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Calendar for February 12th, 2013

Mardi Gras/Shrove Tuesday

Mardi Gras is French for "fat Tuesday"--the final feasting before the fasting of Lent, which begins tomorrow, Ash Wednesday. Fat Tuesday is also called Shrove Tuesday, a name that comes from the practice of shriving--purifying oneself through confession--prior to Lent. Many of the names applied to this day relate to food and eating. In many Latin countries, Mardi Gras is the culmination of the carnival season of revelry and feasting. Among the Pennsylvania Dutch, this Tuesday is Fastnacht (fast night), and everyone enjoys the traditional fastnachtkuchen, a rectangular doughnut with a slit in the middle. If you’re not up to traveling to the big Mardi Gras celebration in New Orleans, you might want to build a miniature float for the parade or sample some of the food served at this event. Visit the Mardis Gras and Cajun Food Recipe Guide to find out how to make Crawfish Bisque or Cajun Shrimp Creole. Or check out the Old Farmer's Almanac’s very own Shrove Tuesday Pancakes for a tamer change of pace.

Every Year

  • Abraham Lincoln's Birthday

  • 1550s

  • 1554: Lady Jane Grey, a rival for the English throne, was beheaded under the rule of Queen Mary I

  • 1730s

  • 1733: James Oglethorpe founded Savannah, Georgia

  • 1770s

  • Born 1775: Louisa Catherine Johnson Adams (U.S. First Lady)

  • 1780s

  • Died 1789: Ethan Allen (patriot)

  • 1800s

  • Born 1809: Charles Darwin (naturalist)

  • Born 1809: Abraham Lincoln (16th U.S. president)

  • 1870s

  • 1879: Gala carnival at first U.S. skating rink, Madison Square Garden, New York City

  • 1900s

  • 1909: National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) formed

  • 1910s

  • Born 1915: Lorne Greene (actor)

  • 1915: Construction began on the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

  • 1960s

  • Born 1968: Josh Brolin (actor)

  • 1970s

  • Born 1973: Tara Strong (voice of Bubbles on The Powerpuff Girls)

  • Died 1976: Sal Mineo (actor)

  • Born 1979: Jesse Spencer (actor)

  • 1980s

  • Born 1980: Christina Ricci (actress)

  • Died 1983: Eubie Blake (jazz musician)

  • 1990s

  • 1994: 17th Olympic Winter Games opened in Lillehammer, Norway

  • 1994: "The Scream" painting stolen, Oslo, Norway

  • 2000s

  • Died 2000: Charles Schulz (Peanuts cartoonist)

  • 2005: Artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude opened "The Gates, Project For Central Park 1979-2005" in NYC's Central Park

  • 2008: A magnitude 6.6 earthquake shook southern Mexico

  • 2008: For the first time, a beagle won 'Best in Show' at the Westminster Kennel Club

  • Died 2008: David Groh (actor)

  • 2010s

  • Died 2012: David Kelly (actor)

  • Died 2014: Sid Caesar (comedian & actor)

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