#TodayInHistory – February 13 min read
February 1 – Some important events on this day
772 👉🏼 Adrian I begins his reign as Catholic Pope
1587 👉🏼 Queen Elizabeth I of England signs death warrant for her cousin, Mary, Queen of Scots
1814 👉🏼 Lord Byron’s “Corsair” sells 10,000 copies on day of publication
1843 👉🏼 Oldest continuous writer of insurance in America – The Mutual Life Insurance Company of New York (MONY) opens
1884 👉🏼 1st volume of the Oxford English Dictionary, A-Ant, published.
On this day, the first portion, or fascicle, of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), considered the most comprehensive and accurate dictionary of the English language, is published. Today, the OED is the definitive authority on the meaning, pronunciation and history of over half a million words, past and present.
Plans for the dictionary began in 1857 when members of London’s Philological Society, who believed there were no up-to-date, error-free English dictionaries available, decided to produce one that would cover all vocabulary from the Anglo-Saxon period (1150 A.D.) to the present. Conceived of as a four-volume, 6,400-page work, it was estimated the project would take 10 years to finish. In fact, it took over 40 years until the 125th and final fascicle was published in April 1928 and the full dictionary was complete–at over 400,000 words and phrases in 10 volumes–and published under the title A New English Dictionary on Historical Principles.
1893 👉🏼 Thomas Edison completes worlds 1st movie studio at West Orange, New Jersey
1896 👉🏼 Giacomo Puccini’s Opera “La Boheme” premieres in Turin
1908 👉🏼 King Carlos I of Portugal and his heir, Prince Luis Filipe are assassinated by Republican sympathizers in Terreiro do Paco, Lisbon
1918 👉🏼 Russia adopts the Gregorian calendar (making the day February 14)
1968 👉🏼 Saigon police chief Nguyễn Ngọc Loan executes Viet Cong officer Nguyễn Văn Lém with a pistol shot to head. The execution is captured by photographer Eddie Adams and becomes an anti-war icon.
One of the most famous images in contemporary American journalism.
The photo won Eddie Adams the 1969 Pulitzer Prize for Spot News Photography, though he was later said to have regretted its impact. The image became an anti-war icon.
Adams wrote in Time:
“The general killed the Viet Cong; I killed the general with my camera. Still photographs are the most powerful weapon in the world. People believe them, but photographs do lie, even without manipulation. They are only half-truths. What the photograph didn’t say was, “What would you do if you were the general at that time and place on that hot day, and you caught the so-called bad guy after he blew away one, two or three American soldiers?”
Along with a film shot at the same time, the photograph helped turn the American public against the war in Vietnam.
1972 👉🏼 1st scientific hand-held calculator (HP-35) introduced ($395)
1979 👉🏼 Ayatollah Khomeini returns to Iran after 15 years in exile
2003 👉🏼 Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrates during reentry into the Earth’s atmosphere, killing all seven astronauts aboard.
2009 👉🏼 Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir is elected as the first female Prime Minister of Iceland, becoming the first openly gay Head of Government in the modern world.
2014 👉🏼 14 people are killed after Mount Sinabung erupts in Indonesia
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