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Arts & Culture

Almanac - Tuesday 2/2/21

kiwifruit.jpg
Kiwi fruit, by flickr user Toshiyuki IMAI

Today Tuesday, 2nd of February of 2021...

February 2 is the 33rd day of the year.

332 days remain until the end of the year.

46 days until spring begins

the sun will rises at 7:13 am 

and sunset will be at 5:35 pm.

Today we will have 10 hours and 22 minutes of daylight.

The solar transit will be at 12:24 pm.

The first high tide was at 3:12 am 

The first low tide will be at 8:51 am 

The next high tide will be at 2:53 pm.

and the final low tide at Aquatic Park in San Francisco will be at 8:49 pm.

Today is…

Groundhog Day (six more weeks of winter weather)

Groundhog Job Shadow Day

African American Coaches Day

California Kiwifruit Day

Candlemas

Crêpe Day

Heavenly Hash Day

Hedgehog Day

Lung Leavin' Day

Marmot Day

Self Renewal Day

Sled Dog Day

Tater Tot Day

World Ukulele Day

World Wetlands Day

Today is also…

Anniversary of Treaty of Tartu in Estonia

Constitution Day in The Philippines

Day of Youth in Azerbaijan

Le Jour des Crêpes in France

Our Lady of the Candles for Catholics in The Philippines

Virgin of Candelaria in Tenerife, Spain

Victory of the Battle of Stalingrad in Russia

On this day in Black History…

1862 - District of Columbia abolishes slavery.

Feb. 2, 1914 - Ernest Just, genetic biologist, wins the Spingarn Medal. He received this same medal on this day in 1915 for his pioneering in cell division and fertilization.

Feb. 2, 1948 - President Truman sent Congress a special message urging the adoption of a Civil Rights program, including the creation of a fair employment practices commission.

Artist William Ellisworth is born

Feb 2, 1914

Feb 2, 1897

Alfred L. Cralle invented the ice cream scooper, patent #576,395

Feb 2, 1839

Inventor Edmond Berger patented the spark plug.

Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., "Speech on Civil Rights"

On February 2, 1955, New York Representative Adam Clayton Powell, then one of only three African Americans in the U.S. Congress, rose to argue that his colleagues should support two pending civil rights bills then before the House of Representatives. 

Quartet Singer Herbert Mills born

Feb 2, 1912

Herbert Mills, of the original Mills Brothers Quartet, was born in Piqua, Ohio. The highly successful quartet was known for its smooth harmony.

Anne Raven Wilkinson, (1935- )

Born on this day, Feb 2, 1935

In August 1955 at the age of 20, Raven Wilkinson became the first African American woman to receive a contract to dance full time with a major ballet company, the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo of New York City, New York.  She was promoted to soloist during her second season with the troupe, and remained with the company for six years.  

Anne Raven Wilkinson was born in New York City on February 2, 1935 to Anne James Wilkinson and Dr. Frost Bernie Wilkinson, a dentist.  Her family, which also included younger brother Frost Bernie Wilkinson Jr., lived in a middle-class neighborhood in Harlem.

Wilkinson had been a fan of ballet since the age of five. On her ninth birthday an uncle gave her the gift of ballet lessons to the Swoboda School (later known as the Ballet Russe School), where she studied under the direction of well known dancers from Russias Bolshoi Theatre.  

She later transferred to the Professional Childrens School in the Bronx where she continued her training, remaining there through her last two years of high school.  Madame Ludmilla Shollar, formerly associated with the St. Petersburg Imperial Russian Ballet, also gave Wilkinson private classes in technique.

Seeking to become a professional dancer, Wilkinson first auditioned for a position with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo in 1954.  Twice she was rejected but Wilkinson persevered.  On her third try, Sergei Denham, the companys director, informed her that she would be accepted into the Company.  Performing with the Company also meant, as Wilkinson would soon discover, touring throughout the U.S. including the still racially segregated South.    

Wilkinson had pale skin and in order to perform with the Company in the South, she was asked not to publicize her race. Additionally Wilkinson often had to wear white makeup onstage to conceal her racial identity. In 1957 an owner of a hotel in Atlanta, Georgia, asked Wilkinson if she was black.  When she refused to lie, she was barred from staying at the hotel with the rest of the Company.

Also on this day in history…

1653 – New Amsterdam (later renamed The City of New York) is incorporated.

1709 – Alexander Selkirk is rescued after being shipwrecked on a desert island, inspiring Daniel Defoe's adventure book Robinson Crusoe.

1876 – The National League of Professional Baseball Clubs of Major League Baseball is formed.

1887 – In Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, the first Groundhog Day is observed.

1922 – Ulysses by James Joyce is published.

1925 – Serum run to NomeDog sleds reach Nome, Alaska with diphtheria serum, inspiring the Iditarod race.

1980 – Reports surface that the FBI is targeting allegedly corrupt Congressmen in the Abscam operation.

1987 – After the 1986 People Power Revolution, the Philippines enacts a new constitution.

1990 – ApartheidF. W. de Klerk announces the unbanning of the African National Congress and promises to release Nelson Mandela.

2000 – First digital cinema projection in Europe (Paris) realized by Philippe Binant with the DLP CINEMA technology developed by Texas Instruments.

2005 – The Government of Canada introduces the Civil Marriage Act. This legislation would become law on July 20, 2005, legalizing same-sex marriage.

…and if today is your birthday, Happy Birthday To You!

You share this special day with…

1585 – Hamnet Shakespeare, William Shakespeare's only son (baptised; d. 1596)

1875 – Fritz Kreisler, Austrian-American violinist and composer (d. 1962)

1882 – James Joyce, Irish novelist, short story writer, and poet (d. 1941)

1901 – Jascha Heifetz, Lithuanian-born American violinist and educator (d. 1987)

1905 – Ayn Rand, Russian-born American novelist and philosopher (d. 1982)

1915 – Abba Eban, South African-Israeli politician and diplomat, 1st Israel Ambassador to the United Nations (d. 2002)

1923 – James Dickey, American poet and novelist (d. 1997)

1923 – Liz Smith, American journalist and author (d. 2017)

1924 – Sonny Stitt, American saxophonist and composer (d. 1982)

1926 – Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, French academic and politician, 20th President of France (d. 2020)

1927 – Stan Getz, American saxophonist (d. 1991)

1931 – Judith Viorst, American journalist and author

1932 – Arthur Lyman, American jazz vibraphone and marimba player (d. 2002)

1936 – Duane Jones, American actor (d. 1988)

1937 – Tom Smothers, American comedian, actor, and activist

1942 – Graham Nash, English-American singer-songwriter and guitarist

1947 – Farrah Fawcett, American actress and producer (d. 2009)

1952 – Park Geun-hye, South Korean politician, 11th President of South Korea

1952 – Ralph Merkle, American computer scientist and academic

1954 – Christie Brinkley, American actress, model, and businesswoman

1963 – Eva Cassidy, American singer and guitarist (d. 1996)

1977 – Shakira, Colombian singer-songwriter, producer, and actress

1989 – Southside, American record producer