February 23 in Pop Culture History
February 23rd is…
National Banana Bread Day celebrates the popular baked good made with ripe bananas, flour, sugar, and eggs. The origin of this holiday is not clear but it is a day to bake, eat, and enjoy banana bread.
Curling is Cool Day observed to celebrate the sport and encourage more people to take up curling. Curling is a sport that originated in Scotland in the 16th century and has been played for hundreds of years. It involves sliding large stones on ice towards a target area, or “house,” while sweeping the ice to control the speed and direction of the stone. The game was originally played outdoors on frozen ponds and lakes, but today it is played indoors in dedicated curling rinks. Modern curling was established in Scotland in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and the sport has since spread to other countries, including Canada, the United States, and Europe. Today, curling is governed by the World Curling Federation and is played at amateur and professional levels, with international competitions held regularly.
Diesel Engine Day celebrates the patent of the diesel engine. On February 23, 1893, German engineer Rudolf Diesel was granted a patent for his “Working Methods and Techniques for Internal Combustion Engines.” This patent covered the design of a new type of internal combustion engine that would come to be known as the diesel engine. The diesel engine is a compression-ignition engine that uses heat generated from compression to ignite the fuel instead of relying on a spark plug as in traditional gasoline engines. Due to its high efficiency and durability, the diesel engine has been widely adopted for various applications, including transportation, shipping, and power generation.
Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day: A day to recognize and appreciate the hard work of dog biscuit bakers and the joy they bring to dogs.
National Play Tennis Day: A day to celebrate the sport of tennis and to encourage people to play and enjoy the game. It is believed to have originated in the 12th century in France, where it was played by hitting a ball over a rope strung across a courtyard. The game became more formalized in the late 16th century with the creation of indoor tennis courts and standardized rules. The first tennis tournament was held in 1877. Since then, tennis has become a major international sport, with many professional and amateur tournaments being held worldwide, including the prestigious Grand Slam tournaments, Wimbledon, French Open, US Open, and Australian Open.
National Rationalization Day is a day to address the tendency to make excuses for mistakes or shortcomings. People often try to justify their actions, even if the explanations are not valid, but this day provides an opportunity to reflect on these justifications and correct past mistakes made as a result of rationalization. Some people may take a day off work under the guise of needing a break, using it as a chance to address their errors and make amends.
National Tile Day is a day to recognize tile’s beauty, durability, and versatility as a building material and inspire creativity in tile design.
World Understanding and Peace Day on February 23 celebrates the founding of Rotary International, a philanthropic organization that began with a meeting of four men in Chicago, Illinois. Attorney Paul Harris organized the meeting to create a professional group that reflected the social and community-focused values he had experienced in his youth. The name Rotary International was officially adopted in 1922 as the organization expanded to include like-minded professionals worldwide. Today, World Understanding and Peace Day commemorates the beginning of one of the world’s largest philanthropic organizations.
1455 – Traditional date for the publication of the Gutenberg Bible, the first Western book printed with movable type. Ironically, if there were newspapers at the time, we could be more confident about the date.
1739 – Richard Palmer was identified by his former schoolteacher as the outlaw Dick Turpin.
1792 – The Humane Society of Massachusetts was incorporated.
1896 – Leo Hirshfield in New York introduced the Tootsie Roll.
1903 – Cuba leased Guantanamo Bay to the United States “in perpetuity.”
1905 – Chicago attorney Paul Harris and three other businessmen met for lunch to form the Rotary Club, the world’s first service club.
1940 – Pinocchio was released in theaters.
1941 – Plutonium was first produced and isolated by Dr. Glenn T. Seaborg
1945 – During the Battle for Iwo Jima, U.S. Marines from the 3rd Platoon, E Company, 2nd Battalion, 28th Regiment of the 5th Division take the crest of Mount Suribachi, the island’s highest peak, and raised the U.S. flag. The photo would later become world-famous as well as win a Pulitzer Prize.
1947 – The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) was founded.
1954 – The first mass inoculation of children against polio with Jonas Salk’s vaccine began in Pittsburgh, PA.
1955 – First meeting of the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO).
1964 – The Beatles appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show for the third time.
1967 – The Beatles made a taped appearance on American Bandstand, where they premiered their new music videos for the songs “Penny Lane” and “Strawberry Fields Forever”
1975 – There was an energy crisis in the US in 1975, so daylight savings time started two months early – Feb 23rd instead of April.
1978 -Both Barbra Streisand’s Love Theme from A Star Is Born (Evergreen) and Debby Boone’s You Light Up My Life were awarded the Best Song Grammy – the first and only tie in that category in Grammy history.
1980 – # 1 Hit February 23, 1980 – March 21, 1980: Queen – Crazy Little Thing Called Love
1987 – Supernova 1987a was seen in the Large Magellanic Cloud.
1991 – # 1 Hit February 23, 1991 – March 8, 1991: Whitney Houston – All The Man That I Need
1991 – Operation Desert Storm began in Iraq.
1997 – Scientists announced the first successful cloning of an animal, a lamb named Dolly.
1997 – NBC aired Schindler’s List, completely uncensored.
2002 – # 1 Hit February 23, 2002 – March 8, 2002: Ja Rule featuring Ashanti – Always on Time