General Snipbits - Date with Destiny

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febpicThe word February comes from the Roman festival of purification called Februa where people were ritually washed. There is a Roman god called Februus, but he is named after the festival, not the other way around. Other months, like January, are named after Roman gods.

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The first edition of the Oxford English Dictionary was published today in 1884:


This day in 1882; The Irish author,James Joyce was born.


In 1919: The League of Nations held its first meeting in Paris, with US President Wilson chairing.


Today in 1861: Seven secessionist southern states formed the Confederate States of America, in Montgomery, Alabama.


Burroughs, William S, US novelist born this day in 1914; more info at: The William S. Burroughs Files.


Finally in 1918: Women over 30 were granted the right to vote in Britain due to the Women's Suffrage movement.


1812: Charles Dickens, English novelist born this day.


1924: The gas chamber was used in the USA for the first time, in the Nevada State Prison see: Methods of Execution.


1949: US film actor Robert Mitchum was sentenced to two months in prison for smoking marijuana.


A street battle between Oxford University students and townspeople in 1354 resulted in several deaths and many injuries. More details @ University of Oxford - A Brief History.


1990: After more than 27 years in prison, ANC president Nelson Mandela walked to freedom from a prison near Cape Town, South Africa.


In 1554: Lady Jane Grey, queen of England for nine days, was executed on Tower Green for high treason.


Russian novelist Alexander Solzhenitsyn was expelled from the USSR today in 1974:


P G Wodehouse, English novelist dies this day in 1975: there is a PG Wodehouse Appreciation Page for further info.


1748: Jeremy Bentham, English philosopher, social reformer and and writer born today.


Cigar smoking Fidel Castro became president of Cuba in 1959:. Details @ Fidel Castro and The Cuban Revolution


1958: The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) was formed in London. History of CND and had it's first public meeting on February 1958 in Westminster, London


1478: George, Duke of Clarence, was drowned in a butt of Malmsey (the sweetest variety of Madeira wine) on the orders of his brother, Richard, Duke of Gloucester.Clarence; Dukes of.


José Joaquín de Olmedo poet and political leader in Ecuador, dies in Guayaquil. Though elected as Ecuador's first vice president in 1830, Olmedo declined the office; his later poetry foresaw and deplored the trend toward the militarism and civil wars that were beginning to undermine the hard-won unity of Latin America.


In 1996 the stranded oil tanker Sea Empress grounded on coral near Milford Haven, Britain, and ruptured 12 of its cargo tanks, polluting the only Marine National park in North Europe. Great going you oil fella's!


It's 1965 and Malcolm X, US Black Muslim leader is shot dead at a meeting. More details @ Malcolm X, an autobiography.


Over 1,000 French troops landed at Fishguard, South Wales, 1797, but were quickly taken prisoner by the local Woman who fooled the French into thinking they were an English army. Find out how in: Last Invasion of Briton.


In 1898 Emile Zola was imprisoned for writing his open letter J'accuse, accusing the French government of anti-Semitism and of wrongly imprisoning the army officer Captain Alfred Dreyfus. The Life of Emile Zola":


The Gregorian Calendar was introduced by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582; it replaced the Julian Calendar, but was not adopted in Britain until 1752. Old Style Dating


Great year for music lovers as in 1943: George Harrison , English pop musician and former member of the Beatles is born.


Barings PLC, the country's oldest merchant bank, declared bankruptcy in 1995, after discovering that Nicholas Leeson, the firm's chief trader in Singapore, had lost approximately £625 million/$1 billion of the bank's assets on unauthorized futures and options transactions. The 1995 Failure of Barings PLC.


The German Reichstag (parliament building) in Berlin was destroyed by fire today in 1933; it is believed Nazis were responsible, though they blamed the communists. See the Holocaust Glossary for further details.


In 1994, NATO forces entered combat for the first time in the 45-year history of the pact to shoot down 4 Bosnian Serb aircraft which had violated a UN no-fly zone in Central Bosnia. Chronology of NATO's involvement.


The 1996 leap year triggered computer problems in British hospitals and the Met Office as software failed to recognize the date.

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