February 2, 1887
FIRST “GROUNDHOG DAY” CELEBRATION
The 1st “Groundhog Day” celebration was held today at Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. A groundhog named “Punxsutawney Phil” came out of his hole, saw his shadow & thus forecasts 6 more weeks of winter weather.
Groundhogs go into hibernation in late fall. Their heartbeat slows down from 80 to 5 beats a minute. The male groundhog emerges from the hole to look for a mate.
Happy Groundhog Day 2011
February 2, 1962
FIRST USAF PLANE CRASHES IN VIETNAM
The United States Air Force announced today that a C-123 aircraft crashed in Vietnam. This is the 1st aircraft the US has lost in the conflict in Southeast Asia.
The C-123 was in the process of spraying defoliant on a Viet Cong ambush site when it went down.
Among the defoliants the Air Force uses is a chemical stored in orange containers known as “Agent Orange.”*
*In the late 1970s, Vietnam veterans will say that Agent Orange is responsible for health problems that they & their families have suffered such as skin rashes, cancer & birth defects.
February 2, 1949
US REJECTS STALIN PEACE CONFERENCE
Secretary of State Dean Acheson announced today the United States is rejecting the proposal put forward by Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin that President Truman meet him in Moscow to discuss peace.
Mr. Acheson says that the proposal by Stalin is simply a “political” maneuver. Apparently, the only issue Stalin is prepared to discuss is that the US & USSR pledge “not to go to war with each other.”
February 2, 1848
PEACE TREATY SIGNED AT GUADALUPE HIDALGO
Today the United States & Mexico have agreed to terms ending the Mexican-American War. By the treaty, 525,000 square miles of Mexican territory will be transferred to the United States.*
*Out of this territory will eventually come the states of Texas, California, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico & Arizona as well as parts of Colorado & Wyoming.
February 2, 1943
BATTLE OF STALINGRAD ENDS!
The last German troops fighting in the USSR have surrendered today to the Red Army. The German invasion of Soviet Russia began on June 22, 1941. German armies were able to conquer vast amounts of Soviet territory & lay seige to both Leningrad & Moscow.
Premier Stalin then ordered massive reinforcements for defense. Soviet General Zhukov launched a counteroffensive & the bitterly cold Russian winter bogged the Germans down.*
*There were only 90,000 German soldiers left to surrender. Of this number, just 5000 returned to Germany alive.