On this day for the United States
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- 1778 – The United States flag is formally recognized by a foreign naval vessel for the first time, when French Admiral Toussaint-Guillaume Picquet de la Motte rendered a nine gun salute to USS Ranger, commanded by John Paul Jones.
- 1779 – James Cook is killed by Native Hawaiians near Kealakekua on the Island of Hawaii.
- 1803 – Chief Justice John Marshall declares that any act of U.S. Congress that conflicts with the Constitution is void.
- 1835 – The original Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is formed in Kirtland, Ohio.
- 1849 – In New York City, James Knox Polk becomes the first serving President of the United States to have his photograph taken.
- 1855 – Texas is linked by telegraph to the rest of the United States, with the completion of a connection between New Orleans and Marshall, Texas.
- 1859 – Oregon is admitted as the 33rd U.S. state.
- 1876 – Alexander Graham Bell applies for a patent for the telephone, as does Elisha Gray.
- 1899 – Voting machines are approved by the U.S. Congress for use in federal elections.
- 1903 – The United States Department of Commerce and Labor is established (later split into Department of Commerce and Department of Labor).
- 1912 – Arizona is admitted as the 48th U.S. state.
- 1912 – In Groton, Connecticut, the first diesel-powered submarine is commissioned.
- 1920 – The League of Women Voters is founded in Chicago.
- 1924 – The International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) is founded.
- 1929 – Saint Valentine's Day Massacre: Seven people, six of them gangster rivals of Al Capone's gang, are murdered in Chicago.
- 1945 – World War II: On the first day of the bombing of Dresden, the British Royal Air Force and the United States Army Air Forces begin firebombing Dresden, the capital of the German state of Saxony.
- 1945 – President Franklin D. Roosevelt meets with King Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia aboard the USS Quincy, officially starting the U.S.–Saudi diplomatic relationship.
- 1946 – ENIAC, the first general-purpose electronic computer, is unveiled.
- 1961 – Discovery of the chemical elements: Element 103, Lawrencium, is first synthesized at the University of California.
- 1962 – First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy takes television viewers on a tour of the White House.
- 1979 – In Kabul, Muslims kidnap the American ambassador to Afghanistan, Adolph Dubs who is later killed during a gunfight between his kidnappers and police.
- 1983 – United American Bank of Knoxville, Tennessee collapses. Its president, Jake Butcher is later convicted of fraud.
- 2000 – The spacecraft NEAR Shoemaker enters orbit around asteroid 433 Eros, the first spacecraft to orbit an asteroid.
- 2008 – Northern Illinois University shooting: a gunman opened fire in a lecture hall of the DeKalb County, Illinois university resulting in 6 fatalities (including gunman) and 18 injuries.