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Metropolitan Museum of Art opens, First Black Senator, and More Good News in History for The Week February 13 to 19

Read on for some of the feel good news in history for the week.


February 20

Metropolitan Museum of Art opens in New York in 1872

Metropolitan Museum New York. Image from Hugo Schneider via Flickr

It is hard to imagine a time when the Met did not exist, but on February 20, 1872, the museum opened its doors to the public for the very first time.

The building was designed by Calvert Vaux and it was filled with American and European paintings and sculptures. The museum’s founders wanted to make a place where everyone could come to learn about art and appreciate it. Today, the Met has over two million works of art from all over the world, including ancient Egyptian artifacts and contemporary art. It’s a really cool place to visit if you’re into art!

February 21

First woman to receive a doctorate in dentistry in 1866

Lucy Hobbs Taylor

Born in 1833, Lucy Hobbs Taylor began her career as a teacher before moving into dentistry. After being initially rejected from the Ohio College of Dental Surgery in 1866 Despite facing numerous obstacles and discrimination due to her gender, she persevered and became the first woman to graduate from the Ohio College of Dental Surgery in 1866.

February 22

First taxi meters begin operating in London in 1907

In London the first taxi cabs with on-board meters began operating on February 22 1907. They belonged to the General Motor Cab Co. Interestingly, the word taxi comes from an abbreviation of ‘taximeter’, which was the name of the device that told customers how much they owed for their fare.

February 23

First transcontinental airmail flight in 1921

On February 23 1921 the first transcontinental flight took off from New York and flew to San Fransisco.

February 25

Hiram Rhodes Revel becomes the first black Senator in 1870

Image of Hiram Rhodes Revel. Image from
Library of Congress

Hiram Rhodes Revel made history on February 25 1870 when he became the first African American Senator in the US Congress. Revel was a Republican, clergyman and educator from Mississippi. His appointment came only 22 days after the Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution was approved.

February 26

Colour movies shown for the first time in 1909

Colour movies from 1909

In 1909, many years before colour movies were released en masse, and in the middle of the silent movie era, the Palace Theatre, London, showed a collection of short movies. Twenty one movies were played to audiences using Kinemacolor, the first successful color motion picture system.

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