February 2014 hosts some of the biggest and boldest travel festivals, events and anniversaries all around the world – these are just a few…
4 February 2014 – 10th Anniversary of Facebook
Can you believe that the social networking giant, Facebook, celebrates its tenth birthday this month?! Launched on 4 February 2004, it was the brainchild of several Harvard University students, including Mark Zuckerberg, to help students connect on campus. Today just about every country on the planet uses Facebook and the site boasts some 1.19 billion users, PureTravel included!
5 February 2014 – UK – 25th Anniversary of Sky TV launch in the UK
Who remembers TV before Sky came along? Well, 25 years ago in 1989 the UK got hooked up to Sky TV which introduced us to cultural gems such as the Simpsons and a plethora of music channels such as the pioneering MTV. For me personally it made volunteering for babysitting at sky-connected houses all the more appealing in the 1990s!
7 February 2014 – Sochi, Russia – XXII Olympic Winter Games
The 2014 Winter Olympics, officially known as the XXII Olympic Winter Games will be held in Sochi on Russia’s Black Sea coast from 7 to 23 February. The Olympic Fame is currently making its way through Russia via ski, BMX bike and troika (carriage pulled by three horses). In total 88 nations will compete in 98 different events, spanning 15 different sports. Prepare to become transfixed by the alpine skiing, biathlon, bobsleigh, cross-country skiing, curling, figure skating, freestyle skiing, ice hockey, luge, Nordic combined, short track speed skating, skeleton, ski jumping, snowboarding and speed skating.
7 February 2014 – New York City, USA – 50th Anniversary of ‘Beatlemania’
Today marks the fiftieth anniversary the stateside arrival of British rock band The Beatles. On 7 February in 1964 the Fab Four launched Beatlemania (as it was famously dubbed) in New York City. Thousands of screaming fans waited for hours to meet Paul, George and Ringo and two days later they made their very first live appearance on US TV on the acclaimed ‘The Ed Sullivan Show’.
7 February 2014 – Grenada – 40th Anniversary of Independence
The idyllic Caribbean island of Grenada doesn’t need an excuse to party, and 2014 has an extra date in the calendar. The 7th of February marks the fortieth anniversary of independence from the UK in 1974. Grenada Day is huge and is celebrated across the world, whilst the Spice Isle itself will host street parties, fireworks and cultural performances.
14 February 2014 – 30th Anniversary of Gold for Torvill and Dean
Thirty years ago today the British figure skaters extraordinaire Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean won the gold medal at the Sarajevo Winter Olympics. They became the first competition pair to ever score a perfect 6.0 and made Olympic skating history in 1984!
15 February 2014 – Republic of Ireland – 140th Anniversary of the Birth of Sir Ernest Shackleton
Polar explorer extraordinaire Sir Ernest Shackleton was born on this day in 1874 in Kilkea in the Republic of Ireland. He is best known for his heroic exploits in exploring the mighty Antarctic and in particular, the famous Endurance expedition from 1914 to 1916. 2014 is also the centenary of that Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition a little later in the year.
15 February 2014 – St Louis, Missouri – 250th Anniversary of St Louis’ Founding
On this date in 1764, the city of St Louis in Missouri was founded by two traders, Pierre Laclède and Auguste Chouteau. The city was named after Louis IX of France, who ruled until 1270 and after his death was declared a saint, thus ensuring many places across the world were named after him, including São Luís do Maranhão in Brazil. Throughout the year the city will celebrate the 250th anniversary of its founding with many events, including the Burnin’ Love Festival (14 February), Re-enactment of the Founding (15 February) and Biggest Birthday Ball (16 February).
23 February 2014 – UK – 80th Anniversary of the Death of Edward Elgar
Renowned English composer Edward Elgar died on this day in 1934. Elgar is possibly one of the best known of the UK’s classical composers, thanks to his Pomp and Circumstance Marches and Enigma Variations pieces. His main influences however were distinctly European and he spearheaded the popularity of the gramophone. Explore the Elgar Birthplace Museum in Lower Broadheath in Worcester which is partly housed within the cottage that Elgar was born in.
25 February 2014 – Florida, USA – 50th Anniversary of Cassius Clay becoming World Heavyweight Champion
Fifty years ago the American Boxer Cassius Clay (who of course later became known as Muhammad Ali) took on Sonny Liston, in a fight billed as one of the greatest sporting moments of the twentieth century. Staged on 25 February 1964 in Miami Beach in Florida, Clay defeated Liston to take the world heavyweight champion title in spectacular fashion.
26 February 2014 – Aintree, UK – 175th of the first Grand National Horse Race
On this day in 1839 the very first Grand National Steeplechase was held at Aintree Racecourse in Merseyside in northern England. The course itself dates back much further, with flat racing events run there for centuries. Aintree is also one of the most difficult courses on the annual calendar with 16 steeplechase fences. This year’s Grand National events takes place on 5 April 2014 at 4.15pm. Great excuse for a celebratory flutter!
1 February 2014 – Netherlands – 70th Anniversary of the death of Piet Mondrian
This year celebrates works of the Dutch abstract artist Pieter Mondrian, to coincide with the seventieth anniversary of his death. Born on 7 March 1872 in Amersfoort in the Netherlands, Mondrian specialised in themodern art and De Stijl periods of art. He later worked in Paris and London, before moving to New York in 1938. He became well known for his work entitled ‘Broadway Boogie-Woogie’ from 1943, which is owned by the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan. He died on 1 February 1944 in Manhattan. He will always be remembered for his incomparable yellow, blue and red compositions which remain admired worldwide. The biggest collection of Mondrian’s works can be seen at the fascinating Municipal Museum in The Hague, which is the largest such collection in the world. And his last painting, which is unfinished and entitled ‘Victory Boogie Woogie’ can be seen in the Municipal Museum.