Archive for February 14th, 2008


On This Day 2-14-08 Valentines Day

1939: Bismarck launched

On this day, the German navy launches the 823-foot battleship Bismarck at Hamburg. Adolf Hitler hoped that the state of the art Bismarck would herald the rebirth of the German surface battle fleet. However, after the outbreak of war Britain closely guarded ocean routes from Germany to the Atlantic Ocean, and only U-boats moved freely through the war zone. In May 1941, the order was given for the Bismarck to break out into the Atlantic. Once in the safety of the open ocean, the battleship would be almost impossible to track down; all the while wreaking havoc on Allied convoys to Britain.

Learning of its movement, Britain sent almost the entire British home fleet in pursuit. On May 24, the British battle cruiser Hood and battleship Prince of Wales intercepted it near Iceland. In a ferocious battle, the Hood exploded and sank, and all but three of the 1,421 crewmen were killed. The Bismarck escaped, but because it was leaking fuel, it fled for occupied France. On May 26, it was sighted and crippled by British aircraft, and on May 27, three British warships descended on the Bismarck and finished it off. The German death toll was over 2,000.

1778 – The Stars and Stripes was carried to a foreign port, in France, for the first time. It was aboard the American ship Ranger.

1849 – The first photograph of a U.S. President, while in office, was taken by Matthew Brady in New York City. President James Polk was the subject of the picture.

1859 – Oregon became the 33rd member of the Union.

1876 – Alexander Graham Bell filed an application for a patent for the telephone. It was officially issued on March 7, 1876.

1900 – Russia imposed tighter imperial control over Finland in response to an international petition for Finland’s freedom.

1900 – In South Africa, British Gen. Roberts invaded Orange Free State with 20,000 troops.

1903 – The U.S. Department of Commerce and Labor was established.

1912 – The first diesel engine submarine was commissioned in Groton, CT.

1912 – Arizona was admitted as the 48th U.S. state.

1920 – The League of Women Voters was founded in Chicago. The first president of the organization was Maude Wood Park.

1929 – The “St. Valentine’s Day Massacre” took place in Chicago, IL. Seven gangsters who were rivals of Al Capone were killed.

1946 – ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer) was unveiled. The device, built at the University of Pennsylvania, was the world’s first general purpose electronic computer.

1967 – A boy kissed a girl in a kindergarten classroom.

1989 – Union Carbide agreed to pay $470 million to the government of India. The court-ordered settlement was a result of the 1984 Bhopal gas leak disaster.

All men are by nature equal, made all of the same earth by one Workman; and however we deceive ourselves, as dear unto God is the poor peasant as the mighty prince.

At the touch of love everyone becomes a poet.

Life must be lived as play.

February 2008
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