Born On This Day:
- Pope Innocent XII, 1615
- Lord Randolph Churchill, 1849
- Fyodor Chaliapin, 1873
- Bess Truman, 1885
- Georgios Papandreou, 1888
- Grant Wood, 1892
- Georges Simenon, 1903
- Tennessee Ernie Ford, 1919
- Chuck Yeager, 1923
- Jean-Jacques Servan-Schreiber, 1924
- Kim Novak, 1933
- George Segal, 1934
- Oliver Reed, 1938
- Jerry Springer, 1944
- Stockard Channing, 1944
- Peter Gabriel, 1950
- Henry Rollins, 1961
- Robbie Williams, 1974
Died On This Day:
- Catherine Howard beheaded, 1542
- Benvenuto Cellini, 1571
- Cotton Mather, 1728
- Richard Wagner, 1883
- Joaquin Miller, 1913
- Rafael Sabatini, 1950
- Patrice Lumumba assassination announced, 1961
- Lily Pons, 1976
- Martin Balsam, 1996
- Waylon Jennings, 2002
- Sid Caesar, 2014
- Louis Jourdan, 2015
- 1633 - Galileo Galilei arrives in Rome to face trail before the Inquisition because of his 'heresy.'
- 1635 - America's first public school opens - Boston Latin School, the oldest public institution in America.
- 1689 - William III and Mary proclaimed King and Queen of England succeeding James II who abdicated in 1688.
- 1692 - The Campbells of Glencoe massacre the Macdonald clan.
- 1741 - First American magazine published in Philadelphia aptly titled 'The American Magazine.'
- 1832 - Cholera first appears in London.
- 1861 - Col Bernard Irwin, asst. army surgeon, wins first Medal of Honor in US-Apache war.
- 1863 - First midgets enter White House; Mary Todd Lincoln serves tea to General & Mrs. Tom Thumb.
- 1866 - The James Younger Gang rob their first bank at Liberty, MS.
- 1889 - President Cleveland appoints first Secretary of the Dept of Agriculture-Norman Jay Colman.
- 1895 - Movie projector patented by Lumiere brothers.
- 1914 - ASCAP (American Society Composers, Authors and Publishers) formed by Victor Herbert & friends.
- 1917 - Mati Hari arrested by the French police as a spy.
- 1937 - Prince Valiant comic strip by Harold Foster premieres; Foster turned it over to other artists in 1975.
- 1945 - Allied planes begin firebombing historic city of Dresden killing 130,000, WWII.
- 1945 - Budapest captured by Soviets after 50 day siege against German forces in Hungary, WWII.
- 1950 - World's first nuclear accident: B-36 bomber en route from Alaska to TX drops bomb into Pacific.
- 1974 - Alexander Solzhenitsyn expelled from Soviet Union over publication of 'The Gulag Archipelago.'
- 1996 - Bombay's name has been officially changed to Mumbai according to the Economist.
- 1997 - Dow Jones industrial averages crosses 7,000 point mark for the first time in history.
- 2002 - Scotland bans fox hunting; it is now a criminal offense to hunt with dogs.
- 2002 - Slobodan Milosevic becomes first president of a country to go on trial for war crimes during his decade of terror in the Balkans.
- 2003 - Last day in which cigarettes can be advertised in the press, billboards or anywhere else in UK.
Feast Day of Saint:
- Katherine dei Ricci
- Agabus, Patron of Soothsayers
- TU BI-SHEBAT (Judaism) New Year for Trees, celebrated on 15th of lunar month Shebat.
- PRESIDENT'S DAY 3rd Monday in February observing births of Washington & Lincoln
- SHROVE TUESDAY (or Fat Tuesday). Day before Ash Wednesday. Also called Fasnacht (eve of the fast) in Germany and Austria, Carnival (farewell to meat) in Italy, Mardi Gras in Brazil and U.S., Street Urchins' Carnival in Denmark & Pancake Tuesday in Britain.
- ASH WEDNESDAY, moveable feast day celebrated 40 days (ex-Sundays) before Easter.
- PURIM or Feast of Lots (Jewish), celebrated on 14th or 15th of lunar month Adar.
- HOLI (Hindu festival of Spring and Vernal Fire)
- HOLA MOHALLA, Sikh Festival celebrated in India
- LENT, called Careme in France, Quaresima in Italy and the Great Fast in Eastern Orthodoxy. (between Feb and April)
- SUNDAY OF THE GREAT FIRES, first Sunday in Lent.
- CARLING SUNDAY, fifth Sunday in Lent celebrated in Britain
- MAHA SHIVARATRI, Hindu Festival of the Night of Shiva, celebrated mid-February
- TENG CHIEH, Feast of lanterns in China (Fifteenth day of the First Moon)
- CHINESE NEW YEAR celebrated all over the world in February
- SUPER BOWL SUNDAY - first Sunday in February from 2004
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