This Day In History

Dec 2011
I will do my best to keep this thread updated daily, covering some of the events that occured on each day. Feel free to add to it.

February 1


1327 Edward III is coronated King of England.

1587 Elizabeth I, Queen of England, signs the Warrant of Execution for Mary Queen of Scots.

1633 The tobacco laws of Virginia are codified, limiting tobacco production to reduce dependence on a single-crop economy.

1793 France declares war on Britain and the Netherlands.

1861 A furious Governor Sam Houston storms out of a legislative session upon learning that Texas has voted 167-7 to secede from the Union.

1902 U.S. Secretary of State John Hay protests Russian privileges in China as a violation of the "open door policy."

1905 Germany contests French rule in Morocco.

1909 U.S. troops leave Cuba after installing Jose Miguel Gomez as president.

1930 A Loening Air Yacht of Air Ferries makes its first passenger run between San Francisco and Oakland, California..

1942 Planes of the U.S. Pacific fleet attack Japanese bases in the Marshall and Gilbert Islands.

1943 American tanks and infantry are battered at German positions at Fais pass in North Africa.

1944 U.S. Army troops invade two Kwajalein Islands in the Pacific.

1945 U.S. Rangers and Filipino guerrillas rescue 513 American survivors of the Bataan Death March.

1951 Third A-bomb tests are completed in the desert of Nevada.

1960 Four black students stage a sit-in at a segregated Greensboro, N.C. lunch counter.

1964 President Lyndon B. Johnson rejects Charles de Gaulle's plan for a neutral Vietnam.

1965 Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. and 770 others are arrested in protest against voter discrimination in Alabama.

1968 U.S. troops drive the North Vietnamese out of Tan Son Nhut airport in Saigon.

1968 South Vietnam President Nguyen Van Thieu declares martial law.

1986 Two days of anti-government riots in Port-au-Prince result in 14 dead.

Born on February 1

1552 Sir Edward Coke, English jurist who helped the development of English law with his arguments for the supremacy of common law over royal prerogative.

1878 Hattie Caraway, first woman elected to the U.S. Senate.

1901 Clark Gable, American film actor (Mutiny on the Bounty, Gone With the Wind).

1902 Langston Hughes, African-American poet

1931 Boris Yeltsin, The first president of the Republic of Russia and prime minister of the Russian Federation.
Dec 2011
February 2

962 Otto I invades Italy and is crowned Holy Roman Emperor.

1032 Conrad II claims the throne of France.

1494 Columbus begins the practice using Indians as slaves.

1571 All eight members of a Jesuit mission in Virginia are murdered by Indians who pretended to be their friends.

1626 Charles I is crowned King of England. Fierce internal struggles between the monarchy and Parliament characterized 17th century English politics.

1848 The Treaty of Guadeloupe Hidalgo formally ends the Mexican War.

1865 Confederate raider William Quantrill and his bushwackers rob citizens, burn a railroad depot and steal horses from Midway, Kentucky.

1870 The press agencies Havas, Reuter and Wolff sign an agreement whereby between them they can cover the whole world.

1876 The National Baseball League is founded with eight teams.

1900 Six cities, Boston, Detroit, Milwaukee, Baltimore, Chicago and St. Louis agree to form baseball's American League.

1901 Mexican government troops are badly beaten by Yaqui Indians.

1916 U.S. Senate votes independence for Philippines, effective in 1921.

1921 Airmail service opens between New York and San Francisco. Airmail's First Day.

1934 Alfred Rosenberg is made philosophical chief of the Nazi Party.

1939 Hungary breaks relations with the Soviet Union.

1943 Last of the German strongholds at Stalingrad surrender to the Red army.

1944 The Germans stop an Allied attack at Anzio, Italy.

1945 Some 1,200 Royal Air Force planes blast Wiesbaden and Karlsruhe.

1948 The United States and Italy sign a pact of friendship, commerce and navigation.

1959 Arlington and Norfolk, Va., peacefully desegregate public schools.

1960 The U.S. Senate approves 23rd Amendment calling for a ban on the poll tax.

1972 The Winter Olympics begin in Sapporo, Japan.

1978 U.S. Jewish leaders bar a meeting with Egypt's Anwar Sadat.

1987 Largest steel strike in American history, in progress since August, ends.

Born on February 2

1754 Charles Maurice de Tallyrand-Perigord, minister of foreign affairs for Napoleon I, who represented France brilliantly at the Congress of Vienna.

1882 James Joyce, Irish novelist and poet (Ulysses, Portrait of a Young Man).

1890 Charles Correl, radio performer.

1895 George Halas, National Football League co-founder.
Dec 2011
February 3

1160 Emperor Frederick Barbarossa hurtles prisoners, including children, at the Italian city of Crema, forcing its surrender.

1238 The Mongols take over Vladimir, Russia.

1690 The first paper money in America is issued in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

1783 Spain recognizes United States' independence.

1904 Colombian troops clash with U.S. Marines in Panama.

1908 The U.S. Supreme Court rules that union-sponsored boycotts are illegal, and applies the Sherman Antitrust Act to labor as well as capital.

1912 New U.S. football rules are set: field shortened to 100 yds.; touchdown counts six points instead of five; four downs are allowed instead of three; and the kickoff is moved from midfield to the 40 yd. line.

1917 A German submarine sinks the U.S. liner Housatonic off coast of Sicily. The United States severs diplomatic relations with Germany.

1920 The Allies demand that 890 German military leaders stand trial for war crimes.

1927 President Calvin Coolidge signs a bill creating the Federal Radio Commission to regulate the airwaves.

1943 Finland begins talks with the Soviet Union.

1944 The United States shells the Japanese homeland for the first time at Kurile Islands.

1945 The Allies drop 3,000 tons of bombs on Berlin.

1945 The month-long Battle of Manila begins.

1954 Millions greet Queen Elizabeth in Sydney on her first royal trip to Australia.

1962 President John F. Kennedy bans all trade with Cuba.

1966 Soviet Luna 9 achieves soft landing on the moon.

1971 OPEC decides to set oil prices without consulting buyers.

1984 The Environmental Protection Agency orders a ban on the pesticide EDB for grain products.

Born on February 3

1809 Felix Mendelssohn, German composer and pianist (Overture to a Midsummer Night's Dream).

1811 Horace Greely, founder of the New York Tribune and abolitionist.

1821 Elizabeth Blackwell, first woman to get an MD from a U.S. medical school.

1874 Gertrude Stein, poet and novelist (Three Lives, The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas).

1894 Norman Rockwell, artist and illustrator who painted scenes of small-town America. Most of his work appeared in the The Saturday Evening Post.

1898 Alvar Aalto, Finnish architect.

1907 James A. Michener, novelist (Tales of the South Pacific).

1909 Simone Weil, philosopher, member of the French resistance in WWII.
Dec 2011
February 11

660 BC Traditional founding of Japan by Emperor Jimmu Tenno.

1531 Henry VIII is recognized as the supreme head of the Church of England.

1805 Sixteen-year-old Sacajawea, the Shoshoni guide for Lewis & Clark, gives birth to a son, with Meriwether Lewis serving as midwife.

1809 Robert Fulton patents the steamboat.

1815 News of the Treaty of Ghent, ending the War of 1812, finally reaches the United States.

1858 14-year-old Bernadette Soubirous, a French miller's daughter, claims to have seen an apparition of the Virgin Mary at Lourdes.

1903 Congress passes the Expedition Act, giving antitrust cases priority in the courts.

1904 President Theodore Roosevelt proclaims strict neutrality for the United States in the Russo-Japanese War.

1910 Theodore Roosevelt Jr. and Eleanor Alexander announce their wedding date–June 20, 1910.

1926 The Mexican government nationalizes all church property.

1936 The Reich arrests 150 Catholic youth leaders in Berlin.

1939 The Negrin government returns to Madrid, Spain.

1942 The German battleships Gneisenau, Scharnhorst and Prinz Eugen begin their famed channel dash from the French port of Brest. Their journey takes them through the English Channel on their way back to Germany.

1945 The meeting of the President Franklin Roosevelt, Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Marshal Joseph Stalin in Yalta, adjourns.

1951 U.N. forces push north across the 38th parallel for the second time in the Korean war.

1953 Walt Disney's film Peter Pan premieres.

1954 A 75,000-watt light bulb is lit at the Rockefeller Center in New York, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Thomas Edison's first light bulb.

1955 Nationalist Chinese complete the evacuation of the Tachen Islands.

1959 Iran turns down Soviet aid in favor of a U.S. proposal for aid.

1962 Poet and novelist Sylvia Plath commits suicide in London at age 30.

1964 Cambodian Prince Sihanouk blames the United States for a South Vietnamese air raid on a village in his country.

1965 President Lyndon Johnson orders air strikes against targets in North Vietnam, in retaliation for guerrilla attacks on the American military in South Vietnam.

1966 Vice President Hubert Humphrey begins a tour of Vietnam.

1974 Communist-led rebels shower artillery fire into a crowded area of Phnom Pehn, killing 139 and injuring 46 others.

1975 Mrs. Margaret Thatcher becomes the first woman to lead the British Conservative Party.

1990 South African political leader Nelson Mandela is released from prison in Paarl, South Africa, after serving more than 27 years of a life sentence.

Born on February 11

1535 Gregory XIV, Roman Catholic Pope.

1800 William Henry Fox Talbot, photography pioneer, produced the first book with photographic illustrations (The Pencil of Nature).

1833 Melville Weston Fuller, eighth U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice.

1847 Thomas Alva Edison, prolific American inventor who jointly or singly held over 1,300 patents.

1855 Josephine Marshall Jewell Dodge, American educator, pioneer in the concept of day nurseries for children.

1898 Leo Szilard, physicist, instrumental in the Manhattan Project.

1907 William J. Levitt, U.S. businessman and community builder who led the postwar housing revolutions with his Levittowns.

1908 Phillipe Dunne, screenwriter and director (How Green Was My Valley).

1912 Roy Fuller, poet and novelist.
Dec 2011
February 13

167 Polycarp, a disciple of St. John and bishop of Smyrna, is martyred on the west coast of Asia Minor.

1542 Catherine Howard, the fifth wife of Henry VIII, is beheaded for adultery.

1689 British Parliament adopts the Bill of Rights.

1692 In the Glen Coe highlands of Scotland, thirty-eight members of the MacDonald clan are murdered by soldiers of the neighboring Campbell clan for not pledging allegiance to William of Orange. Ironically the pledge had been made but not communicated to the clans. The event is remembered as the Massacre of Glencoe.

1862 The four day Battle of Fort Donelson, Tennessee, begins.

1865 The Confederacy approves the recruitment of slaves as soldiers, as long as the approval of their owners is gained.

1866 Jesse James holds up his first bank.

1914 The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) is founded.

1936 First social security checks are put in the mail.

1945 The Royal Air Force Bomber Command devastates the German city of Dresden with night raids by 873 heavy bombers. The attacks are joined by 521 American heavy bombers flying daylight raids.

1949 A mob burns a radio station in Ecuador after the broadcast of H.G. Wells' "War of the Worlds."

1951 At the Battle of Chipyong-ni, in Korea, U.N. troops contain the Chinese forces' offensive in a two-day battle.

1953 The Pope asks the United States to grant clemency to convicted spies Ethel and Julius Rosenberg.

1968 The United States sends 10,500 more combat troops to Vietnam.

1970 General Motors is reportedly redesigning automobiles to run on unleaded fuel.

1972 Enemy attacks in Vietnam decline for the third day as the United States continues its intensive bombing strategy.

1984 Konstantin Chernenko is selected to succeed Yuri Andropov as Party General Secretary in the Soviet Union.

Born on February 13

1599 Alexander VII, Roman Catholic Pope.

1682 Giovanni Piazzetta, painter (Fortune Teller).

1764 Charles de Talleyrand, Napoleon's foreign minister.

1849 Lord Randolph Churchill, English politician, Winston Churchill's father and member of Parliament.

1873 Feodor Chaliapin, opera singer.

1892 Grant Wood, painter (American Gothic).

1902 Georges Simenon, novelist.

1910 William B. Shockley, physicist, co-inventor of the transistor.

1919 Tennessee Ernie Ford, country and gospel singer.

1923 Charles "Chuck" Yeager, American test pilot, the first man to break the sound barrier.

1933 Kim Novak, actress.
Nov 2017
FL Treasure Coast & South Central FL
American Revolution

U.S. Navy captures first British warship

On this day in 1776, Navy Captain John Barry, commander of the American warship Lexington, makes the first American naval capture of a British vessel when he takes command of the British warship HMS Edward off the coast of Virginia. The capture of the Edward and its cargo turned Captain Barry into a national hero and boosted the morale of the Continental forces.

Barry was born in the seaboard county of Wexford, Ireland, in 1745 and offered his services to the Continental Congress upon the outbreak of the American Revolution. Congress purchased Barry’s ship, Black Prince, which it renamed Alfred and placed under the command of Commodore Esek Hopkins. It was the first ship to fly the American flag, raised by John Paul Jones.

Barry served with distinction throughout the American Revolution. At sea, he had continued success with the Lexington. On land, he raised a volunteer force to assist General Washington in the surprisingly successful Trenton, New Jersey, campaign of 1776-77. On May 29, 1781, Barry was wounded while successfully capturing the HMS Atlanta and the HMS Trepassy while in command of a new ship, Alliance. He recovered and successfully concluded the final naval battle of the Revolutionary War with a victory over the HMS Sybylle in March 1783.

Barry’s outstanding career has been memorialized on both sides of the Atlantic. A bridge bearing his name crosses the Delaware River, and Brooklyn, New York, is home to a park named for him. In addition, four U.S. Navy ships and a building at Villanova University carry his name, and statues in his honor stand in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and his birthplace, Wexford, Ireland. On September 13, 1981, President Ronald Reagan declared Commodore John Barry Day to honor a man he called one of the earliest and greatest American patriots, a man of great insight who perceived very early the need for American power on the sea.
Nov 2017
FL Treasure Coast & South Central FL
On this day in 1865, John Wilkes Booth, an actor and Confederate sympathizer, fatally shoots President Abraham Lincoln at a play at Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C. The attack came only five days after Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered his massive army at Appomattox Court House, Virginia, effectively ending the American Civil War.


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