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Calendar for February 13th, 2013

Ash Wednesday

The Christian season of Lent begins today, 40 days before Easter (not counting Sundays). Many Christians attend church services on Ash Wednesday to receive ashes on their foreheads in the sign of the cross. (Ashes are a symbol of penance in the Old Testament and in pagan antiquity.) In the Roman Catholic Church, Ash Wednesday is a day of fasting. In the sixth century, Christians who had committed grave faults were obliged to do public penance. On Ash Wednesday, they donned a hair shirt (which they wore for 40 days), and the local bishop blessed them and sprinkled them with ashes. Then, while others recited the Seven Penitential Psalms, the penitents were turned out of the holy place. They could not enter the church again until Maundy Thursday (the Thursday before Easter), when they received absolution.

Every Year

  • Get a Different Name Day

  • 1580s

  • 1588: Astronomer Tycho Brahe outlined his solar system structure

  • 1860s

  • 1867: Strauss's Blue Danube premiered in Vienna

  • 1870s

  • 1875: First U.S. quintuplets born, in Watertown, Wisconsin

  • 1880s

  • Born 1885: Bess Truman (U.S. First Lady)

  • 1910s

  • 1914: The American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) established

  • 1920s

  • Born 1923: Chuck Yeager (pilot)

  • 1930s

  • Born 1934: George Segal (actor)

  • 1940s

  • Born 1942: Peter Tork (musician)

  • 1950s

  • Born 1950: Peter Gabriel (musician)

  • 1959: The first Barbie dolls went on sale

  • 1970s

  • Born 1974: Robbie Williams (singer)

  • Died 1976: Lily Pons (soprano)

  • 1980s

  • Born 1980: Kristy Powell (Olympic gymnast)

  • 1988: Winter Olympics began, Calgary, Alberta

  • 2000s

  • 2000: The last original Peanuts comic strip ran in newspapers

  • Died 2002: Waylon Jennings (singer)

  • Died 2002: Pauline Trigere (fashion designer)

  • 2002: Former New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani received an honorary knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II

  • 2010s

  • Died 2014: Ralph Waite (actor; best known as John Walton on The Waltons)

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