, born in 1821. 

            In 1870 the 15th Amendment to the Constitution was passed giving the right to vote to

                        Black Americans.

            Gertrude Stein, American writer, remembered for her saying, "A rose is a rose, is a

                        rose," born in 1874. 

            Norman Rockwell, artist and illustrator of cover art (Saturday Evening Post), born 1894. 

            1903-Jack Johnson becomes the first Black heavyweight champion.

Author whose book was basis for the popular musical South Pacific, James Michener,

                        born, 1907.

The 16th Amendment of the Constitution was passed, granting Congress authority to

                        levy taxes on income in 1913. 

            Inventor of the lifesaving device the Heimlich Maneuver, Dr. Henry Heimlich born, 1920.

Fran Tarkenton, Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback (Minnesota Vikings), born, 1940. 

            Bob Griese, sports caster, born 1945. 

            The coldest day recorded on the North American continent occurred on this day at

                        Snag, Canada, in 1947 with 81 degrees below zero Fahrenheit.   

Autherine J. Lucy became the first African-American student to attend the University of

                        Alabama in 1956.

In 1959 Buddy Holly, Richie Valen's "Big Bopper" died in Iowan plane crash.      

1965-Mass arrest of schoolchildren demonstrating for civil rights in Selma. Alabama.

Basketball player Vlade Divuc was born in Yugoslavia in 1968. 

            The Endangered Species Act was signed into law in 1973.

            Grammy Award winning Puerto Rican reggaeton recording artist Ramón "Raymond"

                        Luis Ayala Rodríguez, known artistically as Daddy Yankee, born, 1977.

American goldfinches have begun to display some new bright yellow feathers – a subtle spring sign.


Tuesday, February 4  This is the HALFWAY POINT OF WINTER, 45 days passed and 45 to go.

SRI LANKA celebrates INDEPENDENCE from Britain in 1948.   Today is AFRICAN AMERICAN COACHES DAY(1st Tuesday of February). The MID-WINTER THANKSGIVING CEREMONIES OF IROQUOIS NEW YEAR CELEBRATION begins and continues for nine days.  The theme is for the continuation of all life-sustaining things; celebrated with tobacco offerings, confession of offenses, singing, drumming, dancing, name-giving, and dream-telling.  Iroquois believe Awenhai/Sky Woman created the Sun, Moon, and Stars from Her body.  (Occurs 5 days after the New Moon of January or February) 

                Polish patriot and American Revolutionary War figure Thaddeus Kosciusko, born, 1746. 

            Original Fisk Jubilee singer, teacher, and lecturer Ella Sheppard, born, 1851.

The Dakota people of eastern Minnesota (near Mankato), resisted the aggression of

U.S. troops in the so-called "Minnesota Sioux War" or "Dakota Conflict" after promises by U.S. government for food and blankets were broken in 1880; 300 are captured, 38 hanged in Mankato under the order of President Lincoln on Christmas Day, 1881. 

            Minnesotan Charles Lindberg, first to fly solo and nonstop over the Atlantic

                        Ocean from New York to Paris in 1927, born in 1902.  (See one of his planes at

                        the Lindberg/Twin Cities airport.)

            U.S. author (Tales of the South Pacific, Hawaii), James Michener, born, 1907.  

            Rosa Parks, human rights activist who, with fellow organizers ignited the Montgomery

                        bus boycott, born in 1913 (d. 2005). 

            Betty Friedan, contemporary women's rights movement leader who founded the National

                        Organization of Women, born in 1921.

            The USO, agency that provides support worldwide for US service people and their

                        families, founded in 1941. 

            Alan Shepard & Edward Mitchell of Apollo 14, the third U.S. manned moon expedition,

                        walk on the Moon for 4 hours in 1971.

Boxer Oscar de la Hoya born in 1973.

1999-NYC police kill innocent Amadou Diallo in mistaken identity.  He was a Liberian

            immigrant; 15 days of civil disobedience ensured.

Horned larks begin migrating north.


Wednesday, February 5   A SNOW FESTIVAL (さっぽろ雪まつり, similar to St. Paul's Winter Carnival, is celebrated in SAPPORRO,JAPAN through February 11th.

JermainLoguen, African American abolitionist and bishop of the African Methodist

                        Episcopal Church, born, 1813.

Willis Johnson, African American inventor, patents eggbeater in 1884.

Author (Happy Are the Merciful), Father Andrew Greeley, Roman Catholic priest, born,

                        Oak Park, Illinois, 1928.

            Actor Red Buttons, born in 1919. 

            Reader's Digest magazine was first published in 1922.

The first Winter Olympics end in France, 1924.  Six sports were represented; women

                        competed only in figure skating, and 13 of the 258 athletes were female.

Henry "Hank" Aaron, home run king of major league baseball, Hall of Famer and coach,

                        born in 1934. 

            In 1956, L.R. Lautier became the first African American to be admitted to the National

                        Press Club. 

            Laura Linney, actress ("The Truman Show"), born in 1964. 

            Former baseball player Roberto Alomar, born, 1968, in Puerto Rico.

            Bobby Brown ("Every Little Step"), born in 1969. 

            The Family-Leave Bill, allowing for 3 months unpaid leave for new parents working in

                        companies with more than 50 employees, signed by President Clinton,1993. 

Begonia and geranium seeds should be started indoors now.


Thursday, February 6  WAITANGI NATIONAL TREATY DAY is observed in NEW ZEALAND representing the union of friendship, though difficult, between Maori people and the White European people.  L’Hom Strom (HOLMSTROM) is celebrated in SWITZERLAND.  Straw men on poles are burned as a symbol of winter's coming departure.

Poet Anne Spencer, active member of the New Negro Movement during the Harlem

                        Renaissance, born, 1832.

Robert Tanner Jackson became the first African American to receive a degree in

                        dentistry in 1867. 

            Madge Macklin, physician who researched genetic aspects of cancer, born in 1893. 

            One of baseball's greatest heroes, left-handed pitcher, called "The Great             Bambino, Babe

                        Ruth, born in 1895.

            The 40th U.S. President, Ronald Reagen, born, 1911.

            Mary Nicol Leakey, a pioneering paleoarcheologist and anthropologist, born 1913,


The Monopoly Board went on sale in stores, 1935.

Tom Brokaw, journalist, and Susan Brady, handgun control activist who has authored

                        the "Brady Bill" were born in 1942.

            Bob Marley, Jamaican reggae superstar born, 1945.

            Singer Natalie Cole ("This Will Be" "Unforgettable"), born, 1950.

            AIM political activist Leonard Peltier was arrested under what many believe to be false

                        murder charges & still awaiting justice in 1976. 

            In 1993, tennis player, humanitarian, activist, Arthur Ashe, Jr., first African American on

                        U.S. Davis Cup (1968), died.

Coyotes and timberwolves begin mating.


Friday, February 7  This is NATIONAL BLACK HIV/AIDS AWARENESS DAY; the theme this year is “I Am My Brother’s and Sister’s Keeper.”

Author Charles Dickens, social critic and novelist, author of The Christmas Carol (with

                        Scrooge) and A Tale of Two Cities, born in 1812.

            In 1849, there were yet 15,000,000 buffalo still on the Plains, in two great herds. 

            Author of Little House on the Prairie books, Laura Ingalls Wilder, born in 1867. 

            Eubie Blake, American composer & pianist who wrote such songs as "I'm Just Wild

                        About Harry," born in 1883.  He died five days before his 100th birthday.            

            Sinclair Lewis, novelist & social critic, author of Mainstreet, born in Sauk Center,

                        Minnesota in 1885.       

Actor (Robo Cop, "Twin Peaks," "Crossing Jordan"), Miguel Ferrer, born, 1954.

            Country singer Garth Brooks ("Friends in Low Places"), born in 1962.     

Finally, in 1966, women gained the right to sit on juries in Alabama. 

            Chris Rock, actor, comedian "Saturday Night Live," Beverly Hills Ninja), was born, 1966. 

            1968-Three students killed by police while protesting segregation at South Carolina

                        Campus in what is called the Orangeburg Massacre.

Juwan Howard, basketball player, born in Chicago in 1973.

            Steve Nash, basketball player, born 1974.

Watch the squirrels; they are beginning their "courting." 


Saturday, February 8 JAPAN observes HA-RI-KU-YO (NEEDLE MASS)針供養 (はりくよう) with young girls praying that their needlework (symbolic of love and marriage) will be good. 

            Jules Verne, sometimes called the father of science fiction and author of such books as

                        20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, born  in 1828. 

            In 1886, an anti-Chinese riot broke out in Seattle and Chinese residents were driven out

                        of the city and sent to San Francisco. 

            In 1887, the Dawes Act allowed sale of native lands despite previous treaties being

                        broken (repealed in 1934). 

            Jack Lemmon, actor ("Grumpy Old Men" filmed in Minnesota), born in 1925.      

Actor who achieved tremendous popularity during a brief career, James Dean ("Rebel

                        Without a Cause"), born in 1931.

             The person who composed scores for "Jaws," "Star Wars," "Jurassic Park," and

                        "Schindler's List," John Williams, born in 1932.

            Journalist Ted Koppel ("Nightline"), born in 1940. 

            1944-Austin Walden was the first African American reporter to attend a White House

                        press conference.

This is the anniversary of the day in 1964 on which U.S. Representative Martha Griffiths

delivered a speech against sex discrimination, leading to equal rights legislation. 

            Three South Carolina State students were killed during segregation protest in 1968. 

            Gary Coleman, actor ("Different Strokes") was born the same year. 

            Alonzo Mourning, basketball player, born in 1970.

            Seth Green, actor ("Austin Powers II"),  born 1974.

            1986-Oprah Winfrey becomes first Black woman to host nationally syndicated talk show.

Northern cardinals begin spring songs.

Sunday, February 9
      Patrick Henry Choir will be performing WITNESS: Stomp and Sing at 4:00 PM. They will be performing in collaboration with VocalEssence under the direction of Phillip Brunelle, Artistic Director. Project Success has FREE tix and taxi! Just call 874-7710.

The American Indian Society was founded in 1822. 

            The U.S. Weather Bureau was established in 1870. 

            States ecdysiast and author Gypsy Rose Lee whose autobiography , Gypsy, was made

                        into a Broadway musical and a motion picture, born, 1914.

            Country and western singer Ernest Tubb ("first major hit, "Walking the Floor Over You"),

                        born 1914.  Also born that year, Bill Veeck, Baseball Hall of Fame executive who

                        integrated the American League. 

            Pulitzer prize author Alice Walker who wrote The Color Purple& other books, born, 1944

            Arthur Ashe Jr. became the first African American of U.S. Davis Cup tennis team, 1963. 

            The Beatles appeared on "The Ed Sullivan Show" in 1964. Irish playwright and poet

                        Brendan Behan, born, the same year. 

The Maryland Freedom Union was created in 1966 following the work walk off of 20

                        African American women working as nurses aids, housekeepers, & kitchen staff.

Singer Shakira born in Colombia, South America, in 1977. 

            Actress Mena Swari(American Beauty),  andZiyi Zhang, actress (Crouching Tiger:

                        Hidden Dragon, House of Flying Daggers), born 1979.

            Camille Winbush, actress, (Bernie Mac Show), born 1990.

Common ravens perform aerial acrobatics in the skies of northern Minnesota and Wisconsin, a ritual of courtship.


Monday, February 10  AFRICAN AMERICAN PARENT INVOLVEMENT DAY is observed throughout the day at PHHS.  The following guests will be presenting on a topic that s/he is passionate about: Benjamin McHie, founder and Executive Director of the African American Registry, a national repository of information regarding prominent African Americans; Senator Bobby Joe Champion District 59:  lifelong resident serving North Minneapolis, author of “Ban the Box” legislation; Eric Mahmoud: President/CEO/Founder at Seed Academy and Harvest Preparatory School, author of Best in Class  How We closed the 5 Gaps of Academic Achievement; Sondra Samuels: CEO of the Northside Achievement Zone, a nationally recognized model for achievement; Susan Breedlove: advocate for environmental, educational, and social justice, sharing “45 Household Inventions of African Americans;” and Trent Tucker: Retired championship NBA basketball player, co-host of  KFAN FM’s In the Zone, and Director of District Athletics for the Minneapolis Public School.  Emerging student leader representatives from Patrick Henry’s key student organizations will discuss matters of priority of Patrick Henry’s students, hosted by Dijon McCain ’15, Moderator of KMOJ’s Teen Summit.

            Today Christians commemorate the shipwreck of St. Paul on the north coast of Malta in

                        AD 60.

            Pioneering electrical engineer and author of Circuit Analysis of AC Power Systems

                        (1943), Edith Clarke, born, 1883.

Boris Pasternak, Russian poet and novelist (Doctor Zhivago, made into a video), born in


            Politician Grace T. Hamilton, born, 1907.  She was the first African American to hold a

                        politicalposition of great power In the Deep South.

The first African American international opera singer, Leontyne Price, was born in 1927. 

            The "Repatriation" of Mexicans started in L.A., (once part of Mexico), in 1930 with

                        16,000 people deported. 

            Singer Roberta Flack ("Killing Me Softly With His Song"), born 1940.     

Author (Diet for a Small Planet, Rediscovering America's Values), Frances Moore

                        Lappe, born, 1939.

            Singer, songwriter Donovan, born in Scotland in 1946.

            Mark Spitz, Olympic gold medal swimmer, born in 1950.

            Ronald H. Brown elected chair, Democratic National Committee.

Alex Haley, author of Roots, died on this day in 1992. 

            The first computer chess victory over human occurred in 1996 with IBM's Deep Blue

                        computer defeated world champion Garry Kasparov in 34 moves. 

Erect and clean out wood duck and bluebird boxes.


Tuesday, February 11  Today is the ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN's NATIONAL DAY celebrating the overthrow of the Shah in 1979.  It is YOUTH DAY in CAMEROON and NATIONAL FOUNDATION DAY (建国記念の日) in JAPAN marking the founding of the Japanese nation in 660 BC.  It is WHITE SHIRT DAY in the U.S.  "Blue-collar" workers traditionally wear white shirts to work, symbolic of workingman's dignity won in a strike at General Motors' plant in 1937.            

            In 1794 the first U.S. Treaty was signed with six nations of the Iroquois Confederacy. 

            Lydia Maria Child, abolitionist, reformer, author, born in 1802; she and her husband

                        David Child published a document promoting education of those enslaved. 

            The first women's college (Mt. Holyoke Female Seminary) was chartered in 1837. 

            Inventive genius Thomas A. Edison, born in 1847.

            Philip Dunne, campaigner against the practice of "blacklisting" in Hollywood, a founder

                        of the Screen Writers Guild, born in 1908.  

            Folk singer, guitarist, actor, civil rights activist, actor, Josh White, born, 1915.

French chef Paul Bocuse, born in 1926.

            Musician, bandleader Sergio Mendes, born, Brazil, 1941.

            Actor Burt Reynolds (Deliverance, Cannonball Run), born in 1936. 

            Singer, musician, Sheryl Crow, born, 1962.

Today is the date of birth of actresses Jennifer Aniston ("Friends"), born in 1969, and

                        Brandy (Norwood), ("Cinderella," "Moesha"), born, 1979. 

            The first woman Episcopal Bishop was consecrated in 1989 (Reverend Barbara

                        Clementine Harris).

            South African leader Nelson Mandela was freed after 27 years as a political prisoner on

                        this day in 1990.

            Actor Taylor Lautner(Twilight), born, 1992.

According to KARE11 Weatherguide Calendar, “At our latitude, Feb. 11 is the normal date that greenhouse workers notice that plants come out of dormancy and start growing.”


Wednesday, February 12 

Charles Darwin, naturalist and author (On the Origin of Species), born 1809. Abraham Lincoln, 16th president of the U.S., was also born in 1809.            

Cofounder of the National Association of Colored Women, Fannie Williams, born in


            Thought by some to have been the greatest dancer of all time, ballerina Anna Pavlova,

                        born in Russia in 1881. 

            John L. Lewis, American Labor leader & champion of miner's causes, born 1880. 

            Isaac Burns Murphy, great African American jockey, died in 1896. 

            The N.A.A.C.P. (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) was

                        founded in 1909 in Springfield, ILL. 

            Author of Harlem Renaissance period, Dr. Carter G. Woodson, started "Negro History

Week," in 1926, designated for the second week in February, to coincide with marking the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.

            Sportscaster and former baseball player Joseph Garagiola, born in 1926.          

U.S. Senator Arlen Specter, born, 1930.

The horror classic film Dracula premiered in New York City in 1931 starring Bela Lugosi.

Hall of Fame basketball player Bill Russell, born in Monroe, LA in 1934.

Author of Blubber andSuperfudge, Judy Blume, born 1938.

Comedian Arsenio Hall, talk show host, and actor (Coming to America), born 1955.Hall has used his fame

            to help fight worldwide prejudice against HIV and AIDS,

            First Barbie dolls are sold in stores in 1959.

            Actor Josh Brolin (No Country for Old Men), and Chynna Phillips, singer, born, 1968.

            Actress Christina Ricci (Sleepy Hollow, Ice Storm), born, 1980.

Greenhouses will be hot and humid on sunny days because the Sun’s position in the sky.


Thursday, February 13  Today is the national holiday BLACK LOVE DAY a day designated for 5 specific acts of love: toward the Creator, one-self, within the family, in the community and for those of African ancestry. 

Today is the anniversary of the first public school in U.S., begun in Boston,     

                        Massachusetts in 1635.

            The first magazine to be published in the U.S. was The American Magazine published

                        in 1741.   

            Grant Wood, artist, ("American Gothic"), born in 1892. 

Vocalist Robert Todd Duncan, baritone who was the first to perform the role of Porgy in

                        Porgy and Bess, first Black to sing with the New York City Opera, born, 1903.

Patty Berg, golf champion, born in 1918.

            Former college football coach, (Grambling, a historic African American college), one of The winningest coaches in college football history, civil rights pioneer who ultimately sent more than 200 players to the National Football Leagues,  Eddie Robinson, born in 1919. 

            The Negro National League was formed, 1920.

In 1923 the first African American pro basketball team "The Renaissance" was


            Chuck Yeager, pilot who broke sound barrier, born, 1923. 

            TV host Jerry Springer (The Jerry Springer Show), born, 1944.

Dresden, Germany was firebombed on this day in 1945 by Allied Forces killing 135,000


            Kelly Hu, actress ("Nash Bridges," "Martial Law") born, Honolulu, in 1967. 

            Joseph Searles became first black member of New York Stock Exchange in 1970. 

            Former Vikings football player Randy Moss celebrates his birthday of 1977.

Listen for the "who's awake, me too" call of the great horned owl while nesting.


Friday, February 14  Today is ST. VALENTINE'S DAY which began as a celebration of Christian martyrs as a diversion from the ancient observance of Lupercalia.  This is the anniversary of LUPERCALIA, ancient Roman fertility festival, possibly a forerunner of Valentine's Day customs. RACE RELATIONS DAY is a day set aside by some churches to further positive relations among people.  FRANCE's NICE CARNIVAL, deriving from 14th century ancient rites of spring, begins February 15th, and ends on March 4th.  CHINA celebrates their annual LANTERN FESTIVAL, also known as Chap Goh Mei, marking the end of the Chinese New Year.  A Traditional CHINESE LANTERN FESTIVAL is observed in Taiwan & Korea.  Thousands of US citizens conduct the BACKYARD BIRD COUNT, helping to monitor species, today through the 17th.

Frederick Douglas, abolitionist, editor of The North Star and women's suffrage leader

who played a large role in decisions Abraham Lincoln made, presumed born on this day in 1817. 

            Inventor Margaret E. Knight, born, 1838.  She will be called the "female Edison" with her

                        27 patents.

The first presidential photograph was taken in 1849 (of President James Polk). 

            This is Ferris Wheel Day, the anniversary of the 1859 birth of George Ferris, States

engineer and inventor of the 250-feet-in-diameter Ferris wheel (built in 1893 for exposition at Chicago).

            1879-B. K. Bruce of Mississippi becomes first African American to preside over U.S.


Singer, dancer, actress, choreographer, leading African American female performing

                        artist at the turn of the century, Aida Overton Walker, born, 1880.

Social activist, humanitarian, educator, who founded a secret society to help with            the cost

                        of medical care and burial services for blacks, Mary Ann Prout, born in 1901.

            The League of Women Voters was formed in 1920 in Chicagoto help U.S. women

                        exercise their new political rights and responsibilities.

            Hugh Downs, broadcaster ("Today" and "20/20"), born in 1921.

            Today is the anniversary of Chicago gangland executions of seven in the Valentine's

                        Day Massacre in 1929.

            Former U.S. Secretary of Health & Human Services Donna Shalala, born 1941.  

Carl Bernstein, journalist, author (investigated Watergate story with Bob Woodward),

                        born in 1944. 

            In 1946, Gregory Hines, dancer and actor ("Tap" and "The Gregory Hines Show"), born.

                        (d. 2003).

The first electric digital computer was introduced in 1946.

Jessica Yu, filmmaker (Oscar for “Breathing Lessons: The Life and Work of Mark

                        O'Brien"), born, 1966. 

            The Fredrick Douglas Washington, D.C. home was designated a national historic

                        landmark on this day in 1972.  

The Super Soaker water gun was patented by African American Lonnie Johnson in


The moon enters its FULL MOON PHASE tonight.  Native Americans of northern and eastern United States refer to it as the FULL SNOW MOON usually the heaviest snows fall in this month.  Hunting becomes very difficult, and hence to some tribes this was the FULL HUNGER MOON.


Saturday, February 15  Today is the annual February 15th holiday CANADA FLAG DAY.  San Francisco’s Chinatown celebrates the CHINESE NEW YEAR with a parade today.  The dragon, over 200 feet long, is always featured as the grand finale. 

Galileo Galilei, Italian astronomer who was imprisoned and tortured for his theories, born                        in 1564. 

Abolitionist, women's rights activist, opponent of American expansionism, Indian rights

activist, novelist, and journalist, Lydia Maria Childs, born, 1802.  She is also remembered for her poem Over the River and Through the Woods. (The house still stands in Medford, Massachusetts.)

Inventor of the reaper to cut fields of wheat, Cyrus McCormick, born in 1809.

            States jeweler whose name became synonymous with high standards of quality, Charles

                        Tiffany, born in 1812.

            Susan B. Anthony, leader of 19th century women's rights movement and first U.S.

                        woman on coinage ($1 in 1979),  born in 1820. 

            Women lawyers were authorized (for the first time) to practice law in U.S. Supreme

                        Court in 1879. 

            Soviet troops withdrew from Afghanistan in 1989 ending more than nine years of


            Cartoonist Matt Groening (The Simpsons), born 1954.

            2003-Millions around the world march against U.S. war in Iraq.

Note the cardinals and juncos at your bird feeding stations about 20 minutes before sunrise.


Sunday, February 16  Thank the engineers at Henry for keeping our school as a model of care and beauty during this,  NATIONAL ENGINEERS WEEK in the USA. FASCHING SUNDAY, called the Feast of Fools in some countries, is observed by many Christians this Sunday prior the beginning of Lent.  LUTHUANIA INDEPENDENCE DAY from the Soviet Union is celebrated. The NBA ALLSTAR game is played in New Orleans, Louisiana, this year.  This is INTERNATIONAL FLIRTING WEEK.

Scandinavian explorer Leif Ericson made contacts with Native Americans on North

                        American mainland in 1007.

            Henry Wilson, abolitionist, Ulysses Grant's second vice president, author of a book on

                        the history of slavery in the US, born, 1812.

All treaties made with the 4 Minnesota Sioux (Dakota) bands were abrogated and their

                        right of occupancy was forfeited in 1863.  The Dakota and Winnebago were

                        banished from Minnesota by an Act of U.S. Congress. 

            Leonora O'Reilly, National women's trade leader and co-founder of National Association

                        for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), born, 1870. 

Frederick Douglass elected president of Freedman's Bank and Trust.

African American businesswoman, marketing genius, and entrepreneur Caroline R.

                        Jones, born, 1942.

James Ingram, songwriter, singer ("Baby, Come to Me"), born 1956.

            In 1957, LeVar Burton, actor in "Roots" & "Star Trek: The Next Generation," "Reading

                        Rainbow," born.

            Ice T (Tracy Morrow), rap singer, actor ("Law & Order," New Jack City), born, 1959.

            The first 911 emergency telephone system in the U.S. begins In Haleyville, Alabama In


            The Kyoto Protocol goes into effect as an attempt to reduce global warming, 2005.

2011-Angry public workers, facing cuts, crowded into the Wisconsin State Capitol on

            Wednesday in Madison, Wisconsin.

It was 52 degrees in the Twin Cities on this day in 2011.


Monday, February 17 Today is PRESIDENTS' DAY in the U.S.A., annually the third Monday in February.

Esther Hobart Morris becomes the first US woman to hold a judicial position when she

                        is appointed justice of the peace in South Pass City, WY, 1870.

Marion Anderson, internationally acclaimed opera star, claimed this date in 1902 as her

                        birth date.  (See also February 27th)

Apache chief, Geronimo, died in 1909, (born about 1829). 

            Jazz artist Bessie Smith, made her first recording on this day in 1923. 

Hal Holbrook (Magnum Force, All the President's Men), born, 1925.

Activist, actor, Hall of Fame football player, James Brown, born in 1936. (d. 2006) 

            With the intervention of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, Marian Anderson sang from the

                        steps of the Lincoln Memorial for 75,000 at a 1939 Easter service. 

            Huey Newton, founder of the Black Panther Party, born in 1942. 

            Irish actress Brenda Fricker (Oscar for My Left Foot; The Field), born,1945.        

Actor Lou Diamond Phillips (La Bamba, Stand and Deliver), born 1962. 

            Michael Jordan, basketball player extraordinaire was born in 1963. 

            1966 marked the birth of the Black Panther Party. 

            Singer Ronald De Voe (Bell BivDeVoe), born in 1967. 

            Actress Denise Richards (Wild Things, The World Is Not Enough), born, 1971.

The USS Jesse L. Brown, WWII naval vessel, commissioned, 1973.

The Prairie Home Companion (Lake Wobegon), live variety show with Host Garrison

                        Keillor, debuted nationally on Minnesota Public Radio in 1979. 

            Paris Hilton, socialite and television personality ("The Simple Life") and actor Joseph

                        Gordon-Levitt, (Halloween H20), born, 1981.

Note the eagles by the Mississippi River engaging in aerial displays as they congregate above open water.  Some in Southern Minnesota have begun incubating their eggs.


Tuesday, February 18    This is GAMBIA's INDEPENDENCE DAY from Great Britain in 1965.      

            In 1688 Quakers filed the first formal complaint against slavery.

US artist best remembered for his remarkable work with decorative iridescent

                        glass, Louis Comfort Tiffany, born in 1848. 

            Affectionately known in the U.S. as the "Jewish Mark Twain," Sholem Aleichem (pen

                        name), main character in "The Fiddler on the Roof" was born in 1859.     

            Morehouse College was founded in 1867.

            Andres' Segovia, introduced the guitar as a concert instrument, born,1893. 

            Minnesotan human rights leader and writer MeridelLeSuer was born, 1900. 

            Helen Gurley Brown, author of a best-selling book about the single girl and editor of

                        Cosmopolitan magazine from 1965-1996, born 1922.

The planet Pluto was discovered in 1930 by astronomer Clyde Tombaugh. (Some

                        astronomers don't accept Pluto as a planet.) 

            A piece of truly trivia:  On this day in 1930, the first cow to fly in an airplane was milked

                        in flight, the milk was put in containers and parachuted over St. Louis, Missouri.

            Toni Morrison, winner of 1988 Pulitzer Prize for fiction (wrote Beloved, Jazz, Tar Baby,

                        Zulu), born in 1931. 

            Yoko Ono, artist, musician, widow of John Lennon of the Beatles, born in Tokyo, 1933.  Writer (author of three New York Times bestsellers, Brothers and Sisters, Singing in the

Comeback Choir, and What You Owe Me)Bebe Moore Campbell, born, 1950. d. 2006.

John Travolta, actor ("Urban Cowboy" "Saturday Night Fever"), born, 1955. 

            Television personality of "Wheel of Fortune," Vanna White, born in 1957.

Horned larks arrive in rural areas; they are among the first to migrate here.


Wednesday, February 19

Nicolaus Copernicus, Polish astronomer and priest who placed the sun, instead of the

                        Earth, at the center of the planetary system, born in 1473.

Activist, Lugina B. Hope, born, 1871.  She founded the Neighborhood Union to improve the living conditions in Atlanta's African American community. Her leadership in the Neighborhood Union pushed her to national recognition as a social reformer and community leader.   

Carson McCullers, playwright, novelist, (My Heart is a Lonely Hunter), born in 1917. 

            In 1919, the First Pan-African Congress, was held in Paris. 

            The U.S. Supreme Court guaranteed due process of law to African-Americans in state

                        courts in 1923.

            Singer ("Tears of a Clown"), songwriter ("The Way You Do the Things You Do") and

                        producer, William "Smokey" Robinson,  born in 1940. 

            President Roosevelt signed Executive Order #9066 in preparation for internment of

                        Japanese-Americans, 1942.  People were forced into concentration camps

                        placed throughout western U.S.; the interned lost an estimated $400 million in

                        property, 112,000 lost their homes.

            Norwegian teachers begin successful nonviolent protest against Nazification of schools.

Karen Silkwood, an activist in the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers Union,born 1946. 

Her investigation of the Kerr-McGee Corp. was portrayed in the film Silkwood (1983).

Author Amy Tan (The Joy Luck Club), born in 1952. 

            British singer, songwriter ("Prayer for the Dying"), Seal, born, 1963.

            Actor Benicio Del Toro (Traffic, The Usual Suspects), born in Puerto Rico in 1967 as

                        was actor Andrew Shue ("Melrose Place").

            Actress Haylie Duff ("7th Heaven" Napoleon Dynamite) born, 1985.

Soccer player Marta born, 1986, in Brazil.

Bobcats being mating.


Thursday, February 20  Today is UNITED NATIONS WORLD DAY FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE, beginning in 2009. The month of Pisces in the astronomical/astrological zodiac begins.   

Today marks the death of U.S. journalist, orator and antislavery leader Frederick

                        Douglass in 1895.

            Athlete, baseball player in the Negro League, John Donaldson, born, 1892.  Research

also suggests that Satchel Paige owed much of his style and form to Donaldson, Paige's pitching coach during the 1930s.

U.S. photographer Ansel Adams known for photos of Yosemite Park, born 1902.

In San Diego, Texas, El Plan de San Diego called for a Chicano uprising to reconquer

                        lost Mexican lands and form a new Chicano republic in 1915. 

            Carl Stotz, founder of Little League baseball (1939), born in 1920, died in 1992. 

            Fashion designer and artist Gloria Vanderbilt, born, 1924.  Journalist and TV

                        personality, Anderson Cooperis her son.

Film director (M*A*S*H, Nashville, Prairie Home Companion), Robert Altman, born,

                        1925. (d. 2006)

            Actor Sydney Poitier, ("In the Heat of the Night," "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner,"

                        "Lilies of the Field"), born 1927.

Four Saints in Three Acts by Virgil Thomson and Gertrude Stein, premiers as the first

                        black-performed opera on Broadway, 1934.

Norwegian teachers successfully struck against Nazification of schools in 1942. 

            Nancy Wilson, singer, ("Yesterday's Love Songs/Today's Blues"), born, 1937.

            Buffy Saint Marie, Cree folk singer and poet ("Mister Can't You See," "He's an Indian

                        Cowboy in the Rodeo"), born 1941.

            1942: Phil Esposito, Hockey Hall of Fame center, born 1942. 

            Charles Barkley, commentator and former basketball player, born, 1963.

            Cindy Crawford, model and actress, born, 1966.

            Stephon Marbury, basketball player, born, 1977.

Squirrels have begun their mating season.


Friday, February 21Today is UNITED NATIONS INTERNATIONAL MOTHER LANGUAGE DAY to raise awareness among all peoples of the distinct and enduring value of their languages. 

            In 1828, Sequoyah's Cherokee alphabet was used to print first publication of the

                        "Cherokee Phoenix," the first newspaper printed in a Native American


            The first phone book is issued, in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1878.

The Washington Monument was dedicated to the first U.S. President on this day, 1885. 

            Lucy Hobbs became the first woman to graduate from a U.S. dental school in 1866. 

            The magazine The New Yorker published its first issue in 1925. 

            Alka Seltzer is introduced in 1931.

Nina Simone, blues and jazz singer ("I Loves You Porgy"), born in 1933 (d. 2003 in


            1934 anniversary of the assassination of Nicaraguan guerrilla leader Cesar Augusto

                        Sandino, after whom the Sandinistas of the present day are named.

            First African American congress-woman from the Deep South, Barbara Jordan, born

                        In 1936.

Congressman, civil rights leader John Lewis, born, 1940.As a student at Fisk

University, John Lewis organized sit-in demonstrations at segregated lunch counters in Nashville, Tennessee and later was a Freedom Rider. 

Kelsey Gramer, actor ("Cheers," "Frasier"), born in 1955.

            El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (Malcolm X), American black nationalist was assassinated on

                        this day in 1965. 

            Jennifer LoveHewitt, actress ("Scream II"), born 1979. 

            Actor Christopher Atkins (The Blue Lagoon), born in 1961. 

            Singer Charlotte Church(Voice of an Angel), born in Wales in 1986.

            Actress Ellen Page (Juno, X-Man:The Last Stand), born, 1987), born, 1987.

Singer actor Corbin Bleu (High School Musical), born, 1989.

The biggest February snowfall on record for the Twin Cities left 13.8 inches at the airport on this day in 2011.  (Note the temperature on February 16th of the same year, 52 degrees.)


Saturday, February 22   This is the ANNIVERSARY OF THE FIRST THANKSGIVING celebrated by European Americans in 1630; popcorn was introduced to the newcomers by Quadequina.  GUYANA observes its ANNIVERSARY AS A REPUBLIC (from Britain in 1970). This is INDEPENDENCE DAY OF SAINT LUCIA (from Britain in 1979).  The AMERICAN BIRKEBEINER RACE, the largest and most prestigious cross-country ski marathon in North America, is held in northern Wisconsin from Cable to Hayward.  The GRUMPY OLD MEN FESTIVAL is held in WABASHA, MN. this weekend.  Celebrate winter with that grumpy old man's pastime of ice fishing, in the town that inspired the popular movie of the same name. Other activities include an ice shack contest, frisbee games, softball and golf tournaments, hoop shoots, bird watching and a spaghetti dinner and dance. 

George Washington, first president of the U.S. born in 1732.

            Polish composer and pianist Chopin born in 1810. 

            Painter, perhaps the first African American artist to depict California and the Pacific

                        Coast, Grafton Brown, born, 1841,

Lucy Hobbs became the first woman to graduate from a dental school in 1866.  Gertrude Bonnin (ZitkalaSa, or Red Bird), Dakota Indian activist, pivotal in gaining the

            rights of citizenship and the vote for Native Americans. born in 1876. 

            The first chain store, Woolworth’s, first opened at Utica, NY in 1879.  In 1997, the

                        closing of the chain was announced. 

American poet Edna St. Vincent Millay ("My candle burns at both ends. . ."), born, 1892.

Robert Wadlow, dubbed "The Gentle Giant," tallest man in recorded history, born in  1918.  Wadlow reaching 8 feet, 11.1 inches, 490 pounds, died at  age 22 from

                        complications caused by a foot infection. 

            Senator Edward (Ted) Kennedy, born in 1932.

            Julius "Dr. J" Erving, Basketball Hall of Famer, born in 1950.

            Eighty well known bus boycotters, including Dr. King, Rosa Parks, and E.D. Nixon,

                        were arrested in Montgomery, Alabama in 1956. 

            Naturalist and television personality with crocodile skills, Steve Irwin, born in Australia in

                        1962. (d. 2006) 

            Golfer Vijay Singh was born in Fiji in 1963. 

            Actress ( "Star Trek: Voyager"), Jeri Ryan, and baseball player Kazuhiro Sasaki, born in


            Former tennis player Michael Te Pei Chang, born in 1972.

            Actress Drew Barrymore (E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Irreconcilable Differences), born


            Miracle on ice: US Olympic hockey team defeated USSR in 1980, led by Herb Brooks

                        of Minnesota, going on to defeat Finland and win the gold medal.  (His statute

                        can be viewed in St. Paul.)

Col. Frederick Gregory became first African American to command a space shuttle

                        mission in 1989. 

Greenish tops of skunk cabbage appear in swamps.  Incidentally, Chicago (Ojibwa word) was named by African American trader and founder DuSable and his American Indian wife, for the skunk cabbage growing on the western shores of Lake Michigan.


Sunday, February 23  The Daytona 500 is run in Daytona Beach, Florida. 

George Handel, composer ("Messiah") born in 1685.  Emma Willard, pioneer in higher

                        education for women, born in 1787.  (Willard School in North Minneapolis is

                        named after her.) 

            1822-The city of Boston is incorporated.

            Fannie Merritt Farmer, born, 1857.  She standardized the measurements used in

recipes of the Boston Cooking School Cook-Book and a candy company, Fannie Farmer was named after her.

Human rights activist, American sociologist, and author, Dr. William Edward B. DuBois (The Souls of Black Folk), born in 1868. 

            The diesel engine was patented by Rudolf Diesel in 1893, in Germany, for the engine

                        that bears his name. 

            Ruth Nichols, aviator who set women's records for speed & altitude (1958), born,1901. 

            Activist James Cameron, born, 1914.he founded the Black Holocaust Museum in

Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  At his death, he was the only known survivor of a lynching attempt.

Former congressman and civil rights worker Louis Stokes, born, 1925.

Actor Peter Fonda ("Easy Rider" & "Ulee's Gold") born in 1939.  (Fonda attended the

University of Minnesota and served an internship at the Northside's Unity House as a social worker.) 

            This the anniversary of the day that the US flag was raised on the Pacific island of Iwo

                        Jima by US Marines in 1945.

            Frank Petersen, Jr. became the first black general in the Marine Corps in 1979. 

            Actress Emily Blunt (The Devil Wears Prada), born, 1983.

The ground war against Iraq begins in 1991 by Allied forces as part of Desert Storm. 

                        1997 marked the first cloning of an adult animal, a lamb, in Scotland.

Watch the skies for the Canadian geese who are beginning to arrive.


Monday, February 24  MEXICO celebrates its independence of 1821 with FLAG DAY. ESTONIA INDEPENDENCE DAY from the Soviet Union in 1991.          

The most widely used calendar in the world, the Gregorian Calendar (named after Pope  Gregory XIII), was adopted on this day in 1582. 

            Carl Grimm, author (The Grimm's Fairy Tales, born in Germany in 1786. 

            US artist, best known for rugged outdoor scenes, Winslow Homer, born 1836.   Rebecca Lee Crumpler is the first Black woman doctor to graduate in the U.S., 1864. (from New England Female Medical College)

Elizabeth Gurley Flynn led 20,000 women textile workers in the "Bread & Roses" strike  of 1912.  On that same day and year, in New York, Henrietta Szold led the first                                  meeting of the Zionist Support Group, Hadassah, now the largest volunteer  women's group in the U.S. 

            The home of Frederick Douglass was made a national shrine in 1922.  Make it a point

                        to travel to Washington, D.C. some day and check it out. 

            Philip H. Knight, cofounder of Nike, born, 1938.

Actor Edward James Olmos (Stand and Deliver, "Miami Vice"), born 1947.         

Steven Jobs, founder of Apple computer company, born in 1955. 

            Paula Zahn, host ("CBS This Morning") born in 1956. 

            Writer Elizabeth Alexander, poet, essayist, playwright, and teacher, born, 1962. A Yale

professor, she chosen by President Obama to bethe fourth poet ever to read at a presidential inauguration.

Irish astronomer who discovers the first pulsar (a rapidly rotating neutron star), Jocelyn

                        Bell Burnell, born, 1968.

,           Football player Jeff Garcia, born 1970.

            Operation Desert Storm Ground Campaign began in Iraq, 1991. 

Woodchucks, skunks and groundhogs are now mating.


Tuesday, February 25  KUWAIT observes NATIONAL DAY. 

In 1745 the American Colonial Legislature passed an act paying rewards for Indian


            The first National Bank was chartered by Congress in 1791 in Philadelphia.        

August Renoir, French impressionist artist who continued painting with a brush taped to

                        his arthritic hand, born in 1841. 

            Hiram Revels became the first African American U.S. Senator in 1870. 

            The first YMCA for those of African heritage was organized in Washington, D.C.,1853. 

            Ida Cox, jazz pioneer, songwriter ("Wild Women Don't Have the Blues"), born in 1896.

            Former fashion model, author, champion of human causes, U.S. congresswoman

            Millicent Hammod Fenwick,  born in 1920, died in 1992.  She was the inspiration for the

                        "Doonesbury" character Lacey Davenport. 

            National Cowgirl Hall of Famer Rose Flynt Bascom, of Cherokee-Choctaw heritage,

known as the greatest female rodeo trick roper in the world, born in 1922.  Touring with the USO, "Texas Rose" performed at every military base and military hospital in the U.S. and entertained servicemen stationed overseas. 

            In 1941 a general strike in the Netherlands against Nazi persecution of Jews began. 

            Beatle's musician and singer George Harrison, born in 1943 (d. 2001).   

Muhammad Ali became world heavyweight boxing champion on this day in 1964 and was stripped of title in 1967 for refusing to be inducted into the armed services                                   during the Vietnam War.  Conviction was reversed by the Supreme Court in  1971. 

            Actress Tea Leomi(Jurassic Park III), born 1966.

            Twins James & Oliver Phelps, actors, (play Fred and George Weasley in the Harry

Pottermovies), born, 1986.  Corazon Aquino becomes president of the Philippines the same year.

Actor Sean Astin(the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Rudy, Courage Under Fire), born, 1971.

            This is the anniversary of the Hebron Massacre of 1994 when U.S.-born Jewish settler  Baruch Goldstein, opened fire in a crowded mosque sacred to both Jews and Muslims killing 29 and wounding 150.

Bird nesting season has begun so listen for the drumming of the pileated woodpecker, the cooing of male mourning doves, and the rattle calls of crows.


Wednesday, February 26         

Victor Hugo, author of Les Miserables with most famous character the Hunchback of

                        Notre Dame, born, 1902.

Bavarian immigrant Levi Strauss, creator of the world's first pair of jeans-Levi's 501  jeans-for California's gold miners in 1850, born in 1829.

American frontiersman and showman, subject of many yarns, William Cody "Buffalo   Bill," born in 1846. 

            The Communist Manifesto was published in 1848 after being written by Marx and  Engels.

            Louise Bowen, Chicago philanthropist who assisted immigrant women, born in 1859. 

            Sisseretta Jones, stage singer, African American international vocal prima donna of late

19th century, favorite of several presidents, born, 1869.

The Cookman Institute, one of the first schools for African Americans, is founded in   Jacksonville, FLA, in 1872.

Poet Robert Frost who wrote "A Walk in the Woods," born in 1874. 

            The Grand Canyon National Park was established in Arizona in 1919.   

Actor Tony Randall, ("The Odd Couple"), born in 1920 (d. 2004).

            Antoine "Fats" Domino, singer ("Ain't That a Shame," "I'm in Love Again," "Blueberry  Hill"), born in 1928. 

            The Grand Teton National Park is established in 1929 in Wyoming.

Johnny Cash, The Man in Black, singer  who recorded more than 1,500 songs ("Guess Things Happen This Way" "Ring of Fire" "Folsom Prison Blues"),born on this day in 1932, (died in 2003). 

            The Federal Communications Commission was created on this day in 1934.   Mine, mill & smelter workers begin 5-month strike that addressed racist "Mexican wage"  system in Cananea,1999.

            In1965, Jimmie Lee Jackson, African American civil rights activist, died from police   beating and shots in Alabama. 

            Erykah Badu, pop singer ("On & On"), born in 1972.

            The most decorated US female swimmer, Jenny Thompson, born.  She will compete In

                        three Olympics and win ten medals, eight of them gold.

In 1986, Corazon Aquina deposed Marcos in Philippines.

            The World Trade Center of New York City was bombed in 1993.

Mink begin mating.


Thursday, February 27  Today marks INTERNATIONAL POLAR DAY, emphasizing the danger of global warning to these animals. 

Author Henry Longfellow (Paul Revere's Ride), born in 1807. 

Angelina Grimke' Weld, abolitionist writer and lecturer, born in 1800.  (Some accounts

                        say February 20, 1805.) 

Alice Hamilton, first woman on medical faculty of Harvard University, reporter of dangers to workers of industrial toxic substances leading to worker's compensation laws,         born in 1869. 

            Mabel Staupers, nurse, African American civil rights activist, born in 1890.         

Birth date according to birth certificate of Marian Anderson, internationally acclaimed  opera singer and humanitarian, first African American to perform with the New                                     York Metropolitan Opera(1955), born in 1897.  Initially she was prevented from singing in national buildings in 1939 by the Daughters of the American Revolution                  because of her race.  She also was denied housing at the Dykeman Hotel in Minneapolis until a group of youth from the Northside's Phyllis Wheatley   House, including W. Harry Davis, protested. 

            Golfer, inventor of the sand wedge, first to win the modern grand slam (the Masters, US  Open, British Open and PGA), Gene Sarazen, born in 1902.  Author John

                        Steinbeck,  (Of Mice and Men), is born the same year.

            Actress (Oscar for The Three Faces of Eve), Joanne Woodward, born in 1930.    Elizabeth Taylor, actress and AIDS activist, born in 1932. 

            Ralph Nader, consumer advocate and lawyer, recent presidential candidate, born in 1934. 

            Leading women's rights activist, Meena Keshwar Kamal, born in Kabul.  She will found  

the Revolutionary Association of Women in Afghanistan, assist refugees, and be assassinated in 1987.

On this day in 1973, a group of American Indian activists began the occupation of   Wounded Knee, S.D. to demand reforms in tribal government. 

            In 1988, Debi Thomas became the first person of African ancestry to win an Olympic  medal in figure skating. 

            The African Burial Ground National Monument is established in 2006. The site in   Lower Manhattan, New York City, at Duane and Elk Streets, is where it is believed that more than 15,000 African Americans, free and enslaved, were  buried.  For more information, Google.

Weeping willows are bright yellow and dogwood branches are becoming brighter red.


Friday, February 28

            A 1608 report indicates "no Indians in Mexico travel by foot; all ride horses." Federal  legislation takes over Paha Sapa (Black Hills) in 1877. 

            Mary Lyon, founder of Mt. Holyoke Female Seminary (1837), at a time when girls   received education in their homes, born in 1797. 

            Svetlana Allilueva, daughter of Joseph Stalin, author (The Faraway Music), born in Moscow in 1926. 

            Architect Frank Gehry, designer of the silver  Weismann Art Museum at the University of

                        Minnesota, Minneapolis, born in 1929.

            Mario Andretti, former auto racer, born in 1940.

            Michael Jackson won eight Grammy awards in 1984. 

            Eric Lindros, hockey player, born 1973.

            Ernest Avants, Ku Klux Klan member is convicted in 2003 for his part in the 1966 murder of African American sharecropper Ben Chester.

            The Branch Davidian Compound, a religious sect In Texas, is raided by the ATF (U. S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms) in 1998 killing 74 men, women and children.

Bald eagles begin nesting in tall pines near fishing spots.

From now until the end of March is the best time to prune fruit trees and grape vines.








does this fire?!