February 20 in Pop Culture History
1792 – The United States Post Office became a cabinet position under President George Washington. In 1971, the Post Office became an independent corporation.
1816 – Rossini’s opera The Barber of Seville premiered at the Teatro Argentina in Rome.
1872 – The Metropolitan Museum of Art opened in New York City.
1872 – Luther Childs Crowell (#123,811) received the patent for a machine for manufacturing square-bottom paper bags. We still use the design today.
1877 – Tchaikovsky’s ballet Swan Lake gave its premiere performance at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow.
1921 – The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, starring Rudolph Valentino was released in theaters.
1931 – San Francisco got approval from the US Congress to build the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.
1943 – American movie studio executives agreed to allow the Office of War Information to censor movies.
1962 – Launching from Cape Canaveral, Florida, John Hershel Glenn Jr. successfully went into space aboard the Friendship 7 spacecraft on the first orbital flight by an American astronaut.
1965 – # 1 Hit February 20, 1965 – March 5, 1965: Gary Lewis & The Playboys – This Diamond Ring
1979 – This Old House premiered on PBS.
1986 – The Soviet Union launched the Mir space station into orbit.
1986 – After about a century of planning and a millennium of wishing, it was announced that the “Chunnel” between the UK and France would be built. Construction began in December 1987 and the “chunnel” was finally completed in 1994.
1988 – # 1 Hit February 20, 1988 – February 26, 1988: Exposé – Seasons Change
1995- A short called “Changes” which was the pilot for Dexter’s Laboratory aired on Cartoon Network. It was a huge success and is credited with helping launch the animation careers of Butch Hartman, Craig McCracken and Seth MacFarlane.
1996- VH1 Storytellers debuted on VH1
1998 – American figure skater Tara Lipinski became the youngest gold-metal winner at the Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan
2001 – FBI agent Robert Hanssen was arrested and charged with spying for the Russians for 15 years
2003 – Great White’s pyrotechnics went out of control, burning down Rhode Island’s ‘The Station’ nightclub, and took 100 lives.
2005 – Robot Chicken premiered on Adult Swim.
2013 – The smallest extrasolar planet, Kepler-37b was discovered.