Monday, February 22, 2016

Everyone can breathe a sigh of relief.

Today is the Yuan Xiao festival, also called Lantern Festival. This is also the end of the New Year celebrations.

There is a story about the Lantern Festival. A beautiful heavenly bird flew down a village and was killed. The God of Heaven was very angry and wanted to burn down the entire village on the 15th lunar day. One wise guy advised every family hang candle lanterns around the house, carried lantern on the street, burn fire outside to explode the firecracker at the 15th lunar night. The soldiers of the God of Heaven saw the village was on fire from the heaven, and returned back to the heaven. The village survived and people keep the lantern activity on this day every year.

February 22, 1934 -
Frank Capra's romantic comedy It Happened One Night, starring Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert, premiered at Radio City Music Hall on this date .

Director Frank Capra came up with the idea about "the walls of Jericho" because Claudette Colbert refused to undress in front of the camera.

February 22, 1977 -
The single New Kid in Town, the first release from the album Hotel California, was the Eagles' first to be certified gold for selling more than 1 million copies on this date.

Glen Frey mentioned in a interview at the time that the song was about Steely Dan whom the band saw as a new and upcoming group that was possibly taking over the spotlight from the Eagles (there has been some dispute as to whether or not Glen Frey was joking.) Given that the two bands shared a manager (Irving Azoff) and that the Eagles proclaimed their admiration for Steely Dan, this was more friendly rivalry than feud.

February 22, 2001 -
Mira Nair's wonderful Monsoon Wedding, opened in both Los Angeles and New York on this date.

An entire subplot (the relationship between the groom's parents played by Soni Razdan and Roshan Seth) had to be dropped in order to fit the shooting into the thirty-day schedule.

February 22, 2002 -
Charles Martin Chuck Jones, director of many of the classic short animated cartoons starring Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, the Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote, died on this date.

At 85, Chuck signed a long-term contract with Warner Bros. to supervise the animation department. His thoughts on the contract were: "At 85 you can only think ahead for the next 50 years or so.".

Today in History:
Associate with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for it is better to be alone than in bad company - George Washington

Young George Washington was born on February 11, 1731 (or so he thought.)

Unfortunately for him, England had been tenaciously clinging 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 22.

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 - thus George's new birthday was February 22, 1732.

So you have to wish the Father of Our Country birthday greetings for the third time this month.

Much heavy drinking ensued.

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, 1974 -
A failed assassination attempt on President Nixon took place. Samuel Joseph Byck, an unemployed tire salesman, attempted to hijack a plane and crash it into the White House to kill President Nixon, on this date.

When police stormed the plane, he committed suicide. No one else was injured, and Nixon was unaffected, although he did resign several months later.

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 on this date.

It is considered to be one of the greatest upsets in sports history (the Miracle on Ice.)

February 22, 1987 -
Andy Warhol
died 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, 1994 -
CIA agent Aldrich Ames and his wife were charged by the United States Department of Justice with spying for the Soviet Union on this date.

Somehow by 1989 Ames had acquired the unexplained 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, on this date. 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.

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