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THIS DAY IN HISTORY

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phkrause

January 18th

1919

Post-World War I peace conference begins in Paris
 
On this day in Paris, France, some of the most powerful people in the world meet to begin the long, complicated negotiations that would officially mark the end of the First World War. Leaders of the victorious Allied powers–France, Great Britain, the United States and Italy–would make... read more »
American Revolution
1776
Georgia's royal governor is arrested »
Art, Literature, and Film History
1882
A.A. Milne is born »
1975
"Mandy" is Barry Manilow's first #1 pop hit »
1985
Coen brothers release debut film, Blood Simple »
Civil War
1862
John Tyler dies »
Cold War
1985
United States walks out of World Court case »
Crime
1990
Barry arrested on drug charges »
Disaster
1969
Heavy rain leads to landslides in Southern California »
General Interest
1778
Cook discovers Hawaii »
1912
Scott reaches the South Pole »
Inventions & Science
2009
GM auctions off historic cars »
Presidential
1803
Jefferson requests funding for Lewis and Clark expedition »
1919
Wilson attends Paris Peace Conference »
Sports
1958
NHL is integrated »
Vietnam War
1950
China and Soviet Union recognize Democratic Republic of Vietnam »
1971
McGovern begins his presidential campaign »
Westward Expansion
1803
Jefferson requests funds for Lewis and Clark »
World War I
1919
Peace conference opens in Paris »
World War II
1943
Germans resume deportations from Warsaw to Treblinka »

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phkrause

January 19th

1809

Edgar Allan Poe is born
 
On this day in 1809, poet, author and literary critic Edgar Allan Poe is born in Boston, Massachusetts. By the time he was three years old, both of Poe's parents had died, leaving him in the care of his godfather, John Allan, a wealthy tobacco merchant. After attending school in England, Poe entered... read more »
American Revolution
1764
John Wilkes expelled from Parliament »
Art, Literature, and Film History
1921
Patricia Highsmith is born »
1993
Fleetwood Mac reunite to play "Don't Stop" at Bill Clinton's first Inaugural gala »
1993
Production begins on Toy Story »
Civil War
1807
Robert E. Lee born »
1862
Battle of Logan's Crossroads »
Cold War
1950
Communist China recognizes North Vietnam »
Crime
1999
Man charged in California cyberstalking case »
Disaster
1883
Fog leads to deadly collision in North Sea »
General Interest
1840
Wilkes claims portion of Antarctica for U.S. »
1966
Indira Gandhi becomes Indian prime minister »
1983
Butcher of Lyons arrested in Bolivia »
Inventions & Science
2007
First McDonald's drive-through opens in Beijing »
Presidential
1977
Ford pardons Tokyo Rose »
Sports
1974
Notre Dame beats UCLA to end 88-game winning streak »
Vietnam War
1961
Eisenhower cautions successor about Laos »
1968
Operation McLain is launched »
Westward Expansion
1847
Mexican rebels kill Charles Bent »
World War I
1915
First air raid on Britain »
World War II
1941
British attack Italians in Africa »

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January 20th

1981

Iran Hostage Crisis ends
 
Minutes after Ronald Reagan's inauguration as the 40th president of the United States, the 52 U.S. captives held at the U.S. embassy in Teheran, Iran, are released, ending the 444-day Iran Hostage Crisis. On November 4, 1979, the crisis began when militant Iranian students, outraged that the... read more »
American Revolution
1777
Battle of Millstone, New Jersey »
Art, Literature, and Film History
1961
Robert Frost reads at JFK's inauguration »
1973
Country star Jerry Lee Lewis rocks the Grand Ole Opry »
1993
Actress Audrey Hepburn dies »
Civil War
1863
Mud March begins »
Cold War
1949
Truman announces Point Four program »
Crime
1974
Football player-turned-murderer born »
Disaster
1980
Bullfight spectators die when bleachers collapse »
General Interest
1841
Hong Kong ceded to the British »
1945
FDR inaugurated to fourth term »
1961
John F. Kennedy inaugurated »
1987
Terry Waite disappears »
1996
Arafat elected leader of Palestine »
Inventions & Science
1909
GM takes an interest in Oakland Motor Car Corp. »
Presidential
1937
Franklin Delano Roosevelt is sworn in as president »
2009
Barack Obama is inaugurated »
2017
Donald Trump is inaugurated »
Sports
1980
President Carter calls for Olympics to be moved from Moscow »
Vietnam War
1969
Richard Nixon takes office »
1972
New communist offensive anticipated »
Westward Expansion
1981
Ronald Reagan becomes president »
World War I
1918
Goeben and Breslau battle the Allies in the Aegean »
World War II
1942
The Wannsee Conference »

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January 21st

1977

President Carter pardons draft dodgers
 
On this day in 1977, U.S. President Jimmy Carter grants an unconditional pardon to hundreds of thousands of men who evaded the draft during the Vietnam War. In total, some 100,000 young Americans went abroad in the late 1960s and early 70s to avoid serving in the war. Ninety percent went to Canada... read more »
American Revolution
1738
Ethan Allen is born »
Art, Literature, and Film History
1957
Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts introduce America to Patsy Cline »
1985
Don DeLillo's White Noise wins the American Book Award »
1998
Hilary Swank moves on »
Civil War
1863
First Battle of Sabine Pass »
Cold War
1950
Alger Hiss convicted of perjury »
Crime
1959
Switzer of Our Gang murdered »
Disaster
1996
Ferry sinks off Indonesian coast »
General Interest
1793
King Louis XVI executed »
1924
Vladimir Lenin dies »
1976
Concorde takes off »
2017
Women's March »
Inventions & Science
2009
Toyota officially passes GM as planet's biggest car maker »
Presidential
1977
Carter pardons draft dodgers »
Sports
1990
John McEnroe disqualified from the Australian Open »
Vietnam War
1968
Battle for Khe Sanh begins »
Westward Expansion
1855
Gun designer John Browning is born »
World War I
1924
Vladimir Ilyich Lenin dies »
World War II
1867
General Weygand is born »

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January 22nd

1998

Ted Kaczynski pleads guilty to bombings
 
On this day in 1998, in a Sacramento, California, courtroom, Theodore J. Kaczynski pleads guilty to all federal charges against him, acknowledging his responsibility for a 17-year campaign of package bombings attributed to the "Unabomber." Born in 1942, Kaczynski attended Harvard University and... read more »
American Revolution
1779
Claudius Smith, "Cowboy of the Ramapos," hangs »
Art, Literature, and Film History
1788
George Gordon, Lord Byron, is born »
1981
Final portrait of John and Yoko is on the cover of Rolling Stone »
2008
Heath Ledger dies of accidental prescription drug overdose »
2010
Conan O'Brien makes final appearance as "Tonight Show" host »
Civil War
1927
John McCausland dies »
Cold War
1982
Reagan links arms talks with Soviets to oppression in Poland »
Crime
1973
Roe v. Wade »
Disaster
1973
Plane crashes at Nigerian airport »
General Interest
1840
British colonists reach New Zealand »
1901
Queen Victoria dies »
1905
First Russian Revolution begins »
1973
Supreme Court legalizes abortion »
1980
Sakharov arrested in Moscow »
Inventions & Science
2009
"Gran Torino" opens Down Under »
Presidential
1973
Lyndon Baines Johnson dies in Texas »
Sports
1973
Foreman beats Frazier to win heavyweight title in Jamaica »
Vietnam War
1964
U.S. Joint Chiefs foresee larger U.S. commitment »
1968
Operations Jeb Stuart and Pershing II kick off »
Westward Expansion
1879
Chief Dull Knife makes last fight for freedom »
World War I
1905
Bloody Sunday Massacre in Russia »
World War II
1941
Brits and Australians take Tobruk »

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January 23rd

1957

Toy company Wham-O produces first Frisbees
 
On this day in 1957, machines at the Wham-O toy company roll out the first batch of their aerodynamic plastic discs–now known to millions of fans all over the world as Frisbees. The story of the Frisbee began in Bridgeport, Connecticut, where William Frisbie opened the Frisbie Pie Company... read more »
American Revolution
1775
London merchants petition for reconciliation with America »
Art, Literature, and Film History
1930
Derek Walcott is born »
1976
Singer, actor, athlete, activist Paul Robeson dies »
1983
The A-Team debuts on NBC »
Civil War
1865
Hood removed from command »
Cold War
1968
North Korea seizes U.S. ship Pueblo »
Crime
1991
Videotaped murder leads to convictions in Texas »
Disaster
1556
Deadliest earthquake in history rocks China »
General Interest
1849
First woman M.D. »
1922
Insulin injection aids diabetic patient »
1968
USS Pueblo captured »
1997
Albright sworn in as secretary of state »
Inventions & Science
2006
"Who Killed the Electric Car?" debuts »
Presidential
1937
FDR writes letter to Baseball Writer's Association »
1992
Bush Sr. honors Women's World Cup soccer champions »
Sports
1984
Hulk Hogan beats Iron Sheik to win first WWF title »
Vietnam War
1973
Nixon announces peace settlement reached in Paris »
Westward Expansion
1870
Soldiers massacre the wrong camp of Indians »
World War I
1920
Netherlands refuses to extradite Kaiser Wilhelm to the Allies »
World War II
1941
Lindbergh to Congress: Negotiate with Hitler »

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January 24th

1935

First canned beer goes on sale
 
Canned beer makes its debut on this day in 1935. In partnership with the American Can Company, the Gottfried Krueger Brewing Company delivered 2,000 cans of Krueger's Finest Beer and Krueger's Cream Ale to faithful Krueger drinkers in Richmond, Virginia. Ninety-one percent of the drinkers approved... read more »
American Revolution
1781
Light Horse and Swamp Fox raid Georgetown, South Carolina »
Art, Literature, and Film History
1862
Edith Wharton is born »
1967
Aretha Franklin's career is reborn »
2006
Walt Disney announces $7.4 billion purchase of Pixar »
Civil War
1865
Confederate Congress to resume prisoner exchanges »
Cold War
1980
U.S. announces military equipment sales to China »
Crime
1956
Emmett Till murderers make magazine confession »
Disaster
1939
Chile suffers killer quake »
General Interest
1908
Boy Scouts movement begins »
1965
Winston Churchill dies »
1972
Japanese soldier found hiding on Guam »
Inventions & Science
1871
Albert Erskine, Studebaker chief, is born »
Presidential
1970
Nixon honors Eugene Ormandy »
Sports
1981
Mike Bossy scores 50th goal in 50 NHL games »
Vietnam War
1966
Operation Masher/White Wing/Thang Phong II launched »
1973
Truce is expected in Laos and Cambodia »
Westward Expansion
1848
Gold discovered at Sutter's Creek »
World War I
1915
British and German navies battle at the Dogger Bank »
World War II
1943
Von Paulus to Hitler: Let us surrender! »

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January 25th

1905

World's largest diamond found
 
On January 25, 1905, at the Premier Mine in Pretoria, South Africa, a 3,106-carat diamond is discovered during a routine inspection by the mine's superintendent. Weighing 1.33 pounds, and christened the "Cullinan," it was the largest diamond ever found. Frederick Wells was 18 feet below the earth's ... read more »
American Revolution
1776
First national memorial is ordered by Congress »
Art, Literature, and Film History
1759
Robert Burns' birthday »
1949
Inaugural Emmy awards ceremony »
1980
Paul McCartney is released from a Tokyo jail and deported from Japan »
Civil War
1863
Burnside relieved of command »
Cold War
1956
Khrushchev declares that Eisenhower is "striving for peace" »
Crime
2005
BTK killer sends message »
Disaster
1968
Israeli sub vanishes »
General Interest
1924
First Winter Olympics »
1971
Manson and followers convicted »
1981
Mao's widow sentenced to death »
1995
Near launching of Russian nukes »
Inventions & Science
2003
Italian auto baron Gianni Agnelli dies »
Presidential
1961
Kennedy holds first live television news conference »
Sports
1924
First Winter Olympics begin in Chamonix, France »
Vietnam War
1969
First plenary session of the formal Paris Peace talks is held »
1972
Nixon reveals information about secret negotiations »
Westward Expansion
1869
Pat Garrett leaves Louisiana »
World War I
1919
Formal commission is established on the League of Nations »
World War II
1942
Thailand declares war on the United States and England »

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January 26th

1788

Australia Day
 
On January 26, 1788, Captain Arthur Phillip guides a fleet of 11 British ships carrying convicts to the colony of New South Wales, effectively founding Australia. After overcoming a period of hardship, the fledgling colony began to celebrate the anniversary of this date with great fanfare. Australia... read more »
AMERICAN REVOLUTION
1779
Engagement at Burke County Jail »
ART, LITERATURE, AND FILM HISTORY
1934
Sam Goldwyn buys rights to The Wizard of Oz »
1962
"The Twist" ends record-setting run »
2006
Oprah Winfrey takes James Frey to task for lying »
CIVIL WAR
1863
Joseph Hooker takes over the Army of the Potomac »
COLD WAR
1980
U.S. Olympic Committee votes against Moscow games »
CRIME
1788
First Australian penal colony established »
1936
So-called Mad Butcher terrorizes Cleveland »
DISASTER
1974
Cyclone Wanda causes flooding in Australia »
GENERAL INTEREST
1500
Pinzon discovers Brazil »
1838
Tennessee passes nation's first prohibition law »
1939
Franco captures Barcelona »
1950
Republic of India born »
INVENTIONS & SCIENCE
1979
"The Dukes of Hazzard" premieres »
PRESIDENTIAL
1961
Kennedy appoints first female presidential physician »
2005
Bush appoints Rice as secretary of state »
SPORTS
1986
Bears beat Patriots in Super Bowl XX »
VIETNAM WAR
1970
POW spends 2,000th day in captivity »
1972
North Vietnam rejects U.S. peace proposal »
WESTWARD EXPANSION
1875
Pinkertons maim Frank and Jesse James' mother »
WORLD WAR I
1918
Ukraine declares its independence »
WORLD WAR II
1945
Audie Murphy wounded »

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January 27th

1888

National Geographic Society founded
 
On January 27, 1888, the National Geographic Society is founded in Washington, D.C., for "the increase and diffusion of geographical knowledge." The 33 men who originally met and formed the National Geographic Society were a diverse group of geographers, explorers, teachers, lawyers, cartographers... read more »
AMERICAN REVOLUTION
1785
Georgia incorporates the first state university »
ART, LITERATURE, AND FILM HISTORY
1302
Dante is exiled from Florence »
1970
John Lennon writes and records "Instant Karma" in a single day »
2004
Thirteen-year-old Keisha Castle-Hughes nominated for Best Actress Oscar »
2010
"The Catcher in the Rye" author J.D. Salinger dies »
CIVIL WAR
1862
Lincoln orders armies to advance »
COLD WAR
1973
U.S. officially ends participation in a Cold War conflict »
CRIME
1978
The so-called Dracula killer »
DISASTER
2002
Explosions trigger deadly panic in Nigeria »
GENERAL INTEREST
1926
Baird demonstrates TV »
1967
Astronauts die in launch pad fire »
1975
Senate investigation of FBI and CIA activities begins »
1991
Somali dictator flees »
INVENTIONS & SCIENCE
1965
Shelby GT 350 debuts »
PRESIDENTIAL
1943
Reagan serves in film unit »
SPORTS
1996
Monica Seles wins first Grand Slam title since being attacked »
VIETNAM WAR
1967
Donald Evans earns Medal of Honor »
1973
Paris Peace Accords signed »
WESTWARD EXPANSION
1951
First atomic detonation at the Nevada test site »
WORLD WAR I
1918
Workers prepare to strike in Germany »
WORLD WAR II
1943
Americans bomb Germans for first time »
1944
Siege of Leningrad is lifted »
1945
Soviets liberate Auschwitz »

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January 28th

1986

Challenger disaster
 
At 11:38 a.m. EST, on January 28, 1986, the space shuttle Challenger lifts off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, and Christa McAuliffe is on her way to becoming the first ordinary U.S. civilian to travel into space. McAuliffe, a 37-year-old high school social studies teacher from New Hampshire, won a ... read more »
AMERICAN REVOLUTION
1777
British plan to isolate New England »
ART, LITERATURE, AND FILM HISTORY
1873
Colette is born »
1985
American Recording Artists Gather to Record 'We Are the World' »
2006
Clint Eastwood honored by Directors Guild of America »
CIVIL WAR
1828
Thomas Hindman born »
COLD WAR
1964
Soviets shoot down U.S. jet »
CRIME
1958
Killer couple strikes the heartland »
DISASTER
1986
Challenger lost after liftoff »
GENERAL INTEREST
1917
U.S. ends search for Pancho Villa »
1997
Afrikaner police admit to killing Stephen Biko »
INVENTIONS & SCIENCE
2009
"Shuttin' Detroit Down" debuts »
PRESIDENTIAL
1916
Wilson nominates Brandeis to the Supreme Court »
SPORTS
1959
Vince Lombardi hired as Packers coach »
VIETNAM WAR
1973
Cease-fire goes into effect »
1975
Ford asks for additional aid »
WESTWARD EXPANSION
1855
First train crosses the Panamanian isthmus »
WORLD WAR I
1915
Germans sink American merchant ship »
WORLD WAR II
1945
Burma Road is reopened »

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January 29th

1936

U.S. Baseball Hall of Fame elects first members
 
On January 29, 1936, the U.S. Baseball Hall of Fame elects its first members in Cooperstown, New York: Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Christy Matthewson and Walter Johnson. The Hall of Fame actually had its beginnings in 1935, when plans were made to build a museum devoted to baseball and its 100... read more »
AMERICAN REVOLUTION
1777
Americans retreat from Fort Independence »
ART, LITERATURE, AND FILM HISTORY
1845
"The Raven" is published »
1958
Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward marry »
1962
Peter, Paul and Mary sign their first recording contract »
CIVIL WAR
1861
Kansas enters the Union »
COLD WAR
1964
Dr. Strangelove premieres »
CRIME
1979
School shooting in San Diego »
DISASTER
1922
Theater collapses in Washington, D.C. »
GENERAL INTEREST
1820
King George III dies »
1861
Divided Kansas enters the Union »
1891
Liliuokalani proclaimed queen of Hawaii »
1979
Deng Xiaoping and Jimmy Carter sign accords »
INVENTIONS & SCIENCE
1843
William McKinley, first U.S. president to ride in a car, is born »
PRESIDENTIAL
1834
Jackson sends troops to put down labor riot »
1843
William McKinley is born »
SPORTS
1936
Baseball Hall of Fame inducts first members »
VIETNAM WAR
1968
President Johnson requests additional funds »
1974
Fighting continues in South Vietnam »
WESTWARD EXPANSION
1927
Edward Abbey is born »
WORLD WAR I
1915
German lieutenant Erwin Rommel leads daring mission in France »
WORLD WAR II
1942
Iran signs Treaty of Alliance with Great Britain and USSR »

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January 30th

1948
Gandhi assassinated
 
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, the political and spiritual leader of the Indian independence movement, is assassinated in New Delhi by a Hindu fanatic. Born the son of an Indian official in 1869, Gandhi's Vaishnava mother was deeply religious and early on exposed her son to Jainism, a morally rigorous ... read more »
AMERICAN REVOLUTION
1781
Maryland finally ratifies Articles of Confederation »
ART, LITERATURE, AND FILM HISTORY
1923
Sidney Bechet's first record »
1930
Gene Hackman born »
1945
Michael Dorris is born »
CIVIL WAR
1816
Nathaniel Banks born »
COLD WAR
1968
Tet Offensive shakes Cold War confidence »
CRIME
1948
Gandhi assassinated in New Delhi »
DISASTER
2000
Plane crashes off Ivory Coast »
INVENTIONS & SCIENCE
1920
Japan's Mazda founded »
SPORTS
1994
Dan Jansen skates world-record 500 meters »
VIETNAM WAR
1968
Tet Offensive begins »
1971
Operation Dewey Canyon II begins »
WESTWARD EXPANSION
1933
The Lone Ranger debuts on Detroit radio »
WORLD WAR I
1933
Adolf Hitler is named chancellor of Germany »
WORLD WAR II
1943
RAF launches massive daytime raid on Berlin »

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January 31st

1950

Truman announces development of H-bomb
 
U.S. President Harry S. Truman publicly announces his decision to support the development of the hydrogen bomb, a weapon theorized to be hundreds of times more powerful than the atomic bombs dropped on Japan during World War II. Five months earlier, the United States had lost its nuclear supremacy ... read more »
AMERICAN REVOLUTION
1752
Gouverneur Morris is born »
ART, LITERATURE, AND FILM HISTORY
1923
Norman Mailer is born »
1937
American composer Phillip Glass is born »
1974
Samuel Goldwyn dies »
CIVIL WAR
1865
House passes the 13th Amendment »
COLD WAR
1990
First McDonald's opens in Soviet Union »
CRIME
1990
The McMartin Preschool trials »
DISASTER
1953
Flood wreaks havoc in Europe »
GENERAL INTEREST
1606
The death of Guy Fawkes »
1917
Germany resumes submarine warfare »
1968
Viet Cong attack U.S. Embassy »
1971
Apollo 14 departs for the moon »
INVENTIONS & SCIENCE
2007
Cars.com names most memorable TV cars »
PRESIDENTIAL
1995
Clinton authorizes loan to Mexico »
SPORTS
1988
Doug Williams leads Redskins to Super Bowl victory »
VIETNAM WAR
1968
Viet Cong attack U.S. Embassy »
1972
North Vietnam presents nine-point peace proposal »
WESTWARD EXPANSION
1872
Author Zane Grey is born »
WORLD WAR I
1917
Germans unleash U-boats »
WORLD WAR II
1945
The execution of Pvt. Slovik »

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February 1st

1884
Oxford Dictionary debuts
 
On this day in 1884, the first portion, or fascicle, of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), considered the most comprehensive and accurate dictionary of the English language, is published. Today, the OED is the definitive authority on the meaning, pronunciation and history of over half a million ... read more »
AMERICAN REVOLUTION
1781
Davidson College namesake killed at Cowan's Ford »
ART, LITERATURE, AND FILM HISTORY
1814
"The Corsair" by Lord Byron is published »
1887
Official registration of Hollywood »
1896
Puccini's La bohème premieres in Turin, Italy »
CIVIL WAR
1861
Texas secedes »
COLD WAR
1951
U.N. condemns PRC for aggression »
CRIME
1974
Serial killer Ted Bundy strikes again »
DISASTER
2003
Columbia mission ends in disaster »
GENERAL INTEREST
1790
First session of the U.S. Supreme Court »
1908
Portuguese king and heir assassinated »
1979
Ayatollah Khomeini returns to Iran »
INVENTIONS & SCIENCE
2004
Ford GT makes TV debut in Super Bowl ad »
PRESIDENTIAL
2003
Bush addresses the nation after space shuttle Columbia explodes »
SPORTS
1970
NHL goalie Terry Sawchuk posts 103rd shutout »
VIETNAM WAR
1964
Operation Plan 34A commences »
1968
Nixon announces his candidacy for president »
WESTWARD EXPANSION
1885
Mormon president goes underground »
WORLD WAR I
1917
Germany resumes unrestricted submarine warfare »
WORLD WAR II
1943
Japanese begin evacuation of Guadalcanal »

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February 2nd

1887

First Groundhog Day
 
On this day in 1887, Groundhog Day, featuring a rodent meteorologist, is celebrated for the first time at Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. According to tradition, if a groundhog comes out of its hole on this day and sees its shadow, it gets scared and runs back into its burrow, ... read more »
AMERICAN REVOLUTION
1781
Nathanael Greene finds fortification at Steele's Tavern »
ART, LITERATURE, AND FILM HISTORY
1882
James Joyce is born »
1979
Sid Vicious dies of a drug overdose in New York City »
1996
Gene Kelly dies »
2014
Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman dies at age 46 »
CIVIL WAR
1803
Albert Sidney Johnston born »
COLD WAR
1949
United States rejects proposal for conference with Stalin »
CRIME
1922
Murder in Hollywood: A tale of vice and vixens »
DISASTER
1847
First Donner Party member dies »
GENERAL INTEREST
1943
Battle of Stalingrad ends »
1971
Idi Amin takes power in Uganda »
1980
ABSCAM operation revealed »
INVENTIONS & SCIENCE
1991
Hurley Haywood in quest to win fifth 24 Hours of Daytona »
PRESIDENTIAL
1848
Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo is signed »
SPORTS
1876
National League of baseball is founded »
VIETNAM WAR
1962
First U.S. Air Force plane crashes in South Vietnam. »
1970
Antiwar protestors sue Dow Chemical »
WESTWARD EXPANSION
1812
Russians establish Fort Ross »
WORLD WAR I
1916
Zeppelin crashes into North Sea »
WORLD WAR II
1942
Quisling becomes prime minister of puppet regime in Norway »
1943
Germans surrender at Stalingrad »

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February 3rd

2005
Gonzales becomes first Hispanic U.S. attorney general
 
On February 3, 2005, Alberto Gonzales won Senate confirmation as the nation's first Hispanic attorney general despite protests over his record on torture. The Senate approved his nomination on a largely party-line vote of 60-36, reflecting a split between Republicans and Democrats over whether the... read more »
AMERICAN REVOLUTION
1781
Greene crosses the Yadkin with Kosciusko's boats »
ART, LITERATURE, AND FILM HISTORY
1820
Keats falls deathly ill »
1959
The Music dies in an Iowa cornfield »
1989
John Cassavetes dies »
CIVIL WAR
1865
Hampton Roads Conference »
COLD WAR
1950
Klaus Fuchs arrested for passing atomic bomb information to Soviets »
CRIME
1780
Early American mass murder changes common perceptions of crime »
DISASTER
1998
Marine jet severs ski-lift cable in Italy »
GENERAL INTEREST
1924
Woodrow Wilson dies »
1953
Cousteau publishes The Silent World »
1959
The day the music died »
1966
Lunik 9 soft-lands on lunar surface »
1994
Clinton ends Vietnam trade embargo »
INVENTIONS & SCIENCE
2006
"World's Fastest Indian" makes U.S. debut »
PRESIDENTIAL
1994
Clinton ends trade embargo of Vietnam »
SPORTS
2002
New England Patriots win first Super Bowl »
2008
New York Giants upset New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII »
VIETNAM WAR
1955
Diem institutes limited agrarian reforms »
1970
Senate Foreign Relations Committee opens hearings »
WESTWARD EXPANSION
1889
Belle Starr murdered in Oklahoma »
WORLD WAR I
1917
U.S. breaks diplomatic relations with Germany »
WORLD WAR II
1944
U.S. troops capture the Marshall Islands »

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February 4th

1974
Patty Hearst kidnapped
 
On February 4, 1974, Patty Hearst, the 19-year-old daughter of newspaper publisher Randolph Hearst, is kidnapped from her apartment in Berkeley, California, by two black men and a white woman, all three of whom are armed. Her fiance, Stephen Weed, was beaten and tied up along with a neighbor who ... read more »
AMERICAN REVOLUTION
1789
Washington unanimously elected by Electoral College to first and second terms »
ART, LITERATURE, AND FILM HISTORY
1826
The Last of the Mohicans is published »
1938
Disney releases Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs »
1983
Karen Carpenter dies of anorexia »
CIVIL WAR
1861
Provisional Confederate Congress convenes »
COLD WAR
1945
Yalta Conference foreshadows the Cold War »
CRIME
1974
The Symbionese Liberation Army abducts Patty Hearst »
DISASTER
1976
Earthquake rocks Guatemala City »
GENERAL INTEREST
1789
First U.S. president elected »
1861
States meet to form Confederacy »
1969
PLO is founded »
INVENTIONS & SCIENCE
1922
Ford buys Lincoln »
PRESIDENTIAL
1789
George Washington is elected president »
SPORTS
1959
Football great Lawrence Taylor born »
VIETNAM WAR
1962
First U.S. helicopter is shot down in Vietnam. »
1965
Rumors fly about U.S.-Soviet pressure on allies in Vietnam »
1972
Last Thai contingent departs South Vietnam »
WESTWARD EXPANSION
1961
The Misfits released by United Artists »
WORLD WAR I
1915
Germany declares war zone around British Isles »
WORLD WAR II
1945
The Yalta Conference commences »

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February 5th

1994

Beckwith convicted of killing Medgar Evers
 
On this day in 1994, white supremacist Byron De La Beckwith is convicted in the murder of African-American civil rights leader Medgar Evers, over 30 years after the crime occurred. Evers was gunned down in the driveway of his Jackson, Mississippi, home on June 12, 1963, while his wife, Myrlie, and ... read more »
AMERICAN REVOLUTION
1777
Georgia constitution abolishes primogeniture and entail »
ART, LITERATURE, AND FILM HISTORY
1919
United Artists created »
1928
Andrew Greeley is born »
1957
The American Invasion begins, as Bill Haley and the Comets storm Britain »
CIVIL WAR
1865
Battle of Dabney's Mill (Hatcher's Run) »
COLD WAR
1989
The last Soviet troops leave Kabul »
CRIME
1994
Medger Evers' killer is convicted »
2012
Husband of missing Utah woman kills self and two young sons »
DISASTER
1783
Earthquake devastates southern Italy »
GENERAL INTEREST
1631
Roger Williams arrives in America »
1917
Mexican constitution proclaimed »
1917
Immigration act passed over Wilson's veto »
1937
Roosevelt announces "court-packing" plan »
1988
Noriega indicted on U.S. drug charges »
INVENTIONS & SCIENCE
1878
The "French Henry Ford" born »
PRESIDENTIAL
1826
Millard Fillmore marries Abigail Powers »
SPORTS
1934
Hank Aaron is born »
HISTORY VAULT
Notable African Americans
HISTORY Vault commemorates Black History Month with exclusive documentaries and series that shine a light on the experience of African Americans.
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VIETNAM WAR
1960
South Vietnam requests more support »
1975
North Vietnamese begin preparations for offensive »
WESTWARD EXPANSION
1883
Southern Pacific Railroad completes "Sunset Route" »
WORLD WAR I
1918
U.S. steamship Tuscania is torpedoed and sinks »
WORLD WAR II
1941
Hitler to Mussolini: Fight harder! »

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February 6th

1952

Elizabeth becomes queen
 
On this day in 1952, after a long illness, King George VI of Great Britain and Northern Ireland dies in his sleep at the royal estate at Sandringham. Princess Elizabeth, the oldest of the king's two daughters and next in line to succeed him, was in Kenya at the time of her father's death; she was ... read more »
AMERICAN REVOLUTION
1778
Franco-American alliances signed »
ART, LITERATURE, AND FILM HISTORY
1911
Ronald Reagan born »
1937
Of Mice and Men is published »
1998
Austrian superstar Falco dies »
CIVIL WAR
1865
John Pegram killed »
COLD WAR
1985
The "Reagan Doctrine" is announced »
CRIME
1998
Infamous school teacher goes back to prison »
DISASTER
1958
Man United players among victims of plane crash »
GENERAL INTEREST
1820
Freed U.S. slaves depart on journey to Africa »
1928
Anastasia arrives in the United States »
HISTORY VAULT
Black History Month
From the Tuskegee Airmen and to the Civil Rights Movement, HISTORY Vault commemorates the achievements of African Americans.
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Stream episodes about this, plus hundreds of HISTORY's best documentaries and specials, all commercial-free.
START FREE TRIAL
PRESIDENTIAL
1911
Ronald Reagan is born »
SPORTS
1993
Tennis great Arthur Ashe dies of AIDS »
VIETNAM WAR
1966
Johnson meets with South Vietnamese Premier »
1973
ICCS take up positions »
WESTWARD EXPANSION
1891
Dalton Gang commits its first train robbery »
WORLD WAR I
1917
German sub sinks U.S. passenger ship California »
WORLD WAR II
1943
Mussolini fires his son-in-law »

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February 7th

1964

Beatles arrive in New York
 
On February 7, 1964, Pan Am Yankee Clipper flight 101 from London Heathrow lands at New York's Kennedy Airport–and "Beatlemania" arrives. It was the first visit to the United States by the Beatles, a British rock-and-roll quartet that had just scored its first No. 1 U.S. hit six days before ... read more »
AMERICAN REVOLUTION
1775
Benjamin Franklin publishes "An Imaginary Speech" »
ART, LITERATURE, AND FILM HISTORY
1898
Zola is brought to trial »
1914
First appearance of "Little Tramp" »
1964
The Beatles arrive on American shores »
CIVIL WAR
1862
Confederates order reinforcements to Fort Donelson »
COLD WAR
1990
Soviet Communist Party gives up monopoly on political power »
CRIME
1881
Plea bargaining gains favor in American courts »
1968
Forensic evidence solves a crime »
DISASTER
1812
Earthquake causes fluvial tsunami in Mississippi »
GENERAL INTEREST
1904
The Great Baltimore Fire begins »
1984
First human satellite »
1992
European Union treaty signed »
1999
King Hussein of Jordan dies »
INVENTIONS & SCIENCE
1938
Tire king Firestone dies »
PRESIDENTIAL
2002
President George W. Bush announces plan for "faith-based initiatives" »
SPORTS
1970
LSU star Maravich scores 69 points in single game »
VIETNAM WAR
1965
U.S. jets conduct retaliatory raids »
1971
Operation Dewey Canyon II ends »
WESTWARD EXPANSION
1855
Cowboy celebrity Charles Siringo is born »
WORLD WAR I
1915
Winter Battle of the Masurian Lakes begins »
WORLD WAR II
1979
The "Angel of Death" dies »

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February 8th

1943

Americans secure Guadalcanal
 
On this day in 1943, Japanese troops evacuate Guadalcanal, leaving the island in Allied possession after a prolonged campaign. The American victory paved the way for other Allied wins in the Solomon Islands. Guadalcanal is the largest of the Solomons, a group of 992 islands and atolls, 347 of which ... read more »
AMERICAN REVOLUTION
1777
Former POW Timothy Bigelow is named colonel »
ART, LITERATURE, AND FILM HISTORY
1955
John Grisham, author of legal thrillers, is born »
1990
Del Shannon dies of a self-inflicted gunshot wound »
1994
Jack Nicholson smashes windshield in episode of road rage »
CIVIL WAR
1862
Battle of Roanoke Island »
COLD WAR
1949
Cardinal Mindszenty of Hungary sentenced »
CRIME
1983
Irish race horse stolen »
DISASTER
1978
New England digs out after blizzard »
GENERAL INTEREST
1587
Mary Queen of Scots beheaded »
1725
Peter the Great dies »
1904
The Russo-Japanese War begins »
1915
Birth of a Nation opens »
1924
First execution by lethal gas »
INVENTIONS & SCIENCE
1985
Jaguar founder dies »
SPORTS
1986
Spud Webb wins dunk contest »
VIETNAM WAR
1962
MACV established »
1971
Operation Lam Son 719 begins »
WESTWARD EXPANSION
1887
Cleveland signs the Dawes Severalty Act »
WORLD WAR I
1918
U.S. Army resumes publication of Stars and Stripes »
WORLD WAR II
1943
Britain's Indian Brigade begins guerrilla operations in Burma »

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February 9th

1971

Satchel Paige nominated to Baseball Hall of Fame
 
On this day in 1971, pitcher Leroy "Satchel" Paige becomes the first Negro League veteran to be nominated for the Baseball Hall of Fame. In August of that year, Paige, a pitching legend known for his fastball, showmanship and the longevity of his playing career, which spanned five decades, was ... read more »
AMERICAN REVOLUTION
1776
Future New Jersey governor is promoted »
ART, LITERATURE, AND FILM HISTORY
1944
Alice Walker is born »
1960
Joanne Woodward earns first star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame »
1964
America meets the Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show »
CIVIL WAR
1864
George Custer married »
COLD WAR
1950
McCarthy says communists are in State Department »
CRIME
1960
Coors brewery heir is kidnapped »
DISASTER
2001
U.S. sub collides with Japanese fishing boat in Pearl Harbor »
GENERAL INTEREST
1825
Presidential election decided in the House »
1900
Davis Cup competition established »
1942
Normandie burns in New York »
1950
McCarthy accuses State Department of communist infiltration »
INVENTIONS & SCIENCE
1846
Auto pioneer Wilhelm Maybach born »
PRESIDENTIAL
1773
William Henry Harrison is born »
SPORTS
1992
Magic Johnson returns for All-Star Game »
VIETNAM WAR
1965
U.S. sends first combat troops to South Vietnam »
1972
USS Constellation arrives off coast of Vietnam. »
WESTWARD EXPANSION
1864
Elizabeth Bacon marries George Custer »
WORLD WAR I
1918
Ukraine signs peace treaty with Central Powers »
WORLD WAR II
1942
The Normandie catches fire »
1942
Daylight saving time instituted »

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February 10th

1996

Kasparov loses chess game to computer
 
On this day in 1996, after three hours, world chess champion Garry Kasparov loses the first game of a six-game match against Deep Blue, an IBM computer capable of evaluating 200 million moves per second. Man was ultimately victorious over machine, however, as Kasparov bested Deep Blue in ... read more »
AMERICAN REVOLUTION
1779
The Battle of Carr's Fort »
ART, LITERATURE, AND FILM HISTORY
1957
Laura Ingalls Wilder, chronicler of American frontier life, dies »
1972
Ziggy Stardust makes his earthly debut »
2006
Final episode of Arrested Development airs on Fox »
2014
Iconic child star Shirley Temple dies at 85 »
CIVIL WAR
1861
Davis learns he is president »
COLD WAR
1962
Soviets exchange American for captured Russian spy »
CRIME
1992
Boxing legend convicted of raping beauty queen »
DISASTER
1970
Avalanche buries skiers in France »
GENERAL INTEREST
1763
The French and Indian War ends »
1962
Spies swapped »
1989
Brown elected chairman of the Democratic Party »
INVENTIONS & SCIENCE
1966
Auto safety crusader Ralph Nader testifies before Congress »
PRESIDENTIAL
1899
Herbert Hoover marries Lou Henry »
SPORTS
1996
Deep Blue beats Kasparov at chess »
VIETNAM WAR
1965
Viet Cong blow up U.S. barracks »
1971
Journalists killed in helicopter crash »
WESTWARD EXPANSION
1846
Mormons begin exodus to Utah »
WORLD WAR I
1916
U.S. secretary of war resigns »
WORLD WAR II
1942
Japanese sub bombards Midway »

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February 11th

1990

Nelson Mandela released from prison
 
Nelson Mandela, leader of the movement to end South African apartheid, is released from prison after 27 years on February 11, 1990. In 1944, Mandela, a lawyer, joined the African National Congress (ANC), the oldest black political organization in South Africa, where he became a leader of ... read more »
AMERICAN REVOLUTION
1776
Georgia's governor escapes imprisonment »
ART, LITERATURE, AND FILM HISTORY
1778
Voltaire is welcomed home »
1960
The Payola scandal heats up »
2008
Tolkien heirs file Lord of the Rings lawsuit »
2012
Pop superstar Whitney Houston dies at age 48 »
CIVIL WAR
1861
Lincoln leaves Springfield »
COLD WAR
1956
Burgess and Maclean resurface »
CRIME
1916
Birth control pioneer arrested »
DISASTER
1952
Avalanches plague central Europe »
GENERAL INTEREST
1858
Virgin Mary appears to St. Bernadette »
1945
Yalta Conference ends »
1970
The world's fourth space power »
INVENTIONS & SCIENCE
1937
GM signs first autoworkers contract »
PRESIDENTIAL
1945
FDR and daughter Anna leave Yalta Conference »
SPORTS
1990
Underdog Buster Douglas knocks out Mike Tyson »
VIETNAM WAR
1962
Farm Gate aircraft crashes »
WESTWARD EXPANSION
1805
Sacagawea gives birth to Pompey »
WORLD WAR I
1918
Russia's General Kaledin commits suicide »
WORLD WAR II
1942
The "Channel Dash" »

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