Forthcoming historic anniversaries, Feb 2009

You may wish to write about the following historical events. Dates are given 6 months in advance to allow you time for research and writing. Dates and facts are taken from a reliable source, but we cannot guarantee their accuracy. Please cross-check all information as part of your research and let us know of any errors.

300 years ago (2 Feb 1709 or 12 Feb 1709)
Scottish seaman Alexander Selkirk was rescued from Isla Más a Tierra, Juan Fernandez Islands, South Pacific after being marooned there for four years. Daniel Defoe’s novel ‘Robinson Crusoe’ is based on his adventures

200 years ago (3 Feb 1809)
Birth of Felix Mendelssohn, German composer and conductor

200 years ago (11 Feb 1809)
American engineer and inventor Robert Fulton patented the steamboat

200 years ago (12 Feb 1809)
Birth of Charles Darwin, British naturalist who developed the theory of evolution by natural selection

200 years ago (12 Feb 1809)
Birth of Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States

150 years ago (3 Feb 1859)
Birth of Hugo Junkers, German engineer and aircraft designer

150 years ago (15 Feb 1859)
Oregon became the 33rd state of the USA

150 years ago (15 Feb 1859)
Birth of George Ferris, American engineer who invented the Ferris wheel

100 years ago (9 Feb 1909)
Birth of Carmen Miranda, Portuguese-Brazilian samba singer and actress

100 years ago (11 Feb 1909)
Birth of Joseph Mankiewicz, American film director, producer and writer

100 years ago (12 Feb 1909)
The National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP) was founded in the USA

100 years ago (17 Feb 1909)
Death of Geronimo, Native American Apache leader

100 years ago (20 Feb 1909)
‘The Futurist Manifesto’ by Italian ideologist Filippo Tommaso Marinetti was published in the French newspaper ‘Le Figaro’

100 years ago (23 Feb 1909)
The ‘Silver Dart’, an early experimental aircraft, was flown in Nova Scotia, Canada, making the first powered flight in Canada and the British Empire

100 years ago (24 Feb 1909)
The Hudson Motor Car Company was founded in Detroit, Michigan

100 years ago (26 Feb 1909)
Birth of King Talal of Jordan

100 years ago (28 Feb 1909)
Birth of Stephen Spender, British poet, novelist, essayist and critic

80 years ago (11 Feb 1929)
Italy and the Vatican signed the Lateran Treaty, which recognised the Vatican City’s independence and sovereignty

80 years ago (14 Feb 1929)
The St Valentine’s Day Massacre took place in Chicago

75 years ago (23 Feb 1934)
Léopold III became King of Belgium

75 years ago (23 Feb 1934)
Death of Edward Elgar, British composer

60 years ago (14 Feb 1949)
Israel’s Knesset (the legislative branch of government) met for the first time in Jerusalem

50 years ago (3 Feb 1959)
The day the music died: American rock-and-roll performers Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper died in a plane crash in Iowa

50 years ago (6 Feb 1959)
American electrical engineer Jack Kilby of Texas Instruments filed the first ever patent for an integrated circuit

50 years ago (7 Feb 1959)
Death of Daniel Malan, South African Prime Minister who formed the first exclusively Afrikaner government

50 years ago (16 Feb 1959)
Fidel Castro was sworn in as President of Cuba

50 years ago (20 Feb 1959)
America’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ruled that rival political candidates must be given equal time on TV news programmes

50 years ago (22 Feb 1959)
The first ‘Daytona 500’ NASCAR race took place at Daytona Beach, Florida

40 years ago (3 Feb 1969)
Yasser Arafat was appointed leader of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) at the Palestinian National Congress in Cairo

40 years ago (9 Feb 1969)
The Boeing 747 ‘Jumbo Jet’ made its first flight, near Seattle, Washington

40 years ago (15 Feb 1969)
The first successful in vitro fertilisation of human egg cells was announced by British physiologist Robert G. Edwards of Cambridge University

30 years ago (1 Feb 1979)
Ayatollah Khomeini returned to Iran after 16 years in exile

30 years ago (2 Feb 1979)
Death of Sid Vicious, British punk rock star (‘Sex Pistols’), drug overdose

30 years ago (7 Feb 1979)
Death of Josef Mengele, German physician at Auschwitz, Nazi war criminal

30 years ago (12 Feb 1979)
Death of Jean Renoir, French film director

25 years ago (4 Feb 1984)
Death of Anna Anderson, claimed to be Anastasia, daughter of Russian Tsar Nicholas II whose family were killed by the Bolsheviks in July 1918

25 years ago (7 Feb 1984)
American space shuttle astronauts Bruce McCandless and Robert L. Stewart carried out the first untethered spacewalk

25 years ago (9 Feb 1984)
Death of Yuri Andropov, Soviet leader

25 years ago (12 Feb 1984)
British figure skaters Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean won the gold medal at the Winter Olympics in Sarajevo, scoring the first perfect 6.0 in Olympic ice dancing history

25 years ago (15 Feb 1984)
Death of Ethel Merman, American singer and actress

25 years ago (26 Feb 1984)
The last remaining US troops occupying Beirut, Lebanon were withdrawn

25 years ago (29 Feb 1984)
Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau announced his resignation

20 years ago (5 Feb 1989)
Sky TV was launched in Britain

20 years ago (14 Feb 1989)
Union Carbide agreed to pay $470 million to the Indian Government for causing the 1984 Bhopal Disaster

20 years ago (14 Feb 1989)
The first of 24 satellites that make up the Global Positioning System (GPS) was launched by the US Department of Defence

20 years ago (14 Feb 1989)
Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini issued a ‘fatwa’ calling for the death of British author Salman Rushdie, whose novel ‘The Satanic Verses’ was condemned as blasphemous against Muslims

10 years ago (7 Feb 1999)
Death of King Hussein of Jordan

10 years ago (8 Feb 1999)
Death of Iris Murdoch, Irish-born British writer and philosopher

10 years ago (9 Feb 1999)
Death of Bryan Mosley, British actor (Alf Roberts in ‘Coronation Street’)

10 years ago (12 Feb 1999)
After a five-week impeachment trial, US President Bill Clinton was acquitted of perjury and obstruction of justice

For more historic anniversaries see The Date-A-Base Book 2009, which spans the whole of 2009 and contains over 1,200 forthcoming anniversaries – more than twice as many entries per month than our standard lists featured here. For example, there are 50 events listed above for February 2009, but 115 events for the same month in the Date-A-Base Book 2009.

The Date-A-Base Book 2009 is an excellent source of ideas for all writers, journalists, film-makers, editors, researchers, producers, teachers, students, speakers and event planners. Just one article sale will pay for your copy many times over!

Dave Haslett, ideas4writers, www.ideas4writers.co.uk

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