February 25, 2020
Day 56 of 366
February 25th is the fifty-sixth day of the year. It is Armed Forces Day in the Dominican Republic.
Historical items of note:
- In 1870, Hiram Rhodes Revels was sworn into the United States Senate. He was a Republican from Mississippi and the first African American ever to sit in the United States Congress.
- In 1901, J. P. Morgan incorporated the United States Steel Corporation.
- In 1913, German actor Gert Fröbe was born. He played the titular character in 1964’s Goldfinger.
- In 1919, Oregon became the first U.S. state to levy a gasoline tax with one cent per gallon of fuel dispensed.
- In 1928, Charles Jenkins Laboratories of Washington, D.C. became the first holder of a broadcast license for television from the Federal Radio Commission.
- Also in 1928, Larry Gelbart was born. He created the television series M*A*S*H.
- In 1933, The USS Ranger (CV-4) was launched. It was the first US Navy ship to be designed from the start of construction as an aircraft carrier.
- In 1943, George Harrison of The Beatles was born.
- In 1949, wrestler Ric Flair was born. Wooooo!
- In 1966, Téa Leoni was born.
- In 1971, Sean Astin was born.
- In 1973, Anson Mount was born.
- In 1986, Jameela Jamil was born.
- Also in 1986, James and Oliver Phelps were born. They were the Weasley Twins in the Harry Potter film franchise.
This year, February 25th is Fat Tuesday, Shrove Tuesday, Pączki Day, and Fastnacht Day, all of which immediately precede Ash Wednesday and the Lenten season in the liturgical year.
It is the last day of Carnival, a period of celebration during the Shrovetide. Shrove Tuesday takes its name from the term shrive, which means “to absolve”. The day is one of “fat eating” and gorging before the 40-day fast of Lent, and offers a last chance for self-examination before beginning the period of spiritual growth and sacrifice.
Mardi Gras (literally translated to Fat Tuesday), Pączki Day, and Fastnacht Day all focus on this last day of consumption, through pancakes and doughnuts (designed to empty the larder before the fast) for the latter two and general revelry and partying for well-known celebration in New Orleans.
If you’re celebrating today, have fun, party hard, and be safe.
The Thing About Today is an effort to look at each day of 2020 with respect to its historical context.
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