February 14, 1962
JFK ANSWERS VALENTINE’S DAY QUESTION
President Kennedy sometimes responds to reporters questions at his frequent press conferences with humor. Today he answered a humorous question with an equally humorous answer:
QUESTION: “Mr. President, this being Valentine’s Day, sir, do you think it might be a good idea if you would call Senator Strom Thurmond of South Carolina down to the White House for a heart-to-heart talk about–(laughter)–the whole disagreement over the censorship of the military speeches and what he calls your defeatist foreign policy?”
THE PRESIDENT: “Well, I think that that meeting should be probably prepared at a lower level, and then we could have a –(more laughter).”*
*courtesy of the JFK Library, Boston
February 14, 1962
JFK SAYS MILITARY ADVISERS CAN RETURN FIRE
President Kennedy said today if US military personnel serving in Vietnam are fired upon they may fire back.
JFK said in response to a question:
“The training missions we have, have been instructed that if they are fired upon, they, of course, (may) fire back.”
The President made the point, however, that US military personnel in Vietnam are there not as combat troops “in (the) generally understood sense…”
February 14, 1943
US TROOPS SUFFER 1st DEFEAT
American forces were defeated today at Kasserine Pass in North Africa by German forces under Field Marshall Erwin Rommel.
The attack came after Rommel’s forces were driven out of Egypt at the Battle of El Alamein by the British under Bernard Montgomery.
US forces were defeated attempting to defend a 2 mile wide gap in the Dorsal Mountains of Tunisia.
Americans suffered a thousand dead & hundreds taken prisoner.
February 14, 1929
ST. VALENTINE’S DAY MASSACRE
Seven members of the “Bugs” Moran gang of the North side of of Chicago were murdered today by “henchmen” representing Al Capone.
The assassins, using shotguns & Thompson sub-machine guns, were dressed in stolen police uniforms.
The Moran gang members were disarmed, lined up & then shot. Six of the gang died instantly & one died an hour later.*
*Al Capone would escape justice until May 1929 when he was convicted of carrying a concealed weapon & sentenced to prison for 10 months. Later, he would be sent to prison for 11 years on a charge of income tax evasion.
February 14, 1929
PENICILLIN IS DISCOVERED
Sir Alexander Fleming discovered Penicillin today by accident. He had left a plate of bacteria uncovered & found that mold killed much of the bacteria.
Fleming has introduced a mold bi-product which will be used to cure infections.
February 14, 1884
TR’s WIFE & MOTHER DIE ON VALENTINE’S DAY
Theodore Roosevelt of New York has lost his wife & mother today. His mother, Mittie, had been suffering from typhoid fever while his wife of 4 years, Alice Lee, was suffering from a severe kidney ailment known as Bright’s Disease.
Alice Lee Roosevelt had just given birth to daughter Alice two days earlier.*
*TR will leave his baby girl with his sister & head to the Dakota territories. He will return to political life in 1896.
February 14, 1779
CAPTAIN COOK KILLED IN HAWAII
The 1st European to visit what he called the Sandwich Islands was killed today by natives.
Captain James Cook, the explorer of New Zealand & Australia, had also made a voyage around the world.
February 14, 278
VALENTINE LOSES HEAD
A priest known as Valentine was executed in Rome today after he defied Emperor Claudius II’s ban of marriages & engagements.
The ban had been decreed because of the difficulty of getting recruits for the Roman army.
Claudius II believed that the reason Roman men would not join was because of their devotion to wives & children.
Valentine continued to violate the ban by conducting marriages in secret.
By law, he was beaten & beheaded.*
*For his sacrifice, Valentine will win Sainthood.
Not a very pleasant way to end my posting, but HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!