It’s the first day of February, 2017, which means it’s simultaneously Canned Food Month, National Chocolate Lovers Month, National Cherry Month, National Grapefruit Month, National Snack Food Month and National Potato Lovers Month. What a month! And today in particular is National Baked Alaska Day and National Dark Chocolate Day. I happen to love Baked Alaska, a truly retro dessert, but I haven’t had it for decades. Finally, it’s the beginning of Black History Month and National Bird-Feeding Month. To celebrate Black History Month, today’s Google Doodle honors African-American sculptor Edmonia Lewis. Google says this about her (her Wikipedia page is here):
Edmonia Lewis wasn’t afraid to reshape convention. As the first woman of African American and Native American heritage to achieve international fame as a sculptor, Lewis is known for incorporating African American and Native American cultural themes into her Neoclassical style sculpture.
. . . Today’s Doodle art depicts Lewis sculpting one of her most famous works, The Death of Cleopatra, which is on display at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C. Her realistic portrayal of Cleopatra’s death received acclaim from critics, who called it “the most remarkable piece of sculpture in the American section” of the show. The vibrant colors of the Google letters also pay tribute to Lewis’s Native American roots – her Native American name was Wildfire.
Here’s the work and a picture of Lewis:
On this day in 1865, Abe Lincoln signed the Thirteenth Amendment to Constitution, prohibiting slavery. In 1918, Russia adopted the Gregorian calendar. On February 1, 1960, black students staged first of the Greensboro sit-ins at a lunch counter in North Carolina—brave demonstrations that helped catalyze the civil right movement. In 1968, Eddie Adams took the famous video of Viet Cong officer Nguyễn Văn Lém being executed on the street by by South Vietnamese National Police Chief Nguyễn Ngọc Loan (see link for the photo). On this day in 1979, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini returned to Iran after many years of exile, signaling the beginning of a theocracy that is still in force. Finally, on this day in 2002, Wall Street Journal writer Daniel Pearl was beheaded in Pakistan after being kidnapped by terrorists a week earlier.
Notables born on this day include Clark Gable (1901), Langston Hughes (1902), and Andrew Breitbart (1969; oy!). Those who died on this day include Mary Shelley (1851), Piet Mondrian (1944), Buster Keaton (1966), and the seven members of the space shuttle Columbia, which disintegrated on re-entry (2003). Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is amusing herself with the cat pastime of Looking at Nothing:
A: What’s there?Hili: Actually I don’t know, maybe a ghost of a spider.
Ja: Co tam jest?
Hili: Właśnie nie wiem, chyba duch pająka.
Also, Leon is hiking in the mountains of southern Poland, and has asked his staff for solace:
Leon: Now I’m starting, protect me!
(In Polish: No to ruszam, asekuruj mnie!)
Lagnaippe: Reader Taskin sent some photos under the rubric “How to tell it’s winter.” I don’t know how cats can lie on radiators; my radiators get WAY hot!