On This Day in History February 24

February 24 – Events:

  • 303 – Galerius, Roman Emperor, publishes his edict that begins the persecution of Christians in his portion of the Empire.
  • 1387 – King Charles III of Naples and Hungary is assassinated at Buda.
  • 1530 – First imperial coronation by a Pope-Charles V crowned by Clement V.
  • 1538 – Treaty of Nagyvarad between Ferdinand I and John Zápolya.
  • 1582 – Pope Gregory XIII announces the Gregorian calendar.
  • 1607 – L’Orfeo by Claudio Monteverdi, one of the first works recognized as an opera, premieres.
  • 1711 – The London premiere of Rinaldo by George Friderich Handel, the first Italian opera written for the London stage.
  • 1739 – Battle of Karnal: The army of Iranian ruler Nadir Shah defeats the forces of the Mughal emperor of India, Muhammad Shah.
  • 1803 – The Supreme Court of the United States, in Marbury v. Madison, establishes the principle of judicial review.
  • 1804 – London’s DruryLaneTheatre burns to the ground, leaving owner Richard Brinsley Sheridan destitute.
  • 1826 – The signing of the Treaty of Yandaboo marks the end of the First Burmese War.
  • 1831 – The Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek, the first removal treaty in accordance with the Indian Removal Act, is proclaimed. The Choctaws in Mississippi cede land east of the river in exchange for payment and land in the West.
  • 1839 – William Otis receives a patent for the steam shovel.
  • 1848 – King Louis-Philippe of France abdicates the throne.
  • 1863 – Arizona is organized as a United States territory.
  • 1868 – The first parade to have floats is staged at Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Louisiana.
  • 1868 – Andrew Johnson becomes the first President of the United States to be impeached by the United States House of Representatives. He is later acquitted in the Senate.
  • 1875 – The SS Gothenburg hits the Great Barrier Reef and sinks off the Australian east coast with the loss of approximately 102 lives.
  • 1881 – China and Russia sign the Sino-Russian Ili Treaty.
  • 1893 – The AmericanUniversity is chartered by an act of the Congress of the United States of America.
  • 1894 – Nicaragua captures Tegucigalpa, Honduras.
  • 1895 – Revolution breaks out in Baire, a town near Santiago de Cuba, beginning the second war for Cuban independence, which ended with the Spanish-American War in 1898.
  • 1899 – Western Washington University is established.
  • 1909 – The Hudson Motor Car Company is founded.
  • 1917 – World War I: The U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom is given the Zimmermann Telegram, in which Germany pledges to ensure the return of New Mexico, Texas, and Arizona to Mexico if that country declares war on the United States.
  • 1918 – Estonian Declaration of Independence.
  • 1920 – The Nazi Party is founded.
  • 1925 – A thermite (magnesium) bomb is used for the first time to break up a 250,000-ton ice jam clogging the St. Lawrence River near Waddington, New York.
  • 1937 – First US group hospital-medical cooperative authorized, Washington, DC.
  • 1938 – DuPont begins commercial production of nylon toothbrush bristles.
  • 1942 – Voice of America begins broadcasting (in German).
  • 1945 – Egyptian Premier Ahmed Maher Pasha is killed in Parliament after reading a decree.
  • 1968 – Vietnam War: The Tet Offensive is halted; South Vietnam recaptures Hué.
  • 1970 – National Public Radio is founded in the United States.
  • 1971 – The All India Forward Bloc holds an emergency central committee meeting after its chairman, Hemantha Kumar Bose, was killed 3 days earlier. P.K. Mookiah Thevar appointed as the new chairman. 
  • 1981 – BuckinghamPalace announces the engagement of The Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer.
  • 1981 – An earthquake registering 6.7 on the Richter scale hits Athens, killing 16 people and destroying buildings in several towns west of the city.
  • 1983 – A special commission of the U.S. Congress releases a report that condemns the practice of Japanese internment during World War II.
  • 1989 – Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini offers a USD $3 million bounty for the death of The Satanic Verses author Salman Rushdie.
  • 1989 – United Airlines Flight 811, bound for New Zealand from Honolulu, Hawaii, rips open during flight, sucking 9 passengers out of the business-class section.
  • 1995 – The Corona reconnaissance satellite program, in existence from 1959 to 1972, is declassified.
  • 1996 – The last occurrence of February 24 as a leap day in the European Union and for the Roman Catholic Church.
  • 1999 – The State of Arizona executes Karl LaGrand, a German national involved in an armed robbery, in spite of Germany’s legal action to attempt to save him.
  • 1999 – A China Southern Airlines Tupolev TU-154 airliner crashes on approach to Wenzhou airport in eastern the People’s Republic of China, killing 61.
  • 2006 – Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo declares Proclamation 1017 placing the country in a state of emergency in attempt to subdue a possible military coup.
  • 2008 – Fidel Castro retires as the President of Cuba after nearly fifty years.

February 24 – Birthdays:

  • 1103 – Emperor Toba of Japan (d. 1156)
  • 1304 – Ibn Battuta, Arabian explorer (d. 1368)
  • 1463 – Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, Italian humanist (d. 1494)
  • 1500 – Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor (d. 1558)
  • 1545 – Don John of Austria, Spanish military leader (d. 1578)
  • 1557 – Matthias, Holy Roman Emperor (d. 1619)
  • 1597 – Vincent Voiture, French poet (d. 1648)
  • 1619 – Charles Le Brun, French artist (d. 1690)
  • 1622 – Johannes Clauberg, German theologian and philosopher (d. 1665)
  • 1684 – Matthias Braun, Czech sculptor (d. 1738)
  • 1693 – James Quin, English actor (d. 1766)
  • 1709 – Jacques de Vaucanson, French inventor (d. 1782)
  • 1723 – John Burgoyne, British general (d. 1792)
  • 1774 – Prince Adolphus, 1st Duke of Cambridge (d. 1850)
  • 1786 – Martin W. Bates. U.S. Senator from Delaware (d. 1869)
  • 1786 – Wilhelm Grimm, German philologist and folklorist (d. 1859)
  • 1831 – Leo von Caprivi, Chancellor of Germany (d. 1899)
  • 1836 – Winslow Homer, American artist (d. 1910)
  • 1842 – Arrigo Boito, Italian composer (d. 1918)
  • 1846 – Luigi Denza, Italian composer (d. 1922)
  • 1848 – Andrew Inglis Clark, Tasmanian politician (d. 1907)
  • 1852 – George Moore, Irish writer (d. 1933)
  • 1866 – Pyotr Nikolaevich Lebedev, Russian physicist (d. 1912)
  • 1874 – Honus Wagner, American baseball player (d. 1955)
  • 1877 – Ettie Rout, New Zealand activist (d. 1936)
  • 1885 – Chester Nimitz, U.S. admiral (d. 1966)
  • 1885 – Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz, Polish writer and painter (d. 1939)
  • 1890 – Marjorie Main, American actress (d. 1975)
  • 1898 – Kurt Tank, German aeronautical engineer and test pilot (d. 1983)
  • 1909 – August Derleth, American writer (d. 1971)
  • 1914 – Zachary Scott, American actor (d. 1965)
  • 1914 – Ralph Erskine, British architect (Byker Wall) (d. 2005)
  • 1919 – Árpád Bogsch, Hungarian turned American international civil servant (d. 2004)
  • 1919 – Betty Marsden, English comedy actress (d. 1998)
  • 1921 – Abe Vigoda, American actor
  • 1921 – Douglass Watson, American actor (d. 1989)
  • 1922 – Richard Hamilton, English painter
  • 1922 – Steven Hill, American actor
  • 1923 – David Soyer, American cellist
  • 1926 – Jean Alexander, English actress
  • 1926 – John Gunther Dean, American diplomat
  • 1927 – Emmanuelle Riva, French actress
  • 1928 – Barbara Lawrence, American actress
  • 1931 – Dominic Chianese, American actor
  • 1932 – Michel Legrand, French composer
  • 1932 – John Vernon, Canadian actor (d. 2005)
  • 1933 – Judah Folkman, American cancer researcher
  • 1934 – Bettino Craxi, Prime Minister of Italy (d. 2000)
  • 1934 – Renata Scotto, Italian soprano
  • 1934 – Linda Cristal, Argentina-born actress
  • 1938 – James Farentino, American actor
  • 1938 – Phil Knight, American sportswear manufacturer
  • 1938 – Kathleen Margaret Richardson, Baroness Richardson of Calow, British Baroness and Methodist reverend
  • 1940 – Pete Duel, American actor (d. 1971)
  • 1940 – Denis Law, Scottish footballer
  • 1941 – Joanie Sommers, American singer and actress
  • 1942 – Joe Lieberman, American politician
  • 1942 – Paul Jones, English singer (Manfred Mann)
  • 1942 – Colin Bond, Australian racing driver
  • 1943 – Hristo Prodanov, Bulgarian mountaineer
  • 1943 – Terry Semel, American business executive
  • 1943 – Pablo Milanés, Cuban musician
  • 1944 – Nicky Hopkins, British musician (d. 1994)
  • 1945 – Barry Bostwick, American actor
  • 1946 – Grigory Margulis, Russian mathematician
  • 1946 – John Stapleton, English television presenter
  • 1947 – Rupert Holmes, English musician
  • 1947 – Edward James Olmos, American actor
  • 1948 – J. Jayalalithaa, Indian politician
  • 1948 – Walter Smith, Scottish football manager
  • 1948 – Tim Staffell, English singer
  • 1948 – Dennis Waterman, British actor
  • 1950 – George Thorogood, American Singer and Guitarist
  • 1951 – Tony Holiday, German singer (d. 1990)
  • 1951 – Debra Jo Rupp, American actress
  • 1951 – Helen Shaver, Canadian actress
  • 1955 – Steve Jobs, American computer pioneer
  • 1955 – Alain Prost, French race car driver and four-time F1 world champion
  • 1956 – Paula Zahn, American journalist
  • 1956 – Eddie Murray, American baseball player
  • 1958 – Sammy Kershaw, American musician
  • 1958 – Plastic Bertrand, Belgian singer
  • 1959 – Beth Broderick, American actress
  • 1962 – Michelle Shocked, American musician
  • 1962 – Teri Weigel, American pornography actress
  • 1962 – Outi Mäenpää, Finnish actress
  • 1963 – Mike Vernon, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1964 – Andy Crane, British children’s television presenter
  • 1964 – Todd Field, American actor and film director
  • 1964 – Bill Bailey, British comedian
  • 1964 – Russell Ingall, Australian racing driver
  • 1965 – Lloyd McGrath, former English footballer
  • 1965 – Jane Swift, former acting Governor of Massachusetts
  • 1966 – Billy Zane, American actor
  • 1966 – René Arocha, Cuban baseball player
  • 1968 – Mitch Hedberg, American comedian (d. 2005)
  • 1970 – Jeff Garcia, American football player
  • 1970 – Jonathan Ward, American television and movie actor
  • 1970 – Kienast quintuplets, American quintuplets
  • 1971 – Pedro de la Rosa, Spanish Formula One driver
  • 1971 – Brian Savage, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1972 – Manon Rhéaume, Canadian female ice hockey player
  • 1973 – Chris Fehn, American percussionist (Slipknot)
  • 1973 – Jordan Jovtchev, Bulgarian gymnast
  • 1973 – Alexei Kovalev, Russian ice hockey player
  • 1973 – Richard Clapp, Canadian baseball player
  • 1974 – Chad Hugo, American musician and producer (The Neptunes)
  • 1974 – Karim Bagheri, Iranian footballer
  • 1974 – Mike Lowell, Puerto Rican baseball player
  • 1974 – Bonnie Somerville, American actress and singer
  • 1975 – Ashley MacIsaac, Canadian fiddler
  • 1975 – Maurizio Giuliano, writer and traveler
  • 1976 – Matt Skiba, American musician (Alkaline Trio,Heavens)
  • 1976 – Eric Griffin, American rock guitarist
  • 1976 – Bradley McGee, Australian cyclist
  • 1976 – Crista Flanagan, American television comedian
  • 1976 – Zach Johnson, professional golfer
  • 1976 – Marco Campos, Brazilian racing driver (d. 1995)
  • 1977 – Floyd Mayweather Jr, American boxer
  • 1977 – Jason Akermanis, Australian rules footballer
  • 1977 – Bronson Arroyo, American baseball player
  • 1978 – Shinya, Japanese musician (Dir en grey)
  • 1978 – John Nolan, American musician (Straylight Run)
  • 1980 – Anton Gustafsson, Swedish rock music fan (d. 2003)
  • 1980 – Shinsuke Nakamura, Japanese professional wrestler
  • 1980 – Roman Sloudnov, Russian swimmer
  • 1981 – Lleyton Hewitt, Australian tennis player
  • 1981 – Mohammad Sami, Pakistani cricketer
  • 1982 – Nick Blackburn, American baseball player
  • 1982 – Emanuel Villa, Argentine footballer
  • 1982 – Klára Zakopalová, Czech tennis player
  • 1984 – Clivio Piccione, Monegasque racing driver
  • 1984 – Sterling James Keenan, American professional wrestler
  • 1986 – Wojtek Wolski, Polish Ice hockey player
  • 1987 – Daniel Reilly, British entrepreneur
  • 1987 – Mayuko Iwasa, Japanese entertainer and model
  • 1987 – Chieko Kawabe, Japanese singer, model and actress
  • 1989 – Kosta Koufos, American-Greek basketball player

February 24 – Deaths:

  • 616 – King Ethelbert of Kent
  • 1525 – Guillaume Gouffier, seigneur de Bonnivet, French soldier
  • 1563 – Francis, Duke of Guise, French soldier and politician (b. 1519)
  • 1588 – Johann Weyer, Dutch physician and occultist
  • 1666 – Nicholas Lanier, English composer (b. 1588)
  • 1674 – Matthias Weckmann, German composer (b. 1616)
  • 1685 – Charles Howard, 1st Earl of Carlisle, English politician and military leader (b. 1629)
  • 1704 – Marc-Antoine Charpentier, French composer (b. 1643)
  • 1714 – Edmund Andros, English governor in North America (b. 1637)
  • 1721 – John Sheffield, 1st Duke of Buckingham and Normanby, English statesman and poet (b. 1648)
  • 1732 – Colonel Francis Charteris, known as “The Rape-Master General”. (b. 1675)
  • 1777 – King Joseph I of Portugal (b. 1714)
  • 1779 – Paul Daniel Longolius, German encylopedist (b. 1704)
  • 1781 – Edward Capell, English critic (b. 1713)
  • 1799 – Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, German physicist (b. 1742)
  • 1810 – Henry Cavendish, English scientist (b. 1756)
  • 1812 – Etienne-Louis Malus, French physicist and mathematician (b. 1775)
  • 1815 – Robert Fulton, American inventor (b. 1765)
  • 1825 – Thomas Bowdler, English physician and editor (b. 1754)
  • 1856 – Nikolai Ivanovich Lobachevsky, Russian mathematician (b. 1792)
  • 1876 – Joseph Jenkins Roberts, first President of Liberia (b. 1809)
  • 1914 – Joshua Chamberlain, Civil War hero for the Union on Little Round Top at the Battle of Gettysburg
  • 1925 – Hjalmar Branting, Prime Minister of Sweden, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (b. 1860)
  • 1929 – André Messager, French composer and conductor (b. 1853)
  • 1953 – Gerd von Rundstedt, German field marshal (b. 1875)
  • 1970 – Conrad Nagel, American actor (b. 1897)
  • 1975 – Nikolai Bulganin, Premier of the Soviet Union (b. 1895)
  • 1982 – Virginia Bruce, America actress and singer (b. 1910)
  • 1984 – Helmut Schelsky, German sociologist (b. 1912)
  • 1986 – Tommy Douglas, Canadian politician (b. 1904)
  • 1989 – Sparky Adams, American baseball player (b. 1894)
  • 1990 – Tony Conigliaro, American baseball player (b. 1945)
  • 1990 – Malcolm Forbes, American publisher (b. 1917)
  • 1990 – Sandro Pertini, Italian politician (b. 1896)
  • 1990 – Johnnie Ray, American singer (b. 1927)
  • 1991 – John Daly, South African game show host (b. 1914)
  • 1991 – George Gobel, American comedian (b. 1919)
  • 1991 – Webb Pierce, American music singer (b. 1921)
  • 1993 – Danny Gallivan, Canadian radio and television sportscaster (b. 1917)
  • 1993 – Bobby Moore, English footballer (b. 1941)
  • 1994 – Jean Sablon, French singer (b. 1906)
  • 1994 – DinahShore, American actress and singer (b. 1916)
  • 1998 – Antonio Prohias, Cuban-born cartoonist (b. 1921)
  • 1998 – Henny Youngman, English-born comedian (b. 1906)
  • 1999 – Andre Dubus, American writer (b. 1936)
  • 2001 – Claude E. Shannon, American information theorist (b. 1916)
  • 2002 – Arthur Lyman, American jazz vibraphone and marimba player (b. 1932)
  • 2002 – Leo Ornstein, Russian-born composer and pianist (b. 1912)
  • 2003 – John Edward Christopher Hill, English historian (b. 1912)
  • 2003 – Bernard Loiseau, French chef (b. 1951)
  • 2004 – John Randolph, American actor (b. 1915)
  • 2006 – Octavia Butler, American author and MacArthur Foundation Fellow (b. 1947)
  • 2006 – Don Knotts, American actor (b. 1924)
  • 2006 – John Martin, Canadian broadcaster (b. 1947)
  • 2006 – Denis Twitchett, Cambridge scholar, and Chinese historian (b. 1925)
  • 2006 – Dennis Weaver, American actor (b. 1924)
  • 2007 – Bruce Bennett, American actor (b. 1906)
  • 2007 – Leroy Jenkins, American composer and violinist (b. 1932)
  • 2007 – Lamar Lundy, American football player (b. 1935)
  • 2007 – Damien Nash, American football player (b. 1982)
  • 2008 – Larry Norman, American musician, singer, songwriter and producer (b. 1947)

February 24 – Holidays:

  • Regifugium, in the Roman calendar.
  • Independence Day in Estonia (1918; the Soviet period is considered illegal annexation).
  • Flag Day in México.
  • Dragobete in Romania.
  • National Artist Day in Thailand.
  • St. Matthias
  • St. Modest
  • St. Sergius

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On This Day in History February 23

February 23 – Events:

  • 303 – Emperor Diocletian orders general persecution of Christians.
  • 1455 – Traditional date for the publication of the Gutenberg Bible, the first Western book printed from movable type.
  • 1660 – Charles XI becomes King of Sweden.
  • 1778 – American Revolution: Baron von Steuben arrives at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania to help to train the Continental Army.
  • 1820 – Cato Street Conspiracy: A plot to murder all the British cabinet ministers is exposed.
  • 1821 – College of Apothecaries organized in Philadelphia; first US pharmacy college.
  • 1822 – Boston is incorporated as a city.
  • 1836 – The Battle of the Alamo begins in San Antonio, Texas.
  • 1847 – Mexican-American War: Battle of Buena Vista – In Mexico, American troops under General Zachary Taylor defeat Mexican General Antonio López de Santa Anna.
  • 1852 – HMS Birkenhead sinks off South Africa killing 420 troops
  • 1854 – The official independence of the Orange Free State is declared.
  • 1861 – President-elect Abraham Lincoln arrives secretly in Washington, D.C., after an assassination attempt in Baltimore, Maryland.
  • 1870 – Military control of Mississippi ends and it is readmitted to the Union.
  • 1883 – Alabama becomes the first U.S. state to enact an antitrust law.
  • 1887 – The French Riviera is hit by a large earthquake, killing around 2,000.
  • 1898 – Émile Zola is imprisoned in France after writing “J’accuse,” a letter accusing the French government of anti-Semitism and wrongfully placing Captain Alfred Dreyfus in jail.
  • 1900 – In South Africa, the Boers and British troops fight in the Battle of Hart’s Hill.
  • 1903 – Cuba leases GuantanamoBay to the United States “in perpetuity.”
  • 1904 – The United States gains control of the Panama Canal Zone for $10 million.
  • 1905 – Chicago attorney Paul Harris and three other businessmen meet for lunch to form the Rotary Club, the world’s first service club.
  • 1909 – The AEA Silver Dart makes the first powered flight in Canada and the British Empire.
  • 1917 – First demonstrations in Saint Petersburg, Russia. The beginning of the February Revolution.
  • 1918 – First victory of Red Army over the Kaiser’s German troops near Narva and Pskov. Since 1923 this date become the Day of Red Army in honor of this victory.
  • 1919 – Benito Mussolini forms the Fascist Party in Italy.
  • 1927 – The Federal Radio Commission (later renamed the Federal Communications Commission) begins to regulate the use of radio frequencies.
  • 1934 – Léopold III becomes King of Belgium.
  • 1934 – Casey Stengel becomes manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers.
  • 1941 – Plutonium was first produced and isolated by Dr. Glenn T. Seaborg.
  • 1944 – Forced deportation of the Chechen and Ingush people to Central Asia.
  • 1945 – World War II: During the Battle of Iwo Jima, a group of United States Marines and a commonly forgotten U.S. Navy Corpsman, reach the top of Mount Suribachi on the island and are photographed raising the American flag. The photo would later win a Pulitzer Prize.
  • 1945 – World War II: The capital of the Philippines, Manila, is liberated by American forces.
  • 1945 – World War II: Capitulation of German garrison in Poznan, the city is liberated by Soviet and Polish forces.
  • 1945 – World War II: The German town of Pforzheim is completely destroyed by a raid of 379 British bombers.
  • 1945 – World War II: The Verona Philharmonic Theatre is bombed by Allied forces. It would later be re-opened in 1975.
  • 1947 – The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is founded.
  • 1954 – The first mass inoculation of children against polio with the Salk vaccine began in Pittsburgh.
  • 1955 – First meeting of the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO).
  • 1957 – The founding congress of the Senegalese Popular Bloc is opened in Dakar.
  • 1958 – Cuban rebels kidnap 5-time world driving champion Juan Manuel Fangio.
  • 1960 – Demolition begins on Brooklyn’s Ebbets Field.
  • 1966 – A military coup in Syria replaces the previous government.
  • 1973 – Gold goes up $10 overnight to record $95 an ounce in London.
  • 1974 – The Symbionese Liberation Army demands $4 million more to release kidnap victim Patty Hearst.
  • 1975 – In response to the energy crisis, daylight saving time commences nearly two months early in the United States.
  • 1979 – Frank Peterson, Jr., named first black general in Marine Corps.
  • 1980 – Eric Heiden wins all 5 speed skating gold medals at Lake Placid Olympics.
  • 1980 – Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini states that Iran’s parliament would decide the fate of the American embassy hostages.
  • 1981 – Antonio Tejero attempts a coup d’état by capturing the Spanish Congress of Deputies. 
  • 1983 – The Spanish Socialist government of Felipe González and Miguel Boyer nationalizes Rumasa, a holding of José María Ruiz Mateos.
  • 1983 – The United States Environmental Protection Agency announces its intent to buy out and evacuate the dioxin-contaminated community of Times Beach, Missouri.
  • 1987 – Supernova 1987a: A supernova is seen in the Large Magellanic Cloud.
  • 1991 – Gulf War: Ground troops cross the Saudi Arabia border and enter Iraq, thus starting the ground-phase of the war.
  • 1991 – In Thailand, General Sunthorn Kongsompong leads a bloodless coup d’état, deposing Prime Minister Chatichai Choonhavan.
  • 1992 – The Socialist Labour Party is founded in Georgia.
  • 1995 – The Dow Jones Industrial Average gains 30.28 to close at 4,003.33, closing above  4,000 for the first time.
  • 1997 – A large fire occurs in the Russian Space station, Mir.
  • 1998 – Kissimmee Tornado Outbreak: Tornadoes in central Florida destroy or damage 2,600 structures and kill 42.
  • 1998 – Osama bin Laden publishes a fatwa declaring jihad against all Jews and Crusaders.
  • 1999 – Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Öcalan is charged with treason in Ankara, Turkey.
  • 1999 – An avalanche destroys the Austrian village of Galtür, killing 31.
  • 2005 – Slovakia Summit 2005 begins, marking the first occasion when a sitting American President visits Slovakia; George W. Bush and Vladimir Putin are in attendance.
  • 2005 – Vote of the controversial French law on colonialism, repealed start of 2006.
  • 2006 – Dubai Ports World agrees to postpone its plans to take over management of six U.S. ports after the proposal ignited harsh bipartisan criticism on Capitol Hill.
  • 2007 – Japan launches its fourth spy satellite, stepping up its ability to monitor potential threats such as North Korea.

February 23 – Birthdays:

  • 1417 – Pope Paul II (d. 1471)
  • 1583 – Jean-Baptiste Morin, French scientist (d. 1656)
  • 1633 – Samuel Pepys, English naval administrator and man of letters, posthumously famous as a diarist (d. 1703)
  • 1646 – Tokugawa Tsunayoshi, Japanese shogun (d. 1709)
  • 1648 – Arabella Churchill, English mistress of James II of England (d. 1730)
  • 1680 – Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville, French colonizer and Governor of Louisiana (d. 1767)
  • 1685 – Georg Friedrich Handel, German/British Baroque composer (d. 1759)
  • 1723 – Richard Price, Welsh philosopher (d. 1791)
  • 1729 – Josiah Hornblower, American statesman (d. 1809)
  • 1743 – Mayer Amschel Rothschild, German-born banker (d. 1812)
  • 1809 – William Sprague, American minister and politician from Michigan (d. 1868)
  • 1842 – Karl Robert Eduard von Hartmann, German philosopher (d. 1906)
  • 1850 – César Ritz, Swiss hotelier (d. 1918)
  • 1868 – W.E.B. DuBois, American civil rights leader (d. 1963)
  • 1873 – Liang Qichao, Chinese scholar (d. 1929)
  • 1874 – Konstantin Päts, Estonian president (d. 1956)
  • 1878 – Kazimir Malevich, Ukrainian painter and art theorist (d. 1935)
  • 1883 – Karl Jaspers, German philosopher (d. 1969)
  • 1889 – Victor Fleming, American director (d. 1949)
  • 1889 – Musidora, French actress and director (d. 1957)
  • 1891 – Harold Horder, Australian Rugby League player (d. 1978)
  • 1899 – Erich Kästner, German writer (d. 1974)
  • 1899 – Norman Taurog, American film director (d. 1981)
  • 1901 – Edgar Ende, German painter (d. 1965)
  • 1904 – Terence Fisher, English film director (d. 1980)
  • 1904 – William L. Shirer, American historian (d. 1993)
  • 1904 – Leopold Trepper, Soviet spy (d. 1982)
  • 1908 – William McMahon, twentieth Prime Minister of Australia (d. 1988)
  • 1914 – Theofiel Middelkamp, Dutch cyclist (d. 2005)
  • 1915 – Jon Hall, American actor (d. 1979)
  • 1915 – Paul Tibbets, US Air Force retired Brigadier General and Pilot of B-29 “Enola Gay” over Hiroshima (d. 2007)
  • 1918 – Richard G. Butler, American fascist (d. 2004)
  • 1920 – Paul Gérin-Lajoie, French Canadian politician
  • 1923 – Rafael Addiego Bruno, Uruguayan politician
  • 1924 – Allan McLeod Cormack, South-African born physicist, Nobel laureate (d. 1998)
  • 1924 – Claude Sautet, French film director (d. 2000)
  • 1927 – Régine Crespin, French operatic soprano (d. 2007)
  • 1928 – Hans Herrmann, German race car driver
  • 1928 – Vasili Lazarev, cosmonaut (d. 1990)
  • 1931 – Tom Wesselmann, American collage artist (d. 2004)
  • 1932 – Majel Barrett, American actress
  • 1937 – Tom Osborne, American football coach and politician
  • 1938 – Diane Varsi, American actress (d. 1992)
  • 1940 – Peter Fonda, American actor
  • 1941 – Ron Hunt, baseball player
  • 1943 – Fred Biletnikoff, American football player and coach
  • 1944 – Bernard Cornwell, English historical novelist
  • 1944 – John Sandford, American novelist
  • 1944 – Johnny Winter, American musician
  • 1945 – Allan Boesak, South African activist
  • 1946 – Rusty Young, American country-rock guitarist (Poco)
  • 1947 – John McWethy, American journalist (d. 2008)
  • 1947 – Pia Kjærsgaard, Danish politician
  • 1948 – Doug Moench, American comic book writer
  • 1949 – Marc Garneau, French Canadian astronaut
  • 1950 – Maxi, Irish singer and radio personality
  • 1951 – Ed “Too Tall” Jones, American football player
  • 1951 – Patricia Richardson, American actress
  • 1952 – Brad Whitford, American musician (Aerosmith)
  • 1953 – Satoru Nakajima, Japanese racing driver
  • 1954 – Viktor Yushchenko, President of Ukraine
  • 1955 – Tom Bodett, American voice actor, radio personality, and writer
  • 1955 – Howard Jones, British pop singer
  • 1958 – Tony Barrell, English writer and journalist
  • 1958 – David Sylvian, English musician (Japan, Nine Horses)
  • 1959 – Richard Dodds, British field hockey player
  • 1960 – Alan Griffin, Australian politician
  • 1960 – Naruhito, Crown Prince of Japan
  • 1961 – Kelly Hansen, American drummer (Summer Lights)
  • 1962 – Michael Wilton, American musician (Queensrÿche)
  • 1963 – Bobby Bonilla, former baseball player
  • 1963 – Radoslaw Sikorski, Polish politician
  • 1964 – John Norum, Norwegian guitarist (Europe)
  • 1965 – Kristin Davis, American actress
  • 1965 – Michael Dell, American computer manufacturer
  • 1965 – Helena Suková, former Czech tennis player
  • 1965 – Veronica Webb, American supermodel and actress
  • 1967 – Tamsin Greig, English actress
  • 1968 – Justin Bell, British racing driver
  • 1969 – Marc Wauters, Belgian cyclist
  • 1970 – Marie-Josée Croze, French Canadian actress
  • 1970 – Niecy Nash, American actress
  • 1971 – Jeong Chan, South Korean actor
  • 1971 – Don Maxwell, Canadian cricketer
  • 1971 – Melinda Messenger, English television presenter
  • 1971 – Joe-Max Moore, American soccer player
  • 1972 – Steve Holy, American country singer
  • 1972 – Rondell White, American baseball player
  • 1973 – Jack Case, American artist
  • 1973 – Lars-Olof Johansson, Swedish musician (The Cardigans)
  • 1974 – Leko, American DJ
  • 1974 – Jaime Villarreal, Mexican musician
  • 1974 – Herschelle Gibbs, South African cricketer
  • 1975 – Michael Cornacchia, American actor
  • 1975 – Robert Lopez, American composer
  • 1975 – Natalia Verbeke, Argentine actress
  • 1976 – Kelly Macdonald, British actress
  • 1977 – Kristina Šmigun, Estonian cross-country skier
  • 1978 – René Pérez, Puerto Rican musician (Calle 13)
  • 1978 – Dan Snyder, Canadian ice hockey player (d. 2003)
  • 1979 – D-Roc, American rapper (Ying Yang Twins)
  • 1980 – Karan Singh Grover, an Indian television actor
  • 1981 – Gareth Barry, English footballer
  • 1981 – Charles Tillman, American football player
  • 1982 – Adam Hann-Byrd, American actor
  • 1983 – Mirco Bergamasco, Italian rugby player
  • 1983 – Mido, Egyptian footballer
  • 1983 – Emily Blunt, British actress
  • 1983 – Aziz Ansari, Indian American Comedian
  • 1986 – Holly Brook, American musician
  • 1986 – Kazuya Kamenashi, Japanese pop star (KAT-TUN)
  • 1989 – Evan Bates, American ice dancer
  • 1994 – Dakota Fanning, American actress

February 23 – Deaths:

  • 943 – Herbert II, Count of Vermandois, (b. 884)
  • 1011 – Willigis, Archbishop of Mainz
  • 1100 – Emperor Zhezong of China (b. 1076)
  • 1270 – Saint Isabel of France, daughter of Louis VIII of France (b. 1225)
  • 1447 – Pope Eugene IV (b. 1383)
  • 1447 – Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester (b. 1390)
  • 1464 – Zhengtong, Emperor of China (b. 1427)
  • 1526 – Diego Colón, Spanish Viceroy of the Indies
  • 1554 – Henry Grey, 1st Duke of Suffolk, English politician (executed) (bc. 1515)
  • 1572 – Pierre Certon, French composer
  • 1603 – Andrea Cesalpino, Italian philosopher, physician, and botanist (b. 1519)
  • 1669 – Leo Aitzema, Dutch historian and statesman (b. 1600)
  • 1704 – Georg Muffat, French composer (b. 1653)
  • 1730 – Pope Benedict XIII (b. 1649)
  • 1766 – Stanislaw Leszczynski, King of Poland (b. 1677)
  • 1781 – George Taylor, American signer of the Declaration of Independence (bc. 1716)
  • 1792 – Joshua Reynolds, English painter (b. 1723)
  • 1800 – Joseph Warton, English literary critic (b. 1722)
  • 1819 – John Keats, English poet (b. 1795)
  • 1848 – John Quincy Adams, 6th President of the United States (b. 1767)
  • 1855 – Carl Friedrich Gauss, German mathematician, astronomer, and physicist (b. 1777)
  • 1859 – Zygmunt Krasinski, Polish Romantic poet (b. 1812)
  • 1879 – Albrecht Graf von Roon, Prime Minister of Prussia (b. 1803)
  • 1897 – Woldemar Bargiel, German composer (b. 1828)
  • 1908 – Johannes Friedrich August von Esmarch, German surgeon (b. 1823)
  • 1922 – Albert Victor Bäcklund, Swedish physicist (b. 1845)
  • 1930 – Horst Wessel, Nazi ideologue and composer (b. 1907)
  • 1931 – Nellie Melba, Australian opera soprano (b. 1861)
  • 1934 – Edward Elgar, English composer (b. 1857)
  • 1944 – Leo Hendrik Baekeland, Flemish-American chemist and inventor of the first synthetic plastic, Bakelite (b. 1863)
  • 1946 – Tomoyuki Yamashita, Japanese general (hanged) (b. 1885)
  • 1948 – John Robert Gregg, Irish-born publisher and inventor (b. 1866)
  • 1955 – Paul Claudel, French poet and playwright (b. 1868)
  • 1957 – Marika Ninou, Greek singer (b. 1918)
  • 1960 – Arthur Legat, Belgian racing driver (b. 1898)
  • 1965 – Stan Laurel, British born actor and comedian (b. 1890)
  • 1969 – King Saud of Saudi Arabia (b. 1902)
  • 1973 – Dickinson W. Richards, American physician, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (b. 1895)
  • 1974 – Harry Ruby, American composer and writer (b. 1895)
  • 1976 – LS Lowry, English artist (b. 1887)
  • 1979 – W.A.C. Bennett, Canadian politician (b. 1900)
  • 1983 – Herbert Howells, English composer (b. 1892)
  • 1990 – José Napoleón Duarte, President of El Salvador (b. 1925)
  • 1992 – Markos Vafiadis, Greek politician (b. 1906)
  • 1995 – Melvin Franklin, American singer (The Temptations) (b. 1942)
  • 1995 – James Herriot, English writer (b. 1916)
  • 1997 – Tony Williams, American jazz drummer (b. 1945)
  • 2000 – Ofra Haza, Israeli singer (b. 1957)
  • 2000 – Stanley Matthews, English footballer (b. 1915)
  • 2001 – Robert Enrico, French film director and screenwriter (b. 1931)
  • 2003 – Robert K. Merton, American sociologist (b. 1910)
  • 2003 – Howie Epstein, American bass guitarist (Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers) (b. 1955)
  • 2004 – Vijay Anand, Indian film director (b. 1934)
  • 2004 – Carl Anderson, American singer (b. 1945)
  • 2004 – Sikander Bakht, Governor of Kerala (b. 1918)
  • 2004 – Don Cornell, American singer (b. 1919)
  • 2004 – Carl Liscombe, Canadian hockey player (b. 1915)
  • 2006 – Benno Besson, Swiss actor and film director (b. 1922)
  • 2006 – Telmo Zarraonaindía, Spanish footballer (b. 1921)
  • 2007 – Donnie Brooks, American singer (b. 1936)
  • 2007 – John Ritchie, British footballer (b. 1941)
  • 2008 – Janez Drnovšek, Slovenian prime minister and president (b. 1950)
  • 2008 – Paul Frère, Belgian race car driver and motorsport journalist (b. 1917)
  • 2008 – Douglas Fraser, Scottish pilot, first to land at NewfoundlandAirport on January 11, 1938 (b. 1916)

February 23 – Holidays:

  • Roman Empire – Terminalia held in honor of Terminus.
  • Guyana – Mashramani-Republic Day.
  • Russia – Defender of the Fatherland Day (formerly Red Army Day or Day of Soviet Army and Navy).
  • Brunei – National Day.
  • Catholicism – Feast day of Saint Polycarp of Smyrna (died 155).

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On This Day in History February 22

February 22 – Events:

  • 1495 – King Charles VIII of France enters Naples to claim the city’s throne.
  • 1632 – Galileo’s Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems is published.
  • 1744 – War of the Austrian Succession: The Battle of Toulon begins.
  • 1819 – By the Adams-Onís Treaty, Spain sells Florida to the United States for five million U.S. dollars.
  • 1847 – Mexican-American War: The Battle of Buena Vista – 5,000 American troops drive off 15,000 Mexicans.
  • 1856 – The Republican Party opens its first national meeting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
  • 1862 – Jefferson Davis is officially inaugurated for a six-year term as the President of the Confederate States of America in Richmond, Virginia. He was previously inaugurated as a provisional president on February 18, 1861.
  • 1879 – In Utica, New York, Frank Woolworth opens the first of many of 5 and 10-cent Woolworth stores.
  • 1882 – The Serbian kingdom is refounded.
  • 1889 – President Grover Cleveland signs a bill admitting North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana and Washington as U.S. states.
  • 1904 – The United Kingdom sells a meteorological station on the South Orkney Islands to Argentina, the islands are subsequently claimed by the United Kingdom in 1908.
  • 1915 – World War I: Germany institutes unrestricted submarine warfare.
  • 1920 – In Emeryville, New York, the first dog race track to employ an imitation rabbit opens.
  • 1923 – First successful chinchilla farm in US, Los Angeles.
  • 1923 – The United States begins the first transcontinental air mail route.
  • 1924 – Calvin Coolidge becomes the first President of the United States to deliver a radio broadcast from the White House.
  • 1942 – World War II: President Franklin D. Roosevelt orders General Douglas MacArthur out of the Philippines as American defenses collapses.
  • 1943 – Members of White Rose are executed in Nazi Germany.
  • 1944 – American aircraft bombard the Dutch towns of Nijmegen, Arnhem, Enschede and Deventer by mistake, resulting in 800 dead in Nijmegen alone.
  • 1948 – Communist coup in Czechoslovakia.
  • 1956 – Elvis Presley’s first hit in Billboard’s Top 10 (Heartbreak Hotel).
  • 1957 – Jockey Ted Atkinson, 3,500th win.
  • 1958 – Egypt and Syria join to form the United Arab Republic.
  • 1959 – Lee Petty wins the first Daytona 500.
  • 1973 – Cold War: Following United States President Richard Nixon’s visit to the People’s Republic of China, the two countries agree to establish liaison offices.
  • 1974 – Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) summit conference starts in Lahore, Pakistan. Thirty-seven countries are attending. Twenty-two heads of state and government participate.
  • 1974 – Samuel Byck tries and fails to assassinate U.S. President Richard Nixon.
  • 1979 – Independence of Saint Lucia from the United Kingdom.
  • 1980 – Miracle on Ice: In Lake Placid, New York, the United States hockey team defeats the Soviet Union hockey team 4-3, in what is considered to be one of the greatest upsets in sports history.
  • 1986 – Start of the People Power Revolution in the Philippines.
  • 1989 – “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” wins Grammy as song of the year.
  • 1994 – Aldrich Ames and his wife are charged by the United States Department of Justice with spying for the Soviet Union.
  • 1997 – In Roslin, Scotland, scientists announce that an adult sheep named Dolly had been successfully cloned.
  • 2002 – Angolan political and rebel leader Jonas Savimbi is killed in a military ambush.
  • 2006 – At least six men stage Britain’s biggest robbery ever, stealing £53m (about $92.5 million or 78€ million) from a Securitas depot in Tonbridge, Kent.

February 22 – Birthdays:

  • 1040 – Rashi, French rabbi and commentator (d. 1105)
  • 1403 – Charles VII of France (d. 1461)
  • 1440 – Ladislaus Posthumus of Bohemia and Hungary (d. 1457)
  • 1500 – Cardinal Rodolfo Pio da Carpi, Italian humanist (d. 1564)
  • 1612 – George Digby, 2nd Earl of Bristol, English statesman (d. 1677)
  • 1705 – Peter Artedi, Swedish naturalist (d. 1735)
  • 1714 – Louis-Georges de Bréquigny, French historian (d. 1795)
  • 1732 – George Washington, First President of the United States (d. 1799)
  • 1756 – Georg Friedrich von Martens, German diplomat (d. 1821)
  • 1778 – Rembrandt Peale, American artist (d. 1860)
  • 1788 – Arthur Schopenhauer, German philosopher (d. 1860)
  • 1796 – Alexis Bachelot, French missionary (d. 1837)
  • 1796 – Lambert Adolphe Jacques Quetelet, Belgian mathematician (d. 1874)
  • 1806 – Józef Kremer, Polish messianistic philosopher (d. 1875)
  • 1817 – Carl Wilhelm Borchardt, German mathematician (d. 1880)
  • 1819 – James Russell Lowell, American poet and essayist (d. 1891)
  • 1824 – Pierre Janssen, a French astronomer (d. 1907)
  • 1825 – Jean Baptiste Salpointe, second Archbishop of Santa Fe (d. 1898)
  • 1839 – Francis Pharcellus Church, American editor and publisher (d. 1906)
  • 1840 – August Bebel, German politician (d. 1913)
  • 1849 – Nikolay Yakovlevich Sonin, Russian mathematician (d. 1915)
  • 1857 – Robert Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell, English founder of the Boy Scouts (d. 1941)
  • 1857 – Heinrich Hertz, German physicist (d. 1894)
  • 1864 – Jules Renard, French author (d. 1910)
  • 1874 – Bill Klem, Major League Baseball Hall of Fame umpire (d. 1951)
  • 1878 – Walter Ritz, Swiss physicist (d. 1909)
  • 1879 – Johannes Nicolaus Brønsted, Danish physical chemist (d. 1947)
  • 1880 – Frigyes Riesz, Hungarian mathematician (d. 1956)
  • 1881 – Joseph B. Ely, 52 Governor of Massachusetts (d. 1956)
  • 1882 – Eric Gill, British sculptor (d. 1940)
  • 1883 – Marguerite Clark, American silent film actress (d. 1940)
  • 1886 – Hugo Ball, German author and poet (d. 1927)
  • 1887 – Ksawery Tartakower, Polish chess player (d. 1956)
  • 1888 – Owen Brewster, U.S. Senator from Maine (d. 1961)
  • 1889 – Olave Baden-Powell, English Chief Girl Guide (d. 1977)
  • 1891 – Vlas Chubar, Soviet politician (d. 1939)
  • 1892 – Edna St. Vincent Millay, American writer (d. 1950)
  • 1895 – Victor Raúl Haya de la Torre, Peruvian politician, founder of APRA party (d. 1979)
  • 1897 – Karol Swierczewski, Polish general (d. 1947)
  • 1899 – Dwight Frye, American actor (d. 1943)
  • 1899 – George O’Hara, American actor (d. 1966)
  • 1899 – Dechko Uzunov, Bulgarian painter (d. 1986)
  • 1900 – Luis Buñuel, Spanish-born film director (d. 1983)
  • 1900 – Seán Ó Faoláin, Irish author (d. 1991)
  • 1902 – Fritz Strassmann, German physicist (d. 1980)
  • 1903 – Morley Callaghan, Canadian writer (d. 1990)
  • 1903 – Ain-Ervin Mere, Estonian Nazi (d. 1969)
  • 1903 – Robert Weede, American baritone (d. 1972)
  • 1907 – Sheldon Leonard, American actor (d. 1997)
  • 1907 – Robert Young, American actor (d. 1998)
  • 1908 – Sir John Mills, English actor (d. 2005)
  • 1911 – Bill Baker, baseball player (d. 2006)
  • 1913 – Buddy Tate, American jazz saxophonist and clarinetist (d. 2001)
  • 1914 – Renato Dulbecco, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine laureate
  • 1917 – Jane Bowles, American writer and playwright (d. 1973)
  • 1918 – Sid Abel, Canadian hockey player (d. 2000)
  • 1918 – Charlie Finley, American sports entrepreneur (d. 1996)
  • 1918 – Don Pardo, American radio and television announcer
  • 1918 – Robert Wadlow, tallest person in history (d. 1940)
  • 1921 – Jean-Bédel Bokassa, ruler of the Central African Republic (d. 1996)
  • 1921 – Wayne Booth, American literary critic (d. 2005)
  • 1921 – David Greene, British television director (d. 2003)
  • 1921 – Giulietta Masina, Italian actress (d. 1994)
  • 1922 – Jesús Iglesias, Argentine racing driver (d. 2005)
  • 1925 – Edward Gorey, American illustrator (d. 2000)
  • 1926 – Kenneth Williams, English actor (d. 1988)
  • 1926 – Bud Yorkin, American film director
  • 1928 – Paul Dooley, American actor
  • 1928 – Bruce Forsyth, British entertainer
  • 1929 – James Hong, Chinese American actor
  • 1929 – Rebecca Schull, American actress
  • 1930 – Marni Nixon, American singer
  • 1930 – James McGarrell, American painter
  • 1932 – Ted Kennedy, U.S. senator from Massachusetts (d. 2009)
  • 1933 – Katharine, Duchess of Kent
  • 1933 – Bobby Smith, English footballer
  • 1934 – Sparky Anderson, American baseball manager
  • 1936 – J. Michael Bishop, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine laureate
  • 1936 – Ernie K-Doe, American singer (d. 2001)
  • 1938 – Steve Barber, American baseball player (d. 2007)
  • 1938 – Ishmael Reed, American writer
  • 1938 – Pierre Vallières, founding member of the Front de libération du Québec (d. 1995)
  • 1940 – Johnson Mlambo, South African politician
  • 1940 – Billy Name, American photographer and Andy Warhol archivist
  • 1941 – Hipólito Mejía, President of the Dominican Republic
  • 1942 – Christine Keeler, English model and showgirl
  • 1943 – Terry Eagleton, British theorist
  • 1943 – Horst Köhler, President of Germany
  • 1944 – Jonathan Demme, American director
  • 1944 – Robert Kardashian, American lawyer (d. 2003)
  • 1944 – Tom Okker, Dutch tennis player
  • 1945 – Leslie Charleson, American actress
  • 1945 – Oliver, American singer (d. 2000)
  • 1947 – Carol Burns, Australian actress
  • 1948 – John Ashton, American actor
  • 1949 – Niki Lauda, Austrian race car driver, three-time F1 world champion and airline entrepreneur
  • 1949 – Olga Morozova, Russian tennis player
  • 1950 – Julius Erving, American basketball player
  • 1950 – Ellen Greene, American actress
  • 1950 – Lenny Kuhr, Dutch singer
  • 1950 – Miou-Miou, French actress
  • 1950 – Genesis P-Orridge, English performer, musician and artist
  • 1950 – Julie Walters, English actress
  • 1952 – Bill Frist, U.S. senator from Tennessee
  • 1953 – Graham Lewis, English musician (Wire)
  • 1953 – Nigel Planer, British actor
  • 1955 – Tim Young, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1959 – Jirí Cunek, Czech politician
  • 1959 – Kyle MacLachlan, American actor
  • 1961 – Akira Takasaki, Japanese guitarist
  • 1962 – Steve Irwin, Australian herpetologist (d. 2006)
  • 1962 – Lenda Murray, American bodybuilder
  • 1962 – Les Wallace, Scottish darts player
  • 1963 – Vijay Singh, Fijian golfer
  • 1964 – Gigi Fernandez, Puerto Rican tennis player
  • 1965 – Pat Lafontaine, American ice hockey player
  • 1965 – Chris Dudley, American basketball player
  • 1966 – Rachel Dratch, American actress and comedienne
  • 1966 – Brian Greig, Australian politician
  • 1966 – Aiden Shaw, English pornographic actor
  • 1967 – Alf Poier, Austrian comedian
  • 1968 – Shawn Graham, Canadian politician
  • 1968 – Bradley Nowell, American musician (d. 1996)
  • 1968 – Jeri Ryan, American actress
  • 1969 – Joaquín Cortés, Spanish dancer
  • 1969 – Hans Klok, Dutch illusionist
  • 1969 – Brian Laudrup, Danish footballer
  • 1969 – Byron Stroud, American bassist
  • 1970 – Dominic Roussel, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1971 – Lea Salonga, Filipina actress and singer
  • 1972 – Michael Chang, American tennis player
  • 1972 – Claudia Pechstein, German speed skater
  • 1973 – Juninho Paulista, Brazilian footballer
  • 1973 – Claus Lundekvam, Norwegian footballer
  • 1973 – Einar Kristian Tveitå, Norwegian athlete
  • 1974 – James Blunt, English musician
  • 1974 – Chris Moyles, English DJ
  • 1975 – Drew Barrymore, American actress
  • 1976 – Faan Rautenbach, South African rugby player
  • 1977 – Hakan Yakin, Swiss Footballer
  • 1979 – Brett Emerton, Australian footballer
  • 1979 – Lee Na-young, South Korean actress
  • 1981 – Fredson Camara, Brazilian footballer
  • 1982 – Jenna Haze, American pornographic actress
  • 1982 – Robert Weiner, Jr., American water polo player
  • 1985 – Hameur Bouazza, Algerian footballer
  • 1985 – Sean Garballey, American politician
  • 1986 – Miko Hughes, American actor
  • 1986 – Rajon Rondo, American basketball player
  • 1988 – Przemyslaw Kazimierczak, Polish footballer
  • 1995 – Trent Kowalik, American actor

February 22 – Deaths:

  • 965 – Odo, Duke of Burgundy (b. 944)
  • 1071 – Arnulf III, Count of Flanders (killed in battle) (b. c.1055)
  • 1111 – Roger Borsa, King of Sicily
  • 1371 – King David II of Scotland (b. 1324)
  • 1512 – Amerigo Vespucci, Italian merchant and explorer (b. 1454)
  • 1627 – Olivier van Noort, Dutch navigator (b. 1558)
  • 1674 – Jean Chapelain, French writer (b. 1595)
  • 1680 – Catherine Monvoisin, French sorceress (b. c.1640)
  • 1690 – Charles Le Brun, French artist (b. 1619)
  • 1727 – Francesco Gasparini, Italian composer (b. 1661)
  • 1731 – Frederik Ruysch, Dutch physician and anatomist (b. 1638)
  • 1732 – Francis Atterbury, English bishop and man of letters (b. 1663)
  • 1742 – Charles Rivington, English publisher (b. 1688)
  • 1797 – Karl Friedrich Hieronymus Freiherr von Münchhausen, German officer and adventurer (b. 1720)
  • 1799 – Heshen, infamous Qing Dynasty Chinese official at court (b. 1750)
  • 1816 – Adam Ferguson, Scottish philosopher and historian (b. 1723)
  • 1875 – Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot, French painter (b. 1796)
  • 1875 – Sir Charles Lyell, Scottish geologist (b. 1797)
  • 1890 – John Jacob Astor III, American businessman (b. 1822)
  • 1890 – Carl Heinrich Bloch, Danish painter (b. 1834)
  • 1892 – Herman Koeckemann, German Catholic prelate (b. 1828)
  • 1903 – Hugo Wolf, Austrian composer (b. 1860)
  • 1904 – Leslie Stephen, English writer and critic (b. 1832)
  • 1913 – Ferdinand de Saussure, Swiss linguist (b. 1857)
  • 1921 – Salim Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah, Emir of Kuwait (b. 1864)
  • 1923 – Théophile Delcassé, French statesman (b. 1852)
  • 1934 – Willem Kes, Dutch conductor (b. 1856)
  • 1939 – Antonio Machado, Spanish poet (b. 1875)
  • 1942 – Stefan Zweig, Austrian writer (b. 1881)
  • 1943 – Hans Scholl, German resistance fighter (b. 1918)
  • 1943 – Christoph Probst, German resistance fighter (b. 1919)
  • 1943 – Sophie Scholl, German resistance fighter (b. 1921)
  • 1944 – Kasturba Gandhi, wife of Mohandas Gandhi (b. 1869)
  • 1945 – Osip Brik, Russian writer (b. 1888)
  • 1960 – Paul-Émile Borduas, Quebec painter (b. 1905)
  • 1961 – Nick LaRocca, American jazz musician (b. 1889)
  • 1965 – Felix Frankfurter, Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (b. 1882)
  • 1968 – Peter Arno, American cartoonist (b. 1904)
  • 1973 – Jean-Jacques Bertrand, Quebec politician, Premier of Quebec (b. 1916)
  • 1973 – Katina Paxinou, Greek actress (b. 1900)
  • 1974 – Samuel Byck, American attempted assassin of Richard Nixon (b. 1930)
  • 1976 – Angela Baddeley, English actress (b. 1904)
  • 1976 – Florence Ballard, American singer (The Supremes) (b. 1943)
  • 1980 – Oskar Kokoschka, Austrian artist (b. 1886)
  • 1982 – Josh Malihabadi, Urdu poet of India and Pakistan (b. 1898)
  • 1983 – Sir Adrian Boult, English conductor (b. 1889)
  • 1983 – Romain Maes, Belgian cyclist (b. 1913)
  • 1984 – Jessamyn West, American writer (b. 1902)
  • 1985 – Salvador Espriu, Spanish poet (b. 1913)
  • 1985 – Alexander Scourby, American actor (b. 1913)
  • 1985 – Efrem Zimbalist, Russian violinist (b. 1889)
  • 1987 – Andy Warhol, American artist, director, and writer (b. 1928)
  • 1989 – Moisés da Costa Amaral, East Timorese leader, UDT President in the exterior (b. 1938)
  • 1994 – Papa John Creach, American musician (b. 1917)
  • 1995 – Ed Flanders, American actor (b. 1934)
  • 1997 – Joseph Aiuppa, American gangster (b. 1907)
  • 1998 – Abraham Ribicoff, American politician (b. 1910)
  • 1999 – Menno Oosting, Dutch tennis player (b. 1964)
  • 2000 – Fernando Buesa, Spanish politician (b. 1946)
  • 2002 – Chuck Jones, American animator (b. 1912)
  • 2002 – Jonas Savimbi, Angolan rebel leader (b. 1934)
  • 2002 – Roden Cutler, Australian diplomat and war hero (b. 1916)
  • 2002 – Daniel Pearl, American journalist (b. 1963)
  • 2003 – Daniel Taradash, American screenwriter (b. 1913)
  • 2004 – Roque Máspoli, Uruguayan footballer (b. 1917)
  • 2004 – Andy Seminick, American baseball player (b. 1920)
  • 2005 – Zdzislaw Beksinski, Polish artist (b. 1929)
  • 2005 – Simone Simon, French actress (b. 1910)
  • 2005 – Lee Eun Ju, Korean actress (b. 1980)
  • 2006 – Anthony Burger, American musician and singer (b. 1961)
  • 2007 – Dennis Johnson, American basketball player (b. 1954)
  • 2007 – Howard Verne Ramsey, oldest U.S. veteran of WWI (b. 1898)
  • 2007 – Samuel Hinga Norman, Sierra Leonean alleged war criminal (b. 1940)
  • 2007 – George Jellicoe, Lord Privy Seal and Leader of the House of Lords & Special Boat Service veteran (b. 1918)

February 22 – Holidays:

  • United States — Washington’s Birthday.
  • Saint Lucia — independence (1979).
  • The Scouting movement and the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts celebrate this day as “World Thinking Day”, “B.-P. day”, or “Founder’s Day”, as it is the shared birthday of the Scouts’ founder Sir Robert Baden-Powell and his wife, Lady Olave Baden-Powell, the World Chief Guide.
  • Roman Catholic Church — Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter.
  • Blessed Saint Isabel of France (died 1270)

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On This Day in History February 21

February 21 – Events:

  • 362 – Athanasius returns to Alexandria.
  • 1245 – Thomas, the first known Bishop of Finland, is granted resignation after having confessed to torture and forgery.
  • 1440 – The Prussian Confederation is formed.
  • 1543 – Battle of Wayna Daga – A combined army of Ethiopian and Portuguese troops defeats a Muslim army led by Ahmed Gragn.
  • 1613 – Mikhail I is elected unanimously as Tsar by a national assembly, beginning the Romanov dynasty of Imperial Russia.
  • 1743 – The premiere of George Frideric Handel’s oratorio, “Samson” takes place in London.
  • 1804 – The first self-propelling steam locomotive makes its outing at the Pen-y-Darren ironworks in Wales.
  • 1842 – John Greenough is granted the first U.S. patent for the sewing machine.
  • 1848 – Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels publish the Communist Manifesto.
  • 1874 – The Oakland Daily Tribune publishes its first newspaper.
  • 1878 – The first telephone book is issued in New Haven, Connecticut.
  • 1885 – The newly completed Washington Monument is dedicated.
  • 1893 – Thomas Edison receives two U.S. patents for a “Cut Out for Incandescent Electric Lamps” and for a “Stop Device.”
  • 1912 – Ioannina is incorporated into the Greek state after the Balkan Wars.
  • 1916 – World War I: In France, the Battle of Verdun begins.
  • 1918 – The last Carolina parakeet dies in captivity at the Cincinnati Zoo.
  • 1919 – Kurt Eisner, German socialist, is assassinated. His death results in the establishment of the Bavarian Soviet Republic and parliament and government fleeing Munich, Germany.
  • 1925 – The New Yorker publishes its first issue.
  • 1937 – Initial flight of the first successful flying car, Waldo Waterman’s Arrowbile.
  • 1937 – The League of Nations bans foreign national “volunteers” in the Spanish Civil War.
  • 1945 – World War II: Japanese Kamikaze planes sink the escort carrier Bismarck Sea and damage the Saratoga.
  • 1947 – In New York City, Edwin Land demonstrates the first “instant camera,” the Polaroid Land Camera, to a meeting of the Optical Society of America.
  • 1948 – NASCAR is incorporated.
  • 1952 – The British government, under Winston Churchill, abolishes identity cards in the UK to “set the people free.”
  • 1952 – In Dhaka, East Pakistan (present Bangladesh) police open fire on a procession of students that was demanding the establishment of Bengali as the official language, killing four people and starting a country-wide protest which led to the recognition of Bengali as one of the national languages of Pakistan. The day was later declared as “International Mother Language Day” by UNESCO.
  • 1953 – Francis Crick and James D. Watson discover the structure of the DNA molecule.
  • 1958 – The Peace symbol is designed and completed by Gerald Holtom, commissioned by Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, in protest against the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment.
  • 1960 – Cuban leader Fidel Castro nationalizes all businesses in Cuba.
  • 1965 – Malcolm X is assassinated at the Audubon Ballroom in New York City by members of the Nation of Islam.
  • 1970 – Swissair Flight 330: A mid-air bomb explosion and subsequent crash kills 38 passengers and nine crew members near Zürich, Switzerland.
  • 1971 – The Convention on Psychotropic Substances is signed at Vienna.
  • 1972 – President Richard Nixon visits the People’s Republic of China to normalize Sino-American relations.
  • 1972 – The Soviet unmanned spaceship Luna 20 lands on the Moon.
  • 1973 – Over the Sinai Desert, Israeli fighter aircraft shoot down a Libyan Airlines jet killing 108.
  • 1974 – The last Israeli soldiers leave the west bank of the Suez Canal pursuant to a truce with Egypt.
  • 1975 – Watergate scandal: Former United States Attorney General John N. Mitchell and former White House aides H. R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman are sentenced to prison.
  • 1988 – Televangelist Jimmy Swaggert confesses his sins to his congregation.
  • 1995 – Steve Fossett lands in Leader, Saskatchewan, Canada becoming the first person to make a solo flight across the Pacific Ocean in a balloon.
  • 2004 – The first European political party organization, the European Greens, is established in Rome.
  • 2007 – Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi resigns from office. His resignation is rejected by the President of Italy, Giorgio Napolitano.

February 21 – Birthdays:

  • 1484 – Elector Joachim I of Brandenburg (d. 1535)
  • 1556 – Sethus Calvisius, German calendar reformer (d. 1615)
  • 1675 – Franz Xaver Josef von Unertl, Bavarian politician (d. 1750)
  • 1705 – Edward Hawke, 1st Baron Hawke, British naval officer (d. 1781)
  • 1721 – John McKinly, American physician (d. 1796)
  • 1723 – Louis-Pierre Anquetil, French historian (d. 1808)
  • 1728 – Tsar Peter III of Russia, husband of Catherine the Great (d. 1762)
  • 1783 – Princess Catharina of Württemberg, Queen consort of Westphalia (d. 1835)
  • 1791 – Carl Czerny, Austrian composer (d. 1857)
  • 1794 – Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, Mexican president (d. 1876)
  • 1801 – John Henry Newman, English Catholic cardinal (d. 1890)
  • 1817 – Jose Zorrilla y Moral, Spanish dramatist (d. 1893)
  • 1821 – Charles Scribner, American publisher (d. 1871)
  • 1836 – Léo Delibes, French composer (d. 1891)
  • 1844 – Charles-Marie Widor, French composer (d. 1937)
  • 1860 – Karel Matej Capek-Chod, Czech journalist (d. 1927)
  • 1860 – Goscombe John, Welsh sculptor
  • 1865 – John Haden Badley, English school founder (d. 1967)
  • 1867 – Otto Hermann Kahn, German millionaire (d. 1934)
  • 1875 – Jeanne Calment, French supercentenarian and longest-lived human on record (d. 1997)
  • 1876 – Pyotr Konchalovsky, Russian painter (d. 1956)
  • 1878 – The Mother, Indian spiritual leader (d. 1973)
  • 1880 – Waldemar Bonsels, German writer (d. 1952)
  • 1885 – Sacha Guitry, Russian dramatist (d. 1957)
  • 1888 – Clemence Dane, British novelist and playwright (d. 1965)
  • 1893 – Celia Lovsky, Russian-born actress (d. 1979)
  • 1893 – Andrés Segovia, Spanish guitarist (d. 1987)
  • 1895 – Carl Peter Henrik Dam Danish biochemist, Nobel laureate (d. 1976)
  • 1900 – Madeleine Renaud, French theater actress (d. 1994)
  • 1903 – Fairfax M. Cone, American advertising executive (d. 1977)
  • 1903 – Anaïs Nin, French writer (d. 1977)
  • 1903 – Raymond Queneau, French poet and novelist (d. 1976)
  • 1907 – W. H. Auden, English poet (d. 1973)
  • 1910 – Douglas Bader, British pilot (d. 1982)
  • 1910 – Carmine Galante, Italian-born gangster (d. 1979)
  • 1910 – Eddie Waring, British sports commentator (d. 1986)
  • 1913 – Roger Laurent, Belgian racing driver (d. 1997)
  • 1915 – Ann Sheridan, American actress (d. 1967)
  • 1917 – Lucille Bremer, American actress (d. 1996)
  • 1924 – Robert Mugabe first President of Zimbabwe
  • 1925 – Sam Peckinpah, American director (d. 1984)
  • 1927 – Erma Bombeck, American humorist (d. 1996)
  • 1927 – Hubert de Givenchy, French fashion designer
  • 1927 – Pierre Mercure, French-Canadian musician and composer (d. 1966)
  • 1929 – Roberto “Chespirito” Carlos Bolaños, Mexican actor
  • 1929 – James Beck, English actor (d. 1973)
  • 1933 – Nina Simone, American singer (d. 2003)
  • 1934 – Rue McClanahan, American actress
  • 1935 – Mark McManus, Scottish actor (d. 1994)
  • 1935 – Jean Pelletier, French Canadian political operative
  • 1936 – Barbara Jordan, American politician (d. 1996)
  • 1937 – King Harald V of Norway
  • 1937 – Gary Lockwood, American actor
  • 1940 – John Lewis, American politician
  • 1940 – Peter Gethin, British racing driver
  • 1941 – James Wong, Hong Kong composer (d. 2004)
  • 1942 – Margarethe von Trotta, German actress and film director
  • 1943 – David Geffen, American record producer
  • 1945 – Paul Newton, British musician
  • 1945 – D’Anna Fortunato, American mezzo-soprano
  • 1946 – Tyne Daly, American actress
  • 1946 – Anthony Daniels, British actor
  • 1946 – Alan Rickman, English actor
  • 1946 – Bob Ryan, Boston sports columnist
  • 1946 – Vito Rizzuto, Sicilian-born alleged mafia boss
  • 1947 – Johnny Echols, American musician
  • 1947 – Olympia Snowe, American politician
  • 1947 – Victor Sokolov, Russian journalist (d. 2006)
  • 1949 – Jerry Harrison, American musician
  • 1949 – Ronnie Hellström, Swedish footballer
  • 1951 – Vince Welnick, American musician (The Grateful Dead) (d. 2006)
  • 1952 – Jean Jacques Burnel, British musician
  • 1953 – Christine Ebersole, American actress
  • 1953 – William Petersen, American actor
  • 1954 – Mike Pickering, English disc jockey and musician
  • 1954 – Ivo Van Damme, Belgian athlete (d. 1976)
  • 1955 – Sir Steven Fayburgh, British diplomat
  • 1955 – Kelsey Grammer, American actor
  • 1958 – Jake Burns, Irish singer
  • 1958 – Mary Chapin Carpenter, American singer
  • 1958 – Jack Coleman, American actor
  • 1958 – Alan Trammell, baseball player and manager
  • 1959 – José María Cano, Spanish musician
  • 1959 – Emmett McAuliffe, American radio show host and lawyer
  • 1960 – Steve Wynn, American singer
  • 1961 – Davey Allison, American race car driver (d. 1993)
  • 1961 – Christopher Atkins, American actor
  • 1961 – Martha Hackett, American actress
  • 1961 – Bertha Faye, American wrestler (d. 2001)
  • 1962 – Vanessa Feltz, British television presenter
  • 1962 – Chuck Palahniuk, American writer
  • 1962 – David Foster Wallace, American writer
  • 1963 – William Baldwin, American actor
  • 1964 – Mark E. Kelly and Scott J. Kelly, American astronauts
  • 1964 – Jane Tomlinson, British cancer campaigner (d. 2007)
  • 1967 – Leroy Burrell, American runner
  • 1969 – James Dean Bradfield, Welsh musician
  • 1969 – Tony Meola, American footballer
  • 1969 – Eric Wilson, American musician
  • 1970 – Michael Slater, Australian cricketer
  • 1972 – Seo Taiji, Korean musician
  • 1973 – Heri Joensen, Faroese musician
  • 1973 – Bowie Tsang, Taiwanese singer and TV host
  • 1974 – Iván Campo, Spanish footballer
  • 1974 – Roberto Heras, Spanish cyclist
  • 1975 – Chris (CP) Powell, American columnist
  • 1976 – Ryan Smyth, Canadian hockey player
  • 1977 – Steve Francis, American basketball player
  • 1977 – Chad Hutchinson, baseball and football player
  • 1977 – Kevin Rose, American television host and Internet entrepreneur
  • 1978 – Park Eun-hye, South Korean actress
  • 1978 – Kim Ha Neul, South Korean actress
  • 1978 – Nicole Parker, American actress
  • 1979 – Pascal Chimbonda, French footballer
  • 1979 – Carly “Carlito” Colón, Puerto Rican professional wrestler
  • 1979 – Lonnie Ford, American football player
  • 1979 – Jennifer Love Hewitt, American actress
  • 1980 – Brad Fast, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1980 – Jim Vandermeer, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1980 – Parthiva Sureshwaren, Indian racing driver
  • 1980 – Tiziano Ferro, Italian singer
  • 1982 – Bernhard Auinger, Austrian racing driver
  • 1983 – Braylon Edwards, American football player
  • 1983 – Franklin Gutiérrez, Venezuelan baseball player
  • 1984 – Andrew Ellis, New Zealand rugby union player
  • 1984 – David Odonkor, German footballer
  • 1984 – Karina, Japanese model and actress
  • 1985 – Bob Burton, American speedcuber
  • 1985 – Georgios Samaras, Greek footballer
  • 1986 – Charlotte Church, Welsh singer
  • 1986 – Prince Amedeo of Belgium, Archduke of Austria-Este
  • 1987 – Ellen Page, Canadian actress
  • 1987 – Anthony Walker, British murder victim (d. 2005)
  • 1989 – Corbin Bleu, American actor and singer
  • 1989 – Kristin Herrera, American actress
  • 1989 – Scout Taylor-Compton, American actress
  • 1989 – Josh Walker, English footballer

February 21 – Deaths:

  • 1437 – King James I of Scotland (b. 1394)
  • 1471 – John of Rokycan, Czech Catholic archbishop
  • 1513 – Pope Julius II (b. 1443)
  • 1543 – Ahmed Gragn, Sultan of Adal
  • 1554 – Hieronymus Bock, German botanist (b. 1498)
  • 1595 – Robert Southwell, English Jesuit priest and poet (executed)
  • 1668 – John Thurloe, English Puritan spy (b. 1616)
  • 1677 – Baruch Spinoza, Dutch philosopher (b. 1632)
  • 1715 – Charles Calvert, 3rd Baron Baltimore, Governor of the Province of Maryland (b. 1637)
  • 1730 – Pope Benedict XIII (b. 1649)
  • 1788 – Johann Georg Palitzsch, German astronomer (b. 1723)
  • 1821 – Georg Friedrich von Martens, German diplomat (b. 1756)
  • 1824 – Eugène de Beauharnais, son of Napoleon’s wife, Josephine (b. 1781)
  • 1846 – Emperor Ninko of Japan (b. 1800)
  • 1862 – Justinus Kerner, German poet (b. 1786)
  • 1901 – George Francis FitzGerald, Irish mathematician (b. 1851)
  • 1919 – Kurt Eisner, German socialist (assassinated), leader of socialist revolution of 1918 in Bavaria (b. 1867)
  • 1920 – Jacinta Marto, witness of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Fatima (b. 1910)
  • 1926 – Heike Kamerlingh Onnes, Dutch physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1853)
  • 1934 – Augusto Nicolás Calderón Sandino, Nicaraguan patriot (assassinated) (b. 1895)
  • 1938 – George Ellery Hale, American astronomer (b. 1868)
  • 1941 – Frederick Banting, Canadian physician, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (b. 1891)
  • 1944 – Ferenc Szisz, Hungarian-born race car driver (b. 1873)
  • 1945 – Eric Liddell, Scottish runner (b. 1902)
  • 1946 – José Streel, Belgian World War II collaborator (b. 1911)
  • 1949 – Tan Malaka, Indonesian nationalist activist and communist leader (b. 1894)
  • 1958 – Duncan Edwards, English footballer (b. 1936)
  • 1960 – Jacques Becker, French film director and screenwriter (b. 1906)
  • 1965 – Malcolm X, American black activist (b. 1925)
  • 1966 – Paul Comtois, French Canadian politician (b. 1895) 
  • 1967 – Charles Beaumont, American writer (b. 1929)
  • 1968 – Howard Walter Florey, Australian-born pharmocologist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (b. 1898)
  • 1972 – Bronislava Nijinska, Polish-Russian ballet dancer (b. 1891)
  • 1972 – Eugène Tisserant, French Catholic candinal (b. 1884)
  • 1974 – Tim Horton, Canadian hockey player (b. 1930)
  • 1978 – Mieczyslaw Zywczynski, Polish historian and priest (b. 1901)
  • 1980 – Alfred Andersch, German writer
  • 1982 – Murray the K, American impresario and disc jockey (b. 1922)
  • 1984 – Michail Aleksandrovich Sholokhov, Russian writer, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1905)
  • 1985 – Louis Hayward, British actor (b. 1909)
  • 1986 – Helen Hooven Santmyer, American writer (b. 1895)
  • 1986 – Shigechiyo Izumi, Japanese sugarcane farmer, also the world’s oldest man ever (b. 1865)
  • 1989 – Alex Thépot, French footballer (b. 1906)
  • 1991 – Dame Margot Fonteyn, English ballet dancer (b. 1919)
  • 1994 – Johannes Steinhoff, German fighter pilot & NATO commander (b.1913)
  • 1996 – Morton Gould, American composer (b. 1913)
  • 1999 – Gertrude B. Elion, American scientist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (b. 1918)
  • 1999 – Wilmer David Mizell, baseball player (b. 1930)
  • 2000 – Antonio Díaz-Miguel, Spanish basketball coach (b. 1933)
  • 2002 – Harold Furth, Austrian-born physicist (b. 1939)
  • 2002 – John Thaw, English actor (b. 1942)
  • 2003 – Eddie Thomson, Scottish football player and coach (b. 1947)
  • 2004 – John Charles, Welsh footballer (b. 1931)
  • 2004 – Guido Molinari, Canadian artist (b. 1933)
  • 2005 – Ara Berberian, American opera singer (b. 1930)
  • 2005 – Gérard Bessette, Quebec novelist and poet (b. 1920)
  • 2005 – Guillermo Cabrera Infante, Cuban novelist (b. 1929)
  • 2005 – Eugene Scott, American religious broadcaster (b. 1929)
  • 2008 – Sunny Lowry, First British woman to swim the English Channel (b. 1911)

February 21 – Holidays:

  • Language Martyrs’ Day – A day celebrated by Bengali speaking people for gaining right of mother tongue.
  • International Mother Language Day (UNESCO).
  • In the Roman Catholic Church:
    • Saint Peter Damiani
    • Saint Pepin of Landen
    • Saint Randoald

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On This Day in History February 20

February 20 – Events:

  • 1472 – Orkney and Shetland are left by Norway to Scotland, due to a dowry payment.
  • 1547 – Edward VI of England is crowned King of England at Westminster Abbey.
  • 1792 – The Postal Service Act, establishing the United States Post Office Department, is signed by President George Washington.
  • 1798 – Louis Alexandre Berthier removes Pope Pius VI from power.
  • 1810 – Andreas Hofer, Tyrolean patriot and leader of rebellion against Napoleon’s forces, was executed.
  • 1816 – Gioachino Rossini’s The Barber of Seville debuts at Teatro Argentina, with a fiasco.
  • 1835 – Concepción, Chile is destroyed by an earthquake.
  • 1864 – American Civil War: Battle of Olustee occurs – the largest battle fought in Florida during the war.
  • 1872 – In New York City the Metropolitan Museum of Art opens.
  • 1873 – The University of California opens its first medical school in San Francisco, California.
  • 1901 – The legislature of Hawaii Territory convenes for the first time.
  • 1909 – Publication of the Futurist Manifesto in the French journal Le Figaro.
  • 1913 – King O’Malley drives in the first survey peg to mark commencement of work on the construction of Canberra.
  • 1931 – California gets the go-ahead by the U.S. Congress to build the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.
  • 1933 – The Congress of the United States proposes the Twenty-first Amendment to the United States Constitution, which would end Prohibition in the United States.
  • 1935 – Caroline Mikkelsen becomes the first woman to set foot in Antarctica.
  • 1942 – Lieutenant Edward O’Hare becomes America’s first World War II flying ace.
  • 1943 – American movie studio executives agree to allow the Office of War Information to censor movies.
  • 1943 – The Parícutin volcano begins to form in Parícutin, Mexico.
  • 1944 – World War II: The “Big Week” ended with American bomber raids on German aircraft manufacturing centers.
  • 1944 – World War II: The United States takes Eniwetok Island.
  • 1944 – Batman & Robin comic strip premiers in newspapers.
  • 1947 – State of Prussia ceases to exist.
  • 1952 – Emmett Ashford becomes the first African-American umpire in organized baseball by being authorized to be a substitute umpire in the Southwestern International League.
  • 1959 – The Avro Arrow program to design and manufacture supersonic jet fighters in Canada is cancelled by the Diefenbaker government amid much political debate.
  • 1962 – Mercury program: While aboard Friendship 7, John Glenn orbits the earth three times in 4 hours, 55 minutes, becoming the first American to orbit the earth.
  • 1965 – Ranger 8 crashes into the moon after a successful mission of photographing possible landing sites for the Apollo program astronauts.
  • 1976 – The Southeast Asia Treaty Organization disbands.
  • 1986 – Soviets launch Mir.
  • 1987 – Unabomber: In Salt Lake City, Utah, a bomb explodes in a computer store.
  • 1989 – Total eclipse of the Moon.
  • 1991 – A gigantic statue of Albania’s long-time dictator, Enver Hoxha, is brought down in the Albanian capital, Tirana, by mobs of angry protesters.
  • 1992 – The FA Premier League is founded.
  • 1998 – American figure skater Tara Lipinski becomes the youngest gold medalist at the Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan.
  • 2002 – In Reqa Al-Gharbiya, Egypt, a fire on a train injures over 65 and kills at least 370.
  • 2005 – Spain becomes the first country to vote in a referendum on ratification of the proposed Constitution of the European Union, passing it by a substantial margin, but on a low turnout.

February 20 – Birthdays:

  • 1631 – Thomas Osborne, 1st Duke of Leeds, English statesman (d. 1712)
  • 1745 – Henry James Pye, English poet (d. 1813)
  • 1751 – Johann Heinrich Voß, German poet (d. 1826)
  • 1753 – Louis Alexandre Berthier, French marshal (d. 1815)
  • 1757 – John ‘Mad Jack’ Fuller, English philanthropist (d. 1834)
  • 1794 – William Carleton, Irish novelist (d. 1869)
  • 1802 – Charles de Bériot, Belgian violinist (d. 1870)
  • 1819 – Alfred Escher, Swiss politician, railroad entrepreneur (d. 1882)
  • 1839 – Benjamin Waugh, American minister; founder of the NSPCC (d. 1908)
  • 1844 – Ludwig Boltzmann, Austrian physicist (d. 1906)
  • 1844 – Joshua Slocum, Canadian seaman and adventurer (d. 1909)
  • 1848 – Edward Henry Harriman, American railroad executive (d. 1909)
  • 1850 – Nérée Beauchemin, Canadian physician and poet (d. 1931)
  • 1866 – Carl Westman, Swedish architect and designer (d. 1936)
  • 1867 – Louise, Princess Royal and Duchess of Fife (d. 1931)
  • 1918 – Leonore Annenberg American Billionaire
  • 1880 – Jacques d’Adelswärd-Fersen, French aristocrat and novelist (d. 1923)
  • 1887 – Vincent Massey, Governor-General of Canada (d. 1967)
  • 1888 – Georges Bernanos, French writer (d. 1948)
  • 1893 – Russel Crouse, American playwright (d. 1966)
  • 1898 – Enzo Ferrari, Italian automobile manufacturer, designer and racing car driver (d. 1988)
  • 1898 – Jimmy Yancey, American pianist (d. 1951)
  • 1899 – Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney, American businessman (d. 1992)
  • 1901 – Cecil Harmsworth King, English newspaper owner (d. 1987)
  • 1901 – Muhammad Naguib, President of Egypt (d. 1984)
  • 1902 – Ansel Adams, American photographer (d. 1984)
  • 1904 – Alexei Kosygin, Premier of the Soviet Union (d. 1980)
  • 1906 – Gale Gordon, American television and radio actor (d. 1995)
  • 1907 – Malcolm Atterbury, American actor (d. 1992)
  • 1912 – Pierre Boulle, French author (d. 1994)
  • 1914 – John Daly, South African-born broadcaster (d. 2001)
  • 1920 – Evgeny Dragunov, Russian weapons designer (d. 1991)
  • 1923 – Forbes Burnham, President of Guyana (d. 1985)
  • 1924 – Gloria Vanderbilt, American socialite and clothing designer
  • 1925 – Robert Altman, American film director (d. 2006)
  • 1925 – Heinz Kluncker, German trade union leader
  • 1926 – Richard Matheson, American author
  • 1927 – Roy Cohn, American lawyer (d. 1986)
  • 1927 – Ibrahim Ferrer, Cuban musician (Buena Vista Social Club) (d. 2005)
  • 1927 – Sidney Poitier, American actor
  • 1929 – Amanda Blake, American actress (d. 1989)
  • 1930 – Willie Cunningham, Northern Irish footballer
  • 1934 – Bobby Unser, American racing driver
  • 1936 – Marj Dusay, American actress
  • 1936 – Larry Hovis, American actor (d. 2003)
  • 1936 – Shigeo Nagashima, Japanese baseball player and coach
  • 1937 – Robert Huber, German chemist, Nobel laureate
  • 1937 – Roger Penske, American racing driver, race team owner and entrepreneur
  • 1937 – Nancy Wilson, American singer
  • 1938 – Richard Beymer, American actor
  • 1939 – Frank Arundel, English footballer
  • 1940 – Jimmy Greaves, English footballer
  • 1941 – Buffy Sainte-Marie, Canadian singer
  • 1942 – Phil Esposito, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1942 – Charlie Gillett, British radio DJ
  • 1942 – Mitch McConnell, American politician
  • 1942 – Claude Miller, French film director and screenwriter
  • 1943 – Antonio Inoki, Japanese professional wrestler
  • 1943 – Mike Leigh, British film director
  • 1944 – Robert de Cotret, French Canadian politician (d. 1999)
  • 1944 – Willem van Hanegem, Dutch footballer and coach
  • 1945 – Andrew Bergman, American screenwriter and film director
  • 1945 – Brion James, American actor (d. 1999)
  • 1945 – Annu Kapoor, Indian actor
  • 1946 – Brenda Blethyn, English actress
  • 1946 – Richard Cocciante, French-Italian singer and songwriter
  • 1946 – Sandy Duncan, American singer and actress
  • 1946 – J. Geils, American guitarist (The J. Geils Band)
  • 1947 – André van Duin, Dutch comedian
  • 1947 – Eggert Magnusson, Icelandic football executive
  • 1947 – Peter Osgood, English footballer (d. 2006)
  • 1947 – Peter Strauss, American actor
  • 1948 – Pierre Bouchard, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1948 – Jennifer O’Neill, Brazilian-born actress
  • 1949 – Ivana Trump, Czech-born American socialite
  • 1950 – Walter Becker, American guitarist (Steely Dan)
  • 1950 – Ken Shimura, Japanese performer and actor
  • 1950 – Tony Wilson, British journalist and impresario (d. 2007)
  • 1951 – Edward Albert, American actor (d. 2006)
  • 1951 – Gordon Brown, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
  • 1951 – Randy California, American guitarist (Spirit) (d. 1997)
  • 1951 – Phil Neal, English footballer
  • 1953 – Riccardo Chailly, Italian conductor
  • 1953 – Poison Ivy, American musician (The Cramps)
  • 1954 – Jon Brant, American musician (Cheap Trick)
  • 1954 – Anthony Stewart Head, English actor
  • 1954 – Patty Hearst, American socialite
  • 1956 – Rick Green, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1957 – Glen Hanlon, Canadian ice hockey coach
  • 1957 – Charlie Adler, American voice actor
  • 1959 – Bill Gullickson, American baseball player
  • 1960 – Joel Hodgson, American comedian (Mystery Science Theater 3000)
  • 1960 – Kee Marcello, Swedish guitarist
  • 1962 – Kenn Nesbitt, American children’s author
  • 1963 – Charles Barkley, American basketball player
  • 1963 – Ian Brown, English singer (The Stone Roses)
  • 1963 – Jon Lynn Christensen, former Nebraska Congressman
  • 1963 – Marilisa Xenogiannakopoulou, Greek politician
  • 1964 – French Stewart, American actor
  • 1964 – Rodney Rowland, American actor
  • 1966 – Cindy Crawford, American model
  • 1967 – Kurt Cobain, American musician (Nirvana) (d. 1994)
  • 1967 – Katherine Soucie, American voice actress
  • 1967 – Andrew Shue, American television actor
  • 1967 – Lili Taylor, American actress
  • 1968 – Ted Hankey, English darts player
  • 1969 – Vaginal Davis, American drag queen and performance artist
  • 1969 – Gedo, Japanese professional wrestler
  • 1969 – Danis Tanovic, Bosnian film director and screenwriter
  • 1969 – Tommy Vardell, National Football League fullback
  • 1971 – Jari Litmanen, Finnish footballer
  • 1971 – Shawn McKenzie, American programmer
  • 1972 – Brent Gretzky, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1972 – K-OS, Canadian musician/rapper
  • 1974 – Ophelie Winter, French actress
  • 1975 – Liván Hernández, Cuban baseball player
  • 1975 – Brian Littrell, American singer (Backstreet Boys)
  • 1976 – Rohan Gavaskar, Left-handed batsman, India ODI 2004 (son of Sunil Gavaskar)
  • 1976 – Ed Graham, English drummer (The Darkness)
  • 1976 – Gail Kim, Canadian professional wrestler
  • 1977 – Bartosz Kizierowski, Polish swimmer
  • 1977 – Stephon Marbury, American basketball player
  • 1977 – T.J. Slaughter, American football player
  • 1978 – Lauren Ambrose, American actress
  • 1978 – Jakki Degg, English glamour model/actress
  • 1978 – Jay Hernandez, American actor
  • 1978 – Julia Jentsch, German actress
  • 1980 – Artur Boruc, Polish footballer
  • 1980 – Massimo Donati, Italian footballer
  • 1980 – Imanol Harinordoquy, French rugby union footballer
  • 1981 – Tony Hibbert, English footballer
  • 1981 – Chris Thile, American musician
  • 1982 – Jason Hirsh, American baseball player
  • 1983 – Jose Morales, Puerto Rican baseball player
  • 1983 – Justin Verlander, American baseball player
  • 1985 – Ryan Sweeney, American baseball player
  • 1985 – Yulia Volkova, Russian singer (t.A.T.u.)
  • 1986 – Dilaver Güçlü, Turkish footballer
  • 1988 – Rihanna, Barbadian singer
  • 1989 – Melanie Leishman, Canadian actress

February 20 – Deaths:

  • 702 – K’inich Kan B’alam II, king of the Maya state of Palenque (b. 635)
  • 1154 – Saint Wulfric of Haselbury Plucknett
  • 1171 – Conan IV, Duke of Brittany (b. 1138)
  • 1194 – King Tancred of Sicily
  • 1258 – Al-Musta’sim, last Abbasid Caliph of Baghdad
  • 1408 – Henry Percy, 1st Earl of Northumberland, English statesman (b. 1342)
  • 1431 – Pope Martin V (b. 1368)
  • 1524 – Tecún Umán, last leader of the Quiché-Maya
  • 1579 – Nicholas Bacon, English politician (b. 1509)
  • 1618 – Philip William, Prince of Orange (b. 1554)
  • 1626 – John Dowland, English composer and lutenist (b. 1563)
  • 1762 – Tobias Mayer, German astronomer (b. 1723)
  • 1771 – Jean Jacques d’Ortous de Mairan, French geophysicist (b. 1678)
  • 1773 – King Charles Emmanuel III of Sardinia (b. 1701)
  • 1778 – Laura Bassi, Italian scholar (b. 1711)
  • 1790 – Joseph II, Holy Roman Emperor (b. 1741)
  • 1803 – Marie Dumesnil, French actress (b. 1713)
  • 1806 – Lachlan McIntosh, Scottish-born American military and political leader (b. 1725)
  • 1810 – Andreas Hofer, Tyrolean national hero (executed) (b. 1767)
  • 1871 – Paul Kane, Irish-born painter (b. 1810)
  • 1893 – P.G.T. Beauregard, American Confederate general (b. 1818)
  • 1895 – Frederick Douglass, American abolitionist writer (b. 1818)
  • 1905 – Jeremiah W. Farnham, American merchant captain
  • 1907 – Henri Moissan, French chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1852)
  • 1916 – Klas Pontus Arnoldson, Swedish writer and pacifist, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (b. 1844)
  • 1920 – Robert Peary, American explorer (b. 1856)
  • 1941 – La Bolduc, French Canadian singer and songwriter (b. 1894)
  • 1961 – Percy Grainger, Australian composer (b. 1882)
  • 1963 – Ferenc Fricsay, Hungarian conductor (b. 1914)
  • 1963 – Jacob Gade, Danish Composer(b. 1879)
  • 1966 – Chester Nimitz, American admiral (b. 1885)
  • 1968 – Anthony Asquith, British film director and writer (b. 1902)
  • 1969 – Ernest Ansermet, Swiss conductor (b. 1883)
  • 1970 – Sophie Treadwell, American playwright and journalist (b. 1885)
  • 1972 – Maria Goeppert-Mayer, German physicist, Nobel laureate (b. 1906)
  • 1972 – Walter Winchell, American journalist (b. 1897)
  • 1976 – René Cassin, French judge, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (b. 1887)
  • 1976 – Kathryn Kuhlman, American evangelist (b. 1907)
  • 1981 – Baron Nicolas de Gunzburg, magazine editor, socialite (b. 1904)
  • 1983 – Fritz Köberle, Austrian-Brazilian physician (b. 1910)
  • 1985 – Clarence “Ducky” Nash, American voice actor (b. 1904)
  • 1992 – Roberto D’Aubuisson, Salvadoran politician (b. 1944)
  • 1992 – Dick York, American actor (b. 1928)
  • 1993 – Ferruccio Lamborghini, Italian automobile manufacturer (b. 1916)
  • 1996 – Solomon Asch, American psychologist (b. 1907)
  • 1996 – Toru Takemitsu, Japanese composer (b. 1930)
  • 1997 – Zachary Breaux, American jazz guitarist (b. 1960)
  • 1999 – Sarah Kane, English playwright (b. 1971)
  • 1999 – Gene Siskel, American film critic (b. 1946)
  • 2000 – Anatoly Sobchak, Russian politician (b. 1937)
  • 2001 – Rosemary DeCamp, American actress (b. 1910)
  • 2003 – Maurice Blanchot, French author (b. 1907)
  • 2003 – Orville Freeman, American politician (b. 1918)
  • 2003 – Harry Jacunski, American football player
  • 2003 – Ty Longley, American guitarist (Great White) (b. 1971)
  • 2003 – Mushaf Ali Mir, Pakistani Chief of the Air Staff (b. 1947)
  • 2005 – Pam Bricker, American jazz singer and Thievery Corporation vocalist (b. 1954)
  • 2005 – Sandra Dee, American actress (b. 1944)
  • 2005 – John Raitt, American actor (b. 1917)
  • 2005 – Hunter S. Thompson, American journalist and author (b. 1937)
  • 2005 – Tom Willmore, English geometer (b. 1919)
  • 2006 – Curt Gowdy, American sportscaster (b. 1919)
  • 2006 – Lucjan Wolanowski, Polish journalist, writer and traveller (b. 1920)
  • 2007 – F. Albert Cotton, American chemist (b. 1930)
  • 2008 – Emily Perry, English Actress (b. 1907)

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On This Day in History February 19

February 19 – Events:

  • 197 – Roman Emperor Septimius Severus defeats usurper Clodius Albinus in the Battle of Lugdunum, the bloodiest battle between Roman armies.
  • 1594 – Having already inherited the throne of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth through his mother Catherine Jagellonica of Poland, Sigismund III of the House of Vasa is crowned King of Sweden, succeeding his father John III of Sweden.
  • 1600 – The Peruvian stratovolcano Huaynaputina explodes in the most violent eruption in the recorded history of South America.
  • 1674 – England and the Netherlands sign the Peace of Westminster, ending the Third Anglo-Dutch War. A provision of the agreement transfers the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam to England, and it is renamed New York.
  • 1700 – Last day of the Julian calendar in Denmark.
  • 1797 – One-third of papal domain ceded to France.
  • 1803 – Congress accepts Ohio’s constitution, statehood not ratified until 1953.
  • 1807 – In Alabama, Former Vice President of the United States Aaron Burr is arrested for treason and confined to FortStoddart.
  • 1819 – British explorer William Smith discovers the South Shetland Islands, and claims them in the name of King George III.
  • 1846 – In Austin, Texas the newly-formed Texas state government is officially installed. The Republic of Texas government officially transfers power to the State of Texas government following Texas’ annexation by the United States.
  • 1847 – The Donner Party is rescued.
  • 1852 – The Phi Kappa Psi fraternity is founded at JeffersonCollege in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania.
  • 1861 – Serfdom is abolished in Russia.
  • 1864 – Knights of Pythias are founded in Washington, DC by Justus H. Rathbone.
  • 1878 – The phonograph is patented by Thomas Edison.
  • 1881 – Kansas becomes the first U.S. state to prohibit all alcoholic beverages.
  • 1915 – World War I: The Battle of Gallipoli begins. Plans for mutiny in the British Indian army, the Ghadar Conspiracy, are uncovered in India.
  • 1934 – Bob & Dolores Hope marry.
  • 1937 – During a public ceremony at the ViceregalPalace (the former Imperial residence) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, two Eritrean nationalists attempt to kill viceroy Rodolfo Graziani with a number of grenades.
  • 1941 – World War II: The Afrika Korps, the corps-level headquarters controlling the German Panzer divisions in North Africa, is formed.
  • 1942 – World War II: nearly 250 Japanese warplanes attack the northern Australian city of  Darwin killing 243 people.
  • 1942 – World War II: President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the executive order 9066, allowing the United States military to relocate Japanese-Americans to Japanese internment camps.
  • 1943 – World War II: Battle of the KasserinePass in Tunisia begins.
  • 1945 – World War II: Battle of Iwo Jima – about 30,000 United States Marines land on Iwo Jima.
  • 1949 – Ezra Pound is awarded the first Bollingen Prize in poetry by the Bollingen Foundation and YaleUniversity.
  • 1953 – Censorship: Georgia approves the first literature censorship board in the United States.
  • 1959 – The United Kingdom grants Cyprus its independence, which is then on formally proclaimed on August 16, 1960.
  • 1963 – USSR informs JFK they are withdrawing several thousand troops from Cuba.
  • 1965 – NFL adds 6th official.
  • 1970 – AL Cy Young winner Denny McLain suspended for bookmaking.
  • 1978 – Egyptian forces raid LarnacaInternationalAirport, in an attempt to intervene in a hijacking situation, without authorisation from the Republic of Cyprus authorities. The Cypriot National Guard and Police forces kill 15 Egyptian commandos and destroy the Egyptian C-130 transport plane in open combat.
  • 1985 – Artificial heart recipient William J. Schroeder becomes the first such patient to leave hospital.
  • 1985 – Iberia Airlines Boeing 727 crashes into MountOiz in Spain, killing 148.
  • 1986 – The Soviet Union launches the Mir space station.
  • 2001 – An Oklahoma City bombing museum is dedicated at the Oklahoma City National Memorial.
  • 2002 – NASA’s Mars Odyssey space probe begins to map the surface of Mars using its thermal emission imaging system.
  • 2004 – Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal is awarded an honorary knighthood in recognition of a “lifetime of service to humanity.”
  • 2007 – Three Salvadoran deputies to the Central American Parliament and their driver are murdered in Guatemala.

February 19 – Birthdays:

  • 1473 – Nicolaus Copernicus, Polish mathematician and astronomer (d. 1543)
  • 1526 – Charles de L’Ecluse, Flemish botanist (d. 1609)
  • 1552 – Melchior Klesl, Austrian cardinal and statesman (d. 1630)
  • 1630 – Shivaji, founder of the Maratha Empire (d. 1680)
  • 1660 – Friedrich Hoffmann, German physician and chemist (d. 1742)
  • 1717 – David Garrick, British actor (d. 1779)
  • 1722 – Tiphaigne de la Roche, French writer (d. 1774)
  • 1743 – Luigi Boccherini, Italian composer (d. 1805)
  • 1780 – Richard McCarty, American politician (d. 1844)
  • 1802 – Wilhelm Matthias Naeff, Swiss Federal Councillor (d. 1881)
  • 1804 – Carl Freiherr von Rokitansky, German physician (d. 1878)
  • 1804 – David Wark, Canadian politician (d. 1905)
  • 1821 – August Schleicher, German linguist (d. 1868)
  • 1833 – Élie Ducommun, Swiss journalist, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (d. 1906)
  • 1859 – Svante Arrhenius, Swedish chemist, Nobel laureate (d. 1927)
  • 1865 – Sven Hedin, Swedish explorer (d. 1952)
  • 1876 – Constantin Brancusi, Romanian sculptor (d. 1957)
  • 1877 – Gabriele Münter, German painter (d. 1962)
  • 1880 – Alvaro Obregon, Mexican president (d. 1928)
  • 1888 – José Eustasio Rivera, Colombian writer (d. 1928)
  • 1893 – Sir Cedric Hardwicke, British actor (d. 1964)
  • 1895 – Louis Calhern, American actor (d. 1956)
  • 1896 – André Breton, French poet (d. 1966)
  • 1897 – Alma Rubens, American actress (d. 1931)
  • 1899 – Yury Olesha, Russian novelist (d. 1960)
  • 1902 – Kay Boyle, American writer (d. 1992)
  • 1904 – Havank, Dutch writer (d. 1964)
  • 1911 – Merle Oberon, British actress (d. 1979)
  • 1912 – Saul Chaplin, American composer (d. 1997)
  • 1913 – Prince Pedro Gastão of Orléans-Braganza, pretender to the Brazilian throne (d. 2007)
  • 1914 – Jacques Dufilho, French comedian (d. 2005)
  • 1916 – Eddie Arcaro, American jockey (d. 1997)
  • 1917 – Carson McCullers, American author (d. 1967)
  • 1920 – C. Z. Guest, American socialite (d. 2003)
  • 1920 – Jaan Kross, Estonian writer (d. 2007)
  • 1920 – George Rose, British music hall entertainer (d. 1988)
  • 1924 – David Bronstein, Ukrainian chess player (d. 2006)
  • 1924 – Lee Marvin, American actor (d. 1987)
  • 1924 – Bruce Norris, American ice hockey executive (d. 1986)
  • 1929 – Jacques Deray, French film director (d. 2003)
  • 1930 – John Frankenheimer, American film director (d. 2002)
  • 1934 – Carole Eastman, American screenwriter (d. 2004)
  • 1936 – Sam Myers, American musician and songwriter (d. 2006)
  • 1936 – Marin Sorescu, Romanian writer and novelist (d. 1997)
  • 1937 – Robert “Bilbo” Walker Jr., American blues guitarist
  • 1939 – Gwen Taylor, English actress
  • 1940 – Saparmurat Niyazov, President of Turkmenistan (d. 2006)
  • 1940 – Smokey Robinson, American singer
  • 1941 – David Gross, American physicist, Nobel laureate
  • 1942 – Paul Krause, American football player
  • 1943 – Lou Christie, American singer
  • 1943 – Homer Hickam, American author and retired NASA engineer
  • 1943 – Tim Hunt, British biochemist, Nobel laureate
  • 1945 – Michael Nader, American actor
  • 1946 – Paul Dean, Canadian guitarist (Loverboy)
  • 1946 – Peter Hudson, Australian rules footballer
  • 1946 – Karen Silkwood, American activist (d. 1974)
  • 1947 – Tim Shadbolt, mayor of Invercargill, New Zealand
  • 1948 – Mark Andes, American musician
  • 1948 – Pim Fortuyn, Dutch politician (d. 2002)
  • 1948 – Big John Studd, American professional wrestler (d. 1995)
  • 1949 – Dan Bunten, American software developer (d. 1998)
  • 1949 – William Messner-Loebs, American comics writer
  • 1950 – Andy Powell, British musician
  • 1951 – Stephen Nichols, American actor
  • 1951 – Tahir-ul-Qadri, Pakistani Islamic scholar
  • 1952 – Amy Tan, American novelist
  • 1952 – Rodolfo Neri Vela, Mexican astronaut
  • 1953 – Massimo Troisi, Italian actor (d. 1994)
  • 1953 – Cristina Elisabet Fernández – Argentinian politician
  • 1954 – Socrates, Brazilian footballer
  • 1955 – Jeff Daniels, American actor
  • 1956 – Kathleen Beller, American actress
  • 1956 – Roderick MacKinnon, American biologist, Nobel laureate
  • 1956 – Dave Wakeling, English musician (English Beat, General Public)
  • 1957 – Falco, Austrian singer (d. 1998)
  • 1957 – Ray Winstone, British actor
  • 1958 – Helen Fielding, English writer
  • 1960 – Andrew, Duke of York
  • 1960 – Leslie Ash, English actress
  • 1961 – Justin Fashanu, English footballer (d. 1998)
  • 1961 – Andy Wallace, English race car driver
  • 1962 – Hana Mandlíková, Czech tennis player
  • 1962 – John Laroche, American orchid poacher
  • 1963 – Laurell K. Hamilton, American writer
  • 1963 – Seal, English singer
  • 1964 – Dmitri Lipskerov, Russian writer
  • 1964 – Sonu Walia, Indian actress
  • 1966 – Justine Bateman, American actress
  • 1966 – Paul Haarhuis, Dutch tennis player
  • 1966 – Enzo Scifo, Belgian footballer
  • 1967 – Benicio del Toro, Puerto Rican actor
  • 1969 – Burton C. Bell, American vocalist
  • 1971 – Miguel Batista, Dominican baseball player
  • 1971 – Gil Shaham, Israeli/American violinist
  • 1971 – Lisa McCune, Australian actress
  • 1972 – Francine, American professional wrestler
  • 1974 – Danny Doring, American professional wrestler
  • 1975 – Mikko Kavén, Finnish footballer
  • 1975 – Katja Schuurman, Dutch actress and singer
  • 1975 – Daewon Song, Korean professional skateboarder
  • 1977 – Ola Salo, Swedish singer (The Ark)
  • 1977 – Gianluca Zambrotta, Italian footballer
  • 1978 – Michalis Konstantinou, Greek-Cypriot footballer
  • 1978 – Immortal Technique, American rapper
  • 1979 – Mariska, Finnish rapper
  • 1979 – Clinton Morrison, Irish footballer
  • 1979 – Mariana Ochoa, Mexican singer and actress
  • 1979 – Steve Cherundolo, American soccer player
  • 1980 – Neleh Dennis, American Survivor contestant
  • 1980 – Mike Miller, American basketball player
  • 1980 – Ma Lin, Chinese table tennis player
  • 1981 – Ronnie Arniell, Canadian professional wrestler
  • 1981 – Beth Ditto, American singer (The Gossip)
  • 1981 – Gil Reyes, American boxer
  • 1981 – Nicky Shorey, English footballer
  • 1981 – Vitas, Russian singer
  • 1983 – Assunta De Rossi, Filipino actress
  • 1983 – Mika Nakashima, Japanese singer/actress
  • 1984 – Chris Richardson, American Idol finalist
  • 1985 – Haylie Duff, American singer/actress
  • 1985 – Arielle Kebbel, American actress
  • 1986 – Kyle Chipchura, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1986 – Reon Kadena, Japanese model/actress
  • 1986 – Henri Karjalainen, Finnish racing driver
  • 1986 – Maria Mena, Norwegian singer
  • 1986 – Marta, Brazilian footballer

February 19 – Deaths:

  • 197 – Clodius Albinus, Roman governor of Britain
  • 440 – Mesrop Mashtots, Armenian monk, theologian and linguist
  • 1133 – Irene Ducaena, wife of Alexius I Comnenus (b. 1066)
  • 1553 – Erasmus Reinhold, German astronomer and mathematician (b. 1511)
  • 1589 – Saint Philothei, Orthodox martyr and Patron of Athens (b. 1522)
  • 1605 – Orazio Vecchi, Italian composer (b. 1550)
  • 1602 – Philippe Emmanuel, Duke of Mercoeur, French soldier (b. 1558)
  • 1620 – Roemer Visscher, Dutch writer (b. 1547)
  • 1622 – Sir Henry Savile, English educator (b. 1549)
  • 1653 – Luigi de Rossi, Italian composer (b. 1597)
  • 1663 – Adam Adami, German bishop and diplomat (b. 1603)
  • 1670 – King Frederick III of Denmark (b. 1609)
  • 1672 – Charles Chauncy, English-born president of HarvardCollege (b. 1592)
  • 1709 – Tokugawa Tsunayoshi, Japanese shogun (b. 1646)
  • 1716 – Dorthe Engelbrechtsdatter, Norwegian poet (b. 1634)
  • 1789 – Nicholas Van Dyke, American lawyer and President of Delaware (b. 1738)
  • 1799 – Jean-Charles de Borda, French mathematician, physicist, political scientist, and sailor (b. 1733)
  • 1806 – Elizabeth Carter, English writer (b. 1717)
  • 1837 – Georg Büchner, German playwright (b. 1813)
  • 1873 – Vasil Levski, Bulgarian revolutionary (b. 1837)
  • 1887 – Multatuli, Dutch writer (b. 1820)
  • 1897 – Karl Weierstraß, German mathematician (b. 1815)
  • 1916 – Ernst Mach, Austrian-Czech physicist and philosopher (b. 1838)
  • 1927 – Robert Fuchs, Austrian composer (b. 1847)
  • 1936 – Billy Mitchell, American general and military aviation pioneer (b. 1879)
  • 1936 – Max Schreck, German actor (b. 1879)
  • 1936 – Charles Harding Firth, British historian (b. 1857)
  • 1942 – Frank Abbandando, American gangster (executed) (b. 1910)
  • 1951 – André Gide, French writer, Nobel laureate (b. 1869)
  • 1952 – Knut Hamsun, Norwegian author, Nobel laureate (b. 1859)
  • 1957 – Maurice Garin, French cyclist (b. 1871)
  • 1962 – Georgios Papanikolaou, Greek doctor, inventor of the Pap smear (b. 1883)
  • 1968 – Georg Hackenschmidt, Estonian professional wrestler (b. 1878)
  • 1969 – Madge Blake, American actress (b. 1899)
  • 1972 – John Grierson, Scottish documentary filmmaker (b. 1898)
  • 1972 – Tedd Pierce, American animator (b. 1906)
  • 1973 – Joseph Szigeti, Hungarian violinist (b. 1892)
  • 1973 – Kostas Negrepontis, Greek footballer (b. 1897)
  • 1975 – Luigi Dallapiccola, Italian composer (b. 1904)
  • 1977 – Mike González, Cuban baseball player (b. 1890)
  • 1977 – Anthony Crosland, British politician (b. 1918)
  • 1980 – Bon Scott, Australian musician and singer for the band AC/DC (b. 1946)
  • 1983 – Alice White, American film actress (b. 1904)
  • 1986 – Adolfo Celi, Italian actor (b. 1922)
  • 1988 – André Frédéric Cournand, French-born physician, Nobel laureate (b. 1895)
  • 1994 – Derek Jarman, British film director (b. 1942)
  • 1996 – Antonio Creus, Spanish racecar driver (b. 1924)
  • 1996 – Charles O. Finley, American sports entrepreneur (b. 1918)
  • 1997 – Deng Xiaoping, Chinese Communist leader and revolutionary (b. 1904)
  • 1997 – Leo Rosten, American Yiddish writer and humorist (b. 1908)
  • 1998 – Grandpa Jones, American entertainer (b. 1913)
  • 1999 – Mohammad Sadeq al-Sadr, Iraqi Shiite leader (assassinated)
  • 2000 – Friedensreich Hundertwasser, Austrian artist (b. 1928)
  • 2001 – Priscilla Davis, American socialite (b. 1942)
  • 2001 – Stanley Kramer, American director (b. 1913)
  • 2001 – Charles Trenet, French singer (b. 1913)
  • 2003 – Johnny Paycheck, American singer (b. 1938)
  • 2007 – Janet Blair, American actress (b. 1921)
  • 2007 – Celia Franca, founder of National Ballet of Canada (b. 1921)
  • 2008 – Lydia Shum, Hong Kong comedian and actress (b. 1945)
  • 2008 – Yegor Letov, Russian song writer and singer (b. 1964)

February 19 – Holidays:

  • Chaoflux (Discordianism)

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On This Day in History February 18

February 18 – Events:

  • 1229 – The Sixth Crusade: Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor signs a ten-year truce with al-Kamil, regaining Jerusalem, Nazareth, and Bethlehem with neither military engagements nor support from the papacy.
  • 1268 – The Livonian Brothers of the Sword are defeated by Dovmont of Pskov in the Battle of Rakovor.
  • 1332 (or 1329) – Amda Seyon I, Emperor of Ethiopia begins his campaigns in the southern Muslim provinces.
  • 1478 – George, Duke of Clarence, convicted of treason against his older brother Edward IV of England, is privately executed in the Tower of London.
  • 1678 – John Bunyan’s “The Pilgrim’s Progress” is published.
  • 1685 – Fort St. Louis is established by a Frenchman at Matagorda Bay thus forming the basis for France’s claim to Texas.
  • 1797 – Trinidad is surrendered to a British fleet under the command of Sir Ralph Abercromby.
  • 1814 – The Battle of Montereau occurs.
  • 1841 – The first ongoing filibuster in the United States Senate begins and lasts until March 11.
  • 1856 – The American Party (Know-Nothings) convene in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to nominate their first Presidential candidate, former President Millard Fillmore.
  • 1861 – In Montgomery, Alabama, Jefferson Davis is inaugurated as the provisional President of the Confederate States of America.
  • 1861 – With the Italian unification almost complete, King Victor Emmanuel II of Piedmont, Savoy and Sardinia assumes the title of King of Italy.
  • 1865 – Union forces under Major General William T. Sherman set the South Carolina State House on fire during the burning of Columbia.
  • 1878 – The Lincoln County War begins in Lincoln County, New Mexico.
  • 1885 – Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is published for the first time.
  • 1901 – Winston Churchill makes his maiden speech in the British House of Commons.
  • 1911 – The first official flight with air mail takes place in Allahabad, British India, when Henri Pequet, a 23-year-old pilot, delivers 6,500 letters to Naini, about 10 km away.
  • 1913 – Raymond Poincaré becomes President of France.
  • 1915 – Germany begins a blockade of England.
  • 1922 – Kenesaw Mountain Landis resigns his judgeship to become baseball commissioner.
  • 1929 – The first Academy Awards are announced.
  • 1930 – While studying photographs taken in January, Clyde Tombaugh discovers Pluto.
  • 1930 – Elm Farm Ollie becomes the first cow to fly in a fixed-wing aircraft and also the first cow to be milked in an aircraft.
  • 1932 – The Empire of Japan declares Manzhouguo (obsolete Chinese name for Manchuria) independent from the Republic of China.
  • 1943 – The Nazis arrest the members of the White Rose movement.
  • 1943 – Joseph Goebbels delivers the Sportpalast speech.
  • 1948 – Eamon de Valera resigns as Taoiseach of Ireland.
  • 1954 – The first Church of Scientology is established in Los Angeles, California.
  • 1955 – The Shot Teapot-Wasp is successfully detonated at the Nevada Test Site with a yield of 1.2 kilotons. Wasp would be the first of fourteen shots of the Teapot series.
  • 1957 – Dedan Kimathi, a Kenyan rebel leader is executed by the British colonial government.
  • 1960 – 8th Winter Olympic games open in Squaw Valley, California.
  • 1962 – France & Algerian Moslems negotiate truce to end 7 year war.
  • 1965 – The Gambia becomes independent from the United Kingdom.
  • 1967 – Softball pitcher Eddie Feigner strikes out 6 straight major leaguers.
  • 1968 – British adopt year-round daylight savings time.
  • 1969 – The Hawthorne Nevada Airlines Flight 708 disaster occurs, killing all on board.
  • 1970 – The Chicago Seven are found not guilty of conspiring to incite riots at the 1968 Democratic National Convention.
  • 1972 – The California Supreme Court in the case of People v. Anderson, 6 Cal.3d 628 invalidates the state’s death penalty and commutes the sentences of all death row inmates to life in prison.
  • 1977 – The Space Shuttle Enterprise test vehicle goes on its maiden “flight” while sitting on top of a Boeing 747.
  • 1978 – First Iron Man Triathlon (swim, bike ride, marathon) held, Kona, Hawaii.
  • 1979 – Miniseries “Roots: The Next Generations” premiers on ABC TV.
  • 1979 – Snow fell in the Sahara Desert in southern Algeria for the first and only recorded time in history.
  • 1983 – Thirteen people die and one is seriously injured in the Wah Mee Massacre in Seattle, Washington. It is said to be the largest robbery-motivated mass-murder in U.S. history.
  • 1988 – Anthony M. Kennedy becomes a Supreme Court Justice.
  • 1991 – The IRA explodes bombs in the early morning at both Paddington station and Victoria station in London.
  • 1998 – Two white separatists are arrested in Nevada and accused of plotting a biological attack on New York City subways.
  • 2000 – Stjepan Mesic becomes the second president of Croatia.
  • 2001 – FBI agent Robert Hanssen is arrested for spying for the Soviet Union.  He was ultimately convicted and sentenced to life in prison.
  • 2003 – Nearly 200 people die in the Daegu subway fire in South Korea.
  • 2003 – Comet C/2002 V1 (NEAT) makes perihelion, seen by SOHO.
  • 2004 – Up to 295 people, including nearly 200 rescue workers, die near Neyshabur in Iran when a run-away freight train carrying sulfur, petrol and fertiliser catches fire and explodes.

February 18 – Birthdays:

  • 1374 – Saint Jadwiga of Poland, queen of Poland (d. 1399)
  • 1486 – Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Bengali saint, bhakti yoga developer
  • 1516 – Queen Mary I of England (d. 1558)
  • 1530 – Uesugi Kenshin, Japanese samurai and warlord (d. 1578)
  • 1543 – Charles III, Duke of Lorraine (d. 1608)
  • 1559 – Isaac Casaubon, French classical scholar (d. 1614)
  • 1602 – Per Brahe (the younger), Swedish soldier (d. 1680)
  • 1609 – Edward Hyde, 1st Earl of Clarendon, English historian (d. 1674)
  • 1635 – Johan Göransson Gyllenstierna, Swedish statesman (d. 1680)
  • 1642 – Marie Champmeslé, French actress (d. 1698)
  • 1658 – Charles-Irénée Castel de Saint-Pierre, French writer (d. 1743)
  • 1745 – Alessandro Volta, Italian physicist (d. 1827)
  • 1814 – Samuel Fenton Cary, U. S. Congressman (d. 1900)
  • 1836 – Sri Ramakrishna, Bengali saint, guru of Swami Vivekananda (d. 1886)
  • 1838 – Ernst Mach, Austrian physicist (d. 1916)
  • 1846 – Wilson Barrett, English playwright (d. 1904)
  • 1848 – Louis Comfort Tiffany, American glass artist (d. 1933)
  • 1849 – Alexander Kielland, Norwegian author (d. 1906)
  • 1859 – Sholom Aleichem, Russian Yiddish humorist (d. 1916)
  • 1870 – William Laurel Harris, American mural painter, writer (d. 1924)
  • 1871 – Harry Brearley, English inventor (d. 1948)
  • 1883 – Nikos Kazantzakis, Greek author (d. 1957)
  • 1884 – Andrew Watson Myles, Canadian politician (d. 1970)
  • 1888 – George Papandreou, Greek politician, Prime Minister of Greece (d. 1968)
  • 1890 – Edward Arnold, American actor (d. 1956)
  • 1890 – Adolphe Menjou, American actor (d. 1963)
  • 1892 – Wendell Willkie, American politician (d. 1944)
  • 1896 – Andre Breton, French writer (d. 1966)
  • 1897 – Charles Kuentz, WW1 veteran, changed nationality 4 times (d.2005)
  • 1898 – Enzo Ferrari, Italian race car driver (d. 1988)
  • 1898 – Luis Muñoz Marín, Puerto Rican poet (d. 1980)
  • 1901 – Reginald Sheffield, British actor (d. 1957)
  • 1902 – Walter Herbert, German-born conductor and impresario (d. 1975)
  • 1903 – Nikolai Podgorny, President of the Soviet Union (d. 1983)
  • 1906 – Hans Asperger, Austrian pediatrician (d. 1980)
  • 1907 – Oscar Brodney, American screenwriter (d. 2008)
  • 1909 – Wallace Stegner, American writer (d. 1993)
  • 1914 – Pee Wee King, American country musician and songwriter (d. 2000)
  • 1915 – Phyllis Calvert, British actress (d. 2002)
  • 1916 – Jean Drapeau, Quebec politician, mayor of Montreal (d. 1999)
  • 1918 – Jane Loevinger, American psychologist (d. 2008).
  • 1919 – Jack Palance, American actor (d. 2006)
  • 1920 – Bill Cullen, American game show host (d. 1990)
  • 1920 – Eric Gairy, Grenadan politician (d. 1997)
  • 1922 – Helen Gurley Brown, American editor
  • 1922 – Allan Melvin, American actor (d. 2008)
  • 1922 – Juhan Smuul, Estonian author (d. 1971)
  • 1924 – Humberto Fernández Morán, Venezuelan scientist (d. 1999)
  • 1924 – Louis Laberge, Quebec labour union leader (d. 2002)
  • 1925 – George Kennedy, American actor
  • 1925 – Marcel Barbeau, Quebec artist
  • 1927 – John Warner, American politician
  • 1927 – Luis Arroyo, Puerto Rican baseball player
  • 1928 – Tom Johnson, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1929 – Len Deighton, British author
  • 1929 – André Mathieu, Quebec composer (d. 1968)
  • 1930 – Gahan Wilson, American cartoonist
  • 1931 – Johnny Hart, American cartoonist (d. 2007)
  • 1931 – Toni Morrison, American writer, Nobel laureate
  • 1931 – Bob St. Clair, American football player
  • 1932 – Miloš Forman, Czech film director
  • 1933 – Yoko Ono, Japanese-born singer
  • 1933 – Sir Bobby Robson, English football manager
  • 1933 – Mary Ure, Scottish actress (d. 1975)
  • 1935 – Michel Aoun, Lebanese prime minister
  • 1936 – Jean Auel, American writer
  • 1936 – Dick Duff, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1938 – István Szabó, Hungarian film director
  • 1938 – Manny Mota, Dominican baseball player
  • 1939 – Dal Maxvill, American baseball player
  • 1939 – Marek Janowski, Polish-born conductor
  • 1939 – Claude Ake, Nigerian political scientist
  • 1941 – Irma Thomas, American singer
  • 1943 – Graeme Garden, Scottish writer
  • 1944 – Pat Bowlen, owner of the Denver Broncos
  • 1945 – Judy Rankin, American golfer
  • 1946 – Michael Buerk, British newsreader
  • 1946 – Jean-Claude Dreyfus, French actor
  • 1947 – Dennis DeYoung, American musician (STYX)
  • 1947 – Princess Christina of the Netherlands
  • 1947 – Carlos Lopes, Portuguese athlete
  • 1947 – Eliot Lance Engel, American politician
  • 1948 – Sinéad Cusack, Irish actress
  • 1948 – Keith Knudsen, American drummer and songwriter (The Doobie Brothers) (d. 2005)
  • 1949 – Gary Ridgway, American serial killer
  • 1950 – John Hughes, American director
  • 1950 – Cybill Shepherd, American actress
  • 1950 – Michel Gauthier, Quebec politician
  • 1951 – Isabel Preysler, Philippines-born Spanish socialite
  • 1952 – Maurice Lucas, American basketball player
  • 1952 – Juice Newton, American singer
  • 1953 – Robbie Bachman, Canadian drummer (Bachman-Turner Overdrive)
  • 1954 – John Travolta, American actor
  • 1955 – Miles Tredinnick, English playwright
  • 1955 – Raymond Rougeau, Canadian professional wrestler
  • 1956 – Ted Gärdestad, Swedish singer (d. 1997)
  • 1957 – Marita Koch, German athlete
  • 1957 – Vanna White, American game show presenter
  • 1958 – Giovanni Lavaggi, Italian racing driver
  • 1958 – Gar Samuelson, American drummer (d. 1999)
  • 1960 – Carol McGiffin, British TV and radio presenter
  • 1960 – Greta Scacchi, Australian actress
  • 1960 – Andy Moog, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1962 – Julie Strain, American actress
  • 1963 – Martin Treanor, Irish Writer
  • 1963 – Henry Winter, English football journalist
  • 1964 – Matt Dillon, American actor
  • 1964 – Paul Hanley, British musician (The Fall, Tom Hingley and the Lovers)
  • 1965 – Dr. Dre, American rapper
  • 1965 – Gregory Scott Johnson, American murderer (d. 2005)
  • 1966 – Guy Ferland, American television director
  • 1967 – Roberto Baggio, Italian footballer
  • 1967 – Tracey Edmonds, American film and television producer
  • 1968 – Molly Ringwald, American actress
  • 1968 – Tommy Scott, British musician (Space)
  • 1969 – Alexander Mogilny, Russian ice hockey player
  • 1969 – Jason Sutter, American drummer (Smash Mouth, American Hi-Fi)
  • 1970 – Raine Maida, Canadian musician (Our Lady Peace)
  • 1970 – Susan Egan, American actress
  • 1971 – Constantin Popa, Romanian-Israeli basketball player
  • 1973 – Claude Makélélé, French footballer
  • 1974 – Jamey Carroll, American baseball player
  • 1974 – Ruby Dhalla, Canadian politician
  • 1974 – Yevgeny Kafelnikov, Russian tennis player
  • 1975 – Sarah Brown, American actress
  • 1975 – Keith Gillespie, Irish footballer
  • 1975 – Gary Neville, English footballer
  • 1976 – Leilani Munter, American race car driver
  • 1977 – Kátia, Brazilian footballer
  • 1977 – Sean Watkins, American guitarist and songwriter
  • 1977 – Chrissie Wellington, British triathlete
  • 1978 – Josip Simunic, Croatian footballer
  • 1980 – Regina Spektor, Russian-born singer and songwriter
  • 1980 – Nikolai Antropov, Kazakh ice hockey player
  • 1981 – Andrei Kirilenko, Russian basketball player
  • 1981 – Ivan Sproule, Irish footballer
  • 1981 – Kim Jae Won, South Korean actor
  • 1981 – Alex Rios, American baseball player
  • 1983 – Juelz Santana, American rapper
  • 1983 – Jermaine Jenas, English footballer
  • 1983 – Jason Maxiell, American basketball player
  • 1984 – Buddy Nielsen, American singer (Senses Fail)
  • 1985 – Lee Boyd Malvo, American serial killer
  • 1985 – Anton Ferdinand, English footballer
  • 1986 – Marc Torrejón, Spanish footballer
  • 1988 – Maiara Walsh, American actress

February 18 – Deaths:

  • 806 – Tarasius, Patriarch of Constantinople (b. 730)
  • 814 – Angilbert, Frankish monk and confidant of Charlemagne
  • 901 – Thabit ibn Qurra, Arab astronomer and mathematician (b. 826)
  • 999 – Pope Gregory V (b. 972)
  • 1139 – Prince Yaropolk II of Kiev (b. 1082)
  • 1294 – Kublai Khan, Mongol Emperor (b. 1215)
  • 1379 – Albert II of Mecklenburg (b. 1318)
  • 1405 – Tamerlane, Mongol Emperor (b. 1336)
  • 1455 – Fra Angelico, Italian artist (b. 1395)
  • 1478 – George, Duke of Clarence, brother of Kings Edward IV of England and Richard III of England (executed) (b. 1449)
  • 1535 – Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa, astrologer and alchemist (b. 1486)
  • 1546 – Martin Luther, German religious reformer (b. 1483)
  • 1564 – Michelangelo Buonarroti, Italian artist (b. 1475)
  • 1583 – Antonio Francesco Grazzini, Italian writer (b. 1503)
  • 1654 – Jean-Louis Guez de Balzac, French writer (b. 1594)
  • 1683 – Nicolaes Pieterszoon Berchem, Dutch painter (b. 1620)
  • 1712 – Louis, duc de Bourgogne, heir to the throne of France (b. 1682)
  • 1718 – Pierre Antoine Motteux, French-born English dramatist (b. 1663)
  • 1743 – Anna Maria Luisa de’ Medici, last of the Medicis (b. 1667)
  • 1748 – Otto Ferdinand von Abensberg und Traun, Austrian field marshal (b. 1677)
  • 1772 – Johann Hartwig Ernst, Count von Bernstorff, Danish statesman (b. 1712)
  • 1778 – Joseph Marie Terray, French statesman (b. 1715)
  • 1780 – Kristijonas Donelaitis, Lithuanian poet (b. 1714)
  • 1788 – John Whitehurst, English clockmaker and scientist (b. 1713)
  • 1803 – Johann Wilhelm Ludwig Gleim, German poet (b. 1719)
  • 1842 – Thomas Hazlehurst, English soap and alkali manufacturer (b. 1779)
  • 1851 – Carl Gustav Jakob Jacobi, German mathematician (b. 1804)
  • 1893 – Serranus Clinton Hastings, American politician (b. 1814)
  • 1895 – Karl Abs, German professional wrestler (b. 1851)
  • 1900 – Clinton L. Merriam, American politician (b. 1824)
  • 1902 – Charles Lewis Tiffany, American founder of Tiffany & Co. (b. 1812)
  • 1906 – John Batterson Stetson, American manufacturer (b. 1830)
  • 1911 – Billy Murdoch, Australian cricketer (b. 1854)
  • 1931 – Milan Šufflay, Croatian politician (b. 1879)
  • 1933 – James J. Corbett, American boxer (b. 1866)
  • 1938 – David King Udall, American politician (b. 1851)
  • 1942 – Albert Payson Terhune, American author (b. 1872)
  • 1945 – Ivan Chernyakhovsky, Russian general (b. 1906)
  • 1955 – Sadako Sasaki, School student(b. 1944)
  • 1956 – Gustave Charpentier, French composer (b. 1860)
  • 1957 – Dedan Kimathi, Kenyan rebel leader (b. 1920)
  • 1957 – Henry Norris Russell, American astronomer (b. 1877)
  • 1964 – Joseph-Armand Bombardier, Quebec inventor and industrialist (b. 1907)
  • 1966 – Robert Rossen, American screenwriter, producer, and director (b. 1908)
  • 1967 – J. Robert Oppenheimer, American physicist (b. 1904)
  • 1973 – Frank Costello, Italian-born gangster (b. 1891)
  • 1977 – Andy Devine, American actor (b. 1905)
  • 1978 – Maggie McNamara, American actress (b. 1928)
  • 1981 – John Knudsen Northrop, American aircraft manufacturer (b. 1895)
  • 1982 – Ngaio Marsh, New Zealand author (b. 1895)
  • 1993 – Kerry Von Erich, American professional wrestler (b. 1960)
  • 1993 – Jacqueline Hill, British actress (b. 1929)
  • 1995 – Bob Stinson, American guitarist (b.1959)
  • 1997 – Emily Hahn, American writer (b. 1905)
  • 1998 – Harry Caray, American baseball broadcaster (b. 1914)
  • 1998 – Robbie James, Welsh footballer (b. 1957)
  • 1999 – Noam Pitlik, American actor and director (b. 1932)
  • 2000 – Willy Maltaite, Belgian comics creator (b. 1927
  • 2001 – Balthus, Polish-born painter (b. 1908)
  • 2001 – Dale Earnhardt, American race car driver (b. 1951)
  • 2001 – Eddie Mathews, American baseball player (b. 1931)
  • 2003 – Isser Harel, Israeli Mossad leader (b. 1912)
  • 2003 – Johnny Paycheck, American country singer/songwriter (b. 1938)
  • 2004 – Jean Rouch, French filmmaker and ethnologist (b. 1917)
  • 2006 – Richard Bright, American actor (b. 1937)
  • 2008 – Sir Richard Knowles, British politician (b. 1917)
  • 2008 – Mihaela Mitrache, Romanian actress, (b. 1955)
  • 2008 – Mickey Renaud, Canadian professional ice hockey player (b. 1988)

February 18 – Holidays:

  • Gambian Independence Day

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