By Thomas Sellers Jr.
One of the best commercials from the Big Game on February 7 featured actor Michael B. Jordan and the new-look, improved Amazon Alexa.
Simply known as Alexa, the virtual assistant is just as popular as the young thespian. Since 2015 both Michael B. Jordan and Alexa have gained a following. So the collaboration recently was perfect timing to strike while the iron is flaming hot.
Jordan has blockbuster hits like Creed, Creed 2 and Black Panther to his credit. He’s in great physical shape and his acting skills are improving with each role like in Just Mercy.
Meanwhile Alexa has a devoted following because of its functions to control smart devices, set alarms, stream podcasts, play audiobooks and provide updates on weather, traffic, sports, and other real-time information and the news.
Combine a luxury device people think is essential with a sex-symbol and you get commercial gold. Jordan’s resume’ is growing rapidly each day and maybe one day he’ll gain February-born icon status. Jordan turned 34 on February 9, meaning he has plenty of time to join the list below. The Best Sellers’ List is going to rank the most iconic people born in the second month of the calendar year.
February is an impressive month with a wide-range of important figures.
- February 3, 1874: Gertrude Stein
Gertrude Stein came long during a time when a writer could shape minds and popular opinions. Stein has gone down as one of America’s greatest novelist, poets and authors. Born in Pittsburgh, Penn., she was raised in Oakland, Calif., and had a major impact across the world.
She was a key figure in the Modernism Movement. She was a leader for her generation and peers hosting contemporaries in her Paris salon. Stein rubbed shoulders with leading figures of modernism in literature and art like Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Sinclair Lewis, Ezra Pound, Sherwood Anderson and Henri Matisse.
- February 6, 1945:
You’ve seen Robert Nesta Marley on T-shirts, coffee cups and memes. The Jamaican born entertainer is better known as Bob Marley. He is very popular among a certain demographic. Passing away on May 11, 1981, I’ve known about him since I was a little boy. Keep in mind I was born almost 4 months after his death.
He is considered one of the pioneers of Reggae. Marley’s sound lives today because he fused elements of reggae, ska, and rock-steady. His vocal styling are still imitated today.
Marley is an Rastafarian icon because of his music and people say his spirit. He is also considered a worldwide icon because he was outspoken for the legalization of marijuana, while he also advocated for Pan-Africanism.
In 1994, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Rolling Stone ranked him No. 11 on its list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.
- February 15, 1564: Galileo Galilei
If you take a history class, you will hear the name Galileo. Galileo Galilei is known for his work in the field of physics. He made a few groundbreaking discoveries in our universe.
I challenge you pronounce his full name Galileo di Vincenzo Bonaiuti de’ Galilei. You will be better off calling him the “Father of Modern Physics” or “Father of Observational Astronomy.” The Italian astronomer went down in history as a physicist and engineer. He has a deep connection with the Leaning Tower of Pisa with his work in the Italian city. Before his death in 1642, Galileo expanded our minds with technology like his telescopes, discoveries in outer space and helping us gain a better understanding of nature.
- February 12, 1809: Charles Darwin
This countdown is the survival of the fittest. So Mr. Charles Robert Darwin makes this countdown because he is essential learning for most middle schoolers across America.
Darwin goes down in history as a naturalist, geologist and biologist. His greatest contribution society is the On The Origin of Species. This work from Charles Darwin focused on evolutionary biology.
Darwin shock up the science community in the 1870s, stating that evolution as a fact.
- February 27, 1932: Elizabeth Taylor
Dame Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor is the ideal image Hollywood beauty in her prime. She aged gracefully and displayed to the world her mind was just as sharp and beautiful.
Taylor was an English-American actress, businesswoman, and humanitarian. Her acting career started early as a child-start in the 1940s. She was able to make the transition in the 1950s with leading roles.
Taylor became a subject for the tabloids with her marriages. But the press didn’t cover her work with the HIV/AIDS community with the same passion. Taylor dedicated decades to that cause educating the public and trying to improve the medicine for those suffering with the disease.
Also she made some jewelry and fragrances that are still on the market today almost a decade after her passing.
- February 4, 1913:
It is currently Black History Month and a common name mention during the 28 days is Rosa Parks. She is known as the “mother of the freedom movement.” She became a Civil Rights icon back in 1955 in Alabama by refusing to five up her seat on a bus. Parks actions that day sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott leading to many similar movements toward Civil Rights.
But let’s take a moment to remember other brave people who stood up for freedom in America.
A total of four women (Colvin included) served as plaintiffs in the Browder v. Gayle 1956 lawsuit that led to the desegregation of Montgomery buses. And long before them, activists like Bayard Rustin (in 1942), Irene Morgan (in 1946) and Sarah Louise Keys (in 1952) all demonstrated on public buses.
- February 11, 1846: Thomas Edison
Thomas Edison was a pioneer. This man is the main reason I am typing this column on a computer at this very moment. He should be No. 1 on this countdown but I have him at No. 4 because he his yet to have a holiday or a full-length documentary.
But thank you Mr. Edison for inventing the phonograph, the motion picture camera and the light bulb just to name three. The world is forever indebted to you Sir.
- February 17, 1963: Michael Jordan
Most people under the age of 40 will rank this guy No. 1 for most iconic February birthdays. But the last I checked, February 17 is not a holiday yet. But Michael Jeffrey Jordan is known by his initials and for a Jumpman logo. He is the greatest NBA player to ever play the game. The six-time NBA champion is still building on his resume’ today as an businessman.
He owns the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets, 23XI Racing in the NASCAR Cup Series and is the namesake for Brand Jordan.
His signature sneakers will move him up any February-born list. Jordan can just rely on his stats from the court. His time on the hardwood was legendary hitting a game-winning shot in the 1982 NCAA National Championship game.
Then his days as a Chicago Bull are worth a documentary. Your “Airness,” “Mr. Air Jordan” is a living legend.
- February 12, 1809: Abraham Lincoln
He’s on Mt. Rushmore and is one of the U.S. Presidential icons. Mr. Abraham Lincoln went down in history as a statesman and lawyer. He was our nation’s 16th president starting in 1861. His assassination in 1865 added to his legend. Lincoln led the nation through the American Civil War. He receives credit during his political career by preserving the Union, abolishing slavery, bolstering the federal government and modernizing the U.S. economy.
His signature look and style is sported on Halloween and is a symbol of the annual holiday President’s Day. His birthday along with another guy on his list inspired the holiday to fall third Monday of February as a middle point.
- February 22, 1732: George Washington
George Washington is the “Father of our Nation.” He’s on the $1 bill and is the logo of our country.
First president is also one of his claims to fame. You can toss in a cherry tree, the quarter and the Delaware River. It’s no doubt George Washington, also featured on Mt. Rushmore, is the most iconic birthday in February.
You can sink your wooden teeth into all the facts that make Washington a mythical figure. Along with Lincoln, he helped inspire President’s Day falling in this month.
To drop the mic on this topic, Washington was powerful and instrumental that in 1792 France made him a honorary citizen.
THOMAS SELLERS JR. is the editor of The Millington Star and both the sports editor and a weekly personal columnist for West 10 Media/Magic Valley Publishing. Contact him by phone at (901) 433-9138, by fax to (901) 529-7687 and by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.