There were some technological advancements on this date in history. In 1876 Alexander Graham Bell filed for a patent for the telephone. In 1899 the US Congress approved the use of voting machines in federal elections. In 1912 the US Navy commissioned its first class of diesel-powered submarines. And in 1855 Texas was connected to the rest of the US by telegraph.

James K Polk became the first president to have his photograph taken in 1849. The Great Ormond St Hospital for Sick Children was established in London as the first hospital specifically for the inpatient treatment of children in 1852. Russia finally adopted the Gregorian Calendar in 1918, over 300 years since it was introduced. And in 1920 the League of Women’s Voters was formed. man

Two states joined the Union on this date: Oregon in 1859 and Arizona in 1912. Inspectors announced they had found no WMDs in Iraq on this date in 2003. And in 1949 the Israeli Parliament, the Knesset, met for the first time.

Also, YouTube was launched in 2005 by a group of college students.

The inventors of a couple of things we take for granted were born today: Margaret E Knight (1838) invented the machine that made flat-bottomed paper bags, and George Washington Gale Ferris Jr invented the Ferris Wheel. A number of actors and performers were born on this date: John Barrymore (1882) whose family filled film; Jack Benny (1894) radio funny man; Vic Morrow (1929) who I watched avidly on the Rat Patrol; Florence Henderson (1934) – Brady Bunch mom; Simon Pegg (1970) the new Scotty of Star Trek, and Gregory Hines (1946) dancer who paired with Michael Baryshnikov in White Nights; and Michelle Ye (1980) the matriarch of Crazy Rich Asians.

We said farewell to Richard II of England in 1400,, General William Tecumseh Sherman in 1891, and John Erlichman of Watergate infamy in 1999. And James Bond died in 1989 -no not the fictional spy, but rather an ornithologist and zoologist whose name was appropriated by Ian Fleming for his character.

It is Statehood day for Oregon and Arizona and Valentine’s Day for everyone else.