- 68 - Roman Emperor Nero commits suicide, imploring his secretary Epaphroditus to slit his throat to evade a Senate-imposed death by flogging.
- 1534 - Jacques Cartier is the first European to discover the St. Lawrence River.
- 1732 - James Oglethorpe is granted a royal charter for the colony of Georgia. 
- 1772 - British vessel Gaspee is burned off of Rhode Island.
- 1790 - "Philadelphia Spelling Book" by John Barry becomes the first book to be copyrighted in the United States.
- 1856 - 500 Mormons leave Iowa City, Iowa and head west for Salt Lake City, Utah carrying all their possessions in two-wheeled handcarts.
- 1860 - becomes the first dime novel to be published.
- 1863 - American Civil War: Battle of Brandy Station, Virginia.
- 1915 - U.S. Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan resigns over a disagreement regarding his nation's handling of the RMS Lusitania sinking.
- 1923 - Bulgaria's military takes over the government in a coup.
- 1930 - Chicago Tribune reporter Jake Lingle is killed at the Illinois Central train station during rush hour by the Leo Vincent Brothers , allegedly over a 100,000 USD gambling debt owed to Al Capone.
- 1934 - Donald Duck debuts in The Wise Little Hen.
- 1935 - Ho-Umezu Agreement : China under KMT administration recognized Japanese occupations in Northeast China.
- 1944 - World War II: The Soviet Union invades East Karelia and the previously Finnish part of Karelia, since 1941 occupied by Finland.
- 1953 - Flint-Worcester Tornadoes: A tornado spawned from the same storm system as the Flint tornado hits in Worcester, Massachusetts killing 94.
- 1954 - McCarthyism: Joseph Welch, special counsel for the United States Army, lashes out at Senator Joseph McCarthy during hearings on whether Communism has infiltrated the Army.
- 1957 - First ascent of Broad Peak (12th highest mountain).
- 1959 - The USS George Washington is launched as the first submarine to carry ballistic missiles.
- 1973 - Secretariat wins the Triple Crown.
- 1978 -The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints opens the Mormon priesthood to "all worthy men,"ending a 148-year-old policy excluding black men.
- 1980 - Comedian Richard Pryor attempts to commit suicide by dousing himself with rum and setting it ablaze during a cocaine binge.
- 1985 - Thomas Sutherland is kidnapped in Lebanon (he was not released until 1991).
- 1986 - The Rogers Commission releases its report on the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster.
- 1999 - Kosovo War: Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and NATO sign a peace treaty.
- 1686 - Andrei Osterman, Russian statesman († 1747)
- 1768 - Samuel Slater, US industrialist († 1835)
- 1810 - Otto Nicolai, composer († 1849)
- 1812 - Johann Gottfried Galle, German astronomer († 1910)
- 1882 - Angus Walters , schooner captain († 1968)
- 1843 - Bertha von Suttner, novelist, pacifist, recipient of the Nobel Prize for Peace 1905 († 1914)
- 1845 - Gilbert Elliot-Murray-Kynynmound, 4th Earl of Minto († 1914)
- 1851 - Charles Joseph Bonaparte, politician († 1921)
- 1865 - Albéric Magnard, composer († 1914)
- 1882 - Bobby Kerr, Canadian sprinter († 1963)
- 1891 - Cole Porter, composer and lyricist († 1964)
- 1900 - Fred Waring, bandleader, inventor († 1984)
- 1916 - Robert McNamara, United States Secretary of Defense, former president of the World Bank
- 1916 - Les Paul, guitarist
- 1922 - John Gillespie Magee, Jr., American poet and aviator († 1941)
- 1931 - Jackie Mason, comedian
- 1937 - Harald Rosenthal, biologist
- 1939 - Ileana Cotrubas, Romanian soprano
- 1939 - Dick Vitale, sportscaster
- 1956 - Patricia Cornwell, author
- 1961 - Michael J. Fox, actor
- 1961 - Aaron Sorkin, director, producer, writer
- 1963 - Johnny Depp, actor
- 1964 - Gloria Reuben, actress
- 1975 - Andrew Symonds, cricketer
- 1977 - Peja Stojaković, Serbian NBA star
- 1978 - Miroslav Klose, football player, National Team of Germany
- 1981 - Natalie Portman, actress
- 68 - Nero, Roman Emperor (b. 37)
- 373 - Ephrem the Syrian, prolific Christian hymn writer (b. c. 306)
- 597 - St. Columba (also known as St. Columcille), Patron of Ireland and Christian missionary. (b. 521)
- 1870 - Charles Dickens, author (b. 1812)
- 1892 - William Stairs, explorer (b. 1863)
- 1958 - Robert Donat, actor (b. 1905)
- 1964 - Max Aitken (Lord Beaverbrook) (b. 1879)
- 1974 - Miguel Ángel Asturias, Guatemalan writer (b. 1899)
- 1993 - Alexis Smith, actress
Holidays and observances
- Catholicism - Saint Columba (called Saint Columcille in Ireland, where he is honoured as one of the islands three patron saints).
- Roman Empire - third day of the Vestalia in honor of Vesta
- United States - Race Unity Day
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Last updated: 02-07-2005 07:03:53
Last updated: 02-18-2005 13:50:16