up to 19th century
- 1279 - Mongolian victory in the Battle of Yamen ends the Song Dynasty in China.
- 1687 - The men under explorer Robert Cavelier de La Salle murder him while searching for the mouth of the Mississippi River.
- 1831 - The City Bank of New York is the site of the first bank robbery in United States history ($245,000 taken).
- 1861 - The First Taranaki War ends in New Zealand.
- 1865 - American Civil War: The Battle of Bentonville begins. By the end of the battle on the 21st the Confederate forces had retreated from Greenville, North Carolina.
- 1915 - Pluto is photographed for the first time but was not recognized as a planet.
- 1916 - First United States air combat mission in history as eight American planes take off in pursuit of Pancho Villa.
- 1918 - The U.S. Congress establishes time zones and approves daylight saving time.
- 1920 - The United States Senate rejects the Treaty of Versailles for the second time (first time was on November 19, 1919).
- 1932 - Sydney Harbour Bridge opens.
- 1942 - The Thoroughbred Racing Association is established in Chicago, Illinois.
- 1944 - World War II: Nazi forces occupy Hungary.
- 1945 - World War II: Off the coast of Japan, a dive bomber hits the aircraft carrier USS Franklin, killing 800 of her crew and crippling the ship.
- 1945 - World War II: Adolf Hitler issues his "Nero Decree" ordering all industries, military installations, shops, transportation facilities and communications facilities in Germany be destroyed.
- 1946 - French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique and Réunion become overseas départements of France.
- 1954 - Joey Giardello knocks out Willie Tory in round seven at Madison Square Garden in the first televised prize boxing fight shown in color.
- 1962 - Algerian War of Independence: A cease fire takes effect.
- 1972 - India and Bangladesh sign a friendship treaty.
- 1979 - The United States House of Representatives begins broadcasting its day-to-day business via the cable television network C-SPAN.
- 1981 - Three workers are killed and five injured during a test of the Space Shuttle Columbia.
- 1982 - Falklands War: Argentines land on South Georgia Island, precipitating war.
- 1987 - Following a scandal involving Jessica Hahn, televangelist Jim Bakker resigns from the PTL.
- 2002 - U.S. invasion of Afghanistan: Operation Anaconda ends (started on March 2) after killing 500 Taliban and al Qaeda fighters with 11 allied troop fatalities.
- 2003 - The invasion of Iraq begins (with the time difference, it actually begins on March 20 at 0100 UTC)
- 2004 - Äänekoski bus disaster - A long-distance lorry and a bus crashed head-on in Äänekoski, Finland. 24 people were killed and 13 injured.
- 2004 - The Swedish DC-3, shot down by a Russian Mig-15 in the 1950s, is finally rescued after years of recovery work. The remains of the crew were left in place, pending further investigations.
- 2004 - Taiwanese president Chen Shui-ban was shot just before the country's presidential election on March 20. See 3-19 Shooting Incident.
up to 19th century
- 1434 - Ashikaga Yoshikatsu, Ashikaga shogun (b. 1443)
- 1684 - Jean Astruc, French physician and scholar, (d. 1766)
- 1721 - Tobias Smollett, Scottish novelist (d. 1771)
- 1813 - David Livingstone, missionary and explorer, (d. 1873)
- 1848 - Wyatt Earp, policeman, gunfighter, (d. 1929)
- 1849 - Alfred von Tirpitz, German soldier, (d. 1930)
- 1864 - Charles Marion Russell, artist, (d. 1926)
- 1865 - William Morton Wheeler, US entomologist, myrmecologist, pioneer in ethology, (d. 1937)
- 1873 - Max Reger, composer, (d. 1916)
- 1883 - Joseph Stilwell, US general, (d. 1946)
- 1888 - Josef Albers, artist (d. 1976)
- 1891 - Earl Warren, Chief Justice of the United States, (d. 1974)
- 1894 - Joe Venuti, jazz musician and violinist, (d. 1978)
- 1894 - Moms Mabley , comedienne, (d. 1975)
- 1900 - Frédéric Joliot, physicist and winner of 1935 Nobel Prize in chemistry, (d. 1958)
- 1905 - Albert Speer, Nazi official, (d. 1981)
- 1906 - Adolf Eichmann, Nazi official, (d. 1962)
- 1909 - Louis Hayward, actor, (d. 1985)
- 1914 - Jay Berwanger, American football star, winner of the first Heisman Trophy, (d. 2002)
- 1916 - Irving Wallace, novelist, (d. 1990)
- 1917 - Dinu Lipatti, pianist, (d. 1950)
- 1920 - Kjell Aukrust, Norwegian author
- 1921 - Tommy Cooper, comedy magician
- 1928 - Hans Küng, theologian
- 1928 - Patrick McGoohan, actor
- 1930 - Ornette Coleman, musician
- 1933 - Philip Roth, author
- 1936 - Ursula Andress, actress
- 1939 - Joe Kapp , US football star
- 1943 - Mario Monti, aka "Super Mario"
- 1944 - Said Musa, Prime Minister of Belize
- 1944 - Sirhan Sirhan, assassin
- 1947 - Glenn Close, actress
- 1955 - Bruce Willis, actor
- 1969 - Connor Trinneer, actor
- 1286 - King Alexander III of Scotland, (b. 1241)
- 1623 - Uesugi Kagekatsu, Japanese samurai and warlord (b. 1556)
- 1721 - Pope Clement XI, (b. 1649)
- 1939 - Lloyd L. Gaines, civil rights activist, (b. c. 1913)
- 1945 - Friedrich Fromm , Nazi official
- 1950 - Edgar Rice Burroughs, author, (b. 1875)
- 1978 - Gaston Julia, mathematician, (Julia Sets)
- 1980 - Tamara de Lempicka, art deco painter, (b. 1898)
- 1982 - Randy Rhoads, guitarist of Quiet Riot (b. 1956)
- 1987 - Louis-Victor de Broglie, physicist and winner 1929 of the Nobel Prize in Physics, (b. 1892)
- 1989 - Alan Civil, English French horn player (b. 1929)
- 1997 - Willem de Kooning, artist, (b. 1904)
- 2003 - Michael Mathias Prechtl , illustrator
- 2004 - Mitchell Sharp, former Canadian Liberal cabinet minister (b. 1911)
Holidays and observances
- Roman Catholicism and Church of England - Saint Joseph's Day for Saint Joseph of Nazareth, spouse of Mary, the mother of Jesus.
- The first day of Quinquatria in ancient Rome, held in honor of Minerva.
- The swallows return to Mission San Juan Capistrano in California.
- Mojoday in Discordianism
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Last updated: 02-07-2005 07:37:59
Last updated: 02-19-2005 10:38:14