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|<<||Selected anniversaries for February||>>|
|An archive of historical anniversaries that appeared on the Main Page|
2021 day arrangement
- 1329 – The Teutonic Knights successfully besieged the hillfort of Medvėgalis in Samogitia, Lithuania, and baptised the defenders in the Catholic rite.
- 1411 – The First Peace of Thorn was signed, ending the Polish–Lithuanian–Teutonic War.
- 1814 – More than 1,200 people died in the most destructive recorded eruption of Mayon (pictured) in the Philippines.
- 1884 – The first fascicle of the Oxford English Dictionary, a 352-page volume that covered words from A to ant, was published.
- 2001 – The Timor Leste Defence Force was established from the erstwhile anti-Indonesian independence movement Falintil.
- 1709 – Scottish sailor Alexander Selkirk (statue pictured) was rescued by English captain Woodes Rogers and his crew after spending four years as a castaway on an uninhabited island in the Pacific, providing the inspiration for Daniel Defoe's novel Robinson Crusoe.
- 1850 – Ute Wars: Brigham Young announced his decision to go to war against the 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 Soviet Russia agreeing to recognize the country's independence and renounce in perpetuity all rights to its territory.
- 1942 – The first act of the Norwegian resistance movement took place when the Osvald Group bombed Oslo East Station to protest the inauguration of Vidkun Quisling.
- 2012 – The passenger ferry MV Rabaul Queen capsized and sank in rough conditions in the Solomon Sea, resulting in at least 88 deaths.
- 1266 – Mudéjar revolt: James I of Aragon entered the Muslim-held city of Murcia, conquered following its surrender three days earlier.
- 1781 – Fourth Anglo-Dutch War: British forces captured the Dutch island of Sint Eustatius after a brief skirmish.
- 1986 – Steve Jobs (pictured) purchased Pixar from Lucasfilm and launched it as an independent computer-animation studio.
- 2014 – Russia's first school shooting took place when a student opened fire at School No. 263 in Moscow, resulting in the deaths of a teacher and a police officer.
- 1801 – John Marshall, whose court opinions helped lay the basis for U.S. constitutional law and made the Supreme Court a coequal branch of government, took office as chief justice.
- 1859 – Constantin von Tischendorf rediscovered the Codex Sinaiticus (text sample pictured), a 4th-century great uncial codex of the Bible in Greek, in Saint Catherine's Monastery, Egypt.
- 1945 – World War II: U.S. forces liberated the Santo Tomas Internment Camp in Manila, the largest Japanese internment camp in the Philippines.
- 1974 – The Provisional Irish Republican Army bombed a motor coach carrying off-duty British Armed Forces personnel and their family members, killing twelve people.
- 1998 – An earthquake registering 5.9 MW struck northern Afghanistan, triggering landslides that killed over 2,300 people and destroyed around 15,000 homes.
- 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".
- 1909 – Belgian chemist Leo Baekeland announced his invention of Bakelite (samples pictured), the world's first synthetic plastic.
- 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.
- 2004 – The National Revolutionary Front for the Liberation of Haiti captured the city of Gonaïves, starting a coup d'état against President Jean-Bertrand Aristide's government.
- 1778 – France and the United States signed the Treaty of Amity and Commerce and the Treaty of Alliance, respectively establishing commercial and military ties between the two nations.
- 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.
- 1819 – British official Stamford Raffles (pictured) signed a treaty with Sultan Hussein Shah of Johor, establishing Singapore as a trading post for the East India Company.
- 1951 – A train derailed while crossing a temporary wooden trestle in Woodbridge, New Jersey, causing 85 deaths.
- 1987 – Mary Gaudron became the first woman to be appointed a justice of the High Court of Australia.
- 1497 – Supporters of Dominican preacher Girolamo Savonarola collected and publicly burned thousands of vanity items such as cosmetics, art, and books in Florence, Italy.
- 1795 – The Eleventh Amendment to the United States Constitution, limiting the ability of U.S. citizens and foreign nationals to sue U.S. states in federal courts, was ratified.
- 1914 – The film Kid Auto Races at Venice, featuring the first appearance of comedy actor Charlie Chaplin's character "The Tramp" (pictured), was released.
- 1948 – Neil Harvey became the youngest Australian to score a century in Test cricket.
- 1991 – The Troubles: The Provisional Irish Republican Army shelled 10 Downing Street with mortars in a failed attempt to assassinate British prime minister John Major.
- 1601 – Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, led a failed rebellion against Queen 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 team during a match in Sydney, Australia.
- 1960 – The official groundbreaking of the Walk of Fame (example star pictured) 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 175 people and trapped more than 2,500 travellers.
- 1799 – Quasi-War: USS Constellation captured the French frigate Insurgente in a single-ship action in the Caribbean Sea.
- 1855 – A series of hoof-like marks were discovered in the snow in Devon, England, continuing throughout the countryside for some 40 to 100 miles (60 to 160 km).
- 1907 – More than 3,000 women in London participated in the Mud March (pictured), the first large procession organised by the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies.
- 1971 – A 6.6 Mw earthquake struck the northern San Fernando Valley near the Los Angeles district of Sylmar, killing 65 people.
- 1996 – Breaking a seventeen-month ceasefire, the Provisional Irish Republican Army detonated a powerful truck bomb in Canary Wharf, London, killing two people and injuring more than a hundred others.
- 1355 – A tavern dispute between University of Oxford students and townspeople became a riot that left about 90 people dead.
- 1814 – War of the Sixth Coalition: A French army led by Napoleon effectively destroyed a small Russian corps commanded by Zakhar Dmitrievich Olsufiev.
- 1919 – The Inter-Allied Women's Conference opened as a counterpart to the Paris Peace Conference, marking the first time that women were allowed formal participation in an international treaty negotiation.
- 1964 – The Royal Australian Navy aircraft carrier Melbourne (pictured) collided with and sank the destroyer Voyager in Jervis Bay, killing 82 crew members aboard the latter ship.
- 2008 – The Namdaemun gate in Seoul, the first of South Korea's National Treasures, was severely damaged by arson.
- 1826 – London University, later University College London (pictured), was founded as the first secular university in England.
- 1851 – As part of celebrations marking the separation of Victoria from New South Wales, the inaugural first-class cricket match in Australia began at the Launceston Racecourse in Tasmania.
- 1938 – The BBC aired an adaptation of a section of Czech writer Karel Čapek's play R.U.R. in the first broadcast of science fiction on television.
- 1991 – The Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization was established in The Hague to represent the interests of indigenous peoples, minorities, occupied nations, and other areas lacking international recognition.
- 2001 – The computer worm Anna Kournikova, which would affect millions of users worldwide, was released by a 20-year-old Dutch student.
- 1502 – Isabella I issued an edict outlawing Islam in the Crown of Castile, forcing virtually all her Muslim subjects to convert to Christianity.
- 1924 – George Gershwin's composition Rhapsody in Blue premiered at Aeolian Hall, New York City.
- 1947 – The French fashion company Dior unveiled its New Look collection (suit pictured), which revolutionized women's dress and re-established Paris as the centre of the fashion world after World War II.
- 1968 – Following the deaths of two employees on the job, black sanitation workers in Memphis, Tennessee, began a strike that lasted more than two months.
- 2001 – The NASA space probe NEAR Shoemaker touched down on Eros, becoming the first spacecraft to land on an asteroid.
- 1660 – The four-year-old Charles XI (pictured) became King of Sweden upon his father's death.
- 1692 – Members of Clan MacDonald of Glencoe in the Scottish Highlands were massacred, allegedly for failing to pledge allegiance to the new monarchs, William III and Mary II.
- 1961 – Geode prospectors near Olancha, California, discovered what they claimed to be a 500,000-year-old rock with a 1920s-era spark plug encased within.
- 1981 – Explosions caused by the ignition of hexane vapors destroyed more than 13 miles (21 km) of sewer lines in Louisville, Kentucky.
- 2017 – Kim Jong-nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, was assassinated using VX nerve agent in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
- 1655 – Arauco War: A series of coordinated Mapuche attacks took place against Spanish settlements and forts in colonial Chile, beginning a ten-year period of warfare.
- 1779 – Native Hawaiians killed English explorer Captain James Cook (depicted) after he attempted to kidnap Kalaniʻōpuʻu, the ruling chief of the island of Hawaii.
- 1919 – The Battle of Bereza Kartuska, the first serious armed conflict of the Polish–Soviet War took place near present-day Biaroza, Belarus.
- 1961 – Lawrencium, the metallic radioactive synthetic element with atomic number 103, was first synthesized at the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory on the campus of the University of California, Berkeley.
- 2011 – Arab Spring: The Bahraini uprising began with youth-organized protests on the Day of Rage.
February 15: Shrove Monday (Western Christianity, 2021); National Flag of Canada Day (1965) and Family Day in Canada (2021); Statehood Day in Serbia (1804); Washington's Birthday / Presidents' Day in the United States (2021)
- 1796 – French Revolutionary Wars: The Invasion of Ceylon ended with Johan van Angelbeek, the Batavian governor of the island, surrendering Colombo to British forces.
- 1823 – James McBrien made the first official discovery of gold in Australia at Fish River in New South Wales.
- 1961 – All 72 people on board Sabena Flight 548, including the entire U.S. figure-skating team, and one person on the ground were killed when the aircraft crashed on approach to Brussels Airport.
- 2013 – A previously undetected meteor exploded (video featured) over Chelyabinsk Oblast, Russia; the resulting shock wave injured about 1,500 people.
- 1249 – Louis IX of France dispatched André de Longjumeau as his ambassador to the Mongol Empire.
- 1918 – The Council of Lithuania signed the Act of Independence (pictured), proclaiming the restoration of an independent Lithuania.
- 1936 – The Popular Front, a coalition of left-wing parties, came to power in the Spanish general election, a factor in the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War five months later.
- 1961 – The DuSable Museum, the first museum dedicated to the study and conservation of African American history, culture, and art, was chartered.
- 1996 – Eleven people died in a train collision in Silver Spring, Maryland, leading to the creation of comprehensive U.S. federal rules for the design of passenger cars.
- 1621 – Myles Standish was elected the first commander of the Plymouth Colony militia.
- 1859 – Cochinchina campaign: French Navy forces captured the Citadel of Saigon (ruins pictured), defended by 1,000 Vietnamese soldiers of the Nguyễn dynasty.
- 1913 – The Armory Show, the first large modern-art exhibition in the United States, opened at the 69th Regiment Armory in New York City.
- 1978 – The Troubles: The Provisional Irish Republican Army detonated a bomb at the La Mon restaurant near Belfast, Northern Ireland, killing twelve people and injuring thirty others.
- 2011 – Arab Spring: Bahraini security forces killed four protesters in a pre-dawn raid at the Pearl Roundabout in Manama, while a "Day of Rage" took place in Libya with nationwide protests against Muammar Gaddafi's government.
- 1268 – The Battle of Wesenberg took place between Novgorodian and Pskovian forces against the Livonian Order and its allies, ending with Russian forces retreating from Danish Estonia.
- 1766 – Captive Malagasy people on a slave ship began a mutiny that led to the ship's destruction on Cape Agulhas in present-day South Africa and the recapture of the instigators.
- 1943 – Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi propaganda minister, delivered a speech calling for a "total war" to motivate the German people as the tide of World War II turned against Germany.
- 1977 – NASA's first Space Shuttle, Enterprise, made its first test flight on top of the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (both pictured).
- 2001 – Inter-ethnic violence between the Dayak and the Madurese broke out in Sampit, Indonesia, ultimately causing more than 500 deaths and the displacement of 100,000 Madurese from their homes.
- 1600 – The stratovolcano Huaynaputina, in present-day Peru, erupted in the largest recorded volcanic explosion in South America.
- 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.
- 1910 – Old Trafford (modern façade pictured), a football stadium in Greater Manchester, England, hosted its inaugural match, between Manchester United and Liverpool.
- 2011 – Items from the Belitung shipwreck, the largest single collection of Tang-dynasty artefacts found in one location, were first exhibited in Singapore.
- 1685 – The French colonization of Texas began with colonists led by Robert de La Salle landing near Matagorda Bay.
- 1846 – Polish insurgents in the Free City of Kraków led an uprising to incite a fight for national independence, which was put down by the Austrian Empire nine days later.
- 1943 – A fissure opened in a cornfield in the Mexican state of Michoacán and continued to erupt for nine years, forming the cinder cone Parícutin (pictured).
- 1988 – The Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast voted to secede from Azerbaijan and join Armenia, triggering the First Nagorno-Karabakh War.
- 2009 – The Tamil Tigers attempted to crash two aircraft loaded with C-4 in suicide attacks on Colombo, Sri Lanka, but the planes were shot down before they reached their targets.
- 1746 – Jacobite rising of 1745: The siege of Inverness ended with British forces surrendering to the Jacobite army.
- 1862 – American Civil War: The Confederate Army began an attempt to gain control of the Southwest with a major victory in the Battle of Valverde.
- 1929 – In the first battle of the Warlord Rebellion in northeastern Shandong 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.
- 1958 – British artist Gerald Holtom unveiled a logo for the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament that later became internationally recognised as the peace sign (pictured).
- 1973 – After accidentally straying into Israeli-occupied airspace, Libyan Arab Airlines Flight 114 was shot down by two fighter aircraft, killing 108 of the 113 people on board.
- 1371 – Robert II became King of Scots as the first monarch of the House of Stewart.
- 1744 – War of the Austrian Succession: British ships began attacking the rear of a combined Franco-Spanish fleet in the Mediterranean Sea off the French coast near Toulon.
- 1997 – Scientists at the Roslin Institute in Scotland announced the existence of Dolly (pictured), a female sheep who was the first mammal to have successfully been cloned from an adult cell.
- 2006 – At least six men staged the largest cash robbery in Britain at a Securitas depot in Tonbridge, Kent.
- 2011 – An earthquake registering 6.3 ML struck Christchurch, New Zealand, killing 185 people and causing around NZ$40 billion in damage.
- 1739 – The identity of English highwayman Dick Turpin was uncovered by his former schoolteacher, who recognised his handwriting, leading to Turpin's trial.
- 1854 – The Orange River Convention was signed in Bloemfontein, with Britain agreeing to recognise the independence of the Orange Free State in present-day South Africa.
- 1941 – Plutonium (sample pictured) was first chemically identified by chemist Glenn T. Seaborg and his team at the University of California, Berkeley.
- 1944 – In response to an insurgency in Chechnya, the Soviet Union began the forced deportation of native Chechen and Ingush of North Caucasus to Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.
- 2008 – A B-2 Spirit stealth bomber crashed on the runway shortly after takeoff from Andersen Air Force Base in Guam in the most expensive crash in U.S. Air Force history.
- 1803 – In Marbury v. Madison, the Supreme Court declared an act of Congress unconstitutional for the first time, forming the basis of judicial review in the United States.
- 1826 – The Treaty of Yandabo was signed, ending the First Anglo-Burmese War, the longest and most expensive war in the history of British India.
- 1942 – World War II: The Canadian government ordered the removal of "all persons of Japanese origin" to internment camps (example pictured).
- 1968 – Vietnam War: South Vietnamese forces led by Ngô Quang Trưởng recaptured the citadel of Huế.
- 1989 – United Airlines Flight 811 experienced uncontrolled decompression after leaving Honolulu International Airport, Hawaii, blowing seats out of the aircraft and killing nine passengers.
- 138 – Roman emperor Hadrian adopted Antoninus Pius as his son and successor following the death of Hadrian's first adopted son Lucius Aelius.
- 1843 – Royal Navy captain Lord George Paulet began a five-month occupation of the Hawaiian Islands.
- 1951 – After being postponed due to World War II, the inaugural Pan American Games opened in Buenos Aires, Argentina (flame ceremony pictured).
- 2009 – At their headquarters in Pilkhana, members of the Bangladesh Rifles began a mutiny that resulted 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 the Italian island of Elba (depicted), to which he had been exiled after the signing of the Treaty of Fontainebleau a year earlier.
- 1995 – Barings Bank, the oldest merchant bank in London, was declared insolvent after its head derivatives trader in Singapore, Nick Leeson, lost £827 million while making unauthorised trades on futures contracts.
- 2013 – A hot air balloon crashed near Luxor, Egypt, killing 19 people in the deadliest ballooning disaster in history.
- 380 – Christianity became the state religion of the Roman Empire as a consequence of the Edict of Thessalonica.
- 1776 – American Revolutionary War: A Patriot victory at the Battle of Moore's Creek Bridge resulted in the arrests of 850 Loyalists over the following days.
- 1933 – The Reichstag building, the seat of the German parliament in Berlin, was set on fire (pictured) in a pivotal event in the establishment of the Nazi regime.
- 1996 – The multimedia franchise Pokémon was launched with the release of the video games Pocket Monsters: Red and Green.
- 1844 – A gun on USS Princeton exploded while the warship was on a Potomac River cruise, killing six people and injuring twenty others.
- 1874 – In one of the longest cases ever heard in an English court, the claimant in the Tichborne case was convicted of perjury for attempting to assume the identity of the missing heir to the Tichborne baronetcy.
- 1928 – Indian physicist C. V. Raman (pictured) and his colleagues discovered what is now called the Raman effect, for which he later became the first Asian to win the Nobel Prize in Physics.
- 1997 – GRB 970228, a highly luminous flash of gamma rays, struck the Earth for 80 seconds, providing early evidence that gamma-ray bursts occur well beyond the Milky Way.
- 2001 – A high-speed train accident occurred at Great Heck near Selby, North Yorkshire, England, killing 10 and injuring 82.
- 1704 – Queen Anne's War: French and Native American forces raided the English settlement of Deerfield, Massachusetts, killing more than 50 colonists.
- 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 King Stanisław II Augustus (portrait shown).
- 1960 – The deadliest earthquake in Moroccan history struck the city of Agadir, killing at least 12,000 people.
- 1980 – La Bougie du Sapeur, a humorous French newspaper that is published only on leap days, printed its first issue.
- 2008 – Belgian author Misha Defonseca admitted that her bestselling memoir about surviving the Holocaust was in fact a literary forgery.