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this day in Herstory
2/19/2012 - DB Metzger

The coal burning locomotive goes for a test drive. The Washington DC insanity defense, Teachers turn militant and the end of Serfdom in Russia thanks to the great emancipator Tsar Alexander II. Then there’s Dick and Jane, Tokyo Rose, the woman who produced Amos & Andy. Today's quote is from Amy Tan.

1831 The first practical US coal-burning locomotive makes its trial run in Pennsylvania

1859 the temporary insanity defense is used for the first time. His name was Dan Sickles and it was known as "The Washington tragedy."

1861 Russian Tsar Alexander II  abolishes serfdom in his emancipation Manifesto.

1878  Thomas Edison patents the phonograph.

1881 Kansas becomes the first state to prohibit all alcoholic beverages

1968 the first US statewide Teachers strike took place in Florida. Turned the National Educational Association into a Union. (Collective bargaining)

1974 the firstAmerican Music Awards takes place. Here’swhere to go to find out who won every year since the inception.

1977 President Ford pardons Iva Togui D’Aquino , better known as Tokyo Rose.

1985 Elizabeth Julesberg dies. She wrote under the name Elizabeth Montgomery for the Dick & Jane book series. The school text books have had a complicated history, being blamed for poor readings skills and re-issued over the years in various forms.

1992 Porn producer Jim Mitchell is found guilty of manslaughter for killing his brother Artie. In this case Porn doesn’t necessarily kill, or cause fratricide. But it does point to a recent study of younger women which "found that nearly half of female students in six colleges across the United States who took part in their study said viewing pornography was an acceptable way to express their sexuality." What about the rest of us?

1993 Whitney Houston’s "I will always love you" becomes the longest running #1 pop single in the rock era. Do you know who originally performed the song?

Notable Birthdays

1867 Annie Nathan Meyer A founder of Barnard College

1871 Lugenia Burns Hope educator and activist

1889  Judith Cary Walker Chicago Broadcasting pioneer. first general manager of WMAQ radio station; that produced theAmos 'n' Andy Show.

1902  Kay Boyle an American expatriate from Ohio best known as an essayist who fought for human rights which made her a target of Joe McCarthy.

1917 Carson McCullers novelist (The Heart is a Lonely Hunter) who explored the lives of isolated people

1943  "Mama" Cass Elliot singer with the Mamas & Papas and no she did not choke to death on a ham sandwich.

1952  Amy Tan  Chinese American novelist (the Joy Luck club)

Quote for Today

How can you say luck and chance are the same thing? Chance is the first step you take, luck is what comes afterwards.

— Amy Tan in The Kitchen God's Wife


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