February 14th Other Important Historical Events That Took Place on This Date
February 14th - the time where we stop and lavish love, gifts and surprises on our spouses and loved ones. St Valentine is the name given to several martyred saints in Ancient Rome. The name comes from the word valens which in Latin means worthy. Due to the uncertainty of whether this day celebrates one or several saints, it is not on the Catholic calender of saints (revised in 1969). In the Eastern Orthodox Church, this Saint is celebrated on the 6th of July and in some parts of Italy, it is celebrated in on the 30th of July. But it is the February 14th that we know and celebrate. But this date is not only important because of its romantic connotations, but because many events that have changed history have taken place on this date. In the countdown to this current Valentine's Day, it would be good to mention some of these briefly.
February 14th, 1014 - Pope Benedict VII recognizes the sovereignty of King Henry of Bavaria who in turn recognises Benedict VII as the rightful pope. King Henry is then crowned on February 14th by Benedict. He helped to bring and maintain peace by defeating the Saracens, allying himself to the Normans and quashing the Crescenti who held sway at that time.
February 14th, 1349 - 2,000 Jews were burned to death and removed from Strasbourg. This is to show that Anti-Semitism was alive and kicking way before Hitler thought of it. On this day of love, events like this should be remembered for those, past and present, who were and continue to be repressed, persecuted and not so fortunate. On this date in 1670, King Leopold chased Jews out of Vienna. History was definitely tough on the Jews.
February 14th, 1663 - Canada was made a Royal Province of France.
February 14th, 1778 - The United States Flag was formally and officially recognised for the first time when it was given a nine-gun salute as a foreign national vessel as it arrived in France. The ship, USS Ranger, was commanded by John Paul Jones. This was 17 years to the day that British troops occupied Fort Michilimackinac in Michigan in the war of Independence, a war that the United States won in 1776.
February 14th, 1803 - Chief Justice John Marshall declares that any act of the U.S. Congress which goes against the Constitution is void. On the same date in 1859, Oregon became the 33rd State.
February 14th, 1876 - Alexander Graham Bell and Elisha Gray go head to head in court to apply for the patent for the telephone. The Supreme Court eventually rules in Bell's favour.
February 14th, 1899 - President McKinley makes mechanical voting machines legal in the USA. On the same day in 1912, Arizona became the 48th State of the USA.
February 14th, 1920 - The League of Women Voters is established in Chicago.
February 14th, 1929 - On the same day that Mickey Mouse made his cinematic debut, Al Capone murdered seven of his mobster rivals in what is still known as the "St. Valentines Day Massacre."
1939 - 1945 - World War was in full force. The key February 14 dates include the1943 liberation of Russia; and in 1945, the bombing of Dresden which signalled the beginning of the end of Hitler's hold on Germany and the liberation of his prisoners.
February 14th, 1957 - The Senate in Georgia unanimously approves a bill by Senator Leon Butt which barred black people from playing baseball with white people.
February 14th, 1967 - Aretha Franklin records "RESPECT." In light of the above event, I think very appropriate!
February 14th, 1983 - The United American Bank of Knoxville in Tennessee collapses. Its president is later convicted for fraud. Seems like some things just never change as far as the banks as concerned!
February 14th, 1989 - The first of the Global Positioning System is placed into orbit and the world's first satellite Skyphone opens. In 1990, Voyager takes a photograph of the entire solar system . . . awesome!
February 14th, 2000 - Southwest Georgia is devastated by tornadoes in which 19 people lose their lives and 100+ are injured.
February 14th, 2008 - 6 people are killed and 18 injured when a gunman opened fire in a lecture hall in DeKalb County, Illinois University. Never forget, life is precious so live every day like your last.
If you were born on this day, you share your birthday with many, many famous people who have shaped society from composers to philosophers to sportspeople. The list is very long but here are just a few of them:
1602 - Pier Francesco Cavalli - Italian Opera Composer
1760 - Richard Allen Phila who was the first black person ordained by Methodist-Episcopal church
1817 - Frederick Douglass, African-American who was an abolitionist/lecturer/editor
1847 - Anna Howard Shaw, who was a US-born suffragette
1859 - George Washington Gale Ferris, engineer/inventor (Ferris Wheel)
1905 - Thelma Ritter, Brooklyn NY, actress (Miracle on 34th Street)
1927 - Lois Maxwell, actress
1942 - Michael Bloomberg, businessman and mayor of New York
1951 - Kevin Keegan, British soccer player/manager (Newcastle United)
1951 - Michael Doucet, singer/musician (Beausoleil) and JoJo Starbuck, American ice skater
1952 - Nancy Keenan, current NARAL president
1953 - Wayne Siegel, composer
1955 - R Jeremy H Lascelles, grandson of English princess Mary
So in the run up to Valentine's Day, have fun, love life and love each other but always remember . . . .
Take care and God bless...
Ngozi Nwabineli © 9th February 2010