February comes from the Latin word februarius, which means “to purify.” At one time February was the last month of the year, and during this month the Romans would purify themselves for the festivals to be held at the beginning of the new year. Julius Caesar changed the beginning of the Roman calendar from March to January and made February the second month instead of the last.

February originally had thirty days until Caesar took one day from this month and added it to July, and the emperor Augustus took another day and added it to August. Now February has twenty-eight days, except during leap year—every fourth year—when it has twenty-nine.

February is generally cold and stormy in the Northern Hemisphere, but warm and sunny in the Southern Hemisphere. Wherever YOU live, make it a good month!

February 3, 1851—Brigham Young took oath of office as governor of the Territory of Utah.

February 4, 1831—Edward Partridge ordained first bishop of the Church.

February 5, 1853—The Temple Block in Salt Lake City consecrated and the ground broken for the foundation of the temple.

February 9–10, 1971—LDS Temple, Provo, Utah, dedicated.

February 14, 1835—The first Twelve Apostles chosen at Kirland, Ohio.

February 17, 1834—The first stake in the Church organized in Kirtland.

February 26, 1852—Lorenzo Snow and Jabez Woodard arrived as the first missionaries of the Church on the island of Malta.

February 27, 1833—The revelation known as the Word of Wisdom given.

February 27, 1965—The Italian Mission reopened by permission of the Italian government.

Groundhog Day in the United States: February 2.

Jules Verne: Author of space and undersea stories. Born February 8, 1828.

Planet Pluto: Discovered February 18, 1930.

John H. Glenn: Orbited the earth three times, February 20, 1962.

Wilhelm Grimm: One of the famous German Brothers Grimm. Born February 24, 1786.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: American poet. Born February 27, 1807.

Gioachino Rossini: Great Italian composer. Born February 29, 1792.

Thomas A. Edison: First phonograph was patented February 19, 1878.

Victor Herbert: American composer. Born February 1, 1859.

Illustrated by Charles Quilter