up to 19th century
- 1513 - Leo X is elected pope.
- 1649 - The Frondeurs (rebels) and the French government sign the Peace of Rueil .
- 1702 - The first regular English language newspaper, The Daily Courant . is published for the first time.
- 1818 - Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is published.
- 1824 - The United States War Department creates the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
- 1845 - The Flagstaff War: Chiefs Hone Heke and Kawiti lead 700 Maoris to chop down the British flagpole and drive settlers out of the British colonial settlement of Kororareka because of breaches of the 1840 Treaty of Waitangi.
- 1861 - American Civil War: The Constitution of the Confederate States of America is adopted.
- 1864 - The Great Sheffield Flood: The largest man-made disaster ever to befall England kills over 250 people in Sheffield.
- 1888 - The Great Blizzard of '88 begins along the eastern seaboard of the United States, shutting down commerce and killing more than 400.
- 1900 - Boer War: Boer leader Paul Kruger's peace overtures are rejected by Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Lord Salisbury.
- 1917 - Baghdad falls to the Anglo-Indian forces commanded by General Maude.
- 1927 - In New York City, the Roxy Theatre is opened by Samuel Roxy Rothafel.
- 1936 - British Prime Minister pardons five convicted Irish militants who promise to join growing conflict with Germany.
- 1941 - World War II: President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signs the Lend-Lease Act into law, allowing American-built war supplies to be shipped to the Allies on loan.
- 1942 - World War II: General Douglas MacArthur abandons Corregidor.
- 1959 - In Cannes, France, Teddy Scholten wins the fourth Eurovision Song Contest for the Netherlands singing "Een beetje" (A little bit).
- 1978 - Palestinian terrorists on the Tel Aviv Haifa highway kill 34 Israelis.
- 1985 - Mikhail Gorbachev becomes Soviet leader.
- 1990 - Lithuania declares itself independent from the Soviet Union.
- 1990 - Patricio Aylwin is sworn-in as the first democratically-elected Chilean president since 1973.
- 1991 - A curfew is imposed on black townships in South Africa after fighting between rival political gangs killed 49.
- 1993 - Janet Reno is confirmed by the United States Senate and sworn-in the next day becoming the first female Attorney General of the United States.
- 1996 - John Howard comes to power as the twenty-fifth Prime Minister of Australia.
- 1997 - An explosion at a nuclear waste reprocessing plant in Japan exposes 35 workers to low-level radioactive contamination in the worst nuclear accident in Japan's history.
- 1999 - Infosys becomes the first Indian company to get listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange.
- 2003 - The International Criminal Court is founded in The Hague.
- 2004 - Simultaneous explosions on rush hour trains in Madrid kill 191 people.
up to 19th century
- 1544 - Torquato Tasso, Italian poet (d. 1595)
- 1785 - John McLean, U.S. Supreme Court justice (d. 1861)
- 1876 - Carl Ruggles, composer (d. 1971)
- 1885 - Malcolm Campbell, Grand Prix race car driver (d. 1948)
- 1890 - Vannevar Bush, engineer and politician (d. 1974)
- 1892 - Raoul Walsh, film director (d. 1980)
- 1898 - Dorothy Gish, actress (d. 1968)
- 1899 - King Frederick IX of Denmark (d. 1972)
- 1903 - Lawrence Welk, Champagne musicmaker (d. 1992)
- 1903 - Ronald Syme, classicist and historian (d. 1989)
- 1907 - Helmut von Moltke , jurist (d. 1945)
- 1910 - Robert Havemann, chemist (d. 1982)
- 1915 - Hans Peter Keller, writer (d. 1988)
- 1915 - Karl Krolow , lyricist and essayist (d. 1999)
- 1916 - Harold Wilson, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (d. 1995)
- 1919 - Mercer Ellington , musician, composer (d. 1996)
- 1921 - Astor Piazzolla, tango composer (d. 1992)
- 1927 - Joachim Fuchsberger , actor
- 1931 - Rupert Murdoch, publisher, entrepreneur
- 1934 - Sam Donaldson, reporter
- 1936 - Reverend Ralph Abernathy, civil rights leader (d. 1990)
- 1936 - Antonin Scalia, associate justice of the United States Supreme Court
- 1948 - Dominique Sanda , actress
- 1950 - Bobby McFerrin, singer
- 1950 - Jerry Zucker, producer, director, writer
- 1952 - Douglas Adams, science fiction/comedy novelist (d. 2001)
- 1955 - Nina Hagen, singer
- 1959 - Nina Hartley, Censored page
- 1964 - Shane Richie, British actor
- 1965 - Lawrence Llewelyn-Bowen, British television presenter
- 1968 - Lisa Loeb, singer
- 1971 - Johnny Knoxville, ("Jackass"), television personality
- 1974 - Bobby Abreu, Major League Baseball All-Star
- 1979 - Benji Madden, ("Good Charlotte"), band
- 1979 - Joel Madden, ("Good Charlotte"), band
- 1981 - David Anders, actor
- 1981 - Lee Evans, American football player
- 1982 - Thora Birch, actress
- 222 - Roman emperor Heliogabalus (b. c. 203) and his mother Julia Soaemias (b. 180), killed by the Praetorian Guard
- 1847 - Johnny Appleseed, pioneer, agronomist, (b. 1774)
- 1908 - Revd Benjamin Waugh, social reformer, founder of NSPCC, (b. 1839)
- 1920 - Julio Garavito Armero, Colombian astronomer (b. 1865)
- 1931 - F.W. Murnau, director, (b. 1888)
- 1955 - Alexander Fleming, biologist (b. 1881)
- 1957 - Admiral Richard E. Byrd, explorer, (b. 1888)
- 1967 - Geraldine Farrar, American soprano (b. 1882)
- 1969 - John Wyndham, author, (b. 1903)
- 1970 - Erle Stanley Gardner, novelist, (b. 1889)
- 1971 - Philo T. Farnsworth, television pioneer, (b. 1906)
- 1972 - Frederick Brown , author (b. 1906)
- 2002 - James Tobin, economist, (b. 1918)
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Last updated: 02-07-2005 09:36:03
Last updated: 02-19-2005 10:38:14