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Notable Historic Events
for the Month of February
President Richard M. Nixon
US Supreme Court
meets for the first time. Six judges are appointed by President
Washington and confirmed two days later by the
Senate. John Jay is the Chief Justice.
The associate judges are John Blair of Virginia, William Cushing of
Massachusetts, Robert Harrison of Maryland, John Rutledge of South Carolina and
James Wilson of Pennsylvania. The
first meeting of the
Supreme Court is held in the Royal Exchange Building in
New York City.
1968...Richard Nixon announces he will run for
space shuttle Columbia breaks up
entering the earth's atmosphere, killing all seven crew members. When the
shuttle was launched, a piece of foam insulation broke off from the shuttle's
propellant tank. It is thought it did not do serious damage. It did.
It hit the shuttle's left wing and damaged the heat resistant tiles. When the
shuttle reentered the earth's atmosphere the heat and wind entered the left wing
of the shuttle and blew it apart, causing the shuttle to disintegrate.
1847...The first person of the Donner Party perishes as the group tries to make their way to
California through the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
National League of Baseball
Ground Hog Day
is celebrated in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. Predicting the weather on February
2nd is a long-time tradition in Germany. Local newspaper editor Clymer Freas continues
the tradition in American with the use of a groundhog named Phil. If Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow on Feb. 2, six more weeks of
winter weather lay ahead. If he doesn't see his shadow there will be an
1944...The Marshall Islands are captured by US troops during WWII.
1959...A plane crash in Iowa takes the lives of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and
J.P. Richardson. The tragedy becomes known as the day "The Day the Music
1966...The Soviets launches Lunik 9, and it successfully lands on the
1874...Patty Hearst is kidnapped, and the nation becomes acquainted with the
Stockholm syndrome. Patty Hearst is 19 years old. She is the daughter
of the newspaper publisher Randolph Hearst. She is kidnapped from
her apartment in Berkley, CA and thrown into the trunk of a car. The SLA, a
small leftist group, takes responsibility for the kidnapping. They
declare Patty a "prisoner of war." Patty is held prisoner for several
months, during which time she declares herself sympathetic to their cause.
She joins them for a bank robbery. She goes on trial for that crime. She
goes to jail, but the length of her sentence is commuted by
President Carter become of brainwashing by her captors and effects of the
Stockholm Syndrome. (She is later pardoned by
1938...Disney releases Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
1631...Colonist Roger Williams arrives in America. Roger Williams is a
religious leader from England. Roger Williams gets in trouble in
Massachusetts for disagreeing with the community's
punishment of religious dissension and his criticism of the confiscation of
Indian land. He is banished from the Colony and starts a new one in present day Rhode Island.
Other political and religious dissenters join him, including Anne
Hutchinson, The Quakers and the first Jewish settlers in America. It is
here that Roger Williams founds the first Baptist Church in America.
The Immigration Act.
vetoed the bill the prior week. It now passes with more than a 2/3
1952...Elizabeth becomes Queen of England.
1985...The "Reagan Doctrine" is announced by
President Reagan during the State of the Union Address.
1917...A German submarine sinks the the US passenger ship California.
The United States is trying to keep out of WWI, but Germany is making it
difficult. Germany feels free to attack any boat near England. When
the ocean liner the Lusitania is sunk, almost 2,000 people die, including
President Wilson warns Germany to stop these attacks. Germany responds
three days later
when a German submarine torpedoes and sinks the
off the coast of Ireland, killing 43 people. Then, in a intelligence coup that
would alter the course of history, British intelligence agents intercept
and decode a telegram from Germany to Mexico which proposes an alliance between
Germany and Mexico if the US enters the war. Mexico is promised American land.
The combination of these incidents finally forces the US to enter the war.
The Beatles arrive in New York
1812...A fluvial tsunami occurs in the Mississippi River and it
runs backward for several hours.
1964...The Beatles arrive in New York
City. The flight arrives at Kennedy Airport. Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, John
Lennon and George Harrison descend to a crowd of 3,000 screaming fans. Two
days later they appear on the Ed Sullivan Show. Approximately 73 million
American households (40% of the population) watched it on television.
Mary, Queen of Scots
1943...Americans secure the Guadalcanal.
1587...Mary, Queen of Scots is beheaded.
1924...The first execution by legal gas in US occurs in Carson City, NV
1925...The US Presidential election is
decided in the House of Representatives, and
John Quincy Adams wins the Presidency.
1950...Joseph McCarthy warns about
Communists in the State Department.
1964...The Beatles appear on the Ed
1846...Under the leadership of Brigham Young the
Mormons begin their exodus to Utah.
1861...The Confederate States have a
Constitutional Convention in Montgomery, Alabama, and the delegates choose
Jefferson Davis to be the President of the new Confederate States of America.
1962...U2 Pilot Francis Gary Powers comes home in a
prisoner exchange with the Soviet Union.
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Notable Historic Events
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