February

February 01:
1790: U.S. Supreme Court convened for the first time. However, as only three of the six judges were present, the Court recessed until the next day.
1861: Texas voted to secede from the Union.
1862: Battle Hymn of the Republic, a poem by Julia Ward Howe, was published in the Atlantic Monthly.
1896: The opera, La Boheme by Giacomo Puccini, premiered in Turin, Italy.
1904: S.J. Perelman born.
1920: The Royal Canadian Mounted Police began its existence when the Royal Northwest Mounted Police merged with the Dominion Police.
1960: Four black college students began a sit-in protest at a lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina.
1968: Siagon's police chief, Nguyen Ngoc Loan executed a Viet Cong soldier with a pistol shot to the head, in a famous scene caught on film.
2003: Space shuttle Columbia disintegrates during reentry, killing all seven aboard.

February 02:
1653: New Amsterdam (now NYC) was incorporated.
1836: Jim Bowie writes a letter to Governor Smith asking for help in defending the Alamo:
"The salvation of Texas depends in great measure on keeping Bexar out of the hands of the enemy. It serves as the frontier picquet guard, and if it were in the possession of Santa Anna, there is no stronghold from which to repel him in his march toward the Sabine. Colonel Neill and myself have come to the solemn resolution that we will rather die in these ditches than give it up to the enemy."
1848: Treaty of Guadelupe Hidalgo, ending the Mexican War, was signed.
1882: James Joyce born near Dublin.
1893: The first motion-picture close-up was filmed at the Edison Studio in West Orange, New Jersey, as camerman William Dickson photographed comedian Fred Ott sneezing.
1905: Ayn Rand born.
1971: Idi Amin assumed power in Uganda.

February 03:
1690: The first paper money in America was issued by the colony of Mass. The currency was first used to pay soldiers fighting a war against Quebec.
1809: The territory of Illinois was created.
1811: Horace Greeley born.
1836: William Barret Travis arrives at the Alamo.
1874: Gertrude Stein born.
1913: In one of the blackest days in U.S. history, the 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified. This amendment created the income tax.
1924: Woodrow Wilson died at age 68.
1959: A plane cresh near Clear Lake, Iowa, claimed the lives of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and JP (the Big Bopper) Richardson.
1907: James Michener born

February 04:

1783: Britain declares a formal cessation of hostilities with the United States.
1789: George Washington unanimously selected as President by the electors of the Electoral College.
1801: John Marshall sworn in as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
1861: Representatives from six southern states met in Montgomery, Alabama, to from the Confederate States of America.
1921: Betty Friedan born.
1938: Thorton Wilder's Our Town opened on Broadway.
1945: The Yalta Conference began.
1974: Patty Hearst is kidnapped.

February 05:
1783: Sweden recongized the United States as an independent nation.
1861: The peep show was invented.
1881: Phoenix, Arizona was incorporated.
1917: Mexico adopts its constitution.
1973: Funeral services held for William B. Nolde, the last American soldier killed before the Vietnam cease-fire.

February 06:
1564: Christopher Marlowe born.
1756: Aaron Burr born in Newark, New Jersey.
1778: France recognizes the United States as a sovereign nation.
1788: Mass. becomes the 6th state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.
1895: Babe Ruth born in Baltimore, Maryland.
1899: US Congress ratified the treaty that ended the Spanish-American War.
1911: Ronald Reagan born.
1959: First successful test of a Titan intercontinental ballistic missle.

February 07:
1610: Galileo sighted fur of Jupiter's moons.
1714: The first typewriter patent was issued in England.
1782: The Bank of North America opened in Philadelphia, becoming the first commercial bnk in the United States.
1789: The first US Presidential election was held.
1798: Great Britain, leading a shameful procession, became the first country to enact an income tax.
1812: Charles Dickens born.
1836: The men of the Alamo elect Sam Maverick and Jesse Badgett to represent them at the Convention at Washington-on-the-Brazos.
1867: Laura Ingalls Wilder born.
1885: Sinclair Lewis born.
1953: President Truman announced in his State of the Union Address that the US had developed a hydrogen bomb.
1959: The United States recognizes Fidel Castro as head of Cuba.
1979: The Khmer Rouge government of Cambodia was overthrown as North Vietnamese forces captured Phnom Penh.
1986: President Reagan ordered all US business with Libya to stop.
1995: Murray Rothbard, famous libertarian and author of Man, Economy and State, died of cardiac arrest.
2015: Marshall Rosenberg, psychologist and creator of Nonviolent Communications (NVC) died at age 80.

February 08:
1587: Mary, Queen of Scots, was beheaded in England after she was implicated in a plot to murder Queen Elizabeth, her cousin.
1828: Jules Verne born.
1836: Davy Crockett and his "Tennessee Mounted Volunteers" arrive at the Alamo.
1837: When no Vice Presidential candidated received a majority of the electoral votes, the U.S. Senate picked the Vice President, Richard Mentor Johnson.
1910: The Boy Scouts of America was incorporated.
1915: The motion picture, Birth of a Nation, premiered at Clunes Auditorium in Los Angeles. It was directed by D.W. Griffith.
1924: The gas chamber is used for the first time in the United States at Carson City, Nevada.
1925: Actor Jack Lemmon born.
1940: Ted Koppel born.
1940: Actor Nick Nolte born.

February 09:
1825: The House of Representatives elected John Quincy Adams president after no candidate received a majority of electorial votes.
1861: Jeff Davis and Alexander Stephans elected President and Vice President of the Confederate States of America.
1870: US Weather Bureau established.
1943: Battle of Guadalcanal ended in the southwest Pacific with a US victory.
1964: The Beatles made their first television appearance in the United States on the Ed Sullivan Show.

February 10:
1763: France ceded Canada to England in the Treaty of Paris, which ended the French and Indian War.
1846: Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints began an exodus west from Illinois.
1863: PT Barnum gave the weeding of Tom Thumb and Mercy Warren, two midgets.
1890: Boris Pasternak born.
1933: The singing telegram was first offered in New York.
1940: Roberta Flack born.
1949: Death of a Salesman, by Arthur Miller, opened on Broadway at the Morosco Theatre.
1962: U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers was exchanged for Soviet Rudolph Ivanovich Abel.
1967: The 25th Amendment to the US Constitution (dealing with presidential disability and succession) went into effect.

February 11:
1752: The first hospital in America opened in Philadelphia.
1809: Fobert Fulton granted a patent for the steamboat.
1812: The Massachusetts' Legislature, at the urging of Governor Elbridge Gerry, passed a redristricting law that favored his party. This maneuver resulted in the term "gerrymandering."
1847: Thomas Edison born in Milan, Ohio.
1937: GM agreed to recognize the United Auto Workers union.
1945: Yalta agreement signed.
1979: Followers of Ayatollah Khomeini seized power in Iran.
1990: Nelson Mandela was released from jail after 27 years in prison.

February 12:
1733: English colonists, lead by James Ogelthorpe, landed at Savannah, Georgia.
1809: Charles Darwin born.
1809: Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president, born in a log cabin in Kentucky.
1892: President Lincoln's birthday is decalred a national holiday.
1909: The NAACP formed.
1915: The cornerstone for the Lincoln Memorial laid.
1923: Director Franco Zefferelli born.
1924: Rapsody in Blue, by George Gershwin, premiered in New York.
1973: The first of the American POWs from North Vietnam are released.

February 13:
Maria Trevino born.
1633: Galileo arrived in Rome for his trial before the Inquisition.
1635: The first government school (aka public school) was founded in Boston, Mass. It was called the Boston Public Latin School.
1919: Tennessee Ernie Ford born.
1920: The League of Nations recoginzed the perpetual neutrality of Switzerland.
1923: Chuck Yeager, test pilot extraordinaire, born.
1935: Bruno Richard Hauptmann is found guilty of kidnapping the Charles Lindberg baby.
1945: Allied bombing of Dresden began.
1959: Barbie Dolls are introduced.
1960: France exploded its first atomic bomb in the Sahara Desert.
2000: The last Peanuts Sunday strip is run, the day after Charles Schultz dies.

February 14:
1778: The American ship, Ranger carried the recently adopted Stars & Stripes flag to a foreign port for the first time when it arrived in France.
1836: William Barret Travis and Jim Bowie reach an agreement to share a joint command of the Alamo.
1876: Alexander Graham Bell applied for patents related to the telephone.
1894: Jack Benny born as Benjamin Kubelsky in Waukegin, Illinois.
1929: The "Saint Valentine's Day Massacre" took place as Al Capone's gang gunned down rival gang members.
1989: The Ayatollah Khomeini called on Muslems to kill Salman Rushdie for writing Satonic Verses.

February 15:
1564: Galileo born in Pisa, Italy.
1820: Susan B Anthony born in Adams, Mass.
1842: A private mail service in New York City introduced the first adhesive postage stamp.
1879: The silver dollar became legal tender.
1879: President Rutherford B. Hayes signed a bill to allow women attorneys to argue cases before the United States Supreme Court.
1898: USS Maine was blown up in Havana harbor, killing 260.
1933: President-elect Franklin Roosevelt survived an assassination attempt in Miami, but the mayor of Chicago, Anton J Cermok, was killed.
1965: Canada's new flag, with its maple-leaf design, flown for the first time in Ottawa.
1989: The Soviet Union announced that the last of its troops had left Afganistan, after more than 9 years of military intervention.

February 16:
1862: About 14,000 Confederate soldiers surrendered at Fort Donelson, Tennessee, earning General Ulyssess S Grant his nickname of Unconditional Surrender" Grant.
1868: The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks founded in New York.
1937: Dr. Wallace H Carothers, a research scientest for Du Pont, received a patent for nylon.
1945: More than 2,000 US troops landed on the Island of Corregidor, in the Phillipines.
1959: Fidel Castro became the president of Cuba.

February 17:
1801: The House of Representatives broke an electoral tie between Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr, electing Jefferson PPresident and Burr Vice President.
1904: Giacomo Puccini's opera Madame Butterfly, premiered at La Scala in Milan, Italy, to less than rave reviews.
1947: the Voice of America began broadcasting to the Soviet Union.
1964: The US Supreme Court issued its "one man, one vote" decision.
1972: President Richard Nixon began his historic trip to China.
1986: Johnson & Johnson announced the end of over-the-counter medications in capsules after a murderer laced a Tylenol capsule with cyanide.

February 18:
1861: Jefferson Davis was sworn in as President of the CSA in Montgomery, Alabama.
1885: Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was published in the US.
1930: Pluto, the ninth planet, was discovered.
1950: Cybill Shepherd born.
1953: Bwana Devil, the movie credited with starting the 3-D craze in the 50's, opened in New York.
1970: The Chicago Seven were found innocent of conspiracy to incite riots at the 1968 Democrat convention in Chicago.

February 19:
1846: The Texas State government was formerlly installed in Austin, Texas.
1942: Franklin Rosevelt signed the executive order authorizing the internment of Japanese Americans.
1945: The Marines landed on Iwo Jima.

February 20:
1792: President Washington signed the Act creating the US Post Office.
1839: Congress prohibited dueling in Washington, D.C.
1902: Ansel Adams born.
1933: The House of Representatives voted to approve an amendment to the US Constitution to repeal prohibition.
1962: Astronaut John Glenn became the first American to orbit earth in the "Freedom Seven" capsule.
1971: The national Emergency Warning Center in Colorado erroneously ordered radio and television stations to go off the air. The snafu lasted for 30 minutes.

February 21:
1878: First telephone directory was issued, in New Haven, Connecticut. Fifty names were listed.
1866: Lucy B. Hobbs became the first female graduated from dental school when she graduated from the Ohio College of Dental Surgery in Cincinnati, Ohio.
1885: The Washington Monument was dedicated in Washington, D.C.
1907: W.H. Auden was born.
1916: The longest and bloodiest battle of World War I began. It was the Battle of Verdun, in France.
1925: The New Yorker magazine debuted.
1947: Edwin H. Land demonstrated his camera for the first time. It was called a Polaroid Land camera and could produce a black and white picture in sixty seconds.
1965: Malcolm X was shot to death by Black Muslim assassins in New York City.

February 22:
1630: First recorded instance of English colonists eating popcorn, which they received from the Indians.
1732: George Washington born in Virginia.
1819: Spain ceded Florida to the United States.
1879: Frank Winfield Woolworth opened his first five cent store in Utica, New York.
1892: Edna St. Vincent Millay born.
1935: It becomes illegal to fly over the Whitehouse.
1997: Jim Lewis, the 1984 Libertarian Party Vice Presidential candidate (David Bergland was the Presidential candidate) died at age 63.

February 23:
1685: George Frideric Handel born.
1822: Boston is granted a charter to incoprorate as a city.
1836: Santa Anna reaches San Antonio.
1836: William Barret Travis sends a dispatch for help to Gonzales:
"To any of the inhabitants of Texas. The enemy in large force is in sight. We want men and provisions. Send them to us. We have 150 men and are determined to defend the Alamo to the last. Give us assistance."
1836: Travis and Jim Bowie send a dispatch to Fannin in Goliad. It reads:
"We have removed all our men into the Alamo, where we will make such resistance as is due to our honour, and that of the country, until we can get assistance from you, which we expect you to forward immediately. In this extremity, we hope you will send us all the men you can spare promptly. We have one hundred and forty-six men, who are determined never to retreat. We have but little provisions, but enough to serve us till you and your men arrive. We deem it unnecessary to repeat to a brave officer, who knows his duty, that we call on him for assistance."
1836: Santa Anna orders the red flag of "no quarter" flown from the San Fernando church, in clear view of the Alamo defenders. Travis fires his 18 pound cannon in answer.
1847: US troops under General Zackary Taylor defeat Mexican General Santa Anna at the battle of Buena Vista in Mexico.
1861: President-elect Lincoln arrives in Washington in secret to take office, an assassination plot having been discovered and prevented in Baltimore.
1868: WEB DuBois born.
1905: Rotary Club founded.
1942: A Japanese submarine fires on an oil refinery in Elwood, California. 1945: US Marines raise flag atop Iwo Jima.
1868: W.E.B. DuBois born.

February 24:
1582: Pope Gregory XIII issues a Papal Bull in which he outlines his calendar reforms (the Gregorian Calendar, as it is now known). This is the calendar we use today.
1803: Marbury v. Madison is decided. It holds that the US Supreme Court has the power to pass on the constitutionality of a law.
1821: Mexico declares its independence from Spain.
1836: Jim Bowie becomes so ill that he is unable to continue his joint command and turns sole command over to Wm. Travis.
1836: Travis sends a letter out by Albert Martin:
"To the People of Texas and All Americans in the World-

Fellow Citizens and Compatriots:

I am besieged with a thousand or more of the Mexicans under Santa Anna. I have sustained a considerable Bombardment and cannonade for 24 hours and have not lost a man. The enemy has demanded surrender at discretion, otherwise the garrison is to be put to the sword, if the fort is taken. I have answered the demand with a cannon shot, and our flag still waves proudly from the wall. I shall never surrender or retreat. Then, I call on you in the name of Liberty, of patriotism, and everything dear to the American character, to come to our aid with all dispatch. The enemy is receiving reinforcements daily and will no doubt increase to three or four thousand in four or five days. If this call is neglected I am determined to sustain myself as long as possible and die like a soldier who never forgets which is due his honor and that of his country.
VICTORY OR DEATH.
William Barret Travis, Lt. Col. commanding the Alamo"
1868: The US House of Representatives impeaches President Andrew Johnson, who is later aquited by the Senate by one vote.
1991: Desert Storm begins against Iraq.
1983: A Congressional commission releases a report comdemning the internment of US Citizens of Japanese descent during WWII.

February 25:
1570: Pope Pius V excommunicates England's Queen Elizabeth I.
1793: The department heads of the US government meet with President George Washington, thus holding the first cabinet meeting.
1836: Samuel Colt patents his revolver.
1836: In a daring raid a small group of Alamo defenders race out and burn La Villita--a small collection of huts near the Alamo that the Mexicans had been using as protective cover.
1870: Hiram R. Revels, R-Miss, becomes the first black to serve in the US Senate, filling the unexpired term of Jefferson Davis.
1873: Opera singer Enrico Caruso is born in Naples, Italy.
1904: Adelle Davis, writer on nutrition, born.
1913: In a dark day for US History, the Sixteenth Amendment (legalizing the income tax) is ratified.
1943: George Harrison born.
1948: Communists seize power in Czechoslovakia.
1964: Cassius Clay (now Muhammed Ali) becomes the heavyweight champion of the world by defeating Sonny Liston in Miami Beach, Florida.

February 26:
1802: Victor Hugo born.
1836: It is a very cold day in San Antonio, with a norther coming in. Fannin decides to march from Goliad to the aid of the Alamo. He sets out with 320 men. Almost immediately troubles begin. Wagons break down and extra oxen are required to pull the artillery across the San Antonio River, just outside Goliad. By late afternoon the river is crossed and Fannin makes camp.
1920: Tony Randall born.
1928: Fats domino born.
1815: Napoleon escapes from the Island of Elba, to begin his second conquest of France.
1846: "Buffalo Bill" Cody is born near Davenport, Iowa.
1919: Congress establishes the Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona.
1951: The 22nd Amendment to the US Constitution, limiting president to two terms, is passed.
1997: David Doyle, who played John Bosley on Charlie's Angels, dies.

February 27:
1807: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow born.
1836: Fannin calls a council of war near Goliad. It is pointed out that there is little food to sustain 320 men on a march to San Antonio. Also, to leave Goliad exposes the entire left flank of Texas to attack by the Mexican Army. The decision is made to return to Fort Defiance in Goliad.
1836: Santa Anna sends a messenger to Mexico City informing them that he has taken San Antonio. He neglects to mention anything about the Alamo.
1902: John Steinbeck born.
1913: Irwin Shaw born.
1922: The US Supreme Court unanimously upholds the 19th Amendment, guaranteeing women's right to vote.
1933: Germany's parliment building in Berlin, the Reichstag, burns down. The Nazi's, charging a communist plot, use the fire as a pretext for suspending civil liberties.
2003: Fred Rogers (Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood), dies.
2015: Leonard Nimoy, author, photographer and actor, most famous as Spock in "Star Trek," dies at age 83.

February 28:
1533: Michel de Montaigne born.
1836: Santa Anna receives word that Fannin is coming from Goliad with 200 men to the aid the Alamo defenders. By the time Santa Anna receives this mesage Fannin has already decided to remain at Fort Defiance in Goliad.
1849: The ship California arrives at San Francisco, carrying the first gold seekers, the '49ers.
1854: Some 50 opponents of slavery meet at a schoolhouse in Ripon, Wisconsin, to call for a new political group to fight slavery. That group is later known as the Republican Party.
1861: The territory of Colorado is organized.
1901: Linus Pauling born.
1950: Diner's Club becomes the first charge card, with 22 restaurnts and one hotel honoring the card.
1953: Francis Crick and James Watson realize the shape of DNA as Watson makes model of DNA's double helix using keto cardboard cutouts.
1983: The TV series, MASH comes to an end after eleven seasons on CBS in a special 2-1/2 hour episode.
1993: Armed BATF agents of the US Government make preemptive strike on Mount Carmel, the home of a religious group called the Branch Davidians. The property is in a rural area outside Waco, Texas. The BATF raid is to enforce a warrant alleging weapons violations. About 100 BATF agents are present to "enforce" the warrant. Over 80 men, women and children are in the building when the heavily armed BATF agents strike from multiple points of attack. As the US Citizens fight back, four BATF agents and six Davidians are killed in the initial raid. Fifty-one days later, on April 19, 1993, the seige ends in flames as 74 men, women and children perish in a fire after the FBI launches gas cannisters into the battered structure holding the Davidians. Tanks repeatedly batter the plywood structure while government agents blast the message to those inside that they are not under attack!

February 29:
1836: Leap Year's Day sees the end of the norther in San Antonio. Santa Anna decides he must deal with Fannin's forces before dealing with the Alamo.
1940: Gone with the Wind won 8 Oscars at the Academy Awards, including Best Picture of 1939.
1960: The first Playboy Club opened in Chicago. It featured waitresses in bunny outfits.

JANUARY MARCH APRIL MAY JUNE JULY AUGUST SEPTEMBER OCTOBER NOVEMBER DECEMBER

mail comments to burger@burger.com

[Go Back to My Home Page]