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|<<||Selected anniversaries for February||>>|
|An archive of historical anniversaries that appeared on the Main Page|
2020 day arrangement
- 1662 – Sino-Dutch conflicts: The Dutch East India Company's rule in Taiwan ended after a siege by Ming loyalist Koxinga, who established the Kingdom of Tungning on the island.
- 1884 – The first fascicle of the Oxford English Dictionary, a 352-page volume that covered words from A to Ant, was published.
- 1979 – Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini (pictured) returned from exile and soon led the Iranian Revolution to overthrow the U.S.-backed Pahlavi dynasty.
- 2003 – All seven crew members aboard Space Shuttle Columbia were killed when the orbiter disintegrated over Texas during reentry.
- 1207 – Terra Mariana, comprising present-day Estonia and Latvia, was established as a principality of the Holy Roman Empire.
- 1438 – Nine leaders of the Transylvanian peasant revolt were executed at Torda.
- 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 its territory.
- 1934 – The Export–Import Bank of the United States (seal pictured), the country's official export credit agency, was established.
- 2007 – Following a Derby di Sicilia match in Catania, football violence caused the death of police officer Filippo Raciti, leading to new safety regulations at Italian sporting events.
- 1813 – Argentine War of Independence: José de San Martín (portrait shown) and his Regiment of Mounted Grenadiers defeated Spanish royalist forces in the Battle of San Lorenzo.
- 1870 – The Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified, granting voting rights to citizens regardless of "race, color, or previous condition of servitude".
- 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.
- 2010 – A cast bronze sculpture, L'Homme qui marche I, by Swiss sculptor Alberto Giacometti, was sold for £65 million (US$103.7 million), setting the record for the most expensive sculpture sold at auction.
- 960 – Emperor Taizu came to power in China, initiating the Song dynasty that eventually lasted for more than three centuries.
- 1797 – The Riobamba earthquake, the most powerful in Ecuador's history, devastated Riobamba and many other cities, causing at least 6,000 casualties.
- 1945 – World War II: U.S. forces liberated the Santo Tomas Internment Camp in Manila, the largest of the Japanese internment camps in the Philippines.
- 1974 – American newspaper heiress and socialite Patty Hearst (pictured) was kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army, which she later joined, in one of the most well-known cases of Stockholm syndrome.
- 2008 – The London low emission zone, governing what types of vehicles may enter Greater London, came into operation.
- 1783 – The first of five strong earthquakes hit the region of Calabria on the Italian Peninsula, killing more than 32,000 people over a period of nearly two months.
- 1818 – Charles XIV John (portrait shown) succeeded to the thrones of Sweden and Norway as the first monarch of the House of Bernadotte.
- 1923 – Australian cricketer Bill Ponsford made 429 runs to break the world record for the highest first-class score.
- 1958 – A U.S. Mark 15 nuclear bomb disappeared off the shores of Tybee Island, Georgia, after it was jettisoned during a practice exercise when the bomber carrying it collided in midair with a fighter plane.
- 2000 – Second Chechen War: As the Battle of Grozny came to a close, Russian forces summarily executed at least 60 civilians in Grozny's Novye Aldi suburb.
- 1806 – Napoleonic Wars: A British naval squadron captured or destroyed five French ships of the line at the Battle of San Domingo in the Caribbean Sea.
- 1840 – British representatives and Māori chiefs first signed the Treaty of Waitangi, widely regarded as the founding document of New Zealand.
- 1919 – More than 65,000 workers in Seattle began a five-day general strike (pictured) to gain higher wages after two years of U.S. World War I wage controls.
- 1987 – Mary Gaudron became the first woman to be appointed a justice of the High Court of Australia.
- 2000 – Second Chechen War: Russian forces captured Grozny, the capital of Chechnya, from the separatist Chechen government following a siege and assault that devastated the city.
- 1497 – Supporters of Dominican preacher Girolamo Savonarola collected and publicly burned thousands of vanity items such as cosmetics, art, and books in Florence, Italy.
- 1813 – Napoleonic Wars: Two evenly matched French and British frigates fought for four hours at the Îles de Los off the coast of Guinea, resulting in a stalemate.
- 1940 – Walt Disney's Pinocchio, the first animated feature to win a competitive Academy Award, debuted at the Center Theatre in New York City.
- 1984 – During the Space Shuttle Challenger mission STS-41-B, astronauts Bruce McCandless II and Robert L. Stewart performed the first untethered spacewalk.
- 1994 – Having retired four months earlier, American basketball player Michael Jordan (pictured) signed a contract with the Chicago White Sox to play baseball.
- 1587 – Mary, Queen of Scots (portrait shown), was executed at Fotheringhay Castle for her involvement in the Babington Plot to murder her cousin, Elizabeth I of England.
- 1879 – At a meeting of the Royal Canadian Institute, engineer and inventor Sandford Fleming proposed the idea of standard time zones based on a single universal world time.
- 1960 – The official groundbreaking for the Walk of Fame took place in Hollywood, California.
- 2010 – A freak storm in the Hindu Kush mountains of Afghanistan triggered a series of avalanches that buried over 3.5 km (2.2 mi) of road, killed 171 people and trapped more than 2,500 travellers.
- 1825 – After no candidate received a majority of electoral votes in the previous year's presidential election, the United States House of Representatives chose John Quincy Adams as president in a contingent election.
- 1920 – The Svalbard Treaty was signed in Paris, recognizing Norwegian sovereignty over the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard.
- 1945 – World War II: A force of Allied aircraft unsuccessfully attacked a German destroyer in Førde Fjord, Norway.
- 2001 – The American submarine USS Greeneville collided with the Ehime Maru (wreckage pictured), a Japanese training vessel operated by a high school, sinking the latter ship and killing nine people on board.
- 1712 – Huilliches in Chile's Chiloé Archipelago rose up against Spanish encomenderos as vengeance for perceived injustices.
- 1840 – Prince Albert (pictured) of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and Queen Victoria married at the Chapel Royal in St James's Palace, London, with Albert being granted the title prince consort.
- 1930 – The Việt Nam Quốc Dân Đảng launched the failed Yên Bái mutiny in the hope of ending French colonial rule in Vietnam.
- 1940 – Puss Gets the Boot, the first Tom and Jerry cartoon, was released to theaters.
- 1962 – Rudolf Abel, a Soviet spy arrested by the FBI, was exchanged for Francis Gary Powers, the pilot of the CIA spy plane that had been shot down over Soviet airspace two years earlier.
- 1823 – About 110 boys were killed in a human crush at the Convent of the Minori Osservanti in Valletta on the last day of the Maltese Carnival.
- 1968 – Following the deaths of two employees on the job, black sanitation workers in Memphis, Tennessee, agreed to begin a strike that would last more than two months.
- 1990 – Anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela (pictured), having been a political prisoner for 27 years, was released from Victor Verster Prison near Paarl, South Africa.
- 2001 – The Anna Kournikova computer worm, which went on to affect millions of users worldwide, was released by a 20-year-old Dutch student.
- 1502 – Isabella I (portrait shown) issued an edict outlawing Islam in the Crown of Castile, forcing virtually all her Muslim subjects to convert to Christianity.
- 1909 – The ferry SS Penguin struck a rock in Wellington Harbour and sank, killing 75 people in New Zealand's worst maritime disaster of the 20th century.
- 1946 – African-American U.S. Army veteran Isaac Woodard was severely beaten by a South Carolina police officer, losing sight in both eyes, an incident that galvanized the civil rights movement.
- 1968 – Vietnam War: Unarmed citizens in the villages of Phong Nhị and Phong Nhất were massacred, allegedly by South Korean Marines.
- 2016 – In the first meeting between the leaders of the Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church, Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill of Moscow signed the Havana Declaration at José Martí International Airport in Cuba.
- 1689 – Glorious Revolution: The English Parliament passed the Declaration of Right, proclaiming Mary Stuart and her husband William of Orange as co-rulers of England, Scotland and Ireland.
- 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.
- 1960 – African-American college students staged the first of the Nashville sit-ins at three lunch counters in Nashville, Tennessee, as part of a nonviolent direct-action campaign to end racial segregation in the U.S.
- 1970 – The English rock band Black Sabbath released their eponymous debut album, which is generally accepted as the first heavy metal album.
- 2010 – A terrorist bombing at a bakery popular among foreigners in Pune, India, killed 17 people and injured 60 others.
- 1779 – American Revolutionary War: A militia of Patriots decisively defeated and scattered a Loyalist militia that was on its way to British-controlled Augusta, Georgia.
- 1852 – The Hospital for Sick Children, the first hospital in England to provide in-patient beds specifically for children, was founded in London.
- 1914 – The animated film Gertie the Dinosaur was released, later greatly influencing future animators such as the Fleischer brothers and Walt Disney.
- 1990 – NASA's Voyager 1 space probe took the iconic Pale Blue Dot photograph of Earth (pictured) from a record distance of 40.5 au (6.06 billion km; 3.76 billion mi).
- 2011 – Arab Spring: A "Day of Rage" marked the beginning of the Bahraini uprising.
- 1493 – Christopher Columbus wrote a letter, which was widely distributed upon his return to Portugal, announcing the results of his first voyage to the Americas.
- 1796 – French Revolutionary Wars: Johan van Angelbeek, the Batavian governor of Ceylon, surrendered Colombo to British forces, ending the Invasion of Ceylon.
- 1907 – Japan and the United States signed a gentleman's agreement whereby the former would not permit further emigration to the U.S., while the latter would not limit Japanese immigration.
- 1995 – Kevin Mitnick (pictured), the most wanted computer hacker at the time in the U.S., was arrested and charged with computer fraud and wire fraud.
- 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.
- 1270 – Livonian Crusade: In the Battle of Karuse, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania achieved a decisive victory over the Livonian Order on the frozen surface of the Baltic Sea.
- 1804 – First Barbary War: Lieutenant Stephen Decatur led a U.S. Navy raid to destroy the captured USS Philadelphia in the harbor of Tripoli (depicted), denying her use to the Barbary States.
- 1936 – In the Spanish general election, the Popular Front coalition of left-wing parties came to power, precipitating the Spanish Civil War five months later.
- 1985 – The Lebanese Shia political and paramilitary organization Hezbollah released a manifesto describing its ideology and goals.
- 2005 – The Kyoto Protocol, an extension to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, entered into force.
- 1621 – Myles Standish was elected as the first commander of the Plymouth Colony militia.
- 1838 – Zulu impis massacred at least 530 Voortrekkers, Khoikhoi, and Basuto near present-day Weenen, South Africa.
- 1904 – Italian composer Giacomo Puccini's Madama Butterfly (title character shown) premiered at La Scala in Milan to poor reviews, forcing him to revise the opera.
- 1964 – Gabonese military officers overthrew President Léon M'ba, but France, honoring a 1960 treaty, would forcibly reinstate him two days later.
- 1974 – A U.S. Army soldier stole a Bell UH-1 helicopter and landed it on the South Lawn of the White House.
- 1637 – Eighty Years' War: Off the coast of Cornwall, a Spanish fleet intercepted an Anglo-Dutch merchant convoy of forty-four vessels escorted by six men-of-war, destroying or capturing twenty ships.
- 1781 – Fourth Anglo-Dutch War: A British expedition against Dutch colonial outposts on the Gold Coast of Africa landed in Elmina in present-day Ghana.
- 1873 – Vasil Levski (pictured), a national hero of Bulgaria, was executed in Sofia by the Ottoman authorities for his efforts to establish an independent Bulgarian republic.
- 1946 – President Harry S. Truman signed the Rescission Act, annulling benefits payable to Filipino troops who fought for the U.S. during World War II.
- 2010 – In a coup d'état, military rebels attacked the presidential palace in Niamey, Niger, and replaced President Mamadou Tandja with a ruling junta, the Supreme Council for the Restoration of Democracy.
- 1674 – Charles II of England signed the Treaty of Westminster to end the Third Anglo-Dutch War, confirming English and Dutch sovereignty over New Netherland and Surinam, respectively.
- 1811 – Peninsular War: Outnumbered French forces under Édouard Mortier routed and nearly destroyed Spanish troops at the Battle of the Gebora near Badajoz, Spain.
- 1937 – Italian forces began a brutal crackdown on Ethiopians following an attempted assassination of Rodolfo Graziani (pictured), the viceroy of Italian East Africa, in Addis Ababa.
- 1954 – The Soviet Union transferred the administration of the Crimean Oblast from the Russian SFSR to the Ukrainian SSR, an act that remains controversial today.
- 2012 – Forty-four inmates died during a riot at a prison in Apodaca, Mexico.
- 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.
- 1963 – Alderman Benjamin F. Lewis was murdered in his office, the last elected official assassinated in Chicago to date.
- 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.