The Week in History: February 12th - February 18th

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February 12, 2018
by Graham Pierrepoint -

Love is in the air – it’s Valentine’s Day this week, and it’s also time to see exactly what went down in history on Cupid’s big day across the years. Has it always been a happy occasion? Who’s to say – but there’s always something interesting to dig up across the calendar, no matter which dates you’re looking at. Strap in and let’s take a memory trip!

February 12th, 1999 – President Clinton Acquitted
In the climax to an impeachment trial which overshadowed the latter years of his Presidency, the US’ Bill Clinton found himself pardoned and free to finish the rest of his term – which would eventually be claimed by the Republicans’ George W Bush, ending two terms of Democratic rule.

February 13th, 1942 – Hitler Backs off from England
Adolf Hitler’s proposed operation to invade England, referred to as ‘Operation Sealion’, was cancelled this day – a move which would of course help to propel the end of the war in the direction of those fighting against Nazi Germany.

February 14th, 1991 – ‘The Silence of The Lambs’ Debuts
Happy Valentine’s Day? The seminal thriller starring Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster, which would go on to win Best Picture at the 1992 Oscars, was released on a rather odd choice of day 27 years ago. Time to celebrate with a nice bottle of Chianti?

February 15th, 1903 – The First Teddy Bear Launched
Soft toy bears named after legendary US President Theodore ‘Teddy’ Roosevelt made their way to the US for the first time 115 years ago this week – meaning there’s more than enough history behind your favorite plush toy!

February 16th, 600 – What’s in a Sneeze?
A bizarre anniversary to celebrate, perhaps – but 1418 years ago this week, the phrase ‘God bless you’ first came into common usage as a result of Pope Gregory advising it to be appropriate for responding to a sneeze!

February 17th, 2017 – A New Continent Discovered
It’s not quite Atlantis, but it might as well be! A year ago this week, research into a sunken continent known as Zealandia was announced in the GSA Today journal. Who’s to say where further exploration could lead us?


Watch: Apparently New Zealand Might Be Part of a Lost Underwater Continent

February 18th, 1885 – ‘The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn’ Published
One of the most important pieces of American literature celebrates its 133rd birthday this week – why not celebrate by picking up a copy of one of Mark Twain’s best and giving it a read?

Join us again for more time travels next week!

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