Our Amazing World - February
One of the few existing HD images of the Earth from the Moon, courtesy of the Japanese space agency.
February 1 to 4
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.
February 2, 1536 Argentina was founded
February 2, 1876 Major League baseball was founded
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.
February 3, Birthday – Johannes Gutenberg (1500), the inventor of the printing press, was born.
February 3, Birthday - 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.
February 4, Birthday - 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.
February 4, George Washington became the first US President.
February 4, 1927 – The first ‘talkie’ movie was released.
Week 5 continued ...
Ask a friend or family member who was alive at the time to talk to you about their memories of this time in history.
Commemorate the lives of those who've been lost in space exploration by finding out more about their area of passion.
Click the pics above for:
An image from the Apollo 14 moon landing
A very rarely seen glimpse of the far side of the moon
A link to NASAs amazing astronomy pics of the day (come back as often as you like).
Take a Google Earth trip to Argentina or explore more of its rich culture through a little online research. Don't know where to start? Try Nat Geo Kids here.
Play a game of spelling baseball to celebrate. 'Round up' your friends and grab the list of your personal spelling words to play.
Find out more about Johannes in the video here, or visit the Project Gutenberg site to explore the thousands of free books that have been archived online in Johannes' honour. Will you find a new favourite or rediscover a classic?
Read more about this incredible feat and the dangers he faced here. Or take a look at a short video here.
Enjoy a silent movie from the days before the 'talkies' such as the 1903 version of Alice in Wonderland.
February 5 to 11
February 5, 1971 – Apollo 14 landed on the moon.
February 6, 1819 – Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles founded Singapore.
February 6, Birthday - 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.
February 6, Birthday - 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.
February 7, Birthday - 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.
February 7, Birthday - 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.
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., modelled after the British Boy Scouts.
February 8, Birthday – Jules Verne, world famous author was born in 1828.
February 9, 1895 – Volleyball was invented.
February 9, 1975 – Pak Matt, the world’s least popular teacher, was born in Sydney, Australia. Over a 20 year career, he has taught more than 1000 unfortunate students across Australia, The UK, Ghana and Indonesia. Known for his terrible jokes and dubious personal hygiene, most were glad when he left.
February 10, 1863 The fire extinguisher is invented by Alanson Crane.
February 10, 1931 New Delhi becomes the capital of India
February 10, 1996 Computer wins chess match over Garry Kasparov
February 11 - Today is the United Nations Day for Women in Science
February 11, 1531 Henry VIII becomes the head of the Church of England
February 11, 1941 First Gold record presented
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, 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."
February 12 - 18
February 12, 1879 First artificial ice rink in the US opens
February 12, 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.
February 12, 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.
February 13, 1668 Portugal became an independent nation
February 13, 1635 - Boston Latin School, the first tax-payer supported (public) school in America was established in Boston, Massachusetts.
February 13, Birthday - American artist Grant Wood (1892-1942) was born near Anamosa, Iowa. Best known for his painting American Gothic featuring a farm couple.
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, 1876 – Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone. His birthday is later this month.
February 14, 2000 – A spacecraft first orbited an asteroid.
February 14, Birthday – George Ferris (1859), inventor of the Ferris Wheel, was born.
February 15, 1903 – The first Teddy Bear was made?
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, 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.
February 15, 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.
February 15, 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.
February 16, 1923 - 1923 Pharaoh Tutankhamun's burial chamber was opened.
February 16, 1937 Nylon was invented
February 16, 1959 Fidel Castro became Premier of Cuba
February 16, 1968 The 9-1-1 emergency telephone system went into service in the US.
February 17, 1867 The first ship passed through the Suez Canal.
February 17, 1959 The first weather satellite was launched.
February 18, 1885 Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is published
February 18, 1929 The First Academy Awards were announced.
February 18, 1930 Pluto was discovered (it made Mickey very happy).
February 18, 1953 The first 3D movie opened
February 18, Birthday – Allesandro Volta was born. He was a scientist after whom the ‘volt’ was named. What do you think he studied?
February 19 - 25
February 19, 1878 Thomas Edison invented the phonograph.
February 19, 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.
February 20 - Is the World Day of Social Justice
February 20, 1872 The Metropolitan Museum of Art opened in New York
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.
February 21, 1431 The trial of Joan of Arc begins.
February 21, 1842 The sewing machine was invented by John Greenough
February 21, 1848 The first telephone book was issued
February 21, 1953 The DNA molecule is discovered
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 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.
February 22, 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.
February 22, Birthday - The artist Rembrandt was born in 1778.
February 22, Birthday – Frederic Chopin was born in 1820.
February 22, Birthday – Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter, was born in 1962.
February 23, 1941 – Plutonium was first produced.
February 23, Birthday – George Frederick Handel, the classical composer, was born in 1685.
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, 1839 William Otis invented the steam shovel.
February 24, 1946 Juan Peron is elected president of Argentina.
February 24, Birthday – Steve Jobs, of Apple Computer fame, was born in 1955.
February 25, 1836 Samuel Colt invented the Colt Revolver
February 25, 1837 The electric printing press is patented by Thomas Davenport
February 25, 1933 First aircraft carrier is launched, the USS Ranger
February 25, 1964 Cassius Clay beats Sonny Liston to become heavyweight champion