February's birthstone, amethyst, is the violet or purple variety of quartz. The gemstone's name comes from the Greek amethustos, meaning not intoxicated, a reference to the ancient belief that the stone could ward off drunkenness. The ancient Greeks and Romans wore amethysts and made drinking vessels of them for this reason. The stone is associated with a number of other superstitions as well, being regarded as a love charm, a potent sleep aid, and what else?
Miguel de Cervantes
Back in the day
In 1911, Harriet Quimby earned the first pilot's license issued to a woman in the United States. Less than a year later, Quimby became the first woman to fly across the English Channel. She continued piloting aircrafts until her tragic death in 1912, when she was tossed from her airplane after it unexpectedly pitched forward. Despite the importance of her flight over the English Channel, the feat barely made the newspapers at the time because it was eclipsed by what major event?
Born on a day like today
Chaplin was one of the most creative personalities in the silent film era: he acted in, directed, scripted, produced, and eventually scored his own films. Merging physical grace and disrespect for authority, he created a signature character, the Little Tramp, who wore a gentlemen's derby, carried a cane, and sported a toothbrush mustache. The Little Tramp's baggy trousers and oversized shoes contributed to his unique, bow-legged dance-walk. How did Chaplin's political leanings affect his career?