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|An archive of historical anniversaries that appeared on the Main Page
2016 day arrangement
- 1327 – Fourteen-year-old Edward III became King of England, but the country was ruled by his mother, Queen Isabella, and her lover, Roger Mortimer.
- 1896 – Giacomo Puccini's opera La bohème premiered at the Teatro Regio in Turin, Italy, eventually becoming one of the most frequently performed operas internationally.
- 1960 – Four African American students staged the first Greensboro sit-ins at a lunch counter (pictured) in Greensboro, North Carolina.
- 1979 – Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini returned from exile and soon led the Iranian Revolution to overthrow the US-backed Pahlavi dynasty.
- 2009 – Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir became Iceland's first female Prime Minister and the world's first openly gay head of government of the modern era.
- 1207 – Terra Mariana, comprising present-day Estonia and Latvia, was established as a principality of the Holy Roman Empire.
- 1709 – Scottish sailor Alexander Selkirk was rescued by English captain Woodes Rogers and the crew of the Duke after spending four years as a castaway on an uninhabited island in the Juan Fernández archipelago, providing the inspiration for Daniel Defoe's novel Robinson Crusoe.
- 1922 – The novel Ulysses was first published in its entirety after this material by author James Joyce first appeared in serialized parts in the American journal The Little Review from March 1918 to December 1920, becoming one of the most important works of modernist literature.
- 1974 – The F-16 Fighting Falcon (pictured), one of the best-selling jet fighters ever built, made its first flight.
- 2009 – The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe devalued the Zimbabwean dollar for the third and final time, making Z$1 trillion now only Z$1 of the new currency.
February 3: Setsubun in Japan; Feast day of Dom Justo Takayama in Japan and the Philippines; Four Chaplains' Day in the United States; 900th anniversary of the death of Coloman, King of Hungary (1116)
- 1637 – The contract prices of rare tulip bulbs in the Dutch Republic, which had been steadily climbing for three months, abruptly dropped, marking the decline of tulip mania.
- 1781 – 4th Anglo-Dutch War: British forces captured the Dutch island of Sint Eustatius with only two shots fired.
- 1807 – Napoleonic Wars: The United Kingdom captured Montevideo, now the capital of Uruguay, from the Spanish Empire.
- 1913 – The Sixteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified, allowing the US Congress to levy an income tax without apportioning it among the states or basing it on census results.
- 1967 – Ronald Ryan became the last person to be legally executed in Australia, sparking public protests across the country.
- 960 – Emperor Taizu began his reign in China, initiating the Song dynasty period that eventually lasted for more than three centuries.
- 1859 – German scholar Constantin von Tischendorf rediscovered the Codex Sinaiticus (text sample pictured), a 4th-century uncial manuscript of the Greek Bible, in Saint Catherine's Monastery at the foot of Mount Sinai in Egypt.
- 1974 – American newspaper heiress and socialite Patty Hearst was kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army, which she later joined in one of the most well-known cases of Stockholm syndrome.
- 1999 – The Panamanian-flagged freighter New Carissa ran aground near Coos Bay, Oregon, causing one of the worst oil spills in Oregon history.
- 2006 – A stampede at the PhilSports Stadium in Pasig City, Metro Manila, in the Philippines, killed 78 people and injured about 400.
- 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).
- 1909 – Belgian chemist Leo Baekeland announced the creation of Bakelite, the world's first synthetic plastic.
- 1941 – Second World War: British and Free French forces began the Battle of Keren to capture the strategic town of Keren in Italian Eritrea.
- 2000 – Second Chechen War: As the Battle of Grozny came to a close, Russian forces summarily executed at least 60 civilians in the city's Novye Aldi suburb.
- 1778 – France and the United States signed the Treaty of Alliance and the Treaty of Amity and Commerce, establishing military and commercial ties respectively between the two nations.
- 1833 – Otto (pictured) became the first modern King of Greece.
- 1958 – The aircraft carrying the Manchester United football club and some fans and journalists crashed while attempting to take off from Munich-Riem Airport in Munich, West Germany, killing eight players and 15 others.
- 1987 – Mary Gaudron was appointed as the first female Justice of the High Court of Australia.
- 2000 – Second Chechen War: Russia captured Grozny, the capital of Chechnya, forcing the separatist Chechen government into exile.
- 457 – Leo I was crowned Byzantine emperor, and went on to rule for nearly 20 years.
- 1497 – Supporters of the Dominican priest Girolamo Savonarola collected and publicly burned thousands of objects such as cosmetics, art, and books in Florence, Italy.
- 1904 – The Great Baltimore Fire in Maryland began, and destroyed over 1,500 buildings in 30 hours.
- 1907 – More than 3,000 women in London participated in the Mud March, the first large procession organized by the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies, seeking women's suffrage in the United Kingdom.
- 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.
- 1999 – Abdullah II became the reigning King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan following the death of his father King Hussein.
- 1601 – Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex led a failed rebellion against Queen Elizabeth I.
- 1837 – Richard Mentor Johnson became the only person to be elected as Vice President of the United States by the Senate.
- 1879 – At a meeting of the Royal Canadian Institute, engineer and inventor Sandford Fleming (pictured) first proposed the adoption of worldwide standard time zones based on a single universal world time.
- 1968 – Local police in Orangeburg, South Carolina, fired into a crowd of people who were protesting segregation, killing three and injuring twenty-seven others.
- 1979 – Denis Sassou Nguesso was chosen as the new President of the Republic of the Congo after Joachim Yhombi-Opango was forced from power.
- 1825 – After no presidential candidate received a majority of electoral votes, the U.S. House of Representatives elected John Quincy Adams (pictured) president.
- 1920 – The Svalbard Treaty was signed, recognizing Norwegian sovereignty over the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard, but all signatories were also given equal rights to engage in commercial activities on the islands.
- 1969 – The Boeing 747 made its first flight, with test pilots Jack Waddell and Brien Wygle at the controls and Jess Wallick at the flight engineer's station.
- 1976 – The Australian Defence Force was formed by the unification of the Australian Army, the Royal Australian Navy and the Royal Australian Air Force.
- 2001 – The American submarine USS Greeneville accidentally collided with the Ehime Maru, a Japanese training vessel operated by the Uwajima Fisheries High School, killing nine Ehime Maru crewmembers.
- 1567 – After an explosion destroyed the house in Kirk o' Field, Edinburgh, where he was staying, the strangled body of Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, the King consort of Scotland, was found in a nearby orchard.
- 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.
- 1936 – Second Italo-Abyssinian War: The Battle of Amba Aradam began, ending nine days later in a decisive tactical victory for Italy and the neutralisation of almost the entire Ethiopian army as a fighting force.
- 1962 – "Rudolf Abel" (pictured on stamp), a Soviet spy arrested by the FBI, was exchanged for Gary Powers, the pilot of the CIA spy plane that had been shot down over Soviet airspace two years earlier.
- 2009 – The first accidental hypervelocity collision between two intact satellites in low Earth orbit took place when Iridium 33 and Kosmos-2251 collided and destroyed each other.
- 660 BC – According to tradition, Emperor Jimmu founded Japan and established his capital in Yamato.
- 1826 – Swaminarayan wrote the Shikshapatri, a book of 212 verses that serves as the basis of Swaminarayan Hinduism.
- 1858 – Fourteen-year-old peasant girl Bernadette Soubirous reported the first of eighteen Marian apparitions in Lourdes, France, resulting in the town becoming a major site for pilgrimages by Catholics.
- 1929 – To help settle the "Roman Question", Italy and the Holy See of the Roman Catholic Church signed the Lateran Treaty to establish Vatican City as an independent sovereign enclave within Italy.
- 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.
- 1990 – Anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela (pictured), a political prisoner for 27 years, was released from Victor Verster Prison near Paarl, South Africa.
- 1818 – On the first anniversary of its victory in the Battle of Chacabuco, Chile formally declared its independence from Spain.
- 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.
- 1912 – Xinhai Revolution: Puyi (pictured), the last Emperor of China, abdicated under a deal brokered by military official and politician Yuan Shikai, formally replacing the Qing Dynasty with a new republic in China.
- 1946 – Black United States Army veteran Isaac Woodard was severely beaten by a South Carolina police officer to the point that he lost his vision in both eyes, an incident that galvanized the Civil Rights Movement.
- 1993 – Two-year-old James Bulger was led away from New Strand Shopping Centre in Bootle, England, and brutally murdered by two ten-year-old boys, who became the youngest convicted murderers in modern English history.
- 2016 – Pope Francis met Patriarch Kirill at José Martí International Airport in Cuba, the first meeting between the pontiff of the Catholic Church and the primate of the Russian Orthodox Church, together they signed the Havana Declaration.
- 1739 – During his invasion of the Mughal Empire, the forces of Nader, Shah of Persia, defeated the Mughal army at Karnal within three hours, despite being outnumbered six-to-one.
- 1815 – The Cambridge Union Society, one of the oldest debating societies in the world, was founded at the University of Cambridge in Cambridge, England.
- 1931 – New Delhi (India Gate pictured) was inaugurated as the new capital of British India by Viceroy Lord Irwin.
- 1961 – American geode prospectors discovered what they claimed was a 500,000-year-old rock with a spark plug encased inside.
- 1991 – Gulf War: The United States Air Force dropped two laser-guided "smart bombs" on an air-raid shelter in Baghdad, Iraq, which was believed to be a military command site, killing at least 408 civilians.
- 1779 – English explorer James Cook was killed near Kealakekua when he tried to kidnap Kalaniʻōpuʻu, the ruling chief of the Island of Hawaii.
- 1835 – The members of the original Quorum of the Twelve of the Latter Day Saint movement were selected by the Three Witnesses.
- 1919 – The first serious armed conflict of the Polish–Soviet War took place near present-day Biaroza, Belarus.
- 1943 – World War II: General Hans-Jürgen von Arnim's Fifth Panzer Army launched a concerted attack against Allied positions in Tunisia.
- 1991 – Upon the death of Carrie C. White, Frenchwoman Jeanne Calment became the world's oldest living person, and she went on to have the longest confirmed human life span in history, dying in 1997 at the age of 122 years and 164 days.
- 2011 – A "Day of Rage" (pictured) marked the beginning of the Bahraini uprising, part of the Arab Spring.
- 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.
- 1900 – Second Boer War: British cavalry under Major-General John French defeated Boer forces to end a 124-day siege of Kimberley, present-day South Africa.
- 1954 – The Canadian and American governments agreed to jointly build the Distant Early Warning Line (DEW Line), a line of radar stations running across the high Arctic (radar station pictured).
- 1976 – The current Constitution of Cuba, providing for a system of government and law based on those of the Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc countries, was adopted by a national referendum.
- 2003 – In one of the largest anti-war rallies in history, millions around the world in approximately 800 cities took part in protests against the impending invasion of Iraq.
- 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 – United States Navy Lieutenant Stephen Decatur led a raid to destroy the captured USS Philadelphia in Tripoli, denying her use to the Barbary States in the First Barbary War.
- 1918 – The Council of Lithuania signed the Act of Independence of Lithuania, proclaiming the restoration of an independent Lithuania governed by democratic principles, despite the presence of German troops in the country during World War I.
- 1946 – The Sikorsky S-51 (pictured), the first helicopter to be built for civilian instead of military use, made its first flight.
- 1983 – The Ash Wednesday bushfires burned 513,979 acres (2,080 km2) in South Australia and 518,921 acres (2,100 km2) in Victoria, killing 75 people and injuring 2,676 others.
- 1801 – The U.S. House of Representatives elected Thomas Jefferson as President and Aaron Burr as Vice President, resolving an electoral tie in the 1800 presidential election.
- 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.
- 1973 – The first ever OFC Nations Cup match was played.
- 2006 – A massive landslide in the Philippine province of Southern Leyte killed over 1,000 people.
- 1766 – A mutiny by captive Malagasy began at sea 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.
- 1878 – Competition between two merchants in Lincoln County, New Mexico Territory, US, turned into a range war when a member of one faction was murdered by the other.
- 1943 – Joseph Goebbels, Hitler's propaganda minister, delivered the "total war speech" to motivate the German people when the tide of World War II was turning against Germany.
- 1977 – NASA's first Space Shuttle, Enterprise, made its first "flight" atop a Boeing 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (pictured).
- 2010 – 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 – The Third Anglo-Dutch War ended with the signing of the Treaty of Westminster, with England regaining New York, and the Netherlands taking Suriname.
- 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 – World War II: US President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, authorizing the forcible relocation of over 112,000 Japanese Americans and Japanese people residing in the United States to internment camps (Manzanar War Relocation Center pictured).
- 1986 – The first module of the Soviet space station Mir was launched, establishing the first long-term research station in space.
- 2006 – A methane explosion in a coal mine in Nueva Rosita, Mexico, trapped and killed 65 miners.
- 1816 – Italian composer Gioachino Rossini's opera buffa The Barber of Seville was hissed by the audience during its debut at the Teatro Argentina in Rome.
- 1872 – New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art (pictured), 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 interceptor aircraft program amid much political debate.
- 1988 – The Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast voted to secede from Azerbaijan and join Armenia, triggering the Nagorno-Karabakh War.
- 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.
- 1543 – Led by the Ethiopian Emperor Galawdewos, the combined army of Ethiopian and Portuguese troops defeated a Muslim army led by Imam Ahmad ibn Ibrahim al-Ghazi.
- 1804 – Built by Cornish inventor Richard Trevithick (pictured), the first self-propelled steam locomotive ran in Wales.
- 1919 – Bavarian socialist Kurt Eisner, who had organized the German Revolution that overthrew the Wittelsbach monarchy and established Bavaria as a republic, was assassinated.
- 1958 – British artist Gerald Holtom designed a logo for the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament that became internationally recognised as the peace sign.
- 1973 – After accidentally having strayed into Israeli-occupied airspace, Libyan Arab Airlines Flight 114 was shot down by two Israeli fighter aircraft.
- 1316 – The forces of the infante Ferdinand of Majorca fought against those loyal to Princess Matilda of Hainaut in the Battle of Picotin on the Peloponnese peninsula in Greece.
- 1632 – Galileo's Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, in which he advocated Copernican heliocentrism, was delivered to his patron, Grand Duke Ferdinando.
- 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 coast near Toulon, France.
- 1899 – Philippine–American War: Filipino forces launched their first counterattack in a failed attempt aimed at recapturing Manila from the Americans.
- 1958 – Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser and Syrian President Shukri al-Quwatli (pictured) signed a union pact to form the United Arab Republic.
- 2006 – At least six men staged Britain's biggest cash robbery ever at a Securitas depot in Tonbridge, Kent.
- 1885 – Sino-French War: France gained an important victory in the Battle of Đồng Đăng in the Tonkin region of what is now Vietnam.
- 1927 – German theoretical physicist Werner Heisenberg wrote a letter to fellow physicist Wolfgang Pauli in which he described his uncertainty principle for the first time.
- 1941 – Plutonium was first chemically identified by chemist Glenn T. Seaborg and his team at the University of California, Berkeley.
- 1987 – Light from the supernova SN 1987A (remnant pictured) in the Large Magellanic Cloud reached the Earth.
- 2007 – A Virgin Trains Pendolino express train from London Euston to Glasgow Central derailed near Grayrigg, Cumbria, UK, killing one person and injuring 22.
- 1525 – A Spanish-Imperial army defeated a French force in the Battle of Pavia, the decisive engagement of the Italian War of 1521–26.
- 1711 – George Frideric Handel's Rinaldo, the first Italian language opera written specifically for the London stage, premiered.
- 1822 – The first Swaminarayan temple, Swaminarayan Mandir (pictured) in present-day Ahmedabad, India, was inaugurated.
- 1946 – Colonel Juan Perón, founder of the political movement that became known as Peronism, was elected to his first term as President of Argentina.
- 2006 – Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo declared a state of emergency in an attempt to subdue a possible military coup.
- 628 – Khosrow II, the last great king of the Sasanian Empire, was overthrown by his son Kavadh II.
- 1570 – Pope Pius V issued the papal bull Regnans in Excelsis to excommunicate Queen Elizabeth I and her followers in the Church of England.
- 1870 – Representing Mississippi in the Senate, Hiram Rhodes Revels (pictured) became the first African American to serve in the United States Congress.
- 1901 – U.S. Steel, the first billion-dollar corporation and once the world's largest producer of steel, was incorporated by industrialist J. P. Morgan.
- 1956 – In his speech "On the Cult of Personality and Its Consequences" to the 20th Party Congress, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev denounced the personality cult and dictatorship of his predecessor Joseph Stalin.
- 1986 – Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos and his wife Imelda were ousted from power by the non-violent People Power Revolution, with Corazon Aquino taking over the government.
- 747 BC – According to Ptolemy, the reign of the Babylonian king Nabonassar began and with it, a new era characterized by the systematic maintenance of chronologically precise historical records.
- 1233 – Mongol–Jin War: The Mongols captured Kaifeng, the capital of the Jin dynasty, after besieging it for months.
- 1936 – Over 1400 troops of the Imperial Japanese Army staged a coup d'etat in Japan, occupying Tokyo, and killing Finance Minister Takahashi Korekiyo (pictured) and several other leading politicians.
- 1991 – British computer programmer Tim Berners-Lee introduced WorldWideWeb, the world's first web browser and WYSIWYG HTML editor.
- 2008 – In the first significant cultural visit from the United States to North Korea since the Korean War, the New York Philharmonic Orchestra performed in East Pyongyang Grand Theatre.
- 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 (pictured).
- 1870 – The current flag of Japan was first adopted as the national flag for Japanese merchant ships.
- 1940 – American biochemists Martin Kamen and Sam Ruben discovered the radioactive isotope carbon-14, which today is used extensively as the basis of the radiocarbon dating method to date archaeological, geological, and hydrogeological samples.
- 1996 – The media franchise Pokémon was launched with the release of the first version of the video game Pocket Monsters Aka and Midori.
- 2015 – Russian statesman and politician Boris Nemtsov was assassinated in central Moscow while returning from a meal out.
- 1874 – In one of the longest cases ever heard in an English court, the defendant was convicted of perjury for attempting to assume the identity of the heir to the Tichborne baronetcy.
- 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.
- 1914 – In the aftermath of the Balkan Wars, Greeks living in southern Albania proclaimed the Autonomous Republic of Northern Epirus.
- 1986 – Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme (pictured) was assassinated by a lone gunman in Stockholm while walking home from a movie theatre with his wife Lisbet Palme.
- 2002 – During the 2002 Gujarat violence in India, mobs of Hindus attacked Muslims in Naroda Patiya and Chamanpura, resulting in 166 deaths.
- 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.