Hello dear readers. February 17 is the 48th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 317 days remaining until the end of the year. Is this year creeping slowly for you or is it flying by?
Some of the writers born on February 17th include:
Friedrich Maximilian Klinger (1752), Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer (1836), Louisa Lawson (1848), Mori Ōgai (1862), Fyodor Sologub (1863), Banjo Paterson (1864), Isabelle Eberhardt (1877), Isidora Sekulić (1877), Sadegh Hedayat (1903), Andre Norton (1912), Jean Le Moyne (1913), Margaret Truman (1924), Chaim Potok (1929), Ruth Rendell (1930), Shahrnush Parsipur (1946), Mo Yan (1955), Rene Syler (1963), Buster Olney (1964), and Kevin Rudolf (1983).
The American department store founder Aaron Montgomery Ward was born on this day in 1844. The mail–order industry was started by Aaron Montgomery Ward in 1872 in Chicago. Montgomery Ward died in 1913, at the age of 69. His wife bequeathed a large portion of the estate to Northwestern University and other educational institutions. Despite the collapse of its catalog and department stores in 2001, Montgomery Ward & Co. still adheres to the once unheard philosophy of “satisfaction guaranteed” as an online retailer.
Another notable birthday today is that of the Slovak inventor, architect, botanist, painter, patriot, and Roman Catholic priest, Joseph Murgas (Jozef Murgaš). He was born in 1864 and contributed to wireless telegraphy and help develop mobile communications and wireless transmission of information and human voice. Murgaš was nicknamed the Radio Priest and deemed a Renaissance man.
On the 17th of February, 1874, Thomas John Watson, Sr. was born. He was chairman and CEO of International Business Machines (IBM), who oversaw that company’s growth into an international force from 1914 to 1956. Watson developed IBM’s distinctive management style and corporate culture, and turned the company into a highly-effective selling organization, based largely around punched card tabulating machines. A leading self-made industrialist, he was one of the richest men of his time and was called the world’s greatest salesman when he died in 1956.
Guillermo González Camarena was a Mexican engineer who was the inventor of a color–wheel type of color television, and who also introduced color television to Mexico. He was born on this day in 1917. He invented the “Chromoscopic adapter for television equipment”, an early color television transmission system when he was only 17. His U.S. Patent application stated “My invention relates to the transmission and reception of colored pictures or images by wire or wireless…” The invention was designed to be easy to adapt to black-and-white television equipment.
Douglas Curtis Swan (February 17, 1920 – June 17, 1996) was an American comic book artist. He is the artist most associated with Superman during the period fans and historians call the Silver Age of comic books, Swan produced hundreds of covers and stories from the 1950s through the 1980s.
The French playwright, Molière, passed away 340 years ago today. His work is still for sale at bookstores like Village Book Shop, and not only read but often a required assignment in English classes. It is amazing how long a good piece of literature can be relevant. Words are powerful things.
The inventor of the first practical typewriter and the QWERTY keyboard still in use today was Christopher Latham Sholes and he was born on this day in 1819. The QWERTY is the standard keyboard set up for many places in the world, including the United States.
A century ago today the Armory Show opened in New York City, displaying works of artists who became some of the most influential painters of the early 20th century. Many exhibitions have been held in the vast spaces of the U.S. National Guard armories, but the Armory Show refers to the International Exhibition of Modern Art that was organized by the Association of American Painters and Sculptors, the first large exhibition of modern art in American. A list of the artists in the Armory show is available here.
The Blaine Act was sponsored by Wisconsin Senator John J. Blaine and passed by the United States Senate on February 17, 1933. It initiated the repeal of the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which established Prohibition in the United States. The repeal was formally adopted as the 21st Amendment to the Constitution on December 5, 1933.
On this day in 1944 at least two significant events for World War II occurred. The Battle of Eniwetok Atoll began in the Marshall Islands. That battle ended in an American victory on February 22. Operation Hailstone also began which was a massive naval, air and surface attack launched on February 17–18, 1944, during World War II by the United States Navy against the Japanese naval and air base at Truk in the Caroline Islands, a pre-war Japanese territory.
As part of Project Ranger, the Ranger 8 probe was launched February 17, 1965 on its mission to photograph the Mare Tranquillitatis (“Sea of Tranquility”) region of the Moon in preparation for the manned Apollo missions. This would become the site chosen for the Apollo 11 lunar landing.
The first Winter Ascent of Mount Everest took place thirty-three years ago today when Krzysztof Wielicki and Leszek Cichy, a team from Poland, reached its summit, thus being the first team to suceed at a winter summit of any of the world’s fourteen 8000 metre peaks.
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