February 14 in Pop Culture History
Ferris Wheel Day, named after George Ferris, born Feb. 14, 1859.
It is also National Donor Day & St. Valentine’s Day.
~270 – Valentine, a priest in Rome in the days of Emperor Claudius II, was beheaded for performing (illegal at the time) marriage ceremonies.
1779 – Captain James Cook, the great English explorer and surveyor in the Royal Navy, was murdered by natives of Hawaii during his third visit to the Pacific island group.
1822 – The patent (#X003456) was issued for the first practical grass mowing machine to Jeremiah Bailey of Chester county, Pennsylvania.
1876 – Both Alexander Graham Bell and Elisha Gray applied for a telephone patent. Alexander’s was later approved.
1903 – The United States Department of Commerce and Labor is established (it was later split into the Department of Commerce and the Department of Labor).
1912 – Arizona was admitted at the 48th state of the United States.
1920 – The League of Women Voters formed in Chicago, IL.
1929 – Sir Alexander Fleming left a plate of staphylococcus bacteria uncovered, and noticed the mold had killed much of the bacteria. He identified the mold as penicillium notatum, and shortened the name to Penicillin.
1929 – Four men came in, dressed as police at Bugs Moran’s headquarters on North Clark Street in Chicago, killing seven of Bugs’s men in what is called the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. Moran was a rival of of Al Capone.
1932 – The US team won the first bobsled competition at the Winter Olympic Games at Lake Placid, NY.
1938 – Former silent film actress Hedda Hopper began her gossip column in The Los Angeles Times.
1954 – The TV show Letter to Loretta changed its name to The Loretta Young Show. The show premiered on September 20, 1953.
1961 – Element 103, Lawrencium, was first synthesized at the University of California.
1962 – First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy gave a tour of the White House on CBS television.
1968 – Plaza Suite (Broadway Play) Opened on February 14, 1968 and Closed: October 3, 1970
1970 – Live at Leeds by The Who was recorded.
1970 – # 1 Hit February 14, 1970 – February 27, 1970: Sly & the Family Stone – Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin) / Everybody Is a Star
1972 – Grease (Broadway Musical) Opened on February 14, 1972 and Closed: April 13, 1980
1987 – # 1 Hit February 14, 1987 – March 13, 1987: Bon Jovi – Livin’ On A Prayer
1989 – Iranian leader Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa encouraging Muslims to kill Salman Rushdie, author of The Satanic Verses.
1998 – # 1 Hit February 14, 1998 – February 27, 1998: Usher – Nice And Slow
2000 – NEAR Shoemaker became the first spacecraft to orbit around an asteroid, 433 Eros
2002 – The final Family Guy episode aired after Fox announced its cancellation. It came back after DVD sales indicated a huge audience for the show.
2004 – # 1 Hit February 14, 2004 – February 20, 2004: Outkast featuring Sleepy Brown – The Way You Move
2005 – Youtube.com was launched.