Friday, February 1, 2013

Happy February! Did you know that February starts on the same day of the week as March and November in common years, and on the same day of the week as August in leap years? February ends on the same day of the week as October every year and on the same day of the week as January in common years only. In leap years, it is the only month that ends on the same weekday it begins. Another interesting fact about February is that it is the only month of the year that can pass without a single full moon.

February is Black History Month here in the U.S. It is also National Bird-Feeding Month and Parent Leadership Month. In the United Kingdom it is LGBT History month.

The birth flower of February is the violet and the common primrose. The birthstone is the amethyst which symbolizes piety, humility, spiritual wisdom, and sincerity.

February first is National Freedom Day here in the United States. On this day in 1865, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. This was the Amendment that abolished slavery.

Some of the writers born on February 1st include:

Conrad Celtes (1459), Johannes Trithemius (1462), Elkanah Settle (1648), Abraham Emanuel Fröhlich (1796), Hugo von Hofmannsthal (1874), Yevgeny Zamyatin (1884), Charles Nordhoff (1887), Denise Robins (1897), Langston Hughes (1902), Muriel Spark (1918), Patricia Robins (1921), Ben Weider (1923), Richard Hooker (1924), Jerry Spinelli (1941), Terry Jones (1942), Fred Barnes (1943), Jessica Savitch (1947), and Meg Cabot (1967).

The actor Clark Gable was born on this day in 1901. He passed away in 1960. He is best known for his leading role in Gone With the Wind. Gable’s final film, The Misfits (1961), paired him with Marilyn Monroe (also in her last screen appearance).

The English author Mary Shelly passed away 162 years ago today. She is best known for the vampire story, Frankenstein but we also have at least one other title which she wrote in our inventory.

Today is also the anniversary of the death of the American writer Phillip Francis Nowlan who passed away in 1940.

Because today is the first Friday of February it is National Wear Red Day. The Heart Truth—is a national awareness campaign for women about heart disease sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Designed to warn women of their #1 health threat,The Heart Truth created and introduced the Red Dress as the national symbol for women and heart disease awareness in 2002 to deliver an urgent wake-up call to American women.

On February first 1709 Alexander Selkirk was rescued after being shipwrecked on a desert island. This was the inspiration for the book Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe.

Today is the 223 anniversary of when the Supreme Court of the United States convened for the first time. This first meeting was in New York City.

On this day in 1861 Texas seceded from the United States during the American Civil War era.

The first volume of the Oxford English Dictionary (A to Ant) was published on February 1, 1884. Work began on the dictionary in 1857 but it was not until 1884 that is started to be published in unbound fascicles as work continued on the project under the name “A New English Dictionary on Historical Principles; Founded Mainly on the Materials Collected by The Philological Society”. The title The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) was first used unofficially on the covers of the series and in 1928 the full dictionary was republished in ten bound volumes. The second edition was published in 1989 and consisted of twenty volumes. With descriptions for approximately 600,000 words, the Oxford English Dictionary is the world’s most comprehensive single-language print dictionary according to the Guinness Book of World Records. The first electronic version of the dictionary was made available in 1988. The online version has been available since 2000, and as of August 2010 was receiving two million hits per month from paying subscribers. The chief executive of Oxford University Press, Nigel Portwood, feels it unlikely that the third edition will ever be printed.

On February 1, 1893, Thomas A. Edison finished construction of the first motion picture studio, the Black Maria, in West Orange, New Jersey.

Voice of America, the official external radio and television service of the United States government, began broadcasting with programs aimed at areas controlled by the Axis powers on the first of February in 1942.

On this day in 1979 the convicted bank robber Patty Hearst was released from prison after her sentence was commuted by President Jimmy Carter.

The U.S. Congress passed The Communications Decency Act on this day in 1996. This was the first notable attempt by the United States Congress to regulate pornographic material on the Internet.

Today is the tenth anniversary of the loss of all seven astronauts aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia. On this day in 2003 the Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated during reentry into the Earth‘s atmosphere when it returned from it’s mission STS-107. The seven lost in this accident were:

They have not been forgotten.

 

 

How can we improve our blog and overall business for you?  We are open to suggestions and volunteer assistance.  Contact us by leaving a comment, sending us an email or giving us a phone call.

Stay tuned to our daily blog in the coming days and weeks for announcements, specials and some surprises. Also, don’t forget to go see Deborah Gould tomorrow afternoon at the Glendora Public Library for Family Game Day.

cry the beloved country

Today’s title of highlight is Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton. This book was chosen by Oprah Winfrey for her book club. Amazon gives the following description:

The most famous and important novel in South Africa’s history, and an immediate worldwide bestseller when it was published in 1948, Alan Paton’s impassioned novel about a black man’s country under white man’s law is a work of searing beauty. The eminent literary critic Lewis Gannett wrote, “We have had many novels from statesmen and reformers, almost all bad; many novels from poets, almost all thin. In Alan Paton’s Cry, the Beloved Country the statesman, the poet and the novelist meet in a unique harmony.”

Cry, the Beloved Country is the deeply moving story of the Zulu pastor Stephen Kumalo and his son, Absalom, set against the background of a land and a people riven by racial injustice. Remarkable for its lyricism, unforgettable for character and incident, Cry, the Beloved Country is a classic work of love and hope, courage and endurance, born of the dignity of man.

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Disclaimer: Much of the information in this blog is taken directly from Wikipedia and Amazon.   Images have been taken from various sources around the World Wide Web.

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