|<<||Selected anniversaries for February||>>|
|An archive of historical anniversaries that appeared on the Main Page
2018 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.
- 1329 – The Teutonic Knights succeeded in their siege of a fortress in Samogitia, Lithuania, and baptized the defenders in the Catholic rite.
- 1968 – Photographer Eddie Adams took his Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph of the summary execution of Viet Cong prisoner Nguyễn Văn Lém, which helped build opposition to the Vietnam War.
- 1978 – After having served 42 days in prison for the sexual assault of a 13-year-old girl, Polish film director Roman Polanski fled the United States before the formal sentencing hearing.
- 2013 – The Shard (pictured), located in Southwark, London, and the tallest building in the European Union, opened to the public.
- 1438 – Nine leaders of the Transylvanian peasant revolt were executed at Torda.
- 1709 – Scottish sailor Alexander Selkirk (commemorative statue pictured) 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.
- 1913 – New York City's Grand Central Terminal, the world's largest train station in number of platforms, opened immediately after midnight.
- 1942 – The Osvald Group committed the first active event of the Norwegian resistance movement by blowing up 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.
- 1781 – Fourth Anglo-Dutch War: British forces captured the Dutch island of Sint Eustatius after a brief skirmish.
- 1813 – Argentine War of Independence: José de San Martín (pictured) and his Regiment of Mounted Grenadiers were victorious against a royalist army in the Battle of San Lorenzo.
- 1916 – A fire destroyed the Centre Block, the main building of the Canadian parliamentary complex on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa, Ontario.
- 1933 – Adolf Hitler announced that the conquest of Lebensraum in Eastern Europe, and its "ruthless Germanisation", were the geopolitical objectives of Reich foreign policy.
- 1998 – Despite a large international movement advocating the commutation of her sentence to life imprisonment, Karla Faye Tucker became the first woman to be executed in the United States since 1984.
- 960 – Emperor Taizu (pictured) began his reign in China, initiating the Song dynasty that eventually lasted for more than three centuries.
- 1899 – The Philippine–American War opened when an American soldier, under orders to keep insurgents away from his unit's encampment, fired upon a Filipino soldier in Manila.
- 1945 – World War II: U.S. Army forces liberated the Santo Tomas Internment Camp in Manila, the largest of the Japanese internment camps in the Philippines.
- 1998 – A magnitude 5.9 MW earthquake struck northern Afghanistan, triggering landslides that killed over 2,300 people and destroyed around 15,000 homes.
- 2008 – The London low emission zone, governing what types of vehicles may enter Greater London, came into being.
- 1637 – The speculative bubble for rare tulip bulbs (catalog pictured) in the Dutch Republic burst, marking the decline of tulip mania.
- 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 the creation of Bakelite, the world's first synthetic plastic.
- 1958 – A 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.
- 2008 – Eighty-seven tornadoes occurred over the course of the Super Tuesday tornado outbreak across multiple U.S. states, causing 56 deaths and over $1 billion in damage.
- 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.
- 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.
- 1840 – The British and the Māori signed the Treaty of Waitangi, considered as the founding document of New Zealand.
- 1958 – The aircraft carrying the Manchester United football team crashed while attempting to take off from Munich-Riem Airport in West Germany, killing 8 players and 23 people in total.
- 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.
- 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 in order to overrule the Supreme Court decision in Chisholm v. Georgia.
- 1813 – Napoleonic Wars: Two evenly matched frigates from the French Navy and the British Royal Navy fought for four hours, causing significant damage, but resulting in a stalemate.
- 1948 – Neil Harvey became the youngest Australian to score a century in Test cricket.
- 1997 – Steve Jobs (pictured) returned to Apple Inc. as a consultant after the company purchased his startup NeXT Software.
- 1601 – Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex led a failed rebellion against Queen Elizabeth I.
- 1879 – Enraged by a controversial umpiring decision, cricket spectators rioted and attacked the England cricket team during a match in Sydney, Australia.
- 1915 – Film director D. W. Griffith's The Birth of a Nation (film poster pictured) was released, becoming one of the most influential and controversial films in the history of American cinema.
- 1971 – Trading began on NASDAQ, the world's first electronic stock exchange.
- 2010 – A freak storm in the Hindu Kush mountains of Afghanistan triggered a series of at least 36 avalanches that buried over 3.5 km (2.2 mi) of road, killed 171 people and trapped over 2,500 travellers.
- 1799 – Quasi-War: The USS Constellation captured the French L'Insurgente in a single-ship action in the Caribbean Sea.
- 1861 – American Civil War: Jefferson Davis (pictured) was named as the provisional president of the Confederate States of America.
- 1943 – World War II: Allied forces declared Guadalcanal secure, ending the Guadalcanal Campaign as a significant strategic victory for Allied forces fighting Japan in the Pacific War.
- 1976 – The Australian Defence Force was formed by the unification of the Australian Army, the Royal Australian Navy and the Royal Australian Air Force.
- 2016 – Two Meridian commuter trains were involved in a head-on collision at Bad Aibling in southeastern Germany that left 12 dead and 85 others injured.
- 1355 – A tavern dispute between Oxford University students and townsfolk turned into 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 led by Zakhar Dmitrievich Olsufiev.
- 1930 – The Việt Nam Quốc Dân Đảng launched the failed Yên Bái mutiny in the hope of ending French colonial rule in Vietnam.
- 1984 – Kenyan security forces massacred approximately 5,000 ethnic Somalis at the Wagalla Airstrip in Wajir County, Kenya.
- 2008 – The Namdaemun gate in Seoul, the first of South Korea's National Treasures, was severely damaged by arson (damage pictured).
- AD 55 – Britannicus, son of Claudius and heir to the Roman emperorship, died after being poisoned at a dinner party.
- 1826 – London University, later University College London (Main Building pictured), was founded as the first secular university in England.
- 1938 – The BBC aired an adaptation of Karel Čapek's play R.U.R., the first science fiction television programme ever broadcast.
- 1968 – After two black employees were killed on the job, black sanitation workers in Memphis, Tennessee, U.S., agreed to begin a strike that lasted over two months.
- 2008 – Rebel East Timorese soldiers invaded the homes of President José Ramos-Horta and Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão, seriously wounding the former.
- 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.
- 1946 – The British Royal Navy concluded Operation Deadlight, its operation to scuttle German U-boats that had been captured during World War II.
- 1988 – While claiming the right of innocent passage through Soviet territorial waters in the Black Sea American cruiser USS Yorktown and destroyer USS Caron were bumped by Soviet warships (pictured).
- 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.
- 1692 – Nearly forty men from the Clan MacDonald of Glen Coe, Scotland, were massacred early in the morning for not promptly pledging allegiance to the new joint monarchs, William III and Mary II.
- 1815 – The Cambridge Union (building pictured), one of the oldest debating societies in the world, was founded at the University of Cambridge in England.
- 1945 – World War II: The Allies began their strategic bombing of Dresden, Saxony, Germany, resulting in a lethal firestorm that killed tens of thousands of civilians.
- 1960 – African American college students staged the first of the Nashville sit-ins at three lunch counters in Nashville, Tennessee, part of a nonviolent direct action campaign to end racial segregation.
- 1978 – A bomb exploded outside the Hilton Hotel in Sydney, the site of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, killing three people and injuring eleven others.
- 1779 – American Revolutionary War: A militia force of Patriots decisively defeated and scattered a Loyalist militia force that was on its way to British-controlled Augusta, Georgia.
- 1852 – Great Ormond St Hospital for Sick Children, the first hospital in England to provide in-patient beds specifically for children, was founded in London.
- 1943 – World War II: General Hans-Jürgen von Arnim's 5th Panzer Army launched a concerted attack against Allied positions in Tunisia.
- 1990 – The Voyager 1 space probe took an iconic photograph of Earth that later became famous as Pale Blue Dot (pictured).
- 2008 – Steven Kazmierczak opened fire into a crowded lecture hall on the campus of Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois, killing 5 and injuring 21.
- 1823 – James McBrien made the first official discovery of gold in Australia at Fish River in New South Wales.
- 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.
- 1965 – Canada adopted the Maple Leaf flag (pictured), replacing the Canadian Red Ensign.
- 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.
- 2012 – A fire at the National Penitentiary at Comayagua, Honduras, killed 361 people, making it the deadliest prison fire ever.
- 1249 – Louis IX of France dispatched André de Longjumeau as his ambassador to the Mongol Empire.
- 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 (pictured), proclaiming the restoration of an independent Lithuania.
- 1943 – World War II: Norwegian commandos destroyed a factory to prevent the German nuclear weapon project from acquiring heavy water.
- 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.
- 1621 – Myles Standish was elected as the first commander of the Plymouth Colony militia.
- 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.
- 1913 – In the U.S. National Guard's 69th Regiment Armory in New York City, the Armory Show opened (poster pictured), introducing Americans to avant-garde and modern art.
- 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: Bahrain security forces launched a pre-dawn raid on protesters at the Pearl Roundabout in Manama, killing four of them, and in Libya, a "Day of Rage" took place with protests across the country against the government of Muammar Gaddafi.
- 1268 – The Battle of Wesenberg took place between the combined forces of Novgorod and Pskov Republics and the Livonian Order with its allies, ending in the retreat of Russian forces from Estonia.
- 1873 – Vasil Levski (pictured), the national hero of Bulgaria, was executed in Sofia by Ottoman authorities for his efforts to establish an independent Bulgarian republic.
- 1932 – The Empire of Japan established Manchukuo, a puppet state in northeastern China during the Sino-Japanese War.
- 1943 – Joseph Goebbels, Hitler's propaganda minister, delivered a speech calling for a "total war" to motivate the German people when the tide of World War II was turning against Germany.
- 2013 – Eight gunmen stole approximately US$50,000,000 worth of diamonds from a Swiss-bound aircraft at Brussels Airport, Belgium.
- 1600 – The Peruvian stratovolcano Huaynaputina exploded 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.
- 1910 – Old Trafford (pictured), a football stadium in Greater Manchester, England, hosted its first match between Manchester United and Liverpool.
- 1948 – The Southeast Asian Youth Conference, which is believed to have inspired armed communist rebellions in different Asian countries, opened in Calcutta, India.
- 1999 – U.S. President Bill Clinton issued a posthumous pardon to Henry Ossian Flipper, the first African American graduate of West Point, who had been accused of embezzlement in 1881.
- 1816 – Italian composer Gioachino Rossini's opera buffa The Barber of Seville was hissed at by the audience during its debut at the Teatro Argentina in Rome.
- 1846 – Polish insurgents led an uprising in the Free City of Kraków to incite a fight for national independence that was put down by the Austrian Empire nine days later.
- 1864 – American Civil War: The Union suffered a one-in-three casualty rate at the Battle of Olustee near Lake City, Florida.
- 1943 – A fissure opened in a cornfield in the Mexican state of Michoacán and turned into the cinder cone volcano Parícutin (pictured), which continued to erupt for nine years, growing 424 m (1,391 ft).
- 1988 – The Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast voted to secede from Azerbaijan and join Armenia, triggering the Nagorno-Karabakh War.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 unveiled a logo for the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament that became internationally recognised as the peace sign.
- 1965 – Black nationalist Malcolm X (pictured) was assassinated while giving a speech in New York City's Audubon Ballroom.
- 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.
- 1876 – The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland (pictured), named after philanthropist Johns Hopkins, opened.
- 1921 – After White Russian forces under Baron Roman von Ungern-Sternberg drove the Chinese out of Mongolia, the Bogd Khan was reinstalled as emperor.
- 1957 – The President of South Vietnam Ngo Dinh Diem survived a Viet Cong assassination attempt by a gunman in Buôn Ma Thuột.
- 2002 – Jonas Savimbi, leader of the Angolan anti-Communist rebel and political party UNITA, was killed in a battle with Angolan government troops.
- 1778 – American Revolutionary War: Prussian military officer Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben arrived at Valley Forge as a volunteer for the Continental Army.
- 1854 – Britain signed the Orange River Convention to formally recognise the independence of the Orange Free State in the present-day Free State Province, South Africa.
- 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.
- 1987 – Light from SN 1987A (remnant pictured), a supernova in the Large Magellanic Cloud, reached the Earth.
- 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.
- 303 – Roman emperor Diocletian's first "Edict against the Christians" was published, beginning the Diocletianic Persecution, the last and most severe episode of the persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire.
- 1809 – After standing only 15 years, London's Drury Lane theatre, the third building of that name, burned down (pictured).
- 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.
- 1868 – Andrew Johnson became the first U.S. President to be impeached.
- 1943 – World War II: The Battle of Kasserine Pass, the first major engagement between American and Axis forces in Africa, ended with the Allied forces suffering heavy losses.
- 1843 – Captain Lord George Paulet of the Royal Navy began a five-month occupation of land in the Hawaiian Islands.
- 1866 – Miners in Calaveras County, California, discovered a human skull that a prominent geologist claimed was proof (later disproven) that humans had existed during the Pliocene age.
- 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.
- 1951 – After being postponed since 1943 due to World War II, the first Pan American Games opened in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
- 1992 – Nagorno-Karabakh War: Armenian armed forces killed at least 161 ethnic Azerbaijani civilians from the town of Khojaly in the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan.
- 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.
- 1815 – Napoleon Bonaparte escaped from Elba, an island off the coast of Italy where he had been exiled after the signing of the Treaty of Fontainebleau one year earlier.
- 1917 – The Original Dixieland Jass Band recorded "Livery Stable Blues" (audio featured), the first jazz single ever released.
- 2013 – A hot air balloon crashed near Luxor, Egypt, killing 19 people in the deadliest ballooning disaster in history.
- 907 – Abaoji, a Khitan chieftain, was enthroned as Emperor Taizu, establishing the Liao dynasty in northern China.
- 1812 – Manuel Belgrano (pictured) raised the flag of Argentina, which he designed, in the city of Rosario, during the Argentine War of Independence.
- 1940 – American biochemists Martin Kamen and Sam Ruben discovered carbon-14, which today is used extensively as the basis of the radiocarbon dating method to date archaeological and geological samples.
- 1982 – The D'Oyly Carte Opera Company, known for its performances of Gilbert and Sullivan's Savoy operas, gave its last performance.
- 2002 – A violent riot in Gujarat, India, killed at least 1,000 people (mostly Muslims), possibly having been triggered by a train fire that killed 58 Hindu pilgrims.
- 1844 – A gun on USS Princeton exploded while the warship was on a Potomac River cruise, killing six people and injuring twenty others.
- 1897 – Ranavalona III (pictured), the last sovereign ruler of the Kingdom of Madagascar, was deposed by a French military force.
- 1914 – In the aftermath of the Balkan Wars, Greeks living in southern Albania proclaimed the Autonomous Republic of Northern Epirus.
- 1972 – Japanese police stormed a mountain lodge near Karuizawa, Nagano Prefecture, to end a ten-day siege by members of the paramilitary group United Red Army.
- 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.
- 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.