Today in History: February 2

February 2nd is the 33rd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 332 days remaining until the end of the year (333 in leap years).
Groundhog Day (United States and Canada)
Marmot Day (Alaska)

In Alaska, February 2 is observed as Marmot Day rather than Groundhog Day because few groundhogs exist in the state.

Candlemas (Catholic)

Candlemas (also known as Crêpes day, or Chandeleur) is a Catholic holiday that corresponds with the presentation of Jesus at the Temple. It falls on February 2, which is 40 days after Christmas.

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle: the first page of the Peterborough Chronicle

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle: the first page of the Peterborough Chronicle

The first known record of the “Little Ice Age” was recorded in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle.

On February 2, 1046, the winter weather had turned especially severe throughout Europe. In the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, English monks wrote:

And in the same year, after Candlemas, came the strong winter, with frost and with snow, and with all kinds of bad weather; so that there was no man then alive who could remember so severe a winter as this was, both through loss of men and through loss of cattle; yea, fowls and fishes through much cold and hunger perished.

Candlemas falls on February 2. The entry is the first known record of the “Little Ice Age”, the main part of which occurred between 1350–1850. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle is a collection of historical documents, written between the 8th and 12th centuries by English monks, chronicling the history of the Anglo-Saxon people.

1530 Hernán Cortés commissioned Nuño Beltrán de Guzmán to conquer the interior of México. Guzmán rapidly advanced through what are now the states of Michoacán and Jalisco.

Nuño Beltrán de Guzmán (ca. 1490–1558) was a Spanish conquistador and colonial administrator in New Spain. He was Governor of the provinces of Pánuco (1525–1533) and Nueva Galicia (1529–1534) as well as President of the first Royal Audiencia of México (High Court) from 1528–1530. He founded Guadalajara and several other cities in western México.

Guzmán, a bodyguard of King Charles (Karl V, Holy Roman Emperor and Carlos I of Spain), was sent to México to counterbalance the influence of Hernán Cortés de Monroy y Pizarro, leader of the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire. Charles was worried Cortés was becoming too powerful. While Governor of Pánuco, Guzmán cracked down hard on the supporters of Cortés, stripping them of property and rights. He made numerous expeditions of conquest into the northwestern areas of México. During the expeditions he enslaved thousands of Indians and shipped them to the Caribbean colonies.

Guzmán’s downfall began when he made enemies of important men of the church. In 1537, as a result of the power struggles, he was arrested for treason, abuse of power, and mistreatment of the indigenous people of his territories. He was sent back to Spain in shackles.

He has been portrayed as a cruel, violent, and irrational tyrant, and has been compared to Heinrich Himmler. However, while no friend to the Indians, his policies and actions were consistent with heavy-handed colonial practices of the time and were initially supported by the Spanish crown. Part of the reason history looks upon him with disfavor is that history was written primarily by his political opponents, among them Cortés, Juan de Zumárraga, and Vasco de Quiroga.

1653 New Amsterdam (later renamed New York City) was incorporated.

New Amsterdam, Nieuw Amsterdam in Dutch, was a 17th-century Dutch settlement at the southern tip of Manhattan Island. It was the seat of the colonial government in New Netherland.

Fort Amsterdam was built on the strategic, fortifiable southern tip of Manhattan island. The fort was to defend the Dutch West India Company’s North River (Hudson River) fur trade operations. It became part of the Dutch Republic in 1624 and was designated the capital of the province in 1625. Outside of the fort, the Factorij (Dutch for “factory”), a trading post, became a settlement. New Amsterdam became a city when it received municipal rights on February 2, 1653. Nieuw Haarlem (now known as Harlem) was formally recognized in 1658.

The English captured New Amsterdam and renamed it New York on September 8, 1664, in honor of the then-Duke of York (later King James II of England). In 1667, the Dutch gave up their claim to the town and the rest of the colony in exchange for control of the Spice Islands.

1869 James Oliver invented the removable tempered steel plow blade.
Felix the Cat

Felix the Cat

Born today: Pat Sullivan (February 2, 1887–February 15, 1933)

Patrick “Pat” Peter Sullivan was an Australian cartoonist, pioneer animator, and film producer, best known for producing the first Felix the Cat silent cartoons. He was born on February 2, 1887 in Paddington, Sydney, New South Wales and died on February 15, 1933, at age 46, in New York City, New York, United States.

It is disputed that Sullivan created Felix; some claim his top animator Otto Messmer was the creator. Animation historians have accepted Messmer’s claim without question, due to him the principal animator on the Felix series.

Felix, a Sullivan Cartoon

Felix, a Sullivan Cartoon

However, Sullivan’s claim is supported by the fact that by 1919 he was drawing cartoons for Paramount Magazine and in March 1920 he signed a contract as an animator with Paramount Studios. On his résumé was a black cat named Felix who had first appeared in Paramount Magazine as a character named “Master Tom” in a cartoon series named Feline Follies.

1912 Born today: Millvina Dean (February 2, 1912–May 31, 2009)

Elizabeth Gladys Millvina Dean was a British civil servant and cartographer. She was born on February 2, 1912 in Branscombe, Devon, England. When she was two months old, she was the youngest passenger on the RMS Titanic. She was also the last living survivor of the sinking of the ship on April 15, 1912. She died on May 31, 2009, at age 97, in Ashurst, Hampshire, England.

1931 A rocket was first used to deliver mail in Austria.

Today in History: February 1

National Freedom Day (United States)

National Freedom Day is an observance on February 1 celebrating Abraham Lincoln’s signing of Senate Joint Resolution 16 (S.J. Res. 16). The resolution abolishing slavery became the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution on December 6, 1865, after being “ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States” as required by Article V of the Constitution.

Robinson Crusoe Day

On February 1, 1709, Scottish sailor Alexander Selkirk was rescued from the uninhabited island of Juan Fernández, where he’d been put ashore at his own request following a fight with his captain. The story was the basis for Daniel Defoe’s The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe.

Juan Fernández Islands 001

Juan Fernández Islands 001

Scottish sailor Alexander Selkirk was rescued from the uninhabited island of Juan Fernández.Alexander Selkirk (1676–December 13, 1721), also known as Alexander Selcraig, was a problem child and joined buccaneering expeditions to the South Sea. He joined an expedition with commander William Dampier as sailing master on the ship Cinque Ports. The ship sailed from Kinsale, Ireland on September 11, 1703.

In September 1704, when the ship stopped to resupply at the islands of the Juan Fernández Archipelago off the coast of Chile, Selkirk asked to be left there as he though the Cinque Ports wasn’t seaworthy. (It wasn’t. It sank near Malpelo Island, 310 miles (500 km) from the coast of what is now Colombia, with the surviving crew members taken prisoner by the Spanish.) Selkirk remained alone on Juan Fernández for four years and four months, finally being rescued by the Woodes Rogers on February 1, 1709.

During his stay on the island, he became adept at hunting and making use of the island’s resources. The story of his survival was widely publicized when he returned home and was the basis for Daniel Defoe’s The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe.

Three main volcanic islands make up the Juan Fernández Archipelago. They are Robinson Crusoe, Alejandro Selkirk, and Santa Clara.

Gail Borden

Gail Borden

Gail Borden invented evaporated milk.

Evaporated milk (also known as unsweetened condensed milk) is a shelf-stable canned milk product with about 60% of the water removed from fresh milk, followed by homogenization, canning, and heat-sterilization. It differs from sweetened condensed milk, which contains added sugar to inhibit bacterial growth.

When evaporated milk is mixed with an equal amount of water, it becomes the rough equivalent of fresh milk. Evaporated milk takes up half the space of fresh milk, making it attractive for shipping purposes. Depending upon the fat and sugar content, it can have a shelf life of months or even years. In the days before refrigeration, evaporated milk was popular as a safe, reliable substitute for perishable fresh milk.

1865 President Abraham Lincoln signed the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. A portion of Article IV, section 2, of the Constitution was superseded by the 13th amendment.

“Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”

The Thirteenth Amendment, then known as Senate Joint Resolution 16 (S.J. Res. 16), was passed by Congress on January 31, 1865. It became an official part of the Constitution on December 6, 1865 after being “ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States” as required by Article V of the Constitution.

1884 The first volume, “A to Ant”, of the Oxford English Dictionary was published.
1918 Russia adopted the Gregorian Calendar, discontinuing use of the Julian Calendar.
STS-107 Flight Insignia

STS-107 Flight Insignia

The Space Shuttle Columbia, on mission STS-107, disintegrated during reentry into the Earth’s atmosphere, killing all seven astronauts aboard.

Columbia — NASA orbiter vehicle OV-102 — was the first Space Shuttle in NASA’s fleet that was rated for space. It launched on mission STS-1 on April 12, 1981, the first flight of the Space Shuttle program. During its 22-year life it completed 27 missions before disintegrating during re-entry near the end of its 28th mission. It carried at total of 160 crew members on 4,808 orbits around the Earth.

The seven crew members who died during the final mission were Commander Rick Husband, Pilot William C. McCool, Payload Commander/Mission Specialist 3 Michael P. Anderson, Mission Specialist 1 David M. Brown, Mission Specialist 2 Kalpana Chawla, Mission Specialist 4 Laurel Clark, and Payload Specialist 1 Ilan Ramon.

Strange Laws


Not Verified
It is illegal to wear a fake mustache that causes laughter in church.


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It is illegal to wake a sleeping bear to take a photograph.


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It is illegal for donkeys to sleep in bathtubs.


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It is illegal to mispronounce “Arkansas”.


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A frog that dies during a frog-jumping contest cannot legally be eaten.


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It is illegal to ride a horse while imder the influence.


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A pickle cannot be legally considered a pickle unless it bounces.


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District of Columbia

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If an elephant is left tied to a parking meter, the parking fee has to be paid just as it would for a vehicle.


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It is illegal to keep an ice cream cone in your back pocket on Sundays.


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Coins are not allowed to be placed in one’s ears.


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It is illegal to give your sweetheart a box of chocolates weighing more that 50 pounds.


Joliet, Illinois

Code of Ordinances Sec. 2-8. Pronunciation of name of city.
The only official, correct and proper pronunciation and spelling of the name of this city shall be Jo-li-et; the accent on the first syllable, with the “o” in the first syllable pronounced in its long sound, as in the words “so,” “no” and “foe” and any other pronunciations to be discouraged as interfering with the desired uniformity in respect to the proper pronunciation of the name of this city.

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It is legal for a minor to drink as long as he or she is enrolled in a culinary program.


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Mustaches are illegal if the bearer has a tendency to habitually kiss other humans.



A board was created to regulate among other things, hearing aids.

Iowa Code 154A.2
1. A board for the licensing and regulation of hearing aid dispensers is established. …

Probably Fake

One armed piano players must, by law, perform for free.

February 1, 2016 — A search of the Iowa State Legislature website with the keyword “piano” did not return any results similar to this claim.


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A poorly worded law states that if two trains meet on the same track, neither shall proceed until the other has passed.


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One may not dye a duckling blue and offer it for sale unless more than six are for sale at once.


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You can be fined $500 for sending a pizza order to someone’s house without his or her knowledge.


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It is illegal to keep Christmas decorations up after January 14.


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It is a violation to be in a public park with a sleeveless shirt. $10 fine.


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It is illegal to own an explosive golf ball.


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It is illegal for women to cut their own hair without their husband’s permission.


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A person may not cross state lines with a duck atop his or her head.


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One may be fined up to $100 for using profane language in public places.


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It is illegal to drive with an uncaged bear.


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Guiding sheep onto a railroad track with intent to injure the train is subject to a fine up to $50,000 and serving at most five years in prison.


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It is illegal for a mother to give her daughter a perm without a state license.


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It is illegal to drive a camel on the highway.

New Hampshire

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As of 1973, it’s illegal to carry away or collect seaweed at night.

New Jersey

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It is against the law for a man to knit during the fishing season.

New Mexico

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State officials ordered 400 words of sexually explicit material to be cut from Romeo and Juliet.

New York

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Slippers are not to be worn after 10 p.m.

North Carolina

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Elephants may not be used to plow cotton fields.

North Dakota

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It is illegal to lie down and fall asleep with your shoes on.


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It is illegal to get a fish drunk.


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It is illegal to wrestle a bear.


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It is illegal to go hunting in a cemetery.


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It is illegal to tell a fortune teller where to dig for buried treasure.

Rhode Island

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Biting off someone’s limb will result in 1–20 years in prison.

South Carolina

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Horses may not be kept in bathtubs.

South Dakota

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It is illegal to sleep in a cheese factory.


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It is illegal to share your Netflix password.


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It is illegal to sell one’s eye.


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It is illegal not to drink milk.


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Women must obtain written permission from their husbands to wear false teeth.


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Children are not to go trick-or-treating on Halloween.


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The harassing of Bigfoot, Sasquatch or other undiscovered subspecies is a felony punishable by a fine and/or imprisonment.

West Virginia

Not Verified
Whistling underwater is prohibited.


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It is illegal to serve butter substitutes in prison.


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You may not take a picture of a rabbit from January to April without an official permit.

Providence, Rhode Island

Providence is in Providence County, Rhode Island.

City of Providence, Rhode Island

The Arcade Providence
65 Weybosset Street
Providence, RI 02903
(401) 454-4568

Built in the Greek Revival style in 1828, the Arcade is the United States’ oldest indoor shopping mall. After a $7 million renovation by the Northeast Collaborative Architects, the ground level contains 17 micro-shops and the upper two levels contain 48 low-cost micro-apartments. The micro-apartments are furnished and range in size from 225 to 450 square feet. The Arcade was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971. The Providence Preservation Society placed it on its list of the city’s 10 most endangered properties.

Gragert, Anna. “America’s Oldest Mall Now Contains 48 Charming Low-Cost Micro-Apartments”. My Modern Met. January 23, 2016. Accessed January 31, 2016.

Micro Lofts at the Arcade Providence”. Northeast Collaborative Architects. February 2013. Accessed January 31, 2016.

Desert Hot Springs, California

Desert Hot Springs, California …

City of Desert Hot Springs
Visit Desert Hot Springs

Points of Interest

Cabot’s Pueblo Museum
67616 E Desert View Avenue
Desert Hot Springs, CA 92240
(760) 329-7610

California Point of Interest #560 (as Yerxa’s Discovery), added December 19, 1980.

Cabot’s Pueblo Museum is also known as Cabot’s Old Indian Pueblo Museum and Yerxa’s Discovery.


Desert Hot Springs is known for its spas.

Anahata Springs Spa and Retreat
11740 Mesquite
Desert Hot Springs, CA 92240
(760) 673-8689

Aqua Soleil Hotel & Mineral Water Spa
14500 Palm Drive
Desert Hot Springs, CA 92240
(760) 329-4481

Desert Hot Springs Inn
67840 Hacienda Avenue
Desert Hot Springs, CA 92240
(760) 660-0246
A dog-friendly resort—no extra room charge, no size limits, and no breed restrictions.

Desert Hot Springs Spa Hotel
10805 Palm Drive
Desert Hot Springs, CA 92240
(760) 329-6000

El Morocco Inn & Spa
66810 Fourth Street
Desert Hot Springs, CA 92240
(760) 288-2527

Hacienda Hot Springs Inn
12885 Eliseo Road
Desert Hot Springs, CA 92240
(760) 251-2885

Hope Springs
68075 Club Circle Drive
Desert Hot Springs, CA 92240
(760) 329-4003

The Hotel Lautner
67710 San Antonio Street
Desert Hot Springs, CA 92240
(760) 832-5288

Lido Palms Resort & Spa
12801 Tamar Drive
Desert Hot Springs, CA 92240
(760) 329-6033

Living Waters Spa
13340 Mountain View Road
Desert Hot Springs, CA 92240
(760) 329-9988
A clothing-optional mineral water spa.

Miracle Manor Retreat
12589 Reposo Way
Desert Hot Springs, CA 92240
(760) 329-6641

Miracle Springs Resort & Spa
10625 Palm Drive
Desert Hot Springs, CA 92240
(760) 251-6000

Nurturing Nest
11149 Sunset Avenue
Desert Hot Springs, CA 92240
(888) 557-0066

Sagewater Spa
126899 Eliseo Road
Desert Hot Springs, CA 92240
(760) 220-1554

Sandpiper Springs Spa & Retreat
12800 Foxdale Drive
Desert Hot Springs, CA 92240
(760) 329-6455

The Spring Resort and Day Spa
12699 Reposo Way
Desert Hot Springs, CA 92240
(760) 251-6700

Tuscan Springs Hotel & Spa
68187 Club Circle Drive
Desert Hot Springs, CA 92240
(760) 251-0189

Two Bunch Palms Spa Resort
67425 Two Bunch Palms Trail
Desert Hot Springs, CA 92240
(760) 329-8791

Vista Ventana Spa & Resort
11220 Palm Drive
Desert Hot Springs, CA 92240
(760) 671-9907

Salton Sea Area

Bombay Beach Ruins

Davis-Schrimpf Seep Field

East Jesus

International Banana Museum

Salvation Mountain