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Events, deaths, births, of FEB 28
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Gorbachev calls for nuclear weapons treaty... • Feds attack Branch Davidians in Waco... • Ben Hecht is born... • Colorado Territory... • Network Notes canceled... • Netscape's online commerce deals... • IBM firings... • Wheeler says more troops needed in Vietnam... • Vote for silver coinage... • “Kamikaze” idea proposed to Hitler... • First NATO military action... • Kalevala Day... • Soviet aggression pushes back Finns...
FHRX price chart^  On a 28 February:
2003 The previous evening First Horizon Pharmaceutical (FHRX) reported 4th quarter 2002 earnings $0.14, equal to estimates, but warns that the first quarter 2003 results per share could be between a 3-cent loss and a 2-cent profit. Today on the NASDAQ more than the 35 million FHRX are traded (some being traded several times during this one day), dropping from their previous close of $5.80 to an intraday low of $1.93 soon after the opening and closing at $2.15. They had traded as high as $27.09 as recently as 06 May 2002 after starting trading at $5.33 on 29 May 2000. [< 3~year price chart]

Klaus2003 With 142 votes, the 281-member Czech parliament elects opposition candidate Václav Klaus [photo >], of the Civic Democrats, as president, defeating the candidate of ruling coalition (led by the Social Democrats) Jan Sokol, 66, a philosopher. Klaus will replace former Czech President Václav Havel whose second term in office ended on 02 February 2003, and who is barred by the constitution from third term. This is the third attempt to replace Havel, the dissident playwright who led the 1989 Velvet Revolution that peacefully toppled the Communist regime. In the two previous ballots, Klaus finished first, but failed to gain the required 50% of the votes.. The governing coalition that consists of the left-leaning Social Democratic Party and two smaller center-right parties, the Christian Democrats and the Freedom Union. In the two previous elections, the coalition failed to field a joint candidate. Both votes, each including three rounds of balloting, were marred by political infighting among the Social Democrats. Sokol's defeat could lead to the fall of the government of the Social Democratic Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla. Klaus, 61, is an economist who is credited with reintroducing market reforms to the country, served as Czechoslovakia's Finance Minister after the demise of the Communist regime. He became Czech Prime Minister when Czechoslovakia split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia on 01 January 1993, and he served as parliamentary speaker from 1998 to 2002.

2003 According to Ha'aretz, during February 2003 Israel killed 72 Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, including three children under the age of 10 and four persons over 50 years old. Most of them were killed during Israeli army incursions into the Gaza Strip. 25 were civilians who did not belong to militant Palestinian groups. 39 armed Palestinians were killed during attempts at terrorist attacks and in clashes with the Israeli army. Eight Palestinians were assassinated by the Israeli army. The most prominent case was that of the six Hamas men who were killed in the explosion of a glider they had purchased in Israel on 16 February. Most Palestinian killed in the West Bank were killed in Nablus before and after the Israeli army attack on the city's central casbah, the market place. On 17 February, the Israeli army assassinated Riad Abu Bachr, a senior Hamas activist, near Jabalya. On 19 February, 15 Palestinians were killed, 11 in an Israeli attack on Gaza and four near Tul Karm and in Nablus. On 23 February, 10 Palestinians were killed, six during an Israeli army raid on Beit Hanun in the Gaza Strip.

2001 A magnitude 6.8 earthquake hits Washington state at 10:55, with epicenter 56 km southwest of Seattle.
2001 China ratifies the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, but, about the pact's requirement to permit independent labor unions, said that it would assume that obligation "in line with relevant provisions" of its labor law (it allows only one union, Communist-controlled). China signed a companion treaty on political rights in 1998 but says it is not ready to ratify it.
^ 2001 Rare Russian military trial of their war criminals.
      In Rostov-on-Don, Colonel Yuri Budanov goes on trial for the murder of Chechen woman Heda Kungayeva, near the village of Tangi-Chu, in March 2000. Kungayeva was at home with her family when Russian soldiers dragged her away in an armored personnel carrier. Her body was found two days later, badly disfigured. Russian press reports have said that Budanov committed the crime during a drunken rampage. Budanov has said he detained Kungayeva because he thought she was a sniper and he strangled her in a rage while interrogating her.
      Another officer, Ivan Fyodorov, also goes on trial this same day. He is charged with ordering his subordinates to open fire on Tangi-Chu.
     Since the beginning of the current aggression against Chechnya, criminal cases have been opened against 800 Russian servicemen, but only 58 concerned crimes against local residents.
     But then, it rare that any country punishes adequately the crimes committed by its own military or police. In the US alone, here are a few names that should refresh memories: The Trail of Tears, Wounded Knee, Dresden, Hiroshima, My Lai, Waco, Amadou Diallo, Chinese embassy in Belgrade, ...
2000 Right-wing Austrian leader Joerg Haider resigned as head of the Freedom Party in an apparent bid to end Austria's international ostracism following his party's rise to power.
^ 1997 Netscape makes online commerce deals
      Netscape announced it had created alliances with VeriFone and CyberCash, a developer of Internet-payment software, to foster secure online purchases. 1994 Hewlett-Packard announces a new line of ink-jet printers Hewlett-Packard said it would introduce a new line of ink-jet printers this week in 1994. The company planned to double the resolution of existing ink-jet models, from 300 to 600 dpi. The company also planned to introduce a color ink-jet printer that would improve the accuracy of color printouts.
^ 1996 AT&T cancels Network Notes
      IBM and AT&T had worked together on a high-profile project to link users of IBM's Lotus Notes over AT&T's phone network. Notes, a popular business application that allowed groups of people to work together on a single document from different locations, was threatened by the rise of the Internet and by corporate intranets, which allowed similar types of work. AT&T's defection from the Network Notes project marked a serious blow to IBM's efforts to keep Notes viable.
1996 US President Clinton and the Congress agree on a sanctions bill aimed at driving foreign investors from Cuba. This irritates even nations friendly to the US and is ineffective.
^ 1994 First NATO military action
      In the first military action in the forty-five-year history of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), US fighter planes shoot down four Serbian warplanes engaged in a bombing mission in violation of Bosnia's no-fly zone.
      NATO was founded in 1949 by the United States, ten Northern and Western European countries, and Canada, as a safeguard against Soviet aggression. With the end of the Cold War, NATO members approved the use of its military forces for peacekeeping mission in countries outside the alliance, and in 1994, agreed to enforce UN resolutions enacted to bring about an end to the bloody conflict in the former Yugoslavia.
      In 1994 and 1995, NATO planes enforced the no-fly zone over Bosnia-Herzegovina, and struck at Bosnian Serb military positions and airfields on a number of occasions. On December 20, 1995, NATO began the mass deployment of 60,000 troops to enforce the Dayton peace accords, signed in Paris, France, by the leaders of the former Yugoslavia on December 14. The US-backed peace plan was proposed during talks in Dayton, Ohio, earlier in the year, and was reluctantly accepted by the last of the belligerent parties on November 11, ending four years of war in the former Yugoslavia.
      The NATO troops took over from a UN peacekeeping force that had failed to end the fighting since its deployment in early 1992, although the UN troops had proved crucial in the distribution of humanitarian aid to the impoverished population of Bosnia. The NATO force, with its US support and focused aim of enforcing the Dayton agreement, proves more successful in maintaining the peace in the war-torn region.
1994 In the US, Brady Law, imposing a wait-period to buy a hand-gun, went into effect
1991 Allied and Iraqi forces cease fire as Iraq promises to accept all United Nations resolutions concerning Kuwait.
^ 1991 IBM cuts workforce
      IBM announced it would cut up to 10'000 workers from its payroll on this day in 1991. IBM struggled to keep up with small, fast-moving technology firms, but its tremendous size and inertia weighed it down. In another effort to turn the company around, IBM hired former chairman of R. J. R. Nabisco, Lou Gerstner, as CEO in 1993. Gerstner was IBM's first leader brought in from outside the company,
^ 1987 Gorbachev calls for nuclear weapons treaty
      In a surprising announcement, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev indicates that his nation is ready to sign "without delay" a treaty designed to eliminate US and Soviet medium-range nuclear missiles from Europe. Gorbachev's offer led to a breakthrough in negotiations and, eventually, to the signing of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty in December 1987. Gorbachev and President Ronald Reagan had been wrestling with the issue of nuclear arms reduction in Europe since 1985, when they first met face-to-face to discuss the matter. A subsequent meeting in 1986 started with high hopes for an agreement, but the discussions broke down when Gorbachev linked the issue of the elimination of US and Soviet INF in Europe to US termination of its development of the Strategic Defense Initiative (the so-called "Star Wars" anti-missile defense system). However, both Reagan and Gorbachev faced pressures to reach a settlement. Reagan was under assault by "no-nuke" forces both in the United States and in western Europe. By late 1986 and early 1987, he was also faced with the fallout from the Iran-Contra scandal, when his administration had become involved in illegal arms dealings with both Iran and the Contra forces in Central America. Gorbachev wanted to achieve a cut in nuclear armaments, both to bolster his prestige on the world stage and to provide some much-needed relief for a Soviet economy sagging under the burden of massive military expenditures. In February 1987, Gorbachev announced that the Soviet Union was willing to proceed with negotiations on the INF Treaty. This time, he suggested that "the problem of medium-range missiles in Europe be singled out from the package of issues and that a separate agreement on it be concluded, and without delay." In other words, he was dropping his insistence on including SDI in the negotiations. The timing of Gorbachev's offer was interesting to many observers in the United States. Some suggested that it was not coincidental that his statement was released just days after a high-level presidential review board had issued a stinging report critical of the Reagan administration's involvement in the Iran-Contra scandal. Perhaps, they concluded, Gorbachev felt that Reagan would be anxious for a settlement. The two men met in December 1987 and signed the INF Treaty, by which the Soviets eliminated about 1500 medium-range missiles from Europe and the United States removed nearly half that number.
1986 European Economic Community sign "Special Act" for Europe free trade
1974 Taiwan police shoot into crowd
1974 Labour Party wins British parliamentary election
1974 The United States and Egypt re-establish diplomatic relations after a seven-year break.
1974 Ethiopian government of Makonnen forms
1972 President Richard Nixon ends historic week-long visit to China
^ 1968 US Chief of Staff says more troops needed for Vietnam.
      General Earle Wheeler, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, returns from his recent round of talks with General William Westmoreland in Saigon and immediately delivers a written report to President Lyndon B. Johnson. Wheeler stated that despite the heavy casualties incurred during the Tet Offensive, North Vietnam and Viet Cong forces had the initiative and were "operating with relative freedom in the countryside." The communists had pushed South Vietnamese forces back into a "defensive posture around towns and cities," seriously undermined the pacification program in many areas, and forced General Westmoreland to place half of his battalions in the still imperiled northernmost provinces, thus "stripping the rest of the country of adequate reserves" and depriving the US command of "an offensive capability." To meet the new enemy threat and regain the initiative, according to Wheeler, Westmoreland would need more men: "The add-on requested totals 206'756 spaces for a new proposed ceiling of 731'756." It was a major turning point in the war. To deny the request was to concede that the United States could impose no military solution in the conflict, but to meet it would require a call-up of reserves and vastly increased expenditures. Rather than making an immediate decision, President Johnson asked Defense Secretary Clark Clifford to conduct a thorough, high-level review of US policy in Vietnam. A disgruntled staff member in the Johnson White House leaked the Wheeler-Westmoreland proposal for additional troops. The story broke in the New York Times on 10 March 1968. With the images of the besieged US Embassy in Saigon during the Tet Offensive still fresh in their minds, the press and the public immediately concluded that the extra troops must be needed because the US and South Vietnamese had suffered a massive defeat. Secretary of State Dean Rusk was subjected to 11 hours of hearings before a hostile Congress on 11 and 12 March. A week later, 139 members of the House voted for a resolution that called for a complete review of Johnson's Vietnam policy. Discontent in Congress mirrored the general sentiment in the country. In March, a poll revealed that 78% of people in the US expressed disapproval with Johnson's handling of the war. On 22 March, President Johnson scaled down Westmoreland's request and authorized 13'500 reinforcements. Shortly after, Johnson announced that Westmoreland would be brought home to be Army Chief of Staff. He was to be replaced by Gen. Creighton Abrams.
1961 JFK names Henry Kissinger special advisor
1953 Stalin meets with Beria, Bulganin, Khrushchev and Malenkov
1951 French government of Pleven dissolves
1951 The US Senate committee headed by Estes Kefauver, D-Tenn., issued a preliminary report saying at least two major crime syndicates were operating in the US.
1947 Anti Kuomintang demonstration on Taiwan
^ 1944 Hitler is advised to organize suicide plane attacks
      Hannah Reitsch, the first female test pilot in the world, suggests the creation of the Nazi equivalent of a kamikaze squad of suicide bombers while visiting Adolf Hitler in Berchtesgaden. Hitler was less than enthusiastic about the idea. Reitsch was born in 1912 in Hirschberg, Germany. She left medical school (she had wanted to be a missionary doctor) to take up flying full time, and became an expert glider pilot — gliders were motorless planes that the Germans developed to evade strict rules about building "war planes" after WWI. In addition to gaining experience with gliders, Reitsch also did stunt flying for the movies. In 1934, she broke the world's altitude record for women (2800 m). An ardent Nazi and admirer of Hitler, she was made an honorary flight captain by the Fuhrer, the first woman to receive such an honor. In 1937, the Luftwaffe, the German air force, put her to work as a test pilot. Reitsch embraced this opportunity to fly as part of what she called Germany's "guardians of the portals of peace." Among her signal achievements was the testing of a proto-helicopter in 1939. Reitsch came closer than any other woman to seeing actual combat during World War II, depositing German troops along the Maginot Line in France during the Germans' 1940 invasion by glider plane. She won an Iron Cross, Second Class, for risking her life trying to cut British barrage-balloon cables (the balloons were unmanned blimps, tethered in one place, from which steel cables dangled so as to foul the wings and propellers of enemy aircraft). Among the warplanes she tested was the Messerschmitt 163, a rocket-power interceptor that she flew at 800 km/h.
      While testing the ME 163 a fifth time, she spun out of control and crash-landed (even though she was injured during the crash, she nevertheless managed to write down exactly what happened before she passed out from her injuries). For this, Hitler awarded her an Iron Cross, First Class. It was while receiving this second Iron Cross from Hitler in Berchtesgaden in 1944 that she pitched the idea of a Luftwaffe suicide squad of pilots who would fly specially designed versions of the V-1. Hitler was initially put off by the idea, only because he did not think it an effective or efficient use of resources. But Reitsch's commitment persuaded him to investigate the prospect of designing such planes, at which point she put together a Suicide Group and was the first to take the following pledge: "I hereby...voluntarily apply to be enrolled in the suicide group as a pilot of a human glider-bomb. I fully understand that employment in this capacity will entail my own death." The squad was never deployed.
      Reitsch was one of the last people to see Hitler alive. On 26 April 1945, she flew to Berlin with Gen. Ritter von Greim, who was to be given command of the Luftwaffe. Greim was wounded when Reitsch's plane was hit by Soviet antiaircraft fire. After saying farewell to the Fuhrer, tucked away in his bunker, she flew Greim back out of Berlin. After the war, Reitsch was captured and interned by the US Army. She testified to the "disintegration" of Hitler's personality that she claimed to have witnessed during the last days of the war. When released, Reitsch continued to set records, including becoming the first woman to fly a glider over the Alps. In 1951, she published her autobiography, Flying Is My Life, and from 1962 to 1966 she was director of the national school of gliding in Ghana. She died in 1979, at 65 years old, only one year after setting a new women's glider distance record. In her career, she set more than 40 world records for flying powered and motorless planes.
1943 63 U Boats (359'300 tons) sunk this month
1942 Race riot, Sojourner Truth Homes, Detroit
1942 Japanese land in Java, last Allied bastion in Dutch East Indies
1941 British-Italian dogfight above Albania
1941 39 U Boats (197'000 tons) sunk this month
1940 US population at 131'669'275 (12'865'518 blacks (9.8%))
1939 Great-Britain recognizes Franco-regime in Spain
1933 Hitler bans German communist party (KPD)
1933 German President Von Hindenburg abolishes free expression of opinion
^ 1932 Last Ford Model A is produced
      The last Ford Model A was produced, ending an era for the Ford Motor Company. The successor to the Model T, the Model A was an attempt to escape the image of bare bones transportation that had driven both the Model T’s success and its ultimate failure in the market. The vastly improved Model A boasted elegant Lincoln-like styling, a peppy 40 horsepower four-cylinder engine, and, of course, a self-starting mechanism. The Model A was as affordable as its predecessor, however, and with a base price at $460, five million Model A’s would roll onto US highways between 1927 and 1932.
1931 Oswald Mosley founds his New Party
1924 US begins intervention in Honduras
^ 1922 Britain grants independence to Egypt; retains Suez Canal
After forty years of occupation, Great Britain formally approves Egyptian independence, although the Suez Canal and the defense of Egypt remain in British hands. The Suez Canal, which connects the Mediterranean and the Red seas across Egypt's Isthmus of Suez, was completed in 1869 after ten years of construction by a French corporation and Egyptian workers. The canal rapidly became one of the world's most heavily traveled shipping lanes, and in 1875, Britain took over its administration. In 1882, British troops invaded Egypt, becoming the nation's effective rulers. However, Egypt remained nominally part of the Ottoman Empire until 1914, when it officially became a British protectorate. In 1922, Britain recognized the sovereignty of Egypt while retaining control of the Suez Canal and maintaining its military bases in Egypt. During the early 1950s, Egyptian nationalists rioted in the Suez Canal Zone and organized attacks on British troops, and in 1956, Egyptian prime minister Gamal Abdel Nasser nationalized the canal, subsequently barring British, French, and Israeli shipping. In response, Israeli forces under General Moshe Dayan seized the Gaza Strip and drove through the Sinai to the east bank of the Suez Canal. Two days later, Britain and France entered the conflict in a coalition with Israel, and demanded the immediate evacuation of Egypt from the Suez Canal. US and UN pressure forced the coalition to halt the hostilities and a UN emergency force was sent to occupy the Canal Zone, eventually leaving the canal in Egypt's hands in the next year.
1917 Russian Duma sets up Provisional Committee; workers set up Soviets
1908 Failed assassination attempt on Shah Mohammed Ali in Teheran
^ 1903 Henry Ford hires the Dodge brothers.
      Henry Ford hired John F. and Horace E. Dodge to supply the chassis and running gear for his 650 Ford automobiles. John and Horace, who began their business careers as bicycle manufacturers in 1897, first entered the automobile industry as auto parts manufacturers in 1901. Manufacturing car bodies for Henry Ford and Ransom Olds, the Dodge Brothers had become the largest parts-manufacturing firm in the US by 1910. In 1914, the brothers founded the Dodge Brothers Motor Car Company and began work on their first automobiles. Dodge vehicles were known for their quality and sturdiness, and by 1919 the Dodge Brothers were among the richest men in the US . Their good fortune didn’t hold, however. Both brothers died of influenza in 1920. Their company was sold to a New York bank, before eventually being purchased by Chrysler in 1928. Under Chrysler’s direction, Dodge became a successful producer of cars and trucks marketed for their ruggedness.
1896 France dismisses Queen Ranavalona of Madagascar
1879 "Exodus of 1879" southern blacks flee political/economic exploitation
^ 1878 US House of Representatives votes silver coinage.
      Proponents of silver-based currency had a rough go of it during the early 1870s, as legislators rebuffed their push for the free coinage of silver. However, the election of the 45th Congress, which was split down the middle on the expanded currency issue, opened the door for the passage of pro-silver legislation. And, on this day, the House votes the Bland-Allison Act, which calls for the coinage of silver, albeit it in limited doses. Bland-Allison was another sign of the growing political power of the expanded currency movement, which blended silver forces with the burgeoning greenback movement. Earlier that February, the Greenback and Labor parties joined forces to form the Greenback Labor Party which, for brief period at the end of the 1870s, made a serious run at the national political stage. At the same time, the economy became ripe for the rise of silver: the nation's currency was deflated to Civil War-era levels, while miners across the West were churning up vast quantities of silver. The silver movement flourished for the next decade or so, as many in the greenback crusade, realizing that silver was a better horse to ride to an expanded currency, joined the drive for the unlimited coinage of silver.
1873 The Society of Mary, founded in 1816, is officially recognized by Pope Pius IX. This religious order seeks to combine the work of education with foreign missions.
1871 2nd Enforcement Act gives federal control of congressional elections
1864 Skirmish at Albemarle County Virginia (Burton's Ford)
1864 Kilpatrick's Raid on Richmond begins
^ 1861 US Congress creates Colorado Territory
     The US Congress combines pieces of Nebraska, Wyoming, Utah, and New Mexico to make a large rectangle of land it calls Colorado Territory.
      With the region's population booming because of the Pike's Peak gold rush, Congress creates the new Territory of Colorado. When the United States acquired it after the Mexican War ended in 1848, the land that would one day become Colorado was nearly unpopulated by Anglo settlers. Ute, Arapaho, Cheyenne, and other Indians had occupied the land for centuries, but the Europeans who had made sporadic appearances there since the 17th century never stayed for long. It was not until 1851, when New Mexican farmers moved up into the region, that permanent Euro-American settlement began. As with many other western regions, though, the lure of gold launched the first major Anglo invasion. In July 1858, a band of prospectors working streambeds near modern-day Denver found tiny flecks of gold in their pans. Since the gold-bearing streams were located in the foothills not far from the massive mountain named for the explorer Zebulon Pike, the subsequent influx of hopeful miners was termed the Pike's Peak gold rush. By the spring of 1859, an estimated 50'000 gold seekers had reached this latest of a long series of US El Dorados.
      As the first gold-bearing streams to be discovered played out, prospectors moved westward into the rugged slopes of the Rocky Mountains in search of new finds. Wherever sizeable deposits were discovered, ramshackle mining camps like Central City, Nevadaville, and Black Hawk appeared, sometimes almost overnight. Meanwhile, out on the flat plains at the edge of the mountains, Denver became the central supply town for the miners. Although few miners came to Colorado planning to stay long, they were eager to establish some semblance of "law and order" in the region in order to protect their property rights and gold dust. Far from the seats of eastern government, the miners and townspeople cobbled together their own simple governments, usually revolving around a miners' court that regulated claims. Technically lacking in any genuine legal foundation, the miners' courts did maintain the minimal order needed for the mineral exploitation of the territory to continue.
      The unreliable mining operations soon gave way to larger, highly capitalized, and relatively permanent lode mining operations. The pioneers recognized that the vast mineral resources of the Rockies could form the foundation of a thriving new state, but the people settling there needed a more formal system of laws and government. The Congressional designation of new western states and territories had been bogged down for several years as southern and northern politicians fought over whether slavery would be permitted in the new western regions. By 1861, the South had seceded, clearing the way for the northern politicians to begin creating free-labor states.
^ 1849 Prospectors arrive in California by sea
      During the California Gold Rush, the first shipload of prospectors arrive in San Francisco Bay from the East Coast via South America's Cape Horn. The prospectors join the thousands of gold-seekers who had already traveled to California by land to reap the rewards of California's newly found riches.
      Over a year earlier, near Coloma, California, gold was discovered on the property of Johann A. Sutter by James W. Marshall. After the find was assayed in Sacramento, modest prospecting in the area showed favorable results, and in the summer of 1848, eastern newspapers published the first reports of the newly discovered gold fields. As there had been false claims of gold in California before, the majority of the US public treated Sutter's claims with skepticism.
      However, in December of the same year, President James K. Polk corroborated "the accounts of the abundance of gold" found in the recently acquired territory, and the California Gold Rush began. By the spring of 1849, tens of thousands of prospectors had set out for El Dorado, often abandoning their farms, their jobs, and their families. By the end of 1849, some 55'000 people had arrived by land and another 25'000 had made their way by sea.
      In 1850, California's rapidly increasing population encouraged Congress to grant statehood to the territory. Although many of California's original "Forty-Niners" returned to their home states empty-handed, tens of thousands made a living in California, and by 1852, the population at the time of Marshall's discovery — 14'000 non-Indians — had grown to 250'000 Californians.
1847 US defeats México in battle of Sacramento
Elias Lönnrot1835 Kalevala Day in Finland:  Elias Lönnrot signs the preface to the first edition of Kalevala.    ^top^
      This collection of thirty two cantos had been compiled from oral poetry which for the most part Lönnrot himself had recorded among the unlettered folk in the backwoods districts of northeastern Finland and those parts of the Russian Province of Archangel where Karelian (a language closely related to Finnish) was spoken. Fourteen years later, in 1849, Lönnrot published an enlarged version of Kalevala, the edition which has become known to the world as the Finnish national epic.
Finnish national epic compiled from old Finnish ballads, lyrical songs, and incantations that were a part of Finnish oral tradition.
      Kalevala, the dwelling place of the poem's chief characters, is a poetic name for Finland, meaning "land of heroes." The leader of the "sons of Kaleva" is the old and wise Väinämöinen, a powerful seer with supernatural origins, who is a master of the kantele, the Finnish harplike stringed instrument. Other characters include the skilled smith Ilmarinen, one of those who forged the "lids of heaven" when the world was created; Lemminkäinen, the carefree adventurer-warrior and charmer of women; Louhi, the female ruler of Pohjola, a powerful land in the north; and the tragic hero Kullervo, who is forced by fate to be a slave from childhood.
      Among the main dramas of the poem are the creation of the world and the adventurous journeys of Väinämöinen, Ilmarinen, and Lemminkäinen to Pohjola to woo the beautiful daughter of Louhi, during which the miraculous sampo, a mill that produces salt, meal, and gold and is a talisman of happiness and prosperity, is forged and recovered for the people of Kalevala. Although the Kalevala depicts the conditions and ideas of the pre-Christian period, the last canto seems to predict the decline of paganism: the maid Marjatta gives birth to a son who is baptized king of Karelia, and the pagan Väinämöinen makes way for him, departing from Finland without his kantele and songs.
      The Kalevala is written in unrhymed octosyllabic trochees and dactyls (the Kalevala metre) and its style is characterized by alliteration, parallelism, and repetition. Besides fostering the Finnish national spirit, the poem has been translated into at least 20 languages; it has inspired many outstanding works of art, e.g., the paintings of Akseli Gallén-Kallela and the musical compositions of Jean Sibelius. The epic style and metre of the poem The Song of Hiawatha by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow also reflect the influence of the Kalevala.
1827 first commercial railroad in US, Baltimore and Ohio (BandO) chartered
1784 English churchman John Wesley, 80, formally charters the movement within Anglicanism which afterward came to be known as Wesleyan Methodism.
1778 Rhode Island General Assembly authorizes enlistment of slaves.
1759 Pope Clement XIII allows Bible to be translated into various languages.
1730 Tsarina Anna Ivanovna leads autocracy.
1704 Elias Neau, a Frenchman, opens a school for blacks in New York NY
1692 Salem witch hunt begins.
1646 Roger Scott was tried in Massachusetts for sleeping in church.
0870 The Fourth Constantinople Council closed, under Pope Adrian II in the West and Emperor Basil I in the East. The council had condemned iconoclasm, and became the last ecumenical council held in the Eastern Mediterranean area.
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Deaths which occurred on a February 28:

2006 Some 60 villagers, in two trucks destroyed by improvised landmines of the Maoist rebels, in the Darmagura area of the Dantewada district, Chhattisgarh, India. 20 villagers are wounded, of which several die subsequently, as there are no hospitals in that impoverished area. The trucks were carrying villagers returning from an anti-Maoist meeting. On 09 February 2006, the Maoists had looted 20 tons of explosives from the National Mineral Development Corp (NMDC) office in Dantewada district, killing eight men of the Central Industrial Security Force.— (060228)
2005 Michael Lefkow, 64, and Donna Humphrey, 89, forced to lie on the basement floor of the Lefkow home in Chicago and then shot multiple times by Bart Ross, of the 4500 block of North Bernard Street in Chicago. Michael Lefkow was the husband of US District Judge Joan Humphrey Lefkow [1944~], and Donna Humphrey was her mother who was visiting from Denver. Ross had filed a lawsuit against the University of Illinois over cancer treatment in the early 90s. The suit first was ruled against twice before Judge Lefkow rejected it on a technicality in 2004, and that cost Ross "his house, his job and family" according to the note he wrote before committing suicide by shooting himself on 09 March 2005.
2005 Salam Taha and some 130 other persons including a suicide car bomber driving into a line of National Guard applicants waiting for a physical outside a health center, next to a market in Hillah, Iraq. Some 150 persons are wounded.
2005 One policeman and a suicide car bomber, at a police checkpoint in in Musayyib, Iraq. Several policemen are wounded.
2005 A civilian during a gunfight between insurgents and Iraqi troops in Baquba, Iraq. Two civilians are wounded.
2005 Two policemen in Baghdad, Iraq, one by a gunman and one by a roadside bomb.
2004: 21 of the 27 crewmen (24 Filipinos and 3 Greeks) of the 174-meter-long chemical tanker Bow Mariner, loaded with 13 million liters of ethanol, en route from New York to Houston, which sinks late in the evening, in the 60-meter-deep Atlantic some 80 kilometers off the coast of Virginia, after an explosion which follows a fire that started on the deck. The survivors suffer from hypothermia. The ship, built in 1982 and flying the Singaporean flag, is managed by the Greek company Ceres Hellenic Shipping Enterprises Ltd.
2004 Mahmoud Juda, 23; Amin Dahduh, 32; Aiyman Dahduh, 42; by missiles fired at 19:00 (17:00 UT) by Israeli helicopters at their car in Gaza City's Sheikh-Radwan neighborhood. Juda was a commander of Islamic Jihad's Al-Quds Brigades, of which the Dahduh cousins were members. Ten innocent bystanders are wounded; among them are a severely injured boy, 6, and two other children.
2004 Six Afghans and five men of the South Waziristan tribal region, when Pakistani soldiers shoot at their van, mistaking it for a fleeing car from which four men had fired in the air as troops were trying to defuse rockets in village Shulam, near Wana, capital of South Waziristan.
2003 Two Pakistani policemen, shot by a fat Afghan Islamic extremist, 28, outside the US consulate in Karachi, at 13:30 (06:30 UT). The attacker first wounds policeman Anam Zeb with a pistol, grabs Zeb's sub-machinegun and with it shoots the others, wounding five more Pakistanis: three policemen, a paramilitary ranger, and a civilian. Out of ammunition the shooter flees, but is caught.
2003 Linda Suffoletto, 43, from injuries suffered in the 20 February 2003 fire of The Station nightclub in West Warwick, Rhode Island, of which she is the 97th fatality, the first one to die after the fire (in which her husband, Benjamin Suffoletto, 43, died).
2002 More than 110 Moslems in the Naroda Gaon and Naroda Patiya areas, Gujarat, India, by a Hindu mob which torches houses, hacks at people, pours kerosene of fleeing Moslems and sets them afire, while police stand by and tell Moslems: "We have orders from above not to protect you." Many more Moslems are maimed, burnt, or otherwise injured.
2002 Ahsan Jafri and at least 70 others at the Gulberg society, Chamanpura, India, massacred by a Hindu mob. Jafri was a former Member of Parliament.
^ 2001 Haq Nawaz, executed at Mianwali Jail in central Punjab province.
      Haq Nawaz, a Sunni activist from the Sipah-i-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP, a militant Sunni organization), was originally sentenced to death for the killing of Sadiq Ganji, director of the Iranian Cultural Centre, in Lahore on 19 December 1990. The order for Haq Nawaz's execution has come after the Supreme Court rejected his appeals and the President turned down his mercy petition.
      The death penalty will not resolve the ongoing violence between Sunni and Shiite extremists. Over the past few years, hundreds of people, many of them unarmed civilians from either the Sunni or Shiite communities, have been killed in Pakistan in violence between the two groups. While the Government of Pakistan must take decisive action to end the sectarian violence that has killed dozens this year alone, the death penalty does not serve this purpose. On the contrary, the use of the death penalty only encourages the cycle of violence to continue as sectarian groups seek revenge for those executed.
      Recent violence and government action also demonstrate that the use of the death penalty is not having a deterrent effect against the ongoing sectarian violence. In anticipation of retaliatory violence for the execution of Haq Nawaz, between 875 and 1200 SSP activists have reportedly been arrested since 24 February.
      On 26 February, a Shiite doctor was killed by a gunman on a motorcycle near Multan, Punjab province, in a suspected sectarian murder.
      Enlightened people oppose the death penalty unconditionally, in all circumstances and wherever it occurs throughout the world. Executions by the state reinforce the culture of violence which it is supposed to prevent. Even judicial systems with extensive legal safeguards, make the irrevocable nature of the death penalty particularly problematic — in all jurisdictions there have been cases where innocent people have been executed. The death penalty has never been shown to be an effective deterrent against violent crime. Scientific studies have consistently failed to find convincing evidence that the death penalty deters crime — least of all politically-motivated crime — more effectively than other punishments.
2001: 13 persons in crash of high-speed passenger train with a stalled Land Rover, at Great Heck, some 300 km north of London, 06:10..
^ 1993 ATF raids Branch Davidian compound near Waco.
     A gun battle erupted at a compound near Waco, Texas, when agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms tried to serve warrants on the Branch Davidians. Four agents and six Davidians were killed as a 51-day standoff began.
      At Mount Carmel in Waco, Texas, agents of the US Treasury Department's Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) launch a raid against the Branch Davidian compound as part of an investigation into illegal possession of firearms and explosives by the Christian cult. As the agents attempt to penetrate the complex, gunfire erupts, beginning an extended gun battle that leaves four ATF agents dead and fourteen wounded. Six Branch Davidians are fatally wounded, and several more are injured, including David Koresh, the cult's founder and leader.
      A cease-fire is eventually declared and the ATF agents withdraw. Exactly who fired the first shot is in dispute, although, after the raid, a ATF agent tells an investigator that a fellow agent may have fired first when he killed a barking dog near the compound. This statement is later recounted and both sides contend that the other started fire first.
      A few hours after the raid, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) becomes the lead agency in charge of the standoff and telephone conversations begin between Koresh and the outside authorities begin.
      David Koresh was born Vernon Wayne Howell in Houston, Texas, in 1959. In 1981, he joined the Branch Davidians, a sect of the Seventh Day Adventist Church founded in 1934 by a Bulgarian immigrant named Victor Houteff. Koresh, who possessed an exhaustive knowledge of the Bible, rapidly rose in the hierarchy of the small religious community, eventually entering into a power struggle with the Davidians' leader, George Roden. For a short time, Koresh retreated with his followers to eastern Texas, but in late 1987, he returned to Mount Carmel with seven armed followers and raided the compound, severely wounding Roden. Koresh went on trial for attempted murder, but the charge was dropped after his case was declared a mistrial.
      By 1990, he had become the leader of the Branch Davidians and legally changed his name to David Koresh, with David representing his status as head of the biblical House of David, and Koresh standing for the Hebrew name for Cyrus, the Persian king who allowed the Jews held captive in Babylon to return to Israel. Koresh took several wives at Mount Carmel, and fathered at least twelve children from these women, several of whom were as young as twelve or thirteen when they became pregnant. There is also evidence that Koresh may have harshly disciplined some of the hundred or so Branch Davidians living inside the compound, particularly his children.
      A central aspect of Koresh's religious teachings was his assertion that the apocalyptic events predicted in the Bible's Book of Revelation were imminent, making it necessary for the Davidians to stockpile weapons and explosives in preparation.
      Following the unsuccessful ATF raid, the standoff between the Branch Davidians and the FBI stretches into seven weeks, with little progress made in the negotiations, as the Davidians had stockpiled years of food and other necessities before the raid. On April 18, 1993, US Attorney General Janet Reno approves a tear-gas assault on the compound, and at approximately 6:00 A.M. on April 19, the Branch Davidians are informed of the attack and asked to surrender. A few minutes later, two FBI combat vehicles begin inserting gas into the building and are joined by Bradley tanks, which fire tear-gas canisters through the compound's windows.
      The Branch Davidians, many of whom have donned gas masks, refuse to evacuate, and by 11:40 a.m., the last of at least one hundred tear-gas canisters have been fired into the compound. Just after noon, a fire erupts at one or more locations on the compound, and minutes later nine Davidians flee the rapidly spreading blaze. Gunfire is reported, but ceases as the compound is completely engulfed by fire.
      Koresh and at least eighty of his followers, including twenty-two children, are killed during the federal government's second disastrous assault on Mount Carmel. The FBI and Justice Department maintain that there is conclusive evidence that the Branch Davidian members ignited the fire, citing an eyewitness account and various forensic data. On the gunfire reported during the fire, the government argues that the Davidians were either killing each other or themselves as part of a suicide pact, or were killing dissenters who were attempting to escape the Koresh-ordered mass suicide by fire.
      Most of the surviving Branch Davidians contest this official position, as do some critics in the press and elsewhere, whose charges against the ATF and FBI's handling of the Waco standoff range from incompetence to premeditated murder. In 1999, after six years of denials, the FBI admitted that they used incendiary tear-gas grenades in the assault, which theoretically could have ignited the compound's wooden walls
     Texas Agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms raid the Branch Davidian cult compound in Waco, Texas, prompting a gun battle in which four agents and six cult members are killed. The federal agents were attempting to arrest the leader of the Branch Davidians, David Koresh, on information that the religious sect was stockpiling weapons. A nearly two-month standoff ensued after the unsuccessful raid. The roots of the confrontation between the federal government and the Branch Davidians went back 10 years before the Waco siege. In 1983, a young man named Vernon Howell showed up at the Mt. Carmel headquarters of the sect. Lois Roden and her son, George, were competing for leadership of the commune at the time. Lois had an affair with Howell, but died shortly thereafter. George Roden attempted to take charge of Mt. Carmel, but Howell challenged his leadership, claiming that he was an angel with a direct line to God. Roden responded by posing a contest to Howell: Whoever could resurrect an exhumed corpse would prove their worthiness to rule the cult. Howell declined the challenge, going instead to the sheriff to have Roden arrested for illegally digging up a body. When the police wanted no part of it, Howell and Roden ended up in a gunfight that left Roden injured. While Howell was awaiting trial for attempted murder, Roden was jailed for contempt for filing "the most obscene and profane motions that probably have ever been filed in a federal courthouse.. Howell took over the cult and the Mt. Carmel compound in Roden's absence, and later got a mistrial on the attempted murder charge. Soon, Howell started his own harem, declaring himself the only one allowed to have wives. The others told reporters, "We as Davidians aren't interested in sex. Sex is so assaultive, so aggressive. He [Howell] has shouldered that burden for us.. Reportedly his many wives included girls as young as 12. Howell changed his name to David Koresh in 1990 and told everyone that he was the Second Coming of Christ. Not long after, he began filling the cult member's heads with apocalyptic warnings and insisting that they arm themselves. In 1992, a deliveryman accidentally dropped a package and saw that it was filled with grenades. It was against this background that the federal government obtained a warrant for Koresh's arrest. To Koresh, the failed raid served as proof that he really was being persecuted. When federal agents moved in to end the siege on April 19 with tear gas, a fire broke out that killed more than 75 cult members. Koresh and 16 others shot themselves to death before the fire engulfed the entire compound. Only eight Branch Davidians escaped with their lives. Ultimately, five cult members were convicted of manslaughter for their roles in the February 28 gunfight.
1986 Sven Olof Palme, 59, Swedish Prime Minister (1969-76, 82-86), shot to death in Stockholm.
1975 More than 40 people, in London's Underground as a subway train smashes into the end of a tunnel.
1967 Henry R. Luce, 68, founder of the Time-Life magazine business.
1966 Charles A. Bassett II, 34, and Elliot McKay See Jr., 38, astronauts, in T-38 jet crash.
1959 Maxwell Anderson, US playwright born on 15 Dec 1888. His greatest success was Winterset (1935), a poetic tragedy inspired by the Sacco and Vanzetti case: the son of a man who has been unjustly condemned to death seeks revenge and vindication of his father's name. Maxwell Anderson was the father of sociologist Quentin Anderson [1912 – 18 Feb 2003], whose son is Maxwell L. Anderson [1956~] director of the Whitney Museum.
1956 Frigyes Riesz, mathematician.
1940 Alfonso XIII de Borbón
, corrupt king of Spain (1902-1931)
^ 1940 Day 91 of Winter War: USSR aggression against Finland.
More deaths due to Stalin's desire to grab Finnish territory.

Finnish troops pull back on the Isthmus

       The Soviet Union launches a massive general offensive. The Finnish troops on the Karelian Isthmus withdraw from Pulliniemi and Lihaniemi.
      During the course of the day Finnish troops beat back three enemy attacks on the Taipale strongholds [photo].
      In the north, the Swedish volunteer corps, Svenska Frivilligkåren, takes over responsibility for the front at Märkäjärvi in Salla in the early hours of the morning.
      The Lotta Svärd Defense Union of Finland (the women's voluntary defense organization) and the Central Organisation of Social Democratic Women decide to organize a joint collection of gold rings and other valuables to buy fighter aircraft for the Finnish Air Force.
      Foreign Minister Tanner returns from Stockholm. He says Finland has no choice but to accept the Soviet Union's peace terms. A majority of the Finnish Government are inclined to agree, but nevertheless want first to hear the views of the Commander-in-Chief.
      The Western Allies promise to send Finland 10'000 troops in April. France's diplomatic representative in Helsinki, Monsieur Magny urges Finland to make a formal appeal for assistance.
      Today, Kalevala Day in Finland, is being celebrated in Norway as Finland Day.
      In Washington, the US House of Representatives approves legislation for a $20 million loan to Finland.
      Oy Karl Fazer Ab buys Frans Emil Sillanpää's Nobel Gold Medal, donated by the author to raise money for Finland's defense. The Finnish confectioners pay 100'000 markkaa for the medal, which they then return to the author.

^ Suomalaiset vetäytyvät Karjalan kannaksella Talvisodan 91. päivä, 28.helmikuuta.1940
       Neuvostoliiton massiivinen suurhyökkäys alkaa. Suomalaiset vetäytyvät Karjalan kannaksella Pulliniemestä ja Lihaniemestä.
      Taipaleessa suomalaiset torjuvat päivän aikana kolme vihollisen hyökkäystä tukikohtia vastaan.
      Ruotsalainen Svenska Frivilligkåren ottaa aamuyön kuluessa rintamavastuun Sallan Märkäjärvellä.
      Suomen Ilmapuolustusliitto, Lotta Svärd ja Suomen Sosiaali-demokraattinen Työläisnaisten liitto päättävät järjestää yhdessä kultasormusten ja muidenarvoesineiden keräyksen hävittäjälentokoneiden hankkimista varten.
      Ulkoministeri Tanner palaa Tukholmasta. Tannerin mukaan Suomella ei ole valinnan varaa: tarjotut rauhanehdot on hyväksyttävä. Hallituksen enemmistö alkaa kallistua rauhan kannalle, mutta haluaa kuulla vielä ylipäällikön mielipiteen tilanteesta.
      Länsiliittoutuneet lupaavat lähettää Suomeen 10'000 sotilasta huhtikuun kuluessa. Ranskan Helsingin-lähettiläs Magny kehottaa Suomea heti esittämään avunpyyntönsä.
      Norjassa vietetään tänään Kalevalanpäivänä Suomen päivää.
      Washingtonissa edustajainhuone hyväksyy lakiehdotuksen, joka mahdollistaa $20 miljoonan lainan myöntämisen Suomelle.
      Oy Karl Fazer Ab lunastaa kirjailija F. E. Sillanpään Suomen maanpuolustukselle lahjoittaman Nobelmitalin 100'000 markalla jaluovuttaa sen takaisin kirjailijalle.

^ Finnarna retirerar på Karelska näset Vinterkrigets 91 dag, den 28 februari 1940
      Sovjetunionen inleder en massiv storoffensiv. Finnarna retirerar från Pulliniemi och Lihaniemi på Karelska näset.
      I Taipale avvärjer finnarna under dagen tre fientliga attacker mot baserna.
      Svenska Frivilligkåren övertar på morgonkvisten frontansvaret vid Märkäjärvi i Salla.
      Finlands luftförsvarsförbund, Lotta Svärd och förbundet för Finlands socialdemokratiska arbetarkvinnor fattar beslut om att gemensamt arrangera en insamling av guldringar och andra värdeföremål för anskaffningen av jaktplan.
      Utrikesminister Tanner återvänder från Stockholm. Enligt Tanner har Finland inget val - de erbjudna fredsvillkoren måste godkännas. Majoriteten av regeringen börjar luta mot fred, men man vill ännu höra överbefälhavarens åsikt om situationen.
      De västallierade lovar sända 10 000 soldater till Finland under april. Frankrikes ambassadör i Helsingfors Magny uppmanar Finland att omedelbart anhålla om bistånd.
      I Norge firar man Finlands dag idag på Kalevaladagen.
      I Washington godkänner representanthuset ett lagförslag som möjliggör beviljandet av ett lån på $20 miljoner åt Finland.
      Oy Karl Fazer Ab löser in den Nobelmedalj som författaren F. E. Sillanpää donerat åt landsförsvaret för 100 000 mark och ger medaljen tillbaka åt författaren.
1923 François Flameng, French painter and draftsman born on 06 December 1856. — MORE ON FLAMENG AT ART “4” FEBRUARY with links to images.
1916 Henry James, in London, US and British novelist, born 15 April 1843 in New York. His fundamental theme was the innocence and exuberance of the New World in clash with the corruption and wisdom of the Old, as illustrated in such works as Daisy Miller (1879), The Portrait of a Lady (1881), The Bostonians (1886), and The Ambassadors (1903).
      Henry James was named for his father, a prominent social theorist and lecturer, and was the younger brother of the pragmatist philosopher William James [11 Jan 1842 – 26 Aug 1910]. The young Henry was a shy, book-addicted boy who assumed the role of quiet observer beside his active elder brother. They were taken abroad as infants, were schooled by tutors and governesses, and spent their preadolescent years in Manhattan. Returned to Geneva, Paris, and London during their teens, the James children acquired languages and an awareness of Europe vouchsafed to few people in the US in their times. On the eve of the US Civil War, the James family settled at Newport RI, and there, and later in Boston, Henry came to know New England intimately. When he was 19 years of age he enrolled at the Harvard Law School, but he devoted his study time to reading Charles-Augustin Sainte-Beuve, Honoré de Balzac, and Nathaniel Hawthorne. His first story appeared anonymously two years later in The New York Continental Monthly and his first book reviews in The North American Review. When William Dean Howells became editor of The Atlantic Monthly, James found in him a friend and mentor who published him regularly. Between them, James and Howells inaugurated the era of US “realism.”
      By his mid-20s James was regarded as one of the most skillful writers of short stories in the US. Critics, however, deplored his tendency to write of the life of the mind, rather than of action. The stories of these early years show the leisurely existence of the well-to-do at Newport and Saratoga. James's apprenticeship was thorough. He wrote stories, reviews, and articles for almost a decade before he attempted a full-length novel. There had to be also the traditional “grand tour,” and James went abroad for his first adult encounter with Europe in 1869. His year's wandering in England, France, and Italy set the stage for a lifetime of travel in those countries. James never married. By nature he was friendly and even gregarious, but while he was an active observer and participant in society, he tended, until late middle age, to be “distant” in his relations with people and was careful to avoid “involvement.”
      Recognizing the appeal of Europe, given his cosmopolitan upbringing, James made a deliberate effort to discover whether he could live and work in the United States. Two years in Boston, two years in Europe, mainly in Rome, and a winter of unremitting hackwork in New York City convinced him that he could write better and live more cheaply abroad. Thus began his long expatriation, heralded by publication in 1875 of the novel Roderick Hudson, the story of a US sculptor's struggle by the banks of the Tiber between his art and his passions; Transatlantic Sketches, his first collection of travel writings; and a collection of tales. With these three substantial books, he inaugurated a career that saw about 100 volumes through the press during the next 40 years.
      During 1875–1876 James lived in Paris, writing literary and topical letters for the New York Tribune and working on his novel The American (1877), the story of a self-made US millionaire whose guileless and forthright character contrasts with that of the arrogant and cunning family of French aristocrats whose daughter he unsuccessfully attempts to marry. In Paris James sought out the Russian novelist Ivan Turgenev, whose work appealed to him, and through Turgenev was brought into the circle of Gustave Flaubert, where he got to know Edmond de Goncourt, Émile Zola, Alphonse Daudet, and Guy de Maupassant. From Turgenev he received confirmation of his own view that a novelist need not worry about “story” and that, in focusing on character, he would arrive at the life experience of his protagonist.
      Much as he liked France, James felt that he would be an eternal outsider there, and late in 1876 he went to London. There, in small rooms in Bolton Street off Piccadilly, he wrote the major fiction of his middle years. In 1878 he achieved international renown with his story of a US flirt in Rome, Daisy Miller, and further advanced his reputation with The Europeans that same year. In England he was promptly taken up by the leading Victorians and became a regular at Lord Houghton's breakfasts, where he consorted with Alfred Tennyson, William Gladstone, Robert Browning, and others. A great social lion, James dined out 140 times during 1878 and 1879 and visited in many of the great Victorian houses and country seats. He was elected to London clubs, published his stories simultaneously in English and US periodicals, and mingled with George Meredith, Robert Louis Stevenson, Edmund Gosse, and other writers, thus establishing himself as a significant figure in Anglo-American literary and artistic relations.
      James's reputation was founded on his versatile studies of  “the American girl”. In a series of witty tales, he pictured the “self-made” young woman, the bold and brash US innocent who insists upon US standards in European society. James ended this first phase of his career by producing his masterpiece, The Portrait of a Lady (1881), a study of a young woman from Albany who brings to Europe her narrow provincialism and pretensions but also her sense of her own sovereignty, her “free spirit,” her refusal to be treated, in the Victorian world, merely as a marriageable object. As a picture of US citizens moving in the expatriate society of England and of Italy, this novel has no equal in the history of modern fiction. It is a remarkable study of a band of egotists while at the same time offering a shrewd appraisal of the US character. James's understanding of power in personal relations was profound, as evinced in Washington Square (1881), the story of a young US heroine whose hopes for love and marriage are thwarted by her father's callous rejection of a somewhat opportunistic suitor.
     In the 1880s James wrote two novels dealing with social reformers and revolutionaries, The Bostonians (1886) and The Princess Casamassima (1886). In the novel of Boston life, James analyzed the struggle between conservative masculinity embodied in a Southerner living in the North and an embittered man-hating suffragist. The Bostonians remains the fullest and most rounded US social novel of its time in its study of cranks, faddists, and “do-gooders.” In The Princess Casamassima James exploited the anarchist violence of the decade and depicted the struggle of a man who toys with revolution and is destroyed by it. These novels were followed by The Tragic Muse (1890), in which James projected a study of the London and Paris art studios and the stage, the conflict between art and “the world.”
      The latter novel raised the curtain on his own “dramatic years,” 1890–95, during which he tried to win success writing for the stage. His dramatization of The American in 1891 was a modest success, but an original play, Guy Domville, produced in 1895, was a failure, and James was booed at the end of the first performance. Crushed and feeling that he had lost his public, he spent several years seeking to adapt his dramatic experience to his fiction. The result was a complete change in his storytelling methods. In The Spoils of Poynton (1897), What Maisie Knew (1897), The Turn of the Screw and In the Cage (1898), and The Awkward Age (1899), James began to use the methods of alternating “picture” and dramatic scene, close adherence to a given angle of vision, a withholding of information from the reader, making available to him only that which the characters see. The subjects of this period are the developing consciousness and moral education of children—in reality James's old international theme of innocence in a corrupting world, transferred to the English setting.
      The experiments of this “transition” phase led James to the writing of three grandiose novels at the beginning of the new century, which represent his final and major phase. In these novels James pointed the way for the 20th-century novel. He had begun as a realist who describes minutely his crowded stage. He ended by leaving his stage comparatively bare, and showing a small group of characters in a tense situation, with a retrospective working out, through multiple angles of vision, of their drama. In addition to these technical devices he resorted to an increasingly allusive prose style, which became dense and charged with symbolic imagery. His late “manner” derived in part from his dictating directly to a typist and in part from his unremitting search for ways of projecting subjective experience in a flexible prose.
      The first of the three novels was The Ambassadors (1903). This is a high comedy of manners, of a middle-aged man from the US who goes to Paris to bring back to a Massachusetts industrial town a wealthy young man who, in the view of his affluent family, has lingered too long abroad. The “ambassador” in the end is captivated by civilized Parisian life. The novel is a study in the growth of perception and awareness in the elderly hero, and it balances the relaxed moral standards of the European continent against the parochial rigidities of New England. The second of this series of novels was The Wings of the Dove, published in 1902, before The Ambassadors, although written after it. This novel, dealing with a melodramatic subject of great pathos, that of an heiress doomed by illness to die, avoids its cliche subject by focusing upon the characters surrounding the unfortunate young woman.They intrigue to inherit her millions. Told in this way, and set in London and Venice, it becomes a powerful study of well-intentioned humans who, with dignity and reason, are at the same time also birds of prey. In its shifting points of view and avoidance of scenes that would end in melodrama, The Wings of the Dove demonstrated the mastery with which James could take a tawdry subject and invest it with grandeur. His final novel was The Golden Bowl (1904), a study of adultery, with four principal characters. The first part of the story is seen through the eyes of the aristocratic husband and the second through the developing awareness of the wife.
      While many of James's short stories were potboilers written for the current magazines, he achieved high mastery in the ghostly form, notably in The Turn of the Screw (1898), and in such remarkable narratives as “The Aspern Papers” (1888) and “The Beast in the Jungle” (1903)—his prophetic picture of dissociated 20th-century man lost in an urban agglomeration. As a critic James tended to explore the character and personality of writers as revealed in their creations; his essays are a brilliant series of studies, moral portraits, of the most famous novelists of his century, from Balzac to the Edwardian realists. His travel writings, English Hours (1905), Italian Hours (1909), and A Little Tour in France (1884), portray the backgrounds James used for his fictions.
      In his later years, James lived in retirement in an 18th-century house at Rye in Sussex, though on completion of The Golden Bowl he revisited the United States in 1904–1905. James had lived abroad for 20 years, and in the interval the US had become a great industrial and political power. His observation of the land and its people led him to write, on his return to England, a poetic volume of rediscovery and discovery, The American Scene (1907), prophetic in its vision of urban doom, spoliation, and pollution of resources and filled with misgivings over the anomalies of a “melting pot” civilization. The materialism of US life deeply troubled James, and on his return to England he set to work to shore up his own writings, and his own career, against this ephemeral world. He devoted three years to rewriting and revising his principal novels and tales for the highly selective “New York Edition,” published in 24 volumes. For this edition James wrote 18 significant prefaces, which contain both reminiscence and exposition of his theories of fiction.
      Throwing his moral weight into Britain's struggle in World War I, James became a British subject in 1915 and received the Order of Merit from King George V.
     Henry James's career was one of the longest, most productive, and most influential in US letters. A master of prose fiction from the first, he practiced it as a fertile innovator, enlarged the form, and placed upon it the stamp of a highly individual method and style. He wrote for 51 years, 20 novels, 112 tales, 12 plays, several volumes of travel and criticism, and a great deal of literary journalism. He recognized and helped to fashion the myth of the US citizen abroad and incorporated this myth in the “international novel,” of which he was the acknowledged master. His fundamental theme was that of an innocent, exuberant, and democratic US confronting the worldly wisdom and corruption of Europe's older, aristocratic culture.In both his light comedies and his tragedies, James's sense of the human scene was sure and vivid; and, in spite of the mannerisms of his later style, he was one of the great prose writers and stylists of his century.
      James's public remained limited during his lifetime, but, after a revival of interest in his work during the 1940s and '50s, he reached an ever-widening audience; his works were translated in many countries, and he was recognized in the late 20th century as one of the subtlest craftsmen who ever practiced the art of the novel. His rendering of the inner life of his characters made him a forerunner of the “stream-of-consciousness” movement in the 20th century.


HENRY JAMES ONLINE:
  • Complete On-Line Works.
  • The Altar of the Dead
  • The Ambassadors
  • The Ambassadors
  • The American
  • The Aspern Papers
  • The Aspern Papers
  • The Awkward Age
  • The Beast in the Jungle
  • The Beast in the Jungle
  • The Bostonians
  • A Bundle of Letters
  • Confidence
  • The Coxon Fund
  • Daisy Miller
  • Daisy Miller
  • The Death of the Lion
  • The Diary of a Man of Fifty
  • Eugene Pickering
  • The Europeans
  • The Figure in the Carpet
  • The Finer Grain
  • Glasses
  • The Golden Bowl
  • Hawthorne
  • In the Cage
  • In the Cage
  • An International Episode
  • The Ivory Tower (1917 posthumous ed.)
  • The Jolly Corner
  • The Jolly Corner
  • The Lesson of the Master
  • A Little Tour in France
  • The Madonna of the Future
  • The Outcry
  • The Portrait of a Lady
  • The Portrait of a Lady
  • The Real Thing, and Other Stories
  • Roderick Hudson
  • The Sacred Fount
  • The Turn of the Screw
  • The Turn of the Screw
  • Washington Square
  • Watch and Ward
  • What Maisie Knew
  • The Wings of the Dove
  • 1913: 6.8-m, 4000-kg elephant seal killed, South Georgia (South Atlantic)
    1896 Josef Munsch, Austrian artist born on 04 October 1832.
    1863 Nashville Confederate raider sinks near Fort McAllister GA
    1863 Kulik, mathematician.
    1844 Several persons, including Abel P. Upshur, US Secretary of State, as a12-inch gun aboard the USS Princeton explodes.
    1808 Nicolaes Muys, Dutch artist born on 21 April 1740.
    1786 Jacob-Andries Beschey, Flemish artist born on 30 November 1710.
    1742 'sGravesande, mathematician.
    0468 Saint Hilarius, 46th Pope (461-468). In an Encyclical to the East, he reaffirmed the councils of Nicea (325), Ephesus (431) and Chalcedon (451), at which the major creeds of the Church were defined.
     
    < 27 Feb 29 Feb > 01 Mar >
    Births which occurred on a February 28:

    1995 Denver International Airport opens after 16 months of delays and a $3.2 billion budget overrun.
    1956 Computer core memory patented by Forrester.
    1954 Bourgain, mathematician.
    1940 Native Son, by Richard Wright is published
    1935 Nylon is discovered by Dr Wallace H. Carothers.
    1926 Svetlana Alliluyeva daughter of Josef Stalin, author (My Life)
    1917 John B Connally (Governor/Senator-D/R-TX), took a bullet with JFK
    1910 Vincente Minnelli Chicago IL, Academy Award-winning movie director: (Gigi [1958]; An American in Paris [1951], On a Clear Day You Can See Forever [1970]); Judy Garland's husband; Liza Minnelli's father.He infused a new sophistication and vitality into filmed musicals in the 1940s and '50s. Though his early work was for the Broadway stage, Minnelli, working with Arthur Freed and Gene Kelly, created successful film dramas, comedies, and musicals.
    1901 Linus Pauling chemist/peace worker (Nobel peace prize winner [1962]; Nobel prize for chemistry: [1954])
    1895 Marcel Pagnol French playwright/director (Marchands de Gloire)
    ^ 1894 Ben Hecht, novelist, playwright, and screenwriter, in New York City.
          Ben Hecht New York NY, US novelist (Eric Dorn), playwright, and scriptwriter: (Wuthering Heights) who, as a newspaperman in the 1920s, perfected a type of human interest sketch that was widely emulated. His play The Front Page (1928), written with Charles MacArthur, influenced the public's idea of the newspaper world and the newspaperman's idea of himself.
          Hecht's Russian Jewish immigrant family moved to Racine, Wisconsin, where Hecht attended high school. He started studies at the University of Wisconsin but soon quit and took a job chasing down photos of crime victims for The Chicago Journal, which paid him $12.50 a week. Hecht later became a star reporter, known for his sensational and colorful, if not always accurate, stories. Another paper, the Chicago Daily News, sent him to Berlin to cover the aftermath of World War I, which inspired his first novel, Erik Dorn (1921). Hecht later wrote a column in which he sketched Chicago's wide variety of characters. His columns were collected in his popular 1922 book, A Thousand and One Afternoons in Chicago.
          But his literary work was bringing in little money, and by 1925 he was broke. An old friend invited him to Hollywood to try his hand at screenwriting, which he did with great success. He wrote more than 70 screenplays, including Underworld (1927), for which he won an Oscar. He collaborated on the screenplay for Gone with the Wind and many others. In 1928, Hecht turned his madcap newspapering adventures into a hit play called The Front Page, which he wrote with Charles MacArthur, who also collaborated with him on other plays and movie scripts. Hecht died in New York in 1964.
    1893 Carborundum abrasive patented by Edward Acheson, Pennsylvania.
    1887 William Zorach, Lithuanian-born US sculptor, painter, and writer, who died on 15 November 1966. — more with link to images.
    1886 José Gutiérrez Solana, Spanish Expressionist painter who died in 1945. — link to an image.
    1882 José Vasconcelos Oaxaca México, politician/essayist/philosopher.
    1880 Martiros Sergueeevitch Sarian, Russian artist who died in 1972.
    1878 Fatou, mathematician.
    1871 Leo von König, German artist who died in 1944.
    1869 Wilson Henry Irvine, US Impressionist painter, who died on 21 August 1936. — links to images.
    1867 William Degouve de Nuncques, Belgian Symbolist artist who died on 01 March 1935. — MORE ON DEGOUVE AT ART “4” FEBRUARY with links to images.
    1859 Florian Cajori, mathematician, author of The Teaching and History of Mathematics in the United States (“The best review of arithmetic consists in the study of algebra.”). He died in 1930.
    1854 US Republican Party is conceived as some 50 slavery opponents met in Ripon, Wisconsin, to call for creation of a new political group.
    1843 Anna Peters, German artist who died in 1926.
    1833 Alfred von Schlieffen Count/Prussian General-field marshal.
    1828 Antonio Rotta, Italian artist who died on 11 September 1903.
    1827 The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company, the first US railroad chartered to carry passengers and freight, is incorporated.
    1823 Ernest Renan French philosopher/historian/scholar of religion
    1799 Johann von Döllinger, German Old Catholic theologian/historian.
    1798 Johann Jakob Ulrich, Swiss painter who died on 17 March 1877. — more
    1771 François Joseph Kinson, Flemish Belgian painter who died on 18 October 1839. — links to images.
    1760 (Thursday) Lorraine starts using the Gregorian calendar (there yesterday, it was Wednesday 16 February 1760 Julian)
    1735 Vandermonde, mathematician.
    1683 René-Antoine de Réaumur, French biologist and engineer.
    1680 Jan Baptist Lambrechts, Flemish artist who died after 1731.
    1632 Jean-Baptiste Lully, Florence, Italy, composer
    1552 Joost Bürgi, mathematician.
    1533 Michel de Montaigne France, essayist / philosopher who died on 13 September 1592.. MONTAIGNE ONLINE: (en français) Essais , Essais, Essais (1588) — (in English translation): Essays, Essays
     
    Feasts which occur on a February 28:
    2120 Ash Wednesday
    2008 Arba'in al Husayn

    2001 Ash Wednesday
    1990 Ash Wednesday
    1979 Ash Wednesday
    1968 Ash Wednesday
     

    DICTIONNAIRE TICRANIEN: les antiquités: ceux qui se refusent à abandonner la partie.
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    Thought for the day:
    “If you stand straight, do not fear a crooked shadow.” — Chinese proverb
    Why do cows wear bells? — Because they can't blow their horns.
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    updated Thursday 26-Feb-2009 22:03 UT
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