February Factoids


February 1-28

Visit the Knowitall blog for helpful information on using Knowitall all through the month!

During February, be sure to visit the African American History Collection

February Observances (Day):

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February 1926: First Negro History Week observed. 50 years later in February 1976, Negro History Week expanded by Congress to National Black History Month. Learn more about Carter G. Woodson, the father of African American History. (Periscope)

February 1, 2003: Sixteen minutes before it was scheduled to land, the space shuttle Columbia (STS-107) broke apart over the skies of Texas. All seven crew members perished in the accident. Columbia is the second space shuttle lost in flight, the other being the shuttle Challenger. Dr. Laconte Cathey discusses the risks involved with space travel. (Carolina Journal)




February 2, 1848: The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed, signaling the end of the Mexican American War. In exchange for $15 million, the U.S. acquired the areas encompassing parts or all of present day California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, and Texas.  Learn more about some of the South Carolinians who fought in the conflict, such as Governor Pierce Mason Butler and the Palmetto Regiment. They both participated in the Battle of Cherubusco. (History of South Carolina Slide Collection)

National Job Shadow Day

Take a peek at our Career Explorations Collection!




On February 3, 1870, the 15th Amendment passed, granting right to vote to African Americans. (Periscope)

World Read Aloud Day

Visit our Libraries, Literature and Learning Collection and get excited about reading!




Orangeburg Massacre. On the evening of February 8, 1968,  three young African American males, were killed and twenty-eight other protesters were injured at South Carolina State University. (Collections)

February 8, 1820: General William Tecumseh Sherman, Union general during the American Civil War, was born in Lancaster, Ohio. 



February 9, 1943: In World War II, in the Pacific, U.S. forces capture the island of Guadalcanal. This was a costly victory for U.S. forces. Some South Carolina veterans recall their experiences at Guadalcanal. (South Carolinians In WW II)




Inventor Thomas Edison was born on February 11, 1847 in Milan, Ohio.

National Don't Cry Over Spilled Milk Day

  • Find out how "milk" helps make healthy bones. (Healthy Hannah)
  • Did you know Jersey Cows are famous for the high butterfat content of their milk? (Zoo Minutes)
  • Nubian goats are the most popular of the six officially recognized breeds of dairy goats raised in the United States. (Zoo Minutes)
  • Tom Trantham, owner of Happy Cow Creamery has 90 cows that milk twice a day. (Palmetto Scene)

International Day of Women and Girls in Science 

View our Women in Leadership Collection, which includes these topics!




The 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, was born February 12, 1809. (Periscope)


On February 12, 1961, black students known as "The Friendship Nine," from Friendship Jr. College in Rock Hill, had the first of many sit-ins at McCrory's Five & Dime lunch counter. The practice of "Jail, No Bail" proved to be effective in the fight for civil rights. (Carolina Stories)

Founder's Days

February 12, 1909: NAACP founded; became the largest and oldest civil rights organization in America. (Periscope)




Also former slave and abolitionist Frederick Douglass was born February 14, 1818. (Periscope)

Valentine's Day

A day to celebrate love. Check out our Valentine's Day collection to find out more about the holiday and to download printable cards.



Dancer Bill T. Jones was born on February 15, 1952, in Bunnell, Florida. (Artopia)

February 15, 1820: Susan B. Anthony, a pioneer for women's rights, was born in Adams, Massachusetts. She tirelessly advocated for women's suffrage in the U.S. Unfortunately, she did not live to see the passing of the 19th Amendment. (Periscope)


February 15, 1898: The sinking of the U.S. battleship Maine occurred in Havana, Cuba. 260 crewmembers perished, signaling the beginning of the Spanish-American War. One of the Maine's cannons is on display at the S.C. State House grounds. (The SC State House)




Burning of Columbia, SC

  • On February 17, 1865, General Sherman and his troops entered Columbia, South Carolina. (Mary Long Yesteryear)
  • By the morning hours of February 17, 1865, much of the city of Columbia was in flames, accompanied by a riot that had built steadily, so that most control was lost over the city. (Burning of Columbia)

The Hunley

  • On February 17, 1864, the history-making submarine H.L. Hunley made its last fateful run. (Project Discovery) 
  • Conservation Efforts on the Hunley continue at the Warren Lasch Conservation Center in Charleston, S.C. (Walter Edgar's Journal)
  • Take a virtual tour of the Hunley Museum, in Charleston South Carolina! (Let's Go!)



By February 18, 1865, over one third of the city of Columbia lay in black, burnt ruins. (Burning of Columbia)




Sculptor Constantin Brancusi was born in Pestisani, a village in Southern Romania, on February 19, 1876. (Artopia)


February 19, 1945: During World War II, United States Marines land on the Japanese occupied island of Iwo Jima, and the Battle of Iwo Jima begins. The fight lasts well over a month, with both American and Japanese forces suffering heavy losses. The battle was a bloody victory for the U.S. Some South Carolinian veterans recall their experiences at the Battle of Iwo Jima (South Carolinians In WW II) 




February 20, 1962: Mercury astronaut John Glenn made history as the first American to orbit the earth, aboard "Friendship 7."  Learn more about John Glenn, and the Space Race, with S.C. astronaut Charles Duke, and History In a Nutshell! (Conversations With Scientists And Astronauts)


World Day of Social Justice 

World Day of Social Justice is an international day recognizing the need to promote social justice, which includes efforts to tackle issues such as poverty, exclusion, gender equality, unemployment, human rights, and social protections.



February 21, 1965: American civil rights activist Malcolm X was assassinated while giving a speech in a New York City ballroom. (Roadtrip)



February 22, 1732: George Washington, general during the American Revolution, one of the Founding Fathers, and the first President of the United States, was born in Westmoreland County, Virginia. 
A monument to George Washington can be found on the steps of the S.C. State House. (The SC State House)



Author and civil rights leader, W.E.B. Du Bois was born February 23, 1868. (Periscope)



Tell a Fairy Tale Day

Listen to Gullah Tales in English and Gullah by Aunt Pearlie Sue. (Gullah Net)



National Polar Bear Day

View our resources on polar bears!



This scene from The Trojan Women was shot in the studio at South Carolina ETV in February 2004. (Artopia)


Updated by Andrew Davis, Media Production Assistant, 2019.

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