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|<<||Selected anniversaries for February||>>|
|An archive of historical anniversaries that appeared on the Main Page|
2019 day arrangement
- 1329 – The Teutonic Knights succeeded in their siege of a fortress in Samogitia, Lithuania, and baptized the defenders in the Catholic rite.
- 1411 – The First Peace of Thorn was signed, ending the Polish–Lithuanian–Teutonic War.
- 1960 – Four African American students staged the first Greensboro sit-ins at a lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina.
- 1972 – Kuala Lumpur gained city status, the first settlement in Malaysia to do so after the nation's independence from the United Kingdom.
- 2009 – Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir (pictured) became Iceland's first female Prime Minister and the world's first openly gay head of government of the modern era.
- 506 – Alaric II, King of the Visigoths, promulgated a collection of Roman law that became known as the Breviary of Alaric.
- 1850 – Brigham Young announced his decision to go to war against Timpanogos who were hostile to the Mormon settlement at Fort Utah.
- 1920 – The signing of the Treaty of Tartu ended the Estonian War of Independence, with Russia agreeing to recognize the independence of Estonia and renounce in perpetuity all rights to that territory.
- 1974 – The F-16 Fighting Falcon (pictured), the most numerous fixed-wing aircraft in military service, made its first flight.
- 2004 – Swiss tennis player Roger Federer became the top-ranked men's singles player, a position he held for a record 237 consecutive weeks.
- 1266 – Conquest of Murcia: James I of Aragon entered the Muslim-held city of Murcia after the surrender of its inhabitants three days earlier.
- 1852 – The Argentine Confederation was defeated in the Platine War by an alliance consisting of Brazil, Uruguay and the Argentine provinces of Entre Ríos and Corrientes.
- 1930 – The Communist Party of Indochina, the Communist Party of Annam, and the Communist League of Indochina merged to form the Communist Party of Vietnam.
- 1959 – American rock and roll musicians Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson were killed when their plane crashed shortly after taking off from Mason City Municipal Airport in Iowa (wreckage pictured).
- 2014 – Russia's first school shooting took place when a student opened fire at School No. 263 in Otradnoye District, Moscow, resulting in the deaths of a teacher and a police officer.
- 1169 – A strong earthquake struck the eastern coast of Sicily, causing at least 15,000 deaths.
- 1859 – German scholar Constantin von Tischendorf rediscovered the Codex Sinaiticus, a 4th-century uncial manuscript of the Greek Bible, in Saint Catherine's Monastery at the foot of Mount Sinai in Egypt.
- 1969 – Yasser Arafat (pictured) was elected chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
- 1999 – The Panamanian-flagged freighter New Carissa ran aground near Coos Bay, Oregon, causing one of the worst oil spills in the state's history.
- 2015 – Shortly after takeoff from Taipei Songshan Airport, the crew of TransAsia Airways Flight 235 shut down the wrong engine in response to a flameout, leading to a crash that resulted in 43 deaths.
- AD 62 – Pompeii was severely damaged by a strong earthquake, which may have been a precursor to the eruption of Mount Vesuvius that destroyed the town 17 years later.
- 1869 – Prospectors in Moliagul, Victoria, Australia, discovered the largest alluvial gold nugget ever found, known as the "Welcome Stranger" (pictured).
- 1917 – The U.S. Congress overrode President Woodrow Wilson's veto to pass the Immigration Act of 1917, establishing new restrictions on immigrants, including the wholesale ban of people from much of Asia.
- 1941 – Second World War: British and Free French forces began the Battle of Keren to capture the strategic town of Keren in Italian Eritrea.
- 2009 – The United States Navy guided missile cruiser Port Royal ran aground on a coral reef off the island of Oahu.
- 1819 – British official Stamford Raffles (pictured) signed a treaty with Sultan Hussein Shah of Johor, establishing Singapore as a trading post for the British East India Company.
- 1862 – Union forces earned one of their first important victories in the American Civil War at the Battle of Fort Henry in western Tennessee.
- 1952 – Elizabeth II ascended to the thrones of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and three other Commonwealth countries upon the death of her father, George VI.
- 1976 – In testimony before a U.S. Senate subcommittee, Lockheed president Carl Kotchian admitted that the company had paid out approximately US$3 million in bribes to the office of Japanese Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka.
- 1987 – Mary Gaudron was appointed as the first female Justice of the High Court of Australia.
- 1497 – Supporters of the Dominican priest Girolamo Savonarola collected and publicly burned thousands of objects such as cosmetics, art, and books in Florence, Italy.
- 1783 – American Revolutionary War: After three years and seven months, Spain and France abandoned their attempt to capture Gibraltar from the British.
- 1900 – A Chinese immigrant in San Francisco fell ill to bubonic plague in the first plague epidemic in the continental United States.
- 1986 – President of Haiti Jean-Claude Duvalier (pictured) fled the country after a popular uprising, ending 28 years of one-family rule in the nation.
- 2014 – Researchers announced the discovery of the Happisburgh footprints in Norfolk, England, the oldest known hominid footprints outside Africa at more than 800,000 years old.
- 1587 – Mary, Queen of Scots (pictured), was executed at Fotheringhay Castle for her involvement in the Babington Plot to murder her cousin, Elizabeth I of England.
- 1837 – Richard Mentor Johnson became the only person ever to be elected Vice President of the United States by the Senate.
- 1879 – Enraged by a controversial umpiring decision, cricket spectators rioted and attacked the England cricket team during a match in Sydney, Australia.
- 1910 – Newspaper and magazine publisher William D. Boyce established the Boy Scouts of America, expanding the Scout Movement into the United States.
- 1965 – After taking evasive action to avoid a mid-air collision just after takeoff from New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport, Eastern Air Lines Flight 663 crashed into the Atlantic Ocean and exploded, killing all 84 people on board.
- 1799 – Quasi-War: The USS Constellation captured the French Insurgente in a single-ship action in the Caribbean Sea.
- 1907 – More than 3,000 women in London participated in the Mud March, the first large procession organised by the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies.
- 1920 – The Svalbard Treaty was signed, recognizing Norwegian sovereignty over the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard.
- 1950 – U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy (pictured) accused 205 employees of the State Department of being communists, sparking a period of strong anti-communist sentiment that became known as McCarthyism.
- 1996 – Researchers at the GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research in Darmstadt, Germany, first created the chemical element copernicium.
- 1355 – A tavern dispute between University of Oxford students and townsfolk turned into a riot that left about 90 people dead.
- 1763 – Britain, France, and Spain signed the Treaty of Paris to end the Seven Years' War, significantly reducing the size of the French colonial empire while at the same time marking the beginning of an extensive period of British dominance outside of Europe.
- 1939 – Spanish Civil War: The Nationalists concluded their conquest of Catalonia and sealed the border with France.
- 1962 – Roy Lichtenstein's (pictured) first solo exhibition opened, and it included Look Mickey, which featured his first employment of Ben Day dots, speech balloons, and comic imagery sourcing.
- 2009 – The first accidental hypervelocity collision between two intact satellites in low Earth orbit took place when Iridium 33 and Kosmos 2251 destroyed each other.
- 1840 – La fille du régiment (audio featured), an opéra comique by Gaetano Donizetti, debuted in Paris to a highly negative review, but went on to become a great success.
- 1851 – As part of the celebration of the separation of Victoria from New South Wales, the initial first-class cricket match in Australia started at the Launceston Racecourse in Tasmania.
- 1919 – Friedrich Ebert was elected provisional President of the German Weimar Republic by the Weimar National Assembly.
- 1979 – The Pahlavi dynasty of Iran effectively collapsed when the military declared itself "neutral" after rebel troops overwhelmed forces loyal to Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi in armed street fighting.
- 2015 – A Turkish student was murdered during a rape attempt, sparking mass demonstrations across the nation after her body was discovered two days later.
- 1502 – Isabella I issued an edict outlawing Islam in the Crown of Castile, forcing virtually all her Muslim subjects to convert to Christianity.
- 1855 – Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan, was founded as the Agricultural College of the State of Michigan, the United States' first agricultural college.
- 1909 – New Zealand's worst maritime disaster of the 20th century took place when 75 people died after the ferry SS Penguin struck a rock in Wellington Harbour and sank.
- 1947 – The French fashion company Christian Dior unveiled a "New Look" (pictured) that revolutionized women's dress and reestablished Paris as the center of the fashion world after World War II.
- 2009 – Just before it was scheduled to land at Buffalo Niagara International Airport, Colgan Air Flight 3407 crashed into a house in Clarence Center, New York, killing the house's occupant and all 49 people on board the aircraft.
- 1660 – Five-year-old Charles XI became King of Sweden.
- 1867 – Work began on the covering of the Senne (pictured), burying the polluted main waterway in Brussels to allow urban renewal in the centre of the city.
- 1913 – Thubten Gyatso, the 13th Dalai Lama, declared the independence of Tibet from the Republic of China.
- 1981 – Sewer explosions caused by the ignition of hexane vapors destroyed more than 13 miles (21 km) of streets in Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.
- 2017 – Kim Jong-nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, was assassinated using VX nerve agent in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
- 1779 – English explorer James Cook was killed near Kealakekua when he tried to kidnap Kalaniʻōpuʻu, the ruling chief of the island of Hawaii.
- 1852 – Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children (pictured), the first hospital in England to provide in-patient beds specifically for children, was founded in London.
- 1924 – The Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company was renamed to International Business Machines, which grew into one of the world's largest companies by market capitalization.
- 1979 – Adolph Dubs, United States Ambassador to Afghanistan, was kidnapped by unknown agents and killed during a gun battle between Afghan police and the perpetrators.
- 1989 – Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini of Iran issued a fatwa for the execution of Salman Rushdie for authoring The Satanic Verses, a novel Islamic fundamentalists considered blasphemous.
- 1898 – The United States Navy battleship USS Maine exploded and sank in Havana, Cuba, killing more than 260 people and precipitating the Spanish–American War.
- 1949 – Gerald Lankester Harding and Roland de Vaux began excavations at Cave 1 of the Qumran Caves in the West Bank, the location of the first seven Dead Sea Scrolls.
- 1979 – Don Dunstan (pictured) resigned as Premier of South Australia, ending a decade of sweeping social liberalisation.
- 1999 – Abdullah Öcalan, one of the founding members of the militant organization the Kurdistan Workers' Party, was arrested by Turkish security forces in Nairobi, Kenya.
- 2010 – Two passenger trains collided in Halle, Belgium, when one driver failed to stop at a red signal, resulting in 19 deaths and 171 injuries.
- 1249 – Louis IX of France dispatched André de Longjumeau as his ambassador to the Mongol Empire.
- 1862 – American Civil War: A Union victory in the Battle of Fort Donelson gave General Ulysses S. Grant the nickname "Unconditional Surrender".
- 1923 – Howard Carter, the English Egyptologist and archaeologist, unsealed the burial chamber of Tutankhamun (mask pictured).
- 1983 – The Ash Wednesday bushfires burned over half a million acres (over 2,000 km2) each in both South Australia and Victoria, killing 75 people and injuring 2,676 others.
- 1996 – Two trains collided in Silver Spring, Maryland, U.S., killing 11 people and leading to the creation of comprehensive federal rules for passenger car design.
- 1814 – War of the Sixth Coalition: Napoleon led a French army to a crushing victory in the Battle of Mormant, nearly destroying a Russian division.
- 1859 – The French Navy captured the Citadel of Saigon, a fortress that was manned by 1,000 Nguyễn dynasty soldiers, en route to conquering Saigon and other regions of southern Vietnam.
- 1904 – Italian composer Giacomo Puccini's Madama Butterfly (Geraldine Farrar in the title role pictured) premiered at La Scala in Milan, generating negative reviews that forced him to rewrite the opera.
- 1974 – A U.S. Army soldier stole a Bell UH-1 helicopter and landed it on the White House South Lawn.
- 2006 – A massive landslide in the Philippine province of Southern Leyte killed over 1,000 people.
- 1766 – A mutiny by captive Malagasy began on the slave ship Meermin, leading to the ship's destruction on Cape Agulhas in present-day South Africa and the recapture of the instigators.
- 1814 – War of the Sixth Coalition: French troops led by Napoleon forced the Army of Bohemia to retreat after it advanced dangerously close to Paris.
- 1878 – Competition between two merchants in Lincoln County, New Mexico Territory, U.S., turned into a range war when a member of one faction was murdered by the other.
- 1942 – World War II: The Imperial Japanese Army began the systematic extermination of perceived hostile elements among Chinese Singaporeans.
- 2010 – WikiLeaks published the first of hundreds of thousands of classified documents disclosed by Chelsea Manning (pictured).
- 1600 – The Peruvian stratovolcano Huaynaputina erupted in the largest volcanic explosion in South America in historical times.
- 1811 – Peninsular War: An outnumbered French force under Édouard Mortier routed and nearly destroyed the Spanish at the Battle of the Gebora near Badajoz, Spain.
- 1942 – A book-burning was held and politicians were arrested in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, as part of a simulated Nazi invasion.
- 1965 – Colonel Phạm Ngọc Thảo of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam, along with Generals Lâm Văn Phát and Trần Thiện Khiêm attempted a coup against the military junta of Nguyễn Khánh.
- 1999 – U.S. President Bill Clinton issued a posthumous pardon to Henry Ossian Flipper (pictured), the first African American graduate of West Point, who had been accused of embezzlement in 1881.
- 1835 – An earthquake with an estimated magnitude of 8.2 Ms devastated Concepción, Chile, and the resulting tsunami destroyed the neighboring city of Talcahuano.
- 1872 – New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art, today the largest art museum in the United States with a collection of over two million works of art, opened.
- 1959 – The Canadian government under Prime Minister John Diefenbaker cancelled the Avro CF-105 Arrow (pictured) interceptor aircraft program amid much political debate.
- 2009 – The Tamil Tigers attempted to crash two aircraft packed with C-4 in suicide attacks on Colombo, Sri Lanka, but the planes were shot down before they reached their targets.
- 1437 – King James I of Scotland was murdered at Perth in a failed coup by his uncle and former ally Walter Stewart, Earl of Atholl.
- 1828 – The inaugural issue of the Cherokee Phoenix, the first newspaper in a Native American language, was published.
- 1919 – Bavarian socialist Kurt Eisner (pictured), who had organized the German Revolution that overthrew the Wittelsbach monarchy and established Bavaria as a republic, was assassinated.
- 1929 – In the first battle of the Warlord Rebellion against the Nationalist government of China, a 24,000-strong rebel force led by Zhang Zongchang was defeated at Zhifu by 7,000 NRA troops.
- 1973 – After accidentally having strayed into Israeli-occupied airspace, Libyan Arab Airlines Flight 114 was shot down by two Israeli fighter aircraft, killing 108.
- 1371 – Robert II (pictured) became King of Scots as the first monarch of the-then House of Stewart.
- 1744 – War of the Austrian Succession: British ships began attacking the Spanish rear of a Franco-Spanish combined fleet in the Mediterranean Sea off the French coast near Toulon.
- 1899 – Philippine–American War: Filipino forces launched their first counterattack in a failed attempt to recapture Manila from the Americans.
- 1959 – Lee Petty won the first Daytona 500 NASCAR auto race at the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida.
- 2012 – A train failed to apply its brakes and crashed through a buffer stop at Once Station in Buenos Aires, resulting in 51 deaths and more than 700 injuries.
- 1739 – The identity of English highwayman Dick Turpin was uncovered by his former schoolteacher, who recognised his handwriting, leading to Turpin's arrest.
- 1886 – American inventor Charles Martin Hall discovered an inexpensive method of producing aluminium (sample pictured).
- 1909 – The Silver Dart was flown off the ice of Bras d'Or Lake on Cape Breton Island, making it the first controlled powered flight in Canada.
- 1947 – The International Organization for Standardization, responsible for worldwide industrial and commercial standards, was founded.
- 1991 – The government of Thai prime minister Chatichai Choonhavan was deposed in a bloodless coup by General Sunthorn Kongsompong.
- 1525 – A Spanish-Imperial army defeated a French force in the Battle of Pavia, the decisive engagement of the Italian War of 1521–1526.
- 1711 – George Frideric Handel's Rinaldo, the first Italian-language opera written specifically for the London stage, premiered.
- 1803 – The U.S. Supreme Court, in Marbury v. Madison, declared an act of Congress unconstitutional for the first time, forming the basis of judicial review.
- 1943 – World War II: The Battle of Kasserine Pass (soldiers pictured), the first major engagement between American and Axis forces in Africa, ended with the Allied forces suffering heavy losses.
- 1989 – United Airlines Flight 811 experienced an uncontrolled decompression after leaving Honolulu International Airport in Hawaii, killing nine passengers when their seats were sucked out of the aircraft.
- 138 – Roman emperor Hadrian adopted Antoninus Pius as his son and successor, after the death of Hadrian's first adopted son Lucius Aelius.
- 1870 – Representing Mississippi in the Senate, Hiram Rhodes Revels became the first African American to serve in the United States Congress.
- 1948 – Fearful of civil war and Soviet intervention in recent unrest, Czechoslovakian president Edvard Beneš (pictured) ceded control over the government to the Communist Party.
- 1994 – Israeli physician Baruch Goldstein opened fire on Muslim Arabs praying at the mosque in Hebron's Cave of the Patriarchs, killing 29 people and wounding 125 others.
- 2009 – Members of the Bangladesh Rifles mutinied at its headquarters in Pilkhana, resulting in 82 deaths.
- 747 BC – According to Ptolemy, the reign of the Babylonian king Nabonassar began, marking a new era characterized by the systematic maintenance of chronologically precise historical records.
- 1815 – Napoleon escaped from Elba (return depicted), an island off the coast of Italy, where he had been exiled after the signing of the Treaty of Fontainebleau one year earlier.
- 1935 – Adolf Hitler ordered the Luftwaffe reinstated, violating the Treaty of Versailles signed at the end of World War I.
- 1979 – The Superliner railcar entered revenue service with Amtrak.
- 2012 – African-American teenager Trayvon Martin was killed in a neighborhood of Sanford, Florida, prompting a nationwide controversy.
- 1560 – The Treaty of Berwick was signed, setting the terms under which an English fleet and army could enter Scotland to expel French troops defending the Regency of Mary of Guise.
- 1870 – The current flag of Japan was first adopted as the national flag for Japanese merchant ships.
- 1933 – The Reichstag building in Berlin, home of the German Parliament, was set on fire (pictured), a pivotal event in the establishment of the Nazi regime in Germany.
- 1989 – A wave of protests, riots and looting known as the Caracazo resulted in a death toll of between 276 and 2,000 people in the Venezuelan capital Caracas and its surrounding towns.
- 2015 – Russian statesman and politician Boris Nemtsov, an outspoken critic of Vladimir Putin, was assassinated in central Moscow.
- 202 BC – Rebel leader Liu Bang declared himself Emperor Gaozu of Han after overthrowing the Qin dynasty, the first imperial dynasty of China.
- 1893 – USS Indiana, the lead ship of her class and the first battleship in the United States Navy comparable to foreign battleships of the time, was launched.
- 1975 – A London Underground train at Moorgate station failed to stop at a terminal platform, crashing and causing the deaths of 43 people.
- 1997 – Two heavily armed bank robbers exchanged gunfire with officers of the Los Angeles Police Department in North Hollywood, in one of the most intense gun battles in American police history.
- 2013 – Benedict XVI (pictured) became the first pope in nearly 600 years to resign from the papacy.
- 1752 – Alaungpaya, a village chief in Upper Burma, founded the Konbaung Dynasty; by the time of his death, he had unified all of Myanmar, and driven out the French and the British.
- 1768 – A group of Polish nobles established the Bar Confederation to defend the internal and external independence of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth against Russian influence and against King Stanisław II Augustus.
- 1944 – The Admiralty Islands campaign during the Pacific War of World War II began when American forces assaulted Los Negros Island, the third largest of the Admiralty Islands.
- 1960 – Morocco's deadliest earthquake struck the city of Agadir, killing at least 12,000 people.
- 2012 – Construction of Tokyo Skytree (pictured), the world's tallest tower and second-tallest structure, was completed.