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Monday, February 14, 2022

Today's Leasing News Headlines

More States Get on the Disclosure Bus
    By Kenneth C. Greene, Leasing News Legal Editor
The Explanation to the Borrower on Calculating Rate
    Quoted Rate 7.3% TValue Rate: 14%
North Mill Equipment Finance Joins Companies Who
    who notify lessee in advance of lease expiration
Leasing and Finance Industry Ads
    You Want Benefits? We've Got Them
Positions Wanted
     Accounts Receivable/Collections
Top Ten Leasing News Read by Readers
    February 7 to February 11
Real Estate Commission at Lowest Point Since 2017
    By Kyle G. Horst, DS News and MReport
Leasing News Advisor
    Bruce Kropschot
AP Equipment Financing Transitions
    to Remote Online Notarization Process
Chocolate Labrador Retriever/Rottweiler Mix
    Cincinnati, Ohio  Adopt a Dog
“Evergreen Clause”
    —The Danger of Automatic Renewal
Companies who utilize Evergreen Clauses
    for Extra Lease Payments
News Briefs—
Canadian Police Clear Protesters Disrupting
    Cross-Border Bridge Traffic
US suspends Mexican avocado imports
    ‘until further notice’
Attention Restaurants: DoorDash Will Eat
    Your Profits and Loan You Money
How the Raiders made $189 million
    in taxpayer money vanish

You May have Missed---
Coalition of Faith Leaders Calling for NFL to Move 2023
Super Bowl Because of Voter Suppression Grows to Over 400

Broker/Funder/Industry Lists | Features (wrilter's columns)
Top Ten Stories Chosen by Readers | Top Stories last six months (Be Careful of Doing Business)
Leasing News Icon for Android Mobile Device

Sports Brief----
 California Nuts Brief---
   "Gimme that wine"
    This Day in History
      Daily Puzzle
        Weather, USA or specific area
         Traffic Live----

######## surrounding the article denotes it is a “press release,” it was not written by Leasing News nor has the information been verified. The source noted. When an article is signed by the writer, it is considered a “byline.” It reflects the opinion and research of the writer.


More States Get on the Disclosure Bus
By Kenneth C. Greene, Leasing News Legal Editor

California, New York, New Jersey, Virginia, North Carolina and Connecticut have been joined by Maryland and Utah in proposing laws mandating commercial financing disclosures. Mississippi seemingly also tried to get on board but both of its new bills apparently died in committee.

UTAH:On February 7, 2022, Utah Sen. Curtis Bramble introduced Senate Bill 183.The bill, if passed, will become the Commercial Registration and Disclosure Act which will, as its title suggests, require persons who provide certain commercial financing products to register with the Department of Financial Institutions and make certain disclosures. Much of it looks familiar. Banks and their subsidiaries, among others, are exempt. True leases are exempt, as are transactions in excess of $1 million. Registration, however, for non-exempt entities is mandatory, something not all of the new disclosure states are requiring.

The bill is now being reviewed by a Senate standing committee. Here’s a link to its present form.

MARYLAND: Also on February 7, 2022, the Maryland Senate heard the first reading of Senate Bill 0825, the Consumer Credit-Commercial Financing Transactions, sponsored by Senator Benjamin Kramer. The bill would exempt banks but does not specifically exempt bank subsidiaries. Leases are exempt as are commercial financing transactions in excess of $2.5 million. It draws from Reg. Z for its definitions of “finance charge” and “APR.” The law is due to take effect on October 22, 2022. It is now in committee. Here’s the link to the bill:

Unlike New York and California, there is no specific “formatting” requirement in either Utah or Maryland (yet). The laws require that the disclosures be made when an offer is made, but in no particular format.

NY, CA, NJ, CT, NC, Mo, VA States
Covered in Previous Column by Ken Greene, Esq.

Ken Greene Leasing & Finance Observations

Ken Greene
Tel: 818.575.9095
Fax: 805.435.7464


The Explanation to the Borrower on Calculating Rate
Quoted Rate 7.3% TValue Rate: 14%

The definition of interest to be disclosed by current changes in California and New York is important.  Here is quote from an unnamed originator sent to another company for their opinion.

This is a sample of why various states are now passing laws to
disclose commercial transaction interest rates for asset and business
loans, capital leases, factoring, and merchant cash advance.

The equipment and particulars were not included in order
to not disclose the parties or equipment involved:

years Answer: R = 7.3617%/year

r = (1/t)(A/P - 1)

Solving our equation:
r = (1/3.5)((50306.4/40000) - 1) = 0.07361714
r = 0.07361714

Converting r decimal to R a percentage
R = 0.07361714 * 100 = 7.3617%/year

The interest rate required to get a total amount, principal plus interest, of $50,306.40 from simple interest on a principal of $40,000.00 over 3.5 years is 7.3617% per year


North Mill Equipment Finance joins companies who
who notify lessee in advance of lease expiration

North Mill Equipment Finance
David C. Lee

All 50 states

App Only: $15k to $250k
App Plus: $250k - $1M


A -Accepts Broker Business | B -Requires Broker be Licensed | C -Sub-Broker Program| D -"Private label Program"| E - Also "in house" salesmen

North Mill Equipment Finance  Norwalk, Connecticut
North Mill’s lease policy does NOT include an “evergreen clause” where the lease automatically renews or extends beyond the term. On the contrary, as example, if the end of the term is 12/31/22, our system stops ACH/billing and will not pull or charge another after the termination date.

Additionally, in the case of a TRAC or FMV lease, we do not ACH or bill the residual to the customer at the termination date. Instead, we take the important step of providing a written notice 90 days in advance of the termination date to let the customer know the options available. Should there be no response to our written notice, we continue to reach out to the customer until we make contact. At that time, we’ll either agree to accept payment for the residual or work out a payment plan if a lump sum is not affordable.

If we don’t get a response, we will make every attempt to reach them, skip trace and contact the broker and as a last resort, we may repossess if a customer is unresponsive.

Joe Littier
Senior Vice President
Portfolio Management


Help Wanted Ads



Positions Wanted
Accounts Receivable/Collections

Well- known to Leasing News, we recommend Ray Borgaard for account receivable and collections. He has over 30 years successful experience.

He has had great experience working with marketing, contact administrators, and credit to resolve any contractual issues that are preventing payment. He is looking to stay active, use his experience
to perform.

References furnished upon request:


Top Ten Leasing News Read by Readers
February 7 to February 11

(1) New Hires/Promotions in the Leasing Business
and Related Industries

(2) Staying Positive…

(3) Four Utah banks targeted for laundering predatory
loans of up to 225% APR

(4) Reminder: CFL Transition to NMLS Deadline is Near
By Kenneth C. Greene, Leasing News Legal Editor

(5) Cost of Capital Going Up
Wheeler Business Consulting

(6) Banks and Credit Unions Are Responding Identically
  to the Rising Rates of 2017
By Dr. Dan Geller

(7) ZRG Global Summit Conference
By ZRG CEO Larry Hartmann

(8) Crestmark, the Commercial Finance Division
of MetaBank®, Announces Organizational Changes

(9) NFS Leasing, Inc. expands its offerings
to include Asset Based Loans

(10) Feds arrest couple, seize $3.6 billion
in hacked bitcoin funds


Real Estate Commission Rates at Lowest Point
Since 2017
By Kyle G. Horst, DS News and MReport

According to a new study by Redfin, the usual commission rate paid to brokerages is at its lowest point in four years with the average percentage falling to 2.63% by the end of November 2020.

This number is down from 2.69% a year earlier which represents the lowest rate seen since 2017.

The study went on to cite “fierce” buyer competition in the current housing market as a major factor in the falling rates. Now that the market heavily favors buyers, sellers and their agents understand they’ll likely be able to find a buyer regardless of the commission they offer to the buyer’s agent.

Joe Hunt, Redfin’s Market Manager in Phoenix, said, “We’re experiencing a historic shortage of houses for sale. Sellers know their home is a hot commodity and will likely attract multiple offers no matter what, so they’ve started offering the buyer’s agents a 2% or 2.5% fee instead of 3%.

“Why would you offer 3% when you know you could offer less and sell your home for the same price?”

Redfin also noted that increased transparency due to some websites including commission rates on their pages may be forcing others to lower their fees to match in order to stay competitive.

Just because rates are declining does not mean commissions are getting any cheaper. Mirroring the historic gains seen throughout the market in 2021, the average commission has risen to $12,415. That number is 6.9% higher than it was last year and 29.2% higher than seen in 2017. The median sale price of U.S. homes surged 15% year over year to $383,100 in November.

Daryl Fairweather, the Chief Economist for Redfin, said, "One might think the surge in home prices that’s driving up commissions in dollar terms is also what’s causing sellers to offer lower commission in percentage terms, but that’s likely not the case.

“Instead, sellers are probably offering lower commission rates because they realize that a well-priced home in this extreme seller’s market will likely attract buyers on its own.”

“With home prices so high, the seller, their agent and the buyer’s agent are splitting a pie of funds that’s bigger than ever,” continued Fairweather. “So even though the buyer’s agent is technically getting a smaller share of the pie, their check is 6.9% bigger than it was a year ago. That could change if home prices start to level off.”




Leasing News Advisor
Bruce Kropschot

Bruce Kropschot
Senior Managing Director
The Alta Group
7448 Treeline Drive
Naples, FL 34119
(239) 260-4405

Bruce Kropschot is one of the first asked to join the advisory board and he has been active since September 6, 2000. He was named Leasing Person of the Year for 2015.

Bruce Kropschot has been active in the equipment leasing industry since 1972 and has been a senior executive of three large leasing companies. In 1986 he founded Kropschot Financial Services, a firm he developed into the leading provider of merger and acquisition advisory services for equipment leasing companies. In 2008 Kropschot Financial Services became a part of The Alta Group, the leading worldwide consulting firm for the leasing industry. Bruce formed Alta’s M&A advisory practice, which also arranges debt and equity capital and provides valuation services for leasing companies. He has played a major role representing sellers or buyers in the sale of over 200 equipment leasing and financing companies.

After 50 years in the equipment leasing industry, Bruce still is active, although he has been happy toturn over much of his workload to his successor at The Alta Group, Jim Jackson.  Bruce says that his business is his favorite hobby, and he continues to keep his fingers in the business even while pursuing retirement. When asked what have been the keys to his success, he stated, “Obviously a thorough knowledge of many types of leasing companies is essential in the M&A advisory business.

However, of utmost importance is maintaining the highest level of integrity. The Alta Group’s reputation depends upon always treating as confidential any information we receive in confidence from potential buyers and sellers of leasing companies.”

Bruce has served on the Board of Directors of the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association, the Equipment Leasing and Finance Foundation, Eastern Association of Equipment Lessors, United Association of Equipment Leasing and International Network of Merger & Acquisition Partners. He has served on the Leasing News Advisory Board since 2000, and he also served on the alumni advisory board of the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. He has BBA and MBA degrees (with honors) in Accounting and Finance from the University of Michigan and is a CPA.

Bruce’s favorite recreational activity has long been skiing. Now that knee problems have curtailed his ski trips, Bruce and his wife Barbara spend their vacations with international travel.  They have visited all 7 continents and nearly 100 countries.  In his spare time, Bruce enjoys watching NHL hockey games and following the University of Michigan athletic teams.


##### Press Release ############################

AP Equipment Financing Transitions
to Remote Online Notarization Process

BEND, OR. – AP Equipment Financing recently made the switch to use a Remote Online Notarization for Power of Attorney and Bills of Sale documents during their customers’ transaction journey. This change to a RON will speed up the process of transactions for AP customers significantly.

AP has a strong emphasis on technology, constantly searching and utilizing the best technology applicable to make the customer transaction journey quicker, easier, and more efficient while still retaining security and personable human interaction. With a Remote Online Notarization platform, the notarization of documents becomes quick, easy, and efficient for the customer so they can get into their titled equipment faster. It reduces the amount of time it takes to notarize documents from days to minutes.

AP’s VP of Front-End Operations, Austin Law, CLFP, said, “Remote Online Notaries add value to our customers by providing them with a convenient, easy-to-use and streamlined process for getting their documents notarized without the hassle of having to leave their business or home.

“Remote Online Notaries aligns with AP’s objective 'The Power of Personal' by utilizing the most effective technologies the market has to offer to expedite procedures and truly focus on our customers, all while lowering AP's carbon footprint.”

Using a Remote Online Notarization aligns with AP’s parent company’s sustainability mission:

 “Tokyo Century Group seeks to preserve the environment in all areas of its business activities by endeavoring to create an environmentally-sound, sustainable economy and society.”

Remote Online Notaries significantly reduces AP’s carbon footprint by eliminating the environmentally unnecessary tasks required to send paper notaries which includes paper use, driving and gas costs for trips to the notary, and document shipping costs and energy.

During initial testing AP’s customers stated:

"It worked fabulously! We didn't have any issues. This is a life saver not having to run down to the bank to get it notarized, such a pain. This was beautiful, loved it!”—Steve F, AP Customer.

 "Easy, straight forward, didn't take long, simple, actually pretty cool, I liked it."—EliP, AP Customer.

About AP Equipment Financing
AP Equipment Financing was founded in 1998 to provide businesses with a fast, easy, and more personalized way to access and finance the specialized equipment financing they need. In 2019, AP Equipment Financing became a wholly owned subsidiary of Tokyo Century USA.

### Press Release ############################


Chocolate Labrador Retriever/Rottweiler Mix
Cincinnati, Ohio  Adopt a Dog


2 years old
55 lbs.
Coat: Medium
House Trained
Vaccinations up to date
Adoption Fee: $225

Meet George

George is a handsome 2 year old Chocolate Lab/Rottie/Collie mix, 55lb.

George may not have been socialized or exposed too much in his previous home but is now getting a fresh start and making new friends! When he first arrived George seemed very confused and timid. Now he greets the volunteers with a wiggling butt and tail wag. He loves to sit and be petted on a couch and has been showing off his silly and playful side as he becomes more comfortable.

George would love a home to give him the love and attention that he deserves. He has come a long way, but a patient home who can expose George to the world around him would be ideal! He will certainly reward you with love and kisses.

Please check back as we learn more about George!

Think George might be the dog for you? Visit for more information on our adoption process. *** Email for next steps!

• All of our animals are spayed/neutered and current on shots.
• We do not do same-day adoptions. You will be asked to return for at least one follow-up visit, then take the dog home for a trial period before officially adopting.
• You must be 21 years or older to adopt from STAF.
• We require a 4-foot-tall physical fence for homes with children under the age of 11. We also may require a physical fence for specific dogs on a case-by-case basis, depending on each dog’s behavior and exercise needs.
• Due in part to increasing coyote activity/incidents in the area and the difficulty of predicting how a dog will respond to invisible fence training, we cannot adopt to homes with invisible fences.
• We do request vet and personal references.
• We can facilitate adoptions within a 75-mile radius of our Cincinnati-based shelter.

Save the Animas Foundation
4011 Red Bank Road
Cincinnati, OH 45227
513.561.7823 (STAF)

Dog Application



“Evergreen Clause”
—The Danger of Automatic Renewal

The inclusion of automatic renewal (or “evergreen”) clauses in true leases has been a fairly common practice from time immemorial. It is included in most company leasing contracts, whether "fair market value," 10% options, or $1.00 (Yes, companies will continue payments if not notified and there have been several cases where the residual is $1.00).

There is no question that these clauses provide important protections to the lessor to obtain their residual. If the lessee has no intent to renew, the lessor has in interest in knowing it before the end of the term so that they can start planning for remarketing or some other disposition of the equipment.

However, the question of whether a lessee should be reminded by the lessor of the notice deadline in plenty of time for the lessee to react is an entirely different question. These states have statutes requiring commercial equipment lessors to provide a written notice – a fair warning – before the notice deadline date arrives:

This is an unofficial list:
New York
Rhode Island

Most of the abuses occur in the small-ticket world. Larger lessees often overlook the notification clause in the contract or do not have “tickler” systems to remind them. Consider the corner dry-cleaner who signs up for a five year lease in 2014. Do they mark it 90 days before the expiration in his computer calendar for 2019, or more important, did he overlook this as the residual is 10% or a $1.00? The more apt question is: What possible interest does a lessor have in not voluntarily reminding its customer of the notice deadline, unless it’s to create a chance that the lessee will slip up and get trapped in a renewal it does not want?



Companies who utilize Evergreen Clauses
for Extra Lease Payments

These companies use language in their lease documents regarding purchase options to confuse, perhaps to deceive, resulting in an automatic continuation for an additional twelve months of payments. Often, they win transactions with lower monthly payments because the lessee does not carefully read and prepare for the end-of-lease notification requirement (many are on ACH payments). In addition, they don't write certified letters or DocuSign in advance of the expiration.

Several also require both parties to agree, which leaves the lessor basically able to decide what they will accept as "fair market value."

There are three common terms on what is “fair market value,” according to Edward Castagna, CEO InPlaceAuction, LLC:

The 3 terms we use are:
FLV (Forced Liquidation Value)
OLV (Orderly Liquidation Value)
FMV (Fair Market Value)

"The inherent difference of each value is "time to sell." Forced is immediate, orderly has more time, and fair is all the time in the world.

"To my experience, the term most used for true leases and capital leases, Purchase Options is Fair Market Value.

"I'd like to review before I quote a price if the request involves an official appraisal report or list of assets to be appraised.

Edward Castagna, CEO
InPlaceAuction LLC.
(516)-297-7775 Mobile (best)
(516)-500-2345 Direct
(516)-229-1968 Main

Coda: Ed has been extremely helpful in resolving Bulletin Board complaints received by Leasing News regarding the actual “fair market value” of the purchase option quoted by the leasing customer to the lessee. Editor.


ACC Capital, Midvale, Utah

De Lage Landen, Wayne, Pennsylvania

IFC Credit
, Morton Grove, Illinois

Jules and Associates
, Los Angeles, California

LEAF Financial Group
, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Marlin Business Leasing
, Mount Laurel, New Jersey

Marquette Equipment Finance
, Midvale, Utah

Mazuma Capital Corporation
, Draper, Utah

North Mill Equipment Finance, Norwalk, Connecticut

Onset Financial, South Jordan, Utah

Pacific Western Equipment Finance
, Cottonwood Heights, Utah

Partners Capital Group
, Santa Ana, California

Republic Bank
, Bountiful, Utah

Tetra Financial Group
, Salt Lake City, Utah

Winthrop Resources
, Minnetonka, Minnesota


News Briefs---

Canadian Police Clear Protesters Disrupting
    Cross-Border Bridge Traffic

US suspends Mexican avocado imports
   ‘until further notice’

Attention Restaurants: DoorDash Will Eat
    Your Profits and Loan You Money

How the Raiders made $189 million
     in taxpayer money vanish


You May Have Missed---

Coalition of Faith Leaders Calling for NFL to Move 2023
Super Bowl Because of Voter Suppression Grows to Over 400



Sports Briefs---

Matthew Stafford and Rams rally to beat
    Bengals for first L.A. Super Bowl title

No. 2 Stanford beats Colorado 63-46,
    stays perfect in Pac-12 play

American Erin Jackson wins 500m speed skating
    gold at Winter Olympics after teammate gave up spot

LeBron James passes Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
     for most total points in NBA history

49ers’ defensive tackle Bryant Young makes Hall of Fame

Golden State Warriors' Klay Thompson erupts
     in 4th quarter to down Los Angeles Lakers


California Nuts Briefs---

The San Francisco Bay Area’s 34-day dry streak has reached
     historic proportions. Will it rain during the rainy season?



"Gimme that wine"

Grape Pricing Rebounds as California Crushes 3.6 Million Tons
     of Wine Grapes in 2021

North Coast wine grape crop rebounds
     in 2021 after fires, COVID

The end of an era': Bay Area urban winery
      shutters after 14 years in Alameda

Nomad winemaker: Why I make wine in Spain

Ian Brand Shines His Spotlight on Overlooked
  Grapes and Vineyards in Carmel Valley

“Gimme that Wine”

Free Wine App

Wine Prices by vintage


This Day in History

     1760 - Birthday of Richard Allen (d. 1831), born in slavery in Philadelphia.  The first black ordained in the Methodist Episcopal Church (1799) and founder of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in 1816.
    1779 - A monument in Waimea, Kauai notes the spot of the death of Captain James Cook. Not the chamber of commerce statue in the middle of town but by the actual landing spot where the river meets the ocean. It was quite defamed and the islanders to this day obviously still have no respect for him. The Kauai islanders in Wampei evidently still hold a grudge about the way they were treated. Investigating the alleged theft of a boat that had landed from his ship, he was stabbed to death by natives this date. There were many explorers of the new world who did not make it home. He was one of them.
    1784 - James Davenport received a patent for a carding and spinning machine, the first textile machinery patent. He later established the Globe Mills, Philadelphia, PA. 
    1797 - Battle of Cape St Vincent, known as Nelson’s Forgotten Battle. It was a great and welcome victory for the Royal Navy - 15 British ships had defeated a Spanish fleet of 27, and the Spanish ships had a greater number of guns and men. Admiral Jervis had trained a highly disciplined force and this was pitted against a Spanish navy under Don José Cordoba that was little more than a panic stricken mob. Of 600-900 men on board his ships, only some 60 to 80 were trained seamen, the others being soldiers or inexperienced landsmen. The Spanish men fought courageously but without direction. After the San Josef was captured it was found that some of her of guns still had their tompions in the muzzles. The confusion amongst the Spanish fleet was so great that they were unable to use their guns without causing more damage to their own ships than to the British. This was a turning point that affected the colonies as Britain began her dominance over the seas and fight for real estate in the new world from the Spanish and French, who would rather see the United States obtain the land than the British.
    1801 (possibly 1800) - Birthday of Mary Ann Prout (d. 1884), also known as Aunt Mary Prout, believed to have been born free at Baltimore, MD.  Social activist, humanitarian, and educator, Prout became a teacher and, in 1830, founded a day school. Actively involved in her church, she founded a secret society that became the Independent Order of St. Luke to help with the cost of medical care and burial services for needy blacks, an organization that grew to have 1,500 chapters across the nation by 1900.
    1805 - Colonial American theologian Henry Ware, 41, was confirmed as the first Unitarian professor to teach at Harvard University. Soon after, the Trinitarian Congregationalist teachers began withdrawing from the school, and, in 1808, established Andover Theological Seminary. 
    1818 - Believed to be the birthday of Frederick Douglass, born Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey (d. 1895), Cordova, MD.   After escaping from slavery in Maryland, he became a national leader of the abolitionist movement in Massachusetts and New York, gaining note for his oratory and incisive antislavery writings. In his time, he was described by abolitionists as a living counterexample to slaveholders' arguments that slaves lacked the intellectual capacity to function as independent American citizens.  Northerners at the time found it hard to believe that such a great orator had once been a slave. He was a confidante of President Abraham Lincoln.
    1819 - Birthday of Christopher Sholes (d. 1890), Mooresburg, PA.  A printer and newspaper editor by trade, he developed a page numbering machine in the mid-1800s. A friend suggested he modify the machine into a letter-printing device. Sholes patented the typewriter in 1868 and sold the rights to Remington in 1873. The typewriter served as the basis for the modern computer keyboard.
    1824 - Birthday of Winfield Scott Hancock (d. 1886), born at Montgomery, PA.  After serving as Union general in the Civil War, his command of the military division of Texas and Louisiana won him much favor form the Democratic Party because he allowed local civil authorities to retain their power. He pleased the Democrats so well they made him their presidential candidate in 1880. The presidential nominations of 1880 were wide open. The tariff was the only major issue and Hancock was inept at discussing it. The candidates for the most part stayed home and, for the first time, interested supporters came in large numbers to visit them at their homes. James A. Garfield especially received gifts and poems composed for the occasion, watching silently as supporters trampled his flowers and shrubs. Garfield was elected president and Chester A. Arthur was elected vice president. The electoral vote was Garfield, 214; Winfield S. Hancock, 155. The popular vote was Garfield 4,449,053; Hancock, 4,443,035, a very narrow victory. Less than six months in his office, President Garfield would be shot July 2, 1881 at the Washington, DC railroad station. Chester A. Arthur would be acting president until Garfield’s death on September 19, 1881.
    1838 - Birthday of Margaret E. Knight (d. 1914), York, ME.  She held 27 patents including the machinery that makes flat-bottomed paper bags (rather than the envelope type). The basic machinery concept which she patented in 1870 is still in use today. A remarkable inventor, she failed to realize great financial profit from her inventions which included a safety valve for power looms (invented when she was 12) to six patents for shoe manufacturing machinery, plus valves, rotors, even engines.
    1842 - Fans of Charles Dickens organize the Boz Ball, an elite party for the celebrated writer who had arrived in the United States in January for a five-month tour. (Dickens' earliest works had been published under the pseudonym Boz.) Only members of New York's aristocracy were invited to the ball, with each guest's background and pedigree thoroughly inspected. Tickets were priced at the outrageous sum of $10. The event, held at the Park Theater in New York, sold out, and event organizers later held two more sold-out balls, open to the general public.
    1849 - President James Polk became the first US president to be photographed while in office. The photographer was Mathew B. Brady, who would become famous for his photography during the American Civil War.
    1859 - Oregon became the 33rd state in the Union. Oregon’s many national parks and recreational areas are home to the state animal, the beaver, which also provides the state with its nickname, the Beaver State. Oregon’s agricultural industry raises more hazelnuts than any other state, hence the state nut is the hazelnut. The fishing industry is also very large in this northwestern state, making the Chinook salmon the official fish. The Douglas fir, a popular Christmas tree in many American households, comes from the forests of Oregon and is the state tree. Other official Oregon state symbols are state bird: western meadowlark; state flower: Oregon grape; state insect: swallowtail butterfly. “She flies with her own wings” (Alis volat Propriis) is Oregon’s state motto. The state gemstone: sunstone; state rock: thunder egg; state song: "Oregon, my Oregon;" and state dance: square dance. Contrary to popular belief, Portland is not the capital; it is Salem.
    1859 - Birthday of George Washington Gale Ferris (d. 1896), American engineer and inventor, at Galesburg, IL. Among his many accomplishments as a civil engineer, Ferris is best remembered as the inventor of the Ferris wheel, which he developed for the World's Columbian Exposition at Chicago, IL, in 1893. Built on the Midway Plaisance, the 250-feet-in-diameter Ferris wheel (with 36 coaches, each capable of carrying 40 passengers), proved one of the greatest attractions of the fair. It was America's answer to the Eiffel Tower of the Paris International Exposition of 1889.
    1864 - Union General William T. Sherman enters Meridian, Mississippi, during a winter campaign that served as a precursor to his "March to the Sea." This often-overlooked campaign was the first attempt by the Union at total warfare, a strike aimed not just at military objectives but also at the will of the Rebel population.  Sherman launched the campaign from Vicksburg, Mississippi, with the goal of destroying the rail center at Meridian and clearing central Mississippi of Confederate resistance. Sherman believed this would free additional Federal troops that he hoped to use on his planned campaign against Atlanta, Georgia, in the following months. 
Sherman led 25,000 soldiers east from Vicksburg and ordered another 7000 under General William Sooy Smith to march southeast from Memphis, Tennessee. They planned to meet at Meridian in eastern Mississippi. The Confederates had few troops with which to stop Sherman. General Leonidas Polk had less than 10,000 men to defend the state. Polk retreated from the capital at Jackson as Sherman approached and some scattered cavalry units could not impede the Yankees' progress. Polk tried to block the roads to Meridian so the Confederates could move as many supplies as possible from the city's warehouses, but Sherman pushed into the city on 14 February under a torrential rain.  After capturing Meridian, Sherman began to destroy the railroad and storage facilities while he waited for the arrival of Smith. Sherman later wrote: "For five days, 10,000 men worked hard and with a will in that work of destruction...Meridian, with its depots, storehouses, arsenals, hospitals, offices, hotels, and cantonments no longer exists." Sherman waited until 20 February for Smith to arrive, but Smith never reached Meridian. On 21 February, Confederate troops under General Nathan Bedford Forrest waylaid Smith at West Point, Mississippi, and dealt the Federals a resounding defeat. Smith returned to Memphis, and Sherman turned back towards Vicksburg.  Ultimately, Sherman failed to clear Mississippi of Rebels and the Confederates repaired the rail lines within a month. Sherman did learn how to live off the land, however, and took notes on how to strike a blow against the civilian population of the South. He used that knowledge with devastating results in Georgia later that year.
    1867 - Less than two years after the Civil War ended, Morehouse College was founded as Augusta Institute in Augusta, Georgia. The college was relocated to Atlanta in 1879 and received its present name in 1913. Morehouse is the nation's only historically black, all-male, four-year liberal arts college. Prominent alumni include Martin Luther King Jr., JET magazine publisher Robert Johnson, two-time Olympic gold medal hurdler Edwin Moses, former Atlanta Mayor Maynard Jackson, filmmaker Spike Lee, and actor Samuel L. Jackson.
    1867 – Japan’s Thomas Edison, Sakichi Toyoda (d. 1930), was born at Kosai, Japan.  He invented an automatic loom that stopped immediately if a thread broke, assuring defect-free fabric.  His son, Kiichiro, moved the family business into automotive manufacturing with the creation of Toyota Motor Company in 1933. 
    1870 - Esther Morris becomes the nation's first woman justice of the peace.  Morris is credited with winning women's suffrage in Wyoming territory last year. She arm-twisted two Democratic lawmakers into sponsoring legislation giving women the vote after giving a dinner for twenty (one of those who did not attend, opposed the legislation, some feel because he was not invited to the dinner; or perhaps he knew what was the purpose of the dinner and did not want to attend). Most Wyoming lawmakers treated the measure lightheartedly, hoping their bold step would attract more women to the territory. Democrats, for their part, were counting on a veto by Governor John Campbell. After the bill passed, however, Campbell promptly signed the bill, making Wyoming the first state or territory to enact women's suffrage. In 1872, the Democrats try to repeal the bill, offering Campbell $2,000 to cooperate. The governor firmly refused.
    1886 - Destined to become one of the state's major exports, the first trainload of oranges grown by southern California farmers left Los Angeles via the transcontinental railroad.  In 1880, just before the first trainload of oranges departed, Los Angeles had 11,183 inhabitants.  A decade later, the population had ballooned to 102,479. By 1920, there would be more than half a million residents. Los Angeles was already well on its way to becoming the largest urban center in the American West. The Spanish had established Los Angeles, one of the oldest cities in the Far West, in 1781 to help colonize the region. For several decades, the city was the largest center of population in Mexican California. Mexican settlement and development of California, however, proceeded very slowly and Los Angeles developed little real economic or political power during this period. By the time the U.S. took control of California in 1848, Los Angeles still only had just over 1,610 inhabitants. As Anglo-Americans began to assert their control over California, they gradually broke up the large Hispanic ranches and replaced them with a more diversified farming economy. With irrigation, southern California proved an ideal environment for growing many crops, particularly valuable fruits like oranges. During the 1870s and 1880s, state railroad lines linking Los Angeles into the new system of transcontinental railways created additional moneymaking opportunities. Settlers, tourists, and health seekers all boarded trains to travel to the Pacific, where the sunny climate and beautiful scenery promised a new and better life. The healthful new California lifestyle became closely associated in the public mind with the sweet fruits that grew so abundantly in the orchards around Los Angeles. Taking advantage of the rapid transportation capabilities of the transcontinental lines, Los Angeles area orchard owners began shipping their oranges to the East in 1886. As the city grew, it subdivided many nearby orchards and pushed the orange growers out into regions like Orange County. There the orange growers steadily increased the size of their orchards to the point where local supplies of water for irrigation were inadequate. Determined to sustain their agricultural and real estate booms, Los Angeles residents undertook a massive program of hydraulic engineering in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Engineers took water from the distant mountains to transform the arid southern California ecosystem into a green agricultural and residential paradise. The resulting growth was astonishing. 
    1893 - Birthday of singer/pianist/songwriter Perry Bradford (d. 1970), Montgomery, AL.
    1894 - Jack Benny was born Benjamin Kubelsky (d. 1974), Chicago.  Jack Benny entered vaudeville at Waukegan, IL, at age 17, using the violin as a comic stage prop. His radio show first aired in 1932 and continued for 20 years with little change in format. Recognized as a leading 20th-century American entertainer, Benny often portrayed his character as a miser, who obliviously played his violin badly, and ridiculously claimed to be 39 years of age, regardless of his actual age.  In 1960, Benny was inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame with three stars…for television, motion pictures and radio. He was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame in 1988 and the National Radio Hall of Fame in 1989.  He was also inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame.      
    1899 - A great blizzard struck the eastern U.S. Washington D.C. received 20.5 inches of snow to bring their total snow depth to nearly three feet. The storm produced 36 inches of snow at Cape May NJ
    1912 – Arizona (Indian for ‘little or young spring’) became the 48th state. From its beautiful deserts comes the state bird: the cactus wren; the state flower: the saguaro cactus flower, the state reptile: Arizona ridge nose rattlesnake; state fossil: petrified wood; state gem: turquoise; the oasis, the capital city of Phoenix. More American Indians live in Arizona than any other state, representing over 14 different tribes. But the Spanish influence is everywhere, including the official state neckwear: the bolo tie. State motto: Ditat Deus (God enriches). 
    1913 – Birthday of Baseball Hall of Fame announcer Mel Allen, born Melvin Allen Israel (d. 1996) in Birmingham, AL.  Allen began his career with CBS in 1936 broadcasting baseball and other sporting events.  He became the lead announcer for the New York Yankees after World War II, continuing through their dynasties of the 40s, 50s and early 60s before being fired in 1964.  Hall of Famer Red Barber joined him as Yankees announcer in 1954, forming the game’s premiere duo of all-time.  He started a second career in 1997 as the voice of “This Week in Baseball,” serving as host until his death.  “How ‘bout that!,” “That ball is going, going, gone…a Ballentine Blast!”
    1913 – Birthday of American labor leader (gangster) Jimmy Hoffa (disappeared July 30, 1975, declared dead July 30, 1982), Brazil, Indiana.  He served as the President of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) from 1957 until 1971 following a lifetime in the American labor movement.  Hoffa became involved with organized crime from the early years of his Teamsters work; this connection continued until his disappearance in 1975. He was convicted of jury tampering, attempted bribery, conspiracy, and mail and wire fraud in 1964, in two separate trials. He was imprisoned in 1967 and sentenced to 13 years. In mid-1971, he resigned as president of the union as part of a commutation agreement with President Richard Nixon, and he was released later that year, although he was barred from union activities until 1980. Hoffa, hoping to regain support and to return to IBT leadership, unsuccessfully attempted to overturn the order.  Hoffa disappeared after going out to a meeting with known mobsters Anthony Provenzano and Anthony Giacalone.  The meeting was arranged to take place at 2 p.m. at the Machus Red Fox restaurant in a suburb of Detroit. The Machus Red Fox was known to Hoffa; it had been the site of his son James' wedding reception.  Speculation is rampant as to what happened but the facts are still unclear and the disappearance remains unsolved.
    1914 - Birth of Ira F. Stanphill (d. 1993), Bellview, NM.  Assemblies of God clergyman and song evangelist. He is best known today for the hymn, "Room at the Cross," which he penned in 1946.
    1918 - The film, "Tarzan of the Apes," was released. It was based on stories written by Edgar Rice Burroughs. The movie centered on 10-year-old Gordon Griffith who played the young Tarzan, the older Tarzan was played by Elmo Lincoln. Famous baseball player, Lou Gehrig, turned down an offer to play Tarzan. Four Tarzan actors have won Olympic medals: Johnny Weissmuller, Herman Brix, Buster Crabbe and Glen Morris. Johnny Weissmuller made the Tarzan yell famous.
    1920 - Leaders of the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) approved the formation of a new organization-the League of Women Voters. With the vote for women just a few months away, the new organization was created to help American women exercise their new political rights and responsibilities.
    1921 - In New York, Jane Heap and Margaret Anderson face obscenity charges for publishing a portion of James Joyce's “Ulysses” in the “Little Review.” They were fined $50. Here is a picture of the "Little Review" reunion:  Jane Heap, Mina Loy, and Ezra Pound, Paris, c. 1923
    1922 – Birthday of disc jockey Murray “The K” Kauffman (d. 1982), NYC.  He was an influential New York City rock and roll impressario and DJ of the 1950s, '60s and '70s. During the early days of Beatlemania, he was frequently referred to as the Fifth Beatle.  Kaufman's big break came in 1958 after he moved to New York’s WINS/1010 to do the all-night show, which he titled “The Swingin' Soiree.” Shortly after his arrival, WINS's high energy star disk jockey, Alan Freed, was indicted for tax evasion and forced off the air. Murray was soon moved into the 7–11 pm time period and remained there for the next seven years, always opening his show with Sinatra and making radio history with his innovative segues, jingles, sound effects, antics, and frenetic, creative programming.  Murray the K reached his peak of popularity in the mid-1960s when, as the top-rated radio host in New York City, he became an early and ardent supporter and friend of The Beatles. When the Beatles came to New York in 1964, Murray was the first DJ they welcomed into their circle, having heard about him and his Brooklyn Fox shows from American groups.  Kaufman was also one of the first along with Freed to promote interracial rock and roll concerts, at venues like the Brooklyn Fox and Brooklyn Paramount.  Later, he led the transition to FM radio as the preferred medium of radio for popular music.    
    1925 - A close-up of a lottery list shows the winning numbers drawn in the Mexican National Lottery, dated February 14, 1925. The camera pulls back to the hands of a man holding a lottery ticket. The scraggly-looking bum, a dirty, ragged scrounger [later identified as Fred C. Dobbs "Dobbsie" (Humphrey Bogart)], tears his losing ticket to pieces. 
--- From John Huston's film script of the anarchist B. Traven's book, “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.”
    1925 - Birthday of bandleader Elliot Lawrence (Broza) (d. 2021), Philadelphia.
    1928 - The Dorsey Brothers record their first record, Okeh Label.
    1929 - In the gangland struggle for control of the Chicago trade in bootleg liquor, gunmen in the employ of mobster Al Capone machine-gunned seven members of the George “Bugs” Moran gang in a garage on North Clark Street. It made national headlines as the “the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre.”
    1930 – “The Maltese Falcon” by Dashiell Hammett is published. Ex-Pinkerton agent turned author Dashiell Hammett’s crime novel introducing Sam Spade was published by Alfred A. Knopf in New York, NY. (The novel has been serialized in Black Mask magazine in the fall of 1929, but Hammett revised the text.) The novel was a milestone in American literature, offering the model by which all “hard-boiled” crime fiction would follow. In terse tough guy San Spade (who “looked rather pleasantly like a blood satan”), the world found a new pop icon. The notably dark haired Humphrey Bogart played Spade in the 1941 film version directed by John Huston.
    1930 - Birthday of trumpet player Dwike Mitchell, born Ivory Mitchell Jr. (d. 2013), Dunedin, FL

    1931 - Ted Lewis' "Just A Gigolo" hits #1 on the pop singles chart. Over a half century later, "Diamond" David Lee Roth scores a major hit with the same song
    1932 - The U.S. won its first Olympic bobsled competition (both the two-man and four-man races) at the Winter Olympic Games at Lake Placid, NY. Twelve other teams competed in the event. This was also the first bobsledding competition in the United States. The four-man team included Edward Eagan, who was also the 1920 Olympic light heavyweight boxing champion. Eagan's winter gold medal made him the first person to take home gold in both the Summer and Winter Olympics. 
    1935 - Birthday of trombonist Rob McConnell (d. 2010), London, Ontario 
    1933 – Chicago Mayor Anton J. Cermak of Chicago is fatally wounded in Miami, Florida, by an assassin's bullet intended for President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt.
    1940 - The first porpoise born in captivity arrived at Marineland in Florida. 
    1940 - A "Saint Valentine's Day Blizzard" hit the northeastern U.S. Up to a foot and a half of snow blanketed southern New England, and whole gales accompanied the heavy snow stranding many in downtown Boston
    1941 - Frank Leahy was named head football coach at the University of Notre Dame.  Leahy coached from 1941 to 1943 and again from 1946 to 1953, compiling a career college football record of 107–13–9. His winning percentage of .864 is the second best in NCAA Division I football history, trailing only that of fellow Notre Dame coach, Knute Rockne, for whom Leahy played from 1928 to 1930. Leahy played on two Notre Dame teams that won national championships, in 1929 and 1930, and coached four more, in 1943, 1946, 1947, 1949.  
    1941 - Anita O’Day joins Gene Krupa’s Band (as I compile this, I am listening to “Anita O'Day swings Cole Porter with Billy May”). I think I like Ella singing the songs better, but the arrangements here are the best Billy May---Lean, Baby, Lean.)
    1945 - Allied fire-bombing of Dresden, killing more than 135,000 German citizens, enters into its second day. Many die of suffocation as firestorms, purposely created by dropping incendiary bombs in the raids, consume all the oxygen over large areas of the city. Hitler’s days are numbered as he believes the V-3 will soon be dropping over the United States.
    1945 - BIGELOW, ELMER CHARLES, Medal of Honor
Rank and organization: Watertender First Class, U.S. Naval Reserve. Born: 12 July 1920, Hebron, 111. Accredited to. Illinois. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving on board the U.S.S. Fletcher during action against enemy Japanese forces off Corregidor Island in the Philippines, 14 February 1945. Standing topside when an enemy shell struck the Fletcher, Bigelow, acting instantly as the deadly projectile exploded into fragments which penetrated the No. 1 gun magazine and set fire to several powder cases, picked up a pair of fire extinguishers and rushed below in a resolute attempt to quell the raging flames. Refusing to waste the precious time required to don rescue-breathing apparatus, he plunged through the blinding smoke billowing out of the magazine hatch and dropped into the blazing compartment. Despite the acrid, burning powder smoke which seared his lungs with every agonizing breath, he worked rapidly and with instinctive sureness and succeeded in quickly extinguishing the fires and in cooling the cases and bulkheads, thereby preventing further damage to the stricken ship. Although he succumbed to his injuries on the following day, Bigelow, by his dauntless valor, unfaltering skill and prompt action in the critical emergency, had averted a magazine explosion which undoubtedly would have left his ship wallowing at the mercy of the furiously pounding Japanese guns on Corregidor, and his heroic spirit of self-sacrifice in the face of almost certain death enhanced and sustained the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life in the service of his country.
    1946 - Edith Houghton signed with the Philadelphia Phillies as the first woman to scout for a Major League baseball team.
    1946 - J. Presper Eckert and John W. Mauchly demonstrated the Electronic Numerical integrator and Computer (ENIAC) for the first time at the University of Pennsylvania. This was the first electronic digital computer. It occupied a room the size of a gymnasium and contained nearly 18,000 vacuum tubes. The Army commissioned the computer to speed the calculation of firing tables for artillery. By the time the computer was ready, World War II was over. However, ENIAC prepared the way for future generations of computers.
    1949 - Top Hits
A Little Bird Told Me - Evelyn Knight
Powder Your Face with Sunshine - Evelyn Knight
Far Away Places - Margaret Whiting
I Love You So Much It Hurts - Jimmy Wakely
    1951 - Sugar Ray Robinson, often regarded as the greatest boxer of all time, won the world middleweight championship by knocking out Jake LaMotta in the 15th round of a fight in Chicago.
    1953 - Teresa Brewer's "Till I Waltz Again with You" hits #1.
    1957 - Lionel Hampton’s only major musical work, "King David," debuted at New York’s Town Hall. Dimitri Mitropoulos conducted the four-part symphony jazz suite.
    1957 - Georgia Senate unanimously approves Senator Leon Butts' bill barring blacks from playing baseball with whites.
    1957 - Top Hits
Too Much - Elvis Presley
Young Love - Tab Hunter
You Don’t Owe Me a Thing - Johnnie Ray
Young Love - Sonny James
    1962 - A televised tour of the White House, led by First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy and hosted by Charles Collingwood, was broadcast simultaneously by CBS and NBC. The tour was watched by an estimated 46,500,000 viewers, offering them their first opportunity to see many of the rooms of the President's home. The First Lady was praised on her astute knowledge of the antique furniture in the White House, as she explained the history of many of the pieces during the tour. 
    1962 - President John F. Kennedy authorizes U.S. military advisors in Vietnam to return fire if fired upon. At a news conference, he said, "The training missions we have [in South Vietnam] have been instructed that if they are fired upon, they are of course to fire back, but we have not sent combat troops in [the] generally understood sense of the word." In effect, Kennedy was acknowledging that U.S. forces were involved in the fighting, but he wished to downplay any appearance of increased American involvement in the war. The next day former Vice President Nixon expressed hopes that President Kennedy would "step up the build-up and under no circumstances curtail it because of possible criticism." Contrary to popular belief, it was not President Kennedy who authorized the first military assistance to the government of Viet Nam. It was President Harry S. Truman in 1946. Each president since then inherited this decision to halt communism and increased participation in the South East.
    1965 - Top Hits
You’ve Lost that Lovin’ Feelin’ - The Righteous Brothers
This Diamond Ring - Gary Lewis & The Playboys
All Day and All of the Night - The Kinks
You’re the Only World I Know - Sonny James
    1966 - Simon and Garfunkel receive their first gold record for "Sounds of Silence," which had hit Number One on the pop charts on the first day of this year.
    1966 - Wilt Chamberlain of the Philadelphia 76ers set a National Basketball Association record when, after 7 seasons of pro basketball, he hit a career high of 20,884 points. 
    1967 - Jim Morrison and The Doors performed at Whisky A-Go-Go, 568 Sacramento St., San Francisco, California.
    1967 - Aretha Franklin records her signature song "Respect" at New York's Atlantic Studios
    1968 – Tired of traveling, The Jefferson Airplane opens at the Carousel Ballroom, Van Ness Avenue and Market Street, Frisco, California.
    1968 - Frank Zappa releases “We’re Only in it for the Money” album.
    1968 - The Airplane opens at the Carousel Ballroom at Van Ness Ave. and Market Street, San Francisco.
    1970 - 45% favor or “have no opinion” regarding the war in Viet Nam. Despite an increasingly active antiwar movement, a Gallup Poll shows that a majority of those polled (55 percent) oppose an immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Vietnam. Those that favored American withdrawal had risen from 21 percent, in a November poll, to 35 percent. President Nixon had taken office in January 1969 promising to bring the war to an end, but a year later the fighting continued and support for the president's handling of the war had begun to slip significantly.
    1970 - The Jaggerz, a six-piece group from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, entered the Billboard chart with a song called "The Rapper." Although the tune would rise to #2 during an eleven-week run, it would be the band's only chart appearance. 
    1970 - The Chicago Seven Trial, case goes to the jury.
    1970 - In US, 55% oppose immediate withdrawal from Vietnam. Despite an increasingly active antiwar movement, a Gallup Poll shows that a majority of those polled (55%) oppose an immediate withdrawal of US troops from Vietnam. Those that favored American withdrawal had risen from 21 percent, in a November poll, to 35 percent. President Nixon had taken office in January 1969 promising to bring the war to an end, but a year later the fighting continued and support for the president's handling of the war had begun to slip significantly. 
    1970 - Sly and the Family Stone's "Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)" hits #1.
    1971 – President Richard Nixon orders secret taping system in the White House. Instructs Bob Haldeman to install it also in the Nixon’s White House office. The purpose was to obtain historic information for his autobiography and the idea of a Nixon Library. There are those who say it was also a device to spy on his staff, which Nixon avertedly did, not trusting anyone, including his own Secretary of State Henry Kissinger (as the tapes eventually revealed). 
    1972 - The musical, "Grease," opened at New York's Eden Theater, a musical with a 1950's rock score by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey, opened off-Broadway. The play later moved to Broadway's Broadhurst Theatre Among the original cast members were Barry Bostwick and Adrienne Barbeau. The show moved to Broadway later in 1972 and, when it closed in 1980, it was one of the longest running musicals in history with 3,388 performances. A hit movie based on the play starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John produced the hit song: "Grease." The movie included several additional songs. Among them were Barry Gibb's title tune, which became a hit for Frankie Valli, and John Farrar's "You're the One That I Want," a million-seller for the film's stars, John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, and "Summer Nights." 
    1972 - Birthday of former QB Drew Bledsoe, Ellensburg, WA.  The first overall pick in the 1993 NFL Draft, Bledsoe helped improve the fortunes of the New England Patriots, who had fallen on hard times.  During his tenure as starting quarterback, the Patriots ended a seven-season postseason drought, qualified for the playoffs four times, and appeared in Super Bowl XXXI under Bill Parcells. He was also named to three Pro Bowls and became the youngest quarterback to play in the NFL's all-star game at the time with his 1995 appearance.  Bledsoe suffered a near-fatal injury early in the 2001 season and was replaced as starter by backup Tom Brady, a 6th round, 199th overall pick in the 2000 draft. After he was medically cleared to play, Bledsoe was unable to regain his starting position due to Brady's success during the season, which led to the Patriots winning their first Super Bowl in XXXVI, beginning the dynasty that would appear in 9 additional Super Bowls and winning 6 of them since the 2001 season. Bledsoe subsequently retired in 2007 after stints with the Buffalo Bills, where he made a fourth Pro Bowl appearance, and the Dallas Cowboys, where he was reunited with former Patriots head coach Parcells.
    1973 - Birthday of former Titans QB Steve McNair (d. 2009), Mount Olive, MS. He spent most of his career with the Houston/Tennessee Oilers/Titans. McNair led the Titans to the playoffs four times, and the Ravens once, and played in Super Bowl XXXIV with the Titans. McNair was selected to the Pro Bowl three times and was an All-Pro and Co-MVP in 2003. McNair was the first African American quarterback to win AP NFL MVP.  On July 4, 2009, McNair was fatally shot by his mistress in a murder–suicide.
    1973 - Top Hits
Crocodile Rock - Elton John
Why Can’t We Live Together - Timmy Thomas
Oh, Babe, What Would You Say? - Hurricane Smith
She Needs Someone to Hold Her (When She Cries) - Conway Twitty
    1974 - Daryl Dragon and Toni Tennille - the Captain and Tennille - were married in California.  Tennille filed for divorce from Dragon, suffering from Parkinson’s disease, in 2014 after 39 years of marriage. Dragon was unaware of the termination of his marriage until he was served with the divorce papers.
    1974 - "Americans," a spoken word record by Byron McGregor, hit number one on the Cash Box Best Sellers Chart. McGregor was a newsman at Windsor Ontario's CKLW radio and recorded an editorial that was written by Canadian journalist Gordon Sinclair. The record described how Americans donate food, medicine and millions of dollars to those in trouble around the world and are rewarded with protests and flag burnings in other nations. 
    1977 - Clifford Alexander, Jr. first Black Secretary of Army State, confirmed.  Retired October 1, 2003 as Chairman of Moody’s Investment Firm. August_1/106171152/p1/article.jhtml
    1978 - First 'microcomputer on a chip' patented by Texas Instruments
    1980 - As Walter Cronkite announced his retirement from the "CBS Evening News," Dan Rather was chosen to replace television’s most trusted journalist. Cronkite announced Rather would take over the anchor desk in 1981. 
    1981 - Top Hits
Celebration - Kool & The Gang
9 to 5 - Dolly Parton
I Love a Rainy Night - Eddie Rabbitt
Who’s Cheatin’ Who - Charly McClain
    1984 - The publicly bisexual Elton John married sound engineer Renate Blauel in an Anglican church in a suburb of Sydney, Australia. Their engagement was a mere five days. The pair seldom lived together and they divorced in 1988. Blauel was reported to have received a $45 million divorce settlement.
    1985 - The U.S. Rabbinical Assembly of Conservative Judaism announced their decision to begin accepting women as rabbis. 
    1986 - Frank Zappa appeared on "Miami Vice" as a crime boss named "Mr. Frankie."
    1987 - Singer Paul Simon performed before 20,000 people in the first of two shows at a soccer stadium in Harare, Zimbabwe. Sharing the stage with Simon were the black South African artists who helped him record his best-selling "Graceland" LP. Simon performed for free, and proceeds from the concerts went to charity. 
    1987 - George Strait became the first artist to debut an album at number one on Billboard's country chart when "Ocean Front Property" went to the top spot in its first week.
    1987 - The largest crowd to see an NBA game was at the Silverdome in Pontiac, Michigan, as 57,745 people watched the Detroit Pistons beat the Philadelphia 76ers, 125-107. 
    1987 - A powerful storm spawned severe thunderstorms in Texas and Oklahoma and produced heavy snow in the Rocky Mountain Region. Snowfall totals in Colorado ranged up to 27 inches at Telluride. Straight line winds gusting to 104 mph howled through Guadalupe Pass in West Texas.
    1987 - Dick Baldwin beat Adolph Rupp’s record for the most college career coaching wins as his Broome County Community College won game number 876. Baldwin was with the Upstate New York college for 40 years before moving to SUNY Binghamton until 1996.
    1987 - Bon Jovi hit #1 with their tune "Livin' On A Prayer." It was from their album "Slippery When Wet" which went to #1 for 8 weeks and sold over 9 million copies!!!
    1988 - Bobby Allison became the first 50-year old driver to win the Daytona 500 when he out dueled his 26-year-old son Davey.
    1989 - Top Hits
Straight Up - Paula Abdul
Wild Thing - Tone Loc
Born to Be My Baby - Bon Jovi
Song of the South – Alabama
    1990 - Valentine's Day was a snowy one for many parts of the western and central U.S. Five to ten inches of snow fell across Iowa, and 6 to 12 inches of snow blanketed northern Illinois, and strong northeasterly winds accompanied the heavy snow. Air traffic came to a halt during the evening at O'Hare Airport in Chicago, where 9.7 inches of snow was reported. More than 250 traffic accidents were reported around Des Moines IA during the evening rush hour. An ice storm glazed east central sections of Illinois, causing twelve million dollars damage in Champaign County alone.
    1994 - Michael Jackson sang a cappella passages from his songs "Billie Jean" and "Dangerous" in a Denver, Colorado, courtroom while testifying in a copyright infringement case. Crystal Cartier had claimed Jackson stole one of her songs but the case was dismissed. The court later began selling audio transcripts of Jackson's testimony, including his singing, at $15 a tape.
    1996 - The artist formerly known as Prince, age 37, returned to his hometown of Minneapolis and, under his given name Prince Rogers Nelson, married his backup dancer Mayte Jannell Garcia, age 22. Church workers were not allowed to watch the 40-minute candlelight service in the sanctuary, which was decorated with pink and white roses. It was the first marriage for both. The eccentric artist had announced a few years earlier that he would no longer use the name "Prince", and would be known by an unpronounceable sign that merges the symbols for male and female. 
    1998 - Eric Rudolph was declared the suspect in the bombing of a Birmingham, Alabama abortion clinic. A $100,000 reward was offered for his arrest and conviction. As of early 2002, Rudolph was still at large, among the top ten most wanted.
    1999 - Elton John plays himself in animated from for a Valentine's Day episode of "The Simpsons."
    1999 - Matt Drudge reports:  “BILL GIVES HILLARY LOVE PIN, VOWS NEVER TO CHEAT AGAIN.”  On Sunday evening in Mexico, First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton was spotted wearing a heart-shaped gold pin on her dark suit — a pin, sources say, that was given to her by her husband with a vow that he would never cheat on her again!  "It was a Valentine's Day gift," says a well-placed White House source traveling with the president. "He promised her that he will not hurt her anymore. The pin was a gift from his heart that came with a promise that he would remain faithful."  En route to Mexico, Mrs. Clinton walked through the press cabin aboard Air Force One and showed off the pin. But one reporter who witnessed Mrs. Clinton's walk through the cabin felt that the First Lady was deliberately displaying the pin to show that all is now well between her and her husband. "I think they were spinning us with all the fuss surrounding the pin," a network reporter e-mailed the DRUDGE REPORT from Mexico. "Monica's book is about to come out, and then the TV interview. I think they are trying hard to diffuse all of that." Also on the plane ride down to Mexico the president shared a huge box of candy with reporters. "Happy Valentine's Day," the president smiled.
    2001 - The two astronauts from the space shuttle Atlantis took the 100th spacewalk; the first had been taken by American Edward White in 1965. On their excursion Thomas Jones and Robert Curbeam Jr. put the finishing touches on the International Space Station's new science lab Destiny.
    2012 – Love letters between Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning were published online by Wellesley College and Baylor University.
    2013 – Senate Republicans filibustered the nomination of Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense, demanding answers to questions about President Obama and Benghazi.
    2013 – Bankrupt airline American Airlines and US Airways merged, creating the world’s largest carrier and retaining the American Airlines name.
    2015 – GM recalled over 81,000 vehicles due to potential power steering problems in the 2006 and 2007 models of Pontiac G6, Chevrolet Malibu and Malibu Maxx.
    2018 – A former student entered Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL and opened fire with an AK-15 assault rifle. 14 students and 3 staff were murdered. Warnings about the shooter to the FBI and Broward County went unheeded.



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