ON THIS DAY: February 28, 2019

February 28th is

Chocolate Soufflé Day

Floral Design Day *

Digital Learning Day *

Tooth Fairy Day *


MORE! Sylvia del Villard, Richard Spikes and Anne Brown, click



Finland – Kalevala
(Finnish Culture Day)

India – National Science Day

Spain – Día de Andalusía

Taiwan –Peace Memorial Day


On This Day in HISTORY

202 BC – The coronation ceremony as Liu Bang becomes Emperor Gaizu of Han ushers in four centuries of rule by the Han dynasty in China

1119 – Jin dynasty Emperor Xizong born, ruler of northern China (1135-1150); though a peace treaty was signed in 1139 between the Jin and the Southern Song dynasty, in 1140, Xizong ordered his general Wanyan Zongbi to take back the Henan and Shaanxi vassal states which he had ceded to the Southern Song in the treaty. By 1141, the Jin forces had been defeated by the Song, and he had to negotiate again for peace

1525 – The last Aztec emperor, Cuauhtémoc, has been overthrown by Spanish forces after smallpox devastated his city, but allowed to remain as a puppet ruler. Hernán Cortés on takes him along on his expedition to Honduras to prevent the deposed Aztec from mounting an insurrection during the expedition’s absence, but then hangs him and his few remaining retainers, supposedly for plotting to kill Cortés


1533 – Michel de Montaigne born, French philosopher and essayist, who popularized the essay form, influencing a wide range of major Western writers, including  Francis Bacon, René Descartes, Blaise Pascal, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, William Hazlitt, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Friedrich Nietzsche, Stefan Zweig, Eric Hoffer, and Isaac Asimov

1638 – Scotland’s 1638 National Covenant is signed in Greyfriars kirkyard; subscribers, known as Covenanters, swear oaths to maintain the Scottish Presbyterian religion in the form it was in 1580, and to reject all innovations introduced since that time, while also professing loyalty to the King. Escalating clashes over the form of the state religion lead to the Covenanters raising an army to resist Charles I’s religious reforms, and the defeat of Charles in the Bishops’ Wars. This crisis in turn helped set off the Wars of the Three Kingdoms: the English Civil War, the Scottish Civil War and Irish Confederate Wars

1708 – During one of the earliest slave revolts in America, seven white people are killed in Newton, Long Island; two black male slaves and an Indian slave are hanged, and a black woman is burned alive

1783 – Gabriele Rossetti born, Italian poet, revolutionary, and scholar

1784 – John Wesley charters the Methodist Church

1797 – Mary Lyon born, American educator, founder of Wheaton Female Seminary (now Wheaton College) and Mount Holyoke Female Seminary (now Mount Holyoke College)

1820 – John Tenniel born, British satirical cartoonist for Punch, and illustrator noted for his drawings in the first editions of Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass

1827 – The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad becomes the first railroad incorporated for commercial transportation of people and freight

1849 – The first regular steamboat service to California via Cape Horn arrives in San Francisco; the SS California had left New York Harbor October 6, 1848

1854 – The Republican Party is organized in Ripon WI by about 50 slavery opponents

1859 – The Arkansas legislature requires free blacks to choose between exile and enslavement

1867 – Seventy years of diplomatic relations between the Holy See and the U.S. are ended by a Congressional ban on federal funding of diplomatic envoys to the Vatican; they are not restored until January 10, 1984

1870 – The Bulgarian Exarchate (Orthodox church) is established by decree of Sultan Abdülaziz of the Ottoman Empire, consulting with the Ecumenical Patriarch

1876 – John Alden Carpenter born, American composer

1877 – Sergei Bortkevych born, Russian Romantic composer

1882 – Geraldine Farrar born, American soprano and actress; she made a sensational debut at the Berlin Hofoper as Marguerite in Charles Gounod’s Faust in 1901, and appeared in different European venues until her debut at the NY Metropolitan Opera in Romeo et Juliette in 1906; sang the title role in the first Met production of Giacomo Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, and remained at the Met until her retirement in 1922; her young women admirers were nicknamed “Gerry flappers”

1883 – Benjamin Franklin Keith opens the first vaudeville theatre in Boston MA

1885 – AT&T (American Telephone and Telegraph) is incorporated; capitalized on only $100,000, it provides long distance service for American Bell

1893 – Edward G. Acheson shows his patent for Carborundum

1894 – Ben Hecht born, American novelist, playwright, war correspondent, and newspaper crime reporter

1898 – Molly Picon born, Yiddish performer, entertained troops in Korea and Japan during World War II, renowned for somersaults and flips well into her seventies, wrote one-woman show, “Hello, Molly” (1979), and an autobiography, Molly (1980)

1900 – Second Anglo-Boer War: British reinforcements under General Sir Redvers Buller finally break through the Boers besieging Ladysmith, a South African town northwest of Durban and south of Johannesburg, which had been under siege for four months, after three previous attempts by the British to break the siege had failed. Winston Churchill was traveling with the relieving force as a 25-year-old war correspondent for The Morning Post

1901 – Linus Pauling born, American Nobel Prize-winning chemist and political activist

1909 – Stephen Spender born, English poet and critic

1909 – Ketti Frings born as Katherine Hartley; American author, playwright and screenwriter; won a 1958 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for her adaptation of Thomas Wolfe’s novel Look Homeward, Angel as a play which opened on Broadway in 1957; also noted for her 1940 novel, Hold Back the Dawn

1911 – Thomas A. Edison, Inc. is organized

1920 – Jadwiga Piłsudska born, Polish pilot; just started studies in aircraft engineering at Warsaw Polytechnic when Germany invades Poland in 1939, so with her mother and elder sister, she flees to Lithuania and from there to the United Kingdom; after earning her pilot’s license, she serves in the WWII British women’s Air Transport Auxiliary

1922 – The armed revolt of white South African mineworkers at the East Rand gold mine, begun in December, 1921, intensifies when three miners are shot and killed outside the prison in Boksburg.  Following a decline of over 25% in the world price of gold, Rand had tried to cut their operating costs by decreasing wages, and weakening the colour bar to promote lower-paid black miners to skilled and supervisory positions. The initial rebellion had spread throughout the Witwatersrand region of the country, and 20,000 troops were sent in by Prime Minister Jan Smuts to crush it

1927 – Tooth Fairy Day * is started when Esther Watkins Arnold prints an 8-page playlet for children called The Tooth Fairy, which is first performed by schoolchildren the following year

1928 – Sylvia del Villard born, actress, dancer, choreographer and Afro-Puerto Rican activist; director of Afro-Puerto Rican Affairs at the Puerto Rican Institute of Culture (1981-1988)

1932 – Richard Spikes patents the automatic gear shift for automobiles

1943 – Porgy and Bess opens on Broadway, starring Todd Duncan and Anne Brown

1945 – Linda Preiss Rothschild born, American mathematician and academic; worked on polynominal factorization, partial differential equations, harmonic analysis, and the theory of several complex variables; fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences since 2005

1951 – A Senate committee issues a report that there are at least two major crime syndicates in the U.S.

1953 – At Cambridge University, scientists James D. Watson and Francis H.C. Crick discover the double-helix structure of DNA

1956 – A patent is issued to Forrester Research for a computer memory core

1958 – Natalya Estemirova born, Russian newspaper correspondent, documentary filmmaker and human rights activist; abducted and murdered in 2009

Protesters holding up photos of Natalya Estemirova after her murder

1959 – Megan McDonald born, American children’s author; noted for her series Judy Moody and The Sisters Club

1962 – The John Glenn for President Club is formed by some Las Vegas Republicans

1974 – The U.S. and Egypt re-establish diplomatic relations after a 7-year break

1983 – The final episode of “M*A*S*H” airs, the most watched TV program in history

1983 – U2 releases their album War

1984 – Michael Jackson wins seven Grammy awards for his album Thriller

1986 – Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme is assassinated in Stockholm

1990 – Philip Emeagwali, a Nigerian computer scientist, receives the 1989 Gordon Bell Prize, for an oil reservoir modeling calculation using a novel mathematical formulation and implementation

1991 – Allied forces suspend their attacks as Iraq pledges to accept all UN resolutions concerning Kuwait

1993 – U.S. ATF agents raid the Branch Davidians’ compound in Waco to arrest leader David Koresh on firearms charges; 4 agents and 4 Davidians are killed; followed by a 51-day standoff

1994 – NATO makes its first military strike when U.S. F-16 fighters shoot down four Bosnian Serb warplanes in violation of a no-fly zone over central Bosnia

1995 – Denver International Airport opens after a 16-month construction delay

1995 – Floral Design Day * is declared in Massachusetts, to honor Carl Rittner, of the Rittners School of Floral Design, a pioneer for over 60 years in floral art education, and to celebrate the art of floral design

1998 – Serbian police begin a campaign to wipe out “terrorist gangs” in the Yugoslav province of Kosovo

2002 – Sotheby’s auction house announces Peter Paul Rubens is now considered the artist who painted The Massacre of the Innocents, previously thought to be by Jan van den Hoecke

2007 – NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft makes a gravitational slingshot against Jupiter to change a planned trajectory towards Pluto

New Horizons photograph of Pluto

2012 – Digital Learning Day * is launched, an annual day to highlight the best in innovative new ways for teachers to use technology in the classroom

2013 – Benedict XVI becomes the first pope to resign since Gregory XII in 1415 and the first to resign voluntarily since Celestine V in 1294

2016 – In the first election after Iran signed a nuclear deal brokered by the U.S. and other permanent members of the UN Security Council (P5+1), Iranian reformists allied with President Hassan Rouhani, sweep Iran’s parliamentary elections, winning all 30 seats in Tehran



About wordcloud9

Nona Blyth Cloud has lived and worked in the Los Angeles area for the past 50 years, spending much of that time commuting on the 405 Freeway. After Hollywood failed to appreciate her genius for acting and directing, she began a second career managing non-profits, from which she has retired. Nona has now resumed writing whatever comes into her head, instead of reports and pleas for funding. She lives in a small house overrun by books with her wonderful husband.
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2 Responses to ON THIS DAY: February 28, 2019

  1. Malisha says:

    A friend of mine’s mother, who was an artist (painter) of little renown but considerable skill, took a flower arranging course at one point and reported to her family, in amazement: “I learned today that if you take ANY three flowers and arrange them in ANY configuration except a straight line, they will form a TRIANGLE!”
    It was then that I realized how complicated flower-arranging can be. Before that, I thought you just put the flowers some kind of way that looks pretty.

    • wordcloud9 says:

      Hi Malisha –

      I briefly studied Ikebana many years ago, the Japanese art of flower arranging. It rivals the Japanese Tea Ceremony for beauty, simplicity and complexity. Often the result is just a single flowering branch asymmetrically (yet perfectly) placed in an unadorned vase.

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