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Arts & Culture

Almanac - Friday 2/1/19


Happy 77th birthday to funnyman Monty Python Flying Circus member Terry Jones...

Today is Friday, February 1, 2019.  47 days until spring, and a mere 641 days until the next presidential election.   

  • Sunrise: 7:14am          
  • Sunset: 5:33pm ...giving us 10 hours and 20 minutes of daylight. 14% of the waning crescent moon now visible, rising at 5:02am.

Tides at the Golden Gate        

  • High: 8:52am/11:03pm                 
  • Low: 2:47am/3:50pm

Special celebrations & commemorations today…

  • Confederal Agreement Day - Senegal
  • Federal Territory Day - Malaysia
  • San Cecilio - Spain
  • St. Brigid's Day - patron of cattle, chicken farmers, dairymaids.
  • Bubble Gum Day
  • Baked Alaska Day
  • Candy-Making Day
  • Car Insurance Day
  • Change Your Password Day
  • Give Kids A Smile Day
  • Hula in The Coola Day
  • International Day of Black Women in The Arts
  • International Face & Body Art Day
  • Spunky Old Broads Day
  • Wear Red Day
  • Working Naked Day
  • World Hijab Day

On this day in…

1788 - Isaac Briggs and William Longstreet patented the steamboat.

1790 - The U.S. Supreme Court convened for the first time in New York City.

1793 - France declared war on Britain and Holland.

1793 - Ralph Hodgson patented oiled silk.

1842 - In New York City, the "City Despatch Post" began operations. It was a private company that was the first to introduce adhesive postage stamps in the western hemisphere. The company was bought by the U.S. government a few months later and renamed "United States City Despatch Post."

1861 - Texas voted to secede from the Union.

1862 - "The Battle Hymn of the Republic," by Julia Ward Howe was first published in the "Atlantic Monthly."

1865 - U.S. President Abraham Lincoln signed a Joint Resolution submitting the proposed 13th Amendment to the states.

1867 - In the U.S., bricklayers start working 8-hour days.

1884 - The first edition of the Oxford English Dictionary was published.

1893 - Thomas A. Edison completed work on the world's first motion picture studio in West Orange, NJ.

1896 - Puccini's opera "La Boheme" premiered in Turin.

1898 - The Travelers Insurance Company of Hartford, CT, issued the first automobile insurance policy. Dr. Truman Martin of Buffalo, NY, paid $11.25 for the policy, which gave him $5,000 in liability coverage.

1900 - Eastman Kodak Co. introduced the $1 Brownie box camera.

1913 - Grand Central Terminal (also known as Grand Central Station) opened in New York City, NY. It was the largest train station in the world.

1919 - The first Miss America was crowned in New York City.

1920 - The first armored car was introduced.

1920 - Canada's Royal North West Mounted Police changed their name to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The organization was commissioned in 1873.

1921 - Carmen Fasanella registered as a taxicab owner and driver in Princeton, New Jersey. Fasanella retired November 2, 1989 after 68 years and 243 days of service.

1929 - Weightlifter Charles Rigoulet of France achieved the first 400 pound ‘clean and jerk’ as he lifted 402-1/2 pounds.

1930 - The Times published its first crossword puzzle.

1946 - Norwegian statesman Trygve Lie was chosen to be the first secretary-general of the United Nations.

1951 - The first telecast of an atomic explosion took place.

1951 - The first X-ray moving picture process was demonstrated.

1957 - P.H. Young became the first black pilot on a scheduled passenger airline.

1958 - The United Arab Republic was formed by a union of Egypt and Syria. It was broken 1961.

1960 - Four black college students began a sit-in protest at a lunch counter in Greensboro, NC. They had been refused service.

1968 - During the Vietnam War, South Vietnamese National Police Chief Brig. Gen. Nguyen Ngoc Loan executed a Viet Cong officer with a pistol shot to the head. The scene was captured in a news photograph.

1979 - Patty Hearst was released from prison after serving 22 months of a seven-year sentence for bank robbery. Her sentence had been commuted by U.S. President Carter.

1979 - Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini was welcomed in Tehran as he ended nearly 15 years of exile.

1987 - Terry Williams won the largest slot machine payoff, at the time, winning $4.9 million after getting four lucky 7s on a machine in Reno, NV.

1991 - A USAir jetliner crashed atop a commuter plane at Los Angeles International Airport. 35 people were killed.

1994 - Jeff Gillooly pled guilty in Portland, OR, for his role in the attack on figure skater Nancy Kerrigan. Gillooly, Tonya Harding's ex-husband, struck a plea bargain under which he confessed to racketeering charges in exchange for testimony implicating Harding.

1996 - Visa and Mastercard announced security measures that would make it safe to shop on the Internet.

1999 - Former White House intern Monica Lewinsky gave a deposition that was videotaped for senators weighing impeachment charges against U.S. President Clinton.

2001 - Three Scottish judges found Abdel Basset al-Mergrahi guilty of the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, which killed 270 people. The court said that Megrahi was a member of the Libyan intelligence service. Al-Amin Khalifa, who had been co-accused, was acquitted and freed.

2003 - NASA's space shuttle Columbia exploded while re-entering the Earth's atmosphere. All seven astronauts on board were killed.

Today’s birthday celebrants include (or included)...

  • Victor Herbert 1859 - Cellist, conductor
  • John Ford (Sean Aloysius O’Feeney) 1894 - Director
  • Clark Gable 1901 - Actor
  • Langston Hughes 1902 - Author
  • S.J. (Sidney) Perelman 1904 - Writer, screenwriter
  • Renata Tebaldi 1922 - Opera singer
  • Stuart Whitman 1928 - Actor ("Cimarron Strip", "The Longest Day")
  • Boris Yeltsin 1931 - Russian president 1991-1999
  • Bob Shane 1934 - Singer (The Kingston Trio)
  • Garrett Morris 1937 - Actor, comedian
  • Don Everly 1937 - Singer (The Everly Brothers)
  • Ray Sawyer 1937 - Singer (Dr. Hook and The Medicine Show)
  • Sherman Hemsley 1938 - Actor ("The Jeffersons")
  • Joe Sample 1939 - Jazz musician
  • Del McCoury 1939 - Bluegrass singer
  • Terry Jones 1942 - Comedian ("Monty Python" series)
  • Mike Campbell 1951 - Rock musician (Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers)
  • Rick James 1952 - Singer (Songs: "Cold Blooded" and "Super Freak")
  • Bill Mumy 1954 - Actor ("Twilight Zone-The Movie", "The Rockford Files", writer, producer
  • Sherilynn Fenn 1965 - Actress ("Twin Peaks")
  • Princess Stephanie of Monaco (Stéphanie Marie Elisabeth Grimaldi) 1965 on.
  • Lisa Marie Presley 1968 - Musician, daughter of Elvis Presley
  • Pauly Shore 1970 - Comedian, actor ("Encino Man")
  • Jarrett Lennon 1982 - Actor ("Freaks and Geeks")
  • Harry Styles 1994