February 14 is renowned as Valentine’s Day or rather the day set aside for commemorating Saint Valentine, and for celebrating love and affection. The true origin of Saint Valentine’s Day is clouded in mystery, although the day is observed as a sacred holiday by Catholics, Anglicans, the Eastern Orthodox Church and other Christian denominations. However, February the 14th is also one of the more historically rich days on the Gregorian calendar.

February 14 is perhaps more synonymous with war, as numerous battles were fought on this day, dating back to 748AD in which Merv was taken over in the Abbasid Revolt. On this day in history in 1779, the battle of Kettle Creek was fought in Washington, Georgia, and culminated with the Patriots trumping the Loyalists. On this day in history 1797, Britain through Horatio Nelson and John Jervis beat over Spanish forces in the French Revolutionary War. On this day in history, and in 1919 to be precise, the Russo-Polish War, also known as the Polish-Soviet War began. A few decades later, seven Irish gangsters were brutally murdered in Chicago, believed to be under the instruction of crime kingpin Al Capone. This event later came to be known as Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre.

In political matters, February 14th has more often than not been a productive day. On this day in history, Henry of Bavaria ascended into power, crowned by Pope Benedict VIII. This was in 1014. In 1130, Gregorio Papareschi, in one of the most controversial elections in the history of the Vatican, was elected Pope, and took on the name of Pope Innocent II. On this day in history, Oregon was admitted as an American state. This was in 1859. Almost five decades later, Arizona was admitted as the 48th state. In 1899, the American senate approved the use of voting machines in federal elections. Although the earlier models were mechanical, this act set the stage for the use of machines in voting, and for the development of the electronic versions which we have today.

On this day in history, 1876, Alexander Graham Bell applied for a patent for the telephone. The circumstances for this application are believed to have been a competition between Bell and fellow inventor Elisha Gray. There is still a lot of controversy as to who got to the patent office first. It should be noted that although Bell successfully got the patent and is considered the father of the modern day telephone, Gray, according to many, is the originator of the telephone idea. In chemistry, the element Lawrencium, whose atomic number is 103, was discovered in 1961 by four scientists at the Lawrence-Berkeley National Library in California. The video-sharing website YouTube traces its existence to February 14, 2005, as this was the day it was created by Chad Hurly, Jahwed Karim and Steve Chan. Throughout history, a number of key figures have been born on February 14th, such as Renee Flemming in 1989, Carl Bernstein in 1944, Magic Sam in 1937, Blowfly in 1939 and Dwele in 1978. Similarly, a number of people have met their deaths on this day in history including Richard II of England who passed on in 1400, and James Cook, the explorer, who died in 1779.

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