February 14

1778 - The Stars and Stripes was carried to a foreign port, in France, for the first time. It was aboard the American ship Ranger

1803 - Moses Coates received a patent for the apple parer. 

1849 - The first photograph of a U.S. President, while in office, was taken by Matthew Brady in New York City. President James Polk was the subject of the picture. 

1859 - Oregon became the 33rd member of the Union. 

1876 - Alexander Graham Bell filed an application for a patent for the telephone. It was officially issued on March 7, 1876. 

1889 - In Los Angeles, CA, oranges began their first trip to the east. 

1895 - Oscar Wilde's final play, "The Importance of Being Earnest," opened at the St. James' Theatre in London. 

1899 - The U.S. Congress approved voting machines for use in federal elections. 

1900 - Russia imposed tighter imperial control over Finland in response to an international petition for Finland's freedom. 

1900 - In South Africa, British Gen. Roberts invaded Orange Free State with 20,000 troops. 

1903 - The U.S. Department of Commerce and Labor was established. 

1912 - The first diesel engine submarine was commissioned in Groton, CT. 

1912 - Arizona was admitted as the 48th U.S. state. 

1920 - The League of Women Voters was founded in Chicago. The first president of the organization was Maude Wood Park. 

1929 - The "St. Valentine's Day Massacre" took place in Chicago, IL. Seven gangsters who were rivals of Al Capone were killed. 

1932 - The U.S. won the first bobsled competition at the Winter Olympic Games at Lake Placid, NY. 

1940 - The first porpoise born in captivity arrived at Marineland in Florida. 

1945 - Peru, Paraguay, Chile and Ecuador joined the United Nations. 

1946 - ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer) was unveiled. The device, built at the University of Pennsylvania, was the world's first general purpose electronic computer. 

1954 - The TV show "Letter to Loretta" changed its name to "The Loretta Young Show." The show premiered on September 20, 1953. 

1957 - Lionel Hampton’s only major musical work, "King David," made its debut at New York’s Town Hall. 

1961 - Lawrencium, element 103, was first produced in Berkely, CA. 

1962 - U.S. First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy gave a tour of the White House on television. 

1966 - Rick Mount of Lebanon, IN, became the first high school, male athlete to be pictured on the cover of "Sports Illustrated". 

1966 - Wilt Chamberlain of the Philadelphia 76ers set a National Basketball Association (NBA) record as he reached a career high of 20,884 points after seven seasons. 

1968 - The fourth Madison Square Gardens opened. 

1979 - Twenty-year-old rookie, Don Maloney, of the New York Rangers, scored his first goal in the National Hockey League. It came on his first NHL shot. 

1979 - Adolph Dubs, the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, was kidnapped in Kabul by Muslim extremists. He was killed in a shootout between his abductors and police. 

1980 - Walter Cronkite announced his retirement from the "CBS Evening News." 

1983 - A 6-year-old boy became the first person to receive a heart and liver transplants in the same operation. 

1985 - Cable News Network (CNN) reporter Jeremy Levin was freed. He had been being held in Lebanon by extremists. 

1989 - Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini called on Muslims to kill Salman Rushdie because of his novel "The Satanic Verses." 

1989 - The first satellite of the Global Positioning System was placed into orbit around Earth. 

1989 - Union Carbide agreed to pay $470 million to the government of India. The court-ordered settlement was a result of the 1984 Bhopal gas leak disaster. 

1997 - Astronauts on the space shuttle Discovery began a series of spacewalks that were required to overhaul the Hubble Space Telescope. 

1998 - U.S. authorities officially announced that Eric Rudolph was a suspect in a bombing of an abortion clinic in Alabama. 

2002 - The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Shays-Meehan bill. The bill, if passed by the U.S. Senate, would ban millions of unregulated money that goes to the national political parties. 

2002 - Sylvester Stallone filed a lawsuit against Kenneth Starr. The suit alleged that Starr had given bad advice about selling Planet Hollywood stock. 

2003 - In Madrid, Spain, a ceramic plate with a bullfighting motif painted by Pablo Picasso in 1949 was stolen from an art show. The plate was on sale for $12,400.

February 15

1758 - Mustard was advertised for the first time in America. 

1764 - The city of St. Louis was established. 

1799 - Printed ballots were authorized for use in elections in the state of Pennsylvania. 

1842 - Adhesive postage stamps were used for the first time by the City Dispatch Post (Office) in New York City. 

1879 - U.S. President Hayes signed a bill that allowed female attorneys to argue cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. 

1898 - The USS Maine sank when it exploded in Havana Harbor for unknown reasons. More than 260 crew members were killed. 

1900 - The British threaten to use natives in their war with the Boers. 

1903 - Morris and Rose Michtom, Russian immigrants, introduced the first teddy bear in America. 

1932 - George Burns and Gracie Allen debuted as regulars on "The Guy Lombardo Show" on CBS radio. 

1933 - U.S. President-elect Franklin Roosevelt escaped an assination attempt in Miami. Chicago Mayor Anton J. Cermak was killed in the attack. 

1942 - During World War II, Singapore surrendered to the Japanese. 

1943 - "My True Story" was heard for the first time on ABC radio. 

1946 - Edith Houghton, at age 33, was signed as a baseball scout by the Philadelphia Phillies becoming the first female scout in themajor leagues. 

1953 - The first American to win the women’s world figure skating championship was 17-year-old Tenley Albright. 

1961 - A Boeing 707 crashed in Belgium killing 73 people. 

1962 - CBS-TV bought the exclusive rights to college football games from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) for a figure of $10,200,000. 

1965 - Canada displayed its new red and white maple leaf flag. The flag was to replace the old Red Ensign standard. 

1982 - During a storm, the Ocean Ranger, a drilling rig, sank off the coast of Newfoundland. 84 men were killed. 

1985 - The Center for Disease Control reported that more than half of all nine-year-olds in the U.S. showed no sign of tooth decay. 

1989 - After nine years of intervention, the Soviet Union announced that the remainder of its troops had left Afghanistan. 

1991 - The leaders of Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Poland signed the Visegard agreement, in which they pledged to cooperate in transforming thier countties to free-market economies. 

1995 - The FBI arrested Kevin Mitnick and charged him with cracking security in some of the nation's most protected computers. He served five years in jail. 

2002 - U.S. President George W. Bush approved Nevada's Yucca Mountain as a site for long-term disposal of radioactive nuclear waste.

February 16

1741 - Benjamin Franklin published America’s second magazine, "The General Magazine and Historical Chronicle". 

1804 - A raid was led by Lt. Stephen Decatur to burn the U.S. Navy frigate Philadelphia. The ship had been taken by pirates. 

1857 - The National Deaf Mute College was incorporated in Washington, DC. It was the first school in the world for advanced education of the deaf. The school was later renamed Gallaudet College. 

1862 - During the U.S. Civil War, about 14,000 Confederate soldiers surrendered to Gen. Ulysses S. Grant at Fort Donelson, TN. 

1868 - The Jolly Corks organization, in New York City, changed it name to the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks (BPOE). 

1883 - "Ladies Home Journal" began publication. 

1914 - The first airplane flight between Los Angeles and San Francisco took place. 

1918 - Lithuania proclaimed its independence. 

1923 - Howard Carter unsealed the burial chamber of Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamen. The next day he entered the chamber with several invited guests. He had originally found the tomb on November 4, 1922. 

1932 - The first fruit tree patent was issued to James E. Markham for a peach tree which ripens later than other varieties. 

1937 - Wallace H. Carothers received a patent for nylon. Carothers was a research chemist for Du Pont. 

1938 - The U.S. Federal Crop Insurance program was authorized. 

1945 - During World War II, U.S. troops landed on the island of Corregidor in the Philippines. 

1946 - The first commercially designed helicopter was tested in Connecticut. 

1948 - NBC-TV began airing its first nightly newscast, "The Camel Newsreel Theatre", which consisted of Fox Movietone newsreels. 

1959 - Fidel Castro seized power in Cuba after the overthrow of President Fulgencio Batista. 

1960 - The U.S.S. Triton began the first circumnavigation of the globe under water. The trip ended on May 10. 

1962 - Jimmy Bostwick defeated his brother, Pete, to win the U.S. Open Court-Tennis championships for the third time. 

1963 - Paul Anka married Marie-Ann DeZogheb in Paris. 

1968 - In the U.S., the first 911 emergency telephone system was inaugurated in Haleyville, AL. 

1970 - Joe Frazier began his reign as the undefeated heavyweight world champion when he knocked out Jimmy Ellis in five rounds. He lost the title on January 22, 1973, when he lost for the first time in his professional career to George Foreman. 

1972 - Wilt Chamberlain (Los Angeles Lakers) reached the 30,000-point mark in his NBA career during a game against the Phoenix Suns. 

1977 - The Anglican archbishop of Uganda, Janani Luwum, was killed in automobile accident. Two other men were also killed. 

1985 - "Kojak" returned to network television after an absence of seven years with the CBS-TV special, "Kojak: The Belarus File." 

1987 - John Demjanjuk went on trial in Jerusalem. He was accused of being "Ivan the Terrible", a guard at the Treblinka concentration camp. He was convicted, but the Israeli Supreme Court overturned the ruling. 

1989 - Investigators in Lockerbie, Scotland, announced that a bomb hidden inside a radio-cassette player was the reason that Pan Am Flight 103 was brought down the previous December. All 259 people aboard and 11 on the ground were killed. 

1999 - A bomb exploded at the government headquarters in Uzbekistan. Gunfire followed the incident. The event apparently was an attempt on the life of President Islam Karimov. 

1999 - Kurds seized embassies and held hostages across Europe following Turkey's arrest of Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan. 

1999 - Testimony began in the Jasper, TX, trial of John William King. He was charged with murder in the gruesome dragging death of James Byrd Jr. King was later convicted and sentenced to death. 

2002 - The operator of a crematory in Noble, GA, was arrested after dozens of corpses were found stacked in storage sheds and scattered around in the surrounding woods. 

2005 - The Kyoto global warming pact went into effect in 140 nations. 

2005 - The NHL announced the cancellation of the 2004-2005 season due to a labor dispute. It was the first time a major sports league in North America lost an entire season to a labor dispute.

February 17

1801 - The U.S. House of Representatives broke an electoral tie between Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr. Jefferson was elected president and Burr became vice president. 

1817 - The first gaslit streetlights appeared on the streets of Baltimore, MD. 

1865 - Columbia, SC, burned. The Confederates were evacuating and the Union Forces were moving in. 

1876 - Julius Wolff was credited with being the first to can sardines. 

1878 - In San Francisco, CA, the first large city telephone exchange opened. It had only 18 phones. 

1897 - The National Congress of Mothers was organized in Washington, DC, by Alice McLellan Birney and Phoebe Apperson Hearst. It was the forerunner of the National PTA. 

1913 - The Armory Show opened at the 69th Regiment Armory in New York City. The full-scale exhibition was of contemporary paintings and was organized by the Association of Painters and Sculptors. 

1924 - Swimmer Johnny Weissmuller set a world record in the 100-yard freestyle. He did it with a time of 57-2/5 seconds in Miami,FL. 

1933 - "Newsweek" was first published. 

1933 - Blondie Boopadoop married Dagwood Bumstead three years after Chic Young’s popular strip first debuted. 

1934 - The first high school automobile driver’s education course was introduced in State College, PA. 

1944 - During World War II, the Battle of Eniwetok Atoll began. U.S. forces won the battle on February 22, 1944. 

1947 - The Voice of America began broadcasting to the Soviet Union. 

1964 - The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that congressional districts within each state had to be approximately equal in population. (Westberry v. Sanders) 

1965 - Comedienne Joan Rivers made her first guest appearances on " The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson" on NBC-TV. 

1968 - The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame opened in Springfield, MA. 

1985 - U.S. Postage stamp prices were raised from 20 cents to 22 cents for first class mail. 

1992 - In Milwaukee, serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer was sentenced to life in prison. In November of 1994, he was beaten to death in prison. 

1995 - Colin Ferguson was convicted of six counts of murder in the December 1993 Long Island Rail Road shootings. He was later sentenced to a minimum of 200 years in prison. 

1996 - World chess champion Garry Kasparov beat the IBM supercomputer "Deep Blue" in Philadelphia, PA. 

1997 - Pepperdine University announced that Kenneth Starr was leaving the Whitewater probe to take a full-time job at the school. Starr reversed the announcement four days later. 

2005 - U.S. President George W. Bush named John Negroponte as the first national intelligence director.

February 18

1564 - The artist Michelanglelo died in Rome. 

1685 - Robert Cavelier, Sieur de LaSalle established Fort St. Louis at Matagorda Bay, and thus formed the basis for France's claim toTexas. 

1735 - The first opera performed in America. The work was "Flora" (or "Hob in the Well") was presented in Charleston, SC. 

1841 - The first continuous filibuster in the U.S. Senate began. It lasted until March 11th. 

1861 - In Montgomery, AL, Jefferson Davis was inaugurated as the President of the Confederate States. 

1885 - Mark Twain's "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" was published in the U.S. for the first time. 

1913 - The famous French painting "Nude Descending a Staircase", by the French artist, Marcel Duchamp, was displayed at an "Armory Show" in New York City. 

1930 - Elm Farm Ollie became the first cow to fly in an airplane. 

1930 - The planet Pluto was discovered by Clyde Tombaugh. The discovery was made as a result of photographs taken in January 1930. 

1932 - Sonja Henie won her 6th world women’s figure skating title in Montreal, Canada. 

1938 - "The Big Broadcast of 1938" was released. 

1949 - "Yours Truly Johnny Dollar" debuted on CBS radio. 

1952 - Greece and Turkey became members of NATO. 

1953 - "Bwana Devil" opened. It was the first three-dimensional feature. 

1953 - Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz signed a contract worth $8,000,000 to continue the "I Love Lucy" TV show through 1955. 

1964 - "Any Wednesday" opened at the Music Box Theatre in New York City. The play established Gene Hackman as an actor. 

1970 - The Chicago Seven defendants were found innocent of conspiring to incite riots at the 1968 Democratic national convention. 

1972 - The California Supreme Court struck down the state's death penalty. 

1977 - The space shuttle Enterprise went on its maiden "flight" sitting on top of a Boeing 747. 

1984 - Reed Larson (Detroit Red Wings) got two assists to become the highest scoring, American-born player in the history of theNational Hockey League. Larson broke the record by scoring his 432nd point. 

1987 - The executives of the Girl Scout movement decided to change the color of the scout uniform from the traditional Girl Scout green to the newer Girl Scout blue. 

1998 - In Russia, money shortages resulted in the shutting down of three plants that produced nuclear weapons. 

1998 - In Nevada, two white separatists were arrested and accused of plotting a bacterial attack on subways in New York City. 

2000 - The U.S. Commerce Department reported a deficit in trade goods and services of $271.3 billion for 1999. It was the largest calender-year trade gap in U.S. history. 

2001 - NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt, Sr., was killed in a crash during the Daytona 500 race. 

2001 - FBI agent Robert Philip Hanssen was arrested and accused of spying for Russia for more than 15 years. He later pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in prison without parole. 

2003 - In South Korea, at least 120 people were killed when a man lit a fire on a subway train. 

2006 - American Shani Davis won the men's 1,000-meter speedskating in Turin. He was the first black athlete to win an individual gold medal in Winter Olympic history.