This Day in History
February 7: United States imposes total embargo against Cuba, Mississippi “abolishes” slavery, and other events of the date
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February 7: United States imposes total embargo against Cuba, Mississippi “abolishes” slavery, and other events of the date


A number of important events have taken place on February 7 in U.S. history. Here is our take on the most interesting and valuable of them

1940 – Pinocchio is released

A true masterpiece was released 79 years ago on this date. Pinocchio is an American animated musical fantasy film produced by Walt Disney Productions and based on the Italian children's novel The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi. Interestingly, it was just the second animated feature film produced by Disney, made after the success of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937).

The plot of the film is well-known, but we would like to recall it to celebrate the movie. It involves an old wood-carver named Geppetto who carves a wooden puppet named Pinocchio. The puppet is brought to life by a blue fairy, who informs him that he can become a real boy if he proves himself to be "brave, truthful, and unselfish". Pinocchio's efforts to become a real boy involve encounters with a host of unsavory characters.

Critical analysis of Pinocchio identifies it as a simple morality tale that teaches children of the benefits of hard work and middle-class values. So, to some extent, Pinocchio raised the generation of America’s Golden Era of the 1950’s in the right way. 

Although it became the first animated feature to win a competitive Academy Award – winning two for Best Music, Original Score and for Best Music, Original Song for When You Wish Upon a Star – it was initially a box office disaster. It eventually made a profit in its 1945 reissue, and is considered one of the greatest animated films ever made, with a 100% rating on the website Rotten Tomatoes. 

1962 – Cold War: United States imposes total embargo against Cuba

Some Cold War events and processes haven’t ended yet, despite the fact that the era of the struggle between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. itself ended almost 30 years ago. And the embargo against Cuba is one of a kind. The United States currently imposes a commercial, economic, and financial embargo against this state. 

The United States first imposed an embargo on the sale of arms to Cuba on March 14, 1958, during the Fulgencio Batista regime. Again on October 19, 1960 (almost two years after the Cuban Revolution had led to the deposition of the Batista regime) the U.S. placed an embargo on exports to Cuba except for food and medicine after Cuba nationalized American-owned Cuban oil refineries without compensation. On February 7, 1962 the embargo was extended to include almost all exports. This is a way for American to counteract regimes it doesn’t. 

As of 2018, the Cuban embargo is enforced mainly through six statutes: the Trading with the Enemy Act of 1917, the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, the Cuban Assets Control Regulations of 1963, the Cuban Democracy Act of 1992, the Helms–Burton Act of 1996, and the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 2000. 

The stated purpose of the Cuban Democracy Act of 1992 is to maintain sanctions on Cuba as long as the Cuban government refuses to move toward "democratization and greater respect for human rights". Yet, we all know what “democratization” means--“chaos.”

2013 - Mississippi “abolishes” slavery

This isn’t an event you would expect to have happened just six years ago, but on February 7, 2013 Mississippi became the last state to formally ratify the 13th Amendment passed by Congress back in the middle of the 1860’s.

Of course, they didn’t support slavery--it just never went through the full procedure of ratification. The campaign started in the beginning of 2013, when Ken Sullivan, an anatomical material specialist at UMC, recalled a move by the state legislature in 1995 to ratify the amendment. He then went digging and found that although it had passed both houses, it remained unratified. 

The reason for the bill never being fully ratified was because the last paragraph required the Secretary of State to send a copy to the office of the federal register, to officially sign it into law. For some reason it was never sent; that is, until the paperwork was filed on January, 30, 2013, and the state of Mississippi finally ratified the anti-slavery 13th amendment on February 7, 2013. 

These are the most notable events in the U.S. history that occurred on February 7, at least in our view.

Author: USA Really