Young George Washington was born on February 11, 1731 (or so he thought.) Unfortunately for him, England had been stubbornly holding onto the Julian calendar - they wanted none of that Papist Gregorian calendar crap. But England finally wanted to get with the times, so in 1752, Parliament adopted the Gregorian calendar. Many prominent colonists supported the new system; including Benjamin Franklin and George Washington. Washington updated his own birthday from the old February 11th to the Gregorian February 22th.
But wait, there's more - the calendar switch of 1752 included another significant change. Under the Julian system, the year began on March 25. That means a colonist who went to bed on March 24, 1700, would wake up on March 25, 1701. The new Gregorian rules set the start of the year to January 1st. This created some confusion, since anyone who was born between January 1st and March 25th in the old system would have the wrong birth year in the new one. So you have wish the Father of Our Country birthday greetings for the third time this month.
Much heavy drinking ensued.
February 22, 1934 -
Frank Capra's romantic comedy It Happened One Night, starring Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert, premiered at Radio City Music Hall .
This was the first film to win the Oscar "grand slam" (Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director and Screenplay).
February 22, 1977 -
The single New Kid in Town, the first release from the album Hotel California, is the Eagles's first to be certified gold for selling more than 1 million copies .
On February 26, 1977, it reached the Billboard #1.
February 22, 2001 -
Mira Nair's wonderful Monsoon Wedding, opened in both Los Angeles and New York on this date.
A large portion of the original footage (including the wedding itself) was ruined by an airport x-ray machine. The scenes had to be re-shot, when additional funds had been raised to do so, some months later.
February 22, 2002 -
Charles Martin Chuck Jones, director of many of the classic short animated cartoons starring Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and the Road Runner & Wile E. Coyote, died on this date.
In 1996, Jones received an Honorary Academy Award in, for "the creation of classic cartoons and cartoon characters whose animated lives have brought joy to our real ones for more than half a century." At that year's awards show, Robin Williams, a self-confessed "Jones-aholic," presented the Honorary award to Jones, calling him The Orson Welles of cartoons.
Today in History:
On February 22, 1862, Jefferson Davis was officially inaugurated for a six-year term as the President of the Confederate States of America in Richmond, Virginia.
He was previously inaugurated as a provisional president on February 18, 1861. I guess his mother was proud of him.
February 22, 1987 -
Andy Warhol dies of complications after gallbladder surgery, though the details are hazy. The official cause was listed as cardiac arrhythmia, but speculation includes his fear of hospitals as well as possible Cefoxitin allergy. Mr. Warhol is best known for painting pictures of Campbell's Soup cans and Marilyn Monroe, although never together. Warhol's death brings him a bonus 15 minutes of fame.
His work can be seen in museums and galleries around the world to this very day.
Campbell's Soup cans can still be found in the canned goods section of your favorite supermarket to this very day.
February 22, 1980 -
During the XIII Olympic Winter Games in Lake Placid, New York, the United States hockey team defeats the Soviet Union hockey team 4-3.
It is considered to be one of the greatest upsets in sports history (the Miracle on Ice.)
February 22, 1994 -
CIA agent Aldrich Ames and his wife are charged by the United States Department of Justice with spying for the Soviet Union.
And though by 1989 Ames had acquired unexplainable wealth from his spying and did very little to conceal the spying, he somehow managed to evade being caught for five more years.
February 22, 1997 -
The first cloning of an advanced mammal, a sheep known as Dolly, was announced in the news media. Dolly, actually born on July 5, 1996, was cloned from a mammary cell -
Dolly was purportedly named after Dolly Parton.
I guess that's a compliment.
And so it goes.