Holidays Calendar for February 20, 2012

Washington’s Birthday is a federal holiday in the United States celebrated on the third Monday of February. Colloquially, it is also widely referred to as Presidents’ Day and is often an occasion to honor all presidents of the United States, including the incumbent one.

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The third Monday of February is a statutory holiday in several Canadian provinces. In most of them, it is called Family Day (Jour de la famille). Other names include Islander Day, Heritage Day, and Louis Riel Day.

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Since Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory of the United States, it celebrates all official U.S. holidays. However, some of these holidays have different names here: for example, Presidents’ Day (the third Monday of February) is known as Día de los Próceres Puertorriqueños (Puerto Rican Heroes Day or the Day of Illustrious Puerto Ricans).

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Maha Shivaratri is an annual Hindu festival that honors Lord Shiva, one of the primary forms of God in Hinduism. It is celebrated in many countries around the world and is considered a public holiday in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Maurutius.

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Shrove Monday (the Monday before Ash Wednesday) is the highlight of the Shrovetide season in Germany, Denmark, the Faroe Islands, and some other countries. It is also known as Collopy Monday in the UK, Rosenmontag (Rose Monday) in the German-speaking countries, and as Fastelavn in Denmark.

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Heavenly Hundred Remembrance Day is an official commemorative day in Ukraine observed on February 20. It was established in 2015 by President Petro Poroshenko to honor the memory of those who died during the events of Euromaidan.

February 20 is Battle of Salta Day in Argentina. In 2013, it was celebrated as a public holiday to mark the 200th anniversary of the battle.

Most Indian states celebrate Statehood Day to commemorate the anniversary of their statehood. For example, Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram celebrate their respective Statehood Days on March 20, because both states were granted statehood on this day in 1987.

Northern Hemisphere Hoodie-Hoo Day is one of bizarre Wellcat Holidays. It is held annually on February 20.

National Cherry Pie Day is celebrated annually on February 20. Today is a great day for all cherry pie lovers to enjoy their favorite pie all day long.

National Love Your Pet Day is observed by pet lovers in the United States and beyond on February 20. The creators of this unofficial holiday, whoever they are, suggest that you give your pets a little more attention than usual on this day to show them your love.

World Day of Social Justice is a United Nations observance held annually on February 20. It was proclaimed by the General Assembly in 2007.

Carnival is a Western Christian festive season that occurs during February or early March, culminating just before Lent. It usually involves parades, street parties, masquerade balls, and consumption of foods that are to be abstained from during Lent. In some countries, there are traditional foods consumed during the festive season. For example, in Iceland Carnival is associated with cream-filled buns. Icelanders love their buns so much that they even refer to Shrove Monday as Bun Day (Bolludagur).

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This Day in History

  • 2013 The Kepler space telescope discovered the smallest extrasolar planet, Kepler-37b. Its radius is only slightly greater than that of the Moon.
  • 2005 Died: Hunter S. Thompson, American journalist and author who is best known for his 1970 article The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent and Depraved.
  • 2001 Died: Rosemary DeCamp, American radio, film and television actress who first came to prominence due to her role as Judy Price in the radio series Dr. Christian.
  • 1999 Died: Sarah Kane, English playwright whose published work consists of 5 plays: Blasted, Skin, Phaedra's Love, Cleansed, and Crave.
  • 1996 Died: Solomon Asch, American gestalt psychologist and pioneer in social psychology who is best known for his conformity experiments.
  • 1993 Died: Ferruccio Lamborghini, Italian mechanic, entrepreneur, and industrialist best known for having founded Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A. in 1963.
  • 1988 Born: Rihanna (stage name of Robyn Rihanna Fenty), Barbadian singer, actor, and fashion designer. She rose to international prominence in 2007.
  • 1986 The Soviet Union launched its Mir space station. It was the first modular space station and was assembled on the orbit from 1986 to 1996.
  • 1976 Died: René Cassin, French lawyer, judge, and law professor who was awarded the 1968 Nobel Peace Prize for his work in drafting the UDHR.
  • 1972 Died: Maria Goeppert-Mayer, German-born American physicist who was awarded the 1963 Nobel Prize in Physics for proposing the nuclear shell model.
  • 1971 The Emergency Broadcast System was accidentally activated. The accidental activation was terminated after 40 minutes and 6 incorrect cancellation messages.
  • 1967 Born: Lili Taylor, American actress who is notable for her appearances in such films as Short Cuts, Ransom, I Shot Andy Warhol, and The Conjuring.
  • 1967 Born: Kurt Cobain, American musician, singer-songwriter, and guitarist who is best known as the lead singer and guitarist of the rock band Nirvana.
  • 1966 Born: Cindy Crawford, American model, actress, and television personality who has adorned numerous magazine covers throughout her career.
  • 1949 Born: Ivana Trump (born Ivana Marie Zelníčková), a former Czech-American athlete, fashion model, and socialite noted for her marriage to Donald Trump.
  • 1946 Born: Riccardo Cocciante, Italian singer, composer, and musician. He is best known for composing Notre-Dame de Paris, a musical based on the novel by Victor Hugo.
  • 1944 Died: Sandra Dee (born Alexandra Zuck), American model and actress, Golden Globe winner. She is best known for her portrayal of ingenues.
  • 1943 The Parícutin volcano began to form in the Mexican state of Michoacán. It is unique in the fact that its evolution was witnessed, observed, and studied.
  • 1937 Born: Robert Huber, German biochemist who was awarded the 1988 Nobel Prize in Chemistry jointly with Hartmut Michel and Johann Deisenhofer.
  • 1935 Caroline Mikkelsen became the first woman to set foot on Antarctica. She participated in an expedition sponsored by Norwegian magnate Lars Christensen.
  • 1933 The Congress proposed the Twenty-first Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which eventually led to the end of Prohibition in the United States.
  • 1926 Born: Richard Matheson, American novelist, short story writer, and screenwriter who is best known as the author of a 1954 horror novel I Am Legend.
  • 1907 Died: Henri Moissan, French chemist who was awarded the 1906 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work in isolating fluorine from its compounds.
  • 1872 The Metropolitan Museum of Art (colloquially The Met) opened in New York City. It is the largest art museum in the U.S. and one of the largest in the world.
  • 1844 Born: Ludwig Boltzmann, Austrian physicist and philosopher whose most important scientific contributions were in kinetic theory, including the Maxwell–Boltzmann distribution.
  • 1816 Gioachino Rossini's opera buffa The Barber of Seville, or The Futile Precaution premiered at the Teatro Argentina in Rome.
  • 1794 Born: William Carleton, Irish writer who is best known for his Traits and Stories of the Irish Peasantry. It is considered his best achievement.
  • 1792 President George Washington signed the Postal Service Act thus establishing the United States Post Office Department.
  • 1762 Died: Tobias Mayer, German astronomer who is known for his studies of the Moon. He left behind him a considerable quantity of manuscript material.
  • 1547 At Westminster Abbey, Edward VI was crowned King of England at the age of nine. He was England's first monarch raised as a Protestant.