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6 Events Happening in January and February That You Should Be Aware Of

From the trial of Aurora Batman shooter James Holmes to the opening of the Sundance Film Festival, dates you might want to watch.
(Photo: Creative Commons)

(Photo: Creative Commons)

Signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, 1863
Freed, but largely penniless and illiterate, an estimated one-fourth of America's four million former slaves died of illness between 1862 and 1870, as they roved the country seeking paid work.

World Braille Day
Braille literacy rates for visually impaired children dropped from 55 percent in 1963 to nine percent in 2011. Key reason: kids with poor eyesight are increasingly being taught to read, rather than use Braille.

Sundance Film Festival Begins
Women directed 22 percent of all narrative films shown at Sundance between 2002 and 2012. Sound low? Female directors helmed only four percent of the 100 top-grossing films in those years.


Trial of Aurora Batman Shooter
James Holmes is pleading not guilty by reason of insanity—a defense used successfully by only three of the perpetrators brought to court in the 20th century's 116 mass public shootings, according to Mass Murder in the United States: A History.

Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics
TV ratings for the last Winter Olympics were 74 percent lower among Hispanics and African Americans than the nationwide average. Among Asians, ratings were 15 percent lower.

Valentine's Day
According to a Clark University study, strangers gazing into each other's eyes for two minutes found their feelings of liking and even loving each other increased rapidly.

This post originally appeared in the January/February 2014 issueofPacific Standard as "Datebook." For more, consider subscribing to our bimonthly print magazine.