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Events, deaths, births, of FEB 21
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• Bloody Battle of Verdun begins... • Stanton fired by Andrew Johnson... • 84th day of USSR aggression against Finland... • Sacha Guitry est né... • Raymond Queneau est né... • Nixon visits China... • Malcolm X assassinated ... • Erma Bombeck is born... • Cherokee receive printing press... • Kissinger negotiations with North Vietnam... • Bernard Fall killed in Vietnam... • Economic Stabilization... • Prime Minister Tojo takes also military power...
^  On a February 21:
2006 Michael Morales, born on 17 October 1959, is spared temporarily death by lethal injection in California, for which he was scheduled for the brutal murder of Terri Lynn Winchell [10 Apr 1963 – 08 Jan 1981]. He was sentenced on 14 June 1983. Courts now require that anesthiologists attend the execution to insure that the executed does not suffer. No licensed anesthesiologist is found willing to violate his Hippocratic oath to be a exclusively a healer. — (060223)
2002 Laicized Catholic priest John J. Geoghan [1935 – 23 Aug 2003], who, on 18 January 2002, was convicted of putting his “hand on buttocks” of a boy in a swimming pool, is sentenced to 10 years in prison. In civil lawsuits, more than 130 persons had claimed that Geoghan sexually abused them as children during his three decades as a priest in the Boston archdiocese. On 23 August 2003, in prison, he would be strangled with stretched socks by Darrin Smiledge “Joseph L. Druce” [1965~], who was serving a life sentence for the 01 June 1988 hate beating and strangling of George Rollo, 51, whom he thought was a homosexual.
2001 Pope John Paul II [18 May 1920 – 02 Apr 2005] holds consistory creating a record number of cardinals, 44, which he had announced on 21 and 28 January. This makes a record total of 184 cardinals, 135 of which, being younger than 80, are entitled to vote for the next pope. [MORE]
1998 Are made cardinals: Aloysius Matthew Ambrozic (Archbishop of Toronto)[27 Jan 1930-], Lorenzo Cardinal Antonetti (retired Vatican bureaucrat)[~], Jean Cardinal Balland (Archbishop of Lyon)[26 Jul 1934 – 01 Mar 1998], Alberto Cardinal Bovone (Prefect of Causes of Saints, Roman Curia)[11 Jun 1922 – 17 Apr 1998], Darío Castrillón Hoyos (Prefect of Clergy)[04 Jul 1929~], Giovanni Cheli (retired Vatican bureaucrat)[~], Francesco Colasuonno (Vatican bureaucrat)[02 Jan 1925~], Salvatore De Giorgi (Archbishop of Palermo)[~], Serafim Cardinal Fernandes de Araújo (Archbishop of Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil)[13 Aug 1924~], Francis Eugene Cardinal George OMI (Archbishop of Chicago)[16 Jan 1937 ~], Adam Kozlowiecki SJ (retired Archbishop of Lusaka)[~], Jorge Arturo Cardinal Medina Estévez (retired Vatican bureaucrat)[23 Dec 1926 ~], Dino Monduzzi (Vatican bureaucrat)[~], Polycarp Cardinal Pengo (Archbishop of Dar-es-Salaam)[05 Aug 1944~], Norberto Cardinal Rivera Carrera (Archbishop of México)[06 Jun 1942~], Antonio María Cardinal Rouco Varela (Archbishop of Madrid)[24 Aug 1936~], Christoph Cardinal Schönborn OP (Archbishop of Vienna, Austria)[22 Jan 1945~], Paul Cardinal Shan Kuo-hsi SJ (Bishop of Kaohsiung, Taiwan)[03 Dec 1923~], James Francis Cardinal Stafford (President of Laity, Roman Curia)[26 Jul 1932 ~], Dionigi Cardinal Tettamanzi (Archbishop of Milan, Italy)[14 Mar 1934~], Giuseppe Uhac (dead Yugoslav archbishop, Secretary of Evangelization of Peoples, Roman Curia)[20 Jul 1924 – 18 Jan 1998]
1997 Oracle announced an alliance with VeriFone to create software for buying goods and services over the Internet. Interest in online commerce had reached a fever pitch by 1997, as consumers responded to online sales, auctions, and other offerings with increasing confidence.
^1996 Sears sells its interest in Prodigy
      Sears announced it would sell its stake in Prodigy. The ten-year-old service, a joint venture by Sears and IBM, had cost one billion dollars to develop but had never shown reliable profits. Sears had initially hoped the venture would foster online shopping. The move came partly as a response to the uncertain market for online services that resulted from the Web's increased popularity. Sears had also shed several other ventures not related to its retail business. Later in the year, Prodigy's management would buy the company from Sears and IBM.
1995 Chicago stockbroker Steve Fossett became the first person to fly solo across the Pacific Ocean in a balloon, landing in Saskatchewan, Canada.
1991 The Space Telescope Science Institute announced that photographs from the Hubble Space Telescope confirmed the existence of a "black hole" equal to the mass of two billion suns in a galaxy some 30 million light-years away.
1988 During a live TV broadcast, televangelist Jimmy Swaggert, 52, tearfully confesses to his congregation in Baton Rouge, La., that he was guilty of an unspecified sin, and says that he is leaving the pulpit temporarily. Reports linked Swaggart to an admitted prostitute, Debra Murphree. (Defrocked in April by the Assemblies of God, he was ordered to stay off TV for a year, but returned after only three months.)
1987 Syrian army marches into Beirut
1986 AIDS patient Ryan White returns to classes at Western Middle School.
1975 former Attorney General John N. Mitchell and former White House aides H.R. Haldeman and John D. Ehrlichman are sentenced to 2-1/2 to 8 years in prison for their roles in the Watergate cover-up.
1974 Yugoslavia adopts constitution
1974 Israeli forces leave western Suez
^1972 First US presidential visit to China
      US President Richard M. Nixon arrives in Beijing, the capital of the People’s Republic of China, on the first US presidential visit to China. As the federal government had formally opposed China’s Communist government since it took power in 1949, Nixon is also the first president to visit a nation not recognized by the United States. In Beijing, President Nixon meets with Chairman Mao Zedong and Premier Zhou Enlai. At the Shanghai Communique on 27 February, Nixon and the Chinese premier agree to lessen the risk of war, expand cultural contacts between the two nations, and to establish a permanent US trade mission in China. In addition, the US acknowledges China’s "One China" policy and agrees to a gradual withdrawal of US troops from the island of Taiwan as tensions decrease. The two leaders also secretly discuss ways in which they may cooperate to check the growth of Soviet power in Asia and elsewhere.
     President Richard Nixon takes a dramatic first step toward normalizing relations with the communist People's Republic of China (PRC) by traveling to Beijing for a week of talks. Nixon's historic visit began the slow process of the re-establishing diplomatic relations between the United States and communist China. Still mired in the unpopular and frustrating Vietnam War in 1971, Nixon surprised the US people by announcing a planned trip to the PRC in 1972. The United States had never stopped formally recognizing the PRC after Mao Zedong's successful communist revolution of 1949. In fact, the two nations had been bitter enemies. PRC and US troops fought in Korea during the early-1950s, and Chinese aid and advisors supported North Vietnam in its war against the United States. Nixon seemed an unlikely candidate to thaw those chilly relations. During the 1940s and 1950s, he had been a vocal cold warrior and had condemned the Democratic administration of Harry S. Truman for "losing" China to the communists in 1949. The situation had changed dramatically since that time, though. In Vietnam, the Soviets, not the Chinese, had become the most significant supporters of the North Vietnamese regime. And the war in Vietnam was not going well. The US people were impatient for an end to the conflict, and it was becoming increasingly apparent that the United States might not be able to save its ally, South Vietnam, from its communist aggressors. The US fear of a monolithic communist bloc had been modified, as a war of words-and occasional border conflicts-erupted between the Soviet Union and the PRC in the 1960s. Nixon, and National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger saw a unique opportunity in these circumstances — diplomatic overtures to the PRC might make the Soviet Union more malleable to US policy requests (such as pressuring the North Vietnamese to sign a peace treaty acceptable to the United States). In fact, Nixon was scheduled to travel to meet Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev shortly after completing his visit to China. Nixon's trip to China, therefore, was a move calculated to drive an even deeper wedge between the two most significant communist powers. The United States could use closer diplomatic relations with China as leverage in dealing with the Soviets, particularly on the issue of Vietnam. In addition, the United States might be able to make use of the Chinese as a counterweight to North Vietnam. Despite their claims of socialist solidarity, the PRC and North Vietnam were, at best, strongly suspicious allies. As historian Walter LaFeber said, "Instead of using Vietnam to contain China, Nixon concluded that he had better use China to contain Vietnam." For its part, the PRC was desirous of another ally in its increasingly tense relationship with the Soviet Union and certainly welcomed the possibility of increased US-China trade.
     After arriving in Beijing, the president announced that his breakthrough visit to China is "The week that changed the world." In meeting with Nixon, Prime Minister Zhou Enlai urged early peace in Vietnam, but did not endorse North Vietnam's political demands. North Vietnamese officials and peace negotiators took a dim view of Nixon's trip, fearing that China and the United States would make a deal behind their backs. Nixon's promise to reduce the US military presence on Taiwan seemed to confirm North Vietnam's fears of a Chinese-American sellout-trading US military reduction in Taiwan for peace in Vietnam. Despite Hanoi's fears, China continued to supply North Vietnam levels of aid that had increased significantly in late 1971. This aid permitted the North Vietnamese to launch a major new offensive in March 1972.
^1970 US begins secret negotiations with North Vietnam
      US National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger begins secret peace talks with North Vietnamese representative Le Duc Tho, the fifth-ranking member of the Hanoi Politburo, at a villa outside Paris. Le Duc Tho stated that the North Vietnamese position continued to require an unconditional US withdrawal on a fixed date and the abandonment of the Thieu government as a precondition for further progress, which stalled the negotiations. The North Vietnamese rejected Kissinger's proposals for a mutual withdrawal of military forces, the neutralization of Cambodia, and a mixed electoral commission to supervise elections in South Vietnam. The other two meetings, in which there was a similar lack of progress, were held on 16 March and 04 April.
1961 Gabon adopts constitution.
1958 Egypt-Syria as UAR elect Nasser President (99.9% vote)
1952 Bangladesh Martyrs Day (martyrs of Bengali Language Movement)
1947 Edwin H. Land publicly demonstrated his Polaroid Land camera, which produces a developed black-and-white photograph in 60 seconds.
1946 Anti-British demonstrations in Egypt.
1945 US 10th Armour division overthrows Orscholz line.
1945 British Army captures Goch.
^1944 Tojo makes himself head of military as well as government of Japan.
      Hideki Tojo, prime minister of Japan, grabs even more power as he takes over as army chief of staff, a position that gives him direct control of the Japanese military. After graduating from the Imperial Military Academy and the Military Staff College, Tojo was sent to Berlin as Japan's military attaché after World War I. Having earned a reputation for sternness and discipline, Tojo was given command of the 1st Infantry Regiment upon returning to Japan. In 1937, he was made chief of staff of the Kwantung Army in Manchuria, China. When he returned again to his homeland, Tojo assumed the office of vice-minister of war and quickly took the lead in the military's increasing control of Japanese foreign policy, advocating the signing of the 1940 Tripartite Pact with Germany and Italy that made Japan an "Axis" power. In July 1940, he was made minister of war and soon clashed with the prime minister, Prince Fumimaro Konoye, who had been fighting for reform of his government, namely, demilitarization of its politics. In October, Konoye resigned because of increasing tension with Tojo, who succeeded him as prime minister. Not only did Tojo keep his offices of army minister and war minister when he became prime minister, he also assumed the offices of minister of commerce and industry. Tojo, now a virtual dictator, quickly promised a "New Order in Asia," and toward this end supported the bombing of Pearl Harbor despite the misgivings of several of his generals. Tojo's aggressive policies paid big dividends early on, with major territorial gains in Indochina and the South Pacific. But despite Tojo's increasing control over his own country — tightening wartime industrial production and assuming yet another title, chief of staff of the army, on 21 February 1944 — he could not control the determination of the United States, which began beating back the Japanese in the South Pacific. When Saipan fell to the US Marines and Army on 22 June 1944, Tojo's government collapsed. Upon Japan's surrender, Tojo tried to commit suicide by shooting himself with a US .38 pistol but he was saved by a US physician who gave him a blood transfusion. He was convicted of war crimes by an international tribunal and was hanged on 22 December 1948.
1943 German offensive at Western Dorsalgebergte, Tunisia.
1943 Dutch Roman Catholic bishops protest against persecution of Jews.
1941 US Senate accepts Omar Bradley's demotion to Brigadier-General.
1932 André Tardieu becomes premier of France.
1922 Great Britain grants Egypt independence.
1919 Revolutionary strike in Barcelona.
1919 German National Meeting accepts Anschluss incorporation of Austria.
1915 20th Russian Army corps surrenders.
1902 Dr Harvey Cushing, first US brain surgeon, does his first brain operation.
1901 Cuba devient république indépendante, au terme de la guerre hispano-américaine de 1898.
1887 Oregon becomes first US state to make Labor Day a holiday
1883 2nd French government of Ferry begins
1878 The first telephone directory (with 50 names) is issued, by the District Telephone Co. of New Haven, Connecticut.
1874 Benjamin Disraeli replaces William Gladstone as English premier
^1868 US President fires Secretary of War
      In challenge of the Tenure of Office Act, President Andrew Johnson fires Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton, the exact presidential cabinet member that the Radical Republican majority in Congress had attempted to protect with the passage of the act in the previous year. At the outbreak of the Civil War in April of 1861, Andrew Johnson, a senator from Tennessee, was the only US senator from a seceding state who remained loyal to the Union. In 1862, President Abraham Lincoln appointed him military governor of Tennessee, and in 1864, he was elected vice president of the United States. Inaugurated after Lincoln’s assassination in April of 1865, President Johnson enacted a lenient Reconstruction policy for the defeated South, including almost total amnesty to ex-Confederates, a program of rapid restoration of US state status for the seceded states, and the approval of new, local Southern governments, which were able to legislate "Black Codes" that preserved the system of slavery in all but its name. The Republican-dominated Congress greatly opposed Johnson’s Reconstruction program, and on March 2, 1867, passed the Tenure of Office Act over the president’s veto. The bill prohibited the president from removing officials confirmed by the Senate without senatorial approval, and was designed to shield members of Johnson’s cabinet like Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton who had been a leading Republican radical in the Lincoln administration. In the fall of 1867, President Johnson attempted to test the constitutionality of the act by replacing Stanton with General Ulysses S. Grant. However, the US Supreme Court refused to rule on the case and Grant turned the office back to Stanton after the Senate passed a measure refusing the dismissal.
     On 21 February 1868, Johnson decides to rid himself of Stanton once and for all and appoints General Lorenzo Thomas, an individual far less favorable to the Congress than Grant, as Secretary of War. Stanton refused to yield, barricading himself in his office, and the House of Representatives, which had already discussed impeachment after Stanton’s first dismissal of Stanton, initiated formal impeachment proceedings against the president. On February 24, the House voted eleven impeachment articles against President Andrew Johnson, nine of which cited Johnson’s removal of Stanton and appointment of Thomas. On 13 March, the Senate trial of Andrew Johnson, the first US president ever to be impeached, began under the direction of US Supreme Court Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase. On May 26, the trial ended with Johnson’s opponents narrowly failing to achieve the two-thirds majority necessary to convict him.
1864 Battle at Okolonam MS.
1862 Confederate Constitution and Presidency are declared permanent.
1862 Texas Rangers win Confederate victory at Battle of Val Verde, New Mexico Territory
1861 Navaho Indians elect Herrero Grande as chief.
1857 Congress outlaws foreign currency as legal tender in US.
1853 US authorizes minting of $3 gold pieces.
^1828 Cherokee receive their first printing press
      The first printing press designed to use the newly invented Cherokee alphabet arrives at New Echota, Georgia. The General Council of the Cherokee Nation had purchased the press with the goal of producing a Cherokee-language newspaper. The press itself, however, would have been useless had it not been for the extraordinary work of a young Cherokee named Sequoyah, who invented a Cherokee alphabet. As a young man, Sequoyah had joined the Cherokee volunteers who fought under Andrew Jackson against the British in the War of 1812. In dealing with the Anglo soldiers and settlers, he became intrigued by their "talking leaves"-printed books that he realized somehow recorded human speech. In a brilliant leap of logic, Sequoyah comprehended the basic nature of symbolic representation of sounds and in 1809 began working on a similar system for the Cherokee language. Ridiculed and misunderstood by most of the Cherokee, Sequoyah made slow progress until he came up with the idea of representing each syllable in the language with a separate written character. By 1821, he had perfected his syllabary of 86 characters, a system that could be mastered in less than week. After obtaining the official endorsement of the Cherokee leadership, Sequoyah's invention was soon adopted throughout the Cherokee nation. When the Cherokee-language printing press arrived on this day in 1828, the lead type was based on Sequoyah's syllabary. Within months, the first Indian language newspaper in history appeared in New Echota, Georgia. It was called The Cherokee Phoenix.
      One of the so-called "five civilized tribes" native to the American Southeast, the Cherokee had long embraced the United States' program of "civilizing" Indians in the years after the Revolutionary War. In the minds of Americans, Sequoyah's syllabary further demonstrated the Cherokee desire to modernize and fit into the dominant Anglo world. The Cherokee used their new press to print a bilingual version of republican constitution, and they took many other steps to assimilate Anglo culture and practice while still preserving some aspects of their traditional language and beliefs. Sadly, despite the Cherokee's sincere efforts to cooperate and assimilate with the Anglo-Americans, their accomplishments did not protect them from the demands of land-hungry Americans. Repeatedly pushed westward in order to make room for Anglo settlers, the Cherokee lost more than 4000 of their people (nearly a quarter of the nation) in the 1838-39 winter migration to Oklahoma that later became known as the Trail of Tears. Nonetheless, the Cherokee people survived as a nation in their new home, thanks in part to the presence of the unifying written language created by Sequoyah. In recognition of his service, the Cherokee Nation voted Sequoyah an annual allowance in 1841. He died two years later on his farm in Oklahoma. Today, his memory is also preserved in the scientific name for the giant California redwood tree, Sequoia.
1795 En France, un décret de la Convention du 03 ventôse an III rétablit la liberté des cultes. En mettant fin à une longue période d'intolérance inaugurée par la Constitution civile du clergé votée le 12 Jul 1790, les députés espèrent réconcilier les Français avec la Révolution ou ce qu'il en reste. — Freedom of worship is established in France, ending the persecution of religion started on 12 July 1790 by the Revolution.
1792 Congress passes Presidential Succession Act
1764 John Wilkes thrown out of English House of Commons for Essay on Women
1641 En France, Louis XIII retire toute compétence au Parlement en ce qui concerne les affaires de l'Etat et limite son droit de remontrance.
1598 Boris Godunov crowned tsar
1583 (Monday) In the Netherlands, Groningen begins using the Gregorian calendar (its yesterday was Sunday 10 February 1583 Julian). It would revert to the Julian calendar in the summer of 1594 and, on 12 January 1701, resume use of the Gregorian calendar, for good this time.
^1559 Première vente au enchère en France?
      Le Parlement de Paris avait décrété quelques dizaines d’années auparavant, que les endroits fréquentés la nuit devaient être éclairés afin de protéger les honnêtes gens contre la racaille qui profitait de l’obscurité pour accomplir ses sombres forfaits. Des dizaines d’endroits avaient donc été dotés de ce qu’on appellerait aujourd’hui du "mobilier urbain", bref, des lanternes protégées du vent et de la pluie. Mais cette année-là,, suite aux guerres contre l’Empereur Charles-Quint, pour la possession de l’Italie, suite aux défaites de Gravelines contre l’Espagne, l’Empire et la Flandre, les caisses royales sont vides et le Roi menace le Parlement. Mais les caisses de Paris sont vides également, trop ponctionnées par de multiples guerres. Alors le Parlement prend la décision de vendre aux enchères le mobilier urbain, dont les fameuses lanternes. Ce qui constitue sans doute une "première" dans l’Histoire de la France tout au moins.
1431 England begins trial against Joan of Arc
1173 Pope Alexander III canonizes Thomas Becket [1118-1170]. As Archbishop of Canterbury, Becket had been martyred three years earlier on orders of English King Henry II, a former friend until Becket was elevated to Archbishop in 1162. — Thomas Becket est canonisé, 3 ans après son martyre. L’archevêque de Canterbéry avait osé reprocher au Roi d’Angleterre, Henri II, son inconduite. Quelques chevaliers, instigués par le roi, ou à son insu mais pour lui plaire, assassinèrent le prélat dans sa Cathédrale.
< 20 Feb 22 Feb >
^Deaths which occurred on a 21 February:

2005 Robert Wickham, 61, buried under more than one meter of mud from a mudslide crashing into his bedroom in the San Fernando Valley, California, in the early hours.There had been extraordinarily heavy rains for at least three days.
2003 Two barge workers at the Port Mobil Terminal oil storage facility, at Nervy NY on Staten Island near the Outerbridge Crossing to New Jersey, after the 10:10 explosion of a Bouchard Transportation barge which was unloading its 16'000'000 liters of unleaded gasoline. The barge sinks after the fire spreads to another barge nearby. [photo below]
Gasoline barge fire

2002 Natalie Gingerelli, 22, Susan Kerian, 42, Thomas Luyster, 27, and Suzanne LaVecchia, 27, murdered in Dover NJ by retired Newark police officer John W. Mabie, 70, grandfather of Gingerelli. Mabie starts by locking up his wife in their basement. Then he goes across the street to the house of his mother-in-law, before whole eyes he kills Gingerelli with a gun and a knife. Then he goes to the nearby homes of single mother Kerian, and of engaged couple Luyster and LaVecchia, shooting all three. Finally Mabie returns to his front porch and waited for police. When they arrive, he admits that he has killed four people and describes their locations for the officers.
2002: 32 policemen out of 75 on duty late in the night at a police post at Sitalpati, Sallyan district, Nepal, in an attack by “Maoists” guerrillas.
1997 Michael Hollings, 75, catholic priest / crusader.
1992 Roberto D'Aubuisson El Salvadorian founder (ARENA)
1990 Schoenberg, mathematician.
1986 Larry Wu-tai Chin, the first US citizen found guilty of spying for China, kills himself in his Virginia prison cell.
1984 Michail A Sholochov Russian writer (Ocean Don, Nobel 1965)
1973: 108 persons as Israeli fighter planes shoot down a Libyan Airlines jet over the Sinai Desert.
^1967 Bernard Fall and a Marine photographer, killed by mine in Vietnam
      Writer and historian Bernard B. Fall is killed by a Viet Cong mine while accompanying a US Marine patrol along the seacoast about 23 km northwest of Hue, on a road known as the "Street Without Joy" (which Fall had used for the title of one of his books about the war). A professor of international relations at Howard University in Washington, D.C., Fall was a French citizen and noted expert on the war in Vietnam. He was killed while gathering material for his eighth book. A US Marine photographer was also killed.
^1965 Malcolm X, assassinated by Blacks.
      In New York City, Malcolm X, 39, Black US nationalist and religious leader, is assassinated by rival Black Muslims when about to address his Organization of Afro-American Unity at the Audubon Ballroom in Washington Heights. Born Malcolm Little in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1925, Malcolm was the son of James Earl Little, a Baptist preacher who advocated the black nationalist ideals of Marcus Garvey. Threats from the Ku Klux Klan forced the family to move to Lansing, Michigan, where his father continued to preach his controversial sermons despite continuing threats. In 1931, Malcolm’s father was brutally murdered by the white supremacist Black Legion, and Michigan authorities refused to prosecute those responsible. In 1937, Malcolm was taken from his family by welfare caseworkers and, by the time he had reached high school age, dropped out of school and moved to Boston, where he increasingly became involved in criminal activities. In 1946, at the age of twenty-one, Malcolm was sent to prison on a burglary conviction. It was there that he encountered the teachings of Elijah Muhammad, the leader of the Nation of Islam, whose members were popularly known as Black Muslims. The Nation of Islam advocated African-American nationalism and racial separatism and condemned Americans of European descent as immoral "devils." Muhammad’s teachings had a strong effect on Malcolm, who entered into an intense program of self-education and took the last name of "X" to symbolize his stolen African identity. After six years, Malcolm was released from prison and became a loyal and effective minister of the Nation of Islam in Harlem, New York. In contrast to civil rights leaders such as Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X advocated self-defense and the liberation of African-Americans "by any means necessary." A fiery orator, Malcolm was admired by the African-American community in New York and around the country. In the early 1960s, he began to develop a more outspoken philosophy than that of Elijah Muhammad, whom he felt was lacking in his support of the civil rights movement. In late 1963, Malcolm’s suggestion that President John F. Kennedy’s assassination was a matter of the "chickens coming home to roost" provided Elijah Muhammad with a convenient opportunity to suspend him from the Nation of Islam, who considered Malcolm X too powerful. A few months later, he formally left the organization and made a Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, where he was profoundly affected by the lack of racial discord among orthodox Muslims. He returned to America as El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, and in June of 1964, founded the Organization of Afro-American Unity, which advocated black identity and held that racism, not the white race, was the greatest foe of the African American. Malcolm’s new movement steadily gained followers, as his more moderate philosophy became increasingly influential in the civil rights movement, especially among the leaders of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). On February 21, 1965, one week after his home was firebombed, Malcolm X was shot to death by Nation of Islam members while speaking at a rally of his organization in New York City.
     Malcolm X is assassinated by three Black Muslim gunmen in New York City. Malcolm X had split from the Nation of Islam almost a year before and had escaped several other attempts on his life in the subsequent months. Reportedly, he was going to publicly reveal the names of the assassins who had been sent to kill him, but was killed at the Audubon Ballroom before he had the opportunity. The break between Malcolm X and the Nation of Islam had its roots in a wide range of matters. Ironically, Malcolm X had been suspended from the group for stating that the murder of President Kennedy was a case of "chickens coming home to roost.. However, the rift was probably due more to the fact that the dynamic and charismatic Malcolm X was challenging the leadership of Elijah Muhammad. His fame threatened the Nation of Islam leaders. When he officially broke from the group, they worried that he would draw away most of their supporters. Malcolm X, constantly aware that his life was in danger, may have had particular worries on February 21. He called his wife, Betty Shabazz, and had her bring their children to the Audubon Ballroom where he was giving a speech later in the day. This was not his usual practice and he may have wanted to see his family a final time. He also declined to institute any security measures for the speech. After he was introduced, but before he could address his supporters, three gunmen in the audience fired several shots at Malcolm X. One of the men, Tommy Hayer, was shot in the leg by one of Malcolm X's bodyguards and caught by the crowd. The other two, Norman 3X Butler and Thomas 15X Johnson, were caught later. Malcolm X died instantly. Malcolm X's body was put on display at a funeral home in Harlem the following day and it is estimated that 30,000 people came to view it. Actor Ossie Davis delivered the eulogy at the funeral. In the meantime, his supporters vowed revenge against Elijah Muhammad and the Nation of Islam. The Chicago home of Muhammad Ali, a Nation of Islam member, was burned down shortly after the assassination. However, Elijah Muhammad's rhetoric against Malcolm X continued, blaming the civil rights leader for his own death. The feud between the factions continues to this day. In 1995, one of Malcolm X's daughters, Qubilah Shabazz, was prosecuted for attempting to hire a killer to murder Louis Farrakhan for his alleged involvement in the assassination. While Farrakhan was certainly part of the climate that caused Malcolm X's death-he wrote many articles violently denouncing him after the split-it is highly unlikely that he ever had any contact with the assassins.
1962 Rey Pastor, mathematician.
1961 Blaise Cendrars [Frédéric Sauser-Hall], 73, Switzerland, poet.
^ 1940 Day 84 of Winter War: USSR aggression against Finland.
More deaths due to Stalin's desire to grab Finnish territory.

Colonel A.E. Martola to command Finnish 1st Division
       Northern Sweden: shortly after noon, at 12:46, seven Soviet aircraft begin to bomb the Swedish village of Pajala in the Tornedal valley nine kilometers from the Finnish border. Altogether 34 explosion and 100 incendiary bombs fall in the centre of the densely populated village. A quarter of the village is set ablaze. Despite the considerable destruction, by some miracle there is no loss of human life. The all-clear is sounded at 12:55. The Swedish Government presents a stiffly worded protest to the Soviet Union over the incident.
      The Soviet forces on the Karelian Isthmus penetrate ever deeper towards Viipuri.
      Jaeger Colonel A.E. Martola is placed in command of the Finnish 1st Division. His predecessor, Jaeger Major-General Taavetti Laatikainen is transferred to command I Army Corps.
      Viipuri marshalling yard is the target of incessant enemy bombing. Over 1000 wagons and a dozen engines are trapped in the yard by the damaged track.
      The Russian fire control planes and captive balloons are becoming more and more accurate in directing the enemy artillery. An artillery casemate in Patoniemi on the western edge of the Taipale sector is destroyed by two direct hits. Over 700 artillery shells explode and two guns are badly damaged. One man is killed and six wounded by flying shrapnel.
      Ladoga Karelia: during the course of the morning Finnish troops take the final remnants of the 'regimental motti' to the north of Lake Ladoga.
      Northern Finland: the Soviet offensive in Kuhmo runs out of steam. Karelian Isthmus: the Russian breakthrough in the intermediary position at Mustalampi is halted in a renewed counterattack by a reinforced Finnish brigade.
      The Finns lose control of one of the strongholds in the Terenttilä area in Taipale and are unable to retake it.
      Finnish Foreign Minister Väinö Tanner gives an account of the exploratory peace talks to the Foreign Affairs Committee of Parliament. The majority view is to grasp the chance of peace even at the cost of heavy sacrifices.
      Western Finland: Vaasa Town Court convicts five young men of looting.
      Helsinki Town Court hands down fines for infringements of the blackout regulations.
      Abroad: the wife of Georg Gripenberg, Finland's diplomatic representative in London, introduces the British Women's Council to the work of Finnish women in defending their country.
      Despite the war, US exports to the Soviet Union continue unabated. During the five months to the end of January, 90% of Soviet imports from the USA have been munitions to the value of 35 million dollars.

^ Jääkärieversti A. E. Martolasta 1. Divisioonan komentaja Talvisodan 84. päivä, 21.helmikuuta.1940
       Seitsemän venäläiskonetta pommittaa Pohjois-Ruotsissa Tornionjoki-laaksossa yhdeksän kilometriä Suomen rajasta Ruotsin puolella sijaitsevaa Pajalaa.Pommitus alkaa klo 12.46. Taajaan asutun Pajalan kylän keskustaan putoaa kaikkiaan 34 räjähdys- ja 100 palopommia. Neljäsosa Pajalan kylästä syttyy tuleen. Syntyy paljon vaurioita, mutta kuin ihmeen kaupalla ihmisuhreilta vältytään.Vaara ohi-merkki annetaan klo 12.55. Välikohtauksen vuoksi Ruotsin hallitus esittää jyrkän vastalauseensa Neuvostoliitolle.
      Neuvostojoukot tunkeutuvat yhä syvemmälle Viipurin suuntaan. Jääkärieversti A. E. Martolasta tulee 1. Divisioonan komentaja. Aiempi komentaja, jääkärikenraalimajuri Taavetti Laatikainen siirtyyI Armeijakunnan komentajaksi.
      Vihollinen pommittaa jatkuvasti Viipurin ratapihaa, jossa seisoorikkoutuneiden kiskojen vuoksi yli 1000 vaunua ja toistakymmentäveturia.
      Tulenjohtokoneet ja kiintopallot ohjaavat vihollisen tykistötulen yhä tarkemmaksi ja tarkemmaksi.
      Taipaleen lohkon läntisellä laidalla Patoniemessä sijaitsevatykkikasematti saa kaksi täysosumaa ja tuhoutuu. Yli 700 ammusta räjähtää, kaksi tykkiä vaurioituu pahoin. Yksi mies kuolee ja kuusi haavoittuu sirpaleista.
      Aamun kuluessa vallataan niin sanotun rykmenttimotin viimeiset pesäkkeet Laatokan pohjoispuolella. Neuvostojoukkojen hyökkäys tyrehtyy Kuhmossa. Kannaksella venäläisten murto väliasemassa Mustalammella lyödään uusitulla vahvennetun prikaatin vastahyökkäyksellä.
      Taipaleessa menetetään Terenttilän alueella yksi tukikohta eikä sitä pystytä valtaamaan takaisin.
      Ulkoministeri Tanner selostaa rauhantunnusteluja eduskunnanulkoasiainvaliokunnalle. Enemmistön kanta on, että rauha on hyväksyttävä vaikka se vaatisi raskaitakin uhrauksia.
      Viisi nuorta vöyriläismiestä tuomitaan Vaasan raastuvanoikeudessa vankeuteen sotarosvouksesta.
      Helsingin raastuvanoikeus antaa sakkotuomioita sotavalaistus-määräysten rikkomisesta.
      Ulkomailta: Suomen Lontoon lähettilään, ministeri Gripenbergin puoliso esittelee Suomen naisten maanpuolustustyötä Englannin naisneuvostolle.
      Sodasta huolimatta Yhdysvaltain vienti Neuvostoliittoon jatkuu.Viiden viimeksi kuluneen kuukauden aikana tammikuun loppuun mennessä on Neuvostoliiton ostoista 90% sotatarvikkeita. Kaupan arvo on 35 milj. dollaria.

^Jägaröverste A. E. Martola kommendör för 1. Divisionen Vinterkrigets 84 dag, den 21 februari 1940
      Byn Pajala, som ligger i Tornedalen i norra Sverige nio kilometer från den finska gränsen, bombas av sju ryska plan. Bombardemanget börjar kl. 12.46. I centrumet av det tätt bebodda Pajala fälls totalt 34 sprängbomber och 100 eldbomber. En fjärdedel av byn fattar eld. Förödande skador uppstår, men som genom ett under kräver bombardemanget inga liv. Faran över-signalen ges kl. 12.55. Till följd av intermezzot framför Sveriges regering en kraftig protest mot Sovjetunionen.
      De ryska trupperna tränger allt längre in i riktning Viborg.
      Jägaröverste A. E. Martola utnämns till kommendör för den 1. Divisionen. Den förra kommendören, jägargeneralmajor Taavetti Laatikainen utnämns till kommendör för den I Armékåren.
      Fienden bombar bangården i Viborg utan uppehåll. På grund av förstörda skenor står det över tusen vagnar och drygt tio lokomotiv på bangården.
      Eldledningsplan och förankrade ballonger styr fiendens artillerield allt närmare målen. En artillerikasmatt i Patoniemi på den västra kanten av Taipaleavsnittet är föremål för två fullträffar och förintas. Över 700 projektiler exploderar, två kanoner skadas svårt. En soldat dödas och sex skadas av splittret.
      Under morgonen ockuperas de sista nästena i den så kallade Regementsmottin norr om Ladoga.
      Ryssarnas angrepp kvävs i Kuhmo.
      På Näset slås ryssarnas genombrott vid mellanställningen i Mustalampi tillbaka när en förstärkt brigad går till nytt motangrepp.
      I Taipale går en bas på Terenttiläområdet förlorad och man kan inte återerövra den.
      Utrikesminister Tanner rapporterar om åtgärderna för att inleda fredsförhandlingar för riksdagens utrikesutskott. Majoriteten är av den åsikten att fred måste fås till stånd även om det skulle kräva stora uppoffringar.
      Fem unga män hemma från Vörå döms till fängelse av Vasa rådstuvurätt för krigsplundring.
      Helsingfors rådstuvurätt dömer personer som brutit mot förordningarna om krigsbelysning till böter.
      Utrikes: Finlands ambassadör i London, minister Gripenbergs fru redogör för de finska kvinnornas arbete för att försvara sitt land åt kvinnorådet i England.
      Trots kriget fortsätter Förenta Staternas export till Sovjetunionen. Under de fem senaste månaderna fram till slutet av januari är 90 % av Sovjetunionens inköp krigsförnödenheter. Handelns värde uppgår till 35 miljoner dollar.
1938 George Ellery Hale astronomer.
1926 Heike Kamerlingh Onnes, 72, Dutch physicist (Nobel 1913)
1921 Karl Wilhelm Anton Seiler, German artist born on 03 August 1846.

^ 1916 First casualties as Germans start attack on Verdun.
      During the First World War Verdun was a fortified French garrison town on the River Meuse 200 km east of Paris. In December 1915, General Erich von Falkenhayn, Chief of Staff of the German Army, decided to attack Verdun. Although he admitted he would be unable to break through at these point on the Western Front, he argued that in defending Verdun, the Germans would "bleed the French army white".
      The German attack on Verdun started on 21 February 1916. A million troops, led by Crown Prince Wilhelm, faced only about 200'000 French defenders. The following day the French was forced to retreat to their second line of trenches. By 24 February the French had moved back to the third line and were only 8km from Verdun.
      On 24th February, General Henri-Philippe Pétain was appointed commander of the Verdun sector. He gave orders that no more withdrawals would take place. He arranged for every spare French soldier to this part of the Western Front. Of the 330 infantry regiments of the French Army, 259 eventually fought at Verdun.
      The German advance was brought to a halt at the end of February. On 6 March, the German Fifth Army launched a new attack at Verdun. The Germans advanced 3km before they were stopped in front of the area around Mort Homme Hill. The French held this strategic point until it was finally secured by the Germans on 29 May, and Fort Vaux fell on 7th June, after a long siege.
      Further attacks continued throughout the summer and early autumn. However, the scale of the German attacks were reduced by the need to transfer troops to defend their front-line at the Somme. The French now counter-attacked and General Charles Mangin became a national hero when the forts at Douaumont and Vaux were recaptured by 2 November 1916. Over the next six weeks the French infantry gained another 2 km at Verdun.
      Verdun, the longest battle of the First World War, ended on the 18th December. The French Army lost 378'377 men at Verdun (according to the official count). It is estimated that the German Army suffered 335'000 casualties. These may be underestimates. About 100'000 of the total casualties were killed

^La bataille de Verdun
     A 07:30, un déluge de feu s'abat sur les forts de Verdun et sur les tranchées où sont tapies trois divisions françaises. L'artillerie allemande mobilise pas moins de 500 obusiers en tous genres. Au milieu de l'après-midi, un grand silence tombe sur le champ de bataille.
      A 16:45, l'infanterie allemande monte à l'assaut des lignes françaises. Parmi les soldats, certains sont équipés d'un lance-flammes. C'est la première fois qu'est employée cette arme terrible.
      Ainsi commence la bataille de Verdun. Elle restera comme la plus meurtrière des batailles de la Grande Guerre de 1914-1918. La ville, sur la Meuse, en Lorraine, est un camp retranché qui pénètre comme un coin dans les lignes allemandes. C'est là que le chef d'état-major allemand décide de porter son offensive.
      Erich von Falkenhayn veut en finir avec une guerre de positions qui dure depuis la bataille de la Marne, dix-huit mois plus tôt. Il projette de "saigner l'armée française" par des bombardements intensifs. C'est une innovation en matière guerrière. Le chef d'état-major a préparé son offensive dans le plus grand secret. Il a fait creuser des tunnels en béton au plus près des tranchées françaises et aux six divisions allemandes présentes, il en a ajouté deux.
      Le commandant de la IIe Armée, Philippe Pétain, organise la riposte sans tarder. "On les aura!" écrira-t-il dans un célèbre ordre du jour. Il met en place une liaison avec Bar-le-Duc, à l'arrière. En 24 heures, 6000 camions montent vers le front en empruntant cette "Voie sacrée". L'assaut allemand est repoussé et la brèche colmatée. Mais les attaques vont se renouveler pendant plusieurs mois.
      Le 6 mars, les Allemands lanceront une nouvelle attaque de grande ampleur à Mort-Homme, un hameau justement nommé. Le 22 Jun apparaîtront les terrifiantes bombes au phosgène, un gaz mortel en quelques secondes. Le 01 Jul, l'état-major anglais, tard intervenu dans le conflit, lancera une grande offensive plus au nord, sur la Somme, pour soulager le front de Verdun.
      Par rotations successives, toute l'armée française va connaître l'enfer de Verdun. A la fin de l'année 1916, l'avantage restera aux Français mais au prix d'une terrible hécatombe. Verdun est le tournant de la Grande Guerre et pour les poilus, le symbole de toutes ses horreurs.
      Il faut avoir lu "Les croix de bois" de Roland Dorgelès pour s'en faire une idée. On peut aussi visiter l'ossuaire de Douaumont, qui conserve les restes d'environ 150'000 combattants non identifiés.
Le bilan humain de la bataille
Voici un relevé des pertes françaises à Verdun, du 21 Feb au 15 Dec 1916, d'après le Service Historique des Armées
Pertes françaises:
Tués: 61'269 (1925 officiers, 59'324 sous-officiers et hommes)
Disparus: 101'151 (1858 officiers, 99'243 sous-officiers et hommes)
Blessés: 216'337 (5055 officiers, 211'282 sous-officiers et hommes)
Total: 378'777 morts, disparus ou blessés
Du côté allemand, le total des pertes (morts, blessés et disparus) est évalué à 335'000.
^ La bataille de Verdun, une des plus sanglantes et des plus inutiles de l’Histoire, commence.
      À l’aube de l’année 1916, le commandement allemand, décidé à user complètement l’armée française en l’obligeant à s’engager à fond, choisit d’attaquer Verdun, (département de la Meuse) saillant vulnérable dans la ligne de défense allemande, pivot du front fortifié et ville historique que les Français voudront défendre coûte que coûte. Le plan du Kronprinz, commandant la Ve armée allemande, est de rompre le front nord du saillant dans la plaine de la Woëvre et d’exploiter le succès par les ailes, d’abord sur la rive droite de la Meuse pour refouler les Français sur la rivière, puis sur la rive gauche pour leur couper la retraite. Les Français, qui ont relevé des indices d’attaque prochaine sur Verdun, renforcent l’infrastructure routière et ferroviaire de cette région dès janvier et le dispositif des troupes en février. Le lundi 21 Feb, après une courte mais violente préparation d’artillerie, le Kronprinz lance une attaque brusquée avec trois corps d’armée. Les deux divisions françaises qui défendaient les seize kilomètres de la première position sont submergées.
      Le 25 Feb, les Français évacuent la Woëvre et reportent leur défense sur les hauts de Meuse, en restant sur la rive droite où le général Joffre a prescrit à la IIe armée du général Pétain (le futur Maréchal) d’arrêter l’ennemi à tout prix. Les Allemands ne reprennent l’offensive que deux jours plus tard (le 27 Feb), le temps de déplacer leur artillerie et en vertu du principe, ancré dans les esprits depuis les combats de Champagne, que "l’artillerie conquiert et l’infanterie occupe". La lenteur de l’exploitation du succès allemand permet aux Français d’amener des renforts. Leur front résiste. En mars et en avril, le Kronprinz s’acharne à progresser sur les deux rives de la Meuse, mais n’obtient que des succès partiels.
      C’est alors que Pétain adresse à ses troupes l’ordre du jour fameux se terminant par ces mots : "On les aura!" Constatant que les Français ont engagé à Verdun plus de divisions que lui-même (40 contre 26), le haut commandement allemand en déduit qu’ils s’épuisent et ne tarderont pas à s’effondrer. Il se trompe : si les divisions françaises passent si nombreuses sous Verdun, c’est que le commandement français y a établi une "noria" de toutes ses grandes unités, qu’il relève avant qu’elles ne soient trop éprouvées. Le 23 Jun, les Allemands lancent un assaut qu’ils espèrent décisif. Le fort de Souville est bordé. S’il tombait (comme vient de le faire le fort de Vaux le 06 Jun après une longue résistance), les Français seraient contraints à un repli sur la rive gauche.
      Le 24 Jun, la IIe armée jette et refoule l’ennemi ; lui aussi est épuisé, et il doit se renforcer désormais vers la Somme, où les Alliés préparent une offensive depuis six mois. Le déclenchement de cette offensive en juillet et une nouvelle offensive des Russes sur le front oriental obligent les Allemands à relâcher leur pression sur Verdun. En décembre, Mangin reprendra les forts perdus, mais d’ores et déjà Verdun est sauvé. Près de sept cent mille combattants français ou allemands sont morts sur ce champ de bataille. On en est revenu à la position du 20 Feb dernier. Le résultat militaire est nul.
1912 Reynolds, mathematician.
1911 Isidro Nonelly Monturiol, Spanish artist born on 30 November 1911.
1901 FitzGerald, mathematician.
1894 Gustave Caillebote, French painter and collector born on 19 August 1848. — MORE ON CAILLEBOTTE AT ART “4” FEBRUARY with links to images.
1872 Pavel P Gagarin, 82, Russian monarch/politician.
1862 John Woodhouse Audubon, US artist born on 30 November 1812. — MORE ON AUDUBON AT ART “4” FEBRUARY with links to images.
^1862: 68 Yanks and 31 Rebs at Battle of Val Verde.
      Confederate troops under General Henry Hopkins Sibley attack Union troops commanded by Colonel Edward R. S. Canby near Fort Craig in New Mexico Territory. The first major engagement of the war in the far West, the battle produces heavy casualties but no decisive result.
      This action was part of the broader movement by the Confederates to capture New Mexico and other parts of the West. This would secure territory that the Rebels thought was rightfully theirs but had been denied them by political compromises made before the Civil War. Furthermore, the cash-strapped Confederacy could use western mines to fill their treasury. From San Antonio, the Rebels moved into southern New Mexico (which included Arizona) and captured the towns of Mesilla, Doña Ana, and Tucson. Sibley, with 3000 soldiers, now moved north against the Federal stronghold at Fort Craig on the Rio Grande.
      At Fort Craig, Canby was determined to make the Confederates lay siege to the post. The Rebels, Canby reasoned, could not wait long before running low on supplies. Canby knew that Sibley did not possess sufficiently heavy artillery to attack the fort. When Sibley arrived near Fort Craig on 15 February, he ordered his men to swing east of the fort, cross the Rio Grande, and then capture the Val Verde fords of the Rio Grande. He hoped to cut off Canby's communication and force the Yankees out into the open.
      At the fords, 8 km north of Fort Craig, a Union detachment attacked part of the Confederate force. They pinned the Texans in a ravine and were on the verge of routing the Rebels when more of Sibley's men arrived and turned the tide. Sibley's second in command, Colonel Tom Green, filling in for an ill Sibley, made a bold counterattack against the Union left flank. The Yankees fell back in retreat, and headed back to Fort Craig.
      The Union suffered 68 killed, 160 wounded, and 35 missing out of 3100 engaged. The Confederates suffered 31 killed, 154 wounded, and 1 missing out of 2600 troops. It was a bloody but indecisive battle. Sibley's men continued up the Rio Grande. Within a few weeks, they captured Albuquerque and Santa Fe before they were stopped at the Battle of Glorieta Pass on 28 March.
1852 (Julian date) see 04 March for Nikolai Gogol.
1838 Charles Thévenin, French artist born on 12 July 1764.
1766 José Galván, Spanish artist born on 19 June 1705.
1730 Benedict XIII [Pietro F Orsini], 81, Pope (1724-1730)
1677 [Benedictus] Baruch Spinoza, 44, philosopher. — SPINOZA ONLINE: (in English translations): Selected WorksThe EthicsThe Ethics On the Improvement of the UnderstandingOn the Improvement of the UnderstandingOn the Improvement of the UnderstandingA Theologico-Political Treatise
1665 Michel Dorigny, French artist born in 1617. — more
1648 Christian IV, king of Denmark/Norway.
1595 (Julian date) Saint Robert Southwell: full coverage on Gregorian date 03 Mar 1595]. —(070203)
1513 Julius II [Giuliano dellea Rovere], born on 05 December 1443; crowned Pope on 28 November 1503.
< 20 Feb 22 Feb >
Births which occurred on a February 21:

1993 Jake Alexander Cockrell, who was abducted from Idabel, Oklahoma, on 01 June 1994, by his non-custodial mother, who may have given him the last name Sparkman. His father had custody of him and six of his siblings. —(070422)
^1946 US Office of Economic Stabilization (OES)
      Following the close of World War II, the United States took up a new fight, this time against the looming specter of post-war inflation. President Harry Truman countered this fiscal foe by unveiling a series of deflationary measures, including the establishment of the Wage Stabilization Board in 1945. However, the decision to gradually wean the nation off of wartime price controls promised to ignite inflation, thus prompting further efforts by the government to keep the economy in check. On this day in 1946, Truman created the Office of Economic Stabilization (OES), which was charged with keeping a watchful eye over prices, and generally ensuring a smooth transition to a peacetime economy. Truman tabbed Chester Bowles, a veteran New Deal administrator who had previously led the Office of Price Administration, to run the OES. However, Bowles's tenure quickly turned sour, as lawmakers rolled back his power to govern price controls; duly frustrated, Bowles retired the OES post just four months after taking office.
1932 Camera exposure meter patented, WN Goodwin.
1932 Harald V King of Norway (1991- )
1931 Alka Seltzer is introduced.

^1927 Erma Fiste Bombeck, humorist, in Dayton, Ohio, a high school teacher who later became a principal. While raising three children, she started writing a neighborhood newspaper for $3 a column.
      In 1965, her old employer, the Journal Herald, invited her to write a three-times-a-week column called "At Wit's End," which was soon syndicated nationally. She became one of America's most beloved columnists, writing about the everyday trials of suburban housewives. In 1967, her first book, also called At Wit's End, comprised a collection of her columns. Among her many other popular books were The Grass Is Always Greener Over the Septic Tank (1976), If Life Is a Bowl Of Cherries, What Am I Doing in the Pits? (1978), Aunt Erma's Cope Book (1979), and A Marriage Made in Heaven...Or Too Tired for an Affair (1993). Bombeck wrote her books and raised her children while dealing with kidney disease. She survived breast cancer, with which she was diagnosed in 1991. She died after a failed kidney transplant in 1996.
1925 New Yorker magazine, first issue published
1924 Robert G Mugabe Premier/President of Zimbabwe.
1924 Silvano Piovanelli, who would be ordained a priest of the archdiocese of Florence Italy on 13 July 1947, be appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Florence on 28 May 1982 and consecrated a bishop on 24 June 1982, appointed Archbishop of Florence on 18 March 1985, and, on 25 May 1985, be made a cardinal. He would retire as Archbishop on 21 March 2001, on which day he would be succeeded by Ennio Antonelli [18 Nov 1936~]
1920 Leo Scheffczyk, German theologian, ordained a Catholic priest on 29 June 1947; made a cardinal on 21 February 2001.
1915 Evgenni Mikhailovich Lifshitz, Ukrainian mathematical physicist who died on 29 October 1985. —(070220).
1907 W.H. (Wystan Hugh) Auden, English-born US poet and writer who died on 29 September 1973.
Zazie^ 1903 Raymond Queneau, écrivain mystérieux, père de Zazie.
Je naquis au Havre un vingt et un février
En mil neuf cent et trois
Ma mère était mercière et mon père mercier
Ils trépignaient de joie.
Inexplicablement je connus l’injustice
Et fus mis un matin
Chez une femme avide et bête, une nourrice,
Qui me tendit son sein.
De cette outre de lait j’ai de la peine à croire
Que j’en tirais festin
En pressant de ma lèvre une sorte de poire
Organe féminin.

     Raymond Queneau effectua de nombreuses recherches sur le style et sur la langue elle-même, et fut, avec le mathématicien François Le Lionnais, le fondateur de l'OuLiPo.
      A Paris en 1920, il étudie la philosophie et les sciences. Surréaliste, il rompt avec André Breton. Malgré cela, ses premières œuvres se ressentent nettement de l'influence du mouvement, sur lequel elles se fondent pour mieux le dépasser. En effet, d'entrée de jeu, Queneau établit une sorte de " renversement " des principes surréalistes, en accordant un rôle primordial à la construction romanesque et en portant une attention particulière au langage, considéré non plus comme un vecteur sémantique, mais, au contraire, comme un outil quasi scientifique.
      Dès Le Chiendent (1933), roman fondé sur des contraintes formelles, dont le récit, parfaitement circulaire, se termine sur la phrase par laquelle il avait commencé, il évoqua la plupart des thèmes qui seront orchestrés dans l'œuvre future (prédilection pour la banlieue parisienne, hantise de la guerre, mise en scène de personnages médiocres).
      Toutefois, la matière philosophique du roman ne comporte pas ce qu'on pourrait appeler une " vision du monde ". Elle se trouve mêlée à la matière narrative sur un mode ludique, ou parodique, si l'on donne à ce terme son sens de mise à distance critique. De fait, sa composition obéit à des règles strictes, symboliques, chiffrées ou rythmiques (par exemple la division en chapitres est commandée par le chiffre sept, allusion biographique, puisque les deux noms Raymond et Queneau sont composés chacun de sept lettres).
      Par ailleurs, avec ce roman, l'auteur inaugure ce qui deviendra une constante de son écriture romanesque : une imitation du langage parlé, voire populaire. À la suite du Chiendent, Queneau publia une autobiographie en vers (Gueule de pierre, 1933), un roman en vers (Chêne et Chien, 1937) à la dimension autobiographique codée ("chêne" et "chien" sont deux racines probables du nom de Queneau), puis, entreprit la rédaction d'une anthologie des " fous littéraires ", qui, ne trouvant pas d'éditeur, donna naissance à un nouveau roman: Les Enfants du limon en 1938.

Extrait de Chêne et Chien.
Queneau et ZazieL’herbe: sur l’herbe je n’ai rien à dire
Mais encore quels sont ces bruits
Ces bruits du jour et de la nuit
Le vent: sur le vent je n’ai rien à dire
Le chêne: sur le chêne je n’ai rien à dire
Mais qui donc chantonne à minuit
Qui donc grignote un pied du lit
Le rat: sur le rat je n’ai rien à dire
Le sable: sur le sable je n’ai rien à dire
Mais qu’est-ce qui grince ? c’est l’huis
Qui donc halète ? sinon lui ?
Le roc: sur le roc je n’ai rien à dire
L’étoile: sur l’étoile je n’ai rien à dire
C’est un son aigre comme un fruit
C’est un murmure qu’on poursuit
La lune: sur la lune je n’ai rien à dire
Le chien: sur le chien je n’ai rien à dire
C’est un soupir et c’est un cri
C’est un spasme et un charivari
La ville: sur la ville je n’ai rien à dire
Le cœur: sur le cœur je n’ai rien à dire
Du silence à jamais détruit
Le sourd balaye les débris
Le soleil: ô monstre, ô Gorgone, ô méduse, ô soleil.

     Entré aux éditions Gallimard en 1936, Queneau en devint le secrétaire général en 1941. Entre-temps, il avait fait paraître Un rude hiver (1940). Vinrent ensuite Pierrot mon ami (1942), sorte de roman policier qui présente un univers foisonnant de signes ambigus, Loin de Rueil (1944) et surtout les fameux Exercices de style en 1947, qui racontent quatre-vingt-dix-neuf fois la même anecdote en recourant à des principes de narration, à un vocabulaire ou à un ton chaque fois différents.
      Queneau entre ensuite dans une nouvelle période de recherches formelles, fondant notamment le non conformiste Club des Savanturiers (avec Jean Queval et Boris Vian), adhérant au Collège de pataphysique et travaillant à plusieurs adaptations cinématographiques : la Mort en ce jardin, de Bunuel, Monsieur Ripois, avec Gérard Philipe, Le Dimanche de la vie, réalisé par René Clément.
      Il fréquente également Saint-Germain-des-Prés aux côtés de Boris Vian et qu'il composa des chansons (notamment la célèbre " Si tu t'imagines ", interprétée par Juliette Gréco).
      Apprécié par le public, Queneau fut aussi reconnu par la critique et les professionnels de la littérature en étant élu en 1951 membre de l'Académie Goncourt. Parallèlement à son activité d'écrivain, il mena une activité d'encyclopédiste. Il coordonna la conception d'une anthologie des écrivains célèbres, publiée en 1951, puis prit la tête de l'Encyclopédie de " la Pléiade " à partir de 1956.
      Le succès de Zazie dans le métro (1959), roman adapté au cinéma par Louis Malle dès 1960, témoigne de l'audience importante désormais acquise par Queneau, qui créa en 1960, avec François Le Lionnais, l'Ouvroir de Littérature Potentielle (OuLiPo), réunissant des écrivains et des mathématiciens (et auquel se joignirent plus tard Georges Perec, Jacques Roubaud et Italo Calvino).
      Atelier de recherches et d'expérimentation des formes, l'OuLiPo fut à l'origine de l'invention de multiples contraintes nouvelles. C'est le cas de la méthode " S+7 ", consistant à remplacer chaque mot d'un texte (à l'exception des mots-outils) par le septième qui suit dans le dictionnaire. Ainsi Queneau transforma-t-il la fable de La Fontaine la Cigale et la Fourmi en un autre texte, La Cimaise et la Fraction, devenu célèbre :

" La cimaise ayant chaponné tout l'éternueur " " Se tuba fort dépurative quand la bisaxée fut verdie
" Pas un sexué pétographique morio de mouffette ou de verrat. " Elle alla cocher frange
" Chez la fraction sa volcanique

     Désormais considéré comme un écrivain important, Queneau poursuivit son œuvre poétique avec Cent Mille Milliards de poèmes (1961), recueil fondé sur un jeu de découpage qui permet une combinatoire infinie entre les vers de chacun des poèmes, et son œuvre romanesque avec Les Fleurs bleues (1965), qui reposent sur une structure onirique et utilisent les postulats de la psychanalyse. Parmi ses autres ouvrages publiés de son vivant figurent un récit (Le Vol d'Icare, 1968) et un recueil de poésie: Fendre les flots en 1969.
      Il meurt à Paris, le 25 Octobre 1976.

1903 Anaïs Nin, French-born US author who died on 14 January 1977.
1887 Savielly [Xavier] G Tartakower Austrian/Polish/French chess player [a chess site]
^1885 Alexandre “Sacha” Guitry, écrivain humoriste, homme de théâtre et du monde.
      Fils d’un comédien célèbre (Lucien Guitry créa le rôle de Cyrano de Bergerac dans la pièce d’Edmond Rostand), Alexandre, dit Sacha, Guitry est né à Saint-Pétersbourg. Auteur de 139 pièces, brèves ou longues, il débuta à vingt ans avec " Nono ". De sa longue carrière théâtrale se détachent " Faisons un rêve ", " Mon père avait raison " et " Désiré ", qu’il adapta l’un et l’autre au cinéma (1936 et 1937), et " N’écoutez pas, mesdames ". En 1932, il prononça une conférence au titre significatif : " Pour le théâtre et contre le cinéma ". Au cinéma, à ses yeux, il ne manquait que la parole, c’est-à-dire tout. Le parlant le fit toutefois revenir sur ses positions. Il laissa tout d’abord aux autres le soin d’adapter ses pièces (" le Blanc et le Noir ", par Marc Allégret en 1931), mais il réalisa lui-même " Pasteur " en 1935, un hommage à ces grands hommes de l’histoire de France qu’il ne manquait jamais de célébrer. En 1936, il signa un film singulier qui reste une étape importante dans l’histoire du cinéma parlant : " le Roman d’un tricheur ", ou les aventures d’un tricheur professionnel qui finira par perdre tout ce qu’il avait gagné. Sa filmographie rassemble des longs-métrages éblouissants par la verve des dialogues et la finesse des intrigues : "Quadrille" et "Remontons les Champs-Élysées" en 1938. Les lourdes machines historiques à succès de l’après-guerre, " Chronique de la cour de Louis XIV à la Révolution française " en 1954, "Napoléon" et "Si Paris nous était conté" en 1955, ne font que confirmer ses nombreux talents. Son attitude pendant la guerre (il vit dans le régime de Vichy un moment fascinant de l’histoire de France, sans pour autant collaborer avec l’occupant) lui valut quelques ennuis à la Libération et lui coûta son siège à l’académie Goncourt. Il s’en vengea avec un film éblouissant par ses propres performances d’acteur et son assimilation à un personnage expert en double jeu (" le Diable boiteux ", sur la vie de Talleyrand, 1948). Ses dernières réalisations cinématographiques ("la Poison" et "la Vie d’un honnête homme" en 1953) dressent le portrait d’un homme amer et caustique, souvent désespéré, mais toujours brillant.
1882 Jean-Théodore Jean Dupas, French Art Deco designer who died in 1964. — link to images.
1876 Constantin Brancusi, Romanian abstract sculptor who died on 16 March 1957.
1875 Jeanne Louise Calment, Arles, France, lived to be the verifiably oldest human at 122. She died on 4 August 1997. [photo taken on her 118th birthday >]
1865 Grace Carpenter Hudson, US painter who died in 1937. — links to images. — MORE ON HUDSON AT ART “4” FEBRUARY with links to images.
^1848 The Communist Manifesto by Marx and Engels is published.
      The Communist Manifesto, written by Karl Marx, 64, with the assistance of Friedrich Engels (born 28 September 1820), is published in London by a group of German-born revolutionary socialists known as the Communist League. The political pamphlet — arguably the most influential in history — proclaimed that "the history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles" and that the inevitable victory of the proletariat, or working class, would put an end to class society forever.
      Originally published in German as Manifest der Kommunistischen Partei, the work had little immediate impact. Its ideas, however, reverberated with increasing force into the 20th century, and by 1950 nearly half the world's population lived under Marxist governments.
      Karl Marx was born in Trier, Prussia, on 5 May 1818 — the son of a Jewish lawyer who converted to Lutheranism. He studied law and philosophy at the universities of Berlin and Jena and initially was a follower of G.W.F. Hegel, the 19th-century German philosopher who sought a dialectical and all-embracing system of philosophy.
      In 1842, Marx became editor of the Rheinische Zeitung, a liberal democratic newspaper in Cologne. The newspaper grew considerably under his guidance, but in 1843 the Prussian authorities shut it down for being too outspoken. That year, Marx moved to Paris to co-edit a new political review. Paris was at the time a center for socialist thought, and Marx adopted the more extreme form of socialism known as communism, which called for a revolution by the working class that would tear down the capitalist world.
      In Paris, Marx befriended Friedrich Engels, a fellow Prussian who shared his views and was to become a lifelong collaborator. In 1845, Marx was expelled from France and settled in Brussels, where he renounced his Prussian nationality and was joined by Engels. During the next two years, Marx and Engels developed their philosophy of communism and became the intellectual leaders of the working-class movement.
      In 1847, the League of the Just, a secret society made up of revolutionary German workers living in London, asked Marx to join their organization. Marx obliged and with Engels renamed the group the Communist League and planned to unite it with other German worker committees across Europe. The pair were commissioned to draw up a manifesto summarizing the doctrines of the League.
Marx Engels      Back in Brussels, Marx [< photo] wrote The Communist Manifesto in January 1848, using as a model a tract Engels [photo >] wrote for the League in 1847. In early February, Marx sent the work to London, and the League immediately adopted it as their manifesto. Many of the ideas in The Communist Manifesto were not new, but Marx had achieved a powerful synthesis of disparate ideas through his materialistic conception of history. The Manifesto opens with the dramatic words, "A spectre is haunting Europe — the spectre of communism," and ends by declaring: "The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. Workers of the world, unite!" In The Communist Manifesto, Marx predicted imminent revolution in Europe. The pamphlet had hardly cooled after coming off the presses in London when revolution broke out in France on February 22 over the banning of political meetings held by socialists and other opposition groups. Isolated riots led to popular revolt, and on February 24 King Louis-Philippe was forced to abdicate. The revolution spread like brushfire across continental Europe. Marx was in Paris on the invitation of the provincial government when the Belgian government, fearful that the revolutionary tide would soon engulf Belgium, banished him. Later that year, he went to the Rhineland, where he agitated for armed revolt. The bourgeoisie of Europe soon crushed the Revolution of 1848, and Marx would have to wait longer for his revolution. He went to London to live and continued to write with Engels as they further organized the international communist movement. In 1864, Marx helped found the International Workingmen's Association — known as the First International — and in 1867 published the first volume of his monumental Das Kapital — the foundation work of communist theory. By his death in 1884, communism had become a movement to be reckoned with in Europe. Twenty-three years later, in 1917, Vladimir Lenin, a Marxist, led the world's first successful communist revolution in Russia.
     There are many copies of the Manifesto online. Here are links to some in the original German:
Manifest der Kommunistischen ParteiManifest der Kommunistischen ParteiManifest der Kommunistischen ParteiManifest der Kommunistischen ParteiManifest der Kommunistischen ParteiManifest der Kommunistischen ParteiManifest der Kommunistischen ParteiManifest der Kommunistischen ParteiManifest der Kommunistischen Partei
WERKEN VON MARX UND ENGELS (auf Deutsch)   — Marx–Engels Selected Works  
EXTENSIVE LINKS TO MARK–ENGELS ONLINE in English, German, French, Swedish
ENGELS ONLINE (in English translations):
  • Anti-Dühring: Herr Eugen Dühring's Revolution in Science
  • Ludwig Feuerbach and the End of Classical German Philosophy
  • The Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State
  • The Part Played by Labour in the Transition From Ape to Man
  • The Peasant War in Germany
  • Socialism, Utopian and Scientific
  • The Condition of the Working Class in England (zipped PDF)
  • The Housing Question
  • Principles of Communism
    co-author, with Marx, of
  • The Communist Manifesto
  • The Communist Manifesto
  • The Communist Manifesto (zipped PDF)
    Das KapitalDas Kapital
    (in English translations):
  • The Civil War in France
  • The Class Struggles in France, 1848 to 1850
  • Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844
  • The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon
  • The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon
  • Capital (volume 1)
  • On the Jewish Question
  • The Poverty of Philosophy (contrib. by Engels)
  • Pre-Capitalist Economic Formations
  • Value, Price and Profit
  • Wage-Labor and Capital
  • 1842 first known sewing machine patented in US, John Greenough, Washington DC
    1836 Clement-Philibert-Léo Delibes, Saint-Germain-du-Val France, opéra and ballet composer (Coppélia). He died on 16 January 1891.
    1830 Henry Wallis, English Pre-Raphaelite painter who died in December 1916. — MORE ON WALLIS AT ART “4” FEBRUARY with links to images.
    1823 Pierre Laffitte, French philosopher who died on 04 January 1903.
    1815 Jean Louis Ernest Meissonier, French artist who died on 31 January 1891. — MORE ON MEISSONIER AT ART “4” FEBRUARY with links to images.
    1804 First locomotive, Richard Trevithick's, runs for first time, in Wales
    ^1801 John Henry Newman, England, cardinal/churchman/author (Dream of Gerontius). He died on 11 August 1890.
  • The Idea of a University
  • The Idea of a University
  • The Dream of Gerontius
  • The Dream of Gerontius (PDF)
  • Verses on Various Occasions
  • The Arians of the Fourth Century
  • Callista: A Tale of the Third Century
  • Selected Works and Commentary.
  • Historical Sketches: v. I _ v. II _ v. III
  • Tracts Theological and Ecclesiastical
  • An Essay in Aid of a Grammar of Assent
  • Essays, Critical and Historical: v. I _ v. II
  • Lectures on the Doctrine of Justification
  • Loss and Gain: The Story of a Convert
  • Sermons Bearing on Subjects of the Day
  • Sermons Preached on Various Occasions
  • Lectures on the Prophetical Office of the Church
  • Discourses Addressed to Mixed Congregations
  • Discussions and Arguments on Various Subjects
  • On Consulting the Faithful in Matters of Doctrine
  • Two Essays on Biblical and Ecclesiastical Miracles
  • An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine
  • An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine
  • Apologia Pro Vita Sua (with commentary)
  • Apologia Pro Vita Sua (the 2 versions 1864 and 1865)
  • Meditations and Devotions of the Late Cardinal Newman
  • Sermon Notes of John Henry Cardinal Newman, 1849-1878
  • Addresses to Cardinal Newman, With His Replies, Etc., 1879-81
  • Parochical and Plain Sermons v. 1 _ v. 2 _ v. 3 _ v. 4 _ v. 5 _ v. 6 _ v. 7 _ v. 8
  • Fifteen Sermons Preached Before the University of Oxford, Between 1826 and 1843
  • Certain Difficulties Felt by Anglicans in Catholic Teaching Considered: v.1 _ v. II, pt. 1 _ v. II, pt. 2
  • A Letter Addressed to His Grace the Duke of Norfolk on Occasion of Mr. Gladston's Recent Expostulation
  • The Via Media of the Anglican Church, Illustrated in Lectures, Letters and Tracts: v. I _ v. II
  • Selection Adapted to the Seasons of the Ecclesiastical Year From the Parochial & Plain Sermons of John Henry Newman
  • Lectures on the Present Position of Catholics in England, Addressed to the Brothers of the Oratory in the Summer of 1851
  • Letters and Correspondence of John Henry Newman During His Life in the English Church, With a Brief Autobiography
  • Characteristics From the Writings of John Henry Newman, Being Selections Personal, Historical, Philosophical, and Religious, From His Various Works
  • 1794 Antonio López de Santa Anna, disastrous President of México (1833-36). He died on 21 June 1876.
    1779 Friedrich Karl von Savigny, German jurist and legal scholar who died on 25 October 1861.
    1745 Joseph-Laurent Malaine (or Malines, Mallache), French artist who died on 05 May 1809.
    1728 Peter III Kiel Germany, Russian tsar (1761-62), husband of Catherine
    1686 Frans Xaver Hendrik Verbeeck, Flemish artist who died on 28 May 1755.
    1630 Cornelis Droogsloot (or Droochslott), Dutch artist who died after 1673.
    1627 Philips-Ausgustyn Immenraet, Flemish painter who died on 25 September 1679. — links to images.
    1591 Girard Desargues, mathematician.
    1575 Marten Pepyn, Flemish artist who died in 1642.
    Feasts which occur on a 21 February:
    2007 Ash Wednesday
    Feasts of every 21 February:
    — Saint Robert Southwell [1561 – 03 Mar 1595]
    — Saint Peter Damian [1007 – 22 Feb 1072]

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    Thoughts for the day: “The winner of a game is the one who has made the next to last blunder.” — Savielly Tartakower [1887-1956]
    “I talk to myself because I like dealing with a better class of people.” — Tartakower
    “It is as absurd to argue men, as to torture them, into believing.” — cardinal Newman
    "Just as a tree without roots is dead, a people without history or culture also becomes a dead people." - Malcolm X [1925-1965]
    What's a definition of “bulldozer” that you won't find in the dictionary? — (look for answer one of these days)
    updated Monday 16-Feb-2009 17:05 UT
    Principal updates:
    v.7.20 Saturday 03-Mar-2007 21:19 UT
    v.6.12 Saturday 25-Feb-2006 16:45 UT
    Wednesday 23-Feb-2005 2:18 UT
    Monday 21-Jun-2004 13:38 UT

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