• On Feb. 16, 1848, composer and pianist Frederic Chopin plays his final Paris concert. Chopin’s musical goal had been to speak to the heart and soul of man. Upon his death, at his request, Chopin’s sister was able to smuggle his heart in a jar back to Poland, where it was buried in a church.
• On Feb. 18, 1856, the American Party, also known as the “Know-Nothing Party,” convenes in Philadelphia to nominate its first presidential candidate. The Know-Nothing movement began in the 1840s as a result of increasing immigration. When questioned by the press, members would reply that they knew nothing, hence the name.
• On Feb. 14, 1929, penicillin is discovered by Sir Alexander Fleming, a bacteriologist. Fleming left a plate of staphylococcus bacteria uncovered, and noticed that mold that had fallen on the culture had killed many of the bacteria.
• On Feb. 13, 1945, Allied firebombing raids begin against the German city of Dresden, reducing the city to rubble. The medieval city, renowned for its artistic and architectural treasures, had never been a site of war production or major industry.
• On Feb. 15, 1950, Walt Disney’s animated feature “Cinderella,” six years in the making, opens in theaters. “Cinderella” has been rereleased periodically to keep its popularity alive among new generations.
• On Feb. 17, 1966, Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys rolls tape on take one of “Good Vibrations.” Six months, four studios and $50,000 later, he completed his 3 minute, 39 second symphony, pieced together from more than 90 hours of tape recorded during hundreds of sessions.
• On Feb. 12, 1999, the five-week impeachment trial of Bill Clinton resulting from his affair with 21-year-old intern Monica Lewinsky comes to an end. The Senate voted to acquit on both articles of impeachment: perjury and obstruction of justice.
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