The Quick 10: February 14 Events That Don't Involve Hearts, Flowers or Chocolate

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Are you one of those people who hates Valentine's Day? I don't hate it, but I'm certainly not crazy about it (give me Halloween any day). If Sunday's syrupy sweetness is a bit much for you, rest assured that not every event on February 14 has been so"¦ well, pink. Check out these 10 Valentine's Day events that probably won't make it to a Hallmark card anytime soon.

OREGON copy1. Oregon was admitted as the 33rd U.S. state in 1859"¦

2. ...followed by Arizona in 1912. There were 15 states admitted between the two.

3. Captain James Cook was killed "“ but probably not eaten "“ by native Hawaiians in 1779. The cannibal rumor has persisted for years and probably stems from the fact that his flesh was boiled off of his bones, but not for dinner purposes. It was actually a sacred ritual and a common way to get a corpse to where it was going without stinking up the ship for weeks.

4. IBM was founded in 1924. That's not a typo - 1924. Before they were selling laptops, International Business Machines sold tabulating machines used for accounting and inventory purposes.

5. Jimmy Hoffa was born in 1913. It's also Teller's birthday (of Penn and Teller) but I bet he doesn't mention it.

table6. Lawrencium is discovered (well, created) at Berkeley in 1961. Props to them for not naming it "Valentinium." The name of element 103 is taken from the lab it was discovered in "“ Lawrence Radiation Laboratory.

7. Alexander Graham Bell and Elisha Gray both apply for a patent for the telephone in 1876. I guess you know who got the credit.

8. The Valentine's Day Massacre of 1929, of course. Seven people "“ most of them rivals of Al Capone - were lined up and shot by Chicago "policemen" who were not really policemen at all. To this day, there's still debate over who was actually responsible for the cold-blooded murders.

9. The League of Women Voters is founded in 1920.

10. Jackie Kennedy takes the world on a televised tour of the White House in 1962.

Now you can counter "Happy Valentine's Day!" with, "Hey, and Happy Oregon Admission Day to you!" Whether you're celebrating love or Arizona (or both"¦ I hear Arizona is for lovers), have a good weekend!

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February 12, 2010 - 12:25pm
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