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Calendar for February 18th, 2013

George Washington's Birthday (observed)

Although George Washington's birthday is celebrated on February 22, it is observed as a federal holiday on the third Monday of February. To complicate matters, Washington was actually born on February 11 in 1731! How can that be? During Washington's lifetime, people in Great Britain and America switched from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar (something most of Europe had done in 1582). As a result of this calendar reform, people born before 1752 were told to add 11 days to their birth dates. Those born between January 1 and March 25, as Washington was, also had to add one year to be in sync with the new calendar. By the time Washington became president in 1789, he celebrated his birthday on February 22 and listed his year of birth as 1732. Upon entering office, Washington was not convinced that he was the right man for the job. He wrote, "My movements to the chair of government will be accompanied by feelings not unlike those of a culprit, who is going to the place of his execution." Fortunately for the young country, he was wrong. You can read more about Washington at the official White House Web site.

1510s

  • Born 1516: Queen Mary I of England

  • 1840s

  • Born 1848: Louis Comfort Tiffany (artist)

  • 1860s

  • 1861: Jefferson Davis inaugurated as provisional president of Confederate states

  • 1862: First session of Confederate Congress, Richmond, Virginia

  • 1870s

  • 1879: Auguste Bartholdi granted design patent for Statue of Liberty

  • 1880s

  • 1885: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn published in the U.S.

  • 1930s

  • 1930: Elm Farm Ollie, a Guernsey, became the first cow to fly in an airplane. On the same trip she also became the first cow milked in flight

  • 1930: Planet Pluto discovered by Clyde Tombaugh at Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona

  • Born 1931: Toni Morrison (author)

  • 1950s

  • Born 1950: Cybill Shepard (actress)

  • Born 1954: John Travolta (actor)

  • Born 1957: Vanna White (game show hostess)

  • 1960s

  • Born 1964: Matt Dillon (actor)

  • Born 1968: Molly Ringwald (actress)

  • 1970s

  • 1977: First unmanned test flight of space shuttle Enterprise mounted on another aircraft

  • 1990s

  • 1995: Hiroyuki Goto recited pi to 42,195 digits

  • 1997: Trinity Broadcasting Network, a Christian TV network, cancelled Pat Boone's weekly gospel music show after he appeared in black leather and fake tattoos on the American Music Awards show

  • Died 1998: Harry Caray (sportscaster)

  • 2000s

  • Died 2001: Dale Earnhardt (race car driver)

  • 2010s

  • 2010: Evan Lysacek won the Olympic gold medal in men's figure skating. He became the first U.S. man to win the gold medal since Brian Boitano in 1988


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